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IndustryNet Blog

Posted by IndustryNet
The U.S. iron fabrication industry has shown much resilience as American manufacturing continues to surge. Key industry statistics remain stable without a significant decline in employment growth or sales statistics.

The latest data from IndustryNet encompass key metrics:

-Number of companies and jobs.

-Job change over one year.

-Average sales.

-Top 10 by employees.

-Top 10 by square footage.

These metrics suggest that the U.S. iron fabrication industry is trending well alongside U.S. manufacturing as a whole.

Number of companies and jobs

Data collected by IndustryNet show that there are currently 107 iron fabrication companies operating in the U.S., employing 5,203 workers nationwide.

Job change over one year

Last year, the U.S. iron fabrication industry accounted for 5,205 jobs. New data show that employment has only declined a negligible 0.04 percent, implying a steady job market.

Average sales

Remarkably, average sales statistics over last year coincide with job change statistics. Last year, the U.S. iron fabrication industry reported $616.39 billion in sales. New data show that average sales are currently $616.64 billion, a 0.04 percent increase.

Top 10 iron fabrication companies by employees

IndustryNet data shows the top 10 iron fabrication companies, ranked by the number of employees:

United States Steel Corp., Gary Works

United States Steel Corp., Gary Works also operates blast furnaces and steel mills.

Location: Gary, Indiana

Employees: 4,000

U.S. Pipe Fabrication LLC

U.S. Pipe Fabrication LLC has additional competencies in aluminum rolling and drawing.

Location: Orlando, Florida

Employees: 150

Posted by IndustryNet
Structural steel fabrication is a growing sector of U.S. manufacturing. According to data gathered by IndustryNet, jobs have increased by 2.85 percent and sales by 2.96 percent over the past year. During the same period, sales in some other segments of the metal fabrication industry have held steady or experienced slight decreases.

Prefabricated components offer builders and contractors significant advantages in both quality and convenience. Operations involved in fabrication include cleaning, machining, welding and transportation. Some companies offer additional finishing services such as painting to protect structural steel components from corrosion.

While traditional building design has been dependent on the use of two-dimensional drawings, developments in computer technology have enabled advances in off-site fabrication of structural steel. Building information modeling allows 3-D specifications to be produced for structural components, allowing them to be assembled on-site more easily.

The products offered by structural steel fabricators differ by both location and the industries served. Services also vary to meet the requirements of customers occupying varying niches of the building and manufacturing trades. The successful companies highlighted here illustrate how the specific needs of clients are met.
Posted by IndustryNet
Bell Flavors & Fragrances is excited to announce its new selection of trends for the 2018 "Spark" program. Spark is Bell's insider resource for new and emerging consumer trends as well as flavor and fragrance inspirations. Using a unique and detailed process, Bell uncovered new ideas for 2018 and beyond that are sure to ignite customer inspirations and translate them into winning product ideations.

Bell's Spark flavor trends include a deeper dive into the Mediterranean Sea; consumers that are making healthy-ish decisions; ingredients found at the intersect of the world's grid; chefs using a touch of cleverness in the unexpected; an inspiration from our social surroundings; and a "bao of respect" to well-known Chinese provinces of the culinary world.

The Spark fragrance trends are inspired by the everyday moments that go unnoticed; the classic notes from the French countryside; Mother Nature's accords reflected in the natural beauty space; America's ever-changing landscapes; and by the scents that can only be discovered as you flip through the pages of a novel. Lastly, we look back at trends from the past year and explore how they've made an impact in the ever-changing world of fragrance.

Kelli Heinz, Bell's Vice President of Marketing, talks about Spark: "Bell's Spark trend program has evolved over the years to become a dynamic program that analyzes different data points combined with consumer insight to generate trend forecasts for flavor and fragrance predictions and concepts. Each year Bell validates our past predictions to see where they have matured in the market place and our success rate has been spot on for each Spark trend further validating our unique trend curation process. We are excited to ignite your creativity and inspire your senses for future flavor and fragrance developments."

Posted by IndustryNet
Structural steel forms the backbone of our nation. According to the American Institute of Steel Construction, structural steel is the most cost-effective, reliable and environmentally friendly building material. Skylines, bridges, machinery and appliances all rely on structural steel.

IndustryNet's recent analysis of the more than 1,400 structural steel fabricators in its database reveals that the industry is growing, both in terms of employees and sales, with some striking regional differences in the U.S. This analysis will explore these trends.

