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IndustryNet Blog

Posted by IndustryNet
According to data collected by IndustryNet, wire and cable manufacturers have performed quite well relative to United States manufacturing as a whole.

Recent IndustryNet data shows four percent of manufacturers across all sectors have reported employment growth, while four percent have reported decreases in the last year. By comparison, five percent of wire and cable manufacturers showed growth in employment, while three percent reported declines. These figures encompass 1,302 companies in the industry that employ 62,554 people.

Anixter Wire and Cable has a manufacturing plant covering 10 million square feet in Lenexa, Kansas. It is the largest in the country. The 10th largest is a division of Bekaert Corporation and occupies 600,000 square feet in Van Buren, Arkansas.

In sales, both across manufacturing and exclusively wire, one percent of wire and cable manufacturers report increases and one percent report decreases. Average sales for the industry this year were $24,686,549,950 up 1.06 percent over the previous year. That's an increase of nearly $260 million.

Jobs in the wire and cable industry overall grew 3.3% over the past year.

This article will address how growth in employment and sales varies by both location and by category of wire products, while briefly profiling a couple of the top wire and cable manufacturers in the U.S.
Posted by IndustryNet
Wiring harnesses are essential to numerous industries, making the choice of manufacturer crucial. There is a great deal of variation in the ways the cables can be bound, making room for wire harness companies to specialize in a specific type of harness. To source the right manufacturer for your custom wire harness assembly, you should compare your desired specifications with their specialties, taking into account the factors below.

As you begin your search for a wire harness manufacturer, you may be tempted to bring production in-house. However, while you would need to buy and maintain all the expensive machinery needed, manufacturers already have it. Additionally, due to economies of scale, they are able to get a better price on materials than you could. Pinner Wire & Cable, Inc. boasts robust relationships with leading component suppliers, allowing them to negotiate a better price on your behalf. Between the equipment cost and bulk material purchasing, outsourcing wire harness assembly saves you money - even with the charges from the manufacturer.

One of the most critical factors when sourcing a manufacturer for custom wire harness assemblies is the equipment they use. If they use older or faulty equipment, your wire harness assemblies may fray or wear out more quickly. Winar Connection Inc. uses a fully automatic Schleuniger Crimp Center 64 it purchased in 2013; the machine allows for higher performance and a lower setup time. They also use multiple fully-automatic crimping machines, a braiding machine and an ultra-sonic welder.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to an article in Entrepreneur magazine, companies typically cite five main reasons for business relocation: labor and workforce issues, reaching new markets, upgrading facilities or equipment, reducing costs or increasing cash flow and quality of life considerations.

Business relocation also carries some pretty serious risks:

-The possibility of losing some of your customers

-Expenses that you didn't budget for

-The potential loss of valuable equipment

-Loss of essential employees who cannot or will not move with the company

Management needs to use every available tool to minimize the impact on operations while preserving financial solvency. Here are four tools that can help address some of the most critical factors that business faces during relocation.

Research locations

The primary concern for any business that needs to relocate due to reasons as varied as expansion, reducing overheads or being closer to their customers' location. Management needs to be sure that the new locale is as favorable to business as possible and that requires an accurate, comprehensive and quick source of information on that company's potential new home.

Use IndustryNet's Expansion and Relocation Guide for business to discover crucial information about:

-Is it a right to work state?

-What is the total population?

-Which areas have the most manufacturing jobs?

Posted by IndustryNet
Growth in the battery industry in the United States is outstripping that in other manufacturing sectors. According to data gathered by IndustryNet, in the past year from all companies reporting manufacturing, average growth rates in both employment and sales have been static.

Meanwhile, battery companies experienced increases in both metrics. New battery technology has played a significant role in promoting this expansion. While Tesla, Inc. is a well-publicized example, there are several other top battery manufacturers leading innovation and growth within the industry.

Battery manufacturers and renewable energy sources

The lithium battery has played an essential role in spurring on the green revolution. One company at the forefront of this leap forward is Universal Power Group (UPG). Both solar and wind installations require efficient and reliable systems to capture and store intermittently produced energy.

UPG's Universal and Kinetik batteries are engineered to accommodate those needs well. UPG also provides products to such diverse industries as sports, oil and gas, biomedical, electric vehicles and a variety of consumer- and business-oriented products.

Another leader serving the green energy sector is East Penn Manufacturing Company. Using advanced forms of lead-acid technology, they support stop-start technologies such as inverters, smart electrical grids, as well as solar and wind power generation.

East Penn regards sustainability as a high priority, employing the most advanced systems to control lead emissions to both air and water. The company has utilized HEPA filters for more than 25 years, releasing air that is cleaner than that in the surrounding atmosphere. Of companies reporting to IndustryNet, East Penn is second only to Tesla in terms of square footage.

