Kudos to Oregon Business Magazine for its feature, Women’s Work, which details the chronic gender gap that continues in manufacturing. The article is based on interviews with female professionals in trade organizations, manufacturing firms, and higher education.

Together they show how improving gender representation requires a concerted approach from across the industry to reshape an institutionalized culture of gender-based segregation and redefine archaic norms of what work women can and cannot do.

Strategies proposed include:

  • Advising businesses that diversity will ease the labor shortage and improve the bottom line.

  • Promoting manufacturing careers to female students and professionals.

  • Providing supportive networks, like Women in Manufacturing and Oregon Tradeswomen, to help women secure employment and businesses find and retain female employees.

  • Breaking down the “bro culture” prevalent in manufacturing.

RapidMade CEO Renee Eaton, a Women in Manufacturing chair of its Oregon chapter was among the women featured in the article. RapidMade is a Portland-based additive manufacturing (3D printing) and engineering services firm.

Growing up in Pittsburgh, if you weren't directly connected to the Steel industry, you complained about the rotten egg smell and pollution.  But when the industrial giants went silent in the 70s and 80s, the complaints shifted dramatically to the economic tragedy that was unfolding - the flight of life-long residents and well-paying jobs.   Rhetoric from the recent election aside, Pittsburgh's manufacturing base is both alive and well...

The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) recently reported that in 2016 the manufacturing sector accounted for the most investment dollars ($6.1 billion), the most deals (50 companies expanding or relocating), and the most new and retained jobs (3,667).

But as we've continued to see, the type and number of jobs that have been created don't resemble those of the steel-era in any way.

“Manufacturing is the most active sector in southwestern Pennsylvania,” explains PRA President David Ruppersberger. “But as technology and automation continue to transform this legacy sector, the reality is that manufacturing facilities will be smaller-footprint, high-efficiency environments where fewer workers, with advanced skills including STEM proficiency, will produce more goods. This is a trend that won’t reverse at any time in the foreseeable future.”

Hearing of Pittsburgh's adoption of additive manufacturing and other advanced technologies is encouraging if the resulting economic turnaround benefits the greater community.

 

Braving the ice and rain, RapidMade joined other manufacturers and suppliers at this week's Northwest Food and Beverage Manufacturers Expo and Conference.  The Expo is a familiar event for RapidMade's management team which has more than 40 years of experience in food processing and material handling as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), engineer, manufacturer and 3D printer.

OEMs turn to RapidMade for our engineering design services.  Once equipment is operational, using our engineering staff and additive manufacturing allows food processors to 3D scan, reverse engineer and produce components - either using 3D printing or traditional manufacturing.

Held annually, the Expo offers "leading-edge educational sessions with the largest regional trade show in the industry."

As you plan last-minute expenditures for 2016, please remember RapidMade can complete most projects in days, not weeks.  

We offer: 

  • Rapid prototyping & design engineering services

  • Low-volume production: 3D-printed parts, tools, patterns & molds

  • Reproduced obsolete parts with reverse engineering & 3D scanning as needed

  • To-scale architectural, sales & training models; cutaways showing internal components are optional

  • Promotional items including customized ornaments, awards & business card holders

Just in time for the Holidays, we are introducing our new Thermoforming technology for your Prototyping & finished product needs.

Then let us help you ring in the New Year!  We've expanded our Engineering Services to include:

  • Product design & integration

  • Standard equipment customization

  • Training & user manual development

  • On-site installation & training

  • Specialized tooling & part design/manufacture

It's been a great year, and we have our wonderful customers to thank for it.

Happy Holidays! 

The RapidMade Team

  

A recent Forbes article described a PwC report that detailed 7 ways manufacturing firms confide 3D printing helps thembecome more competitive.  They argue:

  1. Increasingly (71.1%), responding companies use the the technology for prototypes and final parts.
  2. Over half believe its use will be expanded to include high-volume production within 5 years.
  3. Surprisingly, only a quarter predict Additive Manufacturing will disrupt their supply chains in the short term.
  4. Almost 53% feel 3D printing will gain a greater foothold in the parts/products after-market.
  5. A majority (64%) anticipate Additive Manufacturing will be used to reproduce obsolete components.
  6. Of those organizations that already use 3D printing, more than half believe their peers will adopt the technology within 5 years.
  7. Firms continue to believe that technology costs and qualified labor shortages will slow greater adoption of 3D printing use.

To learn more about how additive manufacturing can help your company, contact RapidMade.