Metal Formers Optimistic, Survey Says, But Virus Impact Remains to be Seen

March 11, 2020

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Metal Formers Optimistic, Survey Says, But Virus Impact Remains to be Seen
According to the February 2020 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metal forming companies continue to express optimism: 30 percent of participants predict an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (a slight decrease from 32 percent in January); 60 percent forecast no change in activity (compared to 55 percent last month); and only 10 percent anticipate a decline in activity (a decrease from 13 percent in January).

“Metal forming companies continue to show resiliency and remain optimistic that business conditions will improve,” says PMA President David Klotz. “It’s important to note, however, that this survey was taken prior to the impact to supply chains and business conditions caused by the spread of the coronavirus. PMA will continue to serve as a resource to help its members navigate through these challenges.”

According to the survey, metal formers expected an uptick in incoming orders, with 53 percent forecasting an increase in orders during the next three months (compared to 43 percent in January); 30 percent anticipating no change in orders (compared to 45 percent in January); and 17 percent predicting a decrease in orders (compared to 12 percent last month).



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WATCH: Siemens USA’s CEO on Bringing More Women into Manufacturing
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Makers Series features creators, innovators and trailblazers in the industry sharing their insights and advice. This month, Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA, explains why women are essential to manufacturing’s workforce.




AISI Names Catterall VP/Automotive Program
The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Southfield, MI, named John Catterall, former executive director of the Auto/Steel Partnership and an automotive-engineering veteran, vice president, automotive program, effective March 1. Catterall succeeds Dr. Jody N. Hall, who has led AISI’s automotive program since 2014 and is retiring at the end of February.

As the leader of the automotive program for steel, Catterall will focus on maintaining steel’s role as the automotive material of choice. With both industries focused on the future of mobility, cost-efficient mass optimization and strong and durable steel structures will continue to be important for both occupant and battery protection, as well as for enhancing the ride experience for passengers. Catterall’s expertise includes extensive background in body, chassis and closures.


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Award-Winning AZ High School Manufacturing Program Takes TN Tour
Desert View High School in Tucson, AZ, boasts 230 students in its nationally recognized manufacturing program that allows them, through partnerships with industry, to apply math, science and entrepreneurial skills to the real world by designing parts, building prototypes and learning to code. Last week, as reported by The Tennessean, they took in a SolidWorks manufacturing conference in Nashville, TN, and toured Nashville-based Peterson Tool Company.

Desert View students in the program can earn as many as 25 college credits--nearly a full year--toward an associate’s degree in Industrial Technology, thanks to a partnership with a community college in Tucson. They also take on contracted jobs, with projects including building parts for an aerospace company, creating metal signs for businesses and constructing devices that help baseball and softball players perfect their swings.

The classroom learning, hands-on training and ability to tour and experience manufacturing in the real world pays huge dividends, according to program director Cesar Gutierrez.

"It’s extremely important when you have buy-in by the industry and someone else believing in the students other than their teachers," Gutierrez told The Tennessean. "It gets the students motivated to do more with their lives. They start to get a self-belief in their abilities. And that’s extremely important to today’s generation."

Podcast
LISTEN: While Dems Move from NV to SC, Coronavirus Disrupts Trade and the Economy
Talking with One Voice is the manufacturing industry advocacy podcast produced by the National Tooling and Machining Association and the Precision Metalforming Association, together known as One Voice for Manufacturing. This week, the team connects to discuss the federal budget, what Nevada has revealed about the future of the democratic primaries, and how the Coronavirus is impacting the American economy and trade.



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March 2020 issue
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Seismic Changes in Store for the Auto Industry
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Upcoming Issues
April: Mechanical Presses, Stamping High-Strength Steels, Laser Cutting, Press Brakes/Folding, Arc Welding, Software for Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, PMA Auto Parts Suppliers Conference and Industry Report

May: Pressroom Automation, Sensors, Waterjet Cutting, Automated Storage, Loading and Unloading, Resistance Welding, Safety, Preview: Internet of Things for Manufacturers Conference
Industry-Related Terms: Alloys, Center, CNC, Forming, LASER, Stainless Steel, Surface
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms

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