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SME BLOG

Read up on all things manufacturing. 

The SME Blog is intended to share manufacturing content spanning across a wide variety of topics, technologies and industries. SME is a leading voice within manufacturing, we understand the problems manufacturers face, and we’re here to help find solutions to meet today’s manufacturing needs. Explore our library of blogs covering the people, products and practices that make up our manufacturing community.

Recent Posts

Conversations with a Manufacturing Engineer: Kayla Jordan

To recognize National Engineers Week, SME sat down with some of our amazing members to discuss their experience within manufacturing, lessons learned, and what’s next for the engineering industry. Meet Kayla Jordan and learn how SME has supported her in her manufacturing journey.

Conversations with a Manufacturing Engineer: Britton Foust

To recognize National Engineers Week, SME sat down with some of our amazing members to discuss their experience within manufacturing, lessons learned, and what’s next for the engineering industry. Meet Britton Foust and learn how SME has supported him throughout his career.

Increasing Manufacturing Opportunities for Underrepresented Communities

During Black History Month, we salute the innovators who dedicate their talent and creativity to manufacturing. SME President, Bob Willig believes that manufacturing is at its best when we hear the voices of and engage with all community members.
Businessmen and machinery

A Guide to Automated Manufacturing Systems

Fully automated manufacturing systems have the potential to optimize production operations and maximize efficiency. But not every automation system is the same. Regardless of which automated manufacturing system is used, there are significant benefits to fully automated production.
3D Printing

Advancements in 3D Printing in Manufacturing

3D printing in manufacturing is used in several different industries for prototyping and product design, and even to produce end-use parts. As manufacturers continue to adopt 3D printing, innovative ideas and use cases for this technology are leading to advancements within the manufacturing sector.
Construction Worker & Pipe

Advancing Plant Engineering and Maintenance in Manufacturing

Plant engineering and maintenance involve managing a manufacturing plant’s mechanical and electrical systems, assets, and equipment. As more smart technologies are implemented into manufacturing facilities, this job also includes managing automated systems.
Machinery with sparks

Aerospace: Which is Better for Metal-to-Metal Bonding?

When it comes to processes used to develop products for aerospace, there are several different processes for bonding different metals together. Some examples of joined metals include titanium with stainless steel, titanium with iron-nickel, and aluminum with other metals. But which one is better is up for debate.
Machinery in factory

Automation Solutions for Manufacturing

In the fourth industrial revolution, advanced manufacturing technologies like automation are becoming necessary for manufacturers to continue to thrive. There are multiple manufacturing automation solutions available to help manufacturers improve operations, but what’s best for each company will depend on its business goals and strategies.
Cobotics Machinery

Cobotics: Improve Production with Human-Robot Collaboration

Cobotics is making automation more attainable for the manufacturing sector. Collaborative robots, or cobots, are often a better investment than industrial robots for small- and medium-sized manufacturers. Cobots work in the same environment as humans without barriers and safety fences.
Man Working with Machine

Combating Challenges for Medical Device Manufacturers

Prior to the coronavirus, manufacturers in the medical industry were using advanced manufacturing technologies to improve products and operations. Continuing to implement these advanced technologies will help medical device manufacturers combat the challenges they’re currently facing.
Composite Manufacturing

Composite Manufacturing Grows in the Texas Aerospace Industry

As the aerospace industry takes off in Texas, composite manufacturing is on the rise in the state. Composite materials play a large role in aerospace manufacturing, as they are lightweight and durable, helping to improve aircraft performance.
Man with PC

Digital Transformation Considerations for Manufacturing

As manufacturing companies implement smart technologies to stay relevant in the Industry 4.0 era, there are digital transformation considerations each company should think about before embarking on their digital journeys.
Intelligent Automation Machinery

Four Use Cases for Intelligent Automation in Manufacturing

Implementing intelligent automation in manufacturing processes is one of the most effective ways to streamline operations and improve efficiency within production. As manufacturers’ digital strategies evolve, they start to adopt more advanced manufacturing technologies. These include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation. The combination of these three technologies is the basis of intelligent automation.

Maximize Your Virtual Career Fair Experience

In preparation for virtual career fairs, SME Membership has created a program to maximize your experience. Join industry experts and learn tips about interviewing and the overall job search. The pre-virtual career fair event takes place on Feb. 1 from 3-4pm ET.

New Year, New Career Opportunities

SME has partnered with Women in Manufacturing (WiM) to produce two virtual career fairs in 2023 to help advance underrepresented groups in manufacturing who are seeking rewarding, sustaining careers. Registration is open for the first virtual career fair taking place on February 9, 2023.

