Team Management

How Can Leaders Confront the Skills Gap in Manufacturing After COVID-19?

In a 2018 Deloitte/Manufacturing Institute report, 89% of manufacturing CEOs cited a critical shortage of talent as their top concern. The study estimated that 4.6 million manufacturing jobs would need to be filled in the next decade—and 2.4 million jobs might go unfilled due to a lack of trained workers.

US manufacturing has taken a beating during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 486,000 job openings were available in manufacturing in June 2019. That number dropped to 306,000 by May 2020 but had recovered to 336,000 (a 10% rebound) by June. So overall demand is down, but assuming the pandemic’s impact on the US economy is not permanent, the skills gap in manufacturing will persist.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://redshift.autodesk.com/skills-gap-in-manufacturing/.

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What’s Good Failure? 5 Things Research Scientists Reveal About Business Resilience

In research, goals are often amorphous. Work doesn’t follow the traditional business sequence of setting time-based objectives. Instead, innovative products require open-ended exploration and experimentation. How do you reconcile the two?

I’ve found that rather than trying to tame researchers and school them on the lessons of business, you should flip the script. Provide the research department with a direct connection to the customers for whom they’re dreaming up solutions. Then, help product teams appreciate the value of failure and iteration. Finally, make sure the two are well connected throughout the journey. This mindset and organization shift will lead to better product innovation.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/business-resilience/.

Photo Credit: Illustration by Micke Tong

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How Heroes Worldwide Built Modular and Prefab COVID-19 Hospitals in Mere Days

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries have supported those serving on the front lines of rapid-response health care. Building ad hoc, modular, and prefab hospitals for communities facing unprecedented clinical demand turned AEC experts into emergency responders, delivering high-quality projects amid exceptional circumstances.

These new practices will serve the construction industry in future crises—and perhaps even in the course of returning to more normal business modalities. Here, projects in three countries—China, Mexico, and England—illustrate what this extraordinary situation demanded, how teams mobilized, and the knowledge they gained.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/modular-hospitals/.

Photo Credit: The 1,000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, was designed in 24 hours and built in 10 days. Courtesy of CITIC ADI.

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5 Ways Digitalization Fosters a Collaborative Culture in Architecture

In 2017, CannonDesign broke ground by hiring Hilda Espinal as its first chief technology officer—a surprisingly uncommon position for large architecture and engineering firms.

With her background in architecture, information technology, and project management, Espinal helps the firm use technology to develop better design and stronger partnerships. This approach, she believes, leads to higher productivity, competitiveness, and profits for everyone involved in a project, from the designers to the builders to the building occupants. Firms might once have kept information close in the name of differentiation, but Espinal is seeing more of a collaborative spirit in the industry: an open-sharing environment that helps everyone start the race from farther down the track.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/collaborative-architecture/.

Photo Credit: The CannonDesign team collaborates using VR and other visualization tools. Courtesy of CannonDesign.

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BIM and Automation Help Franken-Schotter Chisel Away at the Competition

The stone-production business has evolved over the years—a process that was once largely done by hand has morphed into the use of automation and new technologies such as BIM (Building Information Modeling) to stay competitive.

Franken-Schotter is a natural-stone manufacturer based in Germany that produces and delivers approximately 2 million metric tons of stone each year, extracting from its own four quarries. The company attributes its staying power—nearly 50 years in the business—to embracing new technologies and becoming a modern facility.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/frankenschotter/.

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Japan’s Daiwa House Industry Is Using Generative Design to Retool Urban Housing

Japan is one of the most urbanized nations in the world, with more than 91 percent of its citizens living in its densely packed cities. High demand for long-term housing in urban areas combined with a scarcity of available land presents unique challenges for Japan’s residential-construction industry—challenges that are difficult to overcome using traditional design methods. To this end, Daiwa House Industry, one of Japan’s largest construction firms and a specialist in industrialized housing, is developing custom systems that use generative design to optimize building on small parcels, in line with the country’s urbanization patterns.

