ISM PMI Declines in January, Still Bodes Well for Manufacturing

February 3, 2015

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported to day that the PMI for January
PMI was at 53.5%a decrease of 1.6% points from 55.1% in December. The employment index was at 54.1%, down 1.9 percentage points  from 56.0% in December. The New Orders Index  came in at 52.9 percent, a decrease of 4.9 percentage points from the seasonally adjusted reading of 57.8 percent in December.

These numbers are softer than we expected for January, but are still indicative of positive news for manufacturing- “Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January for the 20th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 68th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.”

Markets (industries) of interest to our shops  that reported growth in January 2015 included: Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components;  Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Machinery; Food,  Computer & Electronic Products.

For PMPA’s 2014 Year end summary of our Business Trends Index click here.

Calendar year 2014 was strong and steady until the final quarter with its seasonal and expected fall off.  Over 90% of respondents in December 2014 shared positive (same or improved) expectations for Net Sales, Lead Times, Employment, and Profitability for the first quarter of 2015.  With strong expectations in Automotive, Aerospace, Housing, and Medical Device Industry, we believe that the first quarter of 2014 will be a busy one for precision machining. – See more at: http://www.pmpa.org/news/latest-news/2015/01/22/business-trends-2014-review-and-summary#sthash.BXDQAFun.dpuf

We just came back from 5 days on the West Coast  visiting shops and sentiments were positive and optimistic except for the outlook for finding skilled workers.

Manufacturing continues to be a great place to be in the current economy.

ISMJan2015

Hat tip to Calculated Risk Blog for their Chart of ISM PMI


60 Years of Continuous Improvement- The Vanamatic Journey

January 22, 2015

It has been my pleasure to work with the folks at the Vanamatic Company since the late 1980’s as a  steel supplier technical representative, as a PMPA staffer, and as a friend.

A passion for improvement is what drives the folks Vanamatic.

A passion for improvement is what drives the folks Vanamatic.

I can say that over a big chunk of those 60 years, there were a few things that remained constant- fair dealings, honest communications, and an unrelenting focus on continuous improvement.

I was not at all surprised  when I got a call from Jeff saying that they were going to have something to announce and could I help them with it.

Of course there is something new at Vanamatic.

They are always working on ideas for improvement.

I was surprised when they told me it was a brand new website for the company’s 60th anniversary.

60 years was quite a surprise.

It has not been an easy time for manufacturing these last 60 years.

Frankly the last 8 years were pretty tough.

The Rise of China at the beginning of the new century wiped out a lot of the companies that were not very serious about their business.

Congratulations to Vanamatic for 60 years of leadership through continuous improvement. Improvement of people, process, and culture.

Oh, and improvement to the their online presence through their new website.

 


NIMS Announces Record Number of Metalworking Credentials issued in 2014

January 20, 2015

Credentials issued by NIMS in 2014 show that more students are preparing for success and high-demand careers.

NIMS%20Logo%20(R)

In 2014, NIMS issued 18,947 industry-recognized credentials, representing a 36% increase from 2013.

36% increase!

“It is clear that the precision manufacturing sector is strong and growing, and more students and workers are preparing for success in the wide variety of jobs our industry offers,” said Jim Wall, Executive Director, NIMS. “NIMS would like to congratulate more than 8,000 individuals who earned at least one industry-recognized credential last year and have the ‘mark of excellence’ that will make them highly sought-after talent.”

PMPA is a founding member of NIMS, and is pleased to see this success at credentialing talent to enter our high tech industry. Credentialing real people for in demand careers, developing standards and credentials, this is how we develop an advanced manufacturing workforce to sustain manufacturing in North America. As NIMS continues to upgrade and adapt the standards to our evolving technology, we have confidence that our credentialed new hires will be up to speed and able to safely add value on the first day of the job. NIMS standards are the basis for the Right Skills Now Program.

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) was formed in 1995 by the metalworking trade associations to develop and maintain a globally competitive American workforce. NIMS sets skills standards for the industry, certifies individual skills against the standards, and accredits training programs that meet NIMS quality requirements.

For more information on NIMS, visit NIMSREADY

For the full release on 2014 credentials earned, visit RELEASE

For information on Careers in Advanced Manufacturing check out our career blog at YOURCAREERFACTS

 


December ISM PMI Report- Beware the Bears!

January 13, 2015

There are a number of reasons that one could be bearish about the December ISM PMI report. But that doesn’t mean that we should be.

grizzly-bear duffle blog

“The December PMI® registered 55.5 percent, a decrease of 3.2 percentage points from November’s reading of 58.7 percent. The New Orders Index registered 57.3 percent, a decrease of 8.7 percentage points from the reading of 66 percent in November. The Production Index registered 58.8 percent, 5.6 percentage points below the November reading of 64.4 percent. The Employment Index registered 56.8 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points above the November reading of 54.9 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 45.5 percent, a decrease of 6 percentage points from the November reading of 51.5 percent. The Prices Index registered 38.5 percent, down 6 percentage points from the November reading of 44.5 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices in December relative to November.”

