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IndustryNet Blog

Posted by IndustryNet
Storage equipment is an essential segment of the materials handling industry. When goods must be held either long or short term, storage is the solution. Storage systems provide an organized area where items can be placed to await retrieval. Well-designed storage efficiently functions in tandem with material transport equipment to ensure that pallets, parts, goods, fixtures and tools are available where and when they should be.

Numerous possibilities

There are many types of industrial storage equipment and systems. The appropriate choice for a specific application will depend on the size and weight of the items held as well as how long they are expected to remain. Designing a system involves allowing for the number of pieces to be accommodated and what type of equipment will be used to retrieve them. Shelving is a variety of storage used often. Other categories are:

-Mezzanines or work platforms






Posted by IndustryNet
Steel or composite, colorful or fading into the background, in plain sight or hidden in a storage area, industrial racks and shelving silently hold everything from bobby pins to Boeing engines. IndustryNet studied 217 industrial rack and shelving companies throughout the U.S. and found a growing, vibrant industrial sector.

Last year, the industry employed 9,162 individuals. This year, it employed 9,562 workers, representing an increase of 4.37 percent year-over-year. In fact, 6 percent of the companies surveyed reported growth, compared to only 4 percent of manufacturing companies as a whole.

One likely reason for this increase is the changing the face of warehousing and supply chains industrywide. The stunning rise in e-commerce produced dramatic change in how companies store and ship materials. Warehouses are more automated than in days past, making shelf space and design critical to the operation's bottom line.

Because brick and mortar stores must compete with e-commerce, they too need to utilize their limited space wisely. Window displays and rack designs must show off clothing and other goods to their best advantage in order to entice customers inside the store to purchase merchandise.

According to IndustryNet's analysis, the following companies are the top 10 U.S. companies in terms of employment:

1. Based in Chicago, Illinois, the Edsal Mfg. Co., Inc. employs 800 individuals dedicated to providing companies with high-quality industrial shelving and furniture. Capturing a large market share throughout the U.S. with their durable steel products, Edsal offers customers everything from storage lockers to bulk storage racks.

2. What began in 1956 as a small, family-owned business in Goodwater, Alabama, Madix, Inc. has grown to employ 500 people in its original location and includes a total of 2.3 million square feet of production space.

Using c
Posted by IndustryNet
Whether in a manufacturing plant, distribution center or at the point of sale, materials and goods must be stored. In the material handling industry and across the supply chain, racks and shelving are indispensable. The vitality of this segment is reflected in its growth in employment.

According to data gathered by IndustryNet from 217 rack and shelving companies, in the past year, the number of jobs has risen to 4.37 percent, from 9,162 to 9,562. The majority of leaders by number of employees are found in the South and the Midwest. Sales for the industry, however, have declined 2.44 percent over the same period, from $1.90 billion to $1.86 billion. The overall average sales for all manufacturers reached more than $20 billion.

While a choice of racks and shelving might, at first glance, seem straightforward, top companies such as Edsal Mfg. Co. Inc., offer many types and configurations such as bulk racks, pallet racks industrial shelving and specialty shelving. Another growing firm, Lozier Corp., will design storage solutions to meet the needs of its customers.
Posted by IndustryNet
Michigan gained manufacturing jobs for a seventh year in a row, according to IndustryNet's survey of the state's 13,000 manufacturers.

The two charts below provide additional insight into Michigan's manufacturing sector. The first is a snapshot of the state's industrial climate, including growing industries and regions, and a ten-year growth chart that demonstrates Michigan's impressive manufacturing employment growth.

But exactly how much of this growth was due to the auto industry?

The second chart illustrates the auto industry's share of Michigan's manufacturing employment gains in the years following the recession.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data collected by MNI, researcher and compiler of the U.S. manufacturing data that powers IndustryNet, manufacturing employment in Michigan continued to grow in the past year, adding more than 11,000 jobs or 1.6%.

However, the proposed import tariffs on steel and aluminum could deliver a one-two punch to the state's manufacturing climate as industries that rely on imported steel and aluminum face higher prices, and some of Michigan's top export sectors, like food products, face possible retaliatory trade measures.

