Scientists on the Shop Floor

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Scientists and engineers can be an asset to manufacturers beyond R&D. Many companies know the value that such workers bring to their teams. A group of economists has now quantified that value: A 100-employee manufacturing establishment with 10 scientists or engineers is about 4.4 percent more productive than if it were to have no scientists or engineers.

As a Wall Street Journal analysis of this new research states, scientific and engineering training equips these workers to improve processes, fix broken systems, and implement new technologies inside manufacturing companies. Whatever the challenge, a grounding in scientific and engineering principles equips such workers to “find ways to make it work in their workplace.”

This is yet another point of information that reinforces the importance of boosting the pipeline of workers with STEM backgrounds and problem-solving skills. Common sense tells us that with the advent of Industry 4.0, manufacturers will need a greater proportion of scientists and engineers on their teams. Companies that have scientists and engineers on staff will be better equipped to understand and integrate platforms and tools for smart manufacturing, digital manufacturing, and automation, and embrace other disruptive trends in order to gain a competitive advantage.

For the smallest manufacturers in particular, bringing in such highly skilled talent may not be financially feasible. But fortunately for companies in New York State, there is a rich network of university research centers and other innovation assets that have experts who work daily with companies to improve their processes and upgrade their capabilities. Part of FuzeHub’s mission is to direct companies to the right technical resource in that network: Tell us what your innovation needs are and we will connect you with the best expertise available.


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