We come across many people who have the wrong idea about industrial insulation and think what we offer is not right for them. We ask them a few questions, and usually they are left wondering why they haven’t insulated their equipment sooner. We throw them a UniVest and they rush out the door to install it (cause it’s really that simple).
So we don’t have to go through the same spiel every time, we’ve compiled the most common misconceptions people have when it comes to industrial insulation.
1. Insulation is for my home, not my machines
This is the most common one we come across and it’s pretty obvious why. The first thing people think about when you say insulation is their home and what’s inside their walls. That’s a perfect analogy because UniVests work the same way. Properly insulating your home saves you hundreds of dollars a year on home heating and cooling costs. It protects outside temperatures from affecting the temperatures you want inside. The easier it is for your home to maintain its temperature, the less you spend at the end of the month. UniVests are no different, except we deal with higher inside temperatures. Take a second and think, if you save hundreds by properly insulating your home, imagine how much could be saved when insulating your machine. We’ll give you a hint…its much greater!
2. No Budget for Insulation
We all have budgets. Yeah, and we know they can be small and hard to deal with. Trust us, Windows 98 is getting really old at the office. Making new purchases on things that you are already operating without can seem like a luxury purchase. Little known fact is that with proper insulation, a company can see ROI (Return on Investment) in under 12 months. In the right conditions, a single set of UniVests or ISOCOVERS can last 5+ years after installed. That’s 5+ years of return. In 12 months or less, most companies make back the purchase price of a UniVest from energy savings alone.
3. My machines are working fine now without insulation
We’re sure they do, but wouldn’t you like for them to work better? Insulation minimizes the downtime of the machines they are on and relieves stresses from a hard working machine. This even increases the lifespan of the equipment. Wouldn’t we all like to work a little easier? Your machines would too.
4. Who Needs Protection Anyway
The biggest thing that people don’t realize is that insulation also improves workplace safety. As seen in a few of our videos on Youtube, a heated barrel with a UniVest on it can be touched and worked around without any special protective gear. More Safety = Less downtime and less liability. Insulation can also decrease surrounding ambient air temperature. Decreasing work fatigue due to high temperature and more comfortable work areas.
Here’s typically the point where some people are kicking themselves for not already having insulation installed. If you didn’t make it this far, we completely understand. Our insulation systems are much more than the sum of their parts and offer a lot more usability than most people realize. If you’ve finally come to the conclusion that insulation could benefit you, take a look around our online shopping cart at www.shop.unitherm.com. For some help finding the product, measuring, or just want some more insulation entertainment like this blog, visit our youtube page: www.Youtube.com/UniThermInsulations
$29.75 an hour. That’s $61,880 a year. Not too shabby.
Manufacturing is one of the remaining sectors that provide high-paying jobs to workers without college degrees. For high school grads, earning potential in manufacturing exceeds earning potential in construction, logistics, and hospitality, other sectors that generally don’t require post-secondary education. Workers in manufacturing can get in on the ground level and work their way up to management positions, garnering raises and benefits along the way.
Is this all about to change?
According to the April Job Report by the US Department of Commerce, the education level in the manufacturing workforce is rising steadily: in 2011, 53% of all manufacturing workers had at least some college education, up 10% from 1994.
What does this mean for manufacturing?
Because the manufacturing sector has begun building a labor force of higher-educated and higher-skilled workers, factory work isn’t what it once was. Today’s high-tech manufacturing industries take advantage of innovative engineering and state-of-the-art machinery—no longer the dark image of 17th century industrial life portrayed by Dickens.
A skilled and educated work force will keep US manufacturers competitive in a global economy and will spur technological advancement. In fact, House candidate Dan Kildee claims that any disinvestment in education is bad manufacturing and industrial policy: “Its just bad policy to not educate the kid who might have the next billion dollar idea. We have to create productive produces in this country.”
Hopefully the up-skilling trend won’t bar the middle class workers it once sustained. Rising education levels may encourage students and current members of the workforce to pursue degrees or certificates in manufacturing-related fields. Grants and scholarships in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education abound, and many manufacturers support employees (via time off or funding or both) as they continue their education.
It’s a tough truth. In math and science, American students rank far below their international peers. So as the world accelerates towards technologically advanced everything, will American innovation fall behind?
We created the Colt revolver. The vacuum cleaner. The hearing aid. The light switch. The jukebox. The oil well. The metal detector, the microwave oven, the AC motor, the sewing machine. We developed Morse Code and cable TV. We implanted the first artificial heart. We built the first computer and set up the Internet. We flew the first airplane and landed on the moon.
