July 12, 2024


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Can technology advances bring manufacturing jobs back to North America? Hashtag Trending Weekend Edition. An interview with Eric Whitley, L2L

Can advances in technology bring manufacturing jobs back to North America?

For years we’ve made manufacturing cheaper by moving it overseas to lower wage economies. That’s had some devastating impacts on our manufacturing economy. It’s decimated communities and towns. It’s been an environmental problem as we ship goods thousands of miles unnecessarily.

In a world where it’s cheaper to cut down a tree, ship the raw wood overseas and bring back chopsticks to be used in a restaurant in a town near you, something’s radically wrong!

But what if technology and the advent of what’s been termed Manufacturing 4.0 can actually bring high paying manufacturing jobs back to North America. Is that possible?

In this episode we discuss this and more with Eric Whitley of L2L. Eric has worked in manufacturing for his entire career.

Whitley was part of the Lean Manufacturing movement, ironically a movement founded on the work of an American, but which was adopted widely in Japan. Lean, adapted as “the Toyota Way” made Toyota the largest auto manufacturer in the world. This success inspired a new wave of Lean Manufacturing in North America, saving much of what was left of manufacturing on this continent.

In the past years, Whitley had been working on intelligent manufacturing systems and what has been termed Manufacturing 4.0 – the “digital transformation” of manufacturing.

There’s been a lot written on Manufacturing 4.0. If you’ve seen or heard some of this and want to know what’s really happening, this discussion with Whitley gives us a first hand look from a “sleeves rolled up” expert.