This article will take a closer look at Michigan's manufacturing sector, delving into specific industry, city, and regional factors. We'll examine the state's outlook in light of recent changes such as tax reform and import tariffs, and chronicle Michigan's unparalleled growth over the past seven years.
Posted by IndustryNet
Everything from crates in a warehouse to pipes on an oil field can be lifted with a hoist. This material-handling equipment can be manually operated, hydraulic or powered by electricity or air. Using a hoist reduces the likelihood of strain-related injuries to employees and allows many businesses to run with greater efficiency. The increasing use of hoists is reflected in the rise in both jobs and sales for manufacturers and suppliers in the industry.

According to data reported to IndustryNet from 80 hoist companies, the number of jobs in the industry has risen by 11 percent over the past year. Sales have increased at nine times the rate for all manufacturing. The leading companies in the sector are located primarily on the East Coast, in the Midwest and the South.

Hoist manufacturers have continued to incorporate advances in technology into their product. Hoists are now available with electronic monitoring of key functions. Housings are designed to promote employee safety and prevent infiltration by environmental elements such as dust. New lines of equipment are more resistant to harsh environments. The companies highlighted below reflect the growth and innovation taking place in the industry.

Top 10 hoist companies by number of employees

A Columbus McKinnon Corp. facility is located in Damascus, Virginia, famous for its status as a "trail town" for those who enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The plant provides 270 jobs to the area and is seen as a manufacturing powerhouse. From research and development through shipping, every step of fabricating hoists is performed on-site in the 200,000-square-foot facilities. The brand produced is called Lodestar, a long-trusted workhorse.

Posted by IndustryNet
Material handling encompasses any type of short-distance movement of products or materials, either within a building or between a facility and mode of transportation. It can involve manual, semi-automated or automated equipment. During manufacturing, storage, distribution and disposal, material handling is an integral part of operations.

Hoists are a vital and growing segment of the material handling industry. A hoist is a device consisting of a drum or wheel wrapped with a rope or chain, which lifts or lowers a load. Hoists may be manually operated or automated, and their power can be provided by hydraulics or motors driven by either electricity or air. Types of hoists include everything from small units, which allow a single person to lift heavy items such as engines or crates, to multistory cranes.

Hoists are used in areas as diverse as manufacturing, warehousing, oil drilling and construction. Many types of accessories, such as hooks and slings, are available to accommodate the type and weight of the loads being lifted and the challenges of the operating environment. Hoists may be sold as standardized units or customized for specific applications.
Posted by IndustryNet
Forklift manufacturers are just one segment of the material handling industry, although an important one. As a whole, the material handling industry has average sales of $229.32 billion, with forklift manufacturing accounting for $24.64 billion of these.

With 387 companies providing 22,479 jobs, it is safe to say that the forklift industry is a significant part of the U.S. economy. To get a better feel for the industry as a whole, take a look at some of the top manufacturers within the segment.

Top 10 forklift manufacturers by employees

One popular method of ranking forklift manufacturers by size is via a comparison of their employment statistics. Here are the top companies based on their number of employees.

1. Crown Equipment Corp. in New Bremen, Ohio: 3,000 Employees

This branch focuses on industrial trucks and tractors. They pride themselves on offering lift trucks for every need, including new trucks and tractors, rental trucks and tractors, and remanufactured forklifts for the manufacturing sector.

2. The Raymond Corporation in Greene, New York: 1,500 Employees

This company has been in the industry for 95 years, creating a reputation for high-quality forklifts and other solutions.

3. The Taylor Group Inc. in Louisville, Mississippi: 1,066 Employees

The company manufactures forklifts as well as other industrial machinery, motors and generators, along with industrial trucks and tractors.

4. Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg. Inc. in Columbus, Indiana: 1,050 Employees

An industry leader, Toyota has manufactured more than 500,000 forklifts in the U.S.

5. Hyster-Yale Group, Inc. in Greenville, North Carolina: 900 Employees

This operation strives to create the best possible lift trucks and create solutions for improved efficiency and effectiveness of its customers.

Posted by IndustryNet
Forklift manufacturers are an important part of the material handling industry, with hundreds of companies and tens of thousands of jobs.

In addition to strong job growth in the sector over the past year, forklift manufacturers have experienced a slight increase in sales, although to a much lesser extent than job growth.

Before taking a closer look at the recent changes to the forklift manufacturing industry in terms of job growth and other factors, consider how forklift companies are spread across the country.

