RoHS Exemptions for Machining Industry- PMPA Members Know

January 12, 2017

The EU decision on the  RoHS 2011 recast appeals for exemptions for leaded materials for machining is almost a year late- the decisions were due  from the commission January 21, 2016.

January 21, 2016!

rohs-word-cloud

PMPA has reviewed the findings of the study group assigned to review and report on the appeals regarding Lead for machining purposes in Steels, Aluminum, and Copper alloys.

If you are a PMPA member, you can get our summary  providing the latest status of the RoHS exemptions that affect our shops. The EU is almost a year late with their decision on the exemption appeals for leaded materials for machining under the latest (2011) RoHS recast.

PMPA has posted a summary of the consultants’ findings  and their potential impacts on our machining companies for our members information on the PMPA website here.

We have really been challenged by the EU to stay up to date on these exemptions, being almost a year late with the decision certainly keeps the uncertainty high for manufacturers.

I wonder if the European Commission is as  lenient with the deadlines on the regulated communities as they are for their own?

If you are a PMPA member, you can get the latest Status of the RoHS exemptions that affect our shops here : January 2017 RoHS Exemption Summary Report

If you are not a PMPA member, where do you go to stay up to date on regulatory issues that affect your business?


December ISM PMI Positive Bellwether for 2017

January 5, 2017

The Institute for Supply Management announced on Tuesday that its Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) for Manufacturing index rose 1.5 percentage points to 54.7 in December, its highest level in two years and up from 53.2 in November.

This is great news- let’s look at some details to find out why:

  • New Orders component– new orders rose 7.2 percentage points to 60.2 – their highest level since November 2014
  • Strength in Employment component– employment rose 0.8 percentage point to 53.1 – the highest since June 2015
  • And strength in the Production component-production improved to 60.3- very unusual outcomes for Manufacturing in December.

This is an unexpectedly solid report showing Manufacturing industry performance stronger in December than in November.

Highest in 2 years and up 1.5 points over November 2016

Highest in 2 years and up 1.5 points over November 2016

Here is why we see this as a bellwether for a great 2017 for our precision machining companies.

  • U.S. Light Vehicle (Auto) Sales set annual sales record according to the Wall Street Journal and reports we heard from online videos from AUTO NEWS. “A total of 17.55 million vehicles were sold in 2016, roughly 60% of which were classified as light trucks” according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • 2016 sales volume was up ~ 700,000 light vehicles, according to reports from Auto News
  • The average age of the U.S. Light Vehicle Fleet in 2016 was a record 11.6 years, According to Statista online, 

There is still plenty of reason to expect demand for light cars and trucks to be sustained based on the average age of the U.S. Fleet and the current low unemployment rate reported by the Federal government. Knowing that Automotive is the precision machining industry’s most heavily served market convinces us that these numbers reported by ISM, WSJ, Auto News and Statista bode well for our precision machining shops in 2017. I hope that you are preparing for success, not for hunkering down in 2017.

Happy New Year, indeed!

Auspicious!

Auspicious!

 

Link to ISM December 2016 report

Statista Age of Light Vehicles in U.S.

Calculated Risk December ISM Post and Chart


Making a List and Checking It Twice

December 22, 2016

What’s on your list? Lists?

Holidays provide a great time for reflection. Santa checking his list started me thinking…

Didn't know that Santa was into over-inspection

As a quality guy, I didn’t know that Santa was into over-inspection

Here is our list of “to be given”

  1. To our customer’s- Zero Defects, 100% on time, delightful answers and best in class service
  2. To our suppliers- Sufficient lead time and clear requirements on the specification and purchase order.
  3. To our employees- Sincere appreciation and offers of further training
  4. To our community- Continuing to be great citizens and networking

And our “Wish List”

  1. From our customers- Orders with sufficient lead times and clear specifications
  2. From our suppliers- the same treatment that we give our customers
  3. From our employees- attention to safety and their best efforts
  4. From our community- respect for the magic that our people and processes accomplish that makes a difference in everyone’s lives.

What’s on your list?

Need help with creating and using lists? There’s a great book for that:

Maybe a great gift Idea for some of your key performers...

Maybe a great gift Idea for some of your key performers…

Checklist Manifesto Amazon

Savage Chickens


ISM PMI Manufacturing Report for November 2016

December 5, 2016

The November ISM PMI Manufacturing Index rebounded by 1.3 points in November. A welcome development as we near year end.

Rebounds are especially important in the finals...

Rebounds are especially important in the finals…

The composite index rose from 51.9 in October to 53.2 in November, its third straight month of expansion. The  manufacturing production  index, up from 54.6 to 56.0 in November expanded at its fastest rate since July 2015.

According to Bradley Holcomb at ISM,“The November PMI® registered 53.2 percent, an increase of 1.3 percentage points from the October reading of 51.9 percent.”

Rebound!

Rebound!

We’ll take it!

Fabricated Metal Products, of which Precision Machining is a sub sector, was one of 11 industries that grew in November. according to ISM data.

Both ISM’s Production Index and New Orders Index also reported gains in November.

