Welcome to the newest monthly newsletter offering from MetalForming magazine and PMA. We hope you find it useful and interesting; please feel free to share your thoughts with us.
This regular column from MetalForming magazine provides an inside look at the management styles and techniques of metal forming and fabricating company executives. We’ll share some of their philosophies, their daily challenges and how they face them, and offer additional insights. We hope that you find these interviews useful and can take away some ideas to use at your own company.
Want to be interviewed for this column? E-mail editorial director Brad Kuvin.
This month we invite Bob Holtel,
president of Batesville Tool & Die, to share his insights. Based in
Batesville, IN, and with sister plants in Aiken, SC, and Queretaro,
Mexico, BTD supplies precision stamped parts and welded assemblies to
OEMs in the automotive, appliance and other markets.
“I think the leap we are making in applying automation throughout all three of our facilities will keep us viable well into the future,” Holtel says. “We’re experiencing an automation evolution. We’re really good at automating the actual processes—welding and assembly, for example. Now we’re focused on automating the movement of stamped parts within the process cells, using vision-guided bin picking.”
are, you have key employees that play important roles in your
organization. Having the right tools to recruit, reward, retain and
retire your top talent can help them and your business. Contact us today
to get started.
The Q1 PMA Metalforming Insights Financial study, conducted by Harbour Results Inc. (HRI), reveals numerous challenges—and opportunities—for metal formers throughout the year.
“Nearly a quarter of study participants remain in a risky position of high debt relative to earnings,” writes HRI director Jason Brewer in this month’s Love Letter to Manufacturers. “EBITDA won’t be coming from high depreciation and amortization since capital expenditures remained low in 2021 compared to historical averages and optimistic spending forecasts for 2022.
“This all boils down to one thing,” Brewer stresses: “Earnings must come from improving your EBIT.”
Brewer goes on to recommend steps metal formers can take to improve cash
generation, including updating standards for operations and quoting;
and leveraging the specific skills of your workforce to optimize their
value and drive efficiency.
led and/or family run manufacturing companies want a buyer who will
respect their legacy yet grow the business, so the employees have future
opportunity. But they also want a great price. All of this is
achievable as well as maintaining confidentiality throughout the
how to define a near miss in your metal forming shop? Want to better
understand what is required for near-miss reporting? Learn all of this
and more in a recent online article from the safety-program management
consultants at Safety International. Included: 10 important reasons why
you should report near misses; some basic steps to follow to report near
misses; and the basic information to include in near-miss reporting
Industrial, launched in September 2021, is a division of AMSOIL Inc.,
which brings more than 50 years of lubrication formulation and was the
first lubricant company to bring API-certified synthetic lubricants to
market in 1972. AMSOIL Industrial consults with fabricators and metal
stamping operations to optimize production efficiency by employing a
comprehensive lubrication program that starts with a plant audit by
AMSOIL Industrial tribologists and lubrication experts.
“You, as a business leader, may fall victim to that decline in confidence and, therefore, participate in unnecessarily pessimistic groupthink. Now is not the time to tighten up your asset deployment; indeed, now is the time to strategically expand resources for maximum gain.”
So goes the latest ITR Economics blog from economist Alan Bealieu, who
provides a chart highlighting the danger in following confidence
indicators too closely.
“There are times when the confidence barometer declines for an extended period and U.S. Industrial Production keeps on rising,” Beaulieu says. “The lack of consistency is why we feel measuring confidence does not constitute a good basis for action.”
CAR MBS will take place August 2-4, 2022, at the Grand Traverse Resort and online for anyone that can’t make the event in person. With an extensive agenda highlighting the current challenges faced by the automotive industry and a diverse representation of industry thought-leaders, CAR MBS will once again deliver invaluable industry expertise and bring together the top minds in mobility and beyond. Secure your pass to the leading automotive conference of the summer today!
Metal forming companies forecast little change in business conditions during the next three months, according to the April 2022 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. PMA’s April report shows that 19 percent of metal formers expect an increase in activity (compared to 24 percent last month) and 18 percent predict a decrease in activity (the same percentage reported in March). Only 34 percent of survey respondents report an increase in lead times in April, down from 43 percent in March.
This 10-page exhaustive industry review from the business advisory firm Riveron is well worth downloading. As noted by its authors, “now in the third year of disruption, the cumulative impacts are taking their toll on the automotive supply base, and suppliers’ resiliency will continue to be put to the test for the foreseeable future as the flurry of issues is expected to continue well into 2022. Is 2022 the year that will pack the knockout punch for some suppliers?”
Up for discussion: increasing margin pressure, and commercial challenges
that highlight the need for enhanced collaboration, transparency and
visibility among customers and suppliers.
Position your company as an industry leader when you utilize PMA resources – ITR Econ Trends reports, trade publications, One Voice and FABTECH trade shows. A PMA membership will provide your company and all of its employees with a range of valuable industry resources that are designed to help you become more connected, more informed, more efficient, more competitive and ultimately more profitable.
From Matthew Fieldman, executive director of America Works, a nationwide initiative to coordinate the American manufacturing industry's training efforts, comes this thought-leadership article arguing that while the numerous manufacturing-workforce development programs obviously are doing tremendous work in communities around the country, these programs are too fragmented, disjointed and rarely scalable outside the cities and states that invested in their creation. What’s really needed, Fieldman says, to realize the economic benefits these programs bring through filling open positions, increasing the talent available to companies, and improving the knowledge and skills of future and current workers, is a platform where these programs can interact and be studied, nurtured and promoted.
He offers several successful examples in this post.
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