In Japan’s housing-complex business, plans are drawn up manually to demonstrate how the building can make best use of the landowner’s property; with such limited space on the island nation, maximizing efficiency is crucial. “For housing complexes such as apartment blocks, it is very important that we lay out the building on the available land,” says Takashi Yamasaki, manager of Daiwa’s Information Systems department. The proposal must also satisfy the landowner’s commitment to contribute to the community; profits are not the sole focus.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/daiwa-house-industry/.

Photo Credit: A three-story apartment complex designed by Daiwa House. Courtesy of Daiwa House Industry.

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4 Tips for Building a Small-but-Mighty Team of BIM Experts

The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is the perfect embodiment of what it means to be big: towering skyscrapers, massive bridges, expansive tunnels, and innovative and inventive designs. Yet small can also be powerful, especially when it’s rooted in passion and purpose. These are the foundations on which Axoscape was built.

Based in Houston, Texas, Axoscape helps architects, contractors, and subcontractors understand BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology to stay relevant in the industry. Despite having only a nine-person team, the expert BIM-services firm is making a significant impact by taking on projects with a purpose, whether it’s laser-scan-like photogrammetry of damage from Hurricane Harvey or partnering with Habitat for Humanity, Houston Food Bank, and other organizations supporting their communities.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/bim-expert/.

Photo Credit: When tackling complex issues, it’s essential to bring diverse perspectives and skillsets to the table. Image composite: Micke Tong.

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5 Ways Industrial-Manufacturing “Dinosaur” Claudius Peters Staves Off Extinction

Claudius Peters is hardly a household name. The huge manufacturer of materials handling and processing systems for cement, gypsum, steel, and aluminum plants won’t challenge Amazon’s or Tesla’s news-cycle dominance. But Thomas Nagel, the company’s chief digital officer and operations director, is establishing Claudius Peters as a global leader in—of all things—digital innovation.

Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Buxtehude, Germany, near Hamburg, Claudius Peters and is an international company with a dozen offices worldwide. Scale and longevity are reassuring. “But 100 years of operation also means that we are a dinosaur,” Nagel says. That presents a fundamental challenge: How does a “dinosaur” avoid extinction?

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/claudius-peters/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Claudius Peters

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The Time Is Now to Inspire a New Generation of Women in Construction

The history of construction—to the best of anyone’s knowledge—goes back to the Stone Age, when stones essentially served as proto-hammers. Hard stones were used to break softer stones, blacksmithing surfaced, metal nails appeared, and stuff got built. Roughly two million years later, the hammer handle was invented, followed by forging, ironwork, and the Industrial Revolution, thus giving birth to construction as we know it—which has largely remained a male-dominated industry.

While construction still evokes images of sweaty men in hard hats, the notion that the industry is—and will always be—a boys’ club is fading fast. A significant disparity in the ratio of men to women in construction persists, but a big shift is underway.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/women-in-construction/.

Photo Credit: Construction has long been a male-dominated industry—but a big shift is underway. Courtesy Miron Construction.

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The Real Life of a Machine-Tool Design Manager: Precihole’s Prolific Azhar Qazi

Precihole’s website dubs Azhar Qazi the “next generation” to lead the machine-tool company. The son of cofounder A.A. Qazi, he fully intended to jump into the design and development end of the family business. But Qazi soon realized that his role at Precihole Machine Tools, one of India’s leaders in deep-hole-drilling solutions, would require much more than machine design.

Precihole Machine Tools serves the engineering needs of diverse industries, including defense, aerospace, oil, and medical. When Qazi came on board, a high turnover rate and a general lack of marketing knowledge within the company were inhibiting Precihole from moving forward. So after putting in a full day’s work, Qazi would stay up all night watching YouTube tutorials for programs like CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator to create brochures and other marketing collateral on his own.

But Qazi didn’t stop there: When the website needed a redesign, he took that on. And when prospective customers needed a better way to view products, he taught himself animation so he could make illustrative videos. “I could not limit myself to learning in a few areas of machine design,” Qazi says. “I always keep on finding what new technologies are available—3D printing, virtual reality, augmented reality, and so on. I find out all this from YouTube and then apply it to my organization.”

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/machine-tool-design/.

Photo Credit: Images Courtesy Precihole Sports

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