85% OF U.S. CONSUMERS WANT TO BUY AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE BOULDER, CO—Plug-in electric vehicles may just be entering the market, but most U.S. consumers are ready to buy them. E Source recently analyzed data from the Nielsen Energy Survey and found that 85% of U.S. consumers say they would purchase a battery-driven car either right away (3%), when their current car needed replacement (57%), or when the technology is proven and it becomes more mainstream (25%). The caveat is that consumers strongly prefer (58%) plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) versions such as the Chevrolet Volt. PHEVs have greater range than electric-only cars such as the Nissan Leaf, and 8% of consumers prefer them. “We are seeing a substantial willingness for drivers to move to plug-in electric vehicles, but only if the manufacturers can provide the easy extended range of travel that Americans are used to,” says Bill LeBlanc, senior advisor at E Source. E Source also reports that younger drivers are more willing than older drivers to purchase the electric-only cars, and people who describe themselves as liberals are similarly more inclined to desire the all-electric cars than those classified as conservatives. “We see that all ages and all political mindsets like the plug-in hybrid vehicles equally,” says LeBlanc. “But when it comes to the allelectric car, it appears to be seen as more of a ‘green’ purchase, rather than as a practical upgrade to a more-efficient vehicle.” Another factor that E Source looked at was how far people drive each day and how that affects their desires for for plug in electric vehicles. Daily driving habits do not seem to affect desire for the allelectric vehicle; however, desire for the PHEV grows as people spend more time in their cars. “Overall, the survey supports the existence of a huge untapped market for electric vehicles that can be charged at night at home. People seem very ready to move to the next generation of cars and dramatically decrease the frequency of their visits to the gas station,” reports LeBlanc. NISSAN LEAF DECLARED 2011 WORLD CAR OF THE YEAR NEW YORK CITY—At a press conference hosted by Bridgestone Corp. and the New York International Auto Show, the Nissan Leaf was declared the 2011 World Car of the Year. The Nissan Leaf was chosen from an initial entry list of 39 new vehicles from throughout the world, then a short list of 10, then three finalists: the Nissan Leaf, the Audi A8 and the BMW 5 Series. The Leaf is a five-seater, five-door hatchback and the jurors said it is the world’s first, purpose-built, massproduced electric car. The Leaf has lithium-ion battery modules and electric motors that generate 108 horsepower and 206 pounds feet of torque, propelling the hatch from zero to 60 miles-per-hour in 11. 5 seconds and a top speed of 90 miles per hour. It has a range of more than 100 miles on a full charge, Nissan says, and takes around eight hours to recharge using 220-240 volt power supply and produces zero tailpipe emissions. Its low center of gravity produced sharp turn-in with almost no body roll and no understeer. Previous World Car of the Year winners were the Volkswagen Polo in 2010, Volkswagen Golf in 2009, the Mazda2/ Mazda Demio in 2008, the Lexus LS460 in 2007, the BMW 3-Series in 2006 and the Audi A6 in 2005. SPENDING AND HIRING ON THE RISE FOR MIDSIZED MANUFACTURERS, BUT COSTS CAUSE CONCERN CHICAGO—Prime Advantage, a buying consortium for midsized manufacturers, announced the results of its seventh Prime Advantage Group Outlook (GO) Survey, revealing the top economic concerns of small and midsized North American manufacturers for 2011. The survey results show companies are even more confident compared to six months ago about economic growth for U.S. manufacturing in 2011. Moreover, these results support the latest findings in the Prime Advantage Group CFO Survey, which showed optimistic expectations for revenue growth, hiring and capital spending despite growing concerns over rising costs. “Our members, who represent a diverse cross section of manufacturing industries, are experiencing stronger growth and plan to invest back in their businesses, whether through capital expenditures or hiring more employees,” says Louise O’Sullivan, founder and CEO of Prime Advantage. “What’s unique and challenging about this rebound is the rate at which firms must address pricing inflation in both raw materials and components. As a buying group, with leveraged programs based on group volume, our members are positioned a little ahead of the curve and our job is to make sure we help them maintain that advantage.” The highlights of the findings include: • Seventy-two percent of the small and midsized manufacturing professionals who took the survey report that their companies expect revenue increases in 2011, with 