The South has the largest number of forklift manufacturers, 163 or 42 percent. This is followed by the Midwest with 105 or 27 percent. From there, the West has 67 companies and the Northeast has 52, accounting for 17.31 and 13.44 percent, respectively.
Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. manufacturing activity expanded at a slower rate in April after soaring to a 13-year high in February, according to a new report issued this morning by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

According to the ISM's survey of purchase executives, U.S. manufacturing activity edged down another 2 percentage points in April, following a 1.5% decrease in March. The ISM manufacturing activity index now stands at 57.3%, compared to a 13-year high of 60.8% recorded in February.

Any reading over 50, however, indicates expansion, which means the U.S. manufacturing sector is still growing, but just at a slower rate. April's reading of 57.3% represents the nation's 20th straight month of growth in the manufacturing sector, and the 108th consecutive month of growth in the economy overall.

Seventeen of eighteen industries surveyed by the ISM reported growth, led by wood products; electrical equipment, appliances & components; fabricated metal products; transportation equipment; and furniture & related products.

There were no industries reporting a contraction for April.
Posted by IndustryNet
Pallets are indispensable to manufacturers, warehouses and distribution centers in the U.S. and around the world. Operations using pallets have much lower costs for handling and storage. There are six times as many pallets as people in the United States today.

Most pallets are constructed of wood, but corrugated materials and plastics are used as well. With the heavy demand for pallets, a recent study shows that 95 percent of them are recycled. Most pallets in the U.S. are domestically distributed, but wood pallets destined for international travel are specially treated with heat or chemicals to prevent the spread of disease or insects, according to standards specified in ISPM 15.

At first glance, pallets might seem a simple technology, software has been created to optimize their design. Specifications included in computations include load capacity, performance and the quantity of materials required.

The pallet industry today

According to a recent IndustryNet report on 1,637 pallet companies, the number of jobs in the industry have grown from 28,358 to 29,563, an increase of 4.25 percent, in the past year. Sales over the same period have also increased, from $4.44 billion to $4.54 billion, or 2.36 percent.

Posted by IndustryNet
Alpha Metal Corporation, a one-source metal recycling provider,has promoted Renee Zastro to the role of Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales.

For the past year, Zastro has served as Director of Operations for the Chicago-based company. In her expanded new role, she will oversee daily operations and spearhead the development of growth strategies.

As part of her responsibilities, she will manage the buying and selling of scrap metals and establishing the pricing levels for various metal categories.

Zastro's new position builds on her longtime industry experience. Before joining Alpha MetalRecycling in 2017, she worked 13 years for Schiabo Larovo, the Stainless Steel and Alloy Division of SIMS Metal Management. The closing of that division led her to the Alpha Metal Recycling opportunity.

Posted by IndustryNet
New data from IndustryNet show that U.S. pallet manufacturers continue to prosper amid a resurgent U.S. manufacturing industry. Overall, the materials handling industry, which includes pallet manufacturing, shelving and storage equipment, remains strong as U.S. manufacturing activity has reached a 13-year high. If this trend continues as recent data suggest, U.S. pallet manufacturers will be integral to the further expansion of U.S. manufacturing.

U.S. pallet manufacturers positioned to succeed

Pallets, frequently utilized in warehousing and supply chain distribution, are highly versatile yet commonplace products in the materials handling industry. Recent innovations in pallet technology, such as CHEP's versatile blue pallets and manufacturing automation, suggest that materials handling has become a resilient industry and statistics support this assertion.

IndustryNet data show that there are currently 5,927 companies in the U.S. materials handling industry, 73 percent of which operate in domestic distribution. International distribution accounts for approximately 24 percent, which suggests purported import tariffs on steel and aluminum may indeed affect the U.S. pallet manufacturing industry.

Posted by IndustryNet
North Carolina gained manufacturing jobs for a seventh year in a row, according to IndustryNet's survey of the state's 9,702 manufacturers.

The two charts below provide additional insight into North Carolina's manufacturing sector. The first is a snapshot of the state's industrial climate, including growing industries and regions. The ten-year growth chart shows exactly how much North Carolina has grown since the recession, but also reveals how low the state's manufacturing employment levels are compared to pre-recession employment.

Taking a closer look at this data reveals job gains during this period were primarily led by the transportation equipment sector, which has steadily outpaced many of North Carolina's traditional sectors in terms of job growth. The second chart compares job growth in the transportation equipment sector to losses in the textiles/apparel sector.

