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IndustryNet Blog

Posted by IndustryNet
New data out this morning from the Federal Reserve shows manufacturers in New York experienced accelerated business activity in October, with the Fed's index climbing to its highest level in three years. The New York Fed reports business conditions for New York manufacturers reached 30.2, a level not seen since 2014.

This follows a recent report from the Institute for Supply Management, which showed manufacturing activity in the U.S. overall reached its highest point in thirteen years, as well as a 1.7% jump in durable goods orders reported by the Commerce Department, all key indicators that the U.S. is currently in the midst of an upswing in manufacturing.

The Fed's October numbers were based on a survey of New York manufacturers in which 44% reported conditions had improved for their business, and only 14% reported a worsening of conditions.

By the numbers

Breaking down the key metrics for New York shows employment and shipments led the boost in business conditions for October. The Fed's shipment index climbed eleven points to 27.5, its highest level in seven years. An increase in shipments is a key indicator of robust gains in new orders, and an upswing in demand.

Manufacturing employment in New York remained strong. The Fed's employment index rose five points to 15.6, indicating an increase in hiring, while the average workweek remained stable.

Although the Fed'd new orders index declined seven points from September, the reading remains in growth territory at 18, which indicates new orders continue to be strong.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released this week by MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, Wisconsin manufacturing continues to thrive, with the sector adding jobs for a sixth straight year.

This post will take a look at some major Wisconsin manufacturing industries and how they've fared this survey period, and will delve into city, county and regional data. We'll also examine some of the major announcements made over the past six years, and explore exactly what's driving Wisconsin manufacturing forward.

MNI reports Wisconsin manufacturers added 2,495 new net jobs between August 2016 and August 2017, representing a half percent gain.

Job gains over the past year were spread across multiple sectors, a reflection of Wisconsin's diverse economy. The electronics industry led the way, reporting a 4% increase in jobs. Industries as varied as fabricated metals, transportation equipment, medical instruments, rubber/plastics; and lumber all added jobs.

Regionally, employment increases were also widely distributed, with most of the state's five regions posting gains. Employment jumped 6.4% in East Central Wisconsin, rose 2.2% in the Southwest, and inched up a half percent in Northern Wisconsin. Employment in the Southeast held steady, edging up by 500 jobs.

The state's West Central region was the only to lose jobs -- but not by much, down a third of a percent over the year.

Taking a look at cities, job inched down another half percent in Milwaukee, and plummeted 10% in Madison after the closure of Oscar Mayer's hot dog plant. However, solid gains reported in Appleton; Menomonee Falls; Neenah; New Berlin; and Fond Du Lac, were more than enough to make up for losses in the state's two largest cities.

All great news. Let�s take a look at ex
Posted by IndustryNet
The ready-mix concrete industry is expanding, not only on the promise of national infrastructure improvement projects but also on the reality of a rising housing and business construction market. With more than 4,200 ready-mix concrete suppliers operating in the U.S., zeroing in on the right local company can be a challenge.

This article will explore some of the top ready-mix concrete suppliers operating in various regions of the United States.


Of the hundreds of concrete companies experiencing growth over the past year, 50% were located in the U.S. south, according to IndustryNet data, and accounted for 36% of those experiencing sales growth.

Here are some examples of top ready-mix concrete suppliers in the U.S. South:

Ascension Ready Mix, Inc. - Located in Prairieville, Louisiana, Ascension Ready Mix serves Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes and has done so for nearly 20 years. This growing company maintains a fleet of the latest vehicles to serve your concrete needs.

Apex Redi-Mixed Concrete Co. - Apex Redi-Mixed calls El Dorado, Arkansas, home. Apex is known for its scheduling flexibility and for its supply and fill products that complement its concrete.

Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet's most recent overview of U.S. concrete suppliers found the sector has posted some positive growth, with its workforce growing a robust 6.7% over the past year, and sales inching up by 2.1%. According to IndustryNet data, there are more than 4,500 concrete suppliers in the U.S., employing 48,324.

Today, IndustryNet takes a look at some of the top concrete suppliers in the U.S.

Concrete is the foundation for many industries. Whether commercial or residential, multitudes of structures utilize concrete to some extent. U.S. cement companies generate approximately $10.7 billion in sales. There are many types of concrete, with manufacturers often specializing in a particular variant or sector.

