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Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been garnering a lot of attention lately and grabbing headlines for their application in everything from video games to healthcare. VR and AR have already begun to change the way Americans do business.

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Regular maintenance and repair can, and should be a part of a businesses strategy. Consistent maintenance helps prevent problems before they arise, avoiding expensive equipment failure and production downtime. Maintenance departments are often limited in their operations by arbitrary cost-cutting from the top.

In the manufacturing industry, and all subsequent labor industries, there exists a real gap in labor and skills that threaten the future of work. And while a total shift will rely on internal industry and cultural change, here are a few ways Wisconsin companies are addressing the skills gap, and reaping the rewards.

Strategic plans are essential for any healthy, forward-thinking organizations. However, strategic plans can sometimes veer into the realm of the lofty and aspirational – focusing more on broad initiatives and goals and less on the “nuts and bolts” of the organization and opportunities to improve efficiency and ensure continued fiscal health.

As the labor shortage continues to develop, there’s a parallel issue plaguing high schools and young students: lack of viable career path. With thousands of high schoolers choosing not to pursue a traditional college experience, they may not know how to find their way to a viable, rewarding, growth-focused career.

The push to attend college is preventing kids who could thrive in the trades from considering a career in manufacturing. Some 30 million jobs in the United States that pay an average of $55,000 per year don't require bachelor's degrees.

While social pressure to attend a four-year university remains strong, trade schools nevertheless seem to see an increase in the types of students who, a decade prior, may have never considered a career in the trades.

Now, more than ever, the trades offer young folks a lucrative and rewarding career path. Construction, the mechanical trades, and industrial occupations like welding are in-demand trades that could provide either a stable career or a launching pad.

October was Manufacturing Awareness Month, and manufacturers across the country opened their doors to young children considering education in the trades. GM Today recapped a few ways young kids were exposed to the value of manufacturing careers.

South-eastern Wisconsin is one of the top 10 best-paying large metro areas in the US for workers under 25. As the labor gap continues through the years, potential employees will have more and more incentive to work in the trades.

Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard a lot about Millennials. There are a variety of reasons that the Millennial generation has been generating so much media attention, but the primary reason is – there are a lot of them.

Within most facilities, there are a number of standard features and components that while seemingly insignificant, required a great deal of forethought and consideration in order to choose the model or material best-suited for the work environment. Not the least of these features is flooring.

Accidents will happen. Spills, breakdowns, and fixes can’t always be planned. But planning your maintenance can help prevent some of these accidents from occurring in the first place. That’s why it’s important to come up with good Predictive and Preventive Maintenance checklists for your assets and buildings.

Predictive Maintenance is based on the collection, management, and intelligent use of data. This method focuses on “asset health,” performing services and repairs based on the asset’s failure to meet prescribed performance objectives.

For most companies, maintenance represents a very significant function within the overall production and operation environment, and it is important to be up to date with the maintenance of equipment and machines. With the correct maintenance strategy, you can avoid future problems and unwanted costs, like breakdowns and costly repairs.

WAUKESHA — Waukesha Education Foundation, Inc. is recognizing some of the strongest partners of the School District of Waukesha. On Tuesday, the organization announced the three recipients of its annual WEF Community Partner Awards. Longtime SDW Board of Education member Barbara Brzenk is slated to be recognized, as well as community partners SPX Transformer Solutions and Culver’s (on Grandview Boulevard).

Within any facility, there are a number of features and components that while seemingly insignificant, have a major impact on the business’s functionality, security and efficiency. Not the least among these features is a facility’s commercial door.

In many facilities, equipment is one of the primary areas in which a proactive and preventative approach can make a significant impact. In this post, we will examine predictive maintenance – a technique that reliability engineers and other relevant personnel can implement to reduce downtime and save the organization money.

Employers implement several features and programs – and sometimes go to great lengths – within their workplace to ensure it is one that fosters productivity, creativity and a healthy, positive culture. Examples of such offerings may include an employee lounge, in-house snack-bar or restaurant, and team-building and bonding activities and exercises.

Change is rarely easy and many businesses know well how difficult and expensive cultural shifts and innovation can be. But while change may be costly and hard, it is important for businesses to reflect on their approach and culture and ask, “Can we afford to do nothing and maintain the status quo?”

Reliable equipment, personnel and practices are critical to the success of a business, and the plant setting is certainly no exception. Reliability in your plant should be a top priority. While establishing reliability both in practices and machinery requires a bit of front-loaded work in the form of a well-designed plan, the effort will quickly pay off and provide a number of benefits to your company.

LeadCon'19 sessions will be held November 1 in the Milwaukee area, and November 8 in WI Dells. These sessions are to update professionals on: 1. Governor Evers' Executive Order 36 for Lead Poisoning Reduction 2. Grant process for $14 million in WI DHS grant monies 3. HUD/EPA revisions to lead level standards.

Joe Hertel is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison College of Engineering with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He is a licensed Master Electrician, Commercial Electrical Inspector and Registered Professional Engineer with the State of Wisconsin.

it comes to ongoing busi­ness operation, maintaining a structured plan is critical. The last thing your factory needs to deal with is an unexpected hiccup or delay from product defects, fail­ures, or accidents. Determining the best strategy to minimize downtime is the typical course of action businesses take to mitigate risks.

According to statistics, a Computerized Maintenance management systems (CMMS) can help an organization save between 10 and 15% annually. But due to the cost of CMMS solutions, many maintenance managers and organizations are reluctant to implement one.

Streamlining maintenance to be faster, safer, and more economically efficient is no easy feat. This holds true whether it’s a smaller-scale operation or an enterprise-level facility. Bringing automa­tioninto the equation is a clear necessity to remain competitive.

System integration is a hot topic these days due to the increasing advances in building automa­tion technology. Software such as BAS (Building Automation Systems), CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems), security soft­ware, and building performance visualization soft­ware can now be integrated into one seamless system.

Electrical power quality disturbances can disrupt production by causing equipment malfunction or failure and reduce the life of electrical equipment. Power quality problems can cause frustration, be difficult to diagnose and expensive to solve. A few precautionary steps can help you to avoid them.

Today’s world is often defined by borderless and unconventional threats, global challenges, and fast-paced change; all things employers have minimal, if any, control over. On the other hand, fatalities, accidents, and illness at work are highly preventable. Companies have the ability to experience improvements in morale and productivity, along with cost reductions, by imple­menting suitable safety mea­sures for their operations.