24% expecting increases of more than 10%. • The top three cost pressures for the next six months are: the cost of raw materials (with 96% including it in the top three concerns), followed by inflation (52%) and healthcare (37%). • Sixty-five percent plan capital expenditures for manufacturing equipment and tools in 2011, greatly triggered by available federal tax credits. • More than 80% said their companies were making changes toward developing more sustainable products, largely driven by customer requirements and compliance regulations. • While 40% of respondents that source products from off-shore vendors are planning to bring sourcing back to North America in the near future, indicating a rebalancing in sourcing strategy, another 60% are planning to add more offshore vendors. GM TO INVEST $100 MILLION, ADD 30 JOBS IN ROCHESTER, NY ROCHESTER, NY—General Motors will invest $100 million to add 30 jobs and purchase tooling and equipment to make future automotive components at its GM Components Holdings (GMCH) Rochester operations. “This investment in our manufacturing operations will enable us to produce a new generation of fuel-efficient small block car and truck engines,” says Cathy Clegg, GM vice president of Labor Relations. “The Gen V small block engine family will have unprecedented fuel efficiency, and GMCH Rochester Operations will play a key role in helping us deliver these efficient engines to our customers.” Four product lines will be enhanced: the integrated air module; a new high-pressure fuel rail; a new lifter oil manifold assembly; and a new direct injection injector. These parts will be shipped to GM Powertrain plants in Tonawanda, NY, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. “This investment stems from teamwork with New York’s Empire State Development Corp., Rochester Gas and Electric and a new agreement with the UAW,” Clegg says. “Through these types of successful partnerships, we’re competitively keeping this work in the United States and maintaining jobs right here in Rochester.” The 30 new jobs will be added to an existing workforce of 826 hourly and salaried employees at the GMCH Rochester operations facility. CHRYSLER GROUP SUPPORTS ENGINEERING PROGRAMS AUBURN HILLS, MI—The deans of Abet-accredited Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)—in conjunction with the corporate-academic alliance members of Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE)—have selected Chrysler Group LLC as a Top Supporter of HBCU and other minority-serving institutions. Chrysler joins a distinguished list of corporate and governmental leaders engaged in supporting the development and recruitment of talent students pursuing technical careers at the nation’s minority-serving institutions. This ninth annual survey of education leaders was conducted by U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. In completing the annual survey, the deans considered a corporate or governmental candidate’s support for infrastructure modernization and enhancement, research, participation on advisory councils, faculty development opportunities, scholarships, student projects, co-ops and career opportunities. TOYOTA ANNOUNCES FINALISTS IN 100 CARS FOR GOOD PROGRAM TORRANCE, CA—Toyota announced the 500 nonprofit organizations selected as finalists in the 100 Cars for Good program, which will award 100 vehicles throughout the course of 100 days to 100 nonprofit organizations based on votes from the public. Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good initiative engages the public to determine the 100 organizations to receive a Toyota vehicle for use in the community. The 500 finalists, selected from a pool of applications submitted via Toyota’s Facebook page from March 7-21, 2011, were chosen by an independent panel of judges who are experts in the fields of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. The finalists represent nonprofit organizations servicing the community across a broad range of categories including animal welfare, arts, education, environment, health, safety and human services. Finalists will create an online profile, which may include a video showcasing how the organization plans to use a new Toyota vehicle to do good in their local communities. Started on May 9, public voting takes place for 100 consecutive days, with five organizations profiled on Toyota’s Facebook page each day. The public may vote for the charity they feel is most deserving based on the created profiles. A vehicle will be awarded daily through August 16 for a total of 100 vehicles. Voters may place one vote per day, each day, throughout the course of the program. Winning organizations can choose from the following vehicles: Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Tundra, Highlander Hybrid, Sienna or Sienna Mobility. With each vehicle, Toyota Financial