Automotive Trending Up as CAR Readies for Virtual Management Briefing Seminar

July 8, 2020

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Automotive Trending Up as CAR Readies for Virtual Management Briefing Seminars
MetalForming sat down with Carla Bailo, president and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) to discuss the state of the automotive industry, her perspective on the future, and some insights into CAR’s upcoming Management Briefing Seminars, scheduled to occur online as a virtual event August 4-5, 2020.

“Output from most OEM facilities continues to ramp up, and, in fact, many of the full-sized-truck plants are back to three shifts,” Bailo says. “The impact of the pandemic was in some ways mitigated by initiatives taken by dealerships to continue to do business online, which helped to keep the industry afloat. At CAR, we expect a solid rebound over time, predicted on no serious rebound of COVID, although we can see supply issues arising for the most popular vehicle models.”

As to the CAR Management Briefing Seminars (MBS), “we’re offering a wide breadth of information at MBS 2020, very appropriate and valuable to managers and engineers throughout the automotive supply chain,” offers Bailo. “Key portions of the virtual-event agenda are the panel discussions we have planned, including the forecasting panel where we’ll discuss the health of the economy and of the industry.”




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Smart Factories, Digitalization Key to Retaining and Onshoring Business
“One of the only ways that the United States can ‘beat’ China post-coronavirus isn’t in a roaring stock market where most Americans aren’t making their fortunes, or their livelihoods,” writes Kennett Rapoza in an article, How To Bring Manufacturing Home To The U.S. From China, at Forbes. “It’s in bringing manufacturing back to the United States.”

Smart factories and digitalization are the keys to needed reshoring.

“The way to make the United States more attractive as a manufacturing center is through a smart factory—a data driven, just-in-time, customizable way to build at a lower cost than traditional assembly-line manufacturing that often ends up storing unsold goods in warehouses,” Rapoza writes.

He notes that Chinese labor as of 2019 cost roughly one-sixth that of U.S. labor, but U.S. productivity soars at eight times that of China. The productivity push, through smart factories and digitalization—Industry 4.0, must continue.

Small and mid-sized businesses making widgets must act now to digitize their equipment, offers Alexander Stiehler, an analyst for UBS, in the article, or “it could be too late in a few years' time.”



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Unist SmartFlow™ Controller
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Five Tips for a Successful Digital Transformation (from MetalForming’s July Digital Issue)
Mo Abuali, managing partner of IoTCo, co-authors Five Tips for a Successful Digital Transformation, one of many features in MetalForming’s special July digital issue detailing approaches to Industry 4.0, and summarizes well the coming digital era of manufacturing: “A manufacturer’s digital maturity,” says Abuali, “goes far beyond simply deploying new technology, by aligning the company’s overall strategy with people, process and technology to meet the expectations of both customers and employees. Four key elements comprise a digital strategy: the business case, connectivity, analytics, and technology selection and adoption.”

MetalForming devised the content of this special digital issue (set to email on July 9 and again on July 22, and available on our website, with the intent of guiding metal formers and fabricators in their efforts to leverage information technology to better navigate the ‘new normal.’


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Metal Forming-Company Execs Forecast a Spike in Incoming Orders
The June 2020 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report finds that 53 percent of metal forming company participants predict an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (increasing from just 22 percent in May), 27 percent expect no change (increasing from 24 percent last month), and 20 percent anticipate a decline in economic activity (decreasing significantly from 54 percent in May). Those surveyed also forecast a spike in incoming orders, with 57 percent expecting an increase in orders compared to three months ago, an increase from only 14 percent in May.



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LISTEN: How to Break America’s Reliance on Manufacturing in China
In a podcast courtesy of SupplyChainBrain, the site’s editor-in chief Bob Bowman explores how the coronavirus pandemic has revealed the need for breaking the United States’ dependence on manufacturing in China and other countries. Bowman’s podcast guest, Greg Kozera of Shale Crescent USA, believes that the United States’ newfound dominance as a supplier of energy can provide the basis for a resurgence of domestic manufacturing.


