STILL MADE IN AMERICA - The Story of Robert Slass and his Contribution to US Manufacturing, describes how the engineer/entrepreneur founded Rotor Clip and steered it through the most difficult times for U.S. manufacturing to become a successful manufacturer in the retaining ring industry. The story plays out against the backdrop of U.S. economic history during the decades following World War II. The book also urges young people to consider manufacturing as a career.

A Manufacturing Day Tribute

Oct. 6, 2016
This tribute to Bob Slass, American entrepreneur, engineer and visionary is also a call for an awareness of the importance of U.S. manufacturing to the nation's economic success. Excerpted from the book, STILL MADE IN AMERICA - The Story of Robert Slass and his Contribution to US Manufacturing. This post is part of IndustryWeek's special coverage of Manufacturing Day/Month, 2016.

There are many companies who have chosen to tell their story to the public in print picture books and online eBooks. We are sure they are genuinely proud of what their companies have accomplished and satisfied to present their achievements in words and pictures.

But in telling the story of Robert Slass, mechanical engineer and entrepreneur who started Rotor Clip in 1957, we'd like to take it a step further. We'd like to show you how his skill and forward thinking created a dynamic manufacturing environment that is as relevant today as it was when Rotor Clip first opened its doors.

For too long, we have been under the misconception that manufacturing is a place of dirty jobs for uneducated people. The truth is that factories are not only places for skilled mechanics, tool makers, and engineers; they are also a place where the latest technology offers careers in just about every function found in a typical service or retail enterprise, including IT, purchasing, accounting, customer service, sales, marketing, quality control and more.

Rotor Clip’s 238,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Somerset, New Jersey. The company also has several global locations including a manufacturing facility in Budyně, Czech Republic; a warehouse/distribution center and sales office in Sheffield, England; a sales office in idstein, Germany; and a warehouse/distribution center and sales office in Shanghai, China. Inset: The original company headquarters.

Specifically, jobs in manufacturing today are careers requiring college level skills as well as manual dexterity. 3-D printing (additive manufacturing) helps our engineers design parts for our machines and see how they work before producing them using precious toolmaker and operator time.

The "Internet of Things (IoT)" delivers accurate data in real time so that you can act on it to gain a desired outcome. In addition to devices that can help improve eating habits and remotely adjust oven temperatures, machine on factory floors can be connected to gain similar capabilities.

IoT data storage and software improvements help factory personnel collect and analyze enormous quantities of data. For example, maintenance can accurately predict when a part for a certain machine needs to be replaced before it fails based on an analysis of long term historical data. IoT brings together the elements of customer, raw material and machine data to schedule customer requirements and produce product according to these specifications at a level never before seen in our factories.

The implications of this new technology are enormous and the opportunities for young people entering the workforce are only now beginning to be realized.

Robert Slass, Founder, Rotor Clip

This book is more than a tribute to Bob Slass, American entrepreneur, engineer and visionary. It is a call for an awareness of the importance of U.S. manufacturing and its contribution to our economic success. In addition to Bob's story, it looks at the many opportunities in today's manufacturing facilities. Look for the Manufacturing Career Focus sections to see what is available in today's modern factory.

We hope you will view this book not only as a chronicle of Rotor Clip's success but also as the beginning of a new awareness of manufacturing and the promise it holds for our country and its people.

Joe Cappello is director of global marketing at Rotor Clip Co., Inc. in Somerset, NJ. Download a free ebook copy of STILL MADE IN AMERICA.

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