Posted by IndustryNet
Americans use batteries in virtually every home, office, device, and vehicle, so it's no surprise that the U.S. battery manufacturing industry is exploding. And, as the country shifts slowly away from fossil fuels, battery manufacturers are responding to the need for power by innovating new styles and types of batteries that provide comparable function at a reasonable cost. The following top battery companies are cornering their market niche and looking to the future for their next power-generating opportunity:

Top battery manufacturers in the U.S. by square footage

1. Tesla; McCarran, Nevada

Elon Musk's goal is to power the world with sustainable energy. His "Gigafactory" plant in Nevada is the world's biggest, at 13,600,000 square feet. The facility is also home to the third largest single-site workforce of 1,000 employees.

2. East Penn Manufacturing; Lyon Station, Pennsylvania

The single site facility of this privately owned lead-acid battery manufacturer is 3,200,000 square feet. It produces power sources for the transportation, motive power, and reserve power sectors.

3. EnerSys Energy Products; Warrensburg, Missouri

This manufacturer builds multiple battery options for high-temperature locations in its 600,000 square foot Missouri plant.

4. EaglePicher Technologies; Joplin, Missouri (Plant 1)

EaglePicher sources the defense, space, medical, oil and gas, and aviation industries. Its largest production facility, at 500,000 square feet, produces many of its thermal, primary, and secondary battery packs, charging stations, and energetic devices.

5. XALT Energy; Midland, Michigan

XALT is proud of its all-electric, zero emissions buses and Formula E race cars. Its marine sector offers power solutions that make new ships more environmentally friendly while also reducing their fuel and operating costs. Many of its batteries are built in its 500,00
Posted by IndustryNet
The battery industry is all charged up, although prices are down currently in response to low lead and metal prices. However, the industry is expected to grow as domestic automobile manufacturers escalate their demands, the rechargeable battery sector expands, and new battery technology helps drive the sector forward.

New battery technology driving industry growth

Technological advances are playing into industry strengths: the demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries is exploding as both domestic and foreign car builders signal their transition away from fossil fuels.

Tesla's Elon Musk is underscoring his commitment to solar energy stored in long-life batteries and his "Gigafactory," a 4.9 million-square-foot-battery production facility located in Nevada, is already producing more battery units than any other individual factory in the world. Musk is also betting on solar power replacing fossil fuels and his "Powerwall" home battery is completely energized by solar radiance (no grid power) and holds a charge that powers continuous use for seven days during an outage.

Globally, the investments in new battery technology and production are escalating, driven by the worldwide agreement to reduce carbon emissions caused by fossil fuels.

U.S.'s battery-producing operations

In the United States, the industry grew by 12.12 percent during 2016, adding almost 4,000 jobs and slightly more than $60 million in increased earnings in the same year, according to IndustryNet data. Compared to the manufacturing industry, 5 percent of battery manufacturers reported adding jobs while only 4 percent of manufacturing companies reported that gain.

Sales, however, in both battery and general manufacturing tied at 1 percent growth year-over-year. Although the battery sector runs equally with general manufacturing for numbers regarding women-owned companies at 2 percent
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data collected this week by IndustryNet, industrial employment in Massachusetts flatlined for yet another year, inching down a half percent, or by 2,180 jobs over the past twelve months.

High business costs, global competition, and a strong dollar continue to plague some of the Massachusetts' more traditional sectors, while industries representative of the state's focus on tech and innovation, are on the rise. This has contributed to a historic 5.6% surge in real GDP for the state in the third quarter. Boston industrial jobs rose 7% over the past year, according to IndustryNet data.

This post will explore major trends in Massachusetts' manufacturing sector, delving into city, county, and regional data collected by IndustryNet. We'll also examine some of the major announcements over the past several years, and assess the state's outlook in light of new Trump administration policies.

The year in review

Industrial companies in Massachusetts shed 2,182 jobs between August 2016 and August 2017, or a half percent loss.

Job losses were led by the state's industrial machinery sector, which shed 4.2% of its workforce, and remains Massachusetts' top sector by number of industrial jobs. Additional losses were felt in sectors most vulnerable to global competition and included spread stone/clay/glass, down 9.2%; rubber/plastics, down 5.4%; textiles/apparel, down 4.6%; transportation equipment, down 4.4%.

Some industries in Massachusetts posted significant increases, including a 1.8% jobs increase in the medical instruments/related products sector. Employment rose 1.7% in both the chemical and fabricated metals industries, and rose 1% in food processing.

Regionally, employment losses were mainly seen in the state�s Central region, which shed 1% of its jobs and represents the largest share of the state�s industrial jobs, with 172,038 workers. Manufacturing jobs fe
Posted by IndustryNet
Sound is vibration transmitted through an elastic medium. If it travels through steel machinery, it can directly impact production. If it permeates the atmosphere of an office, sound can set nerves on edge and compromise concentration and communication.

