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IndustryNet Blog

Posted by IndustryNet
When people think of robots, they may envision a friendly machine like Johnny Five, or perhaps one more nefarious such as the T-1000. In any case, robots are here to stay, and they are driving a significant portion of the national economy.

According to current data collected by IndustryNet, the robotics industry is currently worth nearly $6.6 billion and employs over 16,000 individuals. Let's take a closer look at how these machines are changing the way we build, do business and live our lives.

Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. industrial output edged up in December, and manufacturing output surged, according to a new report released this morning by the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve's latest release on U.S. industrial production and capacity utilization showed industrial output rose one third of one percent in December, led by a 1.1% gain in manufacturing output. This represents the largest month-over-month increase for the U.S. manufacturing sector in ten months.

Manufacturing gains were led by motor vehicle production in December, though primary metals output outpaced all other sectors in 2018.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data compiled by MNI, publisher of the U.S. industrial data that powers IndustryNet, New Hampshire added a significant number of manufacturing jobs over the past year.

Gains were seen across a broad range of industries, including medical instruments and chemical processing, while a number of new and expanding advanced manufacturing facilities laid the groundwork for future growth in the state.

New Hampshire manufacturing: the year in review

New Hampshire is currently home to 2,276 manufacturers that employ 83,020 workers. The state added 2,776 jobs in the past year, representing a gain of 3.4%.

Employment in industrial machinery and equipment grew by 3% in 2018, and ranks as the state�s top manufacturing sector, employing 13,284. Second-ranked electronics remained steady at 10,636 jobs, while employment in medical instruments/related products rose 14% and currently accounts for 8,347 of the state�s jobs.

Additional gains were seen in food processing, up 12%; chemical processing, up 7%; and furniture/fixtures, up 3%.

Posted by IndustryNet
Southbridge, MA based Lavallee Machinery, Inc. and Epec, LLC announced today that the two companies are joining forces to give customers a greater range of high-quality services and long-term financial strength.

Epec is one of the fastest growing high technology electronics companies in North America, designing and manufacturing high reliability products including printed circuit boards, custom battery packs, user interfaces, RF products, cable assemblies, and flexible heaters for OEMs around the world.

Lavallee Machinery was founded in 1983 and is a trusted manufacturer of time-sensitive, CNC machined parts for OEMs.

Posted by IndustryNet
Bell Flavors & Fragrances is excited to begin the fifth year of its Spark trends program and has unveiled ten key trends that will lead the way to new innovations within the flavor and fragrance industry. Spark is Bell's insider resource for new and emerging consumer trends as well as flavor and fragrance inspirations.

Using a unique and detailed process, Bell uncovers new ideas each year that are sure to ignite customer inspirations and translate them into winning product ideations.
Posted by IndustryNet
Although the term blockchain has become increasingly prevalent, many outside of the tech industry are still unfamiliar with the idea. Blockchain makes it possible to distribute digital information in a way that is immutable. As such, it delivers transparency and reliability.

Blockchain began as a way to display the financial transactions related to bitcoin before expanding to other digital currencies. Now, those across all industries use it to record and share information. Manufacturing is just one of many areas poised to be revolutionized due to blockchain technology.

Posted by IndustryNet
As with other industries, precision machining constantly evolves as advances in technology occur. Choosing to work with a skilled precision machining provider allows companies to utilize the latest advances in this industry, achieving the best possible results. Using a skilled provider delivers access to the latest innovations, such as incorporation of IoT and advancements in precision that deliver superb results.

Overview of Precision Machining in the U.S.

To deliver an overview of the current state of precision machining in the U.S., consider some key statistics. There are currently 1,267 companies in the industry, with 25,925 jobs. The current sales in the industry are $10.4 billion.

The U.S. region with the highest percentage of precision machining companies is the Midwest, followed by the South, Northeast and West.

With that information in mind, let's explore the various types of precision machining.
Posted by IndustryNet
Waterjet cutting has seen rapid increases in business after the reshoring movement began. With an impressive 14.42 percent, 12-month growth rate, waterjet cutting has nearly doubled the growth rate of the overall manufacturing industry.

