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IndustryNet Blog

Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released by MNI, Connecticut's manufacturing sector added jobs at its fastest rate in decades. MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, reports Connecticut added 3,153 manufacturing jobs, or 1.5% between June 2017 and June 2018. This marks the state's third straight year of gains, and one that far outstripped increases of the past few years.

Connecticut struggled to add manufacturing jobs after the recession as a strong dollar hit its export market; global competition took hold, and high business costs sent some manufacturers to cheaper locations. The state's manufacturing sector all but flatlined, with industrial employment inching down 4% between June 2010 and June 2015.

The gains of the past three years, however, suggest things are looking up for Connecticut manufacturing. In this past year alone, the state added more manufacturing jobs than at any year since MNI began reporting on its manufacturing climate in 2002.
Posted by IndustryNet
Business Credit Reports (BCR) has delivered powerful new innovations that give small businesses the ability to have a sophisticated beginning-to-end business credit system, similar to those utilized by larger companies, with affordable pricing and terms.

These innovative solutions make managing credit at small companies easier and help the company to grow through increased revenue and fewer losses due to payment delinquency.

BCR's recently-announced customizable online credit application and Payment Performance Insights provide the bookends to a business credit management solution that is centered on BCR's line of 20+ proprietary multi-bureau blended business credit reports.

The customizable online credit application, which is available to all BCR customers at no charge, enables small businesses to accurately and reliably capture information from credit applicants. This makes processing credit applications faster and more efficient by eliminating paper shuffling and data entry.
Posted by IndustryNet
A number of new reports out in recent days point to a growing manufacturing sector, though optimism among supply executives has been tempered by a growing unease as tariff deadlines loom.

Last month, the United State Trade Representative announced it was finalizing the rate of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, raising duties from 10% to 25%. The tariffs encompass roughly half of all imported products from China and are having a growing impact on domestic supply chains.

The Census Bureau reported a widening trade gap as U.S. manufacturers scramble to procure material ahead of the tariff deadlines, capital expenditures have leveled off after growing steadily for several months.
Posted by IndustryNet
For a second straight month, U.S. manufacturing activity edged back in October after surging to a fourteen-year high in August, according the Institute for Supply Management's latest survey of manufacturing executives.

U.S. manufacturing activity now stands at 57.7%, down 2.1% from September's reading of 59.8% and down 3.6% from August's reading of 61.3%.

Trade uncertainty continues to weigh on U.S. manufacturers, with a number of respondents to the ISM's survey citing "stressed supply chains" and "mounting pressure" surrounding the Section 232 tariffs.

Today's headlines, however, offer a glimmer of hope revealing U.S. trade talks with China may have turned a corner ahead of the 25% tariffs slated to go into effect January 1st.
Posted by IndustryNet
Buffalo Abrasives has introduced their new premium B5532 bond for Saw (File) Gumming, designed to eliminate hardening of the saw teeth with free cutting bond requiring minimal dressing.

With major consolidation of companies in this market Buffalo Abrasives offers an alternative to primarily only off the shelf, one specification fits all options.

In addition to the B5532 Bond, this product is made with premium ceramic grain for faster, longer lasting wheels ranging from 5-14" (metric sizes available), for the timber, woodworking & saw manufacturing industries.
Posted by IndustryNet
Precision machined components and parts are a rapidly growing industry in the United States. In the face of new tariffs on certain raw materials and components, this sector of the manufacturing industry is not slowing down.

In fact, the main industries that rely on precision machined parts are all expected to grow over the next few years. These industries include automotive, aircraft, household appliances, spacecraft, tech hardware, medical devices, munitions, heavy machinery and military equipment.

Future trends

Forecasts are predicting continued growth as tariffs begin to positively influence domestic manufacturing. As large firms return production and assembly to the U.S., the opportunities for precision manufacturing are also slated to increase.

There is currently a shortage of precision machines capable of the kind of work required to assemble complicated products such as commercial aircraft. This demand is predicted to continue for at least several years as production backlogs slowly clear out.
Posted by IndustryNet
New orders for manufactured goods climbed for a third straight month, while U.S. businesses are spending less on capital equipment. The trade gap continues to widen, and manufacturers are looking ahead -- and looking closer to home -- as USTR stops accepting exclusions to tariffs.

