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Slight Uptick in TMA Business-Trends Survey

Monday, November 8, 2004
The October 2004 Business Trends Report, conducted by the Tooling & Manufacturing Association, shows that 88 percent of member companies rated business conditions on October 1 as fair, good or very good. A majority of respondents saw quoting and employment remaining steady in 3Q, with average toolroom work weeks increasing 1.5 hours to 47.5. Order backlog increased for 31 percent of respondents, remained the same for 35 percent and declined for 34 percent. Toolroom employment increased 1 percent, according to TMA, while production employment increased 1.7 percent. Industry groups covered in the survey include tool and die, precision and specialized machining, stamping and fabrication, molds and die-cast dies, and plastic molding.

Springmakers See Bounce

Friday, November 5, 2004
Nearly 60 percent of spring manufacturers responding to a quarterly survey by the Spring Manufacturers Institute report that their business continues a five-quarter growth pattern. In 3Q 2004, respondents in the Key Business Trends survey are seeing sales gains of 5-10 percent from the previous quarter. “A year ago, we saw a dramatic surge in the third quarter and almost an equally dramatic drop the following quarter,” says Russ Bryer, SMI benchmarking chair and general manager of The Spring Team, an Ohio-based manufacturer. “The gradual gains we are seeing now indicate a healthy growth pattern that is being constructed on a more sound foundation.” While SMI officials have found some evidence of business returning to North America after disappointing returns from Chinese manufacturers, they say that steel shortages continue hampering the domestic component-manufacturing sector

Fastener Distributors Offer Training CD-ROMs

Friday, November 5, 2004
Train the Trainer (T3) CD-ROM training modules covering various fasteners, from blind rivets to threaded inserts, have been introduced by the National Fastener Distributors Association (NFDA). Each module includes a PowerPoint presentation as well as entrance and exit exams, glossary of terms, student survey, trainer’s report and trainer’s notes. Presentations were developed by fastener-product manufacturers and offer new product innovations and application information. To learn about the fastener training programs offered, and how to order, contact NFDA’s David Merrifield or Terry Grachanin at 216-579-1571, or e-mail


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