Acoustics consultants deal with issues related to sound. They increase workplace safety and enhance comfort and performance by controlling excessive noise. This article will explore three areas of acoustical consulting and mention some of the firms that provide those services.

Architectural Acoustics

Each work environment is unique. Acoustical consultants help architects select the materials, designs, and technologies that will result in the least environmental noise. They consider how sound moves and what methods must be used to control its transmission. These will include walls, ceilings, and partitions as well as the choice and arrangement of furnishings.

A particularly challenging environment is open offices. A report by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) indicates that more than 80% of the companies that responded to the survey use this type of arrangement to reduce overheads. Less space is allotted to employees, increasing ambient noise levels. With speakerphones, voice mail, and computer fans, the work environment can become very distracting. In these situations, acoustical consultants rely on noise dampening technology to mitigate sound levels.

Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. manufacturing activity expanded in October, but at a slower rate than reported in September according to new data released this morning by the Institute for Supply Management. ISM's index of U.S. manufacturing activity, based on a survey of U.S. supply executives, slowed to 58.7 in October, 2.1% shy of September's historic 60.8% -- its highest reading in 13 years.

Any reading over 50 indicates expansion, according to the ISM's metrics. October marks the 14th consecutive month of growth in the manufacturing sector, and the 101st month of growth for the U.S. economy overall.

Overall, the U.S. manufacturing sector and the economy overall has experienced strong growth, corresponding with multiple local Fed reports, such as New York manufacturing activity reaching a new high, and a 3.1% rise in GDP recorded in the second quarter.

IndustryNet has also reported sustained growth in multiple sectors such as lumber and wood products and chemical processing. Construction spending continues to rebound, which has helped to boost jobs in the roofing industry. Manufactures in numerous states such as Wisconsin, Colorado, and Indiana have reported significant growth to IndustryNet over the past year.
Posted by IndustryNet
MIDDLETOWN, CONN., (October 31, 2017) --In order to meet increased demand for its ultra-premium MicroVantage line of filters and cartridges, Shelco Filters has expanded its manufacturing facility by more than 20,000 square feet. The expansion, which was completed this month, will be dedicated to the production and testing of the company's pleating operation for the popular MicroVantage filter cartridges and other Shelco products.

Shelco's MicroVantage pleated cartridges, membrane cartridges and high-purity cartridges are designed to meet and exceed the demanding specifications of a wide spectrum of today's industries, from food and beverage to chemicals, gases and paints. The line, which is sold directly through Shelco as well as in all major distribution outlets, includes sanitary filter housings and high-purity housings for critical and demanding applications that require maximum durability, ease-of-use and value.

"By focusing on developing cost-effective and efficient filters that meet the demands of today's growing economy, we were able to increase our business to such an extent that we outgrew our existing space," said Robert LeConche, president and CEO of Shelco. "We were fortunate that we could expand at our current location to create the additional manufacturing space and we look forward to a strong future making the best filters on the market."

Founded in 1973, Shelco ( offers one of the most extensive lines of filters and cartridges, distributed and sold throughout the world. The company's product lines meet the needs of countless industrial and high-purity applications, including water and other in-plant liquids, gases, foods, beverages, chemical, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, photographic solutions, fuels, lubricants, paints and coatings, plating solutions and more. Additionally, Shelco offers a complete line
Posted by IndustryNet
Growth in the 3-D printing industry has exploded through the years. While half of the 3-D printing companies are concentrated in the Midwest, there are numerous companies starting up all across the United States. IndustryNet data shows employment at 3D printing companies in the U.S. is up slightly more than 35 percent, and sales have increased 1.6% over the past year.

Although the industry is small, it is at the forefront of innovation in American manufacturing. This comprehensive list provides information on 36 top 3-D printing companies in the U.S.

3D Systems, Inc.; Lawrenceburg, Tennessee; Number of employees: 65:

In 1983, Chuck Hull, the cofounder and chief technology officer, invented stereolithography, the first 3-D printing process. Today, it is considered the gold standard for accuracy and surface finish in prototyping. In May 2016, the company announced plans to invest $2.9 million for expansion, adding an additional 25,000 square feet to its facility.

The Technology House Ltd.; Streetsboro, Ohio; Number of employees: 50:

The company serves a growing range of businesses in the medical, aerospace, defense, industrial, energy and consumer products markets. It also operates a sister company, Sea Air Space Machining, a woman-owned small business that offers a variety of advanced machine shop services.

