Willy Shih’s expertise is in manufacturing and product development, and he has written or co-authored more than 125 cases and teaching materials in industries ranging from semiconductors, information technology, consumer electronics, aerospace, transportation equipment, manufacturing processes and tools, and intellectual property. His paper, “Restoring American Competitiveness,” co-authored with Gary Pisano, won the 2009 McKinsey Award. His recent book, “Producing Prosperity – Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance,” co-authored with Gary Pisano, has called attention to the link between manufacturing and innovation. He is also the author of “Back Bay Battery,” a best-selling innovation simulation.
An awful lot of innovation is based on the remixing of existing ideas and sometimes adding a little bit new as well.
So as semiconductor manufacturing has moved offshore, the number of people in this country who actually know how to operate those tools, who have the tacit knowledge has declined as well.
3D printing offers great potential for mass customization and manufacturing tools.
The key question is will manufacturers in this country recognize and further exploit the benefits of having production close to manufacturing?
If you look at advanced manufacturing processes today, they actually require a much higher level of skill and sophistication in your workforce than I think many of us realize.
Everybody knows how to stay inside their silo. It takes the courageous soul to cross those boundaries.