IndustryNet reported a total of 1,450 structural steel fabricators, employing 34,372 individuals, representing a 2.85 percent increase over last year. At the same time, the industry experienced a sales growth of 2.96 percent over last year, with sales in excess of $15 billion. This sales growth is twice that of manufacturing as a whole, with two percent of steel fabricators reporting growth versus only one percent of all U.S. manufacturers.

Unlike manufacturing as a whole, the structural steel industry relies heavily on domestic distribution. This reliance is likely based on several factors, including the cost of shipping completed structural steel elements overseas. Nearly 90 percent of all structural steel is utilized domestically, whereas only 70 percent of manufacturing companies nationally rely on international distribution.

Posted by IndustryNet
Recent data collected by IndustryNet shows Kentucky manufacturers added jobs over the past year, helped by gains in transportation equipment and a stabilization in the coal mining industry.

According to IndustryNet's survey of 4,702 Kentucky manufacturers, industrial employment in the state inched up by a half percent between October 2016 and October 2017, recovering losses suffered over the 2015-2016 survey period.

After growing for five straight years between 2010 and 2015, Kentucky broke its winning streak, during the 2015-2016 survey period, shedding industrial jobs for the first time since the recession. This was largely due to a 19% employment decline in coal mining. Job losses in Kentucky's coal mining sector slowed over the past year, however, down 3.2%. In addition, a 2.4% in the state's transportation equipment manufacturing industry helped to offset losses. gains in the auto industry helped to offset losses.

Transportation equipment remains the state's top industry by number of jobs, employing 57,597.

This article will explore some major developments in Kentucky's manufacturing sector in the post-recession era, and take a closer look at what the future holds for the state. We'll explore some of Kentucky's top industrial sectors, companies, and regions, as well as some specific site selection factors that continue to make the Bluegrass State a great location for business.
Posted by IndustryNet
Epec Engineered Technologies, an industry leader in high reliability manufactured electronics, has recently announced a new version of their Customer Portal.

Epec's Customer Portal was originally released back in May of 2015 but Epec's customer service department was still hearing about issues of the usability of the site from their current customers. Epec�s ERP administrator and marketing team were assigned to complete a much-needed design overhaul. Over a 3-month process they were able to rebuild the entire site from the ground up.

"Through customer feedback we came to understand that our site wasn't the most user-friendly portal available, changing the front-end UI look and feel was a must to help our customers get the most benefit from using the portal," shared Keith Araujo, Director of Marketing at Epec.

From an accounting standpoint, Epec's customers can view open and paid invoices, pay invoices online, view credit memos, and apply credit to an open order, as well as running statements. Additional options in the customer portal allow customers to view/print packing slips or COC documents, review quote history, view open and past orders, and even expedite orders online.

Julie Das Neves, Customer Service Assistant Manager at Epec commented, "The ability to expedite your order online has been a huge help to many of our customers. Email can be cumbersome to manage urgent requirements like an expedite. By having customers submit these requests through our portal, we have been able to cut response time in half."

Posted by IndustryNet
Getting the message out about your company and its many strengths can sometimes be difficult. Budgets aren't always available for marketing efforts. In fact, a recent survey of industrial marketing experts showed only 38 percent of respondents expect their spending to increase in 2018. Nearly half say it will likely remain the same as last year.

Even with great marketing strategies, many companies have difficulty understanding how much their efforts really help the bottom line. The industrial sector has somewhat complex sales channels that make it difficult to attribute sales directly back to marketing efforts. Thus, correctly calculating ROI continues to pose a challenge as it has been for many years.

In fact, more than half (52 percent) of survey respondents do not measure ROI because they feel "we need an easier way to do this" and "we don't know how to do this." Even when 70 percent of respondents note they can provide solid numbers for how marketing has increased audience engagement and number of leads, they are less likely to be able to show how it has increased sales.

Marketing is evolving because consumers don't simply want things to be sold to them. Many B2C brands are getting innovative with their efforts. They understand that banner ads don't pull in results. Furthermore, technology is blocking many of those ads. The industrial sector is B2B, but that doesn't mean engineers are suddenly influenced differently just because they are at work.

They look for things in the same way B2C buyers might. In fact, research shows 60 percent of engineers find information from digital publications and another 53 percent find it on vendor websites. It's important to note that final decision makers are the heaviest consumers of this content.
Posted by IndustryNet
During the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA) Annual Meeting last year, collective sentiment about the state of custom metal fabrication seemed to be, "Business is great, but how can we keep up with it all?" Moving forward, the industry is preparing for significant growth.