Services will provide a sixyear, 100,000 mile service agreement to help provide extended protection from mechanical breakdowns beyond the vehicle warranty. BUSINESS CONDITIONS REPORT: APRIL 2011 APRIL 2011 CLEVELAND, OH—According to the April 2011 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate a softening in business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 131 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada. The April report shows that 40% of participants forecast an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (down from 49% in March), 45% predict that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 46% last month) and 15% report that activity will decline (up from only 5% in March). Metalforming companies also expect a drop in incoming orders over the next three months, with 20% predicting a decrease in orders (up from 10% in March), 38% anticipate no change (the same percentage reported as the previous month) and 42% predict an increase in orders (down from 52% in March). However, the current pace of growth in shipments continues to rise, as average daily shipping levels improved in April for the third consecutive month. Sixty-three percent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months prior (up from 50% in March), 25% report that shipping levels are the same as three months prior (down from 39% last month), and 12% report a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 11% in March). The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff decreased to 11% in April from 12% in March. The number is at its lowest level since October 2007, when only 8% of companies had workers on short time or layoff, and it is significantly lower than one year ago (42%). “Business for most of the metalforming industry is quite robust, with average orders and shipments for the first two months of 2011 outpacing the same period in 2010 by 16% in orders and 17% in shipments,” says William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “The April business conditions report may reflect concern that there will be a modest softening in the pace of growth as we go deeper into the second quarter. This likely is a result of supply chain uncertainties in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake, higher fuel prices and higher prices for flat-rolled metals. Business conditions remain very strong for most markets; however, the pace of growth appears to be leveling off as we look toward the summer months.” FEW MANUFACTURERS CONSISTENTLY BENCHMARK WARRANTY OPERATIONS FRAMINGHAM, MA— According to a recent study published by IDC Manufacturing Insights—Methods and Practices: Warranty Capabilities Maturity Model—while most product companies recognize the criticality of effective warranty management practices, very few companies are addressing the problem effectively. Key findings include: • Most product companies do not consistently benchmark their warranty organizations, with less than 20% of companies even benchmarking internally. • Low product quality and poor warranty coverage and repair can significantly tarnish a brand. However, only a little over half of leading companies and less than 20% of laggards use warranty management proactively to improve their brand image. • Nearly all (92%) of leading companies are pursuing opportunities to improve accrual management, but only 61% of laggard companies do. • Approximately 60% of leading companies employ proactive means to improve warranty performance through the use of fraud detection methods and early quality warning systems. Less than 20% of laggard companies do. The significant gaps between leading and lagging companies and the dire need for a robust methodology to improve warranty operations has led to the development of the recently released Warranty Management Capability Maturing Model to help companies assess the capabilities of their warranty organization, develop a continuous improvement roadmap and accelerate business transformation. ASSOCIATION NEWS THE COORDINATE METROLOGY SOCIETY (CMS, Benbrook, TX) announced Trevor Toman as the chair of the organization’s newly formed academic subcommittee. Toman will serve as a liaison with key education institutions to forge long-term knowledge-sharing and working relationships. Toman has worked in the manufacturing industry for more than 30 years, with extensive experience in the calibration and measurement disciplines. THE CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR NDE (CINDE, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) has promoted Larry Cote CET, CLS, CMRP to president and CEO, reporting to the chairman of the board. In his position, Cote will work closely with the executive committee and the board to pursue the goals set out in the CINDE strategic plan. THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ACTION