Manufacturing Day 2017

Manufacturing Day with NHRA Top Fuel dragsters

Manufacturing Day, or MFG DAY, addresses misperceptions about the manufacturing industry. It provides manufacturers an opportunity to show that manufacturing jobs can be challenging, rewarding, and worthwhile. Manufacturing Day allows manufacturers to open their doors and show, in coordination with other companies, what manufacturing really is, and what it isn’t.

On October 2nd, 2014, then President Obama declared by presidential proclamation that the first Friday of October be designated Manufacturing Day. The first Manufacturing day was in 2012, with 240 companies opening their doors to the public. This movement has grown to over 2,700 companies participating in 2017.

Manufacturing Day is for students, educators, business leaders, and the general public. Many schools will schedule and transport students to local manufacturers to raise awareness in manufacturing job opportunities.  State, county, and city chambers of commerce will often work with manufacturers to promote MFG DAY, and build a relationship to support manufacturing in general.

Often, there are some really interesting manufacturing companies in our own neighborhoods, and people do not even realize it. Such is the case with Kalitta Motorsports, which manufacturers and races NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars.

Kalitta not only uses Autodesk software for their manufacturing, but it turns out they are located close to Autodesk’s Novi, MI offices. Providing a joint Manufacturing Day experience from digital design to the actual creation of a 10,000 horsepower dragster was a simple decision to make.

Visitors to Kalitta got to see firsthand where the tube chassis are manufactured, where custom carbon fiber parts are layed up, and where components for dragsters are CNC milled. The Haas mills were running production for clutch parts, engine heads and assorted other parts used on their dragsters.

The first tour of the CNC machine shop

The first tour of the CNC machine shop

Fortunately, the NHRA racing schedule was in favor of the visitors, as the racing teams were in attendance assembling engines, prepping clutches, and loading the large semis for the following week’s races. People got to peek into the team trucks and see how a winning team operates.

The tour group moves to an assembly area

The tour group moves to an assembly area

Working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers can address the skilled labor shortage, connect to the future of manufacturing, strengthen the public image, and help ensure the prosperity of the whole industry. If MFG DAY is new to you, then make a point to visit some local manufacturers in 2018. Visit the MFG DAY website, or search for #MFGDAY17 on social media to see what other companies did this year. To support manufacturers is to support manufacturing, which is essential to the economy.

For a short success story between Kalitta Motorsports and Autodesk, Inc. watch the video below.

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