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IndustryNet Blog

Posted by IndustryNet
New data compiled this week by IndustryNet takes a closer look at U.S. welding companies to gain perspective on current trends and compare performance.

With multiple processes such as laser welding, spot welding, and resistance welding, the sector has developed into a multibillion dollar industry and many industry representatives express optimism for the future of welding. Modern technologies have facilitated applications that extend beyond traditional metal-to-metal surfaces and into plastics, composites, and alloys.

Additionally, as manufacturing of supersonic airliners, marine equipment, and other emerging technologies grow, the demand for specialized welding companies will only increase.

Dramatic job growth

According to IndustryNet's most recent analysis, there are 3,552 welding companies in the U.S. employing 43,686. Job growth has increased dramatically in this sector over the past year with 7.85 percent. Compared to 4 percent in U.S. manufacturing as a whole, welding leads in reporting employee growth.

Spot welding experienced astronomical employment growth year-over-year at 38 percent. The next closest niche, Resistance welding comes in at a close second with an employee growth of 21 percent. Other welding industries to report growth included welding supplies (up 4.55%) welded fabrications (up 2.2%) and welding machinery (up 1%). Interestingly, welding automation systems reported a 1% decline in employment, while most other sub-industries remained constant.

Posted by IndustryNet
According to IndustryNet, there are 457 adhesive companies employing 19,628 individuals nationally. Sales in the industry topped $629 million last year alone. Because of this abundance of options, selecting right adhesive supplier can be a daunting task.

In order to narrow the list down, manufacturers should select adhesive suppliers that can provide the following:

1. High temperatures. Whether you need to bond plastics at 400 degrees or ceramics at 4000 degrees, you need the bond to seal tightly and remain sturdy. Cotronics, based in Brooklyn, NY, carries a wide range of products specifically designed to meet your high-temperature needs without cracking or degrading the bond. Cotronics specializes in ceramics, offering sealants, repair materials, and both rigid and flexible bonding materials.

2. Structural applications. If you are looking for an adhesive strong enough to bond turbine blades or versatile enough to join a filter to metal or plastic, Innovative Resin Systems has your product. IRS produces epoxy adhesives, one- and two-component elastomer-modified epoxies, and low-odor resins at its home base in Newark, NJ.

3. Versatility. Some bonding jobs require more than one type of adhesive. Whether you need to adhere two different substrates or two metals as part of the same project, one company meets your needs. Masterbond, in Hackensack, NJ, combines the quality you desire with the quantity you require. With over 3,000 grades of adhesives, Masterbond is sure to have one that is ideally suited for your project.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released today by MNI, manufacturers in Georgia added jobs for a seventh straight year, as continued gains in the auto industry boosted employment across multiple sub-sectors.

MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, reports Peach State manufacturers added 4,373 new jobs between May 2016 and May 2017, or 1%. This is about double the gain MNI reported for the 2015-2016 survey period, in which employment inched up a half percent, pointing to fresh momentum in the state's industrial sector.

Overall, Georgia's manufacturing job growth has been steady over the past seven years, with gains largely led by the state's flourishing auto sector. Since May of 2010, Georgia added an astounding 27,000 jobs, according to MNI data, an increase of 6%. During this seven-year period, the state's transportation equipment sector grew by 32%, eventually employing more workers than historically significant sectors like industrial machinery and rubber.

Transportation equipment now ranks as the state's third-largest industry by number of manufacturing jobs, quickly closing in on Georgia's massive textile industry for the #2 spot.

Gains over the past year were not limited to transportation equipment, but were spread across multiple sectors -- a reflection of Georgia's robust and diverse economy. Employment increases were reported by manufacturers of fabricated metals; chemicals; industrial machinery; electronics; food products; rubber/plastics; and furniture, among others.

Regionally, gains were also widely distributed, with all five of Georgia's regions posting steady gains. Increases were strongest, however, in Northeast and South Central Georgia.

Posted by IndustryNet
Yesterday, IndustryNet reported on sustained growth in the electric motor industry, citing a 2% increase in sales and a 3% jump in employment. Today, there is no shortage of U.S. companies producing and servicing electric motors for a number of industries including the automotive, appliances, and industrial machinery sectors. In fact, the demand for electric motors production is at an all-time high.

Based on data collected by IndustryNet, these are the top 10 largest electric motor companies by workforce in the United States:

Felchar Manufacturing, Inc.