With 500 employees, Central Iowa Ready Mix of West Des Moines, IA, specializes in ready mix concrete. The company's seven plants, including two portable plants, serve the greater metropolitan areas of both Des Moines and Omaha, NE. Projects executed include Jack Trice Stadium, the High Trestle Trail Bridge, and Woodward State Park roads. Close coordination with a trucking company enables Central Iowa to efficiently move materials wherever needed.

With 500 employees in Sevierville, TN, Charles Blalock and Sons, Inc. also serves businesses requiring ready mix concrete. Blalock was awarded the Gold Level of Safety by the National Ready Mix Concrete Association. A promoter of stewardship and sustainability for the concrete industry, the company has earned Green Star Certification for its facility in Pigeon Forge.

Posted by IndustryNet
The concrete industry in the United States is currently strong. With the Trump administration promising $1 trillion toward public infrastructure, opportunities for concrete suppliers are quite good as demand is expected to increase for construction projects.

Let's examine the health of the industry, market conditions that may impact concrete suppliers, and other statistics that may help the more than 4,500 concrete companies in the U.S. as they analyze their position in the industry.

Overall, the number of people working in the industry has risen by 6.7 percent in the last year to more than 48,000. Four percent of companies reported new hires in 2017. Of those hundreds of companies that have reported growth, 50% are located in the U.S South.

These include companies such as Dura-Stress, Inc. in Leesburg, Florida - which currently employs 400, and Maschmeyer Concrete Company of Florida in Lake Park with 280 employees. The family-owned business brought more people onboard because business keeps pouring in. It leads the industry in sales growth.

29 percent of companies reporting growth are located in the The Midwest region. Central Iowa Ready Mix, located in West Des Moines, is among those that reported strong growth, and currently employs 500 new hires. 14% of growing concrete suppliers are located in the West, and 6% in the Northeast.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released this week by MNI, Pennsylvania lost manufacturing jobs for a fifth straight year as the state continues to face challenges on a number of fronts. This post will take a look at some major Pennsylvania industries and how they fared over the year, as well as delve into city, county and regional data. We'll also examine the general outlook for the state, and take a look at the impact some Trump Administration policies may begin to have on Pennsylvania industries like coal and steel.

MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, reports Pennsylvania industries shed 8,604 manufacturing jobs from June 2016 to June 2017, a 1.1% decline.

This represents a somewhat sharper loss that MNI recorded in Pennsylvania for the 2015-2016 survey period, in which the state shed 5,500 jobs, but is generally in line with a steady decrease in industrial employment the state has experienced since 2012.

During the recession, Pennsylvania was one of the hardest-hit states in the nation, shedding nearly 100,000 jobs during the downturn, according to MNI data. Prior to that, industrial employment in the Keystone State was already losing jobs in response to multiple factors, including automation and a sharp increase in global competition largely attributed to NAFTA.
Posted by IndustryNet
As famed economist and management consultant Peter Drucker once said, "Innovation is the fuel of corporate longevity. It endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth." Chemical manufacturers must be ever-evolving and innovative in order to remain competitive in the industry.

IndustryNet recently reported on some postitive numbers for the chemical industry, including a 1.5% rise in employment. Innovation has played a major part in the sector's growth, and additional reports indicate that innovations in the chemical industry have potentially put the world on "the brink of an age of new powerful materials." Here is a look at some innovative companies in the U.S. chemical industry, producing many types of chemicals and serving seven distinct industries.


Pace International is leading the post-harvest market with products to clean, buff, coat and control decay in fruits and vegetables. These chemicals offer solutions for managing the agricultural business from field to grocery store. For example, their innovative biorational postharvest decay control agent is the first decay control agent of natural origin in the post-harvest fruit industry in the past 20 years.


When a company is focused on innovation, many partnerships, collaborations and mergers often occur. One such company, Puritan Products, was acquired by Avantor Performance Materials LLC, making it a more prominent player in the biotech chemical space, with improved supply chain security and accelerated brand expansion.


During a seminar entitled "Challenges of the Chemical Industry - Growing Via Innovation," BASF's Chief Technology Officer Dr. Martin Brudermueller noted that the world's largest chemical producer is implementing five levers to foster innovation and drive growth: globalization of research and development, technology leadership, radical i
Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet's most recent overview of U.S. chemical companies found the sector has posted some positive growth, adding 1.5% to its workforce over the past year and bringing in a robust $850 billion in sales. Today, the industry is one of the leading sectors in America, and with over 70,000 products, U.S. chemical companies continue to change and evolve.