Finally, a new survey suggests public support for the recent tariff action is stronger than the headlines would suggest. Here is the week's manufacturing news in brief.

Posted by IndustryNet
BelGAS has introduced its Type P140 pressure regulators for a wide range of gaseous fluids, including air, natural gas, LP, propane, and general-purpose pressure regulation. The P140 offers versatility, accuracy, and a compact design, available with or without internal relief.

BelGAS ramped up production of the P140, with thousands boxed and ready for same-week shipment from its U.S. headquarters. The P140 is designed to be reliable and economical -- a balance that is key for the many markets this device serves. It is an ideal and cost-effective choice for typical residential applications, as well as many light industrial and commercial applications.
Posted by IndustryNet
Electrical discharge machining (EDM) is sometimes known as die sinking, wire erosion, burning, spark eroding, spark machining or wire burning. This process of shaping materials via the use of sparks or electrical discharges is a key part of the precision machining industry due to the precise nature of the components produced. Gain a better understanding of the EDM sector and its place in the overall industry of precision machining.

Positioning EDM in the industry

To better understand what the top EDM companies contribute to the field, you must first have a feel for this sector. There are 137 companies in electrical discharge machinery and machining, accounting for 1,679 jobs.

The average current sales in EDM is $115.40 million. Of those companies, only three are women-owned and three are minority-owned. Nine of the companies import raw materials and 107 have domestic distribution with 127 offering international distribution.

Posted by IndustryNet
Part of the precision machining industry, electrical discharge machining (EDM) is a process that relies on electrical discharges or sparks to remove material from a component, creating the desired shape.

The EDM system creates an electrical spark that produces intense heat and can, therefore, melt nearly anything. EDM involves a great deal of precision to ensure that just the targeted portion of the material is exposed to the heat, without any impact to the surfaces below or next to the given area.

EDM Trends

After researchers developed what would be the foundation of modern EDM during the 1940s, this process remained relatively uncommon for a long time. Today, however, it has become one of the most popular machining processes.

Some figures indicate that in 1960, EDM accounted for about 0.5% of the machine tool market and by 1998, this figure was 6%. As you explore the following more recent figures regarding sales, jobs and more, it becomes clear that EDM continues to grow.

Posted by IndustryNet
Loram Maintenance of Way hosted special guest, U.S. Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN-6) for a facility tour and town hall session on Tuesday, October 16.

Emmer resides in Delano, MN which is a short distance from the campus of Loram's manufacturing facility and warehouse in Medina, MN. Emmer received Loram employees in the manufacturing shop bay where they exchanged conversation on the growing need for skilled laborers.

He spoke about middle-skill occupations that require early development in programs such as apprenticeships and on-the-job training, but do not necessarily require a four-year college degree.

Emmer also addressed the question of trade issues with Canada and Mexico and remains positive that the new North American agreement with Mexico and Canada is the right move.

Founded in 1954, Loram Maintenance of Way started out as a small operation consisting of two simple machines, and a handful of employees.

Posted by IndustryNet
With the acceleration of the U.S. economy and the implementation of new tariffs, domestic demand for the products produced by precision machining, and the tools to fabricate them, is on the rise.

The new duties affect a wide range of components including parts for aircraft gas turbines, engine parts, machining centers for working metal, lathes and waterjet cutting machinery. The increased expense of importing machined items is promoting both the growth of existing U.S. precision machining shops and the startup of new ones.

IndustryNet has compiled data on the 7,638 companies in the U.S. precision machining industry. The sectors included are:
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released by MNI, manufacturing job growth in the Maryland/DC region intensified up over the past year, led by strong growth in the state's medical instruments and food processing sectors.

According to MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, Maryland/DC added 1,112 manufacturing jobs in the past year. This is the most jobs the state has added in a given year in the post-recession era and four time the number of jobs the region gained over the 2016-2017 survey period.

So what is driving the region's manufacturing momentum?

This article will take a look at some of the major developments that have occurred in the region since the recession, including new company announcements. We'll examine the region's outlook in light of new federal and state policies and explore IndustryNet's extensive regional and historical data for the state.
Posted by IndustryNet
In celebration of Manufacturing Day 2018, Wall Colmonoy Aerobraze OKC will open its doors on Friday, October 12, 2018 to students from local Career Techs and high schools as part of an effort to inspire the next generation of opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide.