Binghamton, NY

Number of employees: 400

Founded in 1981, the company claims to have built virtually every component that's used in Shop-Vac vacuums. The manufacture stamped parts, electric motors, and power cords, and millions of their custom parts are used in electric lawn and garden tools.

Baldor Electric Co., Dodge/Reliance Div.

Athens, GA

Number of employees: 400

Baldor Electric Company designs, manufactures, and markets industrial electric motors and mechanical power transmission products for thousands of distributors. Additionally, they sell Dodge brand mechanical power transmission products. This includes bushings, couplings, enclosed gearing, and mounted bearings.

FLANDERS Electric Motor Service, Inc.

Evansville, IN

Number of employees: 385

What began in 1947 as a two-man motor repair shop has expanded to include engineering and manufacturing as well as repairs. The company today has more than 1 million square feet of space that accommodates its more than 30,000 percent increase in employees since its founding.

TECO-Westinghouse Motor Co.

Round Rock, TX

Number of employees: 350

This world leader of AC and DC motors and generators has more than 100 years of experience in motor design and application. They produce high-quality machines for compressors, fans, crushers, and other
Posted by IndustryNet
There are now 755 electric motor manufacturing plants in the United States, mainly situated in the South (33 percent of all plants) and Midwest (35 percent of all plants). The majority of plants are located in Illinois, with 70 plants, and Ohio, with 46 plants.

Over the past 12 months, jobs in this industry have increased by three percent. Dreison International Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio, IPS of Litchfield, Minnesota, and RAM Industrial Services Inc. of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, have reported significant employee growth.

Companies in the electric motor industry are twice as likely to report sales growth than other U.S. manufacturing companies. Sales have increased by two percent over the past year, with current average sales totalling 15.2 trillion dollars.

Companies such as Clark-Fowler Electric Motors and Suppliers of Wooster, Ohio, Dietz Electric Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and A-1 Electric Motor Service Inc. of Park Hills, Kentucky have reported sales growth over the past year.

Posted by IndustryNet
Louisiana was among several states in the nation to add thousands of jobs in the years following the recession as the energy boom took hold, but as oil prices plummeted, so did the state's industrial employment. According to MNI data, the state shed more than 8,500 jobs since May of 2014. Jobs in the oil/gas extraction industry were largely responsible for the decline, plunging 11% over that three-year time period.

MNI's 2015-2016 survey, however, shows jobs in the oil/gas extraction declined just 1.2%, suggesting the industry may have finally hit bottom. Losses over the past year were instead spread across a wide variety of industries, which points to other factors beyond oil that are playing a role in the state's manufacturing slump.

Losses were recorded in fabricated metals; rubber/plastics; furniture/fixtures; printing/publishing; textiles/apparel, primary metals, and even food processing. Marginal gains in chemicals processing and paper products were not enough to make up for those declines.

According to new data released this morning, Louisiana lost industrial jobs for a third straight year, as the state's manufacturing sector faces challenges on a number of fronts. MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, reports Louisiana lost 2,300 manufacturing jobs from May 2016 to May 2017, or 1.2%.

This represents roughly half the loss MNI recorded in Louisiana for the 2015-2016 survey period, in which the state shed 2.9% of its workforce, or 5,663 jobs, suggesting the massive losses suffered by the state's oil/gas industry may have finally decelerated.

Posted by IndustryNet
Amid a changing global manufacturing industry, suppliers of adhesive products in the U.S. showed positive growth signs from 2016 to 2017. According to IndustryNet data, adhesives companies in every region of the United States were resilient in the face of global economic challenges. A look at the top 10 U.S. adhesives suppliers gives domestic manufacturers plenty of cause for optimism as 2017 moves forward.

Top 10 U.S. adhesives companies by total employment

Based on new data from IndustryNet, the top 10 suppliers of adhesives in the U.S. represent a who's who of domestic manufacturing. Specifically, IndustryNet reported the following data from May 2016 to May 2017:

1. LORD Corporation

2. H.B. Fuller

3. Mechanics Helper, Inc.

4. L&L Products, Inc.

5. 3M Co., Specialty Materials Resource Division

6. Franklin International, Inc.

7. Adhesives Research, Inc.

8. Cytec Engineered Materials, Inc.

9. Ellsworth Adhesives Specialty Chemical Distribution, Inc.

10. LATICRETE International, Inc.

Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. manufacturing activity expanded at a steady clip in July, though at a somewhat slower rate than reported in June, according to new data released this morning by the Institute for Supply Management . The ISM's manufacturing index now stands at 56.3% -- 1.5% lower than June's 57.8, but still representative of a thriving U.S. manufacturing sector that is closing in on a full year of expansion. July's reading marks the manufacturing sector's 11th consecutive month of growth, and the 98th consecutive month of expansion for the U.S. economy as a whole.

