162 episodes

Welcome to Manufacturing Happy Hour, the podcast where we get real about the latest trends and technologies impacting modern manufacturers.

Hosted by industry veteran Chris Luecke, each week, we interview makers, founders, and other manufacturing leaders that are at the top of their game and give you the tools, tactics, and strategies you need to take your career and your business to the next level. We go beyond the buzzwords and dissect real-life applications and success stories so that you can tackle your biggest manufacturing challenges and turn them into profitable opportunities.

Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

Manufacturing Happy Hour Chris Luecke

    • Technology
    • 4.9 • 87 Ratings

Welcome to Manufacturing Happy Hour, the podcast where we get real about the latest trends and technologies impacting modern manufacturers.

Hosted by industry veteran Chris Luecke, each week, we interview makers, founders, and other manufacturing leaders that are at the top of their game and give you the tools, tactics, and strategies you need to take your career and your business to the next level. We go beyond the buzzwords and dissect real-life applications and success stories so that you can tackle your biggest manufacturing challenges and turn them into profitable opportunities.

Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

    Running a US Shoemaking Business on Heritage and Sustainability with Sara Irvani, CEO of Okabashi

    Running a US Shoemaking Business on Heritage and Sustainability with Sara Irvani, CEO of Okabashi

    Strong values like sustainability, empathy, and wellness might seem at odds with running a successful business for some, but not Sara Irvani, CEO of Okabashi. In fact, values like these have been fundamental to Okabashi’s success since it launched in 1984.
    Sara joins this episode of Manufacturing Happy Hour to clue us in to what it’s like leading a family-owned and operated shoe brand. A proudly USA-based footwear company, Okabashi is inspired by the Japanese concept of wellness and uses the principles of reflexology to design shoes that promote foot health and comfort.
    We hear a little about its innovative manufacturing process, the importance of running a business with sustainable choices, and why that shouldn’t be at odds with financial viability. Sara also explains how Okabashi’s closed-loop manufacturing process works to recycle old products to avoid landfill and waste.
    In this episode, find out:
    The challenges of expanding as a U.S.- based manufacturerHow Sara’s background led to her current roleHow sustainability is built into the Okabashi manufacturing processHow Okabashi’s closed-loop manufacturing worksWhy sustainability doesn’t have to be at odds with financial viabilityWhy innovation comes from empowering your team How Okabashi remains competitive in the U.S.Modular automation in the shoe manufacturing processWhy empathy is key to building good partnershipsWhy you need to stick to your values in business
    Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here. Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going!
    Tweetable Quotes:
    “We offer as well as our own closed-loop manufacturing, a post-consumer circular program. So people can send their shoes back to us to avoid landfills.”“I think that innovation comes from all different directions and there are so many things that can drive it. And having a culture that is not steeped in fear is a prerequisite to have innovation come from all directions.”“I think if you stick to your values, and if you have a long enough horizon line, good things happen.”
    Links & mentions:
    Okasbashi, a proudly U.S. shoe company focused on creating shoes that promote wellness and foot health
    Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

    • 31 min
    How to Build an Industrial Automation YouTube Channel with Tim Wilborne

    How to Build an Industrial Automation YouTube Channel with Tim Wilborne

    For many people, YouTube is the first port of call for instructions. Whether it be for simple things around the house like setting up a new TV or building a cabinet, or more complex things entirely. 
    One man covering those more complex things is Tim Wilborne. Tim’s YouTube channel, which has amassed over 50,000 subscribers, focuses on industrial automation, programming PLCs and helping you become a better technician. 
    Tim joins this episode of Manufacturing Happy Hour to discuss his background in the industry and his YouTube channel in detail. He explains why he started the channel, how his family are a huge part of its success and how to cope with haters. 
    Plus, he reveals why the industry hasn’t progressed as far as it could and tells us why he believes the automation world needs more content creators. 
    In this episode, find out: 
    Tim’s background in the industry How Tim started a YouTube channel Why subscribers and likes aren’t always so important How Tim amassed over 50,000 subscribers How to figure out what content to create About work-life balance in a family business How to deal with haters online Why Tim thinks his industry could’ve progressed further How constructive criticism helps Tim Why he thinks more industry experts should create YouTube content Advice for budding automation YouTube creators  
    Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here. Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going! 
    Tweetable Quotes: 
    “It takes thick skin. Just keep trying.” “There were lots of times I thought I had it, and then, all of a sudden, we’d have a major defeat.” “It's a long game and I think most people aren't prepared for how long of a game it is.” 
    Links & mentions: 
    TW Controls, focused on automation, PLC programming, and building control panels, specializing in Allen Bradley PLC training designed to help maintenance technicians and electricians troubleshoot machines Tim Wilborne on YouTube, the long-running channel brought to you by TW Controls offers some of the best industrial automation training and how-to’s on the internet Automation Fair and other events from Rockwell Automation  Momentum Coffee, a co-working space and coffee shop, walking distance from Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center, plus additional locations 
    Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty. 