Today, IndustryNet takes a look at some of the top chemical companies in the U.S.

Top 10 Companies by Number of Employees

Do the best companies require the most employees? In the world of automation, it is difficult to tell. These are the top ten chemical companies in the U.S. by number of people employed.

10. E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.

Coming in at number ten on the list is E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. Based out of Wilmington, Del., du Pont uses scientific innovations to shape the world. It originally started as a gunpowder mill company in 1802.

9. Westlake Chemical Corp.

Based out of Lake Charles, La., Westlake creates plastic products, petrochemicals, and fabricated building products. The company is the largest producer of low-density polyethylene in the United States.

8. BASF Corporation

BASF Corp's Florham Park, N.J., location deals in creating chemistry for sustainable fuel types and planning for the future. They are the largest affiliate of BASF SE and the second largest producer and marketer of chemical products in all of North America.

7. Eastman Chemical Company - Texas Operations

In Longview, Texas, lies Eastman Chemical, a leader in producing ethylene, propylene, and various other chemicals. In 1994, Eastman Chemical was spun off from another little-known Eastman company called Kodak.
Posted by IndustryNet
GT Nexus notes in a recent report that the worldwide chemical industry is expected to double by 2035. American Chemistry supports this view, adding that the growth of the chemical industry is expected to outpace the growth of the U.S. economy as a whole.

IndustryNet, has recently compiled statistical information analyzing the U.S. chemical industry in September 2017. This article will explore the findings of that compilation in both the industry as a whole, and in regional differences within the United States. IndustryNet is tracking 2,252 chemical manufacturers which employ 158,325 workers, bringing in nearly $850 billion in sales annually. Over the past year, job growth increased 1.5 percent in this sector.

U.S. manufacturing as a whole exports only 29 percent of its products. But chemical companies export nearly half of their product - 49 percent - making chemical suppliers a more integral part of the global supply chain than other manufacturing sectors.

Regionally, the South dominates the chemical industry, home to the largest number of companies, at 1,004, or 45 percent of the nation's chemical companies. Unsurprisingly, the South also employs the greatest number of individuals, at 91,883, or 58 percent of the nation's chemical industry employment. The South experienced the greatest national growth in chemical industrial employment, at 40 percent, and the greatest sales growth in the sector, at 54 percent.
Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. manufacturing activity expanded far more than expected in September, according to new data released this morning by the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM's manufacturing index soared to 60.8, topping August's reading by 2 percentage points.

The U.S. is now closing in on a full year of expansion, according to ISM data. September's reading marks the U.S. manufacturing sector's 13th consecutive month of growth, and the 100th consecutive month of growth 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. September's 60.8 reading is the highest level the Institute has since May 2004.

Accelerating growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector corresponds with the 3.1% rise in GDP recorded in the second quarter as well as significant manufacturing job increases reported by IndustryNet in recent months. A rebound in construction spending has also helped boost employment in the roofing industry.

Growth was reported in seventeen of eighteen industries reporting to the ISM, with textile mills; machinery, nonmetallic mineral products, transportation equipment, and plastics & rubber leading increases.

Posted by IndustryNet
Manufacturing Day kicks off on Oct. 6, 2017. Since 2012, Manufacturing Day has inspired manufacturers to host thousands of public events. Manufacturing Day is more than a collection of trade shows, however. Today, it's a nationwide platform for job seekers, educators, students, media, and even politicians to celebrate the resurgence of American manufacturing.

Manufacturing Day has grown exponentially over the past several years. From 2012 to 2013 alone, official events held nationwide nearly quadrupled. In total, the number of Manufacturing Day events has risen 1,000 percent since its inauguration. The rise of Manufacturing Day coincides with a manufacturing renaissance in the U.S., which has the potential to create millions of well-paying jobs. Manufacturing Day gives manufacturers, vendors, and suppliers a chance to bring new products to market and showcase their operations to the next generation.

During the entire month of October, sponsors are free to host their own events. Some Manufacturing Day events underscore job opportunities; others highlight new technology. The best part is that any manufacturer can register to participate here.