The ISM's Manufacturing Report on Business is a leading economic indicator based on a survey of the nation's supply executives. June's reading of 57.8 was the highest level the Institute has recorded in 3 years with industrial production and new orders surging to record heights. July's reading, though still in expansion territory, came in somewhat lower due to soft readings in new orders, production and employment.

Growth was reported in fifteen of eighteen industries reporting to the ISM, with rubber & plastics; electrical equipment, wood products, fabricated metals, and machinery leading increases.

Just three industries reported contraction in July: apparel, leather & allied products; textile mills; and petroleum products.

Overall, the ISM manufacturing activity report for July reflected expansion in the sector with multiple indicators growing at a steady clip.
Posted by IndustryNet
New data compiled by IndustryNet sheds light on the state of the U.S. adhesives industry. In line with U.S. manufacturing in general, industrial adhesives, hot-melt adhesives and adhesive application machinery stood out as top performers by average sales. The future appears promising for the U.S. adhesives market.

Average sales of U.S. adhesives manufacturing totaled $9.5 billion. The hot-melt adhesives sector sold approximately $113 million in goods, and adhesive application machinery encompassed $107 million in sales. In line with the entire U.S. industrial sector, 1 percent of companies reported sales growth in 2016.

What makes U.S. adhesives manufacturing so interesting is the industry's increasingly global reach. Of adhesives companies in the U.S., 30 percent imported raw materials, as of May 2017. With respect to export activity, 62 percent of adhesives companies had international distribution. To add context to these data points, only 11 percent of companies in the U.S. industrial sector in general imported raw materials, and only 29 percent distributed internationally.

Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released this week by MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, Kansas lost manufacturing jobs over the past year. MNI reports Kansas lost 1,484 manufacturing jobs from May 2016 to May 2017, or 1%, adding to the general stagnation in manufacturing employment the state has experienced following the sharp losses of the recession. Our latest post examines a few of the challenges Kansas has faced in the post-recession era, and some of the areas in which Kansas' industrial sector excels:

Post-recession recovery weak as aviation, oil, lose ground

While many states in the nation have recovered significant numbers of jobs lost during the recession, Kansas has struggled to return to pre-recession levels. Over the past six years the Sunflower state has recouped just 12% of the thousands of factory jobs lost during the recession.

The downturn in the aviation industry has persisted, with big employers like Bombardier and Spirit Aerosystems continuing to shed jobs. MNI data shows Kansas' transportation equipment sector cut 15% of its workforce in the post-recession period.

The transportation equipment industry led losses over the past year, down 2.8% to its current level of 39,180 workers, and remains the state's top sector by manufacturing employment.

Kansas' oil and gas extraction sector has also suffered greatly in the past several years as jobs dried up due to plunging oil prices. Employment in that sector declined 4.3% in the past year alone.
Posted by IndustryNet
Yesterday, IndustryNet reported metal stamping companies in the U.S. are experiencing strong growth in both employment and sales, with the Midwest seeing the largest year-over-year gains. Boosted by sustained growth in the auto industry, metal stamping is booming in the Midwest. Over half of all United States metal stamping companies are located in this region, which includes Ohio with 176 plants (14 percent of all plants), Michigan with 130 plants, and Illinois with 124 plants.

The Midwest employs over 41,000 people in this industry, and the number continues to grow, as evidenced by the fact that 70 percent of companies in the region are reporting employee growth.

Across the United States, 63,456 total employees work for metal stamping companies. IndustryNet has compiled a list of the largest employers in the industry, with nearly all operating in the Midwest region.
Posted by IndustryNet
Historically, metal stamping was done by blacksmiths using only a hammer, but newer technologies have literally reshaped the industry. Stamping is essential in a number of fields, such as aerospace, agriculture, automotive, construction, and medical applications. Using advanced methods, flat sheet metal can be shaped in a stamping press using a tool and die surface.

Metal stamping in the United States is responsible for more exports than U.S. manufacturing as a whole. Based on data collected by IndustryNet, 40 percent of metal stamping companies distribute their product internationally, while only 29 percent of all U.S. manufacturers distribute their product internationally.