Whiteclouds; Ogden, Utah; Number of employees: 40:

The Whiteclouds facility has the largest full-color 3-D printing capacity in the world. Founded in 2013, it offers complete end-to-end solutions for healthcare, architectural and entertainment professionals.

Dinsmore, Inc.; Irvine, California; Number of employees: 30:

Among the company's accomplishments is the creation of FPU 3-D-printed wheels dubbed "The Ultimate 3D Printed Wheel" by Braille Skateboarding. A project coordinator at Dinsmore came up with the idea as a "fun side project." It not
Posted by IndustryNet
While once primarily limited to a small number of prototype creators and hobbyists, 3D printing is now fertile ground for both start-up 3D printing companies and the expansion of existing providers. According to statistics gathered by IndustryNet, the establishment of 3D printing companies rose sharply starting in 2013, and that growth continues.

Recently, General Electric bought two major 3-D printing companies for $1.5 billion. Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Singapore Airlines is exploring the use of 3-D printing for the production of aircraft components.

Also in aerospace, Boeing is showing significant interest in the field. In the automotive sector, Ford is using 3-D printing to fabricate parts. SpaceX has even printed a rocket engine. There are many trends contributing to the proliferation of 3-D printing companies and several regions where expansion is taking place.

Geographic trends

According to data gathered by IndustryNet, the highest number of reporting 3-D printing companies is in the Midwest at 50 percent. This concentration is followed by 28 percent in the South, 19 percent in the West and 3 percent in the Northeast. Employment follows a similar pattern with 41 percent in the Midwest, 35 percent in the South, 30 percent in the West and 3 percent in the Northeast.


A significant trend in 3D printing has been the increase in the number and type of materials available. Advantage Prototype Systems Corp., located in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, uses these innovations to its advantage. Employing an array of both generalized and specialized resins, Advantage Prototype Systems produces both concept models and engineering parts for a variety of industrial applications.

Posted by IndustryNet
Each year, more than $101 billion is generated around the world from chocolate sales. According to Statista, $22.4 billion of that total comes from U.S. chocolate suppliers. Whether you are a fan of chocolate or not, even the most skeptical person can see that chocolate is an impressive, multibillion-dollar industry driven by the sales of chocolate candies, syrups, baking bars and other related products.

A closer look at this confection's health benefits, increasing consumer demand and projected future growth makes it easy to see the big picture of chocolate suppliers in the U.S. and their undeniable global impact.

The science of chocolate

With the average chocolate product, such as candy pieces or bars, there are a number of ingredients added to enhance the taste and structure. With additions like nuts, caramel, peanut butter, coconut and more, there is an extensive list of options that can be added to, mixed in or blended with chocolate. However, the science of pure chocolate is noteworthy by itself.

For instance, according to Mental Floss, chocolate is the only type of edible substance that melts at a temperature of 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the normal temperature of your mouth is typically around 5 degrees warmer, it makes perfect sense as to why chocolate melts so easily after you put it in there. The scientific side of chocolate also shines a light on how this tasty product is good to you and for you.

Posted by IndustryNet
The digital printing industry is as popular as ever and continues to grow. Research shows the market is up from 9.8 percent in 2008 to 20.6 percent expected in 2018.

According to IndustryNet data, industrial printing in the U.S. continues to post strong growth, and although offset printing dominates the industry in terms of sheer size, sales and employment increases were led by digital printing services, with jobs up 1% and sales up 6% over the past year. Industry-wide, employment is up in all four regions of the United States. From the many companies reporting employment growth to Industry Net, 35% were located in the Midwest; 27% in the South; 23% in the Northeast; and 15% in the West.

This article will take a look at some of the top companies offering digital printing services in the U.S., measured by size, employee count, job and sales growth.

Top 10 by employees

-Gannett Fleming, Inc.; Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; Number of employees: 800; Since its founding in August 1915, this company has grown from a two-person engineering firm into a "multi-disciplined, global infrastructure and environmental solutions company."

-WestRock Co.; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Number of employees: 400; The company notes, "research challenges us to explore what's possible." During the last 5 years, WestRock has surveyed more than 5,000 consumers, packaging professionals and research experts in an effort to meet changing consumer expectations.

-Synq Solutions, Inc.; Norcross, Georgia; Number of employees: 250; Here, printing is synchronized with technological innovation, fulfillment and shipping. The synergy of services promises the customer significant cost savings throughout the process.

-Intermark Group, Inc.; Birmingham, Alabama; Number of employees: 249; This full-service marketing firm works to continuously refresh perspectives "on how to harness psychological
Posted by IndustryNet
Even in this digital age, the offset printing industry is still posting healthy growth figures and the forecast is for moderate growth in the industry in the years to come. IndustryNet recently reported on the U.S. printing industry, finding the sector has posted steady growth over the past year. This article will focus on top offset printing companies in the U.S., measured by size, employee count, job and sales growth.

