17 Jul 2018

Auto Sales Climb in First Half of 2018

Predictions for a slower 2018 might have been premature. With half of the year gone, sales are up nearly 2% industrywide as strong March-through-June numbers overcame declines from the beginning of the year.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), a measure of what full-year sales would be based on June’s results, hit slightly less than 17.5 million, well ahead of May’s numbers and much better than June 2017.

Insatiable market desire for crossovers and more-generous cash-back deals played big roles in the numbers.

The numbers might have been better in recent months than had been commonly thought. General Motors stopped releasing monthly sales totals earlier this year but is releasing quarterly numbers. And GM‘s second quarter was up 4.6%, a higher growth rate than the overall industry.

Some analysts are predicting a weaker second half for the year, but going into 2018, most predictions had been for a weak first half followed by improvements later in the year. Lots of question marks surround the industry, such as the impacts of tax relief, the future of President Donald Trump’s trade actions, and how consumers will react to rising interest rates on auto loans.

 

Today's Motor Vehicles - Robert Schoenberger

Author: Cynthia
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12 Jul 2018

Millennials Upbeat on Manufacturing's Future

Millennials Upbeat on Manufacturing's Future

Proto Labs Finds Millennials Upbeat on Manufacturing’s Future

Survey indicates increased optimism and changing perceptions about the industry among those from their late teens to late 30s. The results of a survey from digital manufacturer Proto Labs, Inc., Maple Plain, Minn. are very promising for the future of manufacturing. The key: millennials have both a more optimistic outlook and a changing perception.

According to the survey, nearly half of U.S. millennials (47%) believe there will be enough qualified professionals to fill manufacturing job demands in the next 10 years. This represents a marked increase from the only 35% of Generation Xers and baby boomers who think the jobs demand will be met.

Manufacturing is viewed as a high-tech career choice by 37% of millennials compared to both Generation Xers (27%) and baby boomers (23%), as indicated by the results. Moreover, 49% of millennials believe engineering is a needed skill in today’s manufacturing sector, compared with only 41% of baby boomers.

Proto Labs sees digital manufacturing as having paved the way for a larger breadth of opportunities in addition to the plant floor roles solely and traditionally associated with the manufacturing industry. Today’s top manufacturers seek to fill a range of skilled positions—from mold techs, to applications engineers, to software developers.

Proto Labs cites a 2015 article in the Deloitte University Press that within the next decade, 2 million out of the 3.5 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled due to talent shortages, according to Deloitte. For this reason, Proto Labs says it is crucial for the manufacturing industry to continue to shift its outdated public image. “I expected to begin my career at what you might consider a traditional technology company, like Facebook, Amazon or Uber…..manufacturing wasn’t necessarily on my radar. But digital manufacturing has changed everything. It’s created a high demand for skills like mine, and it has provided me a great career opportunity,” said Andrew Crocker, a 25-yr-old software developer at Proto Labs, who joined the company straight out of college.

Meanwhile, a manufacturing career’s financial benefit is another perception that has been changing among young people. According to the survey, 40% of millennial respondents think a career in today’s manufacturing industry is high-paying, compared with only 26% of Generation Xers. In fact, according to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the average U.S. manufacturing worker makes more than $70,000 a year.

Author: Cynthia
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10 Jul 2018

US Employers Added 213,000 Jobs in June

US Employers Added 213,000 Jobs In June, Exceeding Expectations.

