10 Manufacturing Day Events We Wish We Could Attend

MakeTime / Oct. 6, 2016

For those of us working in U.S. manufacturing, October brings with it a lot more than harvest festivals, corn mazes, pumpkin carving and cooling temperatures. It’s the one month out of the year we set aside time to celebrate our industry’s accomplishments, while also seeking to inspire the next generation of American manufacturers.

Known as Manufacturing Day, our industry’s biggest holiday falls every year on the first Friday in October. From Kennebunk to Kula, from Anchorage to Daytona Beach, CNC machine shops, tech companies, OEMs, community colleges, factories and even wineries hold events. The goal of each one is to revamp the general public’s perception of manufacturing, while instilling in middle school, high school and college students a desire to pursue a manufacturing career.

Manufacturing Is/n't

While we know manufacturing is a vital, creative and high-tech industry, many people still view it as a dirty, dark and dangerous field to go into. It’s not. Filled with challenging, meaningful and well-paying work, manufacturing is actually a great career path.

It’s also essential to the health of the U.S economy.

It’s estimated that one manufacturing job supports as many as six jobs in other sectors. For every $1.00 worth of goods produced in manufacturing, $1.40 is added to the economy overall. In other words, U.S. manufacturing is a BIG DEAL, and Manufacturing Day is our industry’s opportunity to revel in it.

MakeTime On MFG Day 2016

Here at MakeTime, we’ve hitched our wagon to U.S. manufacturing’s star, so celebrating Manufacturing Day comes naturally to us. This year, we’re hosting an Open House at our headquarters for anyone curious about the ways technology in general, and our technology in particular, is transforming CNC machining production and traditional supply chain management.

While we’re very excited to host people in our space, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t also wish we could be elsewhere. Why? Because American manufacturing is a fascinating place, and Manufacturing Day events highlight the people, structures, products, tech and machines that make it that way.

So do like we wish we could. Give your heart 10 great chances to swell with pride as you gaze upon the wonders and strength of U.S. manufacturing. If you can’t spend the day with us, spend it at one of these Manufacturing Day events we totally want to attend.

Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant

Cummins makes diesel and natural gas engines — for just about everything, including trucks, RVs, buses, tractors and more. They also create a lot of products for diesel and natural gas engines, like turbochargers, fuel systems and filtration products. Their Rocky Mount Engine Plant is located in Whitakers, North Carolina, and the Manufacturing Day event happening there doesn’t just include a facility tour, it includes a facility tour by tram. Which makes sense — engines are what they do. No one’s walking on their watch.

Pre-registration is required, so if you’re able to go, be sure to contact them ahead of time.

Caterpillar's Invitation-Only Employee Event In Peoria

Ok. For the uninitiated, it might seem strange to include an event that’s invitation only, but this is a wishlist, and we’re big fans of what Caterpillar makes. Also, a lot of Manufacturing Day events are invitation only.

Manufacturing Day Caterpillar

Headquartered in Peoria, Illinois, Caterpillar is an American company that leads the world in manufacturing everything from natural gas and diesel engines to diesel-electric locomotives. While they’re hosting quite a few events on Manufacturing Day, the employee event at HQ looks the most tantalizing to us.

Why? Because employees in the manufacturing department there will be demonstrating the innovation and tech that goes into their processes for Caterpillar employees whose work doesn’t overlap with the manufacturing environment. It sounds like a perfect opportunity to get an up-close and personal look at some of Caterpillar’s “secret sauce.”

Viega, LLC

McPherson, Kansas isn’t on too many people’s radars, but it’s claims to fame are actually kind of impressive. Not only was it home to the first basketball team to ever win gold at the 1936 Olympics (true story — they were a semi-pro team called the Globe Refiners), it’s also home to a global manufacturing leader in systems for pipe joining, plumbing and heating calledViega.

For anyone who assumes being situated on the plains of Central Kansas means the world has passed you by, Viega’s high-tech facilities would probably astound. A company with 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space, their Manufacturing Day celebration will include facility tours, a career fair and a lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs.

So if you want your belly filled while you take in the marvels of Manufacturing Day, head to McPherson, Kansas. Just be sure to register online ahead of time.

Graco, Inc

Oh, to be young, again! Graco, Inc. — a tech and manufacturing leader in fluids and coatings systems — is hosting their first Manufacturing Day event ever, and they’re pulling out all the stops for local high school students. Youngsters interested in missing half-a-day of school and youngsters interested in going into manufacturing will all get a tour of Graco’s facility, hands-on demonstrations of the work that goes on there and access to a career fair featuring Graco employees and local colleges.

Another reason we wish we could go? It’s all happening in Prince’s hometown.

Honeywell's Clearwater Facility Tour

While it’s possible Hurricane Matthew may put the brakes on this particular event, a facility tour of Honeywell’s operations in Clearwater, Florida would be time well-spent for anyone interested in manufacturing’s cutting edge. While Honeywell is known primarily as an aerospace company, their innovations, designs and products can be found in trains, satellites, passenger vehicles and more all over the world.

Manufacturing Day Airplane

Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright was one of the first American companies to go into the aeroplane business, and how could they not be? Part of the company was started by those Wrights. Today, they manufacture products that go way beyond flight applications to find utilization in space, automotive, personal mobility and more.

On Manufacturing Day, their Farmingdale, New York facility will be rolling out the red carpet for students and anyone else interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing. In addition to presentations designed to improve public perception about working in the industry, attendees will also get to uncover the relationship between manufacturing, innovation and technology at Curtiss-Wright, while also hearing about current job openings.

Local Motors

What can we say about Local Motors’ Manufacturing Day event? Just this: If you’re able to take it in, you have to. Held the day after the official Manufacturing Day celebration (because every day can be Manufacturing Day, and October is definitely Manufacturing month), their one public event will take place in Oxon Hill, Maryland. If you’ve never stepped inside a co-created, microfactory-driven, connected, autonomous, 3D-printed future before, now’s your chance.

On October 8th, attendees will get to experience how Local Motors works with the young people of FIRST, a program designed to inspire children to become the tech, engineering, science and innovation leaders of the future. Local Motors will play host to the Chesapeake District’s FIRST Robotics Competition Teams. Attendees will witness demos, problem solving stories and lively discussion centered on how the Local Motors lab in National Harbor can help these FIRST groups become the best in the nation.

Following FIRST, the Local Motors’ Little Designer Club — a group that makes use of crowdfunded CAD and 3D printing curriculum — will meet. For anyone excited ( or worried) about the next generation’s possibilities, this event is a must.

Making It Real - Girls & Manufacturing

There are three Making It Real events in the northern Kentucky region, and they take place on three different days: October 25th, 26th and 27th. (Because they’re close by, and don’t coincide with our own Manufacturing Day event, we’re actually going to attend one of these.) A full-day summit designed to encourage female students in middle school and high school to consider a career in 21st century manufacturing, each Making It Real event provides a chance for girls to hear directly from women in manufacturing about the skills and qualities they’ll need to work in the industry.

While each summit is different, all will include campus tours, workshops, panel discussions and hands-on demos. Each of these events is hosted by a different manufacturing company, too: Vega AmericasMazak and Intelligrated.

So, get your Manufacturing Day fix. From sea to shining sea, there’s something happening somewhere for everyone.

MakeTime is a tech company radically simplifying CNC machining production. Find out how here.