SURVEY: ECONOMIC SENTIMENT RISES AMONG U.S. INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURERS NEW YORK — Business outlook improved notably among U.S. industrial manufacturers during the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the fourth-quarter 2014 Manufacturing Barometer, released by PwC US. A wide range of key indicators posted improvement during the fourth quarter, including the positive company forecasted average growth rate for the year ahead, while concerns about legislative and regulatory policies and lack of demand declined. Optimism regarding the prospects of the U.S. economy during the next 12 months increased to 68 percent among U. S. industrial manufacturers during the fourth quarter, up from 57 percent in the previous quarter. At the same time, optimism about the world economy improved to 38 percent, up eight points from 30 percent in the third quarter, but still down from 47 percent in last year’s fourth quarter. According to the survey, 60 percent of U. S. industrial manufacturers indicated plans to add employees to their workforce over the next 12 months, up from 52 percent in the third quarter and in line with last year’s fourth quarter. Overall, the total net workforce growth projection rose to 1. 1 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 0. 4 percent in the third quarter and 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. The latest report includes a special section on human capital, which reveals a continued shortage of skilled workers across the U.S. industrial manufacturing sector, as two-thirds of respondents cited a need to fill certain skill gaps in their Businesses over the next 12 to 24 months. The biggest skill gaps identified were in skilled labor (75 percent) and in middle management (41 percent). Further highlighting the issue, over the past year, two-thirds of U.S. industrial manufacturers also reported having open positions that they were unable to fill with experienced or skilled employees. In order to begin filling the gap, 78 percent of U.S. industrial manufacturers plan to hire new skill function employees over the next 12 to 24 months with the broadest needs in engineering/ design (62 percent), manufacturing (44 percent) and R&D (28 percent). According to the survey, plans for operational spending rose to 82 percent of respondents, the highest level in nine quarters and up 13 points from 69 percent recorded in the third quarter and 73 percent in last year’s fourth quarter. Plans for new product or service introductions increased to 52 percent, up significantly from 43 percent in the third quarter, while plans for spending on research and development increased 11 points to 47 percent from 36 percent in the third quarter. At the same time, sentiment regarding plans for new investments of capital remained healthy with 43 percent of respondents indicating increased outlays in the next 12 months, up from 36 percent in the previous quarter and in line with the fourth quarter of last year. Despite uncertainty regarding the global economic outlook, 18 percent of respondents indicated plans to develop new facilities abroad, up from 9 percent in the third quarter and 8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. With regard to perceived head winds, 32 percent of respondents singled out Legislative/regulatory pressures as the major head wind to growth over the next 12 months, a sharp 27-point drop from 59 percent last quarter and 15-point drop from 47 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. This decrease was followed by lack of demand, which was cited by 35 percent of respondents, down from 43 percent during the third quarter. Conversely, concerns regarding the lack of qualified workers increased to 33 percent during the fourth quarter, compared to 26 percent in the third quarter and 20 percent last year. For more information, visit www.barometersurveys.com. MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY ORDERS DIP IN NOVEMBER MCLEAN, VA — November U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $378.06 Million, according to The Association for Manufacturing Technology. This total was down 15.5 percent from October and down 14.5 percent when compared with the total of $442.01 million reported for November 2013. Despite the monthly dip, with a year-to-date total of $4,556.60 million, 2014 is up 2.6 percent compared with 2013. “Despite a downward monthly trend in manufacturing technology orders, we remain bullish on the U.S. industry market overall, with robust factory production and strong performance in the automotive sector,” said Douglas K. Woods, AMT president. “Many manufacturers took a ‘pause’ in November to assess the challenges from the previous few months, such as contraction in China, Europe and Russia, less activity from the oil and gas industry due to the dramatic drop in prices and perhaps a little bit of the ‘IMTS Effect’ pulling some sales forward. “Overall, however, we anticipate 2015 to be another year of positive growth, with manufacturing leading the U.S. economy.” 