MFG Day 2016 Continues

mfg day

Hardinge Group hosts MFG Day 2016 event

More MFG Day 2016 Events

MFG Day 2016 itself may have passed, but there are still monthly celebrations of the American manufacturing industry going on. Our customer, the Hardinge Group in Elmira NY, held an open house on October 12th.

We opened our doors today to participants of Manufacturing Day,” a representative said about the event on their Facebook page. “They got a sneak peek of our experience in Engineering, Automation, Robotics, and of course, our four heavy hitters – Turning, Milling, Grinding, and Workholding.”

The importance of MFG Day is to not only celebrate this industry but to pull the younger generation in to keep American manufacturing going. “We’ll be keeping an eye on these young stewards of the Manufacturing World,” Hardinge says.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing was the industry with the highest employment in New York, where Hardinge is located, up until 1993. Manufacturing was also the dominating field providing the highest American employment rates from 1990 until the early 2000s. As of 2013, manufacturing was the provider of the most jobs only for seven States.

mfg day

Hardinge Group hosts MFG Day 2016 event

The Manufacturing Institute has said that 3.5 Million manufacturing job vacancies will need filling over the next decade due to previous workers retiring and a jobs surplus created due to business growth, but sadly, 2 Million jobs are expected to sit unfilled because of a serious skilled labor gap. With a lack of resources for school children these days who are interested in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering & math), it is crucial that current members of the manufacturing industry step in to fix this problem.

There are also current solutions happening right now to fill these jobs, such as the efforts of Workshops for Warriors to get military veterans into these jobs. There are also unconventional methods, such as Wisconsin’s Workshop for the Blind, or the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program to “place inmates in a realistic work environment…and enable them to acquire marketable skills to increase their potential for successful rehabilitation and meaningful employment upon release.”

It is definitely appreciated when companies like Hardinge open their doors for the future generation to learn more about this industry. We have also seen similar efforts from our customers at Amarillo Gear Company. We hope that these efforts will help to occupy that skills gap and keep manufacturing in America.

Read more of our MFG Day 2016 posts. Otherwise, tell us what you think via social media, or call (877) 611-5825 to share what is happening with your shop floor!


MFG Day Comic was a Success

mfg day shop floor man

MFG Day Shop Floor Man Comic

One of the final posts we put up about MFG Day 2016 was a specially themed Shop Floor Man comic to celebrate the day. It received a good amount of buzz on social media, and we wanted to share it here. 

Shop Floor Automations is an official endorser of MFG Day and we realize the importance the holiday has. It is so important that future generations be involved and get interested in the manufacturing industry. Be it a machinist, a programmer, an engineer, etc. – the industry must continue to thrive. We reviewed the reasons why manufacturing makes a difference for the USA in this previous post.

Shop Floor Man is our newest creation to help exemplify the benefits of upgrading your shop floor. He is a reflection of the frustrations and crazy things that happen in this industry, and we hope you enjoy his presence on the interwebs!

More about Shop Floor Automations and how we help shop floors:

  • Check out our archived newsletters with industry topics & event wrap-ups here
  • Read testimonials & see videos of what our customers have to say about us here
  • Check out the FAQ section about our software & hardware solutions here
  • See our case studies here and we have webinars coming up here
  • We are on social media here, and you can call us at (877) 611-5825 for more info!


MFG Day 2016

MFG Day 2016Happy MFG Day!

To celebrate this day, we share some insight below from a few of our customers and experts from this field. 

To review some quick facts as to why this industry matters to America:

1) Workers in a manufacturing-related job can make about $15,000 more per year than most other job fields.

2) For every dollar spent on this industry, the economy gains an 81 cent profit.

3) Organizations like Workshops for Warriors (WFW) are able to thrive while helping those who served our country get training and jobs in the manufacturing field. PTSD and other factors can make it difficult for veterans to return to the workforce, and WFW gives them a great venue to explore a new career.

“The pay is good, and for me, I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that I can turn a piece of raw material into a finished product,” says Ben Molinar, who is a Shop Operations Manager for GMI Group. “Also, knowing that the parts that I am making will go to a customer somewhere to be used in their operations is a pretty awesome feeling.”

“Something different every day, something exciting every day,” James Baker of Amarillo Gear says, of working as a machinist in the manufacturing field. “It was a blessing to be part of it, and it’s been 20 years into programming and 30 in the machinist field.”

