I try to hit a number of CNC machine related forums a few times a week. I enjoy reading the insights, opinions, and suggestions of others on various forum threads. As you can imagine a common topic of conversation is the state of manufacturing in the USA.
From the CNC machinists, operators, and programmers, to the set-up persons and CNC repairs tech, we take pride in knowing that just about any product made here state-side that lands in a persons hands has been machined at some point. Manufacturing has also been one of the great mainstay’s of this country’s middle-class, and the common refrain for quite some time has been that manufacturing is dead. I often read the lament from forum poster’s that we’re a dying breed. While manufacturing has seen it’s shares of ups and downs, I believe it’s on the way up. Again. I believe it’s a fairly optimistic time. More and more companies are realizing that there are too many trade-offs by off-shoring their production. More and more people are fore-going the common route of working for a company, purchasing a used CNC machine and other shop equipment and going it their own. With the technological advances (3D printing and DIY CNC anyone?), coupled with a home grown college tuition system that seems bent on disenfranchising a whole generation, I’m seeing more and more young persons moving toward CNC programming and machining. A couple of articles I’d like to point you toward:
This is a very in-depth and excellent article describing our recent manufacturing past here in the states: the outsourcing boom, the decline in manufacturing jobs, and the subsequent realization that the trade-offs of outsourcing are many. GE serves as a prime example in this article of realizing that outsourcing is the old, inefficient and poorly imagined way of conducting manufacturing in the US.
Like the title says…skilled workers needed. Us older guys are going to want to retire at some point.
How about you? Do you believe manufacturing, specifically CNC Machine manufacturing, in the USA is on the rise? Believe we’re a dying breed? What are your thoughts on the newest CNC up and comers? Leave your thoughts below!