GROUP (AIAG) has appointed two new directors. Stuart Harrison, vice president of Eaton Corp., and Jeff Spicuzzi, director of Lear Corp., are now part of AIAG’s board of directors. BUSINESS NEWS MARLIN STEEL WIRE (Baltimore, MD) has announced plans to expand its manufacturing floor space in Baltimore City, after its best first quarter in history, four years of record profits and steady revenue increases, and a surge in export demand for custom wire baskets, wire forms and sheet metal fabrications such as housings and consoles. Marlin Wire has brought on adjacent manufacturing space to maximize efficiencies and permit manageable growth. CURTISS-WRIGHT CORP. (Parsippany, NJ), through its Motion Control segment, has renewed its long-term agreement with Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The agreement extends the current contract and gives Curtiss- Wright exclusive rights to manufacture numerous products for Boeing production airplanes, including the 737 and 767 trailing edge flap actuators, 747-8 leading edge flap actuators, 777 flap position gearboxes, 767 and 777 cargo door actuators, 747-8, 767 and 777 cargo hold smoke detectors and various flight control and pilot control position sensors. DGI SUPPLY, a DoALL company (Wheeling, IL) has signed a letter of intent to purchase all outstanding shares of Midwest Industrial Tools (MIT, Omaha, NE). Allan Chartier, the current president and CEO of MIT, will remain with the company through the transition. TOOLING U (Cleveland, OH), the leading developer of online manufacturing training, has relocated its headquarters to Tyler Village—one of Cleveland’s largest-ever downtown redevelopment projects. Located six miles from Tooling U’s previous office, Tyler Village, a former industrial complex and now a thriving, mixed-use business complex, fit the needs of the growing company. RENISHAW PLC (Gloucestershire, UK) has received a Queen’s award for Enterprise 2011 in the innovations category, the company’s 14th Queen’s Award since its formation in 1973, and its fifth in eight years. This award has been granted for the development of the TRS2 laserbased noncontact broken tool detection system, which is used for detecting broken or missing cutting tools on computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining centers. HERRMANN ULTRASCHALL (Bartlett, IL) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The ultrasonics company will celebrate its anniversary on November 3, 2011, and technology days with seminars on November 3-4, 2011. The Herrmann Group says it is proud of its growth and achievements and foresees future job growth at the company. BEAVER AEROSPACE & DEFENSE (Liviona, MI), a designer and manufacturer of actuation technologies, has received a 2010 Boeing Performance Excellence Award. The Boeing Co. Issues the award annually to recognize suppliers who have achieved superior performance. Beaver maintained a gold composite performance rating for each month of the 12-month performance period, from Oct. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2010. Metrology and measurement device manufacturer BLUM-NOVOTEST (Willich, Germany) is part of a team that has won a Chairman’s Award from BAE Systems. BAE Systems has recognized a team at its Samlesbury plant that includes BAE Systems and Blum-Novotest employees. Blum-Novotest helped reduce cycle times by more than 40% on production components for the Typhoon aircraft. RAYTHEON CO. (Tewsbury, MA) was awarded a $128.5 million contract to provide engineering services for the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System. Issued by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, AL, the contract calls for Raytheon to continue to provide the latest upgrades and system capabilities through systems analysis, software and hardware engineering, and testing and logistics support to both U.S. and international Patriot customers. PEOPLE Ferromatik Milacron India Ltd. (FMIL, Gujarat, India), an injection molding machine manufacturer, has promoted SHIRISH DIVGI to the role of COO and VINOD BHALAVAT to the role of CFO of FMIL, a division of Milacron Plastics Machinery. The promotions correspond with the recent retirement of former FMIL president N.K. Balgi. MARK MOHR has been appointed to the role of president, DMG/Mori Seiki USA (Chicago). In his new role at the Hoffman Estates, IL, headquarters, Mohr will oversee operations of all technical centers across the country to optimize the value of the DMG and Mori Seiki collaboration in America. JOHN PURVIS has been named president and CEO of AME Unmanned Air Systems (formerly AeroMech Engineering Inc., San Luis Obispo, CA). He succeeds Jay McConville, who will now serve as AME UAS’s chairman of the board and as an executive vice president at ChandlerMay.
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