With 148 companies producing machines or providing services, waterjet cutting is concentrated in the Midwest with 41 percent of the industry located here. The industry provides income to 1,776 employees. Here is a list of the top 11 companies by their number of jobs from highest to lowest:

Posted by IndustryNet
The world of manufacturing constantly evolves and will continue to do so in 2019. Manufacturers must remain on top of the trends in order to deliver innovative, high-quality products to their clients. Of the various trends that are likely to emerge this year, the following are some of the most important that companies should be on the lookout for.
Posted by IndustryNet
Waterjet cutting is the process of using high-pressure water to cut through nearly any material. In some situations, abrasive materials are mixed with the water to allow cutting of harder alloys such as stainless steel.

Far from new technology, the concept of high-pressure water for removing material has been around since the 1800s. Back then, hydraulic mining used water cannons to remove rock and dirt at a faster rate than digging.

Today, waterjet cutting has evolved into a computer-controlled process that is environmentally friendly, efficient and precise.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data compiled by MNI, publisher of the U.S. industrial data that powers IndustryNet, Idaho added manufacturing jobs for a seventh straight year, led by continued gains in the state's food processing sector.

Overall, Idaho has added nearly 10,000 jobs since the end of the recession, an increase of 14%. Food processing has remained the state's star sector throughout the post-recession era, growing by nearly 11% since 2012.

Posted by IndustryNet
The U.S economy added 312,000 jobs in December, while the unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, as more workers entered the labor force, according to a report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The nation's manufacturing sector once again added a significant number of jobs, up 32,000 in the month of December alone. Durable goods manufacturing accounted for a notable share of jobs, up 19,000. Of these 19,000, fabricated metal products added 7,000 jobs, and electronic products added 4,000 positions.

The grand total of factory jobs gained over the year totaled 284,000 -- with three-fourths of these positions in the durable goods category. This adds to the 207,000 manufacturing jobs the Bureau of Labor statistics reported the nation gained in 2017.
Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. manufacturing activity slowed to its lowest level in two years according the Institute for Supply Management's latest survey of manufacturing executives.

The ISM's Manufacturing Report on Business shows the sector's activity now stands at 54.1%, down 5.2% from November's reading of 59.3%. The index tanked at a rate not seen since 2008 -- though it should be noted that the sector is still in expansion mode (any reading above 50 indicates expansion).

Executives surveyed by the ISM reported a significant drop in new orders, while production and employment cooled significantly.

Posted by IndustryNet
Precision tools and tooling share a symbiotic relationship with the rest of the manufacturing industry. Precision tools create various structures and parts by a subtractive process, while precision tooling refers to the molds that allow non-metallic materials such as plastic to be formed into complex shapes.

All industries that are not completely digital rely on some form of precision tools or tooling. Despite sales of $1.93 billion, precision tooling saw a rather low 12-month increase in sales, reaching only 0.22 percent compared with 8.29 percent industry-wide.

This can be tied to this sector's higher dependence, up to 40 percent, on international distribution and the uncertainty associated with trade tariffs. The economic back and forth between the United States and China is definitely playing a role in keeping this sector from seeing the same growth that has graced the industry overall.
Posted by IndustryNet
Precision tools are used to cut and shape metal into various products, while precision tooling refers to the molds and jigs used to form and shape objects of different materials such as plastics and composites.

This sector of manufacturing is heavily affected by the release of new products, new vehicles and other technological developments. Any industry that produces physical products has a need for precision tooling.

Producers of tech devices, medical implants, airplanes, motor vehicles and various appliances all consider these suppliers as integral to the creation and production process.
Posted by IndustryNet
2018 was a big year for manufacturing (you might even say it was "yuge"). As early as January, manufacturing firms were scrambling to sort through the newly-passed tax reform, and shortly thereafter the USTR announced its first tariffs on solar panels and washing machines (remember when it was just solar panels and washing machines?) Manufacturing in the U.S. continued to expand at a hectic pace, with new orders, production, and employment posting robust gains.

Raw material costs began to skyrocket as tariff action between China and the U.S. intensified and the threat of a trade war loomed. The trade gap widened and imports surged as companies rushed to procure supplies from China in advance of the 25% tariffs set to go into effect January 1st, 2019 (these were since delayed until March).

Posted by IndustryNet
A number of new reports out this week point to a manufacturing sector that is steadily growing -- albeit at a slower pace. Industrial production edged up, while a new reading on manufacturing activity finds that new orders rose at its fastest rate in six months.

On the trade front, tariffs remain a top concern for manufacturing executives, though a 90-day truce between China and the United States has given the sector a little breathing room, and inspired a surprise move from China.

Posted by IndustryNet
A number of new reports out this month point to a growing manufacturing sector, though optimism among supply executives has been tempered by looming tariff deadlines and a challenging labor market.