At the start of the recession, the textiles/apparel sector employed nearly double the amount of workers than the transportation equipment sector. Fast forward to 2017 and that gap has narrowed so significantly, it looks as though transportation equipment will soon overtake textiles as the state's third-largest industrial sector by number of jobs.

Posted by IndustryNet
Material handling is a vital yet frequently ignored factor in the profitability of manufacturing and distribution operations. Whether manual, semiautomated or fully automated, effective use of material handling equipment positively impacts profits at many levels. It reduces damage and increases customer satisfaction by promoting swifter shipping.

Appropriate material handling equipment and procedures have a significant effect on both the health of workers and a company's bottom line. They can both decrease medical costs, including employee compensation claims, and reduce insurance premiums.

According to data gathered by IndustryNet, yearly sales in the material handling industry are $4.5 billion. The 5,927 companies reporting their statistics provided 260,575 jobs. Material handling companies are concentrated in the South and the Midwest, with roughly half as many in the West and Northeast.

Equipment provided by businesses in this sector varies widely with the type of installation and devices involved. It runs the gamut from vehicles to aids that enhance the lifting capacity of individual employees on the production floor. This article details the segments of the material handling industry and illustrates the multitude of ways in which representative manufacturers and suppliers serve their customers.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data collected by IndustryNet, manufacturing employment in North Carolina surged over the past year, adding more than 9,000 jobs -- its seventh straight year of gains.

North Carolina has added more than 29,000 jobs since the end of the recession, recovering about 30% of jobs lost during the downturn.

This article will take a closer look at what makes North Carolina's manufacturing sector tick, delving into specific site selection factors. We'll examine the state's outlook in light of recent changes such as tax reform and import tariffs, and chronicle North Carolina's remarkable recovery from the recession.

North Carolina manufacturing: the year in review

Industrial companies in North Carolina added 9,058 jobs in 2017, a 1.6% gain.

Gains were led by a 6% increase in transportation equipment employment, which now ranks fourth in the state for number of manufacturing jobs, employing 43,975.

North Carolina's transportation equipment sector has driven the state's manufacturing employment growth in the post-recession era, growing by 18% since 2012, and nearly surpassing textiles/apparel as the state's third-largest sector. Textiles/apparel has declined 14% over the same time period.

Posted by IndustryNet
Polishing companies may specialize in specific metals or types and sizes of parts. Electropolishing is most commonly used on stainless steel. It is especially useful for parts and components with complicated geometries not amenable to polishing by abrasive tools and machinery. Equipment and methods employed vary to accommodate the specifications of industries served.

The use of metal polishing and electropolishing is growing. Sales, as reported to IndustryNet by 164 companies in polishing sectors, have risen 0.55 percent. Recently, some shops have expanded into larger quarters. The companies profiled below illustrate the variety of services available from leading firms and the markets they address.

Top companies by number of employees

Able Electropolishing Co. has been a leader in electropolishing since 1954. The company employs 180 workers in Chicago. Metals it processes include aluminum, steel, brass, carbon steel and nickel.

The 100 employees of Valex Corp. in Ventura, California, specialize in producing high-purity stainless steel tubing. Valex serves the semiconductor, electronic display and solar markets. In addition to tubes, it produces fittings, valves, manifolds and assemblies.

Although they polish small batches as well, the forte of the 100 employees of Highpoint Finishing Solutions, Inc. in Zeeland, Michigan, is large runs. The company has grown steadily since its founding in 2011. It is quality-certified to the latest edition of ISO 9001.

Posted by IndustryNet
Electropolishing is one of multiple methods of finishing metal, making the metal polishing sector a key part of the whole metal finishing industry. Electropolishing helps manufacturers smooth and streamline metal surfaces, eliminating any microscopic torn surfaces.

A handful of the most common applications for electropolishing and metal polishing:

-Deburr threads, improve corrosion resistance and reduce galling on fasteners

-Remove fissures and cracks from springs and prevent early product failure

-Create smooth, sharp surfaces on blades

-Remove weld discoloration, as well as create sanitary, clean finishes for wire racks

In addition to fasteners, springs, blades and wire racks, manufacturers can electropolish:

-Tubing or piping


-Sheet metal








Electropolishing is particularly useful for manufacturing of heat exchangers, storage tanks, clean rooms, processing equipment for foods and beverages, nuclear applications and medical equipment.