Bloomberg News (7/6, Dmitrieva) reported that “US hiring topped forecasts in June while unemployment rose from an 18-year low and wage gains unexpectedly slowed, indicating the labor market has room to keep expanding.” The Labor Department announced Friday that “nonfarm payrolls climbed 213,000 after an upwardly revised 244,000 advance,” adding that the data exceeding expectations, as “the median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg called for a gain of 195,000 jobs.” The AP (7/6, Boak) reported that US employers “kept up their brisk pace of hiring in June, reflecting the durability of the second-longest US economic expansion on record even in the face of a trade war with China.” Commenting on the composition of the job gains, The New York Post (7/6, English) quoted Allianz Global US Investment Strategist Mona Mahajan saying the business sector was “encouraged by the robust manufacturing jobs [gains] figure of 36,000.” MarketWatch (7/6, Bartash) reported, “Businesses can’t find enough talent to fill a record number of job openings, but they are still hiring aggressively,” adding that the job gain reported by the Labor Department “topped the 200,000 forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch.” Reuters (7/6, Mutikani) reported that “the US economy created more jobs than expected in June,” adding that “manufacturers stepped up hiring.” JP Morgan Stanley Economist Michael Feroli called that data “good news insofar as it suggests the economy still has some capacity to grow at an above-trend pace.”

Author: Cynthia
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9 Jul 2018

Dempsco and Moorfeed Team Together to Assist Customer

Dempsco and Moorfeed Team Together to Assist Customer
One of our customers called Dempsco for help in retooling his vibratory bowl feeder for a brand new part. The engineer called our Chris Jacoby to see if Moorfeed could help him with his bowl feeder to either retrofit his existing bowl to handle the new part or build a brand new bowl. Chris Jacoby collected parts from his customer, took dimensional information and send these to Moorfeed.

Upon review of this information, Moorfeed felt confident they could service the bowl on-site to retrofit it for the new part. During the July 4th holiday week, expedited arrangements were made for Jerry Leatherbury, serviceman for Moorfeed, to visit the customer’s plant to do the work. Within hours of arrival, Jerry was able to retrofit the bowl, tune it, and make the bowl completely operational for the new as well as the old part.

The customer’s expectations were far exceeded. Once again, Dempsco and Moorfeed teamed together to react quickly to a customer’s needs and provide a solution that enabled the customer to meet production requirements for the new part.
Author: Cynthia
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6 Jul 2018

Global Steel Production News

Global Steel Production News
May 2018 output is +6.6% year-over-year, paced by Chinese production that is +8.9%

Global steel production increased 4.7% from April to May, totaling 154.9 million metric tons in the latest monthly tally. The May total is 6.6% higher than the year-ago figure, and the result brings the total for the current year to 729.2 million metric tons, 4.74% higher than the January-May total for 2017.

The data is compiled and reported by the World Steel Assn., which records raw-steel output and capacity utilization by steelmakers in 64 nations, accounting for about 99% of total raw-steel production worldwide. Raw steel is the output of basic-oxygen and electric-arc furnaces, and cast into semi-finished products, like billets, blooms, and slabs.
During the past year raw-steel production has expanded steadily after two years of weak demand and reduced output. Recently, World Steel Assn. forecast that demand for steel used in manufacturing and construction will continue to rise in 2018 and 2019, having regained stability during 2017.

In the new report, global raw-steel capacity ticked up 1.0% from April to 77.7% for May. This is 4.2% higher than the May 2017 utilization rate.
China is the world’s largest steelmaking nation, and its raw-steel production total for May 2018 was 81.1 million metric tons, an increase of 5.8% from April and up 8.9% compared to May 2017.

Chinese steelmakers have produced 369.7 million metric tons of raw steel through the first five months of this year, 6.4% more than the total produced for the January-May 2017 period.

In the European Union (28 nations), raw-steel output increased just 1.63% from April to May, totaling 14.9 million metric tons in the most recent result. That total signifies a 1.8% increase over the May 2017 result, and it brings the five-month running total for 2018 to 73.0 million metric tons, up 1.79% year over year.
In the U.S., steelmakers produced 7.1 million metric tons (7.8 million short tons) during May, 2.7% more than during April and 3.0% more than in May 2017. The January-May raw-steel production total is 34.846 million metric tons (38.4 million short tons), a 2.84% year-over-year increase.


--Robert Brooks, Jul 05, 2018, American Machinist
Author: Cynthia
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