What Millenials Think of the Manufacturing Industry

In the video above, it’s clear that young people are shying away from STEM education because of a distorted perception of manufacturing employment and careers. Although the people in this film are bright, they are not very knowledgeable about manufacturing or technical careers. When you watch this video, you see that some of the statistics that are cited are quite interesting. Over 17 million people are employed in the manufacturing world and on average the compensation for these careers exceeds $77,000. So while the jobs are there and they pay well, young people show little if any interest. According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), 18-24 year olds rank manufacturing 5 out of 7 for career preferences. However, more than 80% believe manufacturing is important to our economy and standard of living. The fact is that we need to address the skills gap before we can develop the engineers and technicians of the future. A study from The National Defense Industrial Association reported that between 5th and 12th grade 74% of the children do not have access to or interest in STEM the coursework they need to thrive in today’s advanced manufacturing environment. Without this baseline education, our younger generations won’t be qualified to fill the highly technical careers that are now the benchmark of a manufacturing environment. Many companies are addressing this gap by working with local educators and school administrators to support and encourage STEM education. Some organizations partner with workforce development agencies to identify and groom future manufacturing candidates. Still, others are using the old model of apprenticeships to grow their own talent internally. The...

5 Essential Tips for Prototyping

Building a prototype for your product is essential for making your idea a concrete reality. Entrepreneurs are putting more and more focus on prototype development because a compelling prototype can attract new investors. Prototypes show what works and what doesn’t work. That helps generate feedback and can facilitate a connection between potential investors and your vision. In the end, if you want to get funded and gain traction in the business world, you’re going to want a compelling prototype. So, what is the key to successful prototype development? Read these five essential tips to find out. 5 Essential Tips for Prototyping Be Specific. Before you put all your time and effort into your prototype, you need to have a plan of action. Take into consideration the following questions. What is your overall plan for your product? How is it different from other products that already exist? What is the market for your product? Who is your target consumer? Where do you want to sell your product? Also, make sure you can clearly explain the specifics of your prototype including, specifics about functionality, aesthetics, use, etc. as well as your overall business plan to anyone who might have an interest in it. Talk to Potential Manufacturers. At some point of your prototype stage you’re going to need to identify potential manufacturers. Once you’ve contacted a potential manufacturer, ask for their portfolio. You want to get a good idea of what they’ve done in the past. Pay attention to its manufacturing capabilities and expertise, as well as its signature aesthetic. If you’re planning on creating a cutting-edge alarm clock but a...

5 Favorite Plastic Products on Kickstarter

Day after day more Kickstarter campaigns are getting funded with the help of active Internet users. With so many different projects out there, people are lining up to be part of the next big thing. They are ready to see the product and get the project going as quickly as possible and with a prototype, people are seeing where there money is going. We can’t possibly mention every single amazing project we’ve seen, and there’s definitely a seasonal drift to ideas, and at times, every idea on the site seems strange and terrible. Luckily not all ideas are awful, and to show that, we’ve found our top 5 plastic products on Kickstarter! 5 Favorite Plastic Products on Kickstarter  Coolest Cooler: 21st Century Cooler that’s Actually Cooler Total backers: 62,642 Total pledges: $13,285,226 Elevation Dock: The Best Dock for iPhone Total backers: 12,521 Total pledges: $1,464,706 Your iOS in Motion. Total backers: 5,227 Total pledges: $702,427 Ulo Total backers: 8,330 Total pledges: $1,745,545 Snatoms! The Magnetic Molecular Modeling Kit Total backers: 6,581 Total pledges: $519,851...

What to Think About When Creating a Prototype

Do you have an idea for a new product that will take the world by surprise? Are you ready to create a new device that will enable you to start your own small business? Before you start a crowd-funding campaign or a Kickstarter for your new product, you need to create a prototype! A prototype is a pre-production model or sample of a potential product that will help you work out the kinks before you produce large quantitates for sale. It demonstrates to potential customers, suppliers and investors what you envision your product to be. More importantly, it help you figure out ways to save money and make your product more appealing to customers. Let’s say you have an idea for a new type of water bottle. You’ve been playing around with different designs and filters for months and you feel you finally have the right design. Before you buy hundreds of bottles and line up a commercial store, take the time to show it to a manufacturing company so they can create a prototype and make sure the product can be complete. Prototype Trial and Error When prototyping your product, examine how well it will do when made in a large quantity. Will you be able to recreate it when you need more of the product? Do the bottles need certain features that the manufacturing company can take care of? Is there a label that you need to place on the bottle? Developing a prototype helps you figure all these costs and will help you figure out the sales and shipping. For example, consider not only the cost...