 

test text

Actually, look how far above we are above the expansion / contraction line…

“The December PMI declined 3.2 percentage points from November,” roared the bear.

“The New Orders index dropped by 8.7 percentage points from November’s reading,” growled his sidekick.

“The Production Index fell 5.6 percentage points from November,” sang the Bear Chorus.

What are we to make of these Bearish indicators? Not much, really. Here’s why.

  • Its seasonal really. It is the end of the year. Companies are going to have to pay taxes on unsold inventory.
  • Yes it is below expectations. But does that tell us more about the PMI, or about the quality of the “expectations?”
  • 11 of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in December. 

So please, before you order flowers and a sympathy card- consider this. The December reading above 50 indicates Manufacturing expansion for the  19th consecutive month, and by being above 43, an expansion of the US economy- for the 67th consecutive month.

P.S. Not to worry “The Employment Index registered 56.8 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points above the November reading of 54.9 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 45.5 percent, a decrease of 6 percentage points from the November reading of 51.5 percent. The Prices Index registered 38.5 percent, down 6 percentage points from the November reading of 44.5 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices in December relative to November.” Stronger employment lower inventories, and lower material prices are all positives for Manufacturing.”

The decline in the  December 2014 PMI index is normal expectancy and nothing to worry about as I see it. Just look at the graph and all the other positive indicators.

Wave bye-bye, bear.

Wave bye-bye, bear.

 

Bear photo courtesy The Duffel Blog

Graph courtesy The Calculated Risk Blog

Waving bear link

 


2014 in review

January 9, 2015

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Ancient Orichalucum Metal Ingots Recovered from Shipwreck off Sicily

January 8, 2015
2600 years later, we have samples to analyze...

2600 years later, we have samples to analyze…

According to Discovery News  this week, “Gleaming cast metal called orichalucum, which was said by Ancient Greeks to be found in Atlantis, has been recovered from a ship that sunk 2,600 years ago off the coast of Sicily…the 39 ingots found on the sandy sea floor represent a unique finding.”

“Today most scholars agree orichalucum is a brass-like alloy, which was made in antiquity by cementation. This process was achieved with the reaction of zinc ore, charcoal and copper metal in a crucible.

Analyzed with X-ray fluorescence by Dario Panetta, of TQ – Tecnologies for Quality, the 39 ingots turned to be an alloy made with 75-80 percent copper, 15-20 percent zinc and small percentages of nickel, lead and iron.”

Ancient Origins  reports “The name orichalucum derives from the Greek word oreikhalkos, meaning literally “mountain copper” or “copper mountain”. According to Plato’s 5th century BC Critias dialogue, orichalucum was considered second only to gold in value, and was found and mined in many parts of the legendary Atlantis in ancient times.

Maybe the greenhouse gasses emitted by Atlantis’ cementation industries producing orichalucum caused the seas to rise, covering Atlantis…

 


OSHA Reporting Requirements for Employers Now in effect- Update

January 1, 2015

Employers! These requirements are now in effect!

A new wallet card issued by OSHA will help your supervisors understand the changes to  Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements that go into effect in January 2015.

Get the card here as a  printable pdf

New wallet card available from OSHA.

New wallet card available from OSHA.

What are the new requirements?

 “Under the final rule, employers must report the following events:
    1. Each fatality resulting from a work-related incident, within 8
hours of the death. This requirement applies to all fatalities
occurring within 30 days of a work-related incident. See Sec. 
1904.39(a)(1) and (b)(6). This is the same as the current regulation
and the proposed rule.
    2. Each in-patient hospitalization resulting from a work-related
incident, within 24 hours of the hospitalization. This requirement
applies to all in-patient hospitalizations occurring within 24 hours of
a work-related incident. See Sec.  1904.39(a)(2) and (b)(6). Under the
proposed rule, employers would have been required to report all in-
patient hospitalizations within 8 hours, for hospitalizations occurring
within 30 days of a work-related incident. Under the current
regulation, employers are required to report, within 8 hours, in-
patient hospitalizations of three or more employees, for
hospitalizations occurring within 30 days of a work-related incident.
    3. Each amputation resulting from a work-related incident, within
24 hours of the amputation. This requirement applies to all amputations
occurring within 24 hours of a work-related incident. See Sec. 
1904.39(a)(2) and (b)(6). Under the proposed rule, employers would have
been required to report all amputations within 24 hours, for
amputations occurring within 30 days of a work-related incident. Under
the current regulation, employers are not required to report
amputations.
    4. Each loss of an eye resulting from a work-related incident,
within 24 hours of the loss of an eye. This requirement applies to all
losses of an eye occurring within 24 hours of a work-related incident.
See Sec.  1904.39(a)(2) and (b)(6). The proposed rule would not have
required employers to report losses of an eye, and the current
regulation also does not require them to do so.”- Federal Register

These requirements go into effect January 1, 2015

Get the wallet card and review the upcoming changes with your team now. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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