ASQ 2011 MANUFACTURING SURVEY REVEALS BRIGHTER INDUSTRY OUTLOOK MILWAUKEE, WI—The second annual American Society for Quality (ASQ) Manufacturing Outlook Survey shows a majority of manufacturers are optimistic about an economic uptick in 2011 at their organizations. The survey conducted by ASQ reveals 68% of respondents employed in the manufacturing sector predict their organizations will experience revenue growth. Despite the economic landscape, a year ago 64.7% of respondents predicted that revenue would grow in 2010. This year 67% indicated that their organizations experienced revenue growth in 2010. More than 1,200 manufacturing professionals from the United States and Canada responded to the online survey. The two areas from the survey that showed the most promise were in the area of payroll and operational budgets. Eighteen percent expect a pay freeze in 2011, compared to 44.8% in 2010 at their organizations. In addition, 18% predict mandatory budget cuts in 2011, whereas 35.2% did in 2010. Other findings include: • 48% expect of a salary/merit increase • 47% expect organizations will continue to create processes to reduce costs, down from 61.3% in 2010 • 42% expect their organizations to maintain current staff levels • 42% expect that additional staff will be brought on in their companies • 73% expect no mandatory furlough days. In 2010, 72% indicated they did not have to take furlough days. As organizations made sacrifices to survive a down economy, the survey inquired whether staff reductions or other cutbacks implemented in 2010 negatively impacted the quality of the products and services delivered. Thirty three percent of respondents believed that the quality of their products and services was negatively impacted, and 32% believed that the quality did not suffer. Respondents also were asked what one tip they would give to manufacturers to ensure revenue growth in 2011. The top four tips, similar to the 2010 outlook, from respondents were: • To continue to participate in continuous improvement practices and increase use of quality processes • To increase customer satisfaction • To implement more lean processes • To reduce costs and eliminate waste. X-RAY INSPECTION SYSTEMS MARKETS INCREASINGLY DIVERSE MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—According to a recent Frost & Sullivan report of the X-ray inspection systems market for nondestructive testing applications, the evolution to new applications has driven the uptake of X-ray inspection systems. While advancements in technology and emergence of new application areas are making a strong case for X-ray inspection systems, it is the Rising standard of quality and safety of critical structural components that is expected to bring in the revenues. Recent industrial disasters, such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, have placed the spotlight on the need for stringent quality control programs. Reacting to such incidents, governments across the globe have announced plans to strengthen laws to prevent industrial debacles. The aerospace industry, in an effort to fulfill high standards of safety and quality, has traditionally been the first to adopt the latest advances in X-ray technology intended for the field of medicine, said the analyst of this research. Examples of these advances are high volume, safety critical inspection applications, repair and maintenance applications, and precision 3-D material analysis. Apart from rising usage in key enduser industries such as aerospace, oil and gas, and automotive, new application areas such as food safety inspection hike the demand for X-ray equipment. However, despite the increasing applications and growing need for greater productivity, quality and accuracy of inspection, the global economic downturn has caused end users to scrutinize maintenance and inspection budgets. Although there are numerous advantages offered by digital X-ray, customers’ unwillingness to move away from triedand- tested techniques such as filmbased inspection restrains short-term market growth potential and leads to limited investment in new technologies. Although the transition to a filmless future is a continuous and ongoing trend in the X-ray inspection market, film continues to play a crucial role in meeting the nondestructive testing needs of customers, notes the analyst. Particularly, in such trying economic conditions, companies with lower financial resources are unwilling to make large investments in digital radiographic technology. To attract higher investments, X-ray inspection vendors have to work closely with standards bodies and customers to understand their specific needs while leveraging advancements in technology to provide easy-to-use solutions. PMA REPORT FORECASTS FEW ECONOMIC CHANGES IN COMING MONTHS CLEVELAND, OH—According to the November 2010 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate virtually unchanged business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 137 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada. The November report shows that 20% of participants forecast an improvement in economic activity during the next three months—the same percentage reported in October—57% predict that activity will remain unchanged, compared to 54% last month—and 23% report that activity will decline, which is down from 26% in October. Metalforming companies also expect little change in incoming