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On Wednesday, President Obama hailed Master Lock Company for returning 100 jobs from China. However, he didn’t mention the important point that MasterLock did it with “heavy investments in automation” to make these workers in Milwaukee cost-competitive with those in China. Advanced automation and Smart Manufacturing technology can offset the advantages of cheap-wage nations.

Obama also missed the opportunity to talk about the bigger jobs impact of Smart Manufacturing. New studies show that for every one job created in a Smart Manufacturing plant, two, three, four or more “indirect” jobs are created outside the plant in companies to service, support and supply it. And these are NOT restaurant jobs from the tickle down economic impact, but high-paying new nonmanufacturing jobs… that will be dependent on MasterLock. Thus, 300 to 400 new jobs will probably be created to service, support and supply the 100 jobs in the expansion of a Smart Manufacturing plant like MasterLock.  Read more…Smart Manufacturing increases indirect