    • 48 min
    The Metaverse, MedTech, and the Ethics of Emergent Technology with Christopher Lafayette

    The Metaverse, MedTech, and the Ethics of Emergent Technology with Christopher Lafayette

    While the metaverse is a relatively new concept for most of us, this week’s guest has worked in this space for some time.
    Our guest on Manufacturing Happy Hour is emergent technologist and GatherVerse founder, Christopher Lafayette.
    Tune in to hear about Christopher’s background, what his job title really means, his take on the metaverse’s role in manufacturing and MedTech and the importance of inclusion and diversity in tech.
    Plus, Christopher explains skepticism towards the metaverse and the reasons behind it. It’s a meaty one, so be ready to immerse yourself in a metaverse masterclass.
    In this episode, find out:
    What an emergent technologist doesWhy the metaverse is a game changer for manufacturingHow MedTech could change in the metaverseWhy people are right to be skeptical of tech advancementsThe right way to bring manufacturing into the conversationAbout awareness and education surrounding the metaverseWhether we should care about the metaverseAbout the metaverse and diversity/inclusionHow to approach skeptics About Christopher’s LinkedIn Learning class
    Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here. Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going!
    Tweetable Quotes:
    “When we think of the metaverse, we ingress into entertainment. But medical technology has the single biggest global impact.”“It’s important for (tech) leadership to get good-sourced information from people who actually know what they’re talking about.”“The metaverse is here, but as we know it today. We can’t put in concrete terms that “this is what it is” because we don’t completely know what it’s going to be.”
    Links & mentions:
    Official Website - Christopher Lafayette, connect with Christopher on areas of expertise, events, press, and speaking categories across the metaverse, NFTs, tech inclusion, MedTech, and removing barriers to innovation GatherVerse, a global ecosystem where communities gather, discuss, and share human-centered approaches to the metaverseBlack Technology Mentorship Program, a mentor-mentee program that inspires, educates, and brings underserved Black communities into technologyCourse - What is the Metaverse?, Christopher’s official course on the metaverse on LinkedIn LearningConnect with Christopher on LinkedInFollow Christopher on TwitterFollow Christopher on Instagram
    Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Machine Shops, Reshoring, and Addressing the “Management Gap” with Paperless Parts’ Jason T. Ray

    Machine Shops, Reshoring, and Addressing the “Management Gap” with Paperless Parts’ Jason T. Ray

