Riveting News About Manufacturing
Manufacturing is an important industry for the Greater Baltimore Region. If that statement surprises you, then you may not be aware of the significant manufacturing companies that have established deep roots throughout the Region. You may also be unaware of the cutting edge technology that is being applied by manufacturers to produce “better, more and/or faster.” And you may be surprised by the growing number of “small manufacturers” producing everything from medical devices to furniture to beer. This is but a glimpse of the breadth of Greater Baltimore’s manufacturing industry.
A basic definition of manufacturing is, “the process of converting raw materials, components, or parts into finished goods that meet a customer's expectations or specifications.” In Greater Baltimore, that definition applies to companies as diverse as Stanley Black & Decker that is manufacturing tools in Baltimore County; W.L. Gore and its innovative processes applied to producing fabrics, medical devices and electronics; Catalent/Paragon Bioservices’ GMP facility near BWI airport manufacturing vaccines and a number of gene therapy products; and Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems in Cecil County, designing and building space, defense and aviation-related systems to customers around the world.
The manufacturing industry’s continued growth in Greater Baltimore is fostered by an ecosystem that includes:
- An educational system that produces a trained workforce.
- Highly skilled talent to develop and apply the technological advances that are driving the industry.
- A strong logistics industry that supports the speed to market critical for many large manufacturers.
- The economic development support of local and state government.
The State’s Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP) collaborates with the National Association of Manufacturers, the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI), and The Manufacturing Institute’s nationwide campaign to educate the public about the manufacturing industry of today and tomorrow – an industry that is not only viable but one that is growing with jobs provide pathways to high-wage cutting edge careers. Maryland MEP’s projects, programs and partners are all focused on strengthening the already strong ecosystem to support continued growth of the companies and the pipeline of trained, skilled workers they need to grow. For more information about Maryland MEP, go to http://www.mdmep.org/
Sixty percent of manufacturing companies are considered “Advanced”, a term that has been applied to the “new age” of technology for many years. While the term implies that manufacturing processes are increasingly incorporating technology into their processes, manufacturers on the cutting edge of innovation refer to the digitalization of the industry as part of what is now becoming widely referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. Artificial Intelligence, data science, predictive analytics and the Internet of Things are just a few of the technology tools that progressive and innovative manufacturers are incorporating into how they design, produce and distribute their products.
Another term that has entered the manufacturing vernacular is “additive manufacturing.” Also referred to as 3D printing, additive manufacturing is another technology advancement made possible by the transition from analog to digital processes to facilitate the production of lighter, stronger parts and systems. The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) is working with the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) - which is based at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County - on the Advanced Manufacturing, Materials, and Processes (AMMP) program to advance the research and development necessary to create the next-generation of additive manufacturing breakthroughs. The AMMP program is currently underway, and the national center for the Program, once completed, will be located outside of the APG gates at the former Higher Education and Applied Technology (HEAT) center in Harford County.
If we haven't convinced you yet, there's more. Manufacturing is alive and well in Greater Baltimore, and that includes a growing community of small manufacturers, many of whom are setting up shop in urban centers, adding to the economic vitality of neighborhoods, inhabiting spaces too small or inefficient for larger companies, and training and hiring from the local community. Smart Growth America has been working with cities to provide technical assistance in using small-scale manufacturing and maker spaces as a strategy to create economic opportunity in urban centers. Last year, Smart Growth America expanded this program to include Baltimore, a decision based significantly on the City’s maker economy and the “Made In Baltimore” initiative. For more information, go to https://open.maryland.gov/blog/baltimore-city-partners-smart-growth-america-support-small-scale-manufacturing/.
