From Maryland, Indiana: Local Manufacturing Advances

By May 21, 2010Economy, Innovation

From, the suburban D.C./Maryland newspapers, “From wires to spices, a comeback“:

The economic downturn that staggered the state’s manufacturing sector might have bottomed out, as executives say they could be approaching the end of the tunnel.

“The dark clouds are starting to clear and business is improving,” said Matthew McCabe, vice president of sales and marketing for The Crowley Co. in Frederick, which manufactures high-end microform scanning equipment through one of its companies, Mekel Technologies.

From the, the website of the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette, “Manufacturing becoming ‘advanced’“:

David Holt, a spokesman for Conexus, at first struggled to define “advanced manufacturing,” saying it might apply to any manufacturer that uses some robotics or any other automated process.

After some research, Holt gave this definition: “methods of manufacturing products using robotics, intelligent systems, efficient processes and management techniques, coupled with support from highly skilled and educated people.”

By that definition, most northeast Indiana manufacturers are becoming advanced manufacturers, Holt said.

But by any definition, “advanced manufacturing” means higher productivity, or that it takes fewer workers to make the same amount of product. That’s a trend that must continue if U.S. manufacturers are to compete in the global marketplace, said Mac Parker, president of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce Foundation Inc.

“In order to compete with the lower wages overseas, you have to have higher productivity,” Parker said. “And to have higher productivity, you have to have automation.”

The Journal Gazette illustrates the issue by talking to Fort Wayne Metals, an industrial wire maker that now manufactures wire for medical devices and surgical procedures, e.g., leads for pacemakers.

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