Top Manufacturing Day events

Since any manufacturer can participate, organizations are planning hundreds of events nationwide. Here is a peek at what's on deck at this year's Manufacturing Day.

Advanced Test Equipment Rentals

Advanced Test Equipment Rentals, a high-tech equipment company, will host an event Oct. 24, 2017, in San Diego. Select manufacturers of testing and measurement equipment will be exhibiting new technologies. Attendees can enjoy networking opportunities, live product demos, and raffle prizes too.

Ace Wire Spring & Form Co., Inc.

This event in McKees Rocks, PA, hosted by Ace Wire Spring & Form Co., Inc., is scheduled for Oct. 6, 2017. This manufacturer excels at fab
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released by MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, manufacturers in Colorado added jobs for a seventh straight year, as the state's unique business climate spurred growth across multiple sectors.

MNI reports industrial companies in Colorado added 2,308 new jobs between June 2016 and June 2017, or 1%. This outpaces the gains MNI reported over the 2015-2016 survey period, in which the state added 700 jobs, and generally points to new momentum in the state's manufacturing sector.

According to recent rankings compiled by CNBC, Colorado scores big for a number of site selection factors, including an abundance of capital, low business costs, educated workforce, robust economy, and focus on technology and innovation.

The latter has proved extremely beneficial to Colorado, with numerous advanced manufacturing operations calling the state home. Recent data suggests the state should continue to see sustained growth in its industrial sector with some exciting new high-tech projects on the horizon. Lockheed Martin recently unveiled plans to establish a $340 million satellite factory in Denver, and Ball Corporation continues to make progress on a major expansion at its Advanced Manufacturing Center in Westminster. EWI recently established an innovation center in Loveland with the goal of helping manufacturing companies adopt new technologies. The Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (CAMA) is also helping to pave the way forward, offering important resources to manufacturers.
Posted by IndustryNet
You have a great product. Your supply chain is strong and you know demand will be solid. You have the basis for a viable small business. You are in good company. According to Forbes, you are one of 28 million small businesses in the United States.

Forbes continues, however, by noting that more employer businesses shut down than start up each month. Of those that remain open, only 7 out of every 10 small businesses remain in business for longer than two years. That number drops to only 5 out of every 10 small business remaining in business by the five-year mark, and approximately 3 out of every 10 last more than 15 years.

Some of this risk can be explained by the economy, and some by changing tastes and fads. But the true measure of success for a small enterprise is a solid business plan. While you may know everything there is to know about making left-handed widgets and your partner may know everything there is to know about selling left-handed widgets, how much do either of you know about forming a corporation? Have you researched copyright infringement law? Do you understand the differences between balancing bookwork for a business versus running household finances?
Posted by Jason Tilton -- Guest Contributor
Ceilings are very significant space within a room, yet one that has very little attention paid to it. Interior designers often refer to the ceiling as the 5th wall and rightly so. Not only does the ceiling offer a space to bring together the whole style of the room, but it also serves as a function "wall" where lighting, wires, or pipes may be hiding behind.

Residential homes aren't the only instance in which ceilings should be taken seriously when it comes to design. Office and commercial spaces are ideal candidates for experimenting with new ceiling products. In fact, according to a study compiled by Freedonia Group, the demand for ceiling products will grow by 4.1% through to 2021. This growth is largely due to office and commercial spaces increasing their spending for these products due to an overall shift away from cheap, traditional material to high-quality options.

When it comes down to the specific commercial spaces is mostly offices, retail stores, schools and medical centers that make up the largest ceiling product users. Speciality ceiling products are a must for many of these settings as they offer far more advantage over traditional ceiling construction. In fact, it is projected that these specialty ceiling products will have a growth of 6.4% through to 2021 as well. It simply comes down to the fact that many special ceiling products meet building needs better, in terms of both function and design, than most of the products that have been used for years.
Posted by IndustryNet
The cost of energy is significant for a business. In the past, barring considerable government supports, alternative power sources were often more expensive than traditional ones.

Now, in many areas, using alternative energy sources can benefit the bottom line.

With the help of an energy conservation consultant, businesses can operate more efficiently while building a reputation as a green company. For example, a business that generates biomass waste can convert it into energy is in a position to save money on energy consumption and waste disposal.

