PTC announced this week that it has collaborated with the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Manufacturing Institute and Rockwell Automation to create a comic book with an augmented reality (AR) experience. Using the free comic book and app, Manufacturing Day host companies can illustrate the technologies of modern manufacturing to help inspire a new generation to consider the field as a career option.
As part of the partnership, PTC’s Jim Heppelmann will join Jay Timmons and the NAM Board of Directors to present on digital transformation and its role in creating a favorable policy climate for manufacturers. The NAM Board comprises more than 200 of the nation’s top manufacturing executives, representing large and small companies alike across all industrial sectors.
As the inaugural National Partner sponsor of Manufacturing Day, PTC is providing substantial support for the nation’s largest one-day celebration of manufacturing, which focuses on showing young people, parents and educators the opportunities a career in manufacturing offers.
“With a major skills gap threatening the viability of the manufacturing industry, a new generation of workers is required, proficient in modern business principles and next-gen technologies like augmented reality (AR) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT),” said Jim Heppelmann, president and CEO, PTC. “It is our goal to foster the adoption of these manufacturing technologies and increase the business use cases throughout the industry. We’re honored to partner with the NAM, and continue our collaboration with Rockwell Automation, on such an important initiative.”
According to a recent report from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, 80 percent of manufacturers currently indicate a moderate or serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly-skilled production positions.
With the goal to inspire the next generation of manufacturing, PTC developed an AR-enabled comic book, powered by Vuforia, that showcases latest technology deployed in factories. Accessible through the Smart MFG mobile app, the interactive experience provides a unique glimpse into a career in modern factories, and demonstrates that manufacturing in a smart, connected world is filled with technology, advanced skills and creativity.
“Modern manufacturing offers high-paying, high-tech jobs, but too many students, parents, and teachers don’t know about the opportunities for hands-on, meaningful work in our industry,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons, who also serves as board chairman of The Manufacturing Institute. “Changing perceptions is critical to inspiring the next generation. By partnering with PTC and through the creation of the AR-enabled comic book, we are creating new ways of showing the tremendous opportunities a career in modern manufacturing offers.”
PTC has earlier this year entered into an alliance with Rockwell Automation to accelerate growth for both companies and enable them to be the partner of choice for global customers wanting to transform their physical operations with digital technology.
The partnership leverages both companies’ resources, technologies, industry expertise, and market presence, and will include technical collaboration across the organizations as well as joint global go-to-market initiatives.
In particular, PTC and Rockwell Automation have agreed to align their smart factory technologies and combine PTC’s ThingWorx IoT, Kepware industrial connectivity, and Vuforia augmented reality (AR) platforms with Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk MES, FactoryTalk Analytics, and Industrial Automation platforms. The result will be an integrated information solution that will enable customers to achieve increased productivity, heightened plant efficiency, reduced operational risk, and better system interoperability.