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May 9, 201912:25 PMMaking Madison

with Buckley Brinkman

How not to confuse trends and technology

(page 2 of 2)

The M&T Show is always a great place to see new technologies and approaches. Visitors can see how the “big guys” are looking at the future and the technology heading our way. It’s a time to see transformations from across the country and connect with the people driving those changes.

It was no different this year. Great keynotes from PPG and Titan Gilroy provided new perspectives on harnessing technology and developing the next generation of manufacturing workers. Exhibits and workshops demonstrated the latest technology in 3D printing, virtual reality, connected devices, and artificial intelligence. Change experts from across the country connected to share ideas and find new pathways forward. In all, it was three days exploring the future and finding ways to put new ideas into action.

I use events like this to create my own story about how critical trends and evolving technology will impact Wisconsin manufacturers. It’s clear that future manufacturing success will depend on our ability to develop and build more technologically advanced products, leverage our people in new and creative ways, and reposition our operations to meet future market demands. Much of that technology is still emerging, with larger manufacturers testing its impact on the frontiers of the future.

My narrative focuses on the critical need to drive productivity throughout our manufacturing ecosystem. If the workforce growth follows projections, we will almost exclusively rely on productivity advances for future economic growth. In fact, we will need productivity improvements of over 30 percent to maintain a modest 3 percent annual economic growth over the next decade. That story drives a structured approach to driving transformations through continuous improvement, automation, and the effective implementation of connected systems. It sets a steady course in a tumultuous world.

It’s time to make your move. Acceleration of the key trends will transform our world and won’t wait for you. Your personal narrative and perspective will put you on a steady path. The picture is very clear: We need everyone to create a prosperous future. Jump in and do your part.

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About This Blog

Buckley Brinkman is executive director and CEO of the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity and writes about the manufacturing sector in Greater Madison and throughout Wisconsin. He has a breadth of experience in helping companies drive growth, world-class competitiveness, and performance excellence, and has led efforts to save dozens of operations in the U.S. by finding new ways for them to compete. A Wisconsin native, Brinkman holds a business degree from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

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