With more and more “Baby Boomers” retiring and the “Generation-X” right behind them trying to find the ever elusive work-life balance, American precision parts manufacturers are struggling to find experienced, skilled labor. As technology advances, so does the requirement for more complicated and precise machined components.
The available workforce for experienced machinists is shrinking. There have been few career programs aimed at manufacturing and most job seekers coming up have not learned nor know about gear ratios, cams, lever settings and other mechanical skills required to setup and operate high production multi-spindle screw machines. However, the newest generations to the workforce are more technologically adept than their more experienced counterparts and bring a new viewpoint to a mature industry.
SSP is overcoming this challenge by relying on new advances in technology and the younger generations’ knowledge of how to use that technology. Over the last 5 years, SSP has invested heavily in technologically advanced high production equipment. This investment has allowed SSP to make a paradigm shift in required machining skills, while concurrently improving quality and efficiency. Though there is still a need to know how to read a part print, use metrology tools, and understand the basics of machining, the learning curve has been significantly reduced.
This highly advanced equipment is controlled by a computer program, has the technology to monitor machining and tool performance, as well as to graphically notify the operator when there is an abnormality. There is also the capability to allow a supervisor, or manufacturing engineer to remotely monitor the machine’s performance and be notified if help is required at the machine.
SSP is a made in America manufacturer investing heavily in technology to overcome experienced, skilled labor shortages. By using the skill strengths of the available job seekers combined with new technology in machining and the knowledge of experienced associates, SSP has been able to build a strong workforce.
Paul Omilion, Vice President of Operations, has been with SSP for 24 years.