Planned activities at Aerobraze OKC include tours of the facility, equipment and product manufacturing demonstrations of machining, welding, brazing and fabrication. The day will also include a hands-on activity intended to showcase Aerobraze's expertise in sheet metal fabrication.

Blueprints and work instructions will be provided for the students to assemble an item made from cut, bent, milled, and drilled sheet metal fabricated parts. Each student will leave with a gift bag that contains an F-15 fighter jet made from metal pieces cut by water jet and slip fitted together. WCC Aerobraze OKC developed and manufactures heat exchangers for the U.S. Air Force's F-15 fighter jets.

Posted by IndustryNet
While historically companies have used imported aluminum to improve their bottom lines, with the implementation of tariffs on both the raw metal and fabricated products, manufacturers are exploring other strategies. Some, such as Coca-Cola and Genuine Parts, are expecting to pass their cost increases onto consumers. Others, like Illinois Tool Works, are pursuing local sourcing.

The advantages of domestic suppliers

With shorter distances involved when using domestic suppliers, the resultant costs of logistical problems regarding weather conditions and geopolitical obstacles can be reduced or eliminated. Transportation expenditures also are lower and fewer warehousing facilities may be required.

Buying domestically can also result in increased goodwill from consumers. Many customers prefer locally produced goods. They consider buying them as promoting both local wealth and jobs.

Posted by IndustryNet
The products of aluminum rolling and drawing companies play an essential part in the everyday life of most Americans. Rail cars, aircraft and packaging materials all employ rolled aluminum products. Almost 50 percent of aluminum alloys become feedstocks for aluminum rolling. Manufacturers of beverage cans use two million tons of this metal per year. The use of rolled aluminum is also expected to expand in the automotive industry. It is also used to make components for climate control systems.

IndustryNet has compiled statistics on the nation's aluminum rolling and drawing companies, representing growth in employment of 0.36 percent. Average sales for this industry sector are $6.77 billion. The majority of aluminum rolling and drawing plants are located in the Midwest and the South, as are many of the top companies profiled below.
Posted by IndustryNet
This October, over 3,000 events celebrating Manufacturing Day will salute a vital engine of our economy. Since 2012, companies, communities and organizations have joined in the effort to educate the public on the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the quality of life across the country and around the world.

Here are some of the events that open the door to the manufacturing universe:

Posted by IndustryNet
The U.S., Canada and Mexico have been embroiled in NAFTA negotiations for more than a year now, culminating in a new deal that was finally struck between the three nations on October 1st. The new trilateral agreement promises increased wages, strengthened intellectual property, and expanded access to markets, while reducing the U.S. trade deficits. But what does it mean for the American manufacturer?

The new trade deal, officially termed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) 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.

NAFTA has been the subject of much controversy, lauded by some economists and reviled by others. Largely accepted by U.S. presidents since the Clinton era, the current administration brought NAFTA back to the spotlight over the past year, proclaiming it a job killer that has allowed significant trade deficits to build up. Or, in short, "The worst trade deal ever signed."
Posted by IndustryNet
Employment is growing in aluminum rolling and drawing as this industry sector serves the markets from food packaging to construction. Rolled products utilize almost 50 percent of aluminum alloys. The demand for aluminum wiring, a drawn product, has increased 20 percent during the last decade.

According to data compiled by IndustryNet, there are 57 aluminum drawing and rolling companies providing 7,035 jobs. Employment has increased by 0.36 percent over the past year. Current average sales stand at $6.77 billion, which is unchanged during the same period.

The majority of aluminum and drawing companies, 24 or 42 percent are located in the South. The Midwest has a similar number; 22 or 39 percent. The Northwest houses seven facilities or 12 percent, with the lowest number, four or 7 percent in the West.

Posted by IndustryNet
Epec Engineered Technologies, an industry leader in high reliability manufactured electronics, has recently announced a new version of their online circuit board quote and ordering tool, InstantPCBQuote.

