February 16, 2024
A friend asked me how I could have kept busy designing gears for so many years because; all of those needed were certainly designed by now. This comment came from a fifty-something man, a military veteran, and world traveler. It is an understatement to say I was stunned. I think his eyes glazed over before I finished half of my list of projects. Perhaps his observation was a reflection of a common curmudgeon’s complaint that all modern cars look alike. If the cars look the same on the outside maybe the general public assumes they are also the same on the inside. When we talk about next-day or even same day delivery of everything, it numbs people to the hours of work and millions of dollars invested in equipment and systems to produce that “instant” satisfaction. I remember transferring “proofs” of dramatic “in-shop” photos to our ad agency in Milwaukee so they could get them published in local and national media. Old training videos and demonstrations of how things work can be big “hits” on the Internet simply because they are “new” to a modern audience that has never set foot in a manufacturing facility. Has your firm ever put project photos and video “out there” for “civilians” to view? We make some interesting stuff on some very impressive equipment; maybe the voters need to see just what those legendary “manufacturing jobs” can produce when given a chance. So bring on those classic “little gearbox on top a big gearbox” photos. Or the entire crew standing inside or a big ring gear. We lifers may yawn at them but somewhere in the world wide audience, a youngster will click on an image they will never forget. We need those bright young minds to join our magical trade and develop the next iteration of unique products.