The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 4 months ago

How Technology is Changing the Manufacturing Game w/ Dr. John Mitchell

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

There’s this perception that manufacturing jobs are dirty and dangerous.

But in the modern era of manufacturing, that perception is changing as jobs are becoming more and more rooted in technology.

In this episode of The Manufacturing Executive, I talk with Dr. John Mitchell, President & CEO at IPC, about the move from “dirty and dangerous” manufacturing to high-tech manufacturing.

We also talked about:

  • How IPC is using education to transform the negative manufacturing perception.
  • How manufacturers can realize the benefits of AI.
  • What manufacturers need to be thinking about when it comes to scaling.
  • What's going on with semiconductors right now.

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

Subscribe to The Manufacturing Executive on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Manufacturing today is not you knowwhat my parents are, or even what I you know, saw growing up. It's very cool,there's a lot of really great stuff going involved in her welcome to the manufacturing executivepodcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that aredriving mid size manufacturers forward here, you'll discover new insights frompassionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share abouttheir successes and struggles, and you will learn from B to be sales andmarketing experts about how to apply actionable business developmentstrategies inside your business. Let's get into the show, welcome to another episode of theManufacturing Executive Podcast, I'm Joe Sullivan your host and a Co founderof the Industrial Marketing Agency GERIA. Seventy six manufacturing ischanging so quickly from advancements and technology to the work force to theway we communicate with customers and it's tough for many companies to keepup with all the change along with all of this, the perception ofmanufacturing to the outside world hasn't necessarily kept pace with allof its advancements. My guest today is the president of an industryorganization. That's working to advance manufacturing from all of these angles,so let me take a moment to introduce him. Dr John W Mitchell is presidentand CEO of I P C. The Global Electronics Industry Association, DrMitchell, joined Ip in two thousand and twelve and has been instrumental inlaunching solutions to help IPS members achieve financial success andcompetitive excellence. Prior to IPS. HE WORKED TO ADVANCE COMPANY INTERESTSAT G, aerospace, Alpine Electronics, as a founding member of its researchcompany bows and Golden Key International Honor Society. DrMitchell has championed IPS program, such as a new learning managementplatform, ips edge, a validation or...

...validation services and onlinecertification portal factory of the future efforts and a re engineeredmember success department between creating a new solutions that supportstandards, development, improving a member of relations and advocating forregulatory change. Doctor Mitchell has more than doubled the influence andimpact of the organization across the world. Dr Mitchell's academiccredentials include a doctorate in higher education management from theUniversity of Georgia's Institute of Higher Education and Mba frompepperdine's ty and a bachelor of science in electrical and computerengineering from Brigham Young University. John Welcome to the show.Thank you great to be here Joe well. John. You've got a very impressivecareer resume there. I was wondering if you could start out by just telling usa little bit about how you eventually landed here is CEO and president of ipssure you know what an I chat with people just getting started in in theircareer and they're all stressed about Hay. You know what do I want to be whenI grow up etcetera, you know keep about like a two year horizon, because lifewill throw a lot of curves at you. I never. I don't even think I had anyidea that there was such a thing as an association. You know when I was inuniversity, so you know it's kind of the juxtaposition of everything I'vedone. You know I started off as electrical engineer work with GEaerospace and Alpine, bringing navigation systems to the OEM markethere in the US, so that was exciting, doing new things at all pine there, andcan you imagine not being able to route or be not having a PS in your car toget where you wanted to go? I mean, but that was the days when our firstimplementation, the whole map was la. That was it that's all you could drivein which was kind of cool. Then I got my MBA pepper. Dine went to bows to you,know: INFOMD systems for vehicles, which is a lot of fun, moved in the nonprofit world and then doctorate and higher education and IPS is really thejust position of everything. I've done, I'm doing double I've. Business is tiedto it non profit, international education. All of that is what we'redoing today. So it's kind of you know...