Because the custom metal fabrication industry serves a variety of other industries such as pharmaceutical, food processing, transportation, industrial, architectural, packaging and ornamental, experts forecast that it won't be a lack of demand that holds back expansion, but companies will need to find skilled employees to meet that demand.

Overall, there are 169 custom metal fabricators in the U.S, according to data collected by IndustryNet. The number of people working in the industry has risen by 0.35 percent in the last year to 4,007. Four percent of companies report new hires in 2017. Two percent of these fabricators are owned by women, with a total of eight plants nationwide.

Of those companies reporting growth to IndustryNet, the largest number are located in the Midwest, accounting for 33.73 percent of expanding companies. The South follows with 18 percent. Other regions adding companies include: Middle Atlantic (15 percent), Pacific (11.83 percent), West South Central (9 percent), New England (6.51 percent) and Mountain (5.33 percent).

Industry-wide, sales are up 2.18 percent, averaging $20.2 million per year.

The health of the metal fabrication industry is largely based on the state of the economy. Great opportunities lie ahead because sectors that rely on metal fabrication such as farming, aerospace and defense are growing at a steady pace. The lawn and garden sector is also doing well.

Additionally, President Trump's goal of a 4 percent annual economic growth is promising for business overall.
Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet recently reported on trends in the aluminum fabrication industry, finding the sector to be fairly stable over the year, with just a slight dip in employment and sales.

This report will take a look at some of the top companies in the U.S. aluminum fabrication industry today, measured by number of employees and square footage.

Currently, there are 185 companies specializing in aluminum fabrication in the U.S. today, employing 3,425 workers across the country. By comparison, there were 3,457 jobs last year, a .93 percent dip.

Sales edged down over the past year by 0.44 percent, from $1,801,149,994 to $1,793,149,993. Most aluminum fabrication firms have a stable number of jobs, with only six reporting an increase in employment and two reporting a decrease.

The vast majority, a full 81 percent, of these companies focus on domestic distribution. Unsurprisingly, most firms are private.

One way to compare aluminum fabrication companies is by studying their labor force, a metric regularly used to gauge size and profits as these factors are typically correlated. The following rankings show the employee count for various companies:

1. Kawneer Co., Inc., Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania: 366 employees. Kawneer specializes in all types of aluminum fabricating as well as metal manufacturing in general.

2. Vulcan, Inc., Foley, Alabama: 300 employees. Vulcan works in aluminum manufacturing, offering marking devices, specialties in advertising, and sign, metal stampings, and sheet metal work.

3. Kaiser Aluminum Fabricated Products, LLC, Heath, Ohio: 250 employees. This company works in aluminum fabrication in general, including different wire products and sheet metal work.

4. Sapa Extrusions, Inc., Sidney, Ohio: 250 employees. Sapa Extrusions, Inc. works with sheet metal as well as aluminum.
Posted by IndustryNet
Rinco Ultrasonics USA, a leading manufacturer of ultrasonic welding equipment, will launch its new Electrical Motion ultrasonic welding machine at NPE2018 May 7-11 at the Orlando County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. (Booth #W5373).

The new machine, available in 20 kHz and 35 kHz frequencies, represents a move away from traditional pneumatic type press systems to electrically driven machines, according to Gordon Hull, managing director of Rinco Ultrasonics.

The Electrical Motion welding system enables users to finely regulate the weld, using precise positioning of the horn, along with the applied welding force to the welding rate. This means considerably better results in welding, punching, cutting, and sealing of molded thermoplastic parts, nonwovens, and synthetic textiles.

Another key feature of the Electrical Motion welding system is a high-performance, industry-type PC that can be easily operated via a 12-inch adjustable touchscreen, with the welding process triggered through an ergonomically designed two-hand operation.

The Electrical Motion Series is a next-generation product based on the company's Dynamic 3000 ultrasonic welding machine (also with a working frequency of 20 kHz and 35 kHz) which was designed for technically demanding welding operations for medium to large-sized thermoplastic parts.

Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. manufacturing activity expanded in January, but at a slower rate than reported in December, according to a new report released this morning by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

The ISM's report shows manufacturing activity in the U.S. expanded for a 105th consecutive month, registering at a robust 59.1%.

January's survey shows new orders and production, while still in expansion territory, eased this past month, while employment decelerated by nearly 4%. Exports accelerated slightly faster than imports, while supplier deliveries slowed. Prices were on the rise.

