Editorial


 

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Get Out the Vote

By: Brad Kuvin

Friday, October 01, 2010
 
Let’s hope that Election Day (Tuesday, November 2, also Fabtech’s opening day) marks a new beginning for U.S. manufacturing.

Small businesses continue to take a beating, according to the latest NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) Index of Small Business Optimism. Fewer and fewer small-business owners expect the economy to improve much over the next several months; only 18 percent expect to make capital outlays over the next few months; and a scant five percent believe that now is a good time to expand.

I’m not shocked by these findings, since most of the metalforming companies I’ve spoken with recently remain nervous that the ceiling on any bounceback they’ve been experiencing may be relatively low. To avoid a hard hit on the head, any capital outlays expected through the fourth quarter and into early 2011 are likely to be on a must-have basis, to meet new orders and satisfy requirements of new and/or critical customers.

That said, there’s much to look forward to at this year’s Fabtech Intl. tradeshow, which once again includes the METALFORM technology area. We’re proud, as als, to feature in this issue of MetalForming much of the new technology that will be on display at the show. And, we invite you to visit our website, where we’ve posted dozens more Fabtech and METALFORM technology-area booth previews.

Despite the weak economy and its even weaker credit market, there are several technology niches that remain high on the wish list of many metalforming-company executives expected to visit Fabtech. According to the 2010 PMA Capital Spending Report, investments in press safety equipment are projected to quadruple in 2010 vs. 2009; software expenditures by metalforming companies are expected to more than triple year on year; and sales of robotics and automation equipment to metalformers are projected to tick up by 50 percent in 2010 compared to 2009.

Those three technology categories are well-represented at Fabtech, and should provide more than enough incentive to make the trip to Atlanta. But much more work remains in order to fully reenergize our industry. Much of that effort must come from Washington D.C.

To paraphrase PMA president Bill Gaskin: This is not a good time for finger pointing or for playing political games. We need legislators that will provide small and medium-sized manufacturers with the tools they need to invest in their operations and create jobs.

So get out the vote and let’s elect members of Congress who support our industry and support manufacturing in America. By the time Fabtech comes to a close, we’ll know how well we did.

 


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