All of the top 10 and top five printing companies featured in this analysis qualify as small businesses, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA defines small businesses as those companies with 500 or fewer employees. This finding is reflective of manufacturing as a whole, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. In 2014 (the most recent data available), there were 251,901 manufacturing enterprises in the U.S. All but 3,749 of these firms are considered to be small businesses, meaning that all but 1.5 percent of manufacturing companies in the U.S. are small manufacturers.

IndustryNet found that, out of 2,465 offset printing companies in the U.S., the following companies are the top of the sector according to various measurements:
Posted by IndustryNet
While offset printing still dominates the market, digital printing has experienced growth in both volume and value since 2012. Responses gathered from industrial printing companies by IndustryNet indicate that this trend is continuing.

As a whole, offset printing in the United States is declining in both employment and sales. However, during the past year, some industrial printing companies still reported growth. This article explores where and how growth is seen in the offset and digital sectors of the printing industry.

Growth by region

According to IndustryNet, companies offering either type of printing are relatively evenly distributed around the country. Of 2,465 offset printing companies, 674 (27 percent) have plants in the South, 640 (26 percent) in the West, 604 (25 percent) in the Northeast and 556 (23 percent) in the Midwest. The largest concentration of 983 digital printing companies is also in the South at 312 (32 percent). There are 231 (23 percent) are in the West, 230 (23 percent) are in the Midwest and 209 (21 percent) are in the Northeast.

Approximately 31 percent of offset printing companies in the West reported employment growth, followed by 25 percent in the South, 24 percent in the Midwest and 18 percent in the Northeast. Percentage of growth in sales by offset printing companies follow a different pattern, with 35 percent reported for the West and Northeast, 16 percent in the South and 13 percent in the Midwest.

The geographic picture differs for digital printing. In the Midwest, 35 percent of companies report employee growth, followed by 27 percent in the South, 23 percent in the Northeast and 15 percent in the West. Growth in sales was 38 percent in the Midwest, 31 percent in the Northeast, 25 percent in the South and 6 percent in the West.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data reported this week by IndustryNet, West Virginia's manufacturing workforce shrank for yet another year, though the rate at which the state is losing jobs appears to be slowing. Policy shifts crafted by the new administration could have a major impact on West Virginia manufacturing, and steady improvements in the state's business climate may also serve to boost industrial production in the years to come.

This post will explore major trends in West Virginia manufacturing, delving into city, county, and regional data. We'll also examine some of the major announcements over the past several years, and assess the state's outlook in light of new Trump Administration policies - particularly in the ailing coal industry.

The year in review

West Virginia manufacturers shed 2,311 jobs between August 2016 and August 2017, representing a 3.2% loss in the state's industrial workforce. This was not as bad as the 4.3% loss West Virginia posted over the 2015-2016 survey period, which was reported as the state's worst industrial job loss since the recession, according to IndustryNet.

Job losses over the past year were once again led by the state's coal industry, but again declines were not as sharp in coal as they were in the previous survey year. Coal jobs dropped by about 8% between August 2016 and August 2017, a hefty loss, but not as bad as the 21% drop reported over 2015-2016.

West Virginia's oil/gas extraction, which had served to offset declines in the post-recession era, shed jobs for a second year in a row, falling 6.4% to 3,334 jobs.

Other losses were reported in printing/publishing; fabricated metals; electronics; primary metals; stone/clay/glass; and lumber.
Posted by IndustryNet
Are you a wholesale buyer or lumber procurement specialist struggling to figure out the right lumber supplier to source the lumber your business needs? Wholesale lumber is a nearly $2 billion industry and buyers need to find sources that will help them satisfy their business's customers while staying within budget. Here is a comprehensive list of the most important factors to consider when deciding on what lumber supplier will best meet the company's wholesale lumber needs.

1. Availability of materials and ability to source your needs

Does a supplier keep the variety of lumber in stock that ensures they can source items rapidly to meet the needs of the business? The chosen supplier should be like Great Northern Lumber able to provide customers with the kind of lumber they need, when they need it, at the best price - delivered anywhere.

2. Make sure they're experienced and knowledgeable

It's a given when companies are dealing with someone new to a business. They'll probably end up learning and making mistakes on the company's valuable time. Buyers should seek out suppliers with only the most experienced and knowledgeable staff - who have been active in the industry for many years.

Only an experienced and knowledgeable staff is capable of doing everything necessary to provide top-quality lumber at the best price. Suppliers like Lashway Lumber and Neiman Enterprises draw on the expertise of staff with decades in the lumber business.
Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet's recent analysis of U.S. lumber companies found the industry has posted some impressive growth numbers over the year, including a 6.7% increase in employment.

