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NewsDesk: US Shutdown: A Cloud Over Manufacturing


If you weren’t paying close attention, you might have missed it. On Oct. 1, the most positive manufacturing report of the year was released by the Institute for Supply Management.

Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector expanded in September for the fourth consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 52nd consecutive month, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.

The PMI registered 56.2%, an increase of 0.5 percentage point from August’s reading of 55.7%—and the highest reading of the year. Readings below 50 indicate contraction, while those above 50 indicate expansion.

Also that day, however, the US government shut down all nonessential services over unresolved political conflicts surrounding Obamacare, which began dominating virtually all news coverage nationwide around the clock.

Source: Institute for Supply Management

As of press time in mid-October, the shutdown was still in place and an Oct. 17 deadline loomed over the gridlock. That is the date that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said he will exhaust emergency borrowing measures, leaving him with less than $30 billion in cash to pay the nation’s bills.

The shutdown, depending on its length, as well as the outcome of the debt ceiling debate, were expected to take a bite out of growth in the fourth quarter. How minor or catastrophic the size of that bite is, however, depends mightily on the next steps taken by the Legislative and Executive branches of the US government. Experts said that the economic recovery underway could be jeopardized by a prolonged delay in reaching a resolution.

In any case, headed into this crisis, there was momentum in the manufacturing sector.

In September, the New Orders Index decreased by 2.7 percentage points to a still-healthy 60.5%, while the Production Index increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.6%. The Employment Index registered 55.4%, an increase of 2.1 percentage points and the highest employment index reading for the year. ME

 

Eye on Canada: DMG Mori Seiki Ellison Technologies

Following its successful integration in numerous other markets in Europe, Asia and the Americas, DMG Mori Seiki announced Oct. 1 at the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS) that it would also combine its activities in Canada, in partnership with longtime sales and service firm Ellison Technologies.

DMG, Mori Seiki and Ellison Technologies say the cooperative partnership will bring benefits to customers, including complementary technologies, a complete range of products, from entry-level to high-speed machining, and a high-quality sales and service network.

The company says that Canada is a critical part of its global strategy. “We are determined to create a comprehensive system to supply to the manufacturing industry in Canada,” DMG Mori Seiki Ellison Technologies said in a press release.

The global cooperation of Gildemeister and Mori Seiki began in 2009, and as of today, DMG Mori Seiki has 105 common sales and services office worldwide.

Creating a three-way partnership—two builders and one distributor—is a first for the company. “This is the first time we’re doing this in the world,” Graham Hooper, president of Ellison Technologies’ Western Region and Canada, told a crowd gathered for an announcement at DMG’s 4500-ft2 (418-m2) booth at CMTS. ME


Openings & Expansions

Newcomb Spring Corp. (Decatur, GA) on Sept. 24 announced that its Carolina plant is moving to a new location in Gastonia, NC. The 47,000-ft2 (4371-m2) facility will triple the plant’s square footage and allow for a significant expansion of capabilities. More than a million dollars of new equipment has been installed, increasing the plant’s output capacity and doubling material wire size capabilities from 0.080 to 0.162" (2–4 mm) in diameter.

Rattunde Corp. (Grand Rapids, MI), a Germany-based manufacturer of finished length tube and solid bar production systems, on Oct. 3 announced that it plans to build a 30,000-ft2 (2790-m2) facility near the company’s current location in Grand Rapids.  The new facility is scheduled to open in April 2014. Rattunde has been operating in the North American market for more than seven years.

A part of the Materialise Group, RapidFit Inc. (Chesterfield Township, MI), a provider of additive, or 3D-printed, manufactured fixture solutions for the automotive industry, on Oct. 1 announced that it has purchased Advanced Machining Ltd. (Chesterfield Township, MI). This location will now be the North American manufacturing center of RapidFit Inc., allowing the company to provide its services more efficiently and expand its geographical footprint. With a focus on automotive quality and inspection, RapidFit will manufacture CMMs and attribute checking fixtures out of Chesterfield Township.

