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Happy Manufacturing Day from All Over the US

Oct. 2, 2020
Innovators from food, pharmaceuticals and defense share their thoughts on manufacturing’s future and rewards.

East Fishkill, New York: Manufacturing Drives the Economy

The future of manufacturing will continue to look bright as long as there are people who are willing to create something new that resonates with the public or fulfills a need. Innovation thrives when new ideas are developed, designed and produced. Personally, I embraced manufacturing as a career because seeing something made is inspiring—and for consumers to embrace your product is extremely exciting and rewarding.

Manufacturing is critical to the United States. In Dutchess County, New York alone, where Crepini, the food manufacturer I work for, is based, more than 7,500 people work in the field. Our product is a healthy crepe-like alternative to bread and wraps. The industrial facility where we operate, iPark, has become a significant economic engine for our county, providing, affordable, high-tech infrastructure and an innovative community perfect for companies like ours looking to grow.

Today’s advanced manufacturing requires a combination of innovative ideas that utilize a strong and stable workforce to meet high-tech demands in a global market. At Crepini, we look to promote people who take initiative and work hard, we try to promote from within, and we encourage all employees to come up with innovative ideas that improve our products, our process, and our productivity.

New technologies, product strategies and best practices are transforming how work gets done. In the food industry, being able to assure not only quality, but safety, is paramount, and technology can help support innovation in this area. 

- Lisa Shkolnik, Chief Marketing Officer, Crepini

Bedford, New Hampshire: A Culture of Learning Brings Innovation

Manufacturing is critical to the United States. Diverse manufacturing sectors create more research and development, innovation, exports and jobs. At LSNE Contract Manufacturing, a global pharmaceutical manufacturer with sites in New Hampshire; Wisconsin; and León, Spain, we work together with the newest scientific innovations to bring drugs to market and impact human health globally.

We believe that when manufacturing employees continue to learn, they feel empowered to make an impact. We have a robust cross-training program which helps build our employees’ skills and overall satisfaction. This program is valuable to changing the perception that manufacturing is repetitive or boring. This is certainly not the case in a contract manufacturing environment where we see different products and processes every day.

 As our industry continues to grow, we look towards the future of manufacturing. The industry is shifting fundamentally as customers search for personalization and customized solutions to meet their specific needs and challenges. It is no longer one size fits all. Technology and adaptability allow companies to keep pace with market needs. We see this with the introduction of artificial intelligence, automation, and advanced robotics for many industries. In the CDMO space for pharmaceutical drug product manufacturing, these technologies manifest as isolators that limit human intervention wherever possible.

Early in my career I was exposed to a variety of roles within the pharmaceutical industry. Opportunities in research and development, quality control, and manufacturing allowed me to deepen my understanding of how the many different functions within a company are all interconnected and critical to meeting the needs of the client. I was initially drawn to the introduction of a new product or process and understanding all the key processing parameters, how to best scale up the process, and how to improve upon a process to make it more efficient – all in an effort to create a robust manufacturing process for that particular product.

In a manufacturing role, one has the opportunity to interact with the early stage development of a product to ensure its manufacturability. In addition, I have the opportunity to work with the engineering team to enhance the quality and production efficiency, and work with the quality control and quality assurance teams to make sure that the product being manufactured is of the highest quality. I embrace the continuous improvement philosophy, and this translates to a better-quality product at reasonable prices. Additionally, there is no greater satisfaction than delivering much needed pharmaceuticals or therapeutics to a patient in need 

- Shawn Cain, Chief Operating Officer, LSNE Contract Manufacturing

Colorado Springs, Colorado: In the Defense Business, Quality Requires a Highly Trained Workforce

Defense manufacturing is a key industry in Colorado Springs and critical to the region’s economy. Manufacturing companies like Jaxon, a specialty manufacturer that creates military-grade EMP shielding materials, work to create custom-manufactured products for the Department of Defense (DOD) and commercial clients all over the world.

Our critical DOD infrastructure is heavily dependent on manufacturing innovation and production. Manufacturing also plays a vital role in job creation and career development, serving as an entry to a variety of high-paying jobs.

Jaxon started as a service business, primarily focused on the delivery of engineering support to the DOD. All of our current customized manufacturing work is grounded in highly technical products and related services. Due to our technical background, our manufacturing labor is highly specialized. That specialized labor requires a strategic development of personnel and capital equipment in order to deliver quality technical products to our clients. 

Jaxon has spent millions of dollars on the development, training, support, and retention of our specialized staff in addition to the capital expenditures required for state-of-the-art DOD manufacturing. In addition, Colorado Springs’ proximity to a robust network of military instillations only bolsters Jaxon’s – and other manufacturing companies – access to a world-class talent pipeline. Five of the state’s six military installations are all located within the Pikes Peak region – making Colorado Springs a hub for defense-specific talent.

As business and economic leaders in Colorado Springs became forced to pivot in the face of the global pandemic, Jaxon was also forced to navigate similar disruptions. The largest disruption to our successful delivery of specialized products is the reliance on impacted supply chains. With limited amounts of qualified vendors in niche manufacturing, lead times from our critical supply chain have exceeded 36 weeks. These lead times are further compounded by the impacts of COVID. As a result, our industry is in desperate need of small business entrepreneurs required to build a competitive mindset within the supply industry for High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse parts and assemblies.

Jaxon believes that culture is the fuel for will power. The focus on culture will define the ability to achieve substantial results in the manufacturing and service industries. In an industry that has been traditionally defined through high turnover, quality begins to suffer. We believe that an intentional focus on people is what makes the difference between quality and everyone else. 

Historically as an engineering company, we have focused on services, but have transitioned into manufacturing as a way of bringing our engineering concepts to life and providing more jobs in the community that we care about. There is so much financial dependability within manufacturing, which creates a stable business platform. We also love building things for our country in a way that protects its people.

Artificial intelligence is becoming the clear next step for advanced manufacturing companies. Artificial intelligence guided with technical service professionals in order to both gain economies and build economies. A lot of industry professionals believe that this detracts from jobs in the US, but AI and robotics industries are typically met with higher paid jobs, such as software engineers and design specialists. The race with other developed countries is underway, and the US needs to be at the forefront of bringing most of those outsourced jobs home to lead the way in manufacturing. In Colorado Springs, manufacturing companies like Jaxon are helping bolster our national defense and keep the country at the forefront of innovative manufacturing. 

- Scott White, Chief Executive Officer, Jaxon Engineering

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