OSHA Injury and illness Electronic Reporting Rule Deadline Now Dec 15, 2017

November 22, 2017

OSHA has issued a final rule to delay the electronic reporting compliance date of the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule from July 1, 2017 (actually it was December 1, 2017) to December 15, 2017. The reason given is to provide employers the same four month window for submitting data that the original rule would have provided.

Department of Labor OSHA Headquarters in Washington D.C.

The actual deadline had been December 1, 2017 to report 2016 OSHA 300A data for employers in manufacturing industries with 20-250 employees in most states. Employers in state plan states- California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming were not required to comply

Here is the link to today’s OSHA News Release.

According to the agency “OSHA is currently reviewing the other provisions of its final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, and intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to reconsider, revise, or remove portions of that rule in 2018.

We have been following this rule since we testified against it back in 2014.

We have posted on this from time to time

OSHA Mandatory Reporting Delayed

OSHA Clarifies Reporting Rule 

Department of Shaming?

PMPA gave our members a step by step guide to how to report earlier this week.

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on Friday, November 24, 2017. Here is the public inspection version

 

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Foaming- Why Base Oil Differences Matter In Your Shop.

November 6, 2017

You don’t need a degree in Organic Chemistry to understand the differences in your shops’ metalcutting fluid base oils and what they mean to you.

Synthetic base oils clearly are less prone to foaming than mineral oil base stocks.

A recent discussion on PMPA’s member’s only Technical Listserve centered around the issue of foaming in our machines and its relation to the type of cutting oil selected for use in our CNC and Swiss machines.

John Wiley, Business Development Manager for PMPA Technical Member Qualichem, Inc. contributed a nice piece of sensemaking regarding the role that the selection of base oil plays in the foaming we encounter on the machine.

“In this picture you can clearly see the differences in a base oil’s tendency to foam.  These are pure base oils, nothing added.  Poly Alpha Olefin (PAO) and Gas To Liquid (GTL) synthetics are  identical, while the two mineral oils foam considerably more than the synthetic stocks.  If you are a shop that has yet to experiment with new cutting oil technology, now is the time.  The benefits are firmly within your budgets. If you are doing medical work, the GTL oils are ideal.  If you are running lights out operations, the GTL are ideal.  If you want a cleaner shop, cleaner machines and cleaner parts, GTL is ideal.”

John went on to describe the scenarios where PAO’s and GTL’s would be expected to be the best choice for certain operations (like high pressure pumps) and applications, as well as compared the economics of  PAO’s and GTL’s. Our members got actionable insight as to the effects of the base oil in their metalcutting fluids in terms of both performance and economics.

You may not know a lot about Organic Chemistry, but the photo above is worth a semester in class (as well as a thousand words!) to show us why now is the time to consider Synthetic base oils in our CNC and High Pressure coolant metalcutting operations.

Qualichem,Inc.


7 Industry Trends to Think About- New Technology Isn’t One of Them

November 2, 2017

You may be surprised that Technology as a stand alone item is not one of them.

Our future is not about shinier flying saucers.

We will master  and implement whatever technologies are developed.

But our future is being impacted by these 7 items  today:

  1. Loss of experienced workers taking tribal and craftsman knowledge out of our shops.
  2. Lower average wages as experienced workers with seniority leave and younger workers start at trainee wages, making it difficult to attract talent with facts about “increasing wages”- even though they are.
  3. Training growing in percent of spend as many shops are unable to purchase new technology to quote new work because they do not have trained workforce.
  4. More and more jobs being quoted out of more challenging, non free machining materials;
  5. A bit of relief from new regulations, but more uncertainty as Washington turns to trade issues which can impact availability and cost of imported materials, and tooling,  as well as impact the exports of finished goods that contain our parts.
  6. Increasing demands for certification of production to a wide variety of customer demanded requirements regardless of legal obligations- Conflict Minerals, REACH, RoHS, Animal- Free; Ca. Prop 65. Etc.
  7. Possibility of an “Association Healthcare Insurance solution” in 2019 or beyond.

 

What do you see as the trends shaping our company and industry future?

Please don’t say technology- as Humans, we’ve been successfully implementing new technologies for quite some time.

Flying cars

Todd Rundgren Future

Fire

 


October ISM PMI- U.S. Manufacturing Continues to Expand

November 1, 2017

“The October PMI® registered 58.7 percent, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points from the September reading of 60.8 percent. Indicators showing expansion included new orders, production, employment, order backlogs and export orders all continuing to grow in October, supplier deliveries continuing to slow (improving) and inventories contracting during the period.”- Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee

The industries that our precision machining shops serve or rely on for supplies were up in October, including: Machinery; Transportation Equipment;  Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products;  Computer & Electronic Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Primary Metals.