The Institute for Supply Management's November Report on Business shows U.S. manufacturing activity surged over the month, and now stands at 59.3%, up 1.6% from October's reading of 57.7%.

Purchase managers surveyed by the ISM reported increased orders, even as the impact of tariffs on supply chains loomed large and skilled employees hard to find. Notable increases were seen in the new orders and production levels, with those indices well in expansion territory.

The ISM's Prices Paid Index sank 10% in November, after hitting record highs for several months. Although prices are still in expansion, with that index at 60.7, November's reading is the lowest reported by the ISM since June of 2017.

"Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength," said ISM Chair Timothy Fiore. "Demand remains strong, with the New Orders index rebounding to above 60 percent." Fiore went onto describe that production and employment expanded at a faster rate in November, and that prices had finally begun to soften after months of increases, especially in metals.

Labor & tariffs, a consistent theme among manufacturing executives
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data compiled by MNI, publisher of the U.S. industrial data that powers IndustryNet, South Carolina added manufacturing jobs for a seventh straight year.

Gains were led by the plastics and rubber industry, as well as chemicals processing, primary metals and electronics, unlike previous years, in which gains were overwhelmingly led by the transportation equipment sector.

The latest data suggests, however, that the state�s transportation equipment sector is poised for accelerated growth in the coming year, with some major operations expanding hiring in the months ahead.

Overall, South Carolina has added more than 20,000 jobs since the end of the recession, an increase of 8%. The state's transportation equipment industry accounted for a whopping 70% of the state's total manufacturing job gains, adding more than 14,000 jobs over the 7-year period -- an increase of 50%.

Posted by IndustryNet
Milling and turning machine operations are both categorized as a subtractive process. The material is removed from an object in order to create a different shape, with the difference between the two processes being how the material is removed.

When it comes to producing parts quickly with high precision, the importance of milling and turning machines cannot be understated. Utilizing the right machine, a cube can be turned into a sphere, a disc into a ring and a block of metal into an engine block.

The current size of the milling and turning market is 145 companies employing a total of 2,593 people. All companies in this space are privately owned and overwhelmingly distribute domestically. The rapid reshoring of various industries has given these companies an economic shot in the arm.

Posted by IndustryNet
After two straight months of tepid growth, U.S. manufacturing activity charged back in November as new orders, production and employment posted strong growth, according the Institute for Supply Management's latest survey of manufacturing executives.

U.S. manufacturing activity now stands at 59.3%, up 1.6% from October's reading of 57.7%.

Executives surveyed by the ISM reported an uptick in orders, despite the impact of tariffs on supply chains and raw material costs, as well as a shortage of skilled labor.

Says Tim Fiore, Chairman of the ISM: "Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength. Demand remains strong, with the New Orders Index rebounding to above 60%, the Customers' Inventories Index declining and remaining too low, and the Backlog of Orders Index steady."

November's ISM report reflects a growing U.S. manufacturing sector, with this past month's 59.3% reading far beyond the 50% mark that is indicative of expansion. November stands as the 33rd consecutive month of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector, and the 115th straight month of growth in the economy overall.

Posted by IndustryNet
This past week has seen a flurry of ups and downs for U.S. manufacturing, with some positive announcements by BMW and Samsung overshadowed by a massive cost-cutting plan unveiled by GM. We'll take a look at the GM announcement, as well as other major manufacturing headlines this week, including some major new operations breaking ground.

USMCA signed into law

Just this morning, President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed the U.S. Mexico Canada agreement (USMCA) as the three leaders converged in Argentina for a summit. The new trade deal is the result of sixteen months of heated negotiations between the three nations and is geared to replace the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the year 2020.

Posted by IndustryNet
Business Credit Reports, Inc. (BCR) has teamed up with Creditsafe to bring their international database of companies to BCR's credit report platform.

With a global database of over 240 million companies worldwide, Creditsafe is a leader in international business credit reporting. Collecting data from over 200 sources, Creditsafe gathers information locally from trusted partners, ensuring quality and fresh information. This information is compiled into a report that can be ordered and received instantly online.

Posted by IndustryNet
Precision milling and turning constitute a relatively modest part of the precision machining industry, with just under 2 percent of the total companies in that space dedicated to this craft. Small but mighty, do not be fooled as this sector is still growing rapidly.

Milling and turning providers saw a 1 percent growth in sales since last year, generating nearly $215 million. This is an impressive figure considering that there are only 145 companies in this space.

