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Manufacturing drives the world. Without it, we wouldn’t have cars, bridges, guitars, railroads, airplanes, reusable water bottles, or anything else that requires building and putting parts together to create a uniform product.

Behind the curtain of manufacturing robots and industrial equipment are the men and women who design, work, and fix it all. Thanks to both great innovative thinkers and your everyday manufacturer working in facilities and production lines, our world is a cleaner, more efficient, and safer place to live.

iGAM highlights 7 influential leaders today as a reminder of the people who are shaping the world of manufacturing every day.

7 Modern-Day Influential People in Manufacturing

Mary T. Barra

Mary T. Barra is the first woman CEO of an international automotive manufacturer since 2014. She calls herself a GM “lifer” since she started working there as a student in electrical engineering. As she climbed the ranks to the top, Barra focused on the people: creating relationships and empathizing with them to better their vision and product in the company.

In 2014, Barra had to testify before the U.S. Senate for a global ignition recall of 30 million vehicles. When she testified, she proved herself as the unfettered and balanced CEO with her cool composure and became chairman of the company in 2016. Barra still runs GM and is a major influence the auto manufacturing industry today.

Rodney Brooks

Rodney Brooks is the founder of Rethink Robotics. He created Baxter, a manufacturing robot with machine-learning capabilities and a built-in HMI system for easy data access. Brooks is also a professor of robotics at MIT and has popularized behavior-based robotics. With behavior-based systems, a robot can change its actions by sensing the environment.

Chandra Brown

As CEO of MxD, Chandra Brown oversees the development of new technology to benefit manufacturers across the United States. MxD stands for Manufacturing x Digital and focuses on increasing manufacturers’ productivity by giving them the digital tools they need to enhance their own process.

Brown served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Manufacturing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, promoting manufacturing and building domestic business to strengthen manufacturers. Brown also advocates for women’s involvement in manufacturing by encouraging women in the field and her own company.

Marian Croak

Marian Croak invented the Voice Over IP system that has allowed communication through audio and/or video over the internet. Now she leads a 2,000+ team as Vice President of Engineering at Google while she continues to innovate on Voice Over IP with 100 patents and over 100 more under review.

Randy Altschuler: CEO of Xometry

As the co-founder and CEO of Xometry, Randy Altschuler envisioned easier parts manufacturing for machine shops and engineers. Xometry is an additive manufacturing company focused on assisting manufacturing with creating high quality parts with ease. Altshuler also co-founded CloudBlue to recycle electronic equipment.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the infamous CEO of Tesla, the world’s leading producer of electric cars. His shenanigans and wild projects gave him popularity (as well as notoriety) with both the young and old, but there’s no doubt that Musk has contributed to the world of manufacturing.

With his focus on sustainability, Musk has revolutionized advocacy for clean energy in manufacturing and automobiles. He is also a considerable influence in space exploration: his company, SpaceX, is aiming to establish human civilization on Mars as a “back-up plan” in case his sustainability efforts don’t pan out.

Isabel Yang

Isabel Yang is a new face at Advanced Energy, a company that innovates applications and processes for energy, joining the team in 2018 as Chief Technology Officer and Vice President. She is an innovator and leader in artificial intelligence, healthcare solutions, and high-performance computing. Her patents include high performance asymmetric transistors and anti-spacer structures for self-aligned independent gate implantation. Not only that, but Yang is also an advocate for empowering girls in STEM.

Manufacturing is so much more than machines.

Because of people like the industry leaders mentioned here—as well as the humble technicians, engineers, and everyone else who keeps things running smoothly—manufacturing is developing to become more efficient, more sustainable, and more effective at bringing quality products to the world.

Check out our inventory services for your manufacturing and industrial needs.

iGAM is the leading online marketplace for used industrial robots and manufacturing equipment. With our 20-month warranty coverage, you can purchase the equipment you need at an affordable price with peace of mind. Plus, iGAM offers services to help keep your manufacturing facility productive and efficient. We provide repair and reconditioning services, asset appraisals, custom work cells, and purchasing used equipment. Contact iGAM today.


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iGAM is the leading online marketplace for used industrial robots, robot parts, and manufacturing equipment. Providing quality industrial equipment at an affordable price, iGAM has helped manufacturers of all sizes with their automation goals. Keep your production line up and running with products and services from iGAM. From supplying Industrial Automation equipment to asset appraisals, iGAM aims to be the ultimate destination for every manufacturer’s industrial automation needs.

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