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IndustryNet Blog

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 Washington State stalled in the past year, edging down by 400 jobs or about a half percent between April 2017 and April 2018.

This follows Washington State's impressive manufacturing recovery in the years following the recession, in which the state added nearly 20,000 or 7%, surpassing its pre-recession employment in 2015.

This article will take a closer look at Washington State's industrial 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 examine its post-recession growth in detail.

Washington State manufacturing: the year in review

Washington manufacturers lost 439 jobs between April 2017 and April 2018, a half percent loss.

Losses were led by a 6.8% decline in transportation equipment employment, which remains the state's largest industrial sector for number of manufacturing jobs, employing 53,194.
Posted by IndustryNet
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor and Statistics indicates that nationwide, hot-rolled steel production increased approximately 10 percent over last year. Its total economic impact is even more impressive. It accounts for more than $520 billion in economic output and nearly two million jobs, factoring in the direct (the product itself and its workers) and the indirect (products made from hot-rolled steel and ancillary jobs supported by the industry) impacts.

It's hardly surprising, considering that so many other industries and products depend on hot-rolled steel. Skyscrapers use hot-rolled steel I-beams for structural support. Stores rely on it for heavy-duty shelving and racks. Roadways use steel guardrails to prevent accidents. Every mile of railroad track depends on hot-rolled steel. It's hard to imagine our world without it!

IndustryNet recently completed an analysis of the hot-rolled steel industry based on their extensive manufacturing database and found that the number of jobs nationwide increased by 1 percent over the past year. Average sales for the past year neared $900 million, an increase of almost 3 percent over the previous year.

Posted by IndustryNet
The manufacturing skills gap is a multipronged issue requiring several different combined approaches for relief. One common theme though is that students, schools, colleges, industries, as well as local, federal and state governments all need to combine efforts to resolve the issue successfully.

U.S. manufacturing reached its peak in the late 1970s. It provided stable, family-sustaining wages for individuals with only a high school degree, making the American dream possible for many.

Offshoring (moving jobs overseas to take advantage of lower-wage workers) and the Great Recession combined to leave the total number of available manufacturing jobs at only 11.5 million by 2010.

Unfortunately, now that the manufacturing sector is poised for tremendous growth, other factors have entered the picture, making the job market very tight. Baby boomers who should have been able to retire saw their savings decimated by the Recession and are staying on the job longer.

While the reshoring initiative shows promising results, the types of jobs returning from overseas vastly differ from the jobs that left. Instead of low-skilled, manual labor, many of the jobs require some knowledge of robotics or computer skills.

Individuals who could have performed the jobs that left are no longer qualified for the jobs that are returning. For the first time since 2000, the number of job seekers outweighs the number of jobs available.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) recently polled its membership to find that a staggering 72.9 percent of manufacturing companies indicate that workforce attraction and retention is the number one pain point.

Additionally, 79.8 percent of the membership had current unfilled positions, with 34.4 percent losing business opportunities due to their inability to recruit and retain a full complement of workers.
Posted by IndustryNet
The U.S. manufacturing industry continues to shine amid favorable growth forecasts for the remainder of 2018. U.S. steel production keeps climbing, and recent figures place the 2017 output of U.S. steel at 81.6 million metric tons annually. IndustryNet's newest data on U.S. steel coincide with these statistics as the industry anticipates further growth.

What's new in U.S. steel?

Overall, a majority of steel companies in the U.S. are adding workers and increasing sales. Employment in U.S. steel rose 1.91 percent since last year, while average annual sales rose 0.8 percent, far outperforming sales growth of general manufacturing, which is currently 0.11 percent. Of particular note, the carbon steel business is booming with a 1,634 percent increase in sales; however, the steel industry is also booming.