This article will take a look at some of the top lumber companies in the U.S. based on number of employees and square footage, as well as sales and employment growth over the year.

Top 10 By Employees

One simple method of viewing the top companies in the lumber industry is based on the number of employees on site:

Best Home Furnishings, Inc., Ferdinand, Indiana; 1,000 employees; Best Home Furnishings focuses on lumber of a dimensional type, including hardwood dimension as well as flooring.

Weyerhaeuser Co., Seattle, Washington, 1,000; This is one of many branches of Weyerhaeuser Co., known for their wide range of services and products. Just some brands they work with include Weyerhaeuser Lumber, TJI-joist, Parallam, TimberStrand and Microllam.

� Bright Wood Corp., Madras, Oregon, 725; Bright Wood Corp. focuses on remanufactured lumber, including millwork and work related to sawmills and planing mills.

� Georgia-Pacific, LLC, Gurdon, Arkansas, 500; Georgia-Pacific, LLC is another lumber company with more than branches. This largest location focuses on functions of planing mills and sawmills.

� Swanson Group, Inc., Glendale, Oregon, 500; Swanson Group, Inc

Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet data shows U.S. lumber companies have gained some ground over the past year, posting an increase in jobs, as well as bringing in robust sales in certain sub-sectors. This article will take a look at some key indicators for lumber companies, and explore some of the factors affecting sales and employment.

We'll also take a look at regional differences, and examine which areas of the U.S. are experiencing the most growth. Finally, we'll explore some growing lumber companies in the U.S.

According to IndustryNet data, jobs in the lumber industry rose 1.3% over the past year, with growth varying significantly by sector and geographic area, Currently, there are 3,054 lumber companies operating in the U.S., employing 73,227. The following is a breakdown of growth numbers over the year.

Jobs growth

The most notable expansion of the workforce has taken place in plastic lumber, timber formed of virgin or recycled plastic. During 2016, the reported increase in employment in this sector is 144.23 percent. Lesser improvements and declines have been reported in other segments of the industry.

Reported growth of employment has been highest in the South, at 37 percent, with data from 38 companies; followed by the Midwest at 23 percent with data from 24 companies; the West at 22 percent with data from 23 companies; and the Northeast at 19 percent with data from 20 companies.

Posted by IndustryNet
New data out this morning from the Federal Reserve shows manufacturers in New York experienced accelerated business activity in October, with the Fed's index climbing to its highest level in three years. The New York Fed reports business conditions for New York manufacturers reached 30.2, a level not seen since 2014.

This follows a recent report from the Institute for Supply Management, which showed manufacturing activity in the U.S. overall reached its highest point in thirteen years, as well as a 1.7% jump in durable goods orders reported by the Commerce Department, all key indicators that the U.S. is currently in the midst of an upswing in manufacturing.

The Fed's October numbers were based on a survey of New York manufacturers in which 44% reported conditions had improved for their business, and only 14% reported a worsening of conditions.

By the numbers

Breaking down the key metrics for New York shows employment and shipments led the boost in business conditions for October. The Fed's shipment index climbed eleven points to 27.5, its highest level in seven years. An increase in shipments is a key indicator of robust gains in new orders, and an upswing in demand.

Manufacturing employment in New York remained strong. The Fed's employment index rose five points to 15.6, indicating an increase in hiring, while the average workweek remained stable.

Although the Fed'd new orders index declined seven points from September, the reading remains in growth territory at 18, which indicates new orders continue to be strong.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released this week by MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, Wisconsin manufacturing continues to thrive, with the sector adding jobs for a sixth straight year.

This post will take a look at some major Wisconsin manufacturing industries and how they've fared this survey period, and will delve into city, county and regional data. We'll also examine some of the major announcements made over the past six years, and explore exactly what's driving Wisconsin manufacturing forward.

MNI reports Wisconsin manufacturers added 2,495 new net jobs between August 2016 and August 2017, representing a half percent gain.

Job gains over the past year were spread across multiple sectors, a reflection of Wisconsin's diverse economy. The electronics industry led the way, reporting a 4% increase in jobs. Industries as varied as fabricated metals, transportation equipment, medical instruments, rubber/plastics; and lumber all added jobs.

Regionally, employment increases were also widely distributed, with most of the state's five regions posting gains. Employment jumped 6.4% in East Central Wisconsin, rose 2.2% in the Southwest, and inched up a half percent in Northern Wisconsin. Employment in the Southeast held steady, edging up by 500 jobs.

The state's West Central region was the only to lose jobs -- but not by much, down a third of a percent over the year.

Taking a look at cities, job inched down another half percent in Milwaukee, and plummeted 10% in Madison after the closure of Oscar Mayer's hot dog plant. However, solid gains reported in Appleton; Menomonee Falls; Neenah; New Berlin; and Fond Du Lac, were more than enough to make up for losses in the state's two largest cities.