Several Greater Baltimore Small Manufacturers as featured in our Manufacturing 2019 Industry Profile:
As you can see, the Greater Baltimore Region is a location of choice for manufacturers of all sizes and shapes, companies and initiatives that are applying varying degrees of cutting edge technology, and home-grown businesses that are stabilizing communities and strengthening the local economy. For more information about the Region’s manufacturing industry, see the EAGB's Industry Profile at https://www.greaterbaltimore.org/data/industry-profiles
From beginnings dating back to the Baltimore Chewing Gum Company in 1895, Baltimore City-based manufacturer Goetze’s Candy has grown to become an easily recognizable (and tasty) international brand. Though their 24,000 sq. ft. production facility has seen modifications to accommodate manufacturing advances through the years, their site at East Monument Street – where they expanded in 1928 – still produces the caramel candies with a cream center. After incorporation in 1959, generations of the Goetze family have continued to lead production, including the launch of a new version of the candy: Cow Tales™, in 1984. The 5th generation of the family now carries on the tradition of Goetze's Candy with an eye toward efficient production, new product development, and adoption of technology.
The Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland is deeply committed to assisting manufacturers throughout the state in understanding the digital transformation of Industry 4.0, its benefits and challenges, and how to assess what elements manufacturers can begin to incorporate into their business model and production processes in order to remain competitive. Originally focused on the Baltimore Metro area when RMI first formed in 1990, RMI now represents the interest of manufacturers throughout the state through its programs, services and advocacy. For more information about RMI, go to www.rmiofmaryland.com.
Stanley Black & Decker has become a strong partner for RMI, for the industry in general, and is a leader in the application of principles of Industry 4.0. Gregg Chamberlain, Vice President of Global Human Resources at Stanley Black & Decker, shared his company's journey on the road to Industry 4.0 and discussed opportunities for other Maryland manufacturing firms. As he discusses in a video (click below), the company’s journey starts with digitizing information captured with the help of sensors in the factories, then synthesizing the data using tools such as data science, algorithms and artificial intelligence in order to make intelligent actions tie back to the physical world. These actions positively impact drivers of value including quality through real-time customer feedback, optimization of machine efficiencies through predictive analytics, and advancing corporate social responsibility by improving safety in the workplace and optimizing energy efficiency. RMI and Stanley Black & Decker will be collaborating on informing other manufactures about their journey, including lessons learned.
The Greater Baltimore region is ideally positioned for Industry 4.0 and to serve the workforce needs of the manufacturing industry with a highly-skilled workforce, robust training and education programs, and premier employers that are attracting and engaging top talent.
There are more than 200 manufacturers employing more than 9,500 individuals in Harford and Cecil Counties, combined. Think you know what those careers look like? You may be surprised!
Check out this video produced by The Susquehanna Workforce Network.
In other workforce news, Greater Baltimore is represented in a unique, multi-state program that fosters collaboration to strengthen the manufacturing industry. Kicked off in August 2019, the “Policy Academy on Strengthening Your State’s Manufacturers” joins Maryland with nine other states in a series of strategic discussions over the next year.
2nd Annual Carroll County Manufacturing Fair - November 26, from 8:30 to 1pm, Carroll Community College Bollinger Family Conference Center
Focused on improving the visibility of manufacturing career pathways and connecting students to manufacturing employers.
A keynote by Audrey Van de Castle, Makerspace and Open Innovation Manager at Stanley Black & Decker, will highlight the 4th Industrial Revolution (“Industry 4.0”) and its impact on manufacturing and the trades. A Registered Apprentice Forum Breakout Session will help students understand the opportunities to earn while they learn! A Manufacturers Panel Breakout Session will showcase several manufacturing opportunities right in Carroll County. Finally, a Digital Design & Fabrication Breakout Session will premiere a new degree & certificates Carroll CC is developing in Digital Design & Fabrication, preparing students for employment or advancement in such fields as fabrication, advanced manufacturing, industrial engineering & design, product design & more. This program will combine traditional fabrication concepts with new design & fabrication processes including additive manufacturing (3D printing), subtractive manufacturing & 3D scanning tools.
Visit the website for more details and to register for this FREE event!
Just in case you missed it, here is a snapshot of news from the Region: https://www.greaterbaltimore.org/news/icymi-september-2019
To read the full EAGB newsletter online, please visit: https://mailchi.mp/greaterbaltimore.org/manufacturing?e=[UNIQID]