There are 1,245 metal stamping manufacturing plants in the United States, mainly situated in the Midwest. The majority are located in Ohio, with 176 plants (14 percent of all U.S. metal stamping manufacturing plants), Michigan with 130 plants (10.4 percent of all plants), Illinois with 124 plants, Wisconsin with 66 plants, and Indiana with 58 plants.

The Midwest region boasts 41,308 employees working in 652 plants, which accounts for 52 percent of all metal stamping plants. This region employs 65 percent of all 63,456 employees in the metal stamping industry.
Posted by Matt Lee -- Guest Contributor
The architecture and construction industry certainly isn't stagnant when it comes to innovation and progress. Many are aware that green building, for example, has become hugely popular in both residential and commercial building design. While construction techniques change with times as industry leaders find more effective ways of building, the materials used in construction have the biggest impact on future building design.

Wood will always play a major part in building construction. It is the most traditional material used and few buildings are constructed without wood products being used. Unfortunately wood alone has many downsides when it comes to longevity, durability, availability, and sustainability. Wood isn't a weak material, but it certainly has weaknesses that many would rather not work with. An ideal alternative to this is thermally-modified wood.

Thermally-modified wood is regular wood that has been treated with special chemicals and high heat to create a far stronger product. Unlike composites, thermally-modified wood truly is real wood. It does not contain plastics or other materials. It is highly versatile as well in how it can be used.

It is equally suitable in any situation in which normal wood would have been used, in both commercial and residential building. For example, thermally-modified wood is a stunning and far longer-lasting choice for wood decking in a commercial rooftop space. Does your client have a few pool deck ideas in mind but they're set on wood? Thermally-modified wood can be used with far greater success than a normal wood in this situation.

Sustainability is a primary concern when using wood in building, as mentioned above. Though thermally-modified woo
Posted by IndustryNet
The 2007-2009 recession caused havoc within the roofing industry; as new housing construction crashed and builders lost jobs, demand for new roofs vanished. But the economy has righted itself. Construction of both public and private buildings, including their roofs, has regained the pace it was on in the mid-2000s.

Recent data reveals that overall construction spending in fall 2016 rose to its highest level in 10 years, indicating a rise in roofing numbers, as well. The growth reflects gains in both private and public investments; the steady climb in the numbers could prompt economists to adjust their Q4 GDP estimates upwards.

Posted by IndustryNet
Epec Engineered Technologies, one of America's oldest printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturers located outside of Boston, MA, announced today their latest offering of PCB layout and design services to their customers.

Founded in 1952, Epec has a long history with circuit boards and the PCB industry. Over the past 65 years, Epec has worked on countless circuit board parts for some of the top tier OEMs in the electronics industry. From having PCBs on the Apollo 11 spaceflight, which landed the first humans on Earth's Moon, to their recent advancements in heavy and extreme copper circuit boards, Epec's sixty-five year history of innovation has truly made them a thought leader amongst the electronics community.

Epec's PCB layout and design services encompass a full design flow including rules driven designs, schematic capture, library development, database construction and verification, signal integrity/design verification, EMI checking and many others.
Posted by IndustryNet
This week, IndustryNet reported on the Fed's monthly survey of New York industrial companies, which indicated manufacturing activity in New York State decelerated in July. According to news released this morning by the Federal Reserve, overall manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region also inched down in July, indicating manufacturing businesses in the region continue to experience softer growth.

According to the Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey, a monthly survey of industrial businesses operating in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and the state of Delaware, manufacturing activity in the region declined eight points to a reading of 19.5. This follows a similar decline in manufacturing activity reported by industrial companies in June in which the region's business conditions fell 11 points to a reading of 27.6.

July's reading of 19.5 is the lowest the index has hit since November of 2016, though it should be noted manufacturing activity has remained in positive territory for the past twelve months, and the sentiment expressed by manufacturers in the region suggests continued growth.

According to the Fed survey, industrial business in the region reported a slowing of new orders, which declined by 23 points to a near-zero reading of 2.1. Similarly, shipments slid 16 points to 12.2, and the average workweek declined sharply to 3.8 from a 20.5 reading in June. Inventories dropped 5 points to 0.7.
Posted by IndustryNet
Yesterday, guest contributor Matt Lee provided an overview of five factors to consider when choosing the best roofing supplier for your next project. To help you get more acquainted the industry, we've compiled some of the top companies in the U.S. roofing sector based on number of employees and square footage. From Greenwood, Delaware to South Gate, California and producing everything from roof coatings, roof trusses, metal roofing and more, these are some of the largest roofing companies in America.