All great news. Let�s take a look at ex
Posted by IndustryNet
The ready-mix concrete industry is expanding, not only on the promise of national infrastructure improvement projects but also on the reality of a rising housing and business construction market. With more than 4,200 ready-mix concrete suppliers operating in the U.S., zeroing in on the right local company can be a challenge.

This article will explore some of the top ready-mix concrete suppliers operating in various regions of the United States.


Of the hundreds of concrete companies experiencing growth over the past year, 50% were located in the U.S. south, according to IndustryNet data, and accounted for 36% of those experiencing sales growth.

Here are some examples of top ready-mix concrete suppliers in the U.S. South:

Ascension Ready Mix, Inc. - Located in Prairieville, Louisiana, Ascension Ready Mix serves Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes and has done so for nearly 20 years. This growing company maintains a fleet of the latest vehicles to serve your concrete needs.

Apex Redi-Mixed Concrete Co. - Apex Redi-Mixed calls El Dorado, Arkansas, home. Apex is known for its scheduling flexibility and for its supply and fill products that complement its concrete.

Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet's most recent overview of U.S. concrete suppliers found the sector has posted some positive growth, with its workforce growing a robust 6.7% over the past year, and sales inching up by 2.1%. According to IndustryNet data, there are more than 4,500 concrete suppliers in the U.S., employing 48,324.

Today, IndustryNet takes a look at some of the top concrete suppliers in the U.S.

Concrete is the foundation for many industries. Whether commercial or residential, multitudes of structures utilize concrete to some extent. U.S. cement companies generate approximately $10.7 billion in sales. There are many types of concrete, with manufacturers often specializing in a particular variant or sector.

With 500 employees, Central Iowa Ready Mix of West Des Moines, IA, specializes in ready mix concrete. The company's seven plants, including two portable plants, serve the greater metropolitan areas of both Des Moines and Omaha, NE. Projects executed include Jack Trice Stadium, the High Trestle Trail Bridge, and Woodward State Park roads. Close coordination with a trucking company enables Central Iowa to efficiently move materials wherever needed.

With 500 employees in Sevierville, TN, Charles Blalock and Sons, Inc. also serves businesses requiring ready mix concrete. Blalock was awarded the Gold Level of Safety by the National Ready Mix Concrete Association. A promoter of stewardship and sustainability for the concrete industry, the company has earned Green Star Certification for its facility in Pigeon Forge.

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The concrete industry in the United States is currently strong. With the Trump administration promising $1 trillion toward public infrastructure, opportunities for concrete suppliers are quite good as demand is expected to increase for construction projects.

Let's examine the health of the industry, market conditions that may impact concrete suppliers, and other statistics that may help the more than 4,500 concrete companies in the U.S. as they analyze their position in the industry.

Overall, the number of people working in the industry has risen by 6.7 percent in the last year to more than 48,000. Four percent of companies reported new hires in 2017. Of those hundreds of companies that have reported growth, 50% are located in the U.S South.

These include companies such as Dura-Stress, Inc. in Leesburg, Florida - which currently employs 400, and Maschmeyer Concrete Company of Florida in Lake Park with 280 employees. The family-owned business brought more people onboard because business keeps pouring in. It leads the industry in sales growth.

29 percent of companies reporting growth are located in the The Midwest region. Central Iowa Ready Mix, located in West Des Moines, is among those that reported strong growth, and currently employs 500 new hires. 14% of growing concrete suppliers are located in the West, and 6% in the Northeast.
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According to new data released this week by MNI, Pennsylvania lost manufacturing jobs for a fifth straight year as the state continues to face challenges on a number of fronts. This post will take a look at some major Pennsylvania industries and how they fared over the year, as well as delve into city, county and regional data. We'll also examine the general outlook for the state, and take a look at the impact some Trump Administration policies may begin to have on Pennsylvania industries like coal and steel.

MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, reports Pennsylvania industries shed 8,604 manufacturing jobs from June 2016 to June 2017, a 1.1% decline.

This represents a somewhat sharper loss that MNI recorded in Pennsylvania for the 2015-2016 survey period, in which the state shed 5,500 jobs, but is generally in line with a steady decrease in industrial employment the state has experienced since 2012.

During the recession, Pennsylvania was one of the hardest-hit states in the nation, shedding nearly 100,000 jobs during the downturn, according to MNI data. Prior to that, industrial employment in the Keystone State was already losing jobs in response to multiple factors, including automation and a sharp increase in global competition largely attributed to NAFTA.
Posted by IndustryNet
As famed economist and management consultant Peter Drucker once said, "Innovation is the fuel of corporate longevity. It endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth." Chemical manufacturers must be ever-evolving and innovative in order to remain competitive in the industry.

