FAQs for PMG

PMG provides labor solutions to American manufacturers. That’s what we do in a nutshell and we take the “solution” part of that equation seriously. As a result, all of us here end up asking a lot of questions to make sure we find the right way to solve the real problem. During that process, we end up getting asked a fair amount of questions ourselves. This blog is our effort to provide answers to the questions PMG employees get asked the most.

What is Industry 4.0?

Great question! Here at PMG, we’re big proponents of the continuous improvement mindset necessary to adapt and adjust to the consistent changes Industry 4.0 requires of manufacturers and fabricators. But what is it, actually? Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution and the rise of digitization and automation in pursuit of “Lights Out Manufacturing”.

Earlier industrial revolutions happened with steam and water power, electricity and assembly lines. Finally, computerization transformed then-standard models for production. This latest revolution is all about the confluence of those previous breakthroughs through use of integration technologies to create interconnected networks of systems that can communicate with each other. Basically, Industry 4.0 is the point where our cyber and digital worlds are meeting in real time and it will impact all disciplines, economies, and industries.

What does it benefit?

Many of you have heard of Industry 4.0 before, but you’ve probably just heard it referred to in terms of robots coming to take your jobs. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to a comprehensive study conducted by the Hays Global Skills Index, we’re expecting technology to eliminate close to 75 million jobs in the next decade. That’s a lot, but the same study estimates close to twice as many new jobs (133 million) will be created. Put simply, the robots won’t take your jobs. In fact, they will make them better, easier, and safer.

Read this Bernard Marr article if you’d like to learn more about the benefits, to all industries, of early Industry 4.0 adoption.

What’s next?

In one word, change. That’s why we believe so firmly in the importance of a continuous improvement mindset. Industry 4.0 is not going to eliminate jobs, but it will cause them to change continuously and consistently for the rest of your career. You need to prepare yourself to be able to change your skills and focus right along with them.

Most commonly, technology changes jobs by moving the human element (you) further and further from where material and machine meet. That’s where inefficiencies, injuries, and human errors occur. This means that, as important as your technical skills are and always will be, the five technological skills below are just as important for you (according to a Deloitte study) to master in the future. These abilities will be necessary for you to be able to continue to apply your technical skills to your job as your trade or facility is disrupted throughout Industry 4.0.

  • Technology & Computer Skills
  • Programming Skills for Robotics & Automation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Working with Tools & Techniques
  • Digital Skills

Additional Resources

If you’d like to learn more about Industry 4.0, or how to prepare your career for it, watch our free webinar Manufacturing in the Future: The Changes Yet to Come.

Did you find this informative? Send your questions to our Writing Team and keep an eye out for future FAQ’s for answers!

Want more FAQ? Check out our post on Supply Chain.

PMG Employee Spotlight with Emily B.

Emily has a B.A. in Operations & Supply Chain Management from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She’s been with PMG for almost 4 years as an Operations Analyst with our ReTool Team.

About Emily 

I grew up in Minnesota and I’ve lived here my whole life. I currently live in Minneapolis with my two cats. No, I’m not a crazy cat lady – yet. I graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2019 so I’m a pretty recent grad.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

What I like most about PMG is the work environment. I’m great friends with several of my coworkers, which is rare at some workplaces. Another part I like about the environment is everyone is very driven! We celebrate the victories and work hard to achieve them.

What are your main responsibilities as a ReTool Operations Analyst?

I help with research to grow the business by collecting data and analyzing it to determine what is worthwhile, or not, for PMG to pursue. From working with different technical schools around the country to researching new avenues for PMG to explore, it’s all over the place.

What do you like most about your job?

I like that it’s different each day and it’s very challenging. It requires me to think critically and outside of the box.

What did you do prior to working at PMG?

I mainly worked in the restaurant industry serving and selling pull tabs! I started at PMG when I was still in school as a Market Insights intern in 2017. Since then, I’ve helped out in other areas such as recruiting and lead generation before moving into my current position full-time after graduation.

What are some career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

One career lesson I’ve learned is to not be afraid to ask questions! Even if you think it’s a dumb question, it’s better to know what you’re doing versus guessing. You can learn a ton from simply asking questions.

What advice would you give to a recent new hire at PMG?

Going off the question above I would say the same. All of your coworkers have different strengths and experiences so you can learn a lot from them.

What did you want to be when growing up?

I was all over the place, but when I registered for college, I registered as a neuroscience major. After my first chemistry class, my major quickly changed to business!

What animal best describes you at work?

I would say a giraffe. When I’m able, I like to “stick my neck out” and see where I can reach out and help with other departments.  We’re all one big team after all!

