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UP FRONTA LETTER FROM THE EDITOR u O


n the cover of our May issue, which is focused on emerging technologies in manufacturing, we fea- ture an image from the DMG MORI Lasertec 65 3D metal printing machine—an advanced piece of technology that offers laser deposition welding and fi ve-axis precision milling in one machine. The additive-subtractive machine, which began shipping in 2014, is just one symbol of how and why manufacturing is changing around the world, and why talent will continue to be an even more important driver of global manufacturing competitiveness going forward. Designing parts and products made with these kinds of new technologies, understanding how they work, program- ming them, maintaining them, troubleshooting them and integrating them into a smart manufacturing production sys- tem is complex, high-tech work. And it’s changing the face of manufacturing faster than many people out there may realize. In fact, by 2020, the United States may again be the most competitive nation in manufacturing, partly because of this shift toward advanced manufacturing technologies, which require more highly skilled workers, according to the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index from Deloitte


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EDITOR IN CHIEF SARAH A. WEBSTER 313-425-3252 SWEBSTER@SME.ORG


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EDITOR, SMART MANUFACTURING BRETT BRUNE 313-425-3253 BBRUNE@SME.ORG


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4 AdvancedManufacturing.org | May 2016 Technology, Talent & The New World Order


Touche Tohmatsu Limited and other partners. (You can view the report at http://tinyurl.com/2016gmci). Currently, the US is ranked No. 2, up from No. 4 in 2010. Talent, of course, has been identifi ed as the leading driver of the manufacturing competitiveness index since 2010, but its value continues to be amplifi ed in this new milieu of advanced technologies. Already, it is causing tectonic shifts in the global land- scape: China is predicted to fall from No. 1 to No. 2 in the next four years. Germany and Japan, steadfast lead- ers in manufacturing technology development and highly skilled workers, will remain No. 3 and 4, respectively. India, meanwhile, fi nds itself in a sweet spot, with a highly skilled, English-speaking workforce of scientists and engineers, as well as low costs. It’s expected to climb six spots, to No. 5. Mexico, for all its press about winning new factories, is fore- cast to inch up from No. 8 to No. 7, just below South Korea. Given the softness in the current US manufacturing sector as of late, this news might not have anybody jumping for joy just yet. But rest assured, better days are ahead for those who’ve kept their knowledge and skills up to date.


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Although reasonable efforts are taken to ensure the accuracy of its published material, SME is not responsible for statements published in this magazine. Readers are advised that SME shall not be liable to any person or company for losses or damages incurred as a result of accepting any invitation or offer contained in any advertisement published in Manufacturing Engineering®. Copyright © 2016 by SME. Photocopy information: Users registered with the Copyright Clearance Center, 21 Congress St., Salem, MA 01970, can purchase copies at $2.00 each referring to serial fee code 0361-0853/88/$2.00. All other photocopying without the permission of SME is prohibited. Reprint information: For tearsheets, reprints, and bulk orders, write the Production Manager, kstebbins@sme. org. Available on microfi lm/microfi che from University Microfi lms International, 300 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Canada Post Publication Mail Sales Agreement No. 1436813


Sarah A. Webster Editor in Chief


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