The ISM's December report closed out a solid year of accelerating manufacturing activity, with the index reaching its highest level since 2004, and though the index inched back slightly, industrial activity is holding steady at this historic high.

The Labor Department's December jobs report shows the nation added 148,000 jobs in the last month of 2017, with employment in the manufacturing sector rising 1.7% year-over-year.

Meanwhile, orders for durable goods surged 2.9% in December, according to the Commerce Department, led by an uptick in new orders for military and civilian aircraft, and U.S. industrial production continues to post strong growth.

A stabilization of oil prices as well as a weaker dollar are among the influences behind current U.S. economic strength, and should help to drive growth in the months ahead.

All of this corresponds with data collected by IndustryNet, including strong manufacturing employment numbers for Ohio and Tennessee, as well as solid growth recorded in the fabricated metals industry.

Posted by IndustryNet
The U.S. aluminum fabrication industry remains stable, which coincides with the sustained productivity of U.S. manufacturers in recent years.

New data released by IndustryNet suggests that aluminum fabrication companies continue to show resilience as the U.S. economy expands. IndustryNet's latest analysis includes these metrics:

The number of companies and jobs.

Top employers.

Job change over one year.

Average sales.

Regional differences.

Each metric emphasizes a different aspect of the U.S. aluminum fabrication industry.

Aluminum fabrication in the U.S. today

Currently, there are 185 companies operating in the U.S. aluminum fabrication industry. In total, these companies employ 3,425 workers across the country. Data on domestic distribution and international distribution stand out as positive indications.

Domestic distribution accounts for 81 percent of all jobs in U.S. aluminum fabrication. International distribution accounts for 17 percent of total employment. The remaining 2 percent of jobs are in the public sector.

Three percent of companies in IndustryNet's data reported increasing employment. However, 1 percent of companies also reported decreasing employment.
Posted by IndustryNet
New data from IndustryNet paints an optimistic picture of American steel fabrication companies. Throughout the U.S., the pace of manufacturing productivity remains steady as the economy keeps expanding. America's top steel fabrication companies depict how amenable the global economy is to U.S. manufacturers.


Accelerating sales growth has become the hallmark of the American steel fabrication industry. Currently, average sales for the entire steel fabrication industry in the U.S. exceeds $34.7 billion while last year average sales totaled less than $29.7 billion.

Sales growth has climbed 17.24 percent, which far outpaces the U.S. manufacturing industry in general. The top 10 steel fabrication companies reflect how efficient and productive the industry has been since last year.

Top 10 American steel fabrication companies

According to IndustryNet's data, the top 10 American steel fabrication companies, as sorted by the number of employees, are:

1. AK Steel Corp.

2. AK Steel Corporation

3. North American Stainless

4. MacAljon/SCL, Inc.

5. The Haskell Company

6. High Steel Structures, LLC

7. SFI Of Tennessee, LLC

8. Paul Mueller Co.

9. Oklahoma Steel & Wire Co., Inc.

10. Monroe Truck Equipment, Inc.

A closer look at each company adds context to IndustryNet's figures.

AK Steel Corp.

AK Steel Corp., specializing in blast furnaces and steel mills, actually has two facilities in the same city.

Location: Dearborn, Michigan.

Employees: 1,900.

AK Steel Corporation

AK Steel Corporation handles metal fabrication.

Location: Dearborn, Michigan.

Employees: 1,500.

North American Stainless

Blast furnaces and steel mills are the main products of North American Stainless.

Location: Ghent, Kentucky.

Employees: 1,375.

MacAljon/SCL, Inc.

Similarly, MacAljon/SCL, Inc. primarily operates with blast furnaces and steel mills.

Posted by IndustryNet
Tennessee's 6,517 manufacturers added jobs for a sixth straight year, according to new data collected by IndustryNet. But where, exactly did employment strengthen?

Our latest infographic provides a snapshot of Tennessee's industrial sector, including growing industries and regions -- plus a 10-year growth chart you won't want to miss.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to IndustryNet's survey of 6,517 Tennessee manufacturers, factory employment in the Volunteer state inched up over the past year, with more than 3,000 new jobs created between October 2016 and October 2017. This represents a one percent increase in the state's industrial workforce, and stands as the sixth straight year Tennessee has added industrial jobs.

Yet, for the first time in several years, job gains were not led by the auto industry, as declining sales in 2017 put a damper on production.

