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2012 Top Challenges in Manufacturing

As the year comes to a close, we look to get your input on our poll, “The Top Challenges in Your Manufacturing Operations.”  We also took a look inward at our own top challenges, and here is what our managers had to say.

Director of Application Engineering, Mike Weickert, discussed the challenges Nercon faced with recent automation applications. “Many manufacturers have switched over to pouches, (and) the challenge was transporting some of the new package types.” Nercon worked to minimize product contact with guide rails as well as minimize the bunching up of product on conveyor lines. “The challenge of handling pouches will surely remain a priority in 2013 as new materials and packaging technologies bring in new opportunities for conveyor lines that handle this package.”

In an effort to keep progressing, Nercon invested $500,000 in software upgrades and the remodeling of the mechanical and drafting engineering departments. The engineering work spaces were updated with high speed quad core processing computers for fast rendering and production of CAD and 3D modeling software. With the new software came another challenge; bringing in new resources and training as fast as possible. Steve Schiedemeyer, Director of Engineering, says he looks forward to designing systems with the new 3D modeling Auto Desk Inventor Software and is very pleased with the progress so far.  

The employees of Nercon Eng. & Mfg., Inc. are a large part of what contributes to its on-going success. However, the success of employee recruitment has been another major challenge of 2012. According to Director of Human Resources, Steve Anklam, “The process of trying to find the right people with the right skill set and education is getting harder.” Nercon has hired 22 full-time employees in the year of 2012 with primary recruiting tools consisting of Career Fairs, LinkedIn, Job Search Engines, and Contracting Staffing Agencies. With a total of just over 150 employees Nercon looks to keep expanding through continued growth of the company in 2013.

With the New Year right around the corner Nercon expects more manufacturing challenges and opportunities to arise as new technologies develop. Looking at 2012, what were some of your top manufacturing challenges? Take our poll and best wishes for resolving your manufacturing challenges in 2013.

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