The new InstantPCBQuote was released at the end of August and has been in beta for about a month. This new version has a more modern look and feel, supported by a more advanced back-end infrastructure. It is now also more compatible with recent web browser changes and various screen resolutions.

"Our IT and Marketing teams have been working on this for about a year now and we are excited that it has finally been released. The goal of this re-launch was to make the site more user friendly to ensure a great experience to our customers", shared Keith Araujo, Director of Marketing at Epec.
Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. manufacturing activity cooled slightly in September after surging to a fourteen-year high in August, according the Institute for Supply Management's latest survey of manufacturing executives.

U.S. manufacturing activity now stands at 59.8%, down 1.5% from August's reading of 61.3%.

September's ISM report generally reflects continued expansion in the nation's industrial sector, with any reading over 50% indicating expansion. Last month's reading represents the 31st consecutive month of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector, and the 113th straight month of growth in the economy overall.

Fifteen of eighteen industries surveyed by the ISM reported growth, led by textile mills; miscellaneous manufacturing; plastics & rubber products; computer & electronic products; beverage & tobacco products; machinery; and apparel, leather & allied products.

The primary metals sector was the only to report contraction.
Posted by IndustryNet
America's aluminum extrusion industry is holding its own. IndustryNet determined that the industry's sales remained flat over the past year. This may be due to pricing competition from overseas manufacturers.

Lower prices are coming from the countries of Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. These conditions have placed pressure on the U.S. industry's bottom line. Manufacturers must absorb these countries' lower pricing by reducing its operating margin.

The American aluminum extrusion industry's market share continues to grow. For example, 2016 was the seventh year in a row that extrusion shipments have grown. This represents a 35% increase in shipments since 2009.

The top five largest aluminum extrusion companies cover a wide geographical category of the U.S. The largest company is in Pennsylvania with a sister company in Oregon. Add to these companies Texas with two up North in Wisconsin and Michigan and you have the lower 48 states covered.

Posted by IndustryNet
Aluminum extrusion offers an extensive array of design possibilities to industries as diverse as automotive, construction and power generation. Aluminum's weight, superior thermal conductivity and strength lend an advantage to many types of consumer products.

Manufacturers also choose aluminum extrusion because of its relatively low-cost tooling, which speeds the development and prototyping of new products.

Aluminum extrusions are 100 percent recyclable. Since these products do not emit significant levels of hazardous gases during processing, manufacturers employ them to simplify their regulatory compliance.

Aluminum extrusions are also corrosion resistant, making them highly desirable for use outdoors and in environmentally harsh conditions.
Posted by IndustryNet
Furthering its mission to address unfair Chinese industrial policies, the USTR announced late Monday that it has finalized tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to the U.S. and has threatened tariffs on an additional $267 billion of Chinese goods in the event China's Ministry of Commerce retaliates with its own set of duties. The finalized list represents roughly 50% of all Chinese goods imported to the U.S.

According to the USTR's recent announcement, an initial 10% import tariff will now be officially imposed on the list of 5,745 Chinese products starting September 24th, with the tariffs raised to 25% starting January 1st, 2019.

The proposed tariffs were announced on July 10th, 2018, and originally included a list of 6,031 products. That list has since been revised, with 297 products removed based on responses received during a 6-week review and 6-day public hearing. The full range of items removed from the final list can be found here.

Not surprisingly, China responded today with an announcement of its intent to retaliate with its own list of import tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods at rates between 5-10%

The Trump administration continues to take a hard line with China. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement released July 10th: "As a result of China's retaliation and failure to change its practices, the President has ordered USTR to begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports. This is an appropriate response under the authority of Section 301 to obtain the elimination of China's harmful industrial policies."

Posted by IndustryNet
Since 1855, aluminum companies have operated in the United States. As the country's economy has grown, the aluminum industry has grown with it. According to data compiled by IndustryNet, 940 aluminum companies provide 65,066 jobs. Average sales are $47.8 billion.

While the automotive and construction are a significant segment of the aluminum market, aluminum companies also serve the packaging, food service, agricultural and many other markets. The 10 oldest aluminum companies, listed here in reverse order of establishment, illustrate how the industry has grown and diversified in the over 160 years it has operated in the U.S.

