The manufacturing industry remains in a constant race to improve their products, as well as the process of making their products — all while dealing with tight budgets and low profit margins. These twin efforts push innovation to the forefront, and the tax code rewards manufacturers who are engaged in these efforts to stay competitive with the R&D tax credit.
The old days of “write a specification, collect bids, and pick the low one” are long gone. Your suppliers are now an extension of your company. This is especially true in manufacturing. For instance, there are companies that will manage all your maintenance and repair parts within your own facility. These companies essentially fund and staff an MRO “parts cage” on the factory floor.
Bremen, Ind., is a small town of about 5,500 people roughly 15 minutes south of the South Bend/Elkhart area. And one of its major employers, Bremen Castings Inc. (BCI), has been around long enough, having been established in 1939, to gain a reputation of being one of the area’s best employers.
The manufacturing community is currently enmeshed in an ideological debate over sourcing and procurement. There's vigorous — and at times emotional — argument surrounding strategies for insourcing, outsourcing, near sourcing or keeping it in-house. The argument really shouldn’t focus on the fervent and at times politically-tinged abstractions of what flag flies over the factory, but rather what’s best for your business.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector returned to a slow, steady expansion in June, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest ISM Report On Business. The PMI number indicated expansion in manufacturing for the fifth time in six months, reversing May’s contracting PMI rate of 49 percentage points. Although U.S. manufacturing is growing at a slow, steady rate, it’s still in line to meet yearly expectations.
According to the business consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle, there has been a significant uptick in the number of tech manufacturing jobs in the U.S. since 2001. One of the major reasons for expanding manufacturing to the U.S. stems from the desire to have factories closer to consumers and those who can then fix problems.
Manufacturers cannot expect to sustain success with traditional decision making when facing today’s unprecedented shifts in markets, demands, technologies and opportunities. To maintain a leadership position and profit margins, companies must respond intelligently to more frequent, drastic and faster changes.
After a car maker or a steel mill wears out a factory, extracts all the tax breaks a treasury will bear, and accumulates more obligations to its workers than the stockholders will bear, it flees town like a deadbeat husband, leaving a worn-out, exploited patch of land no else will touch. An industrial city follows the same life cycle as a boxer, or a prostitute.
There are two major processes to choose from when splicing your conveyor belt: mechanical fasteners and endless splicing. Reviewing the available alternatives against the realities of your conveyor system will help you determine which type will serve your needs best.
In today’s business climate, in particular for many industries that serve consumers directly — think automakers, consumer packaged goods manufacturers, or pharmaceutical firms — operate under the assumption that they’ll be subjected to a recall incident at some point.
Still searching for ways to take your productivity to higher ground? One good way to do that is by getting all the uptime you can from the belt conveyors that carry materials, parts and finished/packaged products throughout your plant. Belt conveyors naturally demand a certain amount of downtime for maintenance and parts replacement, and keeping those events as seldom and brief as possible is what uptime is all about.
The most important part of a hydraulic system is keeping it clean. Any extreme pressure system is vulnerable to dirt, particles, and other matter that could contaminate the close tolerances necessary for any hydraulic system. All pipes, fittings, and other components must be extremely clean before use.
There is an epidemic of sorts within the high-tech manufacturing community, in that there are thousands of available jobs, but few candidates to fill them. And while manufacturers have taken off in dozens of directions on the best methods to fill those roles, Irma Long, Director of Global Talent Acquisition at ACCO Brands has one simpler solution: better talent management.
Despite the ever looming concern about high fuel prices, there is still booming interest in many motorsports vehicles and products. Over the past several years, Sportech, Inc. has experienced an explosive increase in demand for their Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) parts for original equipment manufacturers of motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles.
Manufacturers require tremendous amounts of energy to power equipment and light and heat facilities, and move raw materials to their plants and finished goods to store shelves. Chemical, fertilizer and plastics manufacturers use carbon-based fuels as feedstock, so accurate projected costs and ready availability is essential to adequate pricing.
High voltage battery simulator and test systems are essential for conducting testing of the high voltage DC power systems that are such a critical element of electric (EV) and hybrid/electric (HEV) vehicles. To accurately test a high voltage hybrid or electric drivetrain, you need to be able to provide precise, repeatable high-voltage DC power.
The first full-production Explorer rolled off the assembly line in April at Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant in the Republic of Tatarstan for the Russian market. Previously, only knock-down versions of Explorer had been built anywhere outside of the United States. Here, Bruce Hettle, director of manufacturing engineering with Ford, talks global Ford SUV production, the Ford Production System, and the future auto market.
There is one absolute that applies to every company, independent of industry: You cannot expect to operate efficiently without dedicated and skilled employees. When looking at the manufacturing industry specifically, finding a highly skilled workforce has proven to be one of the greatest challenges.
Firearm sales have increased exponentially over the past few years, and forecasts are continuing to escalate, reflecting an increase in the popularity of hunting, a rise in the desire for personal protection, and a variety of other socio-economic factors. As manufacturers seek to meet demand while decreasing costs, reducing weight, and increasing durability, the spotlight is turning to engineering and design capabilities in the industry.
Manufacturers are on the cusp of a major generational shift. Baby Boomers are preparing to retire out of the workforce, and Gen Y is poised to replace them. However, several obstacles are preventing a seamless transition of Gen Y-ers into these soon-to-be vacant roles.