A thriving transportation equipment industry is what led Tennessee's remarkable turnaround in the years following the recession, with employment in that sector growing by 32% between 2011 and 2016, according to IndustryNet data. The past year, however, found the industry at a standstill, with jobs edging down 1.2%.

Weakness in the state's transportation sector was offset by steady gains across multiple sectors over the past year, suggesting Tennessee's industrial economy continues to strengthen across the board.

This article will explore exactly what is going on with the auto industry, and examine some of the main developments in Tennessee's industrial sector in the post-recession era. We'll examine IndustryNet's extensive regional and historical data for the state, and delve into some of the specific site selection factors that continue to make Tennessee a great place for manufacturing.

Posted by IndustryNet
Steel and stainless steel fabricators are at the heart of U.S. manufacturing, supplying major infrastructure and construction projects and serving countless industries, from aeronautics to automotive to defense.

According to IndustryNet's analysis of the more than 2,000 U.S. steel fabricators in its database, the industry is experiencing rapid growth at the moment, with certain regions of the U.S. growing faster than others.

This particular report will zero in on the steel and stainless steel fabrication market, examining the latest trends in sales and job growth, as well as regional differences and distribution trends.

Sales, jobs in steel fabrication trend up

According to data collected by IndustryNet, there are currently 2,270 steel fabricators with 49,858 employees currently in operation in the U.S. This figure is slightly higher than last year's 49,668 employees. Average sales came in at $34 billion, up considerably from last year's $29 billion.

The number of steel fabricators reporting sales growth is twice the national average of the manufacturing industry. Two percent of steel fabricators are growing, while only 1 percent of manufacturers as a whole reported growth.
Posted by IndustryNet
Metal fabrication is a significant contributor to the industrial economy in the United States. The nation's 7,110 metal fabrication companies are in great demand. Data gathered by IndustryNet shows sales in the industry have surged 8% in the past twelve months, while employment has grown 1.7%, These companies generated over $71 billion in revenue in 2017, and currently employ 147,504 in the U.S.

The distribution, sales, and workforce data vary by location and industry segment. This article will explore those differences and the criteria by which businesses may make an informed selection of a metal fabrication company. Companies that illustrate different aspects of this industry and the services they offer to customers, will be highlighted.

Choosing a metal fabrication provider

The first thing a business must consider in selecting a fabricator is the capabilities of the shop. Not all manufacturers work with the same materials. If, for example, products will be constructed of aluminum, a company that specializes in steel may not be a good fit.

Even with the correct choice of metal, a provider must be able to accommodate the dimensions specified in drawings or computer-aided design files.

A shop must also offer needed services such as cutting, often by computer numerical control, bending, blasting, powder coating, and painting. Projects may require assembly by welding, bonding with adhesives, riveting, or with threaded fasteners.

Both automation and human labor may be necessary for a project. A fabricator should be able to provide whatever is required.A customer who needs a prototype should enlist a firm with the ability to design and create one.

Prototyping may involve the use of CNC or 3-D printing. If installation or on-site assembly services are necessary, particularly for large projects, it is essential to choose a vendor who can provide them
Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet's survey of more than 16,000 Ohio manufacturers turned up some interesting trends. Get the latest data on Ohio's manufacturing sector, including top industries, cities, regions, and job growth over the past six years.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data collected by IndustryNet, manufacturing employment in Ohio edged up over the past year, with steady gains posted across a number of sectors. IndustryNet reports the state added 5,217 jobs between September 2016 and September 2017, amounting to a half percent gain.

This represents the sixth straight year Ohio has gained manufacturing jobs, as the state continues to recover from the severe losses suffered during the recession.

Once at the center of rust-belt manufacturing losses Ohio's six-year winning streak echoes similar progress made by states like Indiana and Michigan, and stands in contrast to neighboring states that continue to bleed jobs like Pennsylvania and New York.

This article will take a closer look at the major developments that have occurred in Ohio since the recession, and examine the state's outlook in light of new federal and state policies. We'll explore IndustryNet's extensive regional and historical data for the state, and delve into some of the specific site selection factors that continue to make Ohio a great place for manufacturing.

Ohio manufacturing: the year in review:

Industrial companies in Ohio added more than 5,000 jobs between September 2016 and September 2017, a half percent gain.

In contrast to previous years in which growth was attributed almost exclusively to the auto industry, gains over the past year were seen in a spectrum of industries, indicating Ohio's manufacturing growth is strengthening across the board.
Posted by IndustryNet
While a high number of website hits looks nice on paper, numbers do not necessarily lead to sales. In fact, many visits to a website may simply be bots, which have zero intention of purchasing the company's product or services. As companies work to drive traffic to their website, the focus should be on quality over quantity.