Top 10 roofing companies by number of employees

Firestone Building Products Co.

Prescott, AR

Number of employees: 600

In 2012, Firestone Building Products (FSBP) invested more than $36 million at its EPDM manufacturing facility in Prescott. By improving infrastructure and increasing capacity, FSBP was able to add 100 jobs and strengthen its ability to respond to customer demands.

World Oil

South Gate, CA

Number of employees: 570

What began in 1938 with a single gas station at the corner of Florence and Normandie in South Central Los Angeles is today one of California's largest privately held companies.

NVR Building Products

Thurmont, MD

Number of employees: 500

As one of America's leading homebuilders, they serve homebuyers in 29 metropolitan areas in 14 states.

Carpenter Contractors Of America, Inc.

Winter Haven, FL

Number of employees: 500

The Winter Haven plant sits on 54 acres between the high growth areas of Tampa and Orlando.
Posted by Matt Lee - Guest Contributor
The importance of taking the time to vet potential roofing companies is equally significant to both homeowners and roofing contractors. The manufacturer of the roofing shingles is the key determination in how long the roof will last and whether or not it is an appropriate choice for the homeowner's region. Even the most perfectly installed roof will provide little value if it is poorly manufactured or is lacking in proper design for weather protection.

The vast majority of roofing manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their shingles, so this alone shouldn't be a deciding factor. A lifetime warranty sounds great, especially to unknowing homeowners, but what roofing companies realize is that the average homeowner will probably move from the home before the roof begins to show age. The typical homeowner only remains in a house for less than 10 years after all.

Instead look for specific warranties available for storm damage, sun damage and other ways the roof may fail and need repair. The more reputable companies will have separate warranties if specific wind speeds damage a roof that was rated to be able to withstand it.

If you are a homeowner it would be wise to also inquire as to what documentation you will need to hold onto in the event the roof fails under warranty.

One trend that will continue to grow is the consumer demand for more sustainable, eco-friendly materials used in home construction. When it comes to roofing materials more homeowners and contractors alike are striving to design a greener home, without forsaking durability and longevity.

Asphalt shingles are still the most common roofing material but aren't the most eco-friend
Posted by IndustryNet
Last month, IndustryNet reported on the Fed's monthly survey of New York industrial companies, which indicated manufacturing activity in the region sped up significantly in June. However, the Fed reported this morning that although manufacturing activity in the New York region remained in positive territory in July, growth was pegged at a slower rate than reported in the previous month.

According to the Federal Reserve's Empire State Manufacturing Survey, a monthly survey of industrial businesses in New York State, manufacturers reported general business conditions had declined, with the Fed's overall index falling ten points to 9.8, from a reading of 19.8 in June.

July's lukewarm reading was seen across most indicators measured by the Fed, such as new orders, shipments, unfilled orders and inventories.

This follows mixed reports from the Institute for Supply Management, which showed manufacturing activity in the U.S. overall reached its highest point in three years, and the Commerce Department, which showed orders for U.S. durable goods were on the decline in May.

The New York survey's data showed the number of new orders being placed in the region did slow by five points, but still remains in growth territory, as was the case with the Fed Shipment Index, which declined by 12 points, indicating shipments were still growing, but at a slower pace than last month. Inventories fell near to zero at 2.4, according to the Fed, and delivery time held steady at 4.7. The only indicator to fall into a negative zone was the Unfilled Orders index, which dropped to -4.7 in July from a positive 4.6 reading in June.

Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released this week by MNI, manufacturers in Indiana added nearly ten thousand jobs over the past year, buoyed by continued growth in the state's transportation equipment industry. MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, reports Indiana gained 9,695 manufacturing jobs from May 2016 to May 2017, or 2%, extending the meteoric rise in factory jobs the state has seen since the recession.

Indiana was one of the hardest-hit states during the recession, shedding 16% of its manufacturing workforce or roughly 100,000 jobs, with layoffs and bankruptcies plaguing the all-important auto sector -- particularly its RV industry, which hit bottom in 2009. Over the past six years the state's manufacturing sector underwent a remarkable turnaround, adding jobs at a rate unparalleled by most other states in the nation. According to MNI data, Indiana added 41,357 manufacturing jobs since May of 2011. Roughly half of these gains were seen in the transportation equipment industry, which alone added 22,566 jobs, or 28% to its workforce over the six-year period, and 5%. Most surprisingly, the state's RV industry recouped much of its losses, and set new records for shipments.

