Industry News for 08/2018

U.S. manufacturing is not in decline but alive and well, producing record levels of output in recent quarters despite significant price deflation for manufactured goods. No other sector of the U.S. economy delivers greater value to American consumers than manufacturing when it comes to providing more and more output at prices that have declined annually by 2.64 percent in real inflation-adjusted terms over the past quarter century.
Penn Stainless Products recently installed a new Koike Aronson Versagraph Millennium Series plasma cutting system (Model 6300) at its Jackson Center facility. The new unit provides western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio the same high-quality cuts available through PSP’s Quakertown facility at shorter delivery times. The system utilizes Hypertherm HPR800XD HyPerformance plasma technology for a clean, consistent cut up to 2.5” thick, and features an extra-wide cutting envelope of 10 feet wide x 40 feet long.
The Republican Party has become the party of blue-collar America. After the 1992 election, 15 of the 20 most manufacturing-intensive congressional districts in the U.S. were represented by Democrats. Today, all 20 are held by Republicans. The shift of manufacturing from a Democratic stronghold to a Republican one is a major force remaking the two parties. It helps explain Donald Trump’s political success, the rise of Republican protectionism and the nation’s polarized politics. It will help shape this year’s midterm elections.
Rocklin Manufacturing, Sioux City, Iowa, has a long and storied history that began in 1934 during the height of The Depression. Just 8 years later, founder I.J. Rocklin moved the company to a uniquely constructed, two-story brick building built in 1912. Now, after a massive restoration effort that began in 2016, the company once again is calling this historic building home.
With the new norm of global uncertainty, suppliers and customers alike must retool their thinking and business models to mitigate risk—be it political, economic, social or climatic. The urgency created by the current political climate is accelerating the technology development already underway. Companies caught in the crosshairs of a trade war will lose ground to those that strategically invest in developing an agile supply chain.
A.T. Kearney published its fourth annual study on reshoring. The new release shows record imports in 2017 from traditional offshoring countries.
Regardless of which area of the world you’re in, lack of labor is a pervasive problem that has the potential to cripple the global economy. Fortunately, automation in many forms can help bridge the gap and fill holes on the factory floor, doing jobs that humans just don’t want—and can afford to turn down.
Sensors have played a role in manufacturing for years, but until recently they have been largely constrained by issues such as system noise, signal attenuation, and response dynamics.Today, integration of local computing power and the internet of things has transformed ordinary sensors into smart sensors, enabling them to carry out complex calculations on measured data locally within a sensor module.
To move forward, it is important to see how American manufacturing compares with that of other nations. This report develops a global manufacturing scorecard that looks at five dimensions of the manufacturing environment: overall policies and regulations; tax policy; energy, transportation and health costs; workforce quality; and infrastructure and innovation.
3D Hubs releases its quarterly report that shows real world data on which CNC materials and surface finishes are requested the most by engineers globally.
CNC tool grinder manufacturers can offer application support to find the perfect mix for effective processes. Eric Schwarzenbach, president of Rollomatic Inc., discusses how the right partner can help.
Many materials appear almost impossible to machine. A component with a combination of materials represents a special challenge. High-positive indexable inserts from ARNO Werkzeuge achieve convincing process reliability and finish quality in turning operations. Siemens Healthcare GmbH is delighted with a tenfold increase in tool life.
It’s no longer just for gaming! Virtual Reality (VR), sometimes referred to as Augmented Reality (AR), is shaking things up across all industries, including manufacturing. While the technology is currently being employed mainly by large manufacturers, like additive manufacturing and the cobots before it, growing acceptance of the technology is likely to cause prices to drop, allowing small and medium-sized manufacturers to take advantage of its powers as well. So what do you need to know about VR before it comes your way?
To help strengthen the quality, value and effectiveness of manufacturing credentials in the U.S., Workcred, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) affiliate, has released a report funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) examining how credentials are currently used in hiring and retention practices, and how credentialing can be improved to advance the manufacturing industry.
A game and hobby shop in Girard, Ohio, has taken 3D printing and laser cutting into an “infinite realm.” The business, Infinite Realms, started with three men making pieces like rock formations, oil pits and satellites, which were sold online. Sales were so good that the owners decided to open a physical location to sell more than 100 different items that they make.
For a business owner or manager it’s a frustrating and difficult task to track, manage and keep records on the hand-held tools, production tooling and fixtures, dies and castings that are the lifeblood of your operation. Each category of tool has specific tracking and accounting issues that when addressed have been proven to show a significant return on investment.
When I’m visiting CNC operations around the country, shop managers often start our conversations like this, “Labor is killing us. We can’t find enough good operators and we’re losing some of our experienced operators to competitors. What are my options?” The manager often goes on to describe operational issues related to labor that are typical in high-mix CNC manufacturing. This article describes automation options for CNC shops, specifically focusing on those processing parts in CNC milling machines with batch sizes between 10 and 1,000 pieces.
High quality and productivity are key success factors, not just in machining but also in the production of cutting tools. Accordingly, exacting demands on cleaning quality, capacity and process reliability had to be met when Sandvik Coromant invested in new equipment for its in-process and final cleaning of drill bits, milling cutters and indexable inserts. The company chose several solvent-based cleaning machines made by Ecoclean (formerly Dürr Ecoclean) plus one highly automated ultrafine cleaning system from UCM AG.
ATA Tools Inc. expects global growth from its new facility in Akron, Ohio. The specialty manufacturer makes high-quality tungsten-carbide burs and cutting tools used to finish metal and composite products. “This is the largest bur manufacturing facility in the world,” said President Hector Diaz-Stringel.
Jane Hardy, the chief executive of a company that makes lawn care equipment, says she had to lay off 75 employees this summer because of President Donald Trump's trade war. As she fights to keep her southern Indiana business going, Hardy is one of the manufacturers warning the White House that, unless they see relief from the tariffs soon, job losses will mount and factory closures are likely.