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NewsDesk: Manufacturing Returns to Growth

After hitting its lowest level in four years in May, the manufacturing industry bounced back in June, surpassing analysts’ forecasts.

The PMI registered 50.9% in June following May’s reading of 49%, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The report was released July 1 and surveys the nation’s top supply executives. Readings below 50 indicate contraction, while those above 50 indicate expansion.

The PMI reading had been causing some concern as the level of growth had been slowing down in recent months. After stronger readings of 53.1% in January and 54.2% in February, the PMI slowed to 51.3% in March and 50.7% in April before hitting the low in May.

Despite the bounce in manufacturing, the gauge of employment fell to 48.7%, the lowest level since September 2009, from 50.1% in May.

Throughout it all, however, the overall economy continued expanding. In June, the economy grew for the 49th consecutive month, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.

Source: Institute for Supply Management

“Despite lingering concerns about the economy and uncertainty over a variety of government policies and struggling worldwide markets, mid-sized industrial firms appear poised to make the investments they need to make in order to grow,” Steve Menaker, Assurance Partner, McGladrey LLP wrote in a recent Viewpoints column on

His firm’s annual Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor takes an in-depth look at middle market companies in the industrial sector through the eyes of their executives. 

“As the industrial sector looks to the future with optimism about revenue and income growth, technology is proving to be a high priority for companies as they begin to increase investment in key areas. When asked about their investment priorities for the next 12 months, 79% of respondents said they planned to increase spending on information technology (IT)—more than any other category of investment.”

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Manufacturing Technology Orders up 13.6% in Latest AMT Report

May US manufacturing technology orders totaled $430.06 million, according to AMT, the Association for Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was up 13.6% from April but down 7.6% compared with the same month a year ago. With a year-to-date total of $2,085.14 million, 2013 is down 6.9% compared with the same period in 2012.

“A rise in US manufacturing technology orders is welcome as we move into the summer months, which are typically soft,” said Patrick W. McGibbon, AMT vice president, Industrial Intelligence. “New technologies are creating change in automotive production, while many aerospace manufacturers are making shifts within their supply chains. Contract machining is also seeing growth thanks to the cost advantages of manufacturing within the US. Meanwhile, foreign direct investment within the US continues to increase, and all of these factors are contributing to new capital investment within manufacturing.”

The United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report, compiled by the trade association representing the production and distribution of manufacturing technology, provides regional and national US orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment.

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AnnouncementsDr. Lars Gruenert

Effective July 1, Dr. Lars Gruenert will serve as president and CEO of Trumpf Inc. (Farmington, CT). He succeeds Rolf Biekert. In this position, Dr. Gruenert will be responsible for all of the Trumpf subsidiaries and business operations in North America, including manufacturing, engineering, research and development, customer service, technical training, product sales and applications.

The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) and AMT on July 1 opened the start of the second part of the MT Connect Challenge: Creating Manufacturing Intelligence. The competition closes Jan. 31, 2014. More details can be found at More than $200,000 in prizes are slated to be awarded. MT Connect is an open, royalty-free communications standard intended to foster greater interoperability between manufacturing equipment, devices and software applications.

Dayton Progress (Dayton, OH), which was acquired by MISUMI Group Inc.  (Japan) in 2012, on June 18 said MISUMI’s Vietnam manufacturing facility will adopt Dayton Progress’ blank-making process. Soon afterward, most manufacture of Dayton blanks will transfer from Ohio to Vietnam. Dayton Progress says its customers will continue to enjoy the performance benefits of the Dayton blank, with the same process and steel as before. It also said there will be no impact on the more than 500 employees at its Dayton location. Rather, Dayton Progress said, the transfer of work will free up space and capacity for continuing growth. Dayton Progress Corp. manufactures tooling for metal stamping and forming, with 10 factories in North America, Europe and Asia, employing 1,000 people and shipping to 13,000 customers in 51 countries. More at

Kennametal Inc. (Latrobe, PA), a leading supplier of tooling and industrial materials, has expanded its partnership with Stibo Systems (Aarhus, Denmark).  Kennametal will broaden its use of Stibo Systems' technology by upgrading to Stibo Systems’ latest Master Data Management (MDM) solution. With the Stibo Systems MDM solution, Kennametal can further optimize its eCommerce buying experience, including mobile and tablet platforms.