Low business costs, infrastructure boosts Hoosier manufacturing

Indiana boasts the second-lowest business costs in the nation, as well as the second-lowest cost of living according to recent rankings compiled by CNBC. It was the first "rust belt" state to become right-to-work back in 2012, which helped it compete with neighboring states in the years following the recession -- particularly those in the lower-cost South. Although many Midwestern states have since enacted right-to-work legislation, Indiana remains a top competitor, scoring big across a variety of site selection factors beyond low labor costs.

Posted by IndustryNet
According to IndustryNet's analysis of the plastics industry, the United States is home to 281 plastics companies employing over 15,000 individuals, with average annual sales topping $1.3 billion. Overall industry growth has been strong, with 5 percent of the plants reporting employment increases and 3 percent reporting sales growth over the past year

Top 5 companies by sales growth

1. Vaupell, Inc. in Seattle tops the list of plastics manufacturers. Vaupell was founded in 1947 as the first plastic parts supplier to Boeing. Since then, the company has expanded into the defense, medical device and commercial industries as well.

2. Minnesota Diversified Industries is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. MDI specializes in plastic packaging materials, offering related services such as assembly, packaging, shrink wrapping and labeling.

3. Molded Products, Inc. in Harlan, Iowa concentrates on dialysis supplies. Dialysis replaces kidney function by cleansing blood until a replacement organ can be found. Products include tubing, connectors, wound care, and protective items.

4. SPI Blow Molding, LLC, out of Coloma, Michigan, manufactures both blow molded and injection molded items. The company utilizes nylon, ABS, specialty resins, and many grades of thermoplastic rubber.

5. Trans Form Plastics Corp from Danvers, Massachusetts manufactures custom vacuum and pressure formed parts for the electronics, medical, and industrial sectors. Trans Form's capabilities include sheet fabrication, CNC machining, welding, assembly, and painting.

Posted by IndustryNet
Considering the printed circuit board often acts as the "brain" of a device, selecting the right one for a project is a critical step. Finding a PCB source becomes an equally critical component of the device's design and construction.

The size, shape, and complexity of the PCB depends on the intended function it will serve. Many PCBs will populate a broader, larger panel so more features are enabled than a single PCB can provide. In many industries, PCB construction must comply with national and international standards, such as Restriction of Hazardous Substances and Underwriters' Laboratories standards. Consequently, many manufacturers are careful to ensure their PCB products comply with current requirements.

Virtually every industry uses PCBs, so there are as many variations of PCB design and construction as there are industries. Some PCB manufacturers, such as Delta Circuits, cater to many sectors. Delta creates PCBs for soft drink dispensing machines as well as telecommunications equipment. Other PCB companies such as Galaxy Circuits, add "green" technology considerations to their manufacturing processes. PCB companies that cater to the military or defense industries, such as Micron Corp, must register with and follow the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Posted by IndustryNet
Globalization and the rise of technology and automation have severely impacted the U.S. manufacturing sector over the past several years. Discussions surrounding manufacturing generally take a gloomy tone, citing job decline, factory closure and competition from foreign countries. However, this trend doesn't represent the whole story. In fact, many manufacturing sectors are actually thriving.

One of these such industries is the plastics industry.

Since the global recession in 2008-2009, the plastics sector has made a strong recovery and continues to be a major force driving employment, innovation and product sales. Much of this success can be attributed to the rise of shale gas development in the U.S., which has lead to a decrease in energy costs associated with plastic resin manufacturing and a shift in the competitive landscape for the plastics industry. Costs for manufacturing plastics are at an incredible low and sales are high.

According to data collected by the experts at IndustryNet, 281 U.S. manufacturing plants generated a total of $1.3 billion in average sales in 2016, representing a 4.45% increase since the previous year, with growth seen mainly in the Northeast and Midwest. Currently, the majority of plastics manufacturing plants are located in the Midwest, representing 37% of all plants in the U.S.

Posted by IndustryNet
Manufacturing activity in the U.S. surged by 2.6 percentage points in June according to new data released this morning by the Institute for Supply Management -- the highest level the Institute has recorded in 3 years. The ISM's manufacturing index now stands at 57.8% in the sector's tenth consecutive month of expansion.

The ISM's Manufacturing Report on Business, is a leading economic indicator based on a survey of the nation's supply executives. June's reading is welcome news for the sector, as growth in manufacturing had decelerated in May, inching up just 0.1%.