...the perfect mix for me, and it's justbeen nice that I've been able to use a lot of what I've done over the years.Yeah seems like a natural progression and landing place for you, given allyour experiences yeah. I wish I could plan that. Well, you know I mean itjust kind of happened, but you know looking back, it's like wow look atthis career pathy set up now. No, I had no idea. Rarely plays out like that,but that's pretty cool. Well John. I recently had the opportunity to lead areally great panel discussion with some brilliant minds in the robotic space.The BPS sales at panic, America, the president and the VP sales at plus onerobotics and a few others, and one of the topics that we got into is thisperception of manufacturing jobs as being dirty and dangerous. Stuff you'dsee on mice rose, show, but a lot of that sort of change in the modern airof manufacturing or a lot of what I see changing is you know: Jobs are becomingmore rooted in technology and manufacturing and it's kind of it's theopposite of a dirty and dangerous in some ways, and it's very high tech andadvanced, and I don't know that that message is getting out there,especially to people interested in entering manufacturing. So I was justkind of curious if you could touch on that from your angle, sure you know, Icouldn't agree more with you that the factor you know manufacturing has thisperception that it is a dirty thing or it's somehow not cool, to be involvedwith manufacturing or or you know it's just I like to call it the LavernanShirley Age. If you remember that TV show from way back when you know theywere, you know, basically very manual bottles. You know all that sort ofstuff, but it's not manufacturing. Today is not you know what my parentsare, or even what I you know, saw growing up. It's very cool. There's alot of really great stuff going involved in it from- and this is youknow, all kinds of manufacturing. I remember touring Ferrari'smanufacturing plant and literally, you could eat off the floor. That is thecleanest plan. I've ever seen they're making cars- you know, but in you know,in electronics, manufacturing we're doing a lot of great stuff and you'reusing all of the latest stuff that people are talking about. There'sartificial intelligence is helping make...

...our manufacturing system smarter andmore efficient. You've got additive manufacturer, The d printing that aregoing that's going into it robotics. Just like your previous guests, we'retalking about you know: Robots are everywhere in electronics and sogetting involved in manufacturing is really instead of just talking aboutthese new technologies you're using them, which just makes it cool soyou're right. We do need to get that message out. Is there anything that I PC is doing specifically to help transform that perception yeah? So wehave what we call the IP C Education Foundation and it focuses on students.So there's chapters in universities, community colleges, we work with highschool students, etcetera and the point of that is to connect them withindustry and to also provide them education. So they can watch thesevideos. They can go into the plants not so much this last year with coved, butyou know the idea is they get in and they can actually experience and seewhat a difference that's making, and so, unless we can get a new hit show outthere on the TV you know like with the next sheldon thing, but until we'reable to have that kind of mass impact, we're trying to do it, you know at thestudent low help him experience it and see what's different. Ah, that's greatto hear you mention very briefly a I a minute or two ago here, and sometimesit feels today like we're living in this world of buzz words in themanufacturing sector, AI industry, for Pino Machine Learning, block chain,digital twin, and I'm just you know, for for manufacturers who are cut innow been around for many years. I talked to a lot of businesses that aresecond third generation businesses, and a lot of them are doing things the sameway in a lot of ways that they have been for a long time. How can thesemanufacturers start to wrap their heads around all of this? This change intechnology and kind of bring it down to the shop floor levels. They canactually realize the benefits of the technological advancements that areflooding the industry. So IPS has an effort called factory the future, andit's really. The goal of this is to help industry move from you know thebuzz words you talk about into actual benefits. You know so, and I think youcan. You know appreciate the difference...

...between talking about something versusactually being able to use it, and this allows this effort is the whole pointof it is to allow companies that don't have multi million dollar budgets to gochange. You know the systems I mean the big guys of the world. They'veliterally been investing millions and millions of dollars into these kinds ofsystems, and so what factory the future is trying to do is to get them as muchof that as they can for a very, very low cost low impact type of adjustment.So they can get some of that right now and then add to it the next year andjust keep building that as you go forward, but even in all those otherareas, you know machine learning, block chain. We've got standards, effortsthat so ip does a lot in the standard setting arena, especially forelectronics, manufacturing and there's. There's a blot chain standard thatpeople are working on today, so people can also participate in that and andget smarter about it. You know, as opposed to just saying all this thatword, I I don't know what that has to do with it or how does that apply to me?You can attend these standards, mean he's and learn from those who have themillion dollar budgets there, multi million dollar budgets about whatthey're doing and then figure out. You know, along with you, know the factorof the future efforts how you can implement that on a smaller scale or onat least you know, hey, let let's take a piece of this and start to gain thoseadvantages. It's great they'll swing back around to this at the end of theinterview, but where can people find some of the stuff you're talking abouton the IP website? Yeah? Yes, so it's a ips dot org and if you just look understandards or factory, the future you'll find l all kinds of voice to getinvolved and because we're a volunteer organization, I mean it's not like ipscomes out and sets these standards. We don't create the standards. We don'tcreate the initiatives we shipperd the process with industry. So it really isefforts made by industry themselves and we try to make sure that those groupsand committees that are working on these things are well balanced. Soyou've got. You know the big guys the little guys the mevis guys is peoplethat are in the supply chain up and down at etcetera, so that really allaspects can be considered as we're moving these programs forward. That'sgreat. It sounds like a really good...

