Manufacturing Day: What's the Big Deal?
What is Manufacturing Day?
Today is Manufacturing (MFG) Day! Originally started by The Manufacturing Institute, MFG Day is celebrated every year on the first Friday of October, and it has been recognized by companies and individuals all over the United States for nearly 10 years. It is a day to remember and showcase the importance of the manufacturing industry, inspire the next generation of manufacturers and address common misconceptions that people believe about manufacturing.
Manufacturing is a critical industry; without it, our favorite products wouldn’t exist. Over the next decade, 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the US. But manufacturing often gets overlooked by students and individuals seeking careers, which is why experts are expecting more than half of those jobs to be left unfilled. Because we see first-hand at Radiall just how important manufacturing is, we want to be part of the voice encouraging more young people to consider a career in the manufacturing industry, an industry that values innovation and cutting-edge technology.
Keep reading to learn about manufacturing at Radiall.
Manufacturing at Radiall USA
At Radiall, manufacturing plays a vital role in what we do. If it weren’t for our manufacturing teams, we wouldn’t be able to produce the products that we design and sell. Without the step of manufacturing and creating the actual pieces for our interconnect solutions, our innovation would be in vain.
In-house manufacturing allows us to control the quality, priority and cost of our products to ensure we are supplying our customers with the very best products at the best price. While the benefits of in-house manufacturing outweigh any disadvantages, manufacturing does present challenges for our team to work through. Sometimes supply chain interruptions make it difficult to get quality materials in house on time. On the human resources side of things, we have to make sure that we have the right amount of skilled employees to assemble, test, inspect and ship the final product, while complying with customers’ expectations and timelines. We are proud to have a manufacturing team that we trust from the beginning to end of the process.
Radiall Connecticut is our US-based hub for manufacturing. At this location, we manufacture electro-optical transceivers, complex harnesses (optical, coaxial, signal and hybrid), coaxial cable assemblies (flexible, semi-rigid) and coaxial connectors. Radiall Connecticut’s manufacturing team is made up of around 50 employees. In 2020 alone, this team will have overseen nearly half a million Radiall products manufactured.
Since we started manufacturing our own products, we have seen the industry change quite a bit. The implementation of lean manufacturing techniques offers a lot of flexibility and inventory management. The Internet of Things drives overall performance by making a lot of data available at different steps of the manufacturing process.
Our broad portfolio of products requires us to use diverse technologies and state-of-the-art equipment, like our ISO class 7 clean room. This provides us with the opportunity to offer different career opportunities in our facility.
Earlier this year, Radiall acquired Timbercon, a fiber optic interconnect specialist based in Oregon. Like Radiall, Timbercon also manufactures products in house, manufacturing anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 unique part numbers each year. They specialize in manufacturing mission-critical, harsh environment, fiber optic cable assemblies. Timbercon’s leadership purposefully built their in-house manufacturing capability to support customers who value the quality, timeliness, security and flexibility that domestic manufacturing allows. In-house manufacturing ensures that customers receive the very best value.
Manufacturing is a team effort. While 32 Timbercon employees have direct manufacturing responsibilities, an additional 30 employees have roles that support manufacturing, such as ensuring production success and on-time deliveries. The company is not located near similar companies, so it can be difficult to find and recruit individuals with manufacturing experience or interest.
Over the years, the implementation and progression of quality standards that govern Timbercon’s core markets has impacted the company’s manufacturing processes. ISO 9000, AS9100, ISO 13485, APQP and other zero defect programs have added procedures that often slow down and restrict some of the flexibility that customers count on. This has forced Timbercon to continuously reinvent themselves to meet customer needs while abiding by regulations.
Manufacturing is an integral part of Radiall, Timbercon and so many other companies. Thank you to all of our employees who make our in-house manufacturing possible. Read more about Manufacturing Day and how companies are celebrating the industry all month long.