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14 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, TRAINING FOR THE FUTURE, AND THE NEXT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION make sure our workforce is competitive. As dur- ing previous Industrial Revolutions, the econo- my is expected to grow. This indicates a growth in jobs as well. But to truly grow, manufacturers need to reinvest not only in innovation, but in employees. Now is the time to focus on train- ing employees on new technologies. A report on advanced manufacturing [1] released in 2016 by the Subcommittee for Advanced Manufac- turing of the National Science and Technology Council stated that, "Over the next decade, we will need to fill nearly 3.5 million manufactur- ing jobs, although two million of these posi- tions may remain unfilled due to a skills gap. In fact, at this moment, 80% of manufacturers currently report a moderate or serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly- skilled production positions." Much like when Henry Ford rolled out the assembly line, there is a push for workers to further hone and specialize their skills. The re- sult of this is reduced waste, and a higher qual- ity end-product. Investing in new technologies may require funds up front, but this is worth it when you consider the reduction in assembly time and the increase in production rate. So, it isn't enough to simply adopt these technolo- gies, but rather adopt a shift that includes train- ing and preparing a workforce that can handle current technologies and be adaptable to adjust to whatever may come down the road. In the end, the technology we have today comes as the result of hardworking individu- als. Sure, Ford made great strides to advance the way factories produced goods in 1914. But he also put an emphasis on his employees, en- suring they knew how to operate the machines that would change the world. Thus, he pro- duced quality automobiles and revolutionized the American class of blue collar workers. While the digitization of our factories is a great example of improving production while decreasing waste, there needs to be a focus on ensuring the employees can operate machines across the entire connected factory floor and train others to do the same. Much like IPC's Connected Factory Initiative states, it is impor- tant to establish a baseline of communication to achieve Industry 4.0 benefits. For "plug and play interoperability" of devices to succeed, em- ployees need to be able to understand and uti- lize the technology. Until the fifth Industrial Revolution comes, we will need to innovate our processes and un- cover new ways to make today's systems work better. Manufacturing will continue to grow in the United States and across the globe, but it will require a concerted effort to learn, adapt, integrate, and evolve. PCB References 1. Advanced Manufacturing: A Snapshot of Priority Technology Areas John Mitchell is president and CEO of IPC—Association Connect- ing Electronics Industries. To read past columns or to contact Mitch- ell, click here. Key players in the global printed electronics market have been vying to retain leadership with new product development, implementation of newer technologies, and product innovation. Transparency Market Research observes that some of the leading players in the global market are Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Xerox Corpo - ration, Thin Film Electronics ASA, Optomec Inc., and Intrinsiq Materials Inc. These companies are also expected to focus on mergers and acquisi- tions and strategic business alliances to remain relevant. According to a recent research report, the global printed electronics market was worth $25.4 billion in 2015. For more information click here. Global Printed Electronics Market to Reach $65B by 2024

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