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 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. BUSINESS NEWS HEXAGON METROLOGY and TRIMET announced a strategic partnership agreement. TriMet is now an agent of Hexagon Metrology, offering ROMER portable arm coordinate measuring machines and serving Southern Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. The company has extensive knowledge of the ROMER product line and cites reverse engineering, CAD modeling, large scale scanning and tool building as part of their core competencies. TriMet will also offer contract metrology services for Hexagon’s portable CMM line. Hexagon Metrology is the world’s largest supplier of metrology equipment and software. “TriMet is in a unique position to service leading aerospace companies in the Wichita to St. Louis corridor,” said Hexagon Metrology’s Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations Jack Rosignal. “By offering comprehensive solutions to the local market that cover all stages from design through manufacture, they truly can offer complete portable metrology solutions to their customers. TriMet’s extensive experience means that they will be able to quickly and seamlessly integrate our product portfolio into their extensive offering of solutions for aerospace companies.” The partnership allows both companies to serve the increasingly sophisticated requirements of the aerospace community within the region. TriMet also provides a wide range of training programs and services such as in-house inspection, reverse engineering, CAD modeling, CAD-to-part inspection, large scale scanning, tool building and more. TRESCAL, an international specialist in calibration services, acquired GENERAL CALIBRATION INC. based in Boonton, N.J. GenCal is an ISO 17025 A2LA accredited one-stop-shop laboratory and employs 22 people for an annual turnover of about $3 million. The acquisition allows Trescal to expand its footprint in the American market, strengthening its presence in the North East. It also reinforces its technical skills, particularly in electrical High Voltage calibration. GenCal’s management team will remain unchanged. “We are very happy to welcome General Calibration within Trescal group,” Guillaume Caroit, general secretary of Trescal Group, said. “This acquisition shows our strong commitment to reinforce Trescal presence in the US. We aim at continuing at the same pace our acquisition strategy in North America in 2015.” The acquisition is the tenth build-up following Ardian’s takeover of Trescal in July 2013, and the fourth in the United States in 2014. ELEMENT MATERIALS TECHNOLOGY acquired ENVIRON LABORATORIES to strengthen its position as a provider of materials testing and product qualification testing services to the global Aerospace sector. The acquisition extends Element’s current product qualification testing capabilities through the addition of Environ Laboratories’ extensive range of electromagnetic interference, electromagnetic compatibility, environmental, climatic, dynamics, hydraulics and fuel system testing services. Founded in 1961, Environ Laboratories serves clients in the aerospace, telecommunications, automotive and medical sectors. “We have been aware of the outstanding quality of Environ Laboratories’ people and their work for many years,” Element President and CEO Charles Noall said. “Their comprehensive range of product qualification testing services is designed to meet a wide variety of commercial specifications and standards. This, together with their impressive list of clients, industry accreditations such as A2LA and various client approvals, makes Environ Laboratories a perfect fit for our business.” PEOPLE NEWS NATIONAL INSTRUMENTS announced that JAMES TRUCHARD, president, CEO and cofounder of NI, has been named an IEEE Fellow for outstanding leadership and achievement in technology. The IEEE board of directors presents the IEEE Fellow grade to persons with exceptional records of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number of fellows selected in any one year cannot exceed one tenth of one percent of the total voting membership. In addition to his roles as NI president and CEO, Truchard has been recognized as one of “America’s Favorite Bosses” by Forbes and an “Innovation Agent” by Fast Company. Truchard has been elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. He also sits on the engineering advisory boards for the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California at Berkeley. Learn more about Truchard’s achievements at www.ni.com/company/about-ni/leadership/. Long-time Section 1211 member, quality educator and ASQ Fellow JIM SMITH has been selected as ASQ’s 2015 recipient of the E.L. Grant Medal. The Grant Medal is presented by ASQ to the individual who has been deemed by the award committee to have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the development and presentation of a meritorious educational program in quality control. The medal will be presented May 3, 2015, at ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., before the annual business meeting. Smith was selected for “significant results in an educational program for ASQ Certification training spanning 30 years involving over 8,000 students in 100-plus companies with a first time certification exam pass rate of 83 percent and an overall exam pass rate of 96 percent.” Past recipients of the Grant Medal include such quality luminaries as Joseph Juran, Kaoru Ishikawa, Harold F. Dodge, Yoshio Kondo, Frank M. Gryna, Dorian Shainin, Noriaki Kano, Max Astrachan and Mason E. Wescott. Jim Smith retired after a long career with Caterpillar, with most of his time spent in the Quality Department. At Caterpillar, Jim developed a quality training program second-to-none. His ASQ quality certification courses created a quality– minded culture not only in management but in the rank and file workers as well. Thousands of individuals from Cat, Cat suppliers and other area businesses took part in his training programs. His students’ success rates were outstanding. After he “retired” he formed S-Squared Enterprises USA (with Walt Saal) as a quality and management consulting firm. An off-shoot of this business is the Jim Smith Quality Group through which the ASQ certification and other quality training continues. Jim also is a contributor to Quality Magazine (“Jim’s Gems” and “The Face of Quality”) and he contributes articles to Interbusiness Issues. The award’s namesake, Eugene L. Grant (1897-1996), was a founder of the fields of