Bot traffic has skyrocketed in recent years. Research from Distil Networks found that nearly 60 percent of web traffic in 2014 was automated code. Out of those bots, 23 percent were targeting websites maliciously. Such bots are designed to perform illegal actions such as skimming credit card numbers or copying portions of blogs for use elsewhere.

Other bot visitors are helpful. Google bots, for instance, crawl websites in order to index them so they can be searched by internet users. Facebook bots reduce long articles to an image and a snipped so they can be easily shared on the social media network.

Regardless of the purpose of the bot, their traffic to a website does not constitute quality traffic. Any evaluation of analytics based solely on quantity fails to account for these bots. This lack of consideration results in over-inflation of the numbers, leading a company to believe it is performing better than it actually is.

Posted by IndustryNet
Businesses can gain many advantages by using a contract manufacturer. They can choose a company that is highly skilled and quality certified for fabrication or formulation. Contracting firms avoid risky capital investments in new equipment and can pass on the costs of hiring and training additional personnel to their production partners.

One downside of employing a contractor is the increased shipping costs that stem from the use of a distant source. The extensive time and travel required to inspect facilities and monitor quality can also become drawbacks.

Businesses must also carefully scrutinize their providers to maintain the security of their intellectual property. The following companies in six different industrial sectors illustrate how contract manufacturers can minimize costs and address quality, logistical and security concerns for their clients.


Located in a suburb of Chicago, a global transportation hub, Andrew Technologies Inc. of Wheeling, Illinois, is ideally positioned to reduce both shipping and travel costs for their clients. Certifications in both ISO:2008 and ISO: 13485:2003 reflect the excellence of their quality management system for the manufacturing of circuit boards and circuit board assemblies. As a member of the Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC), it trains and certifies its staff to IPC standards.

As a supplier to aerospace, the nuclear industry, and the military, lives depend of the quality of products fabricated by Scott ElectroKrafts Inc. It holds certifications in AS 9100 Revision C and ISO 9001:2008. It maintains IPC-certified trainers on staff and to ensure the safety of their products, is RoHS compliant. Located in Andover, Connecticut, connected to New York City by Route I-95, Scott is well positioned to take advantage of the transportation opportunities available in the New York-Newark a
Posted by IndustryNet
According to recent data collected by IndustryNet, contract manufacturing is growing at more than twice the rate of manufacturing as a whole, reporting a 9 percent increase in employment, compared to an overall industry growth rate of only 4 percent.

Sales growth follows this trend, with the nation's contract manufacturers reporting three times the growth rate of manufacturing. Contract manufacturing boasts a sales growth rate of 3 percent compared to the industry rate of only 1 percent. This article will break down some of those statistics, and look at some of the nation�s top contract manufacturers, broken down by employment, job growth and square footage.

Regionally, the Midwest portion of the U.S. (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota) is the place to be if you are a contract manufacturer. This region contains 217 contract manufacturers, or 30 percent of the nation's total contract manufacturing population. It also boasts the strongest employment growth rate at 25 percent.

In terms of company location, the Pacific region (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington) takes second place with 116 contract manufacturers, representing 16 percent of the nation's total. It is followed closely by the Mid-Atlantic area (New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) housing 103 contract manufacturers, or 14 percent.

The South Atlantic section (Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia) takes fourth place with 89 contract manufacturers, which is 12 percent of the U.S.' total contract manufacturers.

Three of the four remaining regions contain a similar number of manufacturers. The New England region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) has 71 contract manufa
Posted by IndustryNet
Companies in industries from electronics to pharmaceuticals choose contract manufacturers to produce their wares. Contract manufacturing allows businesses to increase their production capacity without capital investment or hiring additional staff.

According to IndustryNet's hand-verified data, contract manufacturing has seen an uptick in growth over the past year. This article will examine how and why contract manufacturing shows more substantial growth than U.S. manufacturing as a whole. It will also detail variations by industry sectors and geographic regions.

Average sales in contract manufacturing increased by 2.26 percent. The plastics segment was the leader in sales growth, at 15.28 percent. Pharmaceuticals and medical products saw no changes from the previous year, but sales in electronics rose 0.86 percent and manufacturing and packaging 2.84 percent.

From 730 contract manufacturing companies with a total 48,104 employees, the number of jobs is up 3.32 percent. In employment growth, pharmaceuticals led the pack at 7.16 percent, followed closely by plastics at 6.94 percent.