orders for the next three months. Twenty-five percent of participants predict an increase in orders—the same percentage as October—50% anticipate no change— compared to 45% the previous month—and 25% forecast a decrease in orders, down from 30% in October. However, average daily shipping levels dipped somewhat in November. Only 27% of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months earlier—down from 32% in October—45% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago—compared to 49% in October—and 28% report a decrease in shipping levels, up from 19% in October. The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff dipped to 15% in November from 17% in October. This number is at its lowest level since January 2008 when only 14% of companies had workers on short time or layoff. The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979. CATERPILLAR TO ACQUIRE BUCYRUS INTERNATIONAL PEORIA, IL, and MILWAUKEE, WI—Caterpillar Inc. and Bucyrus International have entered into an agreement under which Caterpillar will acquire Bucyrus International in a transaction valued at approximately $8.6 billion. The acquisition is based on Caterpillar’s plan to expand its leadership in the mining equipment industry. Under the terms of the transaction, Bucyrus shareholders will receive $92 per share, $7.6 billion in aggregate consisting of all cash. The transaction represents an implied premium of 32% to Bucyrus’ share price. Caterpillar will fund the acquisition through a combination of cash from the balance sheet, debt and up to $2 billion in equity. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2011. Caterpillar intends to locate its mining business headquarters in South Milwaukee, WI, where Bucyrus headquarters are currently located, and maintain the Bucyrus brand for the principal Bucyrus legacy products. A driving motivation for the transaction is Caterpillar’s estimate of more than $400 million in annual synergies beginning in 2015 derived from the combined financial strength and complementary product offerings of the combined mining equipment businesses. METHODS MACHINE TOOLS BECOMES NO. 1 SUPPLIER SUDBURY, MA—Methods Machine Tools Inc., a supplier of innovative machine tools, automation cells and machine tool accessories, has been recognized by Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology as the number 1 sales volume partner in North America for the 2009/2010 Carl Zeiss fiscal year. Methods is responsible for sales of Zeiss Metrology products in the New England territory. Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology (Maple Grove, MN) is a CNC coorstarrettdinate measuring machines multidimensional metrology solution provider with more than 90 years of industrial metrology experience. Methods Machine Tool Inc. has been a supplier of precision machine tools, automation cells and machine tool accessories for more than 50 years, providing installation, parts, service and training through a network of technology centers and dealers throughout North America and Mexico. GM TO INVEST $163M, RETAIN 184 JOBS DETROIT, MI—General Motors (GM) announced a $163.2 million investment in its operations in Flint and Bay City, MI, and Defiance, OH, to support engine production for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a new Chevrolet small car to be built in the United States. The investment will protect 184 jobs at the three sites. The announcement brings the total of new U.S. investment to more than $3.3 billion, and GM has created or retained more than 8,000 jobs in 21 U.S. plants since emerging from bankruptcy in July 2009. The investments include: • Flint Engine Operations: $138.3 million and 135 jobs • Bay City components: $12.7 million and eight jobs • Defiance castings: $12.2 million and 41 jobs ASSOCIATION NEWS .. The National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) appointed new leaders and announced a convention in March 2011 that will mark one of the largest gatherings of small- and medium-sized manufacturing executives in recent history. NTMA appointed David Tilstone as its new president. Tilstone brings more than 35 years of metalworking experience to the role. He previously held leadership positions with Kennametal and Extrude Hone, where he focused on developing and implementing growth strategies and improving operating results. NTMA and PMA will join the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (AMTDA) to co-host the Manufacturing for Growth (MFG) Meeting March 3-6, 2011, in Chandler, AZ. The convention brings together business owners and executives from around the country to combine resources and explore opportunities to reestablish manufacturing as a primary engine driving the U.S. economy. BUSINESS NEWS .. Nikon Metrology Inc. (Brighton, MI) opened a Western regional sales office in Irvine, CA. The facility will serve as a sales and demonstration center for current and potential Nikon Metrology customers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Texas. The office will be home to nearly a dozen Nikon Metrology employees who will provide customer support and sales demonstrations for customers. .. The more than 300 employees who work at Eriez headquarters (Erie, PA) have set a safety record after instituting a companywide employee awareness program. According to president and CEO Tim Shuttleworth, Eriez employees have worked at least 730 days straight