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Hot Off the Press


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Learn How to Eliminate Over-Application of Costly Lubricants
Precision Spray Control technology, from Spraying Systems Co., ensures the proper volume of lubricant is applied, even when line/press speeds or dies change. Precision application eliminates waste of costly lubricants and quality problems caused by inconsistent coverage. Maintenance downtime due to oil mist is eliminated, worker safety is improved and operating costs are decreased.
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June/July 2020 issue
June/July 2020
In a New Light: The 411 on Robotic Laser Welding
Laser beam welding (LBW) can allow manufacturers to weld materials once considered non-weldable. Shop floors across the Americas have ramped up implementation of robotic LBW, due to the ability of the process to create strong weld seams at relatively high speed, and, therefore, increase productivity as compared to conventional welding techniques. Ideal for medium- to large-volume production runs, robotic LBW employs a focused laser beam rather than the electric arc used in arc welding. The ability to control laser-beam power provides precision heat input and targeting of weld seams, making the process a good choice for a variety of metal-alloy types and workpiece thicknesses. In addition, as with arc welding, the process can complete weld seams with or without filler metal.

New Servo Press Optimizes Revenue/Sq. Ft.
Early in 2019, the management team at metal former and fabricator General Stamping & Metalworks (GSM) learned that demand for stamped parts in the fourth quarter would significantly exceed its existing press capacity. That growth spurt would come from one of the firm’s key customers in the utility-scale solar-power industry, as it expected a surge in orders related to the impending step-down of the federal solar tax credit.

To the rescue: A new Seyi 660-ton model SDG2-660-S-5 servomechanical press, outfitted with a 54-in. Coe feed line equipped with WorkRoll Advisor software. Industrial-equipment supplier Press Automation Inc., Elkhart, IN, supplied GSM with the line. The press-bed size, 145 by 61 in., allows the firm to run large, complex progressive dies and, for some jobs, avoid secondary forming operations.





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Six Ways Capital Equipment Suppliers Can Support Metal Formers
During economic crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to lean on capital-equipment suppliers that provide more than just standalone presses. Manpower will be diminished during economic downturns (layoffs, furloughs, etc.), so capital-equipment suppliers must be able to provide technical expertise to keep their customers’ equipment operational. Review this article to learn how SIMPAC supports its customers, by focusing on service, accessibility,  providing turnkey solutions, and more.




Upcoming Issues
July (Digital only, to be emailed July 9 and again on July 22, and also at www.metalformingmagazine.com)
  • Management Software and Industry 4.0: Ushering in a New Era for Metal Formers and Fabricators. Find out how stampers and fabricators can, and do, leverage advanced software, sensing and analytics to keep operations running optimally.
August
  • Servo-Press Technology
  • Supply-Chain Snags―The pandemic has revealed just how fragile the links can be between metal formers and fabricators, and their suppliers and customers. What have the challenges been, and what solutions—reshoring and others—are available?
  • Tool Steels
  • Five-Axis Laser Cutting
  • Folding/Bending Technology
  • Arc Welding
  • Safety Update
September
  • Hydraulic Presses
  • Press Feeds
  • Lubrication
  • Plasma Cutting
  • Resistance Welding
  • Post-Processing
  • Additive Manufacturing


CAR_image
Sponsored
CAR MBS 2020 Goes Virtual
COVID-19 and economic uncertainty are placing tremendous strain on the automotive industry. These challenges, coupled with the rate of rapid evolution in the industry, have left many with questions about how to move forward. The Center for Automotive Research is here to help you and your organization navigate the road ahead.
 
CAR MBS 2020 will focus on understanding the challenges and opportunities occurring as the auto industry adapts across the spectrum of technology, strategy, mobility, policy, and manufacturing issues.
 
Secure your pass for two days of inspirational speakers and a “front-row” seat to understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the current and future automotive and mobility industries. Attend from any location and make new connections through this exciting platform.
www.cargroup.org/mbs


Industry-Related Terms: Alloys, Case, Center, Die, Forming, LASER, Model, Run, Scrap, Spectrum, Stainless Steel, Surface, Post-processing
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms

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