Top 10 U.S. steel manufacturers by number of employees

IndustryNet data shows the top 10 U.S. steel manufacturers, ranked by the total number of employees on site:

United States Steel Corp., Granite City Works

Location: Granite City, Illinois

Employees on-site: 2,200
Posted by IndustryNet
On March 1, 2018, President Donald Trump announced that his administration planned to enact a 25 percent tariff on imported steel. On June 1, 2018, that tariff went into effect on steel from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. Ripples are spreading throughout the economy.

Reactions within the U.S. have varied more along regional lines than ideological ones, with optimism running high in steel-producing states. Steel manufacturers are anticipating increased prices and higher profits. On Wall Street, steel stocks jumped. U.S. manufacturers are expected to decrease purchases of foreign steel in favor of domestic products, adding further to U.S. steel companies' bottom lines.

Steel is a vital component for many industries. It comprises up to 65 percent of the weight of a car. Steel is essential for construction because of its durability, workability and cost. About half of available steel goes into buildings and infrastructure. Equipment manufacturers use another 16 percent.
Posted by IndustryNet
The Trump administration today ramped up its trade action against China, announcing a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods in response to what it calls China's "burdensome and discriminatory practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation" -- in short, intellectual property theft and cybercrime.

This list of goods with an estimated worth of $50 billion, includes those containing "industrially significant technologies" fundamental to China's "Made in China 2025" industrial policy.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement "We must take strong defensive actions to protect America's leadership in technology and innovation against the unprecedented threat posed by China's theft of our intellectual property, the forced transfer of American technology, and its cyber attacks on our computer networks."

The new list of 818 products slated for tariff action is adapted from a previous list of 1,333 products worth $34 billion first published by the Trump administration on April 6th and will go into effect July 6th.
Posted by IndustryNet
As the further expansion of U.S. manufacturing portends an economic boom, material handling companies will likewise continue to benefit from positive growth. Companies in every subcategory of the material handling industry have reported hiring gains to IndustryNet, which shows that U.S. manufacturing keeps performing well. A look at the latest data provides insight for those interested learning more about the largest and fastest growing U.S. material handling companies.

What's new in material handling?

Resilience has been the hallmark of the U.S. material handling industry over the previous year. As a broad, diverse manufacturing sector, material handling companies include:


-Storage equipment






-Material handling equipment


-Warehouse equipment

-Shelving and racking

Posted by IndustryNet
Business Credit Reports Inc., the largest independent provider of business credit information, has added Lifetime Monitoring to its list of small business services, enabling companies to monitor their customers' credit profiles indefinitely for only $5.00 per account per year.

BCR's Lifetime Monitoring enables companies to monitor the credit profiles of any number of U.S. or Canadian businesses for slow payments, collections, tax liens, judgments, derogatory comments and bankruptcy. When any of these events occur, an alert is sent to the Lifetime Monitoring subscriber.

Credit account monitoring gives credit managers an early warning when one of their customers is experiencing trouble that might impact their ability to pay their credit obligations. This early warning enables credit managers to take action to be first in line to collect outstanding debts and protect against further risk.

Posted by IndustryNet
The material handling industry has proven itself to be a pivotal force in the relationship between producers, retailers and consumers. This industry is involved in moving materials from point A to point B within the confined space of a building - something that can often be done by hand, trolleys, forklifts or other wheeled devices.

The conveniences of technology have made themselves known in this industry. The introduction of driverless vehicles, new and improved containers and streamlined conveyor belt systems have had an overwhelmingly positive effect on the material handling industry. This has caused massive growth within the industry, as is evidenced in an article published in MHI Solutions.

However, the most important innovation is smart technology. It allows material handlers to easily keep track of their stock; retrieve missing, lost or stolen items; and streamline transportation options. By discussing the number of companies and jobs in the industry, job changes over the years, average sales and sales change within the industry, the state of material handling as a business and as a whole can be discussed.
Posted by Anthony Gilbert
While brick-and-mortar stores may find it hard to compete with Amazon and online purchasing platforms, there are opportunities for investors due to the shift in customer behavior. More so than ever before, customers are buying products online, even going as far as becoming Amazon Prime members and qualifying for free shipping.