Virtual Reality Engages a Multi-Generational Workforce

Whether it’s improving production processes or upskilling workers, companies are looking for smart manufacturing solutions. Virtual reality will be a part of manufacturing’s future, the only question is how manufacturers will make the most of these new tools.
NAMRC Is Where Ideas Are Born for Manufacturing

NAMRC Is Where Ideas Are Born for Manufacturing

When it comes to innovation within manufacturing, the goal is to develop sustainable processes to create something unique that adds value. The research presented at NAMRC sets the groundwork for important manufacturing developments in the years to come.
Students

Creating Pathways for a Diverse Talent Pool

During MFG Month SME Membership provided a series of webinars focused on key or emerging industry-related topics and products. One webinar examined the strategies of using diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to improve manufacturing to create a more diverse talent pool.
Smart Manufacturing Executive Council

Smart Manufacturing Executive Council Gains Visibility

Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer of SME, and John Dyck, Chief Executive Officer of CESMII visited the Peggy Smedley Show podcast to discuss the launch of the new Executive Council and the national imperative to engage the industry, align efforts and resources, and offer tangible solutions to combat the hurdles and roadblocks to adoption.

Manufacturing Day and Collaboration is Important for Industry Growth

Companies across multiple industry sectors have increased their investment in automation and technology solutions. Their dedication to these types of productivity enhancements shows commitment to invest in the future of their business and in turn, create an environment that attracts new and inspired employees.
IMTS

SME Sends Hundreds to IMTS

The manufacturing technology community assembled in Chicago this year for IMTS 2022. SME was in attendance with a robust presence on the exhibit floor amounting to a total of seven different offerings.

Prepare for the Future with Training and Certifications

Whether you’re just beginning your career or a seasoned manufacturing professional, technical certificates will make you a high-value commodity and a sought-after individual within your industry.
SME ZONE

Thrive with SME at IMTS 2022

The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) is back fully in person after a four-year hiatus, and SME will be in attendance. It’s exciting to be back in Chicago but it’s even more thrilling to have the opportunity to present new products and solutions to the public as well as host numerous member-driven programs.
SkillsUSA Competition 2022

SkillsUSA Competition Enables Young Creators to Shine

Created in 2013 by SME and Stratasys, the SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition is intended to both educate high school and post-secondary students about additive manufacturing technologies and to provide the real-world, hands-on experience they can apply to a commercial product.
Sheronda Carr speaking at RAPID + TCT

SME Members Prominent at RAPID + TCT

Over three days, thousands of the additive manufacturing (AM) community’s best and brightest packed Huntington Place in Detroit to discuss and learn about new products, materials, and solutions.
Gender Diversity in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is Missing an Opportunity

The importance of manufacturers to the success of our economy and society is great. From designers and engineers to warehouse production staff, and everything in between, the opportunities for success in manufacturing are abundant.
Creating and Sustaining Opportunity

Creating and Sustaining Opportunity: Our Responsibility

Black History Month, a time of reflection and recognition, encourages us to acknowledge achievement and accomplishment. We at SME are proud to celebrate those within the Black Community who’ve contributed and continue to support advancements in manufacturing.
Inclusion in Manufacturing

Prioritizing Inclusion in Manufacturing

Our industry must be inclusive and open to everyone to thrive. Having role models and professional representation within manufacturing is of paramount importance. Passionate manufacturing professionals working together with common goals will ultimately drive business forward.
Solar Panels

Sustainable Manufacturing Equals Long-Term Success

Emerging science and technologies are key to the next generation of advanced manufacturing, global competitiveness, and sustainability.

Certified Manufacturing Engineer Certification: Because You’re Worth It

Achieving a professional certification sets you apart from the thousands of other talented men and women in manufacturing.
NAMRC

11 Advanced Manufacturing Experts Discuss the Industry’s Future

SME’s 2022 North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC) is the continent’s preeminent and longest-running international forum for applied research and industrial applications in manufacturing and design.

Take Your Career to the Next Level With a Lean Certification

Lean Certification sets you apart from the competition and places you a step ahead in your manufacturing career.

Don’t Overlook the Value of Speaking Opportunities at Industry Events

Becoming an event speaker provides an opportunity to give back -- to reinvest your experience into the industry and share your knowledge with the next generation of manufacturing engineers.

The Value of Membership in Two Words

Essential resources for manufacturers come in many different forms. A professional membership provides resources and networking opportunities that will help advance your career.

Extraordinary Women in Manufacturing are Driving the Industry Forward

SME Celebrates Women History Month and specifically the extraordinary women in manufacturing who chose a career in STEM.