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Stampers Still Treading, PMA Survey Shows

Tuesday, April 2, 2002
Net orders booked by metal stampers increased nine percent as compared to February 2001 while dropping 11 percent as compared to January 2002, according to a monthly survey conducted by the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), Independence, OH. Stampers surveyed experienced a drop in net shipments of three percent in February as compared to February 2001 and a drop of two percent as compared to January 2002. Backlog for February remained unchanged from January levels but posted a 20 percent decrease as compared to February 2001.

Machine-Tool Consumption Off in January

Tuesday, April 2, 2002
U.S. Machine-tool consumption in January 2002 slipped 40 percent from January 2001 levels and dropped 7.8 percent as compared to December 2001, according to AMT--The Association for Manufacturing Technology, and the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association. Against that backdrop, the associations praise recent federal legislation that may help turn those numbers around. “Our representatives in Washington clearly recognize that there are serious problems facing the nation’s capital-equipment manufacturers,” said Don F. Carlson, AMT president. “The expensing of 30 percent of equipment purchases contained in the newly passed economic stimulus package shows that. It provides the engine that will drive the investment that will pull our economy out of recession while providing long-term increases in productivity.”

Stamped Evening Wear the Latest Fashion Craze?

Monday, April 1, 2002
You’ve heard of metalware. How about metalwear? Eagle-eyed Academy Awards watchers may have noticed something odd about Calista Flockhart’s wardrobe on Oscar night. The diminutive star of Ally McBeal strolled the red carpet sporting a dazzling ensemble—anchored by, of all things, a stamped aluminum pashmina. The article, like a scarf or wrap, is used to provide some warmth in air-conditioned climates. Flockhart, in an interview with Fashion Today magazine, said the garment, from Vera Wang, includes strategically placed hinges and smoothed edges for added comfort. The TV star donned the pashmina to “try something new and different. Metalwear is really catching on,” she said. Though too new to be considered a trend, increased popularity in metalwear may open new doors for metalformers. But technical issues abound. For example, weight is an impediment, as full-length dresses would tax most high-society wearers. Perforated metal may be an answer. Also, special, flexible coatings might be needed for all-weather protection, though stainless steel, titanium or aluminum alloys could fit the bill. In any case, don’t look for full-metal gowns anytime soon, however. FEA simulation has shown that deep-draw forming requirements for stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Dolly Parton put too much stress on thin metals.

Oh, one more thing…Happy April Fool’s Day from the staff of MetalForming.


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