Here are some things to consider when studying alternative energy suppliers:

Energy efficiency audits

Before building solar panels or a windmill, it's vital for businesses to measure exactly how much energy is consumed. Getting an analysis will not only reveal existing energy use, but will provide insight on ways to lower operating costs and on available alternative fuel options.

A conservation consultant that specializes in commercial, industrial, and manufacturing clients will deliver expertise to test, analyze, and benchmark systems. The consultant can make recommendations about power quality and consumption efficiencies.

Sun and wind

Utilizing natural resources for energy may seem like a no-brainer. There are, however, a number of things to consider when deciding to harvest the sun or wind. It is important to have the right equipment and proper panels for the size of the business and anticipated energy consumption. Finding a solar energy product supplier that understands specific business requirements - whether a large factory or a small building - is essential.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released this week by MNI, hiring in Connecticut's manufacturing sector picked up steam, led by steady growth in some of the state's top industries. MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, reports Connecticut industrial employment edged up by about 785 jobs, or a half percent between June 2016 and June 2017. This marks the state's second straight year of modest gains, and, hopefully, a reversal of the steep losses the state suffered during the recession.

Overall, Connecticut has struggled to add manufacturing jobs in the post-recession era as global competition took hold, a strong dollar made exports more expensive, and a tough business climate had some manufacturers shutting their doors. While many states in the U.S. recovered some, if not all, jobs lost during the recession, hiring in Connecticut's manufacturing sector all but flatlined, with the state's industrial employment inching down another 4% between June 2010 and June 2015.

The gains of the past two years, however, suggest things are looking up for Connecticut manufacturing and some exciting projects planned for the future will hopefully keep hiring humming at a steady clip.
Posted by IndustryNet
When looking for a sheet metal fabricator for your company's needs, it's important to do some research and ask the right questions. Many shops have similar approaches, but have different services or unique processes that others do not. Remember, it's not just about getting a good price; it's about finding the right fabricator to fit all your needs, including quality, service and delivery.

Here are some things to consider as you begin your search:

Ask about the manufacturer's techniques and different metals used. Matching your needs to their capabilities is more likely to ensure that you get the product you want and within your budget. For example, say you're seeking metal fabrication for a duct system. Instead of hunting down individual parts made by a couple different manufactures, a company such as Sheet Metal Connectors, Inc. can supply everything for the HVAC industry, including ducts, dust collecting systems, pipe and dampers. Finding a one-stop shop for all your needs makes for efficient purchasing.

Certainly, if you were seeking stamping, you might think to go with a company that makes it their specialty such as HPL Stampings, Inc. For more than 75 years, they have done precision, short-, medium- and long-run metal stamping. Companies that have years of experience doing the same thing know how to achieve the best product and adhere to stringent industry requirements.

Innovative processes may be more efficient when manufacturing your product. Ask what the manufacturer offers and what might be best for your needs. For example, G & M Metal Fabricators, Inc. and KCP Metal Fabrications, Inc. utilize laser cutting. C. Mayo, Inc. uses waterjet cutting equipment. In fact, the company states it is "the most accurate, fastest and most comprehensive water cutting system ever designed."

Creating parts that do not work can be a horrible loss for a company. Before production work moves forward, ask about partnering with a manufacturer that
Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the sheet metal fabrication industry. Among the aspects it studied are the size of companies by the number of employees and the size of the companies by square footage.

Sheet metal fabrication is a rapid, cost-effective solution for many manufacturing needs. It is vital to many business sectors, including automotive, commercial construction, HVAC and agriculture. Materials used in sheet metal fabrication include:






-Stainless steel

There are numerous advantages associated with sheet metal fabrication. Among them are:



-Rapid turnaround

-Availability of a wide array of finishes

Posted by IndustryNet
At the start of 2017, growth in the metal fabrication industry, like much of the economy, was expected to be sluggish, other than in certain sectors, like automotive, where capacity was tight. IndustryNet has conducted an extensive analysis of employment and sales growth throughout the sheet metal fabrication industry.

For sheet metal fabrication as a whole, in the United States, 4% of companies reported declines in jobs and 4% reported increases. Conditions varied considerably by region, with job growth being greatest in the South, at 36%, and in the Midwest at 28%, with lesser growth in the West at 21%, and the Northeast at 14%.