What are some hobbies you do in your free time?

I enjoy working out, traveling, and hitting up new restaurants. I also love attending music festivals and concerts. I recently just got back from skiing in Breckenridge!

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

I really liked Prague. I thought the architecture was beautiful and the food was amazing. I went in the winter when all the winter markets were open. I also went to an underground cave turned wine bar and the bar was made of out ice. Even my cup was made of ice.

What celebrity/inspirational person do you admire the most?

Robin Williams! He was a great actor and comedian who had genuinely good intentions.

What’s your favorite restaurant and your must-order there?

Hmmm, that’s a really tough one. I would have to say Mongo’s. It is a Mongolian restaurant in St. Cloud where you build your own stir fry.

You’re happiest when…

Traveling! I love Minnesota but being by the ocean, or in the mountains, is a breath of fresh air – literally.


February is American Heart Month and February 14th is Valentines Day. It seems all things heart-related happen this month. In recognition, we’re spotlighting the pacemaker, a small medical device that controls the pace of a beating heart and movement of blood throughout the body.

Before we get into the making of the pacemaker, let’s talk quickly about the way a pacemaker works and the components that help it do its job. Although pacemakers are widely believed to regulate your heart, they actually regulate your electrical system and your electrical system ultimately controls your heart rhythm. With each heartbeat, an electrical impulse travel from the top of your heart to the bottom of your heart, triggering the contraction of your muscles and creating your pulse.

Pacemakers are implanted into your chest, abdomen, or shoulder. When doing so, surgeons connect the pacemaker via wires inside your veins. The wires often have electrodes. These electrodes are either inside your heart’s chambers or placed directly on the surface of your heart. Some hearts require a two-wire pacemaker while others require a one-wire pacemaker. What’s a wire, though?

Pacemakers consist of two main parts: the pulse generator and the wire or wires (lead or leads).

Additionally, most pacemakers also have an electrode at the end of the wires. The pulse generator does just that – generates a pulse/electrical signal through the use of a connector, electronic circuitry, and a battery. Wires or leads send these electronic signals to your heart.


How to make a pacemaker?

Simply put, manufactures assemble pacemakers with their preferred component pieces. The steps below outline the assembly process:

  1. Gather components: battery, wires, motherboard (circuitry), electrodes, and titanium casing
  2. Connect the motherboard to the battery
  3. Insert the connected motherboard and battery into titanium casing
  4. Place a fitting onto the casing to create a connecting point for the wires
  5. Inspect, inspect, inspect – before, during, and after
  6. Perform electronic and environment testing – before, during, and after


That’s it! For such an amazing piece of equipment, it all seems rather simple, doesn’t it? However, it’s not. Pacemakers (and medical devices as a whole) and their individual components are highly-regulated and repeatedly tested. They must meet a variety of standards. Let’s be glad, considering the all-important job a pacemaker has! And if you can, practice the following Heart Healthy Tips & Tricks!

Happy American Heart Month!

Kim Mooney, Technical Manager & Coach

Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

To my children, Valentine’s Day means decorating boxes for school, filing out Valentine’s Day cards for each of their classmates, and eating lots of yummy candy.

For my husband, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for giving and receiving sarcastic cards about being ‘the peanut butter to my jelly’, exchanging gifts neither of us really need, and spending too much on a nice dinner that we’ll regret later because who really needs a five-course meal?

While we show everyone else how much we love them on Valentine’s Day, what about treating ourselves to a little love? What about giving ourselves the time to do something that will benefit us even after Valentine’s Day has come and gone?

Here are a few things you can do to pamper yourself this Valentine’s Day and it doesn’t need to cost you a dime.


You spend so much time smiling at others but what about just smiling at yourself? That one smile in the mirror from YOU could make you happy all day long (and might even garner a laugh)!

Make a list

Take some time to praise yourself for the good things you do. You went out of your way to help a coworker yesterday; gave the homeless person on the corner that second sandwich you didn’t really need; donated blood. You do good things all the time – pay attention!

Say no

I know this one is easier said than done for some people (including myself), but don’t let someone else determine your next move. If you aren’t heading in the direction of your dreams, say no and steer yourself in the right direction.

Challenge yourself to something new

You are constantly learning and growing and it’s never too late to try something new. Did you take piano lessons as a child and always wish you would have stuck with it? Maybe now is the time to find a piano teacher. Want to learn Swedish? Ge det ett fÖrsÖk! If Google serves me right, that means ‘give it a try’!