Hiring increases in electronics were 1.90 percent. Jobs in manufacturing and packaging increased 2.04 percent, and medical sector positions 2.20 percent.

In explaining the discrepancy between the rise in employment in the medical and pharmaceutical industries, versus the lack of growth in sales, it is essential to understand the challenges unique to these sectors. For companies serving these industries, quality control is indeed a matter of life and death and is often labor-intensive.

Superior, well-trained and educated personnel is required to meet safety and regulatory demands. Choosing manufacturers in the United States in preference to those overseas presents distinct advantages in maintaining the highest product standards.
Posted by IndustryNet
So you think that your company would sell more left-handed widgets if it created a catchy banner ad? You might want to re-think that position.

According to recent research, approximately 26 percent of Americans already use some form of ad-blocking software. This software usage resulted in a loss of around $15.8 billion in ad revenue last year alone.

Still not convinced that you should rethink your banner-ad concept? Consider this - Google Chrome plans to launch its own integrated ad-blocking software with its upcoming release. And since estimates range from as low as 66 percent to as high as 90 percent of all internet users turning to Google as their primary search engine, you really should rethink the impact that banner ad blocking could have on your marketing efforts.

Google's newly integrated software will automatically block ads that do not meet the coalition's minimum threshold, including banner ads.

Perhaps you are counting on the fact that mobile searches have overtaken desktop searches, and your banner ad will be mobile friendly. Think again. While it is true that mobile searches are on the uptick while desktop searches have basically flat-lined over the past few years, Google plans to introduce its ad-blocking software on Android as well.

Instead of throwing your marketing dollars away on banner ads, consider turning to a company that specializes in working with and for the manufacturing industry for assistance.

Posted by IndustryNet
Led by a surge in new orders, U.S. manufacturing activity expanded at a faster rate in December, according to new data released this morning by the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM survey of manufacturing executives shows U.S. industrial activity picked up speed, edging up 1.5% to a current reading of 59.7%.

December marks the 16th consecutive month of growth in the manufacturing sector, and the 103rd month of growth for the U.S. economy overall.

A surge in new December's growth, according to the ISM's key metrics, and was also boosted by an uptick in production, supplier deliveries, and exports. However, employment expanded at a slower rate, and customer inventories continue to shrink.

Sixteen of the eighteen industries surveyed by the ISM reported growth, led by machinery; computer & electronic products; paper products; apparel, leather & allied products; printing & related support activities, and primary metals. Wood products and textile mills were the only two sectors to report a contraction.

U.S. manufacturing has accelerated in recent months, despite the temporary setback triggered by 2017 hurricane season that weakened the ISM's reading for manufacturing activity in October.

The most recent Department of Labor report shows the U.S. added 228,000 jobs in November, with the manufacturing sector accounting for 31,000 of those jobs. IndustryNet's December reports indicates significant employment growth in the U.S. packaging and conveyor industries, as well as a remarkable growth in manufacturing employment for the state of Utah.
Posted by IndustryNet
On December 22nd, 2017 President Trump signed a monumental tax reform bill into law shortly after it passed both the Senate and House. The sweeping bill represents the largest tax overhaul in 30 years, hailed by the president as an "Incredible Christmas gift for hard-working Americans."

We've heard a lot about how the tax bill will affect individuals and the breaks it affords to corporations, but what about hard-working American manufacturers? For the most part, it looks like the bill will have a positive impact both on corporations and on the 27 million small businesses currently active in the U.S. Manufacturing, especially, could stand to benefit, with lower costs for capital expenditures potentially spurring investment and increasing global competitiveness.

The National Association of Manufacturers' recent Manufacturers Outlook Survey showed more than half of businesses responding felt tax reform would cause them to increase capital spending, hire more workers, and increase employee wages and benefits. Yet, another study shows only 14% of U.S CEOs planned to make significant capital investments due to tax reform.

Either way, the recent tax reform bill will undoubtedly have a major impact on U.S. businesses, particularly those in the manufacturing sector. Here are some of the key pillars of the bill expected to influence U.S. manufacturing in the years ahead.

Posted by IndustryNet
An attractive box can entice a consumer to grab it enthusiastically from a store shelf. Even the finest products may be left behind if their look is too pedestrian. One-third of consumers make a decision based on packaging.

