Manufacturing- Good Economic News

November 16, 2011

When I grew up I learned Economics from Uncle Bob.

Uncle Bob had the family farm, and worked as a foreman in the steel mill.

This is the mill Uncle Bob worked in.

Uncle Bob taught me that wealth is created by either growing it , manufacturing it, or mining it. And since he had a working oil/gas well on the farm, he knew of what he spoke.

He grew food and raised livestock on the farm, he manufactured steel in the mill, and he sold the oil from the well and burned the gas for heat.

Then I got to college and saw that the folks with money weren’t working in mills or mines or farms. There was this burgeoning service economy.

Today, I just prepared PMPA’s Business Trends Report for October 2011. It aggregates sales and sentiment data from a little over 80 PMPA members in the U.S..

The Business Trends Indicator flattened a bit- a decline from  a value of 114 last month to 111 this month.

Woe is me- NOT!

The fact of the matter is that the Business Trends Sales Data is up 15% for the year to date. Our average is 115. in 2010 it was 99.

Precision Manufacturing- according to PMPA’s respondents are up 15 percent over last year.

So how does that 15% stack up against the interest rates that those service economy bankers are paying you on your savings, checking and Certificates of deposit? How does 15% compare to how the rest of your investments- real estate, stocks, bonds- are doing?

According to our data, Uncle Bob seems to be right. There are many worse places to be in today’s economy than precision manufacturing.

Congratulations on your great career choice!

Photocredit: Riverrat

Time Lapse Legos- Ford Explorer

October 7, 2011

We’re a fan of manufacturing. Automotive. Legos. Time Lapse.


See it being built.

Here’s your Link: Time Lapse Ford Explorer

Photo credit and more.

More Reasons to be Bullish about Manufacturing

August 24, 2011

Forbes Blog nails this one folks!

No questions from me.

According to John Bruner:” In 2010, American manufacturers added value of $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy, up 6.6% over the previous year after accounting for inflation. By the same measure, the rest of the economy grew by 2.2%.

You might not know it from public commentary, but the United States manufactures more than any other country (including China), and U.S. factories are within reach of their all-time greatest output.”

In 2007, the last year for which we were able to find Census Data, 3,296 companies in NAICS 332721, Precision Machining, produced over $15,054,173,000 in shipments.

PMPA’s Business Trends Index for July (historically a seasonally slow month) is 111, justone point off from the average for 2007 our peak year before the recession.

So when you hear all that steamy doom and gloom on those TV shows, well

Instead of listening to the guy behind all that steam and smoke

Just take a look at the data!

 For the full Forbes Blog click here


OZ picture

Robots Bring Students Understanding Of Manufacturing

May 5, 2011

Northeastern Ohio’s  Lakeland Community College held a double elimination battlebot competition Saturday, April 31.

PMPA Members  Criterion Tool, Fischer Special Tooling, and Technical Equipment  Company were PMPA member companies sponsoring at the event.

News Herald photo captures the excitement of making things!

Ten  Northeast Ohio high schools fielded teams that built, (REPAIRED!) and battled their robots in the competition.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of employment in Lake County is related to manufacturing.

Competitions like this one help students  develop skills and understanding that will serve them well in all areas of life. Planning, designing, making, solving problems, fixing, redesigning…

While most parents today think of manufacturing  like it was in the  smokestack days of their parents, the students at Saturday’s competition learned that it’s not about punching a time clock or shirking work- its about being part of a team that comes together to design create, and operate real things. We’re pleased that PMPA members are helping a new generation find the joys of manufacturing. Of how it feels to be one of the People Who Make Things

Manufacturing is a vital part of the economy in Lake County and the state of Ohio.

And for 10 teams of high schoolers, its a vital part of understanding a bright future  for themselves.

Thanks to Criterion Tool, Fischer Special Tooling,  Technical Equipment Company, Lakeland College, and all the other sponsors that came together to give these high school students a chance to feel for themselves the joys of manufacturing- building a product, and watching it perform.

Congratulations to the team from Lake Catholic who won the Championship.

See a video on the News Herald site here.

Athlete, Engineer, Physician, Machinist- What Are The Chances?

May 3, 2011

The odds are pretty slim you’ll make it into professional athletics.Time spent on math and science can assure you of a well paying professional career, even if you choose not to go to college.

Machinists make the bone screws that engineers designed that physician surgeons install in injured professional athletes.


Professional Athletes:  16,500 positions; Average Salary $79,460;  source BLS 2008

Professional Engineers: 1,600,000 positions; Average Salary $79,000  (my quick estimate from a look at the table)

You have a roughly the same chance to make the same wages by choosing engineer or athlete, the number of potential positions improves dramatically for engineers.

Physicians and Surgeons: 661,400 positions; Average Salary $186,044 source BLS 2008

Machinists: 380,720 positions; Average annual earnings $38,940, (Aerospace machinists $43,110)

I compile employment and compensation data for the PMPA, and the BLS machinist data seems to understate the wages of top performers.

And the BLS data seems to indicate straight time only. (Not include overtime.)

Yes maybe some day I will pay $50 a ticket to watch you play your sport.

But based on the number of positions, chances are I’m going to pay a heck of a lot more for your professional work product if you become an engineer, a physician, or a machinist.

If you can do the math, you can see how these odds work for you.

Come join us in  our world of  applying Science, Technology, Engineering and  Mathematics – in Manufacturing.

We can help you find productive use of your talent and skills.

We’re the People Who Make Things.

Apprenticeships vs Education?