Metal polishing serves similar purposes and industries, including polishing surfaces to fight corrosion and eliminate spots for bacteria or mold to thrive.
Posted by IndustryNet
Bell Flavors & Fragrances has partnered with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to help wipe out hunger within the community. Among the various different volunteer events that GCFD has to get involved with, Bell is participating in a "Unique Volunteers" program.

One in eight estimated Americans were food insecure in 2016, which is approximately 42 million including 13 million children, according to Feeding America. In Cook County Illinois, one in seven people have experienced food insecurity this year (Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap Study).

Food insecurity and the concept of hunger are close in relation but differs where hunger refers to discomfort from lack of food and food insecurity refers to the lack of financial resources that are available for food with each household.

GCFD says that hunger and food insecurity don't discriminate as it prevails in every community within Cook County and affects people of all ages, races, and genders. The Food Depository helps minimize food insecurity by serving over 812,000 individuals -- over 200,000 households -- each year.

Posted by IndustryNet
Industrial grinding companies play an integral role in the metal finishing process. New data from IndustryNet suggest that industrial grinding companies are holding firm as U.S. manufacturing capacity expands.

What's new in U.S. industrial grinding?

Over the past year, average sales for industrial grinding companies have increased steadily. Average sales now stand at $641.85 million, which represents a 1.4 percent increase overall. IndustryNet's data show average sales in 2017 topped $632.99 million. If this trend continues, U.S. industrial grinding companies will outpace many other segments of the U.S. metal finishing industry.

Furthermore, employment statistics have slightly declined since last year. In 2017, there were 6,674 jobs in industrial grinding; 6,605 jobs exist today. At a glance, these figures seem negligible, but a 1.03 percent decline in employment may correlate to the effect of automation on manufacturing employment.

The top-10 companies by number of employees and the top-10 companies by square-footage provide context for those interested in learning more about the U.S. industrial grinding industry.

Posted by IndustryNet
A new Benson Medical Instruments video, Black Lung Disease -- Is Your Spirometer Compliant? focuses on black lung disease and occupational spirometry for miners who are at risk of developing it. Black lung disease is caused by inhaling coal dust over an extended period of time.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in 2016 the number of black lung disease cases may have increased by 10 times what was previously reported.*

There is no cure for this disease, which is also known as Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP). Occupational spirometry testing is instrumental in helping medical professionals identify workers who may have black lung disease so that they can receive the help they need.

In 2016 NIOSH set new standards for spirometers used for the Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP). NIOSH defined a comprehensive CWHSP report format. In addition, spirometry test result data must be transferable from testing facilities and clinics to NIOSH.

Benson Medical Instrument's CCS-200 Plus Spirometer meets the established standards and provides further benefits such as advanced reporting and analysis, and multi-year recordkeeping for each subject. Moreover, the CCS-200 Plus operating software has a built-in subject readiness interview to help the occupational health professional determine whether the coal miner should be tested on that particular day.
Posted by IndustryNet
Understanding the industrial anodizing sector can help provide insight into the metal finishing industry as a whole. Read on to learn more about its growth and other trends in this market.

The industrial anodizing sector includes anodization of several metal types. This is a key segment of the metal finishing industry. To provide perspective, metal finishing as a whole employs 93,022 people and has average annual current sales of nearly $37 billion. Industrial anodizing makes up 4,007 of these jobs and nearly $585 million of the average sales.

Applications for industrial anodizing can include:


-Hi-tech electronics

-Automotive equipment

-Semiconductor parts


-Anodized finishes for architectural structures, jewelry, artwork, sporting goods, food preparation equipment, appliances and more

By its nature, anodizing is part of metal finishing, since it is yet another method of coating the surface of a metal. Unlike other finishes, however, anodizing preserves the metal's natural texture and luster, which is why it is popular for artwork and jewelry, in addition to industrial applications.

At the moment, industrial anodizing is growing, as shown by a 0.35 percent increase in jobs and a 2.18 percent increase in sales, both within the past year.
Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet's most recent report on Illinois' manufacturing sector shows the state continues to lose jobs, though at a much slower rate than in previous years. Chicago, on the other hand, is fast emerging as a top location for industrial companies, drawing more and more innovative enterprises to its borders -- and losing fewer companies as well.