Growth was reported in fifteen of eighteen industries reporting to the ISM, with strong readings recorded in furniture & related products; nonmetallic mineral products; paper products; machinery; electrical equipment, appliances & components; and chemical products.

Overall, the ISM manufacturing activity report for June shows sustained growth in the U.S. industrial sector, with notable gains made in new orders, employment, production and exports.

The fastest-growing category reported by the ISM was its production index, which surged 5.3% and now stands at 62.4%. A reading over 50 indicates expansion. This is the tenth consecutive month the ISM recorded growth in this category and is the highest reading since February 2017. Fourteen industries reported expansion in June, reports the ISM, with the highest growth recorded in paper products, furniture & related products, machinery and nonmetallic mineral products.

Manufacturers also reported an increase in new orders, which rose four percentage points to 63.5%, after climbing two percentage points in May. This is also the tenth consecutive month ISM reported an increase in the new orders category. Industries reporting the largest number of new orders included wood products; furniture & related
Posted by IndustryNet
The printed circuit board (PCB) industry is creating a spark in the U.S manufacturing sector, with sales growth nearly three times that of the national average in the industrial sector. The PCB industry is thriving especially in the West, with 37% of U.S. PCB manufacturers located in this region.

Because the industry is thriving, so is job creation: 44% of companies in the West have reported employee growth over the past year and approximately 40% of PCB manufacturing employees are located in this region.

As for companies that are actively growing and hiring new people, IndustryNet lists the "Top 10 U.S. Companies Reporting Employee Growth" over the past twelve months. These companies are:

1. Magna Electronics Technology, Inc. of Holly, Michigan with 500 current employees;

2. TTM Technologies, Inc. of Sterling, Virginia with 315 employees;

3. Streamline Circuits Corp. of Santa Clara, California with 272 employees;

4. Vanguard EMS, Inc. of Beaverton, Oregon with 240 employees;

5. Calumet Electronics Corp. of Calumet, Michigan with 208 employees;

6. Sparton Corporation of Milpitas, California with 190 employees;

7. Sibex, Inc. of Crystal River, Florida with 150 employees;

8. Bestronics, Inc. of San Jose, California with 150 employees;

9. Silicon Mountain Contract Services of Nampa, Idaho with 150 employees; and

10. WORLD Electronics of Reading, Pennsylvania with 114 employees.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new IndustryNet data, the printed circuit board (PCB) industry has been gaining strength across America's industrial sector, with sustained growth reported in both sales and employment over the past year.

As of April 2017, PCB companies from across the country employed over 45,000 workers, netting annual employment growth of just under one percent. In three industry sub-sectors, the expansion added jobs, including the assembly sub-sector (adding 3.20 percent more jobs over last year): manufacturing equipment (1.8 percent), and PCBs in general (.41 percent). The PCB design industry showed no gains, and the PCB repair industry was down approximately five percent in its employment numbers from last year.

On a per company basis, Mentor Graphics of Wilsonville, OR has the most employees in the industry located at a single site, topping out at 1,100. Magna Electronics Technology, Inc., of Holly, MI, totaled 500 workers at the end of the year, and Streamline Circuits Corporation of Santa Clara, CA topped 270. The top ten companies that reported increased worker numbers now average almost 230 employees each. One multi-regional corporation, TTM Technologies, headquartered in Costa Mesa, CA, employs over 2000 employees across its Chippewa Falls, WI, Forest Grove, OR and Sterling, VA plants alone, along with another 30,000 workers located around the world.

Posted by IndustryNet
The U.S. Department of Commerce reported this morning that new orders for durable manufactured goods backslid in May, falling by $2.5 billion or 1.1% to its current level of $228.2 billion. This is the second month orders for big ticket items such as electronics and automobiles fell, with a 0.6% decline recorded for April. May's loss was led by the transportation equipment sector, reports the Commerce Department, which tanked by $2.7 billion -- the sector's second straight month of decline. Notably, defense-related orders were not included in May's report.

Despite May's weak reading, shipments of manufactured goods bounced back, following two straight months of decline. Shipments were up $1.8 billion or 0.8% in May after falling 0.3% in April. Interestingly, transportation equipment, which led the drop in new orders, also drove the increase in shipments, with the industry reporting an uptick of 1.9% to $78.8 billion.

