From Silence To Sound

October 3, 2011 - 2 Comments

Warning: Tearjerker Alert!

I can’t imagine myself or anyone else reacting any differently. This is a video of a young deaf woman hearing her own voice for this first time in her life:

As reported in Time:

Sloan Churman, 29, was born deaf and had never heard the sound of her own voice—until last week.

Eight weeks ago, Churman underwent surgery for a hearing implant called The Esteem Implant by Envoy Medical. Though she’d been wearing hearing aids since the age of 2, she says they “only help so much.” She had her husband record the activation of the implant.

We dare you not to break out into tears with her.

This remarkable video deserves a post based on its own merits, but why have I included it on our manufacturing blog?

Without manufacturing…

After watching this video, I began to think about how this wonderful hearing device will benefit so many people. I thought about the scientists, physicians, and engineers whose intelligence and efforts brought this device into existence. However, my next thought was: “how can they make this available to the masses?”

Some may answer quickly: salespeople, insurance coverage, awareness and availability online or in doctor’s offices, etc..  But, we actually need to take a step back further. I imagine this device was created slowly over many years and iterations as a prototype. Once a successful model had been built, its creators had only that — one model. That one model can only benefit one person. To be successful and get it to those who need it most, there has to be a means of mass production before distribution, marketing or sales even enters the equation.

The solution: Manufacturing. Every part of that device – every part — from its wiring, casing, computer chip, batteries, etc. was made possible by the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers made those components. They made them affordable, accessible and in great enough quantity to benefit Sloan Churman and many others like her.

Remember all that you do!

Recently I wrote a blog about how important the Internet is in our daily lives, and, according to a study, how many say they  “could not live” without it: “the Internet is such a dominating facet of our lives that we forget what life would be like without it.”

Now I realize I was thinking too small. If there is something we truly couldn’t live without, it would be manufacturing. There are only a few things that I own or use that weren’t brought into existence by the manufacturing industry, including the Internet. Oddly, despite this fact, the sustainability of the US manufacturing industry is increasingly called into question.

So, for all those involved in manufacturing, please bear people like Sloan Churman — and everyone else you know for that matter — in mind when you think about the benefits of what you do!

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  1. thanks, Michael!

  2. Fantastically revealing thanks, I do believe your trusty followers will likely want a whole lot more articles like this maintain the great effort.