Our latest infographic provides a snapshot of Illinois' industrial sector, based on our survey of Illinois' 16,000+ manufacturers.

Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. manufacturing activity expanded at a slower rate in March after soaring to a 13-year high in February, according to a new report issued this morning by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

According to the ISM's survey of purchase executives, U.S. manufacturing activity edged down 1.5 percentage points to 59.3%, indicating that although activity in the nation's industrial sector is still expanding, growth is happening at a slower rate.

Any reading over 50 indicates expansion, according to the ISM's metrics.

March's expansion represents the nation's 19th straight month of growth in the manufacturing sector, and the overall economy has expanded for a 107th consecutive month.

Seventeen of eighteen industries surveyed by the ISM reported growth, led by fabricated metals; plastic & rubber products; computer and electronic products; paper products; and printing & related support activities.

Apparel, leather & allied products was the only sector to report contraction in March.

U.S. manufacturing still going strong in 2018, but prices, tariffs trouble

The ISM�s March survey points to continued strength in the nation�s industrial sector, with solid growth in production, new orders and labor. The final reading on the nation�s fourth quarter GDP was revised up to 2.9%, while the Labor Department reported the U.S. added 313,000 jobs in February.

Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data collected by IndustryNet, job growth in Illinois' manufacturing sector remains at a virtual standstill, posting a slight loss in jobs for a third straight year. Employment losses have eased somewhat, however, with declines between November 2016 and November 2017 about half those recorded in the prior survey year (2015-2016). Also, Chicago is seeing the reverse of the state's woes -- with the city adding industrial jobs for a third straight year.

Though Illinois has struggled to recover from the recession, it has not all been bad news. This article will take an in-depth view of Illinois' manufacturing sector, exploring city, county, regional, and historical data collected by IndustryNet. We'll also zero in on some of the challenges faced by Illinois manufacturers, and provide some insight into the state's outlook in light of shifting state and federal policies.

Illinois manufacturing: the year in review

Manufacturing employment in Illinois notched down a half percent in 2017, or by 2,966 jobs, roughly half of the jobs lost in 2016, and far less than the 7,000 manufacturing jobs the state shed in 2015.

Most Illinois industries saw little change in employment levels, though notable declines were recorded in industrial machinery; printing/publishing; and furniture/fixtures. Just two industrial sectors posted measurable gains: employment in rubber/plastics rose 3%; while lumber/wood inched up by 1%.

Manufacturing jobs contract sharply in Central Illinois

Central Illinois accounts for just 12% of the state's industrial employment, yet shouldered the majority of job losses over the year. Industrial employment fell 4.8% in West Central Illinois and declined 2.3% in East Central Illinois.

Jobs were little changed in Northern Illinois, with suburban Cook County jobs up a third of a percent. Jobs in downstate Illinois also remai
Posted by IndustryNet
Bell Flavors & Fragrances showcased innovative flavors during the Research Chefs Association Expo in Savannah, Georgia on March 26th through March 28th.

The RCA Expo displays some of the most cutting-edge and inventive flavor products and is host to an excellent source of networking professionals within the flavor and culinary industry, including culinary chefs, R&D specialists, and professionals across different industries.

RCA was founded in 1996 by R&D chefs who were committed to overcoming challenges that any flavor R&D professional would face. RCA members were the first to trademark the practice of Culinology which combines culinary arts with food sciences.

Today, RCA hosts a variety of events throughout 17 regions across the U.S. and Canada. The association offers educational opportunities through professional development, certifications such as Certified Research Chef (CRC) and Certified Culinary Scientist (CCS), and partnerships with top colleges and universities offering scholarships and mentoring programs.

Bell was on display for attendees during the RCA Expo and showed unique flavor innovations with Lushan Mountain Shrimp Toast and their Plum Chinese Herbal Black Tea.
Posted by IndustryNet
Anodizing is a growing segment of the metal finishing industry. According to data collected by IndustryNet, the number of jobs has risen 0.48 percent in the last year. Sales have increased by 0.82 percent.

The anodizing process deposits a layer of oxide on the surface of a metal. Processed parts form the anode in an electrical circuit, giving the treatment its name. The technique is performed in a tank in which the chemical composition and temperature are strictly controlled. Many companies employ either an on-site chemist or an outside lab to maintain optimal conditions.