Allied Machine & Engineering Corp. (Dover, OH), a manufacturer of high-performance drilling systems, on Sept. 23 announced that Threadmills USA LLC (Evans, GA) is now part of Allied’s product portfolio. With this addition, Allied expands its threadmill line offering a lower cost general purpose threadmill to accompany its existing high performance, high productivity AccuThread 856.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Tube bending and endforming technology specialists, AddisonMckee (Lebanon, OH) and Eaton Leonard (Vista, CA), on Sept. 23 announced that they have merged under the common ownership of AddisonMckee Holding LLC (ADMC). As part of this transaction, Jaubert Investment LLC (Wilmington, DE) has acquired an interest in ADMC. AddisonMckee and Eaton Leonard provide application solutions to the automotive, aerospace, furniture and general tube manipulation markets around the world through its regional offices and production facilities in Canada, China, France, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States (Ohio and California).

Diversified global industrial company Harsco Corp. (NYSE:HSC; Camp Hill, PA) on Sept. 16 announced an agreement to sell Harsco’s Infrastructure division into a joint venture with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R; New York, NY) in a transaction that will combine the Infrastructure division with Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services Inc., which CD&R is simultaneously acquiring from First Reserve. The combined company, which will continue under the name Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services, will be a single-source provider of specialized industrial services to the worldwide energy and infrastructure sectors. Upon closing of the transaction, Harsco will receive cash proceeds of approximately $300 million and a 29% equity stake in the combined company, which has an enterprise value of approximately $2.5 billion.

Announcements

CNC machine tool maker Okuma America Corp. (Charlotte, NC) on Sept. 12 announced that Delcam, a provider of CAD/CAM software technology, has joined Partners in THINC. Delcam, which has global headquarters in Birmingham, U.K., is a developer of the PartMaker, PowerMill and FeatureCam ranges of CAM software, among others. Partners in THINC is a collaboration of more than 40 industry leaders who work to solve problems and explore new productivity ideas for manufacturers. More at www.okuma.com/partners-in-thinc.

NAMII, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (Youngstown, OH), recognizes an existing membership upgrade and welcomes several new members. Among them: Wohlers Associates Inc., Illinois Tool Works, Tobyhanna Army Depot, 3M, Deformation Control Technology Inc., Rhinestahl Corporation, Sciaky Inc., and USA Science & Engineering Festival. More at http://www.sme.org/memedia/rapidam/  

 

Events

Methods Machine Tools Inc., a supplier of precision machine tools, automation and accessories, will be holding an Open House at its Technology Center in Tempe, AZ on Nov. 13 and 14, 2013. More at www.methodsmachine.com.

The 2014 Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) sustainable leadership summit will be held in Detroit. MOTM is an international leadership summit for urban sustainability, innovation and connected technology. The summit brings together leaders from multiple sectors to engage in dialogue for advancing sustainability in cities by using smarter design tools, sounder environmental practices and cleaner energy systems. This year over 300 people attended the summit, which was held in Toronto. More at www.cityminded.org.

Workforce Development

The University of Michigan Solar Car Team, already the most successful team in North America, is relying on product lifecycle management (PLM) software technology from Siemens (Plano, TX) to help in its quest to claim the world title this October at the World Solar Challenge in Australia. After winning the American Solar Challenge seven times and placing third in the World Solar Challenge four times, this student-run organization decided it needed more advanced product development software technology to compete at a higher level. As a result, 100% of the mechanical components and aerodynamic body (aerobody) of Generation—the team’s 2013 entry for the World Challenge—have been designed using Siemens NX software.

The University of Michigan's 2013 entry for the World Solar Challenge in Australia was created with Siemens PLM software.

The University of Maryland (College Park, MD) and Siemens Corp. (Plano, TX) on Sept. 17 announced the largest-ever in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software. The in-kind grant has a commercial value of more than $750 million. Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software will provide UMD students and researchers with a uniquely valuable and sophisticated design and simulation tool for course work, research, academic projects and team-based competitions. The grant from Siemens gives students and faculty access to the same technology that companies around the world depend on every day to develop and manufacture innovative products in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, biotechnology, machinery, shipbuilding, and high-tech electronics, among others.

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

 

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


Published Date : 11/1/2013

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