A customer entranced by the appearance of their purchase can spark even more sales by posting pictures of it on social media. Materials, shapes, colors, and typography can be factors in customer appeal. Manufacturers may apply methods such as tinting, die cutting, and digital printing, to create a siren call to potential buyers. Boxes may also occupy or transform into displays that attract the attention of shoppers.

Preventing damage during shipping can also be a vital component in the design of a box. Some companies add specially fabricated dividers and pads to safeguard fragile merchandise further. Prompt delivery times are often essential to successfully bringing a product to market.

Some box suppliers maintain distribution systems to supply their business customers. Containers for export must be fabricated of specific materials to avoid international regulatory restrictions.

The following are examples of companies that provide custom box and packaging services engineered to address their customers' unique needs.

A Full Palette

While offering a comprehensive line of boxes, displays, and services, Amerisource Companies of Carrollton, Texas is set apart by the colored containers they create.

They pride themselves on providing any color box their customers request. Amerisource's clients include Ingersoll Rand, Sears, and Mary Kay. They fulfill the demands of businesses countrywide through an efficient online ordering system.

In business since 1882, Lawrence Paper Company in Lawrence, Kan., has a unique approach to color. It has the capability to tint their liners during manufacturing. As a result, a box can
Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet recently reported packaging and corrugated box companies in the U.S. are seeing rapid growth as multiple market influences, including e-commerce, subscription boxes, and the ever-growing popularity of convenience foods continue to stoke demand for numerous types of boxes and packaging services. Today, IndustryNet takes a look at some of the top box manufacturers in the U.S. that are helping to meet this demand.

ReadyOne Industries is an exceptional company. They are proud to employ individuals with disabilities, including disabled veterans. At ReadyOne's packaging division in El Paso, Texas, they provide jobs for 1,300 workers. Their products include corrugated boxes, packaging and storage solutions. They offer both design and logistics services for El Paso and Northern Mexico.

Southern Champion Tray LP offers packaging for everything, from doughnuts to delicatessen products. They are expert in showcasing their customers' freshly made offerings to hungry consumers. Southern Champion provides a wide selection of colors and types of materials to produce the most appetizing appearance for bakery, foodservice and catering items. The company employs 550 people in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Attention-grabbing boxes are designed and crafted in Pawtucket Rhode Island by International Packaging Corp. Their 500 employees use attractive shapes, colors and textures to package jewelry, specialty foods, apparel, stationery, coins, and health and beauty products. A lean manufacturing system allows them to fulfill the needs of their business customers quickly and efficiently.

Posted by IndustryNet
Bell Flavors & Fragrances has announced new smokeless smoke flavors, a natural alternative to traditional liquid smoke with variations ranging from mesquite to cherrywood. These natural smoke type flavors will help elevate their respective individual flavor nuances that continue to grow in popularity.

Bell's smokeless smoke type flavors are advantageous as they can provide ingredient label benefits, are easily customized, and can facilitate a reduction in traditional food smoking time while maintaining the delicious savory smoked flavor. Smokeless smoke variations such as smoke, applewood, cherrywood, pecan, hickory, and mesquite are being sought out as on-trend food flavors resulting from classic food preservation methods.
Posted by IndustryNet
As IndustryNet reported in May 2017, the U.S. packaging industry is seeing rapid growth. Experts anticipated at the time that sales growth would remain strong through the year.

Similarly, box companies in the U.S. reported growth across all regions. Rigid box makers stood out in the industry.

Packaging manufacturers on the whole saw an increase in sales (.24 percent) to nearly $57.2 billion. Nationally, five percent of companies reported employment increases, slightly higher than four percent for U.S. manufacturing overall.

The Wall Street Journal reported the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index fell in November, yet it remains "solidly in growth mode." In fact, recent economic data reveals, the U.S. "has an important manufacturing base, which represents roughly 15 percent of output." About 40 percent of the foreign direct investment is from the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Sale increases in subsectors can be attributed to a number of trends. The rigid container market, for example, has benefited from the rise in the demand for convenience foods domestically as well as internationally. Sales were up 12.75 percent, significantly more than any other market. Wooden box manufacturing was second with a 4.16 percent rise in sales.

The forecast remains good for rigid container manufacturers as lifestyles change, one-person households remain on the rise and disposable incomes allow for the purchase of popular packaged convenience foods.

The corrugated box market, up .23 percent in sales this year to $55,260,049,984, is an increase after remaining relatively flat for the last 15 years. Experts attribute this growth to e-commerce and the new consumer behavior of being able to place orders from mobile phones.

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