That curse relates to the difficulty of conveying skilled expertise. In a mold shop, the experts have so much expertise that they forget how much they know. Meanwhile, the apprentices don’t know how much they still have to learn. In between are the employees in their 30s and 40s—a group that is practically a lost generation in manufacturing, because so few skilled manufacturing employees are in this age range.
Industrial Mold & Machine president Wendy Wlosek and information systems manager Larry Housel are in that age range, and they describe the unusual steps they have taken to ensure knowledge transfer from the experts to the apprentices. The shop created a social-media-based knowledge sharing system that is effectively a Facebook for the shop’s jobs. Files and information exported from Cimatron software can be easily viewed and shared within the system via iPads used by shopfloor employees.
Learn much more from Ms. Wlosek and Mr. Housel by listening to their presentation here.