...resource, so yeah we'll mention thatagain towards toward the end. So John, I know you're an engineer andskill ability of systems is something you've told me is close to your heart.So can you talk about why scale ability so important and what manufacturersneed to be thinking about when it comes to scaling up their factories throughmachine operation, skills and also programming skills yeah? So you knowthere's just so many people, and so many different ways to do things soscale is critical. I mean if we could come out with a great instructor andhave them go, teach somebody and that's fine. You know they might be able toteach a dozen people at a time, but just that impact on you know fivemillion workers in the electronics industry alone. You know just in thiscountry never mind across the globe you're. Just it's just not going to beenough fast enough and so we're looking and have been developing for the lastseveral years, an education platform. We call it ips edge. You know kind ofworking on the education and cutting edge. You know to kind of together, butwhat it's an online, a ing for Nis learning platform where you can go andat your pace you know on breaks at home, whatever you can start gaining a lot ofthis knowledge directly yourself and that scales to literally. If we hadsomebody call up and say I need to have a million people go through thistraining tomorrow, you go. It's all good, so we're trying to work with bothindustry, as well as governments to help this get out there faster. Becausenot you know, one of the challenges is, of course, that nothing is cheap and sowe're trying to get governments also to support a lot of these efforts. So wecan use the scale ability and actually get it out there in much broder. Sowhile we have the capabilities- and you know literally have- but as I thinklast year, we didn't nearly even during coved- did nearly a hundred thousandcertifications across the globe on our education platforms and that's just ourtypical stuff we're looking to ten that it just as we bring different skillsover the next coming years. So we're really trying to get out there wherewe're hitting over a million people a year wow. That's that's some seriousreach, very cool, John! Is there a...

...story you could tell about thetransformation you've seen a manufacturing business go through asthey've embraced. Some of these concepts we've been talking about todayfrom technology to creating more scale operations yeah. So it's one thingcomes to mind pretty quickly in New England, so in the electronics world alot of the manufacturing has moved to Asia. You know you may have seen a lotof news on this. You know so a lot of electronic manufacturing has moved toAsia and initially that was for cost of labor issues, because a lot of it wasdone manually recently in New England, an organization, a company decided thatthey would try to challenge that premise that it has to be built inorder to be built cheap. It has to be done at you know in these massproduction factories, and so they created a factory that used a lot ofthe latest technologies and o the later skills and their competitive, and theycan scale this thing and it's a it's there's a ton of automation in it, butthey can run all day all night and so they're literally taking these conceptsthat we've talked about and they're available today they were available twoyears ago, so we're seeing a lot of people really starting to do innovativethings and it's an exciting time. So you get one or two that are doing thisand then suddenly you've got your fifteen to thirty and then, after that,everybody's got it. So it it's at the beginning of real implementation ofsome of these technologies, where you can build it just about anywhere costeffectively. I've been hearing a little bit more about this same concept.Lately my guest a few weeks ago, was a Harry Moser from the resort initiative.It seems like I see his name everywhere these these days, but he touched on alot of this too, and they've got some great tools, for you know, Ricalculators and things like this and TC total cost ownership calculators. Thatsort of help help make a comparison between you know doing the stuff on oroff shore, and a lot of what you're saying seems to be true in a lot ofplaces and there's almost just this. You know accepted notion that you knowthe only way we could do this cost...

...effectively is to do it across seas soyeah, I just think you're going to find you know the whispered word in thehallways, and I don't even know if I should say this. Oh, my Gosh, thesecret is you know with the d printing and all of the advances that are comingthat the you know the fact. If Industry for poitos today, maybe industry, fivepoint or or six point, oh, is in your closet. You know you're reallymanufacturing what you need right there we'll see. If we get there, yeah nokidding yeah I've heard the concept referred to as, like the fourthmodality or mode of trant transportation. I think it was the guysover a fast radius in the edito manufacturing space. I remember readingan article about this. You know we had shipping by by sea and then by rail andby air, and now it's digital files moving. You know across the Internet,which is it's pretty crazy. I think you think Amazon's fast and your same day,delivery well just print it yeah, it's pretty wild, pretty cool to see whatwhat's on the horizon there. Well, let's see here John, I I usuallydon'tget too political on this show, but I given that were recording this in Mayof two thousand and twenty one we've recently transitioned to a newadministration. I know you have some perspectives on sort of the bide endadministration's approach to manufacturing in the US and wanted tokind of open that up to you to. I want to hear what you're seeing yeah. So youknow in general, whatever administration comes into power inwhatever country they each have their hot buttons. You know things thatthey're trying to get done and not everything is going to align with whatyou're trying to do for the, in my case, the electronics manufacturing industry.So what we do is we try to play where they're playing you know where they'rewilling to do things so like in one administration, they may focus ondefense. Okay, great, let's work with the defense industry to try tostrengthen that are another area might another time somebody else might focuson. I don't know health care, and so all right. Those are the opportunitiesthat are Goin to be available right now the biting administration has beenfairly heavily focused. I would say on two areas that have been an interest ofinterest to us: The semi conductor area, which is great, I'm glad they're doinga lot of emphasis on trying to...

