Adobe Stock / duncanandison

When I was 18 years old (a long time ago), I worked as a co-op student at General Motors’ Hydramatic division in Ypsilanti, Mich., which made automatic transmissions. My first day, they assigned me to a supervisor on the factory floor so I could learn from the bottom up.

Believe me, it was the bottom: dimly lit, loud, and dirty. The supervisor saw his chance to teach me a lesson and put me on an Excello machine that simultaneously drilled multiple holes into clutch housings that arrived every 30 seconds on an overhead conveyor. By the end of the day, I was sweaty, covered in machining oil, and exhausted. The supervisor came by, shook his head, and said, “Kid, I told you to operate that machine, not make love to it.”

That was my introduction to manufacturing.

Although my tenure at the plant got better, in the years since then I’ve avoided manufacturing, preferring offices or the outdoor setting of construction. Making concrete isn’t heavy manufacturing, although many of the same quality control and efficiency principles apply; but it’s not my area of expertise. As a long-time World of Concrete program developer and licensed engineer, I’m more familiar with concrete as a building material than how it’s made. If I’m going to give you what you need to improve profits, I need your help.

So tell me what topics you lose sleep over. The skilled labor shortage? Choosing the right technology? New materials and admixtures? Plant operations? Your fleet? Think of me as your free consultant. Just tell me what you want and you’ll get it. No charge! E-mail to [email protected] or call me at 773-494-4619. I look forward to hearing from you.