However, this puts pressure on traditional manufacturers who have to change their practices in response to new expectations. What does the need for speed mean for manufacturers and does this potentially play out for those looking to invest in commercial real estate?

The Amazon Effect and Manufacturing

Customers have come to expect more. Acceptable order lead time is down to 1 to 3 business days. These is one of the important issues impacting manufacturers and businesses who attempt to either compete with or promote their goods on Amazon.

Manufacturers are having to shorten order cycle times due to the Amazon Effect. E-commerce has placed new pressures on manufacturers to get a product shipped to a customers in a brief period of time.

Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. manufacturing activity expanded at a faster rate in May as new orders, production, and employment continued to rise, according to a new report issued this morning by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

According to the ISM's survey of purchase executives, the gauge of U.S. manufacturing activity now stands at 58.7%, up 1.4% from April's reading of 57.3%. May's reading is the strongest in two months, though it is still shy of 2018's high 60.8% recorded in February.

May's reading of 57.3% represents the nation's 21st straight month of growth in the manufacturing sector, and the 109th consecutive month of growth in the economy overall.

Sixteen of eighteen industries surveyed by the ISM reported growth, led by textile mills; nonmetallic mineral products; electrical equipment; electrical equipment, appliances & components; printing and related support industries; and fabricated metals products.

For a second straight month, there were no industries reporting a contraction.
Posted by IndustryNet
Benson Medical Instruments recently honored distributors who provide their customers with outstanding customer support at the company's annual sales meeting May 10-11 in Minneapolis, MN.

Benson Medical President, Stephen Benson, presented Stephanie Billing and Kim Biro of Chesapeake Occupational Health Solutions (Hanover, MD) and Neil Adams of Foster Special Instruments (Cincinnati, OH) with certificates for Outstanding Customer Support by a Distributor in 2017.


"Benson Medical honors distributors who support not only the customers who use our audiometers and spirometers, but also the occupational health industry at large," states Jim Teter, Sales Manager.

"These awardees make a practice of getting involved in the industry at national and regional levels, sponsoring CAOHC and NIOSH training sessions, offering the latest technology, and creatively addressing customer needs."

This is the third year of the award, which is open to all authorized Benson Medical distributors. It is the second time both Foster Special Instruments and Chesapeake Occupational Health Solutions have been recognized.

Center: Neil Adams, Foster Special Instruments

Left and right: Jim Teter and Stephen Benson, Benson Medical Instruments.

"Receiving any award is exhilarating, but Benson Medical Instruments recognized us for Outstanding Customer Support," Neil Adams said at the meeting. "Not total sales or number of new accounts, but customer support. It shows not only that our hard work and conscientious effort to fully support our customers are being recognized, but also that Benson is equally focused on supporting our mutual customers."

Benson Medical Instruments Co. designs and manufactures audiometers, earplug fit testers, spirometers and software to manage hearing conservation and o
Posted by IndustryNet
Storage equipment and systems are essential to the material handling industry. They are used for short- or long-term holding of products, equipment and materials until they are needed. Offerings in the sector vary widely to accommodate the size, shape, weight, use and configuration of items being stored. Systems also coordinate with material handling vehicles to facilitate effective retrieval and transport.

According to data gathered by IndustryNet from 70 companies, in the past year, storage has shown growth in both employment and sales. Jobs have risen at 4.35 percent, from 2,964 to 3,093. Sales have increased 4.36 percent, from $998 million to the current average level of $1.04 billion.

Storage trends

Storage system companies are rising to the increasing challenge of e-commerce. They are providing new and better options for data storage facilities. They are also enabling warehouses, manufacturers and distribution centers to more efficiently utilize space. The companies below highlight these and other ways in which storage is integral to both private and governmental functions.
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.

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