Job growth by region did not entirely correlate with sales growth, which was highest in the Midwest at 39%, followed by the West at 29%, the South at 18%, and the Northeast at 14%. Across the entire country, 2% of companies reported sales growth and 1% reported a sales decline.
Posted by IndustryNet
It is important to pick a supplier whose equipment, skills, experience, schedule, and supplemental services match your project requirements. The businesses cited in this article exemplify different aspects to consider in choosing a laser cutting service.

For businesses in need of prototyping or long tube drilling, JD Laser has a 100,000 square foot facility in Hartford, Wisconsin. Its equipment includes:

-2D lasers, effective for short lead time and prototyping.

-3D lasers, capable of almost any configuration to produce clean cuts and smooth edges.

-Tube lasers which can drill holes in tubes up to 27.5 feet, and of any shape.

JD employs an Adige programming system which allows quicker preparation and visualization of components, enabling a project to be taken from start to finish.

If your business produces large parts requiring multiple cutting or drilling operations, explore a manufacturer such as Merbeth Metal Products, in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. The company is capable of dealing with a large variety of materials from 0.001" shim stock to 0.75" plate. They feature a Mazak Laser Systems Super Turbo X 510 Mark II, which can integrate up to four machines. This system is particularly effective for large parts, performing multiple operations including drilling holes, and circular cuts at several locations with one pass of the part through the computer-operated modules.

Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet, which maintains current information on nearly 400,000 U.S. manufacturers as well 10,000+ industrial supply companies, recently reported strong growth in the U.S. laser cutting industry, citing a 4% rise in employment in the past year for those companies providing laser cutting services.

Delving further into this data, IndustryNet discovered the top laser cutting companies in the U.S. based on employment, employment growth, facility square footage, and sales growth. IndustryNet found that out of 198 laser cutting companies in the United States the following top the sector according to various measurements:

Top 10 laser cutting companies by employment

1. Resonetics, LLC; Nashua, New Hampshire; 1,200 employees.

Utilizing both gas and solid state laser tools, Resonetics can cut both metals and polymers microscopically. Working primarily in the medical device industry, Resonetics cuts sheet material, wires, and tubes for catheters and other geometrically complex devices.

2. Spectralytics, Inc.; Dassell, Minnesota; 1,005 employees.

Spectralytics specializes in laser cutting for medical devices. The business can cut materials as thin as .005" and tubing with a diameter as small as .010". Spectralytics houses a clean room for materials requiring a completely sterile environment.

3. Laserage; Waukegan, Illinois; 1,000 employees.

Laserage excels in cutting 2D flats and 3D pre-fabricated components. Its precision enables delivery of exact tolerances for hole-to-hole and slot-to-slot alignment. Laserage also uses a 4-axis process to increase cutting accuracy for tubing.

4. Preco, Inc.; Somerset, Wisconsin; 1,000 employees.

Preco meets industrial application needs for high-speed material processing. It designs and manufactures systems for cutting, perforating, welding, and other applications. With proprietary laser-based manufacturing
Posted by IndustryNet
With applications in automotive, aerospace, biomedical, and electronics, the future of laser cutting is looking bright. Industry advances such as micro-engraving and the increasing demand for machine tools predict sectoral growth for laser cutting.

IndustryNet, which maintains current information on nearly 400,000 U.S. manufacturers as well as 10,000+ industrial supply companies, recently analyzed the thousands of machine shops that provide laser cutting services in the U.S. to gain perspective on current industry trends and compare company performance across a spectrum of data points. This article will explore the industry as a whole, examining regional differences within the United States.

According to its most recent analysis, IndustryNet is tracking 198 laser cutting companies with 4,399 jobs and over $535 million in sales annually. Job growth has increased in these types of machine shops over the past year by 4.04%, edging out U.S. manufacturing as a whole, which grew by 4%.

Regionally, the Midwest leads the nation in both the number of laser cutting companies at 87 and the number of jobs at 2,330. The remaining regions are clumped fairly close together, statistically. The West is a distant second nationally, with 368 companies, but ranks third in terms of the number of jobs at 799. The South comes in third with respect to the number of companies at 34, but second in the number of employees at 919. The Northeast ranks fourth in both categories with 30 laser cutting companies employing 650 individuals.

