From a technology standpoint at least, this is one of the most exciting eras manufacturing has ever known.
Every day, the new tools of the trade – smart machines, connected devices, big data and analytics, multitasking systems, robots, 3-D printing, and all the rest – are helping manufacturers create better products, faster and cheaper than ever before.
We are experiencing an industrial tech tidal wave that shows no sign of slowing. As a result, manufacturers are riding that wave are being transformed from simple makers of things into truly high-tech industrial pioneers that are helping to shape the future of manufacturing.
One of those pioneers, already well on his way into that high-tech industrial future, is Brian Papke, president of Mazak Corporation, North America.
Under Papke's watch, Mazak's Florence, Kentucky, plant has been transformed from a machine tool assembly shop into a sprawling, state of the art factory filled with smart machines, tools and technologies straight out of the sci-fi future.
All of this has put the company in a very good place, of course. But to Papke, all of that innovation and progress marks some good news for manufacturing in general, too. It is a sign, he says, of good things to come for the entire North American industry.
We caught up with Papke at IMTS in Chicago this September, to hear about the progress he is making with Mazak and how that is helping the rest of the industry grow.