    Is there really a manufacturing skills gap? Why is manufacturing moving back to the U.S.? And how can machine shop owners switch to an investment mindset? These are all great questions that we answer in this episode of Manufacturing Happy Hour. 
    Jason T. Ray is the Co-Founder and CEO of Paperless Parts and a former Manufacturing Happy Hour guest. He jumps back on the show for a discussion on machine shops, reshoring, the importance of profit and investment, the skills gap, and everything in between. We hear his take on how COVID affected supply chains and led to more shop owners buying from American companies, and the different ways business owners have changed their mindset in the past few years. 
    Jason also explains that if we want to solve the skills gap in manufacturing, we need to “look in the mirror” and figure out where we’re going wrong from a management perspective. There’s plenty of food for thought in this episode, so check it out to hear more of Jason’s words of wisdom. 
    In this episode, find out: 
    The state of manufacturing in the U.S. Why shop owners are increasingly considering “ownership cost” What’s bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. How the manufacturing tech stack is evolving How different generations solve problems How new tech affects profit and investment Why we need to shift from an expense mindset to an investment mindset Why the skills gap is more of a “management gap” The importance of active over passive management Why agility and speed in business are down to good systems and processes Why manufacturing is essential to innovation 
    Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here. Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going! 
    Tweetable Quotes: 
    “Now there's this concept called total ownership cost. And that includes shipping and storage and everything else associated with buying those parts.” “Manufacturers aren't just showing up to look at the machines and buy equipment. They're actively coming out and looking for software solutions to solve problems in their business.” “When shops, rather than having an expense mindset, go in with an investment mindset – where they look at dollars out as investments, you start to see a shift in the type of team members they're attracting.” 
    Links & mentions: 
    Paperless Parts, helping machine shops quote faster and win more jobs In The Shop, a publication from Paperless Parts, including this post “CMMC: Coming Soon to a Contract Near You” “Pentagon updates timeline for CMMC cybersecurity initiative,” important news for job shop owners going into effect in May 2023 Tip Tap...

    • 43 min
    A Behind-The-Scenes Look at Custom Ski Manufacturing with Mike McCabe

    A Behind-The-Scenes Look at Custom Ski Manufacturing with Mike McCabe

    What’s the most important part of starting and running a manufacturing business? The finances? The team? The materials? 
    Well, this Manufacturing Happy Hour guest has some expert insights, experience and advice, so stay tuned. 
    It’s time to hit the slopes for this week’s episode as we invite Mike McCabe, CEO and co-founder of Folsom Custom Skis, to share his story and provide top tips for manufacturers. 
    Tune in for tales of Mike’s early days in the industry, the creation of his business, the day-to-day of running a boutique ski manufacturer, what he does for his customers and how Folsom has survived and thrived in a challenging industry. 
    Plus, Mike provides a ton of sound business advice! A true must-listen. 
    In this episode, find out: 
    Mike’s introduction to the industry Where his interest in skiing began His first steps in launching the business The most important part of starting a manufacturing business A rundown of Folsom’s materials and processes How Mike accounts for his success Top business tips for manufacturers Mike’s initial goals for Folsom Custom Skis The importance of your team in a manufacturing business Advice for college students interested in manufacturing 
    Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here. Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going! 
    Tweetable Quotes: 
    “We saw a hole in the market and we’ve stayed really true to what we do to this very day.” “Being lean and nimble is the most important piece, not having huge financial attributes.” “To succeed here, you need somebody that’s really passionate about the sport, passionate about the product, passionate about customer service and passionate about manufacturing.”  
    Links & mentions: 
    Folsom Custom Skis, custom building skis engineered specifically for you. Skis can be purchased online or through Folsom’s full-time staff members. Aspen Brewing Company, founded in 2008 with one simple goal – make world-class beer, downstream from nobody. They have two locations in Aspen, both downtown and near the airport. Or, if you’re not in Aspen, you can find their beers throughout Colorado. 
    Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty. 

    • 51 min
    BONUS: Leaders in Machine Vision and Robotics: Live from Boston, Pt. 2 of 2 (brought to you by A3)

    BONUS: Leaders in Machine Vision and Robotics: Live from Boston, Pt. 2 of 2 (brought to you by A3)

    We're back for Part 2 from the 2022 Vision Show, hosted by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
87 Ratings

87 Ratings

margieparty320 ,

Awesome podcast, solid guests

I really enjoy the versatility of this podcast and every guest has something unique to offer. Loved the episode with Mike from Folsom Skis!

Bob Mills ,

THE Manufacturing Podcast

This is the podcast I recommend the most to my manufacturing friends. Chris’ curiosity and inside baseball knowledge delivers one meaningful conversation after another.

LizShov ,

Diverse perspectives & fun listen!

As I work in manufacturing, I really enjoy learning about how the other guys do it! Lots of interesting perspectives from consumer, b2b, and service perspectives. Chris is a fun host and the podcast is an easy listen on your commute or next road trip

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