Suppliers that focus on precision milling and turning contribute to the economy in other ways as well. As of this year, 2,593 jobs could be directly associated with these companies. This population has grown two percent compared with the previous year.

The growth appears to be evenly distributed as five percent of companies reported employment growth compared with three percent that reported a decline. As more evidence of favorable contribution to the economy, domestic distribution has increased by 70 percent compared with the previous year, resulting in only 22 companies that distribute internationally.

Industry distribution

The distribution of milling and turning companies is overwhelmingly concentrated in the Midwest, with 49 percent residing in the center of our nation. The rest of the country is almost equally dispersed, with the South, West and Northeast hosting 17 percent, 16 percent and 18 percent respectively.

These demographics are somewhat different than the overall machining sector, which tends to be more evenly proportioned.
Posted by IndustryNet
Precision machined parts are essential in modern society, but they are useless if they can't stay in proper alignment and orientation. The components that perform this task are referred to as screw machine products, even though they describe more than just screws.

Pins, bolts, shafts and, of course, screws, are all required to keep the machines and products in our lives functional.

Often relatively small in size, the required volume of screw machine parts is extremely high, making these suppliers a surprisingly powerful part of the domestic manufacturing economy.

Regional Contributions

This year has witnessed a 9% increase in total sales for the 744 companies that fall into the screw machine supplier category. Those companies generate over $1.6 billion in revenue, or approximately $2.2 million per company if averaged out.

Distribution is weighted heavily toward the Midwest, with 54% of the industry being based in this geographic region. Many of these companies are taking on new business as overseas production returns to the United States. What follows is a look at the 11 fastest-growing precision screw machine manufacturers in the country.
Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. industrial output increased for a fifth straight month, as manufacturing gains offset losses in mining, according to a new report released this morning by the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve's release on U.S. industrial production and capacity utilization showed industrial output rose 0.1 percent in October, continuing a steady rise in the index since June. Overall, the Fed's index has surged 4% compared to this time last year.

Manufacturing leads nation's industrial output gains

Manufacturing output outpaced overall gains, rising 0.3% in October, while mining output dropped 0.3%. A decline in auto production hampered overall manufacturing gains, according to the report. Manufacturing output, excluding motor vehicle production, edged up a half percent.

Mining output has slipped the past few months after hitting a record high in August, mostly due to oil and gas production, according to the Fed.
Posted by IndustryNet
With Thanksgiving approaching, we should take a few minutes to be thankful for our friends and neighbors who are seeing their businesses flourish. There are several reasons for this resurgence in domestic production, but one of the biggest is the practice of "reshoring."

Here are some companies that not only fully embrace reshoring but happen to make products that are very popular around Thanksgiving.

Posted by IndustryNet
Screw machine products make up a key portion of the precision machining industry. The applications for screw machine products are vast, with these items used in appliances, computers, firefighting equipment, airbags and more.

Depending on the manufacturer, screw machine products can be made from stainless steel, aluminum, steel, plastic or bronze. Take a closer look at the size and distribution of the industry to have a better idea of how it fits into precision machining as a whole.

Posted by IndustryNet
Our world is inseparably dependent upon machines and technology as a part of everyday life. While many may not give it a second thought, everything - from the car they drive to the computers utilized for work to the instruments used by your doctor - requires precision machined components to function.

An individual may rely on thousands of these precision machined parts during the course of their day without even knowing it. Yet, without the specialized manufacturers who produce these high-tolerance parts, much of life as we know it would grind to a halt.

Current Status

Thanks to near universal reliance on technology and recent changes to global trade agreements, precision machined component manufacturers are seeing a resurgence here in the United States. Average sales have increased 14 percent, and nearly 1,000 jobs have been added to the sector since the previous year.

Precision machined component manufacturers have also seen positive economics with 7 percent reporting an increase in employment and 3 percent reporting sales growth. These figures are nearly double the statistics for manufacturing in general.
Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. industrial activity remains in expansion territory. In recent weeks, a flurry of positive news for U.S. manufacturing has emerged, countering the unease cause by the new import tariffs and continuing the positive track the sector has been on for the past several years.

Durable goods orders are trending up; the ISM's New Orders and Production indices are on solid ground; and the nation's industrial sector added 32,000 jobs in September alone.

Encompassing five states and promising more than 1,000 jobs, here are just a few of the major manufacturer announcements for the week.

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