While other commentators will focus on the 2.1 point drop in the PMI from September to October, we believe that this is still a very positive report that shows the ongoing strength of the manufacturing sector.

Glass half full is our take.

ISM Report for October

Calculated Risk Blog

Glass Half Full


Craft Advice for Machinists- How Good Can You Get?

October 16, 2017

Gary Chynne  uses his skills with the longbow to explain and demonstrate the fundamentals of  mastery by having and following the process in “Guy Language.”

How good can you get?

At 3:10 into this video,  he summarizes his lesson: ” So how good can you get? If you know all your steps- you take your front step, your back step. Get your head, get your bow at 45 degrees, get it back to your anchor, relax your arm. If you can follow those steps and get bulls-eyes, THEN DO IT!

“Do not short draw. Do not overdraw. Do not draw to the right of your anchor. Do not draw to the left of your anchor. Don’t let your bow waver around. Don’t let it wiggle. If its supposed to be 45, make it 45. 

“That’s how you’re going to hit the target. So its just a matter- once you know how to shoot- how good can you get- at taking the steps to shoot properly?”

Probably the best advice you’ll ever get about machining as well. Follow the process. Be true to the process. Don’t take shortcuts or deviate from your known process.

His follow up is TRUTH as well

Anyhow, it’s kind of a blast, and its kind of a bit harder than you would wish, sometimes. Anyhow, when you do that stuff, you start to hit the target.”

Or, as one of the commenter’s posted:

Don’t just practice until you can get it right. Practice until you never get it wrong.

I think that this is probably some of the best machinist advice I’ve run across. What about you?

 


Top Ten OSHA Violations in 2017

October 4, 2017

Deputy Director  of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs Patrick Kapust presented the agency’s preliminary list at the National Safety Congress and Expo on September 26.

Powered Industrial trucks 1910.178 makes the TOP TEN again in 2017

Here are the Top Ten, along with the number of citations.

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) – 6,072
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 4,176
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451) – 3,288
  4. Respirator Protection (1910.134) – 3,097
  5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 2,877
  6. Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,241
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,162
  8. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 1,933
  9. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) – 1,523
  10. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 1,405

If you are just now reviewing your OSHA training  performance, these standards would be a great place to start.

The  items numbered 1910 are General Industry, those numbered 1926 are Construction.

Photo courtesy Staffing Talk


September ISM PMI- Manufacturing Expansion Continues to Strengthen

October 2, 2017

 

“Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September, and the overall economy grew for the 100th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.”- ISM PMI

Low inventories, growth in orders and strong production levels drove the PMI to 60.8 from last month’s 58.8. That 2 point increase is the largest monthly increase since May 2004, before the Great Recession

The slope of the line for 2017 tells you what you need to know about manufacturing. Any questions?

“The September PMI® registered 60.8 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points from the August reading of 58.8 percent. The New Orders Index registered 64.6 percent, an increase of 4.3 percentage points from the August reading of 60.3 percent. The Production Index registered 62.2 percent, a 1.2 percentage point increase compared to the August reading of 61 percent. The Employment Index registered 60.3 percent, an increase of 0.4 percentage point from the August reading of 59.9 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 64.4 percent, a 7.3 percentage point increase from the August reading of 57.1 percent. The Inventories Index registered 52.5 percent, a decrease of 3 percentage points from the August reading of 55.5 percent. “- ISM release

The data is why we continue to be optimistic– despite the imminence of the 4th Quarter and its seasonal low demand- LOW INVENTORIES will drive continued demand for our machined products!

Read that last line in the quote above: “The Inventories Index registered 52.5 percent, a decrease of 3 percentage points from the August reading of 55.5 percent.”

Those low inventories mean that demand will need to be met by new orders from our shops.

According to Industry Week: “Orders will probably remain strong in coming months as a gauge of customer inventories held close to a six-year low. What’s more, the ISM’s order backlogs index crept up to the highest level since April 2011, helping explain why more factories are stepping up hiring.”

We’ve been saying that right along in our monthly PMPA Business Trends Reporting. Anecdotal evidence from our shops indicates that lead time issues are causing some shops to off load business with others with open capacity.

We continue to believe that 2017 will be a strong year for shipments of precision machined products.

Chart courtesy of Calculated Risk Blog.