PMPA’s Business Trends Index was down 1.7 % in October, so we are looking forward to our own rebound in November… after all, our components are what makes the manufactured goods sold in November actually work…

Link to ISM PMI November Report

Link to Calculated Risk Graph

Rebound: Showing some love to our Chicago Readers… Jordan Rebound 1995-1996 Finals

PMPA Business Trends for October 2016

 


PMPA’s October 2016 Business Trends Report- Boring is Good

November 30, 2016

With 84 companies responding, the PMPA Business Trends Index in October 2016 declined 1.7% to 116 from 118, virtually identical to its movement from September to October last year (when it fell from 121 to 119- a 1.6% drop.)  Our Index Average year to date is 119, down just 2 points from last year’s calendar year average of 121.  Twenty-two percent (22%) of our respondents reported sales increases in October, thirty-one percent (31%) reported sales decreases, remainder reported no change.

Modest change in sales at same magnitude as last year same report.

Modest change in sales at same magnitude as last year same report.

Meanwhile, the Fed reported that Industrial Production was unchanged from September to October, while the manufacturing output component increased 0.2 percent.  The Fed estimates capacity utilization at 75.3%, down 4.7% from its long run (1972-2015) average.

The October 2016 PMPA Business Trends Report shows that our responding shops continue to perform somewhat better than expected, down not quite two percent (1.7%) from last month.  The 3 month moving average has turned up, but remains below the 12 month moving average as we report the first month of the seasonally slow fourth quarter.  The Average Sales for the Industry remains within a couple of points of last year’s calendar year average, and our 119 YTD is “essentially even” with the performance of our shops in CY 2014 and 2015.  October Lead Time sentiment suggests that our shops expect sales to be stronger than the Sales Indicator alone shows.  Our indicators this month justify our optimism about the markets and employment prospects for our precision machining industry.

Members can see full report Here.

 


PMPA Selected as National Partner to Grow Apprenticeships in Manufacturing

November 14, 2016

PMPA is proud to be partnering with NIMS, to help companies find new ways to help students and workers gain skills for success.

Apprenticeships to build a pipeline of skilled professionals for a great manufacturing career.

Apprenticeships to build a pipeline of skilled professionals for a great manufacturing career.

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) has been selected by the U.S.Department of Labor as an industry intermediary to support the expansion of registered apprenticeships within MANUFACTURING. The Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) a founding stakeholder member of NIMS,  will work with NIMS to increase access to apprenticeships and assist employers in developing new programs that reach diverse talent pools among our membership.  As part of this initiative, $500,000 is available to support companies in establishing a registered apprenticeship program with the Department of Labor.

“For over two decades, NIMS has worked with companies, workforce development groups and community colleges to stand-up high-caliber apprenticeship programs across the country,” said Jim Wall, Executive Director, NIMS.  “This contract gives us the unique opportunity to create more impact in our industry by expanding apprenticeships to underrepresented populations and to new companies looking to establish a sustainable talent pipeline.”

What’s in it for your company? NIMS will focus on providing companies with tools and resources to develop customized registered apprenticeship programs. These programs combine on-the-job training with job-related classroom instruction and meet national standards for registration with the Department of Labor or State Apprenticeship Agencies. PMPA is working with NIMS to help facilitate the creation of registered apprenticeships for our member companies.

If you are interested in enhancing your talent pipeline through apprenticeships, this program may be for you.

Companies that are interested in building an apprenticeship program or organizations that are interested in partnering with NIMS should contact Sterling Gill sgill@pmpa.org; for more information go to www.mfgapprenticeship.com or email the NIMS ApprenticeshipUSA team at apprenticeship@nims-skills.org.

 

 


Thread Rolling Thin Walls- CJ Winters

November 3, 2016

Guest post by Lib Pietrantoni, CJWinter

Flaking threads and thread damage can be avoided when thread rolling thin walled parts.

Distortion during the thread rolling process can cause

  • Flaking,
  • Non-uniform thread geometry
  • Tearing
  • Collapse of threaded portion of part

These are particularly troublesome issues on thin walled parts.

These can be avoided if you assure that a minimum wall thickness is maintained for the process.

 

Minimum Wall thickness is determined by Nominal Thread diameter and thread pitch

Minimum Wall Thickness is determined by Nominal Thread Diameter and Thread Pitch

Larger nominal thread diameters require thicker minimum wall thickness; so do coarser thread pitches.

The way that you roll the thread can also be a factor.

According to Lib Pietrantoni at CJWinter, specialized pneumatic radial-pinch-type thread rolling machine attachments can apply equalized rolling pressure across the workpiece, ensuring thread concentricity, eliminating side pressure on both the parts and the machine, and allowing precise control of the penetration rate — especially important for thin-walled parts.

You can download the Thread Rolling Reference Chart at CJWinter’s website: reference chart

As a steel mill Quality Metallurgist, I saw my share of complaints that “the steel was flaking- it must be the steel.”

But the lab results never found the flaking anywhere except where the thread had been rolled – it was never on the bars as shipped.

Pay attention to minimum wall thickness when thread rolling!

And  don’t forget to pass this handy chart along to the engineer at your customer that is designing the parts that you make.

Thanks to Lib Pietrantoni at PMPA member CJWinter for providing this reference information.