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 Jim Burt,
president of Ernst Metal Technologies, LLC, Moraine, OH, to share his
insights. Burt has 26 years of diverse manufacturing experience,
ranging from high-volume production of welded steel tubing to the
project-based assembly of capital equipment for the metal forming
“With respect to continuous improvement and best practices,” shares Burt, “our most recent project has been the development of a press operator-training and incentive initiative, which ties merit increases to training progress. The program uses inhouse materials in combination with PMA’s METALFORM EDU platform. A stamping operator needs years of experience to become truly proficient. This seems to be a great vulnerability of our organization, as company performance hinges on our operators’ knowledge, motivation, engagement and passion. Recognizing this vulnerability led to the creation of the training program, which features a 16-tier compensation plan and pay increases tied to each defined skill level.”
Securing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), essentially paying for green power as opposed to traditional brown or fossil fuel-based power, is an easy way to ensure you’re well positioned in the marketplace and leading the charge towards a decreased carbon footprint.
article, part of a series of monthly articles produced by Harbour
Results for this enewsletter, notes that automakers continue to see
benefits from the growing demand for new cars.
“OEM profitability is always an important factor for metal formers,” writes Cara Walton, director at Harbour Results. “It signals the health in the automotive industry. High OEM profitability means that your end customer is doing better financially, and consumers are buying vehicles, even at the substantially higher price points they are seeing today.
“Unfortunately for stampers,” Walton observes, “OEM 2021 earnings make it clear that OEMs have figured out how to make money with lower inventories.”
What does the future hold? Here’s Walton’s take:
“The best option for stampers is to continue working on their businesses and focus on flexibility. Along with increased flexibility, it is important to be aware of what programs your parts are ending up on if possible, stay informed on which programs OEMs will likely continue prioritizing.”
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.
too common in metal forming and fabricating facilities: the onset of
musculoskeletal disorders, which can develop either suddenly or over
time, causing debilitating pain and resulting in lost time and wages at
work. The most common pains come from strains in the neck, lower back,
shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands and eyes, due to one or more of four
primary risk factors described in this MetalForming magazine article.
One of the key factors: proper lifting.
“When lifting,” the article notes, “first take a good look at the load. If it is too awkward, big or heavy, ask for help. Often, workers lift items too big for them simply because they are unwilling to ask for help, resulting in unnecessary pain and lost wages. Success at your job means asking for assistance when necessary.”
And, don’t forget office workers sitting in chairs and staring at computer screens all day. The article offers advice here as well.
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
in a recent global survey of manufacturers communicated the need for
agility, technology adoption and improved processes to respond to market
adversity. In this free webinar, presented by MetalForming
magazine and scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, Plex Systems, a Rockwell
Automation company, in collaboration with Hanover Research, will
uncover the current state of smart manufacturing, the challenges
manufacturers are facing and expectations for the future of the
Speakers: Michael Hart, director of product strategy-manufacturing and
industrial IoT, Plex Systems; and Jeff Karan, director of enterprise
technologies at custom metal fabricator and metal stamper G&W
Nidec CHS offers the most advanced automation machinery available in the industry today, including the HDX Series, engineered and developed specifically for processing advanced high strength steels. CHS coil lines feature integration with servo presses through Nidec Press & Automation’s Global Production Control. HDX lines are further integrated with today’s large servo presses with e-camming and servo-driven pilot release capabilities.
“For nearly two years, ITR Economics has expected that the peak growth rate for the US Industrial Production Index would come during 1Q22. Our list of benchmark leading indicators nearly unanimously point to this timing for a peak in the business cycle.”
So notes a recent ITR Economics blog post from economist Lauren
Saidel-Baker, who positions her commentary in the spotlight of the
Russian invasion of Ukraine, the uncertainty it has created and the
downside risks to expected economic growth.
“The conflict (however) has not reached the intensity necessary to prompt a global economic contraction. Instead, consider the leading economic indicators. Trend reversals in the leading indicators have been occurring since mid-2021, providing ample warning for businesses.”
The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) has issued its Q1 2022 Automotive Supplier Barometer, finding that North American production is expected to exceed break-even levels following the second consecutive year of falling short. However, although 2022 production volumes are expected to return to profitable territory, there’s a veil of uncertainty, according to the barometer’s executive summary. OESA expects North American production to reach 15.0 million units, 1.25 million units above median break-even.
Amongst the report’s numerous datapoints: 38 percent of suppliers responding to the survey describe the outlook for their business as “somewhat more optimistic,” up from 16 percent during Q4 2021. And, only 27 percent are either “somewhat more pessimistic” or “significantly more pessimistic,” down significantly from 66 percent the previous quarter.
A recent Manufacturing Innovation Blog from NIST and its Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) focuses on disruptions in the global supply chain and the need for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) to be more strategic about reshoring and “second sourcing”—"which adds redundancies such as a second source of a supply to minimize risk while increasing options,” writes Gary Steinberg, a supply chain advisor for California Manufacturing Technology Consulting, part of the MEP National Network.
Steinberg takes a deep dive into three elements that contribute to a more holistic view of sourcing:
Growing a relationship
Innovation and responsiveness.
MetalForming magazine is the official publication of Precision Metalforming Association.
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