IndustryNet recently reported on some postitive numbers for the chemical industry, including a 1.5% rise in employment. Innovation has played a major part in the sector's growth, and additional reports indicate that innovations in the chemical industry have potentially put the world on "the brink of an age of new powerful materials." Here is a look at some innovative companies in the U.S. chemical industry, producing many types of chemicals and serving seven distinct industries.


Pace International is leading the post-harvest market with products to clean, buff, coat and control decay in fruits and vegetables. These chemicals offer solutions for managing the agricultural business from field to grocery store. For example, their innovative biorational postharvest decay control agent is the first decay control agent of natural origin in the post-harvest fruit industry in the past 20 years.


When a company is focused on innovation, many partnerships, collaborations and mergers often occur. One such company, Puritan Products, was acquired by Avantor Performance Materials LLC, making it a more prominent player in the biotech chemical space, with improved supply chain security and accelerated brand expansion.


During a seminar entitled "Challenges of the Chemical Industry - Growing Via Innovation," BASF's Chief Technology Officer Dr. Martin Brudermueller noted that the world's largest chemical producer is implementing five levers to foster innovation and drive growth: globalization of research and development, technology leadership, radical i
Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet's most recent overview of U.S. chemical companies found the sector has posted some positive growth, adding 1.5% to its workforce over the past year and bringing in a robust $850 billion in sales. Today, the industry is one of the leading sectors in America, and with over 70,000 products, U.S. chemical companies continue to change and evolve.

Today, IndustryNet takes a look at some of the top chemical companies in the U.S.

Top 10 Companies by Number of Employees

Do the best companies require the most employees? In the world of automation, it is difficult to tell. These are the top ten chemical companies in the U.S. by number of people employed.

10. E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.

Coming in at number ten on the list is E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. Based out of Wilmington, Del., du Pont uses scientific innovations to shape the world. It originally started as a gunpowder mill company in 1802.

9. Westlake Chemical Corp.

Based out of Lake Charles, La., Westlake creates plastic products, petrochemicals, and fabricated building products. The company is the largest producer of low-density polyethylene in the United States.

8. BASF Corporation

BASF Corp's Florham Park, N.J., location deals in creating chemistry for sustainable fuel types and planning for the future. They are the largest affiliate of BASF SE and the second largest producer and marketer of chemical products in all of North America.

7. Eastman Chemical Company - Texas Operations

In Longview, Texas, lies Eastman Chemical, a leader in producing ethylene, propylene, and various other chemicals. In 1994, Eastman Chemical was spun off from another little-known Eastman company called Kodak.
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GT Nexus notes in a recent report that the worldwide chemical industry is expected to double by 2035. American Chemistry supports this view, adding that the growth of the chemical industry is expected to outpace the growth of the U.S. economy as a whole.

IndustryNet, has recently compiled statistical information analyzing the U.S. chemical industry in September 2017. This article will explore the findings of that compilation in both the industry as a whole, and in regional differences within the United States. IndustryNet is tracking 2,252 chemical manufacturers which employ 158,325 workers, bringing in nearly $850 billion in sales annually. Over the past year, job growth increased 1.5 percent in this sector.

U.S. manufacturing as a whole exports only 29 percent of its products. But chemical companies export nearly half of their product - 49 percent - making chemical suppliers a more integral part of the global supply chain than other manufacturing sectors.

Regionally, the South dominates the chemical industry, home to the largest number of companies, at 1,004, or 45 percent of the nation's chemical companies. Unsurprisingly, the South also employs the greatest number of individuals, at 91,883, or 58 percent of the nation's chemical industry employment. The South experienced the greatest national growth in chemical industrial employment, at 40 percent, and the greatest sales growth in the sector, at 54 percent.
Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. manufacturing activity expanded far more than expected in September, according to new data released this morning by the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM's manufacturing index soared to 60.8, topping August's reading by 2 percentage points.

The U.S. is now closing in on a full year of expansion, according to ISM data. September's reading marks the U.S. manufacturing sector's 13th consecutive month of growth, and the 100th consecutive month of growth for the U.S. economy as a whole.

The ISM's Manufacturing Report on Business is a leading economic indicator based on a survey of the nation's supply executives. September's 60.8 reading is the highest level the Institute has since May 2004.

Accelerating growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector corresponds with the 3.1% rise in GDP recorded in the second quarter as well as significant manufacturing job increases reported by IndustryNet in recent months. A rebound in construction spending has also helped boost employment in the roofing industry.

Growth was reported in seventeen of eighteen industries reporting to the ISM, with textile mills; machinery, nonmetallic mineral products, transportation equipment, and plastics & rubber leading increases.

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