without a lost-time accident, surpassing the old mark of 259 days. .. QMI-SAI Global (Cleveland, OH) announces the release of a new training course, Understanding and Transitioning to AS 9100 Rev C. This new course is designed to identify the differences between AS 9100’s Revision B and Revision C, and provide the necessary guidance for companies to make the transition between the two. It also will prove valuable to those organizations seeking initial certification to AS 9100C. Attendees will experience practical workshops and simulations to develop the proper understanding of the material and enable an efficient implementation within their organizations. .. Geomagic’s (Research Triangle Park, NC) reverse engineering and 3-D inspection software has been validated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The test verifies accuracy of features in the company’s software for a geometry used in Geomagic Studio 12 and Geomagic Qualify 12. NIST is accepted and recognized as an indicator of accuracy for technology and in setting and testing technological standards. The evaluation covers least-squares fitting methods in both Geomagic Studio and Geomagic Qualify. It was tested on 240 datasets representing geometry types including lines, circles, spheres, cylinders and cones. .. Restor Metrology (Leesburg, FL) has achieved accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 and ANSI/NCSL Z540.3-2006 for calibration services. Restor Metrology provides test equipment calibration and repair services to companies in Florida and across the United States. The company produces covers thousands of products from hundreds of manufacturers. Its capabilities include RF and microwave to 50Ghz, EMI/ EMC, general purpose electrical, mechanical, physical/ dimensional and fiber optics. .. CIMx Software (Cincinnati, OH) and Dynafact Software Inc. (Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada), announced a strategic technology partnership. Dynafact is integrating its finite capacity scheduling engine with CIMx’s Manufacturing Execution Software (MES) suite. The CIMx Interax suite controls the production process, from the creation of routings, quality control plans and work instructions through the execution and management of orders on the shop floor. .. Illinois Tool Works Inc. (Glenview, IL) has acquired North Star Imaging Inc. (NSI, Rogers, MN). The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. NSI is a developer and manufacturer of nondestructive testing systems and software for industrial and research applications. NSI develops computed tomography and digital radiography imaging systems technologies. NSI’s systems are used in life sciences, military/defense, aerospace, security, research/education, industrial and electronics markets. .. Objet Geometries Ltd. (Rehovot, Israel), the 3-D printing for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing company, announced today that it has achieved ISO 13485: 2003 certification for medical devices. ISO 13485 specifies requirements for a comprehensive quality management system for the design and development, production, installation and servicing of medical devices. This international standard confirms Objet’s ability to provide the medical industry with 3-D printers and related services that meet the regulatory requirements applicable to medical devices. PEOPLE NEWS .. NSF International Strategic Registrations Ltd. (Ann Arbor, MI) has appointed William Niedzwiecki president and general manager. With experience in the manufacturing, service, aerospace, electronics and automotive industries, Niedzwiecki will play an integral role expanding NSF-ISR management system registration services both domestically and abroad. .. Mike Martire has joined Hayward Turnstiles (Milford, CT) as welding supervisor, bringing 17 years of supervisory and fabricating experience in the security and automotive field to the role. Martire’s main objective will be to develop and fabricate new products for Hayward. Hayward Turnstiles is a manufacturer and distributor of turnstiles, ADA gates and railing. .. Kevin Strack has joined MegaPhase (Stroudsburg, PA) as managing director of business development. He brings three decades of experience in RF/microwave cable assemblies and signal processing components serving customers in the electronic warfare, phased array radar, missile, space and communication arenas. .. Thomas Kessler will advance to executive vice president of global sales of Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ), following the planned retirement of Allan Kreutzer at the end of January. Kessler has been responsible for all of Edmund Optics’ European sales and distribution operations as vice president, European operations, from his office in Karlsruhe, Germany. He will assume the additional responsibilities of managing the company’s Americas and Asian sales teams as the company continues to aggressively expand its sales growth and standard product offerings. .. Robert Agnes has been appointed senior vice president of sales and field marketing at X-Rite Inc. (Grand Rapids, MI). In his new role he will oversee all sales and field marketing activities for the Americas and EMEA regions. He also will have responsibility for the company’s global OEM and global digital supply chain organizations and serve on X-Rite’s senior leadership team.
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