...strengthen that area of the industry.The caution I would offer there is that you can't just focus on just the chipif there's an entire ecosystem that has to work with there. If you come up withthe newest, you know best chip in the world and you end up having a ship itall over the world to actually manufacture around it. What good didthat really do so? There's an EGO system that needs support, not just thechip development and then the other area is on infrastructure, which is avery broad impact. Could do some great things and that's challenging. To Imean I don't envy these any one in politics, their the roles. I don't signme up for that one tomorrow, but you know because they're trying to balance,there's there's Today's needs and their voters are very concerned about today'sneeds. You know whether I or do you play for the long play and say: okay,let's really develop new infrastructure, that's more green, more! You know andactually shift away from this, and so those are tough decisions to make,because you make the wrong decision by your local constituents point of view.You don't get elected next year and so that you know hopefully you know youcan find a way to play for the long play and still support. You KnowPeople's jobs today, but those are the two areas, semi conductor andinfrastructure, that I think that we are looking to try to assist theelectronics manufacturing industry along with, as those seem to be inemphasis. That's going on with this administration sure. Can you talk anymore about the what's going on and with semi conductors right now, it's whetheryou're in manufacturing or not, it's probably affecting you in some way,whether you know it or not, it is yeah yeah and I've seen you see it more morein mainstream news now I just can't get my ps five joe there you go well. I've been in themarket for a car. Recently, I finally got one, but I had to wait for it so,and I know that's up: that's a part of it. There are cars on lots that arewaiting for controllers they're, actually on the they didn't hold themin the factories. They've shipped them yeah. So, what's going on here for bad?What's your take on on this? Where where's it headed how's it going to getbetter it's going to take a while. So...

...so what happened on this? In a you know,my chief economist, which explain it a lot better, Shan du Reveche Great, butbasically with coved. You know we had this huge drop, I mean in theautomotive industry. Specifically you had. You know they were making ninehundred thousand cars a month and in April last year they made six thousand,and so the industry did exactly the right thing. They said. Oh my goshrecession in this area shift development start building in otherareas where there's not and that's exactly way e. What didn't happen.That's been normal in every other recession in the past. Is You never youdon't? have this really steep spike right back up again? In fact,automotive went from horrible to amazing within a matter of weeks andthat shift from semi connectors does not happen overnight. You know,building you know with these wavers and these FAB. So so there is time that'sgoing to be taken on that and there's ripple effects. It's not just the semiconductor, industry you're. Really these impacts are going to aretrickling through lots of different segments of the supply chain. So youknow I'm hopeful by this time next year, it'll feel a little bit more balanced,but it could take as long as the end O two thousand and twenty two and, in themeantime, you're just going to have to keep playing on that PS. Four H H, Idon't even have a PS, but I have I have my x box and I have you know the wee.So so we wanted to try the PS five, my other son outs, where he's like Hey dad,you got to get this. This is awesome. That's great! Okay, well appreciate theperspective there John, is there anything that we didn't touch on? Tellyou that you'd like to talk t you'd like to talk about. While I got youthere is so much going on. I'm sure, there's, there's things you know thesupply chain thing is really critical, just getting the right components goingforward, but I think we touched on a lot of the highlights. So no I'm justpretty sure for the opportunity to talk a little bit about the electronicsmanufacturing industry. We that's great well, John, you kind of touched onwhere we could find some of the resources on the IP C site earlier. Butif I just posed the question again, what's the best way to get in touchwith you and pick up some of these resources andlearn more about what ips can do to help sure so e the general website isIp dotor or G, and if you search there...

...for standards or education or factory,the future it'll lead you to all the various groups and committees that arebeing working on that from you know, engineers across the glow. So it'sgreat enough. If you're looking to get a hold of me, it's just John Mitchellat ips to or G J, H, N and Y T C gl at Ip Dat, Org Beautiful, well, John GreatConversation. This was very insightful and appreciated. Having an as for therest of you, I hope to catch you on the next episode of the ManufacturingExecutive. You've been listening to the manufacturing executive podcast toensure that you never missed an episode subscribe to the show in your favoritepodcast player. If you'd like to learn more about industrial marketing andsale strategy, you'll find an ever expanding collection of articles,videos guides and tools specifically for B, to be manufacturers at grilla.Seventy sicot warn thank you so much for listening until next time. I.

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