“For me, it’s something I feel I’ll always do,” the CNC supervisor told us during this interview. “It would take a lot for me to want to leave this field.”

James encourages kids who enjoy working with math to pursue a job in manufacturing. “The machine shop is where you actually use math, trigonometry, algebra– it’s in the machine shop. I can program, understand and axis machines, and live tool equipment.”

Ben told us in his interview that there are other benefits to consider in this line of work. “I can go anywhere in the world and work. Because of my experience and background in machining, I have been able to work all around the globe.”

As a huge “PS” to this piece – we also have a 10% off promo for our entire store all this weekend as a “thank you” to shop floors everywhere (use the code “mfgday”).  Share with Shop Floor Automations what you are doing for MFG Day by using the hashtag #MFGDay16 on Twitter and including @SFA_inc in the conversation.

Shop Floor Automations, an official endorser of MFG Day, has been a leader in solutions towards manufacturing shop floor OEE and Continuous Improvement since 1998. Call us today for your shop floor needs at (877) 611-5825.

Why MFG Day Matters


mfg dayWhy MFG Jobs are Important

SFA is a firm believer that you can not only serve your customers, but you can learn a lot from them, too. That is why we love to chat with them about what they are up to on their shop floors, to help solve the problems they are having, and to also see why they chose a Manufacturing related career.

One of our customers had some great stories to tell, and we felt this would be a perfect addition to MFG Day 2016. Read on to see how being both a Machinist and Programmer for manufacturing shop floors has changed James Baker’s life:

Why did you first get into machining and why have you stuck with it? “At first, I was a young married man with three small children and I didn’t want them to be hungry. That’s what started me in the machinist’s field. I was able to go back to school. Now, I’m 52 years old and I’m still enrolled in continuing education for my career, and also for music, for math. It was my family first, and then it became very inspiring. It was something different every day, something exciting every day. It was a blessing to be part of it, and it’s been 20 years into programming and 30 in the machinist field. For me, it’s something I feel I’ll always do. It would take a lot for me to want to leave this field.”

What areas of interest would be appealing to the new generation for entering the manufacturing field? “I encourage all the young people out there that the machine shop is where you actually use math, trigonometry, algebra– it’s in the machine shop. I can program, understand and axis machines, and live tool equipment. We have 35k programs online. It’s a big deal.”

“It’s not me that’s done it – it’s the help I’ve had” -James on his career success

Other than going back to school, what other benefits have you seen from working in the manufacturing industry? “The machine shop business has helped put my kids through college and provided for us a wonderful home. Two of my children are in IT. The oldest son works for LinkedIn, our daughter has her Bachelors in business administration, and our youngest son is a restaurant manager, while also teaching tuba and low brass for middle school students. They are all great with technology.”

Were your kids naturally inclined towards technological or educational pursuits, or did you have to encourage them a little? “I started my kids on computers when they were in elementary school and they were quite talented, even as children. I also love teaching my grandkids math. One granddaughter is 11 and I help her with the math they are giving her. Pre-algebra work programs like “this train leaves at that time, etc.” I love working with my grandkids on pre-algebra. I have a math problem on my fridge at home and my grandson wrote a long division question in the quadrillions, and he is 10 years old! My scientific calculator errored out when I tried to replicate it, so I did the equation on paper, and he was right!”

It sounds like you’ve already done a lot for the future generation, in terms of getting them interested in manufacturing, mathematical or technological pursuits, but does your shop have any MFG Day 2016 plans? “We have done things where Boyscouts come out to the shop for MFG Day in the past. We also do plant tours on a reoccurring basis of our shop floor for all the middle schools, high schools and colleges that desire to go through the plant every year. We work very closely with local area schools. We care very much about manufacturing in this area and want kids to advance with the field.”

Do you have any advice for the future generation, in terms of your success? “It’s not me that’s done it – it’s the help I’ve had.”

James Baker is a CNC Supervisor at the Amarillo Gear Company. Find them online at

Shop Floor Automations is an official endorser of MFG Day 2016. Interact with us on Twitter at @SFA_inc and use the hashtag #MFGDay2016 and you may also fill out our contact form.