So what happened? Probably a combination of things. According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), “During the economic turbulence of the 1970s and 1980s, it became clear that industry and academia had become estranged from each other. Manufacturing-related scientific research at the universities wasn’t making it out into the real world quickly enough, if at all.”
Furthermore, NSF explains that to succeed in today’s hi-tech society, “students need to develop their capabilities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”
Some call it the STEM Crisis or the Skills Shortage. America simply isn’t producing enough STEM graduates, and so our tech firms are pushing to expand visa programs and hire more foreign workers to fill the gap. Meanwhile, other countries like China and India have gained a competitive edge in qualified labor. In electronics alone, Asia is responsible for 90% of the world’s research and development.
What are we doing about it? Since the 1980s, various public and private entities have worked to bridge the gap between STEM supply and demand in America. The shortage of STEM grads means we lack qualified researchers and practioners as well as qualified educators to stimulate growth in STEM fields. Thus our problem is two-fold.
One approach involves offering incentives like scholarships, loan-forgiveness, and higher pay aim to attract more teachers to STEM fields. According to Time Magazine, Math For America provides $100,000 fellowships for math teachers and Partners in Science gives science teachers the opportunity to undertake actual scientific work at national laboratories during the summer.
Another approach involves exposing students to STEM subjects early on and amping up primary and secondary education to better prepare students for these rigorous careers. Scholarships, hiring bonuses, and other attractive incentives target students as well. Many STEM programs are working to retain entering STEM majors (60% of whom will switch to non-STEM majors after taking intro courses), and they are pushing for greater enrollment of women and non-Asian minorities, who currently hold a disproportionately low share of STEM degrees.
The US Department of Labor projects that 2 million STEM-related jobs will be created by 2014. Post-recession job growth is great news, but that projection gives us less than 2 years to prepare 2 million workers for STEM careers. It seems the gauntlet has been thrown. Can we rise to the challenge?
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DuPont announces prestigious packaging awards that recognize leaders in innovation, sustainability, and cost/waste reduction. Top honors went to FreshCase Packaging for its new vacuum seal that keeps meat looking and staying fresh longer than conventional packaging.
MITnews recaps “The Future of Manufacturing and the US” conference, which emphasized the importance of innovation from the manufacturing sector. MITnews highlights the fact that the US added 50,000 manufacturing jobs in January alone, and big manufacturers like Ford continue to move overseas plants back home.
Plastics News announces the DME Plastics University Scholarship Program, which will offer $1,000 awards to students enrolled in plastics manufacturing-related programs. This incentive is one of many intended to boost the number of skilled workers in the plastics industry.
The Brookings Institute discusses how location impacts manufacturing plants and the industry as a whole. In the report, “Locating American Manufacturing: Trends in the Geography of Production,” Brookings examines the advantages of clustering.
‘Made in America’—how important is it?
It’s no secret that American manufacturing has struggled since the late 1990s. We’ve seen massive layoffs and a growing trend to outsource jobs overseas—with some companies moving more than 90% of their manufacturing to countries in Asia or South America. But there is hope on the horizon. Over the past two years, the manufacturing industry has regained some of its former strength and added more than 400,000 jobs here at home.
The White House has turned its focus towards domestic manufacturing. In his State of the Union Address earlier this year, Obama advocated that insourcing would stimulate economic recovery. Companies like Ford, Honda, General Electric, Caterpillar and Intel have already moved plants back to the US, and the current administration encourages other American companies to follow suit.
“To create an economy that is built to last,” Obama announced, “we must ensure that the next generation of products are not only invented here, but manufactured here as well. Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Companies that choose to invest in America, they get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. Does that make any sense? It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas.”
To encourage insourcing, the Obama administration proposed tax incentives for companies that return jobs to American workers. The White House also introduced the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, intended to accelerate innovation by investing in manufacturing technologies. By bringing together industry, educators, and federal and state agencies, the network aims to
- Bridge the gap between basic research and product development
- Provide shared assets to help manufacturers access cutting-edge capabilities and equipment
- Educate and train students and workers in advanced manufacturing skills
With a united effort to reshore, it looks like the tides will turn for American manufacturing. Based on a recent survey, economists predict that one third of American companies worth $1 billion or more will bring back manufacturing plants that moved overseas during the past two decades. The outsourcing trend may be losing steam as our technology improves and domestic manufacturing becomes a more viable option.
Check out UniTherm’s American-made insulation jackets that help manufactures save significantly on energy costs.