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Part 3 - Change Your Board Operator to a Process Manager with State Based Control

Part 3 - Change Your Board Operator to a Process Manager with State Based Control

This post examines the attributes of state based control and the value delivered to manufacturing from the initial design through the operating life of the facility by improving the effectiveness of operators.  This is part 3 of a 5 part post and discusses some of the reasons for automating.

Work Force

Aging Workforce and Knowledge Loss

Over the coming years, a great deal of experience and knowledge will leave the workforce with the retirements of the baby boomer generation. Within the next five years, about 20% of the workforce could retire. This will lead to skill gaps in the workforce and a large burden and expense for training. The Social Security Administration estimated 10,000 per day will retire in a 2012 repor

Figure 3: Percentage Workforce by Age

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

More Mobil, Younger Workforce

The days of people looking for a 30-year job with a gold watch and a good pension are gone. Younger people have seen their parents go through layoffs and reorganizations. They consider strategic job-hopping normal. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker stays at each job for 4.4 years. Most millennials expect that they will change jobs in less than every three years.

It takes years to learn to be a good board operator or the engineering subject matter expert in a process.   The reality is that facilities will have a less experienced workforce.

Smaller Workforce

Today's board operator works at a console with thousands of I/O to monitor and manage. With constant pressure to reduce manufacturing costs more and more, board operators will be demanded to run the process safely and efficiently with larger spans of control.

Training Costs

With the above-mentioned workforce issues, training will be a major problem.

According to John Grubbs, author of Surviving the Talent Exodus – 2011 and Leading the Lazy –2015:

  • ~90 million baby boomers (1946-1963) are retiring at a rate of 12k per day since 1-1-11
  • ~40 million Generation Xers (1964-1980) cannot fill the vacuum created by the exodus of boomers
  • ~70 million Generation Years AKA Millennials (1981-2000) are the future workforce
  • By the year 2020, close to 50% of all workers in the US will be Gen Y Millennials
  • The baby boomers are very loyal and will spend 20-30 years with one company
  • Gen X average tenure with one company is 5 years
  • Gen Y average tenure with one company is 16-18 months – He calls them the nomadic generation

“Organizations that don’t emphasize training and development will spend the majority of Gen Y’s tenure in poor training and about the time they reach competence; these young workers will move on to the next company. Only those companies that can accelerate the time it takes to make a young worker competent will benefit from this investment.”

Stay tuned for part 4 on expectations to instrument justification.

 Part 2  Part 4