Forgive yourself

I read a book recently that reminded me that, more often than not, forgiveness if for me, not for the person I’m forgiving. I’m freeing myself from whatever has trapped me and allowed me to stop growing. The same can be said for forgiving yourself. No one is perfect. Allow yourself some grace and learn from your experience. Take a cue from Elsa and ‘let it go’ (please tell me I’m not the only one singing right now).

Do what makes you happy

For some, this could be popping popcorn and binging Harry Potter all weekend. For others, taking your beloved Fido to his favorite dog park. If you’re typically a home body, but you know that being happy means getting out and doing something different, go explore a nearby State Park. There are so many options no matter where you are.

Find your inner sparkle

I’m pretty sure Dr. Seuss said it better than anyone else when he said, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Embrace the ‘youer’ that you are – you’re worth it!

Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU!

Want more Valentine’s Day reading? Check out our post on Love & Appreciation at Work.

Beth Bangtson, HR Manager

PMG believes that those who eat better work better. This post is our effort to improve the American workforce one lunchbox at a time. We want you to feed yourself with something that fuels you better and we have lunch tips, tricks, and recipes to make that possible! If you missed our last lunchbox hack, check it out on our blog now.

Lunch Tip

Here in Minnesota, we’re experiencing our first extended stay of the year below zero and keeping hot food warm is more difficult than ever. In weather like this, a quality cooler and/or insulated thermos can be worth it’s weight in gold. When choosing the appropriate lunchbox for your break time, consider the following items:

  • Hard or soft sides
  • Sturdy handle/overall construction
  • Capacity (overall size, liquids vs. solids ratio of what you pack)
  • Cost
  • Freezer packs (do you have access to a fridge at work?)

If you still can’t decide what’s best for your needs, think about a full meal system like this one from Isolator Fitness.

Lunch Trick

HotHands are great for keeping food hot! If you’re working in extremely cold weather, even a well-insulated lunchbox struggles to hold much heat all the way up to break time. The easiest way to work around this is to give your cooler some extra warmth to work with. Try starting the day by packing your lunch along with a freshly activated chemical handwarmer. This trick is easy and remote jobsite-friendly for those locations with limited electrical access. If your meals are still too cold, just add handwarmers to your bucket periodically throughout the morning. If you’d like more ideas for keeping food hot while you’re working hard, check out this list of tricks that won’t break the bank.


February 2 was National Tater Tot Day – check out our post on it here. We’ll continue our celebration of tots, by including a recipe of every Midwesterner’s favorite – Tater Tot Hotdish (that means casserole, for all you non-Northerners). Click here for a Taste of Home recipe that will have you making hotdish like a real Minnesotan. If you like what you learn, skim through our other blog posts here the next time you’re hungry for more knowledge!

National Tater Tot Day – February 2nd

Is National Tater Tot Day a true holiday? A writer in Dallas, Texas, debunked the holiday in 2012 claiming it wasn’t a real holiday.

Can we be honest for a minute? Can we really consider any of these crazy national holidays as real holidays?

Whichever side of the dining room table you’re on, whether it’s a real holiday or not, I still want to pay homage to a Minnesota classic – Tater Tot Hotdish. Microsoft Word doesn’t recognize it as a real word but I promise you, Hotdish is a real word.

If you’re not from Minnesota or have never spent a significant amount of time there, you may be asking, “What in the world is Tater Tot Hotdish?” Let’s take a moment to introduce you to a simple recipe that brings back so many childhood memories for us natives:

The necessary ingredients:

Tater Tots

Did you know these were invented by Ore-Ida potatoes? Prior to tater tots, these magical little scraps from French fries were fed as scraps to the cow.

Ground Beef

We used ground turkey when I was a kid, but I make it with ground beef today.

Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

At my house, this is ALWAYS Campbell’s soup. You can’t use generic in Tater Tot Hotdish.

A can of French-cut green beans

(because we’re classy – none of those fancy fresh vegetables for this recipe)

Your veggie of choice may be different depending on what region of Minnesota you grew up in or what your parents preferred when you were a child. I’m from southwestern Minnesota and my husband grew up in southeastern Minnesota. There, they made their Tater Tot Hotdish with a corn/pea mix – YUCK!

Shredded cheese

Something simple like a cheddar. No need to get crazy with a pepper jack.

Salt & Pepper

That’s it. It’s that simple!

If Tater Tot Hotdish doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, (or bowl of Hotdish) check out Oreida’s website (www.oreida.com/recipes) for over 100 different recipes. They have enough Totcho recipes to have a different kind of Totcho (nachos made with Tater Tots) almost every day in February.

Savor the flavor my friends. And you’re welcome!

Want more recipe ideas? Check out our most recent Lunch Box Hack post.

Beth Bangtson, HR Manager