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In addition to producing top-of-the-line stainless steel conveyors and belts, we aim to inspire students to explore fields related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics—collectively known as STEM. We know the future of manufacturing lies in the next generation’s ability to operate alongside robotic coworkers, so it’s never been more important to instill an interest in STEM careers. On National STEM Day, we’re highlighting the industry’s need for two facets to work in conjunction: automated robots and the young, talented workforce that will work alongside them.

Changing Trends

Since 2020, supply chain issues and a nationwide labor shortage have directly led to a major upheaval in the manufacturing and warehouse industries. To offset the hiring struggles, many manufacturers have turned to robots to keep their operations moving. While COVID-19 was the impetus, this trend is expected to continue for the long term.

Some critics say robots are replacing human workers, but according to a recent study, 57 percent of global manufacturers said the robots in their facilities are supplementing employees’ work—not displacing them. Adapting to a robot/human hybrid work environment has provided many manufacturers the opportunity to expand their output, train workers for new positions with higher skill levels and attract a younger labor force interested in working with technology.

The ongoing digital transformation is changing the face of how workers will do their jobs. Another study projected that the U.S. manufacturing industry could have 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. Fortunately, the study also found that attracting a younger workforce through diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and STEM-related initiatives could help to fill these empty positions.

Metal Belts to Bridge the Gap

Our stainless steel belts and drive tapes are integral parts used within many robotic workers, and the assembly lines they work on, to increase their productivity and longevity. As these belts are virtually non-stretchable and able to execute the same motion over and over without failing or outgassing, they are the optimal choice when it comes to manufacturing sensitive electronics, medical equipment and other products that require absolute precision.

Metal belts are also easier to clean, do not require any lubrication and do not generate particulates. This not only makes them easy to maintain but also ideal for sterile environments like clean rooms and vacuum spaces.

Working Together for a Better Future

While our metal belts and drive tapes will continue to help automated robots push the industry forward, we know it wouldn’t be possible without the interest of a young, inspired and technologically knowledgeable workforce. With that in mind, we wish all aspiring engineers and manufacturers a happy National STEM Day!

We’re always looking for talented individuals to join our team. For anyone interested in a rewarding career with terrific growth potential, competitive compensation and an excellent benefits package: you can check out our current openings and career opportunities on our website. And for those already in the industry, don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re to learn more about how our products can help your facility today.