Posted by IndustryNet
Tool and die makers are machinists who create the parts and tools used to manufacture everything from the smallest toy to the largest jet engine. Originally, all work was done by hand. Today, computer numerically controlled, or CNC, machines perform many of the tasks. Once programmed, CNC machines work quickly, efficiently, and to exact specifications whether an order is for 10 units or 100.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the median annual wage for tool and die makers is around $51,000 per year - well above the average national wage. While no higher education degree is required to enter the field, most tool and die manufacturers undergo an extensive apprenticeship, learning their craft on the job. Some advance from CNC machine operators to CNC programmers and, eventually, into engineering as all three fields are related. The bureau also projects a 6 percent growth rate in this field in the coming years.

IndustryNet, the leading source for information profiling U.S. manufacturers, compiled statistical information analyzing tool and die makers in 2017 to gain perspective on current industry trends and compare company performance across a spectrum of data points. This article will explore the industry as a whole, including regional differences within the United States.

According to its most recent analysis, IndustryNet is tracking 2,108 tool and die companies nationwide with 36,965 jobs and over $2 billion in sales annually. Sales have increased in this sector over the past year by 2.68 percent. Two percent of tool and die companies report sales growth, compared with only one percent of manufacturing companies as a whole.
Posted by IndustryNet
The Industrial Gas Filtration and Generation Division of Parker Hannifin Corporation, the global leader in motion and control technologies, today announced the launch of the SmogHog SHM Machine Mount (MM) media mist collector. The SmogHog SHM MM is a media mist collector designed for direct mounted systems and collecting coolant mists from processes such as CNC machining, cold forming, sawing, lathes, stamping and more.

The SmogHog SHM MM unit is available in two base models rated at 500 CFM and 800 CFM to handle various machine sizes and applications. Both models feature PEACH saturated depth coalescing media in a patent pending filter design. PEACH, a patented, proprietary Parker media technology uses a three-stage filtration process that progressively reduces the mist concentration resulting in greater than 99% particle removal efficiency. The 800 CFM unit is available in an advanced version that includes a remote touchscreen controller and EC blower, which simplifies product operation and maintenance while delivering energy savings.

"The introduction of the SmogHog SHM Machine Mount further expands our ability to solve our customer's mist collection with a solution that best fits their needs," said Travis Haynam, product manager, Industrial Gas Filtration and Generation Division. "Having a comprehensive family of SmogHog mist collectors featuring best in class media and ESP technology allows us to provide appropriate solutions for a customer's specific application that deliver value in meeting performance expectations and improved total cost of ownership."
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new Maryland industry data released this week by IndustryNet, manufacturing employment in the Maryland/DC region inched up over the past year, led by strong growth in the state's pharmaceutical and food processing industries. IndustryNet reports Maryland industry jobs edged up by about 300. Though not a big increase, this year's gain is still significant given that it's the first the region has seen in several years.

The Maryland/DC region struggled to add jobs in the years following the recession. According to IndustryNet data, the region shed 16,000 jobs or about 8% of its workforce since May of 2009. More than half of these losses occurred in the Baltimore region, which plummeted by 9,000 jobs over that time frame.

Baltimore manufacturing on the upswing?

Recent data shows, however, that Baltimore may be poised for a turnaround. Though the city's manufacturing employment did inch down one percent over the year, this is negligible compared to the double-digit losses of the past, suggesting a slowdown in layoffs and plant closures. At the same time, a number of new projects have been announced in the city, ranging from highly innovative enterprises to nuts-and-bolts type operations.
Posted by IndustryNet
Tool and die makers fabricate fixtures, dies, molds, jigs, gauges, and tools, such as cutters, used in manufacturing. Their employees are often skilled artisans and craftspeople who work in close consultation with manufacturing engineers. The abilities of tool and die makers to meet specific needs vary widely, causing the search for an appropriate provider to be both confusing and time-consuming. The following tips will help your business utilize the information from the comprehensive online guide, IndustryNet, to identify tool and die service suppliers who will best fulfill your unique manufacturing requirements.

Most businesses address particular industry sectors. It is important to find a tool and die maker whose specialization is compatible with yours. For example, if you produce bumpers or brackets for light trucks, a firm such as Superior Die, Tool, and Machine Company could be a good match for your needs. Their emergency assist program provides for the rapid start-up of lines producing those vehicle parts.