Posted by IndustryNet
Casting performed by aluminum foundries is the most widely used process for manufacturing aluminum products and is vital to the aluminum industry. In these facilities, aluminum is melted and poured into molds. The items formed are as diverse as power transmissions for cars and the cap on the Washington Monument.

The majority of molds, especially those for large objects, are constructed from sand. Other casting methods are investment casting, which involves the use of meltable linings such as wax with a ceramic mold and die casting in metal molds. Regardless of the casting procedure, goods produced by foundries are both lightweight and sturdy.

According to data collected by IndustryNet, 349 plants in the aluminum foundry sector provide 18,774 jobs. This number is a decrease of 0.95 percent from the employment numbers for the previous year. Current average sales of $2.91 billion show a drop of 0.14 percent when compared to a year ago.

The following are the nation's top aluminum foundries operating in the U.S. today.
Posted by IndustryNet
While tariffs have recently been instituted to stimulate the growth of the U.S. aluminum industry, some aluminum foundries are already thriving. Much of the struggle of aluminum manufacturers has been attributed to Chinese metal overcapacity.

Despite an increasing amount of U.S. demand that has been met by foreign suppliers, some market segments, automotive in particular, have spurred domestic sales. This trend is expected to continue, owing to duties that have been imposed on a variety of aluminum products including hubs for bicycles, tanks, vats, reservoirs and, most notably, some engine components.

With rapid urbanization driving increased demand for lightweight vehicles, sales of foundry casting products are projected to rise over the next few years. Die casting is an essential process in the production of components necessary for the improvement of fuel efficiency.

Productivity in the die casting industry is surging due to automation. In addition to automotive applications, the use of these products has been rising in piping and machinery. Innovations in producing complex geometries, crafting fine details and lowering costs have created additional markets for die cast products.
Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. manufacturing activity surged to its highest rate in fourteen years in August, fueled by significant growth in new orders, production and employment. This was reported by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), which today released its Manufacturing Report on Business

U.S. manufacturing activity now stands at 61.3%, up 3.2% from July's 58.1 reading, according to the ISM's latest survey of manufacturing executives.

August's reading of 61.3% represents the nation's 30th straight month of growth in the manufacturing sector, and the 112th consecutive month of growth in the economy overall.

Sixteen of eighteen industries surveyed by the ISM reported growth, led by computer & electronic products; apparel, leather & allied products; textile mills; paper products; and miscellaneous manufacturing.

The wood products and primary metals sector were the only to report contraction, according to the ISM.
Posted by IndustryNet
The recent implementation of a 10-percent tariff on aluminum highlights the metal's importance to industry and particularly the significance of the sector whose products are most extensively employed: sheet aluminum.

While aluminum might most readily bring to mind the metallic sheen of foil, sheet aluminum can be anodized and dyed to produce hundreds of colors including red, gold and black. Etching of sheet aluminum will yield a matte finish. Polishing can create a mirror bright surface.

Products in this sector are used in the manufacture of cans and other packaging. Sheet aluminum is essential in the fabrication of airplane skins. Panels for both automobiles and tractor trailers are manufactured from sheet.

Using aluminum to produce lighter-weight cars reduces annual emissions of carbon dioxide by 44 million tons. Sheet aluminum can be continuously recycled, saving more than 90 percent of the energy used to produce the primary product.
Posted by IndustryNet
Aluminum brings to mind foil to wrap leftovers and soda cans. The truth is, aluminum's impact on the U.S. economy reaches far further than these two iconic products. Aluminum enables strong, light-weight and eco-friendly cars. Manufacturers use them to create bulletproof shielding on Bradley tanks. Aluminum is in kettles, toasters and other kitchen utensils.

In construction, aluminum encases windows and strengthens bridges, railings and rods. Aircraft, boats and trains rely on aluminum. Its conductivity and weight make it ideal for power lines.

Aluminum even has a robust afterlife in recycling, with nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced still in use today.

Given its versatility, it is no wonder that aluminum generates nearly $71 billion each year in direct U.S. economic impact and close to $174 billion in indirect economic impact, taking into account all of the ancillary businesses that thrive as a result of its manufacture.

IndustryNet catalogued 940 aluminum companies in the U.S., employing 65,447 individuals and generating sales in excess of $48 billion annually.
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