What You Need to Know About Manufacturing Writing

Plastic injection molding. Horizontal and vertical machining. Electrical discharge machining (EDM). Stamping. RPM. Spindles. Milling.

The aforementioned are all technologies and terms that publications are expecting candidates to know when they’re looking to hire manufacturing bloggers or journalists. We know what you’re thinking: you’re a writer, not a machinist. You’ve never worked on the production line. Instead, your job setting is in a cubicle in front of a computer. So how exactly do you qualify as an expert in manufacturing? For starters, just because you’ve never worked in a factory doesn’t mean that you can’t pick up the field and its technologies and techniques. However, if you’re serious about actually getting a hands-on overview to such equipment, contact your local community college or university, many of which offer introductory courses on these topics.

Here’s some other tips and advice that can put you on the fast-track to becoming an expert in manufacturing writing, whether you’re reporting on hard news and production trends, or writing about various production technology:

  • Get familiar with the technology: We already mentioned how you might consider taking an introductory course to manufacturing at a local college, but there are other ways to learn as well. For instance, see if there are any production plants, or OEMs of manufacturing equipment, near you and contact them, asking if you might be able to tour such a facility. Also consider attending a manufacturing trade show, such as the International Manufacturing Technology Show, or IMTS, where you can see OEMs show off their latest technology. IMTS is the largest manufacturing trade show in the Western Hemisphere and occurs once every two years in Chicago. And of course, there’s always the tried and true way of extensively researching and learning about such technology on your own.
  • Join an association: Once you familiarize yourself with the technology, consider joining or becoming affiliated with an association, such as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, to boost your credibility. There’s also the Association of Manufacturing Technology.
  • Understand trends: Part of becoming on expert on manufacturing is knowing the trends, so you should becoming knowledgeable about manufacturing trends and outlook on both a domestic and international level.
  • CAM: Computer-aided manufacturing, or CAM, is software that allows manufacturing engineers to virtually see how certain parts will be produced via manufacturing technologies. Familiarize yourself with the various CAM providers and how the software can help accelerate manufacturing methods.
  • Read, read and read: There are several manufacturing publications that you should view as resources in your quest to become an expert and get hired as a manufacturing writer. Read the likes of Modern Machine Shop, Production Machining, Manufacturing Engineering and Manufacturing Automation.

Scott C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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