Bridging the manufacturing skills gap, supporting students, and WIM
Blaser Swisslub

Bridging the manufacturing skills gap, supporting students, and WIM

Blaser Swisslube, Big Kaiser customers help students destroy robots; Fives joins Woman in Manufacturing; Fanuc America, Titans of CNC bridge the skills gap


It’s been an eye-opening week around here as concern for the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in school closures, increases in working remotely, and limiting or halting travel. While the next few weeks will most certainly lead to additional restrictions to curb a spike in the number of cases, manufacturing is still moving forward and continuing to connect, interact, and support each other – such as the NTMA Spring Conference we attended this week where Blaser Swisslube and Big Kaiser Precision Tooling made donations to the National Robotics League.

So, even with social distancing as the necessary approach to COVID-19 – along with good infection prevention hygiene (wash those hands and don’t shake hands) – we continue to bring you news and the latest happenings around the industry, so keep reading and have a great weekend.


Blaser Swisslube customers helping students destroy robots

A recent promotion from Blaser Swisslube challenged U.S. manufacturers to test a Blaser metalworking fluid or to share a user experience to raise funds for the National Robotics League (NRL). The 2019 year-end offer raised $2,000 for the workforce development program.

“Like all growing companies, we are in need of and competing for new talent,” said Carsten Witthuser, managing director of Blaser Swisslube Americas. “Supporting the NRL is another way for us to be proactive and encourage the next generation in manufacturing.”

NRL is a program of the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA) designed to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills for manufacturing by organizing student teams to design and build remote controlled robots (Bots) to face-off in gladiator-style competition. The program is supported by individual volunteers and donations from companies such as Blaser Swisslube.

“This is a fun and hands-on way to create excitement about technology careers,” said Roger Atkins, president of NTMA. “It engages young people while teaching critical skills we need in our future workforce. We appreciate all of the support for NRL from the NTMA membership.”

The NRL 2020 National Championship is set for May 15-16, 2020 at the California University of Pennsylvania. 


Big Kaiser’s growing support for NRL

Customers and partners of Big Kaiser Precision Tooling generated $7,283 in donations to the National Robotics League (NRL), nearly 10% more than in 2018 – the fourth year-over-year increase in NRL funding from Big Kaiser.

The donation is a 2% match of all qualified orders from National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology member companies during the final two months of each calendar year. Manufacturers’ orders for cutting tools, toolholders, workholding, and tool measurement systems also earned funds for the NRL.

“We need to get involved at every level to grow the next-generation workforce. Our company does that by partnering with local schools, our community colleges, and trade associations,” says Chris Kaiser, CEO of Big Kaiser. “NRL is one more way for us to engage kids and promote careers in manufacturing.” 


Fives joins Woman in Manufacturing Association as a corporate member

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Fives, an industrial engineering group with nearly 8,700 employees across the world, has joined the Women in Manufacturing Association (WiM) as a corporate member, signaling the company’s commitment to the success and growth of women in the manufacturing industry. WiM is the only national trade association dedicated to year-round support for women who have chosen a career in the manufacturing sector. It offers tools, training, and thought leadership to help companies identify and advance women leaders in the industry.

Fives highlighted its’ membership with WiM during the grand opening ceremony of its North American headquarters for Fives Intralogistics Corp. in Louisville, Kentucky last month, aligning with its new brand signature statement “Industry can do it" and a workforce comprised of ~45% female engineers and management roles.

The association with Women in Manufacturing furthers Fives’ commitment to proactively promote the development and advancement of young professionals interested in manufacturing-based careers.

“Industry can do it’ is our approach and the strong conviction that industry is the answer to every challenge: Environmental, technological, societal, and economic,” says Frédéric Sanchez, chairman and CEO of Fives Group. “It is the pioneering spirit and the commitment of our employees that has enabled Fives to play a major role in every industrial revolution throughout its’ 207-year history.” 


Fanuc America, Titans of CNC helping bridge the skills gap

Fanuc America announced an alliance with Titans of CNC to help bridge the skills gap. The education platform offers students the support, education, and training to help prepare them for careers in high-tech manufacturing. It also provides machinists, programmers and shop owners a better understanding of the advanced processes that will help them maximize productivity and remain competitive.


In support of the Titans of CNC Academy, Fanuc will donate its latest automation products including the CR-15iA collaborative robot and a 5-axis Robodrill machine tool with an LR Mate 200iD robot. The Academy will include hands-on training reinforced by a series of online tutorials and educational videos to instruct people how to operate real-world automation.

“We are excited to work with Titans of CNC on this new automation academy,” says Mike Cicco, president and CEO, Fanuc America. “Fanuc shares Titan’s commitment to the future of manufacturing. That means we need to amplify workforce training to help improve the skill level of our manufacturing workforce and shape the future for the next generation.”

In addition to products, Fanuc will provide other educational tools and technology to train academy members in the use of CNC’s, robots and automation – the same equipment used by companies worldwide in every industry sector.

“We started a workforce training program about ten years ago,” Cicco says. “Today over a thousand schools train their students with Fanuc’s certified education programs.”

“Manufacturing is changing,” says Titan Gilroy, CEO, Titans of CNC. “As technology and automation take on new forms, it is imperative that we not only teach new talent coming into the trade, but that we also train and support our existing workforce throughout the industry.”