U.S. manufacturing is one of the few industries experiencing sustained growth. Positive economic indicators in late 2021 and upticks in production, capacity utilization, and new order placement into mid-2022 have experts projecting the trend to continue.1
That’s seemingly great news for manufacturers. However, the impact of the ongoing labor shortage and supply chain instability temper rampant optimism. Case in point: 18,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs were filled in May 2022, but industry employment is still 17,000 jobs behind the pre-pandemic February 2020 benchmark.2
Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst is an unrealistic business plan for manufacturers in any industry. The paper making technology and expertise behind innovative Valmet digital solutions allows tissue converters to move forward despite labor and operational setbacks.
Much has rightfully been made about the 2.6 million baby boomers expected to retire from manufacturing jobs by 2030.3 The skillsets and experience they take with them arguably diminishes productivity and overall operational efficiency, but its impact can be mitigated through digital manufacturing solutions.
Technologies and equipment that embrace the “smart” principles of Industry 4.0 enable less experienced operators to work with speed, precision, and accuracy. Breakthrough digital solutions prioritize ease of use. They also leverage technology, which is intuitive for many younger workers since computers have been a part of their lives since childhood.
Remote applications and simple, icon-prompted human-machine interface panels (HMIs) on Valmet tissue equipment provide operator safety, assistance, and confidence when using Valmet advanced technologies such as:
Acting as a virtual production supervisor, Sam Operational Solution performs real-time and reliable measurements of mission critical properties of both raw material and finished product, regardless of the skills and experience of the operator.
Sam enables production line machines to identify production patterns, detect deviations, and make data-informed decisions. This all occurs with minimal human intervention, thus making it easier for less experienced operators to guide production.
There’s no question that tissue manufacturers are feeling the effects of the labor crisis and other impactful external factors beyond their control. Moving forward is the only way through tough times, and strategic partners like Valmet provide the drive, innovation, and support you need to succeed. Reach out to the Valmet team for more information on our suite of digital solutions.
1Deloitte, 2022 manufacturing industry outlook, Undated
2U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Highlights, May 2022
3Penn Foster, Who Will Replace Retiring Boomers in the Manufacturing Industry?, May 14, 2020