Effective July 1, QuesTek Innovations LLC (Evanston, IL) said Dr. Asiz Asphahani would join the company as CEO. QuesTek designs, develops and commercializes new high-performance materials, such as Ferrium S53, which was designed for the US Air Force as a pre corrosion-resistant alternative to incumbent ultra-high-strength steels that require toxic cadmium coatings. Dr. Asphahani has extensive background in both metallurgy and business. More at

Carbide Tool Services, Inc. (Anoka, MN) hired Scott Hecht as Cutting Tool Specialist for the Michigan/Great Lakes region. Scott has more than 15 years of experience in the industry. Carbide Tool Services specializes in indexable tool repair.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Hurco Companies, Inc. (Indianapolis), a leader in the development and manufacture of machine tools with integrated control technologies, announced on July 1 that it has acquired the machine tool component business of LCM Srl, a designer and manufacturer of high-end electro-mechanical components and accessories for machine tools. Based in Italy, LCM has been producing and selling mechanical and electro-mechanical components for machine tools since 1986.

AV&R Vision and Robotics (Montreal, Canada) and IMAC Automation (Saint-Bruno, Canada), a company developing manufacturing and automation are merging to become AV&R, the world’s largest engineering firm specializing in robotics for the aerospace industry. The new AV&R group now includes more than 120 employees, including 80 engineering graduates, in its offices in the Old-Montreal and in Saint-Bruno. More at

ATI Stellram (Pittsburgh, PA) has closed its acquisition of the assembled threading tools product lines of Greenfield Industries, Inc. (Seneca, SC), The Geometric, Supermetric, H&G, Vers-O-Tool and Acme-Fette brands are now part of the ATI Stellram product portfolio, which also features brands such as Stellram Cutting Tool Systems, Garryson Abrasives, Burrs and Routers and Landis Threading Systems. ATI Stellram is part of ATI Tungsten Materials, an operating unit of ATI Engineered Products, one of the operating segments of Allegheny Technologies Inc. More at

CNC Indexing & Feeding Technologies (Mason, OH), a provider of rotary tables, high-pressure coolant systems, bar feeders, oil skimmers and other CNC machine tool accessories, has purchased MTA International (Cincinnati, OH), which imports, distributes and services a wide range of bar feeder and loader systems. More at



Honeywell (Houston) said the Americas winner of its UniSim Design Challenge is Ph.D. student M.A. Kadar Rasel, a Lamar University research assistant studying how dynamic simulation can create safer and more reliable chemical plant operations. The announcement was made in June at the 2013 Honeywell Users Group Americas conference held in Phoenix. The competition, one of three held at Honeywell’s global HUG customer conferences, seeks to recognize some of the most talented engineering students in the world. More at

Workforce Development

Hypertherm (Hanover, NH), a manufacturer of advanced cutting systems, has expanded support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiatives. Those initiatives include a 5-year commitment by the company’s HOPE (Hypertherm Owners Philanthropic Endeavors) Foundation to fund the Montshire Museum’s School Partnership Initiative. The program, run by the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont, aims to improve the science curriculum available to rural schools The commitment follows Hypertherm’s support of “How People Make Things,” a traveling exhibition at the Museum during the first half of 2013. The exhibit, inspired by Mister Roger’s Neighborhood TV series, tells the story of how people, ideas and technology transformed raw materials into finished products.



The Coordinate Metrology Society (CMS; Benbrook, TX) on July 9 announced its final schedule of events for the 29th annual Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC) from July 22–26 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. For more information, visit

NewsDesk is edited by Editor-in-Chief Sarah A. Webster. Please email NewsDesk submissions to


This article was first published in the August 2013 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine.  Click here for PDF

Published Date : 8/1/2013

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