BUSINESS NEWS | COMING EVENTS | PEOPLE NEWS | MERGERS BRAZIL TO PUT QUALITY CONTROLS ON CHINESE GOODS SAO PAULO—According to reporting by the daily O Glob, Brazil plans to inflict severe quality control on imports from China and other Asian countries to prevent the influx of cheap goods. It said the border controls would guarantee that imports from Asia, chiefly China, meet the standards set by the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO) and comply with safety norms applied to domestic retail goods. Products which fall short of the tests would not be allowed into the country. The actions, interpreted as a nontariff barrier shielding Brazil’s domestic industry and consumers, will pertain to 240,000 models of goods in the textiles, steel products, car parts and children’s items (particularly toys) sectors, the Rio-based newspaper said. The controls should start in the second quarter and will be coordinated by the finance ministry’s Federal Revenue Service in partnership with INMETRO. PRESIDENT PROPOSES NATIONAL NETWORK FOR MANUFACTURING INNOVATION WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Obama announced his proposal for a new initiative focused on strengthening and ensuring the long-term competitiveness and job-creating power of U.S. manufacturing. After touring the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe jet engine disc manufacturing facility in Prince George, VA, the president described his proposal to build a network of up to 15 “Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation,” serving as “regional hubs of manufacturing excellence that will help to make our manufacturers More competitive and encourage investment in the United States,” according to the office of the president. The president’s budget for fiscal year 2013 proposes a $1 billion investment to create this new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The president also said his administration will take immediate steps to launch a pilot institute for manufacturing innovation.The pilot institute will be funded from $45 million of existing resources from the departments of Defense,Energy, and Commerce and the National Science Foundation, and will be selected from a competitive application process. The office of the president says the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation will work to leverage new investment from industry, state and local government and the research community. This initiative will be a collaboration between Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy STRONG START FOR MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY ORDERS IN 2012 MCLEAN, VA—United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) totaled $401.69 million, according to the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was down 26.5% from December but up 8.4% when compared with the total of $370.46 million reported for January 2011. These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO program. “January’s increase in manufacturing technology orders over 2011 is great in light of lower forecasts by experts,” says AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “I think the continued growth highlights manufacturers’ increasing confidence in future growth and that their bottom lines are being channeled into investments in advanced manufacturing technologies.” The USMTO report, compiled by the trade association representing the production and distribution of manufacturing technology, provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking Equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity. U. S. manufacturing technology orders are also reported on a regional basis for five geographic breakdowns of the United States: Northeast. Northeast Region manufacturing technology orders totaled $56.01 million in January, 43.2% less than the $98.67 million total for December but 12.5% more than the total for January 2011. Southern. At $35.57 million, January manufacturing technology orders in the Southern region were down 62.1% when compared with the $93.93 million total for December and down 33. 6% when compared with January a year ago. Midwest. January manufacturing technology orders in the Midwest Region totaled $141.71 million, 23.8% less than December’s $186.07 million but up 24. 9% when compared with the January 2011 figure. Central. Central Region manufacturing technology orders in January stood at $128.30 million, 11.6% more than the December total of $115.01 million and 16.1% higher than last January’s total. Western. Manufacturing technology orders in the Western Region in January totaled $40.10 million, down 24.1% from December’s $52.80 million and off 7.0% when compared with the January 2011 figure. BALDRIGE PROGRAM BIDS GOODBYE TO FORMER FOUNDER The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is saying farewell to Sandy McDonnell, a friend and leader who was critical to the program’s start-up. McDonnell, 89, died on March 19 in the St. Louis area. In a career spent at the McDonnell Douglas Corp., McDonnell served as chief executive officer of McDonnell Douglas Corp. from 1972 until 1980, when he became board chairman. He served in this position until his retirement in 1988. He had worked his way up from trainee. “Sandy McDonnell was one of the two principals in founding the Baldrige Foundation and did much of the early fundraising,” says Harry Hertz, director of the Baldrige Program. “I found him to be a remarkable man.” The promotion of ethics within business was a hallmark of McDonnell’s career, and he exemplified this code in his personal conduct. McDonnell Douglas developed the code of ethics and philosophy during his tenure.He also served as a church elder and as national president of the Boy Scouts of America. “Mr. McDonnell wanted to reverse Americans’ distrust in business, government, churches, and other institutions,” states the St. Louis Web site stltoday.com. “’The only way we can turn that around is for everyone to start trying to live up to a code of ethics like the Scout law or oath…,’ McDonnell said. Following his retirement, among his many philanthropic activities, McDonnell founded CHARACTERplus, a character education program for public schools. The Baldrige Program extends its sympathy to his family. SME RAPID 2012 CONFERENCE FORESHADOWS INDUSTRY GROWTH, TRENDS IN KEYNOTE DEARBORN, MI—The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) RAPID 2012 Conference and Exposition will feature a potent lineup of presentations aimed at revealing how businesses can improve their competitive edges in a challenging, global economy.Industry consultant Terry Wohlers will provide the State of the Industry keynote presentation on Thursday, May 24. Wohlers will discuss how additive manufacturing technologies are helping to develop new markets and exciting business opportunities. “Additive manufacturing technologies create a world of possibilities that can take an organization in an entirely new direction and help launch new businesses and business models,” Wohlers says. “Three-dimensional printing and 3-D imaging are causing design and manufacturing professional to rethink their approach to new product development.” Despite a decade of financial hardships for many American-based manufacturers, the additive manufacturing industry has achieved impressive growth. Over the past seven years, compound annual growth has been about 21%, according to Wohlers Associates.The company expects the industry to continue its strong double-digit growth over the next several years, conservatively forecasting industrywide growth to reach $3.1 billion by 2016 and $5.2 billion by 2020. Wohlers was voted the No. 1 most influential person in rapid product development and additive manufacturing as part of TCT Magazine’s Top 25 Influential People survey. His presentations attract large audiences of professionals ranging in experience from high-school students exploring careers in science and technology to top manufacturing professionals with billion dollar business operations. RAPID 2012 will be held in Atlanta, GA, an area that is seeing a strong reshoring effort to return the manufacturing sector to the South and Southeast regions of the United States.Manufacturers looking to shorten supply chains, eliminate shipping costs and reduce lead times can benefit from additive technologies, in addition to promoting innovation among R&D teams, industrial designers and manufacturing engineers. “SME has shown that it’s important to take an event such as RAPID to locations that can benefit from it the most,” Wohlers adds. “I’m certain Atlanta’s manufacturing community will gain from the wealth of information this conference and exposition is expected to provide.” AUTO INDUSTRY IN EUROPE BRACES FOR SHAKE-OUT AS MARKET DIPS IN 2012 BROMSGROVE, ENGLAND—The European auto industry is facing a shake-out as the European car market declines and attention turns to production overcapacity, according to justauto.Com editor Dave Leggett. “Estimates suggest that overcapacity in the region is around 20% and that could amount to as many as 10 plants or three million units of unneeded vehicle manufacturing capacity,” Leggett notes.“It is looking like an adjustment to bring manufacturing capacity more into line with real market demand is unavoidable as pressures on profitability mount.”
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