While a vendor can create much of the tooling your business needs through methods like computerized numerical control (CNC), additional fabrication techniques such as welding may be necessary. A company like CGS Machine, with certified welders and a Certified Weld Inspector on site, can fulfill such specialized production demands.
Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet, which maintains current information on nearly 400,000 U.S. manufacturers as well as suppliers of 10,000+ products and services, recently analyzed U.S. tool and die makers and compiled a list of the nation's fastest-growing and largest operations. According to IndustryNet's recent data, there are currently 2,108 tool and die makers in the United States, employing 36,965. Sales in the industry rose nearly 3%, and employment inched up a half percent over the past twelve months.

Out of the thousands of thriving tool and die makers in the U.S., the following companies are at the top of the list:

Top 10 tool and die companies by employment

With the exception of the top entry, all others are a "small business" - 500 employees or less - as defined by the Small Business Administration.

1. Meyer Tool, Inc.; Cincinnati; 750 employees. Vertically integrated, Meyer Tool offers a number of related services such as engineering, powder coating, repair, and metallurgical lab evaluation in addition to traditional tool and die work.

2. The Hines Group, Inc.; Owensboro, Kentucky; 400 employees. The Hines Group is a conglomerate of companies, including Premium Allied Tool, Hines Stamping, LLC, and the Hines Group, Inc. As such, the extended group offers a broad spectrum of tooling services.

3. Autodie, LLC; Grand Rapids, Michigan; 300 employees. Autodie specializes in large, complex stamping dies and provides onsite service through their team of technicians.

4. LH Carbide Corp.; Fort Wayne, Indiana; 250 employees.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to IndustryNet there are 3,552 companies that provide welding services in the U.S. These employ 3,686 individuals nationally - a 7.85% increase in employment over the previous year. Sales in the industry topped $47 billion last year alone. The U.S. Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that welding often includes ancillary services such as cutting, soldering, and brazing.

Welds and the types of materials to be welded vary from job to job. And different welding services have different specialties and skills Evaluate your finished product requirements to choose the welding services that meets those needs. Here are some items to consider when preparing to choose a welder:

1. Leveling and kitting. Arc welding - the process of using electricity to melt two metals together - is a fairly common form of welding. Tulsa Metal Welding in Oklahoma takes welding one step further. Their precision rollers ensure that each part is fully level and ready to be boxed into pre-packaged kits for immediate use on your project.

2. Drawings to delivery. If you have a concept for a finished product, but no in-house design engineers, turn to Young's Welding, Inc. in Chanute, Kansas. Young's performs custom welds from drawings, sketches, or CAD designs. Contractors requiring powder coating for their parts can also rely on Young's to perform quality work on that portion of the project as well.

Posted by IndustryNet
Reliably designed and manufactured parts are critical for industrial success. Plastic injection molding provides an exceptional manufacturing process that allows perfect production regardless of the complexity of the detailed features or number of units that must be produced. Automation ensures an excellent product with each run while reducing costs.

However, not all plastic injection molding services are created equal. Due to high tooling costs and high lead times, it is imperative to find a service that will work well on the first try. Here are a few points to consider when researching plastic injection molding services.


At a fundamental level, the manufacturer chosen should be ISO 9001:2008-CERTIFIED, which demonstrates that the company is compliant with industry regulations. In Iowa, Eldora Plastics has been ISO 9001 compliant since 1998. It may also be helpful to examine a company's BBB rating, ensuring that it treats its customers well and delivers on time.


Once a company with a good reputation has been found, ensure that it can handle the volume you need. In addition, they need to be able to scale up as quickly as necessary, and be able to handle the level of output required over the long term.
Posted by IndustryNet
MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, recently provided statistics on plastic injection molding in the U.S. over the past year to gain perspective on current industry trends and to compare company performance across a spectrum of data points.

According to MNI's most recent data, there are 1,749 plastic injection molding companies currently in operation in the U.S. The industry employs 119,299 and sales have topped $63 billion in the past year. Job growth has increased in this sector over the past year by 2.30%, slightly less than U.S. manufacturing as a whole, which has increased by 4%. Our latest post digs into the details.

A brief history of plastic injection molding

Injection molding traces its roots back to the late 1800s when celluloid was utilized. The process significantly improved after World War II, and remains virtually the same today. Liquid plastic is forced into molds where it cures to form the final part. The type of plastic used, the temperature to which it is heated, and the method of cooling or curing the final part depends upon usage.
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