The number of unfilled orders for durable manufactured goods slid $2.3 billion or 0.2%, with transportation equipment also leading the way, with a 0.4% decrease in unfilled orders reported. Inventories of durable goods, which have been on the rise for the past ten months, bumped up 0.2% in May to $395.4 billion. Electronic products and computers recorded the highest increase in inventories, up 0.3% to $44 billion.

Non-defense orders for capital goods were much in line with durable goods orders, reports the Commerce Department. Orders for capital goods, those durable goods which are used in the production of other goods, fell 2.4% to $68.3 billion, while shipments rose 0.4% to $70 billion. Inventories were virtually unchanged, while unfilled orders dipped 0.3%.
Posted by IndustryNet
Earlier this week, IndustryNet reported on scrap metal processing in the U.S., with new data indicating the sector may be poised for a rebound. With so many scrap metal processors out there, it's a challenge to find one that meets your exact specifications. When looking for a scrap metal recycler, many companies might assume the most important factor is the price they receive for scrap. Of course this is an important consideration, but there are several other things to think about before settling with scrap recycler -- which can ultimately affect your bottom line, including:

1. What types of metal does the scrap metal recycler process?

Companies that produce many different types of metal should find a company that can process it all. This may seem obvious, but it is important to note that some companies collect only specialty or common metals. Other companies, like NH Kelman Scrap Recycling of Cohoes, New York, accept all ferrous (i.e. iron-containing) and non-ferrous (i.e. non-iron-containing) scrap metals. Manitoba Corporation of Lancaster, New York offers special services, such as dismantling medical and industrial equipment, including MRI and X-ray machines.

2. How is the final product packaged and how quickly can they package it?

Typically, scrap metal recyclers compress the materials and bale them to provide dense packaging. The faster a company can compress and bale the scrap metal, the more efficient a company's operation can be. A-Line Iron and Metals of Waterloo, Iowa can bale 12-16 tons of scrap metal per hour.

On the other hand, some companies choose to flake or chop scrap metal before packaging to allow for easier handling. Manitoba splits these processed scrap metals into smaller packages, like paper and cloth bags, and plastic or metal pails and drums.

3. Can they recycle scrap metal on site without interfering with site operations?

Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released this week by MNI, industrial companies in Arizona added thousands of jobs over the past year, led by strong growth in the state's electronics industry, as well as steady gains in its massive transportation equipment sector. According to MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, Arizona industrial employment surged by 3,000 jobs, or 1.4% -- the largest manufacturing employment gain recorded for the state since before the recession.

Arizona was hit hard by the housing crisis, and many companies supplying the construction industry had to close their doors. In addition, cutbacks in defense spending hit some of the state's major aerospace and defense companies and plummeting metal prices hurt Arizona's sizable mining sector. As a result, the state's manufacturing recovery was slow in the years following the recession. But recent gains suggest the worst of the state's industrial doldrums may be over, with numerous investments planned for the years ahead.

Arizona benefits from a diverse industrial sector, with strong footholds in sectors as varied as copper mining, aerospace, semiconductors and food processing. Its skilled workforce has encouraged some serious investment, and the state's regulatory burdens are among the lowest in the nation. Arizona maintains a competitive edge over many other Western states, boasting low business costs and attractive incentive programs, and its high quality of life factors into many businesses' site selection process.

Over the past year, employment in Arizona's rubber/plastics industry shot up 9.2%; and the jobs in the electronics sector grew 5%. Gains were also recorded in lumber/wood, up 4.6%; textiles/apparel, up 3.5%; fabricated metals, up 1.7%; and transportation equipment, up 1.2%.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to recent data collected by IndustryNet, U.S. scrap metal processing companies reported improving market conditions between April 2016 and April 2017. As 2017 moves forward, IndustryNet data suggests companies in the scrap metal industry may continue to recover. Here is a look at some of the largest scrap metal processors operating in the country.

Top 10 U.S. scrap metal companies by employment

The latest data from IndustryNet ranks the top scrap metal companies in the U.S. based on employment, square footage, and sales. All of these companies operate in the Midwest and the South, which dovetails with regional differences among U.S. scrap metal processors.

The top 10 employers were:

1. Audubon Metals, LLC

2. Gold Metal Recyclers, Inc.

3. Harris Waste Management Group, Inc.

4. OmniSource Corp.

5. Behr Iron & Metal

6. Sims Metal Management

7. United Scrap Metal, Inc.

8. Miller Compressing Co.

9. PSC Metals, Inc.

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