LEAN Maintenance Practices
The Industrial Maintenance Black Belt, A Look at the Current Supply and Demand.The future demand for the Industrial Maintenance Black Belt is around the corner. I know, you say "What?". Is American manufacturing on the upswing, or is it still declining? There are headlines describing how more factories have moved their operations to China and farther afield. Then we see articles on the re-shoring of manufacturing and increasing output here in the U.S. What explains this contradiction? The answer is: automation.
The United States has followed Japan's lead in automating its factories. Instead of a facility with thousands of people, we see retooled facilities with thousands of robots, pick and place machines and automated inspection equipment. This equipment represents a massive shift from human capital to capital expenditures. Since the manufacturing equipment is much more expensive and far more costly when it stops running, industrial maintenance becomes all the more important. A facility full of robots still needs to be maintained. And optimization of maintenance resources has a fantastic ROI. While automation has decreased the need for unskilled labor in the factory, it will increase the demand for the industrial maintenance black belt. Companies with distributed manufacturing will hire industrial maintenance black belts to keep their production lines humming. And professionals with industrial maintenance black belts will see demand for their skills rise as the need for them improves.