There are eight types of anodizing, as outlined in military specification MIL-A-8625. Three forms commonly seen are hard anodizing, dyed and nondyed. While this technology is most commonly applied to aluminum, it can be used with other metals as well, most notably, titanium for dental implants.

Hard anodizing is performed at low temperatures. It forms a tough, corrosion-resistant and an attractive surface on aluminum. One popular application is on cookware.

Dye is applied to an oxide surface and sealed. The most popular colors are black, gold and red. Gold dyed anodized aluminum provides a less expensive alternative to decorative plating.

An unsealed anodized surface readily accepts printing. Silkscreen or sublimation may be used to apply vivid colors. Digital printing is increasingly also a method of choice. Images are produced on objects as diverse as baseball bats, motorcycle parts and architectural moldings.

The leading anodizing companies profiled below illustrate a variety of specialties in the field. They top their sector either by the number of employees or physical size. These shops serve a wide range of industries.

Top companies by number of employees

Valmont Coatings/George Industries provides 200 jobs in Los Angeles, California. The company's capabi
Posted by IndustryNet
Heat treating is a growing sector of the metal finishing industry. According to data gathered by IndustryNet on 454 companies employing heat treating processes, jobs have increased by 0.71 percent. An even more substantial jump in sales has been seen at 8.06 percent.

Heat treating is used to alter the characteristics of metal, such as hardness and workability. Hardening processes for metal have been utilized since 1400 B.C. The first iron foundries began in Cambria, U.K., around A.D. 1700.

Before the development of modern techniques, blacksmiths used heat to aid them in their trade. Softened metal was formed into the desired shape, then quickly cooled or quenched. This technique both increased the hardness and decreased the brittleness of the metal.

New developments

Though the underlying principles remain the same, the technologies of heat treatment have advanced. Multiple modern pathways have emerged. One option involves changes in the processes themselves. An example is a technique known as low-pressure vacuum carburizing in which reduced pressures are used to improve dimensional control on parts such as gears.

Another significant change is the continuing development of more environmentally favorable practices and equipment. Increased thermal efficiencies from methods such as electrical resistance and induction lower energy usage. Additional controls can lower the emissions of gases such as nitrogen dioxide.

The companies highlighted here illustrate how modern heat treating contributes to U.S. manufacturing. They serve a wide range of industries from aerospace to energy. Heat treatment may be executed on-site or within a facility.

Posted by IndustryNet
The heat treating industry accounts for a reasonable segment of the metal finishing sector, which itself has 4,093 companies, 93,022 jobs, and current average sales of $36,890,189,770.00. The heat treating industry only makes up a fraction of this, with 454 companies, but its impact is still large.

While the amount of companies in heat treating is small in comparison to the metal finishing sector as a whole, heat treating does account for the fourth-largest sub-category of the sector both for jobs and sales.

This particular segment works to change properties of metal via heating, and it has numerous applications.

Just some of the products that heat treating can produce include:

- Metal forming tools

- Forging tools

- Titanium alloys

- Stamping dies

- Gears

- Molds for plastic injection

- Low-density powder metal parts

- Stainless steel products

Heat treating can result in softening or hardening the metal, something which can change its properties or be used to mold it into new shapes. Among the most important applications for heat treating, you will find the aerospace and automotive industries, both of which require treated metals and experience growing demands.

Construction is another key application, as building materials such as columns, grills and beams must all undergo heat treatment.
Posted by IndustryNet
Industrial metal grinding crosses virtually every metal-consuming sector. The nuts, bolts and holes that hold together buildings and bridges must be ground to remove surface imperfections.

The medical industry relies on smoothly ground surfaces for everything from trays that hold surgical instruments to the instruments themselves. In aerospace manufacturing, parts are ground to specific measurements to increase strength, decrease drag and improve aircraft performance. Automotive engines rely on smoothly ground surfaces to decrease piston friction.

Grinding also produces the smooth surface that allows further finishing processes such as paint, adhesive or rubber coating to adhere. Whether the final surface is simply cosmetic such as would be required for a shiny, new car or for structural safety as in the rubber coating on a metal staircase, grinding allows the remainder of the metal finishing to look and function as it should.

Once relegated to a labor-intensive, time-consuming task performed manually, automation is on the rise in the metal grinding industry. Since machines work more quickly than do humans, automation saves time during the metal finishing process. How much time it saves depends on the complexity of the programming.
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