engineering economics, industrial engineering and statistical quality control (SQC). He was also one of the founding fathers of the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC, now ASQ) in 1946. A female engineer who joined Renishaw as an apprentice at 16 has been shortlisted for a prestigious engineering industry award that aims to banish outdated engineering stereotypes and help change the perception that engineering is only a career for men. LUCY ACKLAND, now 26, a project manager in Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Products Division working on the company’s next generation of metal 3D printing machines, has been shortlisted for the Institution of Engineering and Technology Young Woman of the Year Awards. She started her career as a mechanical engineering apprentice and has progressed through a variety of roles, while being supported by Renishaw to achieve further engineering qualifications on a day-release basis. In 2012, she achieved a first-class honors degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering from the University of South Wales, and in 2014 she was appointed a board member of the charity Young Engineers. The IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards aims to find female role models to help address the UK science and engineering skills crisis. Lucy Ackland has been shortlisted along with four female engineers from other leading engineering organizations — Ford, Rolls-Royce, ABB Ltd and Selex ES. “I am thrilled to have made it this far in a competition that includes so many brilliant, high-achieving females,” she said. “At the age of 13 I was inspired to become an engineer and, despite some opposition from those who felt that I should follow a more academic route, I chose to apply for an apprenticeship. I hope that my progress and academic achievements since then can similarly help to inspire other young people to consider engineering as an attractive career option.” Women currently represent only 6 percent of the engineering workforce in the UK, the lowest percentage in Europe. “The lack of women in engineering is a huge problem for this country, contributing to skills shortages which threaten the economy,” said IET Director of Membership and former YWE winner Michelle Richmond. “It also means that women are missing out on interesting and rewarding careers. “The difficulty in attracting women into engineering is down to a combination of things: from the careers advice girls are given In schools, to schools not instilling girls with the confidence to opt for science and math at A-level, through to employers needing to do more to make their approach to recruitment and retention more female friendly. “It’s also a result of the lack of inspirational engineering role models for girls – which is where our Young Woman Engineer of the Year winners can play a vital role by encouraging and inspiring more young girls to become engineers.” Exova, the global testing, calibration and advisory services provider, appointed aerospace testing specialist CLARK GOODISON as general manager of its Bridgwater, UK aerospace laboratory. Goodison joins Exova from Caparo Testing Technologies, where he was aviation business unit manager with responsibility for all commercial and operational aspects of the company’s European aerospace testing division. Prior to this, he was operations manager for Caparo’s NDT operation in Switzerland, supporting aerospace customers throughout Central Europe. During a career spanning over 33 years, he also held key positions with leading organizations including Lufthansa Technik Switzerland and Swiss International Airlines, and brings extensive knowledge of both NDT testing and the needs of the aerospace sector. With Exova, he will be responsible for leading the Bridgwater team, developing its provision of technically demanding services and furthering relationships with customers in new and existing markets. “Clark brings outstanding technical knowledge and a proven track record in driving business development, with a strong focus on customer service,” said Stuart Abbs, director of Aerospace, Europe at Exova. “His experience working across all levels of the aerospace business, from NDT technician to business unit manager, gives him a unique perspective and understanding and he will play a key role in ensuring our customers receive the most effective technical, operational and commercial solutions.” The Association for Manufacturing Technology named TIM SHINBARA as vice president of manufacturing technology. He brings engineering and manufacturing technology experience to the position and has carved out an industry niche with his knowledge of additive manufacturing technologies. His predecessor, Paul Warndorf, will assume the role of vice president of strategic planning and remain active in supporting the manufacturing technology department, as well as leveraging his industry experience to support other growth initiatives at AMT. “This is a great opportunity for me to further serve our members and my colleagues at AMT,” said Shinbara. “Paul has well-positioned the manufacturing technology department to accelerate value creation for our members and partners in the areas of MTConnect, expand awareness of manufacturing technology/process advancements and cultivate synergistic, resourceful relationships established over decades of industry involvement. I look forward to this opportunity and I am fortunate to have Paul’s mentorship throughout this transition and into 2015.” “Tim has done an outstanding job of representing AMT on a number of industry and government committees, panels and boards, as well as increasing AMT’s technology image via numerous speaking engagements,” said Douglas K. Woods, AMT president.
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