Manufacturing is Happening Every Day

mfg day infographic

Click Infographic for Larger View

The manufacturing industry is a big boost to our economy.

The Manufacturing Institute reports that 47 percent of exports from the United States come from our manufacturing sector alone, which is a big deal.

The NTMA (National Tooling and Machining Association) states that for every dollar invested into American manufacturing, $1.81 is gained by the economy. It may seem small, but it’s still a profit – if a Million dollars were put into the manufacturing sector just this week, it would make back that Million, plus turn a profit of $810,000! You can see more facts about why this industry matters to our country by reading our the infographic in this post.

Shop Floor Automations cares a great deal about the manufacturing sector, as well. Our goal is to help our customers, who work on the shop floors and produce these goods, communicate better with their machines and get the most use out of them. We work with machinists, engineers, programmers – we speak to many different people in the manufacturing industry on a daily basis.

One such customer that we have helped is Ben Molinar, who is a Shop Operations Manager. Here is some of his story below:

What inspired you to get into manufacturing? “My reasons for getting into manufacturing are pretty simple. The pay is good, and for me, I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that I can turn a piece of raw material into a finished product. Also, knowing that the parts that I am making will go to a customer somewhere to be used in their operations is a pretty awesome feeling.”

It seems like you are very inspired by manufacturing! “Manufacturing is happening every day, all over the world. The technology is always changing, so there is always something to learn and ways to improve.”

If you could say anything else about manufacturing to try and convince the future generation about why it’s a great job field, what would you say? “I can go anywhere in the world and work. Because of my experience and background in machining, I have been able to work all around the globe.”

Ben Molinar is a Shop Operations Manager at GMI Group, formerly Gulf Manufacturing, which has locations in Texas and Louisiana.

Have a great story to tell about why you got into manufacturing or are you doing something special for MFG Day? Contact us on social media, or call (877) 611-5825 to talk about what is happening on your shop floor.

MFG Day 2016 is Coming

mfg dayMFG Day 2016 is Coming

Shop Floor Automations (SFA) will present to our audience a week-long celebration of MFG DAY, which takes place October 7th. The National Holiday is a celebration of how the industry has evolved in recent years, with a heavy focus on pulling in a future generation to keep the job field thriving.

SFA will roll out the red carpet for MFG DAY by providing followers a day-to-day parade of content relative to the Holiday the week it occurs. Informative blogs, a video, maybe even an infographic, will be just some of the fun content to experience. We may even give out one of their hilarious G-code T-Shirts, but definitely, count on a discount to celebrate the Holiday in our online store!

Could an MFG DAY related strip from our new comic series called “Shop Floor Man” (which is pictured to the top left and may be clicked on to magnify) be coming? We are also reaching out to some of their amazing customers in the Manufacturing field to get their stories and insight from the work they do, which will hopefully be included in these celebrations.

Follow what we will be up to on Twitter at both @SFA_inc and @ShopFloorHumor. We are also on Instagram and Facebook under the username ShopFloorAutomations. Look for all of our MFG Day related content on our website blog. Fill out our contact form, so we can get in touch with you on your time.

Remember – when tweeting about MFG Day, please use the tag #MFGday16 or use it to keep up with the fun events on this momentous day!

Getting Military Veterans Manufacturing Jobs

workshops for warriors Workshops for Warriors Visit

Every day, younger workers find the manufacturing industry. Organization Workshops for Warriors (WFW) is also guiding deserving veterans to fill these crucial jobs.

In June of 2016, Shop Floor Automations got to attend an amazing open house. WFW prides itself on assisting soldiers who come home – especially those wounded, with physical limitations or with PTSD.

Check out a student testimonial from Workshops for Warriors 

The event drew a sizable crowd who met in the main office. Hernán Luis y Prado, the founder of the program, was all smiles upon meeting everyone for a facility tour.

“It’s great to love our veterans,” Hernán said during the tour. “But love alone doesn’t get our vets these jobs.”

Hernán definitely means business when it comes to helping out his fellow veterans. Having served in the Navy, he saw firsthand that transitioning from serving in the military to civilian life was a struggle.

The current WFW center has a large workstation of computers, $6 Million worth of equipment donations (from Haas and Reliance Steel & Aluminum), and various other equipment. Hernan says WFW is truly “the school that America built,” as Hernán puts it. Read more below!

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