December 2, 2010

There are a lot of things to consider in the chart below, but as a manufacturing guy, I believe that the strong economic performance by Germany, compared to Ireland at the current moment,  might be partly explained by Germany’s strong apprenticeship programs, as opposed to sending everyone off to University.

Making people who can make things as opposed to churning out masses of  “symbol managers.”

Q: Who would have thought of “Post Secondary Educational Achievement” a possible negative economic indicator?

A: Professional Journeymen in the trades, perhaps.

So why is the German economy, with its relative lack of  large numbers of well educated citizens in the 20-24 year old age group so far ahead of Ireland?

Perhaps –Manufacturing.

Perhaps- Apprenticeships.


Chart courtesy of Clusterstock Who captioned this Graph” The Irish Collapse Is An Embarrassment To Everyone Who Loves Education”

Further Reading: Shopcraft as Soulcraft


5 Customer Benefits to Reshoring

September 29, 2010

 The China Price isn’t necessarily the Bargain that some buyers think it is…

  • We are fortunate to have Harry Moser and his passion for Manufacturing engaged in this "Reshoring " movement

    • Reduce pipeline and surge inventory impacts on JIT operations;
    • Improve the quality and consistency of inputs;
    • Cluster manufacturing near R&D facilities, enhancing innovation;
    • Reduce IP and regulatory compliance risk;
    • And, most importantly to reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

    This Total Cost of Ownership  issue is the most compelling. It’s just the facts. The MATH is transparent.

    You can get access to a host of reshoring information, including the Total Cost of Ownership calculator, by signing up at ReshoreNow.

    The total cost of ownership calculator is an actual XL worksheet that will allow you or your customer to estimate the Total Cost of Ownership for a product that takes into account all of thecost  factors that most people ‘gloss over’ in order to make their decision.

    The concerns that we had about our work going to China remain a great introduction to the talking points of reshoring: here’s a Link.

    Thank you Harry Moser for engaging your passion and experience on this critical to North American Manufacturing Issue.


    Manufacturing Continues To Outperform Broader Economy

    September 16, 2010

    I like it when I find an authority with clear facts to share.

    Facts that I want to help share.

    Daniel J. Meckstroth

    The following is an analysis from Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, regarding the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Index for August 2010 (the ISM Index was 56.3 percent, an 0.8 percentage point improvement over July).

    Manufacturing has consistently outperformed the pace of growth in the general economy during this recovery,” he said.  “For example, GDP increased only at a 1.6 percent annual rate in the second quarter of 2010 but manufacturing industrial production expanded at a 7.9 percent rate.  Amidst evidence that the general economy is slowing to a crawl, this report indicates that manufacturing activity continues to grow at a healthy pace.  Industrial firms are building inventories that were depleted during the recession and exports are surging in machinery and equipment and material industries. 
    “The strong growth in manufacturing production is partly catch up for a substantially more severe recession in the industry than the overall economy,” he added.  “Also, the depth and length of the previous downturn built pent up demand for replacing big ticket consumer goods and repair and replacement in business.  We expect manufacturing production to decelerate in the near term but still grow faster than overall GDP.”


    MAPI Press Release


    Manufacturing Has Changed

    July 21, 2010

    Repost from Change the Perception:

    Today's manufacturing jobs are high skill-high thinking!

    Often times when you read the headlines about manufacturing job loss, the type of job is not defined. The term manufacturing is very far reaching, it really has come to include anyone that is part of creating anything material. When you read a headline that says “5,000 Manufacturing Jobs Heading for Mexico”, chances are they’re not referring to what would be called “high-skill, high-education/training” type jobs.

    This is an important point to understand. We’ve drawn attention to the skilled-labor shortage in the U.S. a number of times here on CTP, because it’s a fact. It’s happening currently and it will continue to get worse…but don’t get confused, the typical manufacturing jobs in the U.S. are no longer going to the production style jobs. Manufacturing jobs in the U.S. continue to evolve into high-skill, thinking type jobs. This article illustrates the requirements needed to be competitive in today’s manufacturing job market. Manufacturing is rich with opportunity for those that know how to learn, and have a mindset of continuous-learning. Now is a great time to direct young people into manufacturing, but set them on a path of education first!

    Thanks again to Ryan at Change the Perception for championing the cause of skilled manufacturing here in the US.

    Photo credit


    Free TRI Toxic Release Reporting Webinar

    May 19, 2010
    2010 PMPA Federal EPA Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting Webinar
    Join us for a Webinar on May 25You should attend if your operations have a NAICS code Associated with manufacturing (Old SIC codes 20-39) AND your company had more than 10 fulltime employees (or the equivalent of 20,000 employee hours the prior year).
    Space is limited.
    Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
    Changes that have evolved in TRI reporting need to be fully understood so that you can be best informed about your company’s reporting obligations. This webinar will cover changes in how the article exemption is treated, threshold quantities,reportable elements other than lead, and other topics will be covered. Barbara Knecht, Senior Compliance Specialist with HzW Environmental Consultants will be the main presenter for this hour long workshop on TRI as it impacts our precision machining shops.There is no charge to participate in this free webinar. All shops are invited to attend to learn about this reporting requirement. Handouts-  including a materials calculator spreadsheet- will be available to PMPA members after the webinar on the PMPA website.This presentation and Q&A should last about an hour; we are reserving an additional half hour to take questions after this presentation.If you are not responsible for regulatory compliance, please forward this to the person who handles regulatory issues for your company
    Title:   2010 PMPA Federal EPA Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting Webinar
    Date:   Tuesday, May 25, 2010
    Time:   10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EDT
    After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.