NY Manufacturing Business Continues to Grow

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported yet another strong month in every area covered by it Empire State Manufacturing Survey.

The headline general business conditions index held steady at 24.4. The new orders index rose four points to 24.9 and the shipments index climbed four points to 16.2, pointing to ongoing solid gains in orders and shipments. Unfilled orders increased, and delivery times continued to lengthen. Labor market indicators pointed to a modest increase in employment and hours worked. Both input prices and selling prices rose at a faster pace than last month. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms remained optimistic about future conditions.

The Future of Factory Robotics

Robots are getting cheaper and there are more workers qualified to handle them than there were in 1990 according to a new study by McKinsey. So where to they go from here?

As robot production has increased, costs have gone down. Over the past 30 years, the average robot price has fallen by half in real terms, and even further relative to labor costs. As demand from emerging economies encourages the production of robots to shift to lower-cost regions, they are likely to become cheaper still.

When being Middle-Sized means Largest Growth

SONY DSC

“Bigger is Better” the saying goes, but a recent survey suggests that for the manufacturing sector such conventional wisdom isn’t always true. Conducted by the National Center for the Middle Market and reported by IndustryWeek, the survey found that mid-market manufacturers reported revenue growth at a higher percentage than that of the biggest manufacturers.

In NCMM’s second quarter economic survey, it found that mid-market manufacturing firms reported revenue growth of 7.1% on average, compared to 6.7% for manufacturers as a whole. And they expect revenue to grow 6.4% in the coming year, compared to 5.3% for the entire manufacturing community.

NCCM defines the middle market as companies with $10 million to $1 billion in annual revenue. Manufacturing has 22,200 companies in the sector employing 29.9% of the manufacturing workforce. These companies generate $1.1 trillion in revenue annually, just over 15% of all manufacturing revenue.

Read More

2017 Golf Outing a Huge Success

Our annual Golf Outing is always a lot of fun for everyone involved, and this year proved no exception. With more participants than ever before, and perfect weather (not to mention a new treat in the form of free ice cream) it is safe to say a good time was had by all. As always we’d like to thank all our participants and especially our sponsors for making this great day possible! Here are a few photos from the event, and be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page because more will be posted there.

We would like to thank to our sponsors who made this event possible:

Lunch Sponsor Orange PKG,  Cocktail Sponsor The Reis Group, Hole-in-One Prize Sponsor Allendale Machinery, Shirt Sponsor Direct Energy.
Prize Sponsors: Metallized Carbon, Ametek Rotron, Pawling Corp, Schatz Bearing Corp., Ethan Allen Workforce Solution

Tee Sign Sponsors: The Chazen Companies, Rondout Bank, Heritagenergy, Lakeland Bank, Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP, E.A. Morse, Bell Flavor and Fragrances, Central Hudson, TD Bank, Pawling Engineered Products, Inc., Judelson, Giordano & Siegel, CPA, PC, Verticon LTD, Blaser Swisslube, Inc., Viking Industries, Barton & Loguidice DPC, Fryer Machine, Ulster Savings Bank, Gillette Creamery, GKG CPAs, and  Content Studio at Martinelli Custom Publishing.

The Forklift of Tomorrow

The forklift is an essential part of every warehouse, but have you ever stopped and wondered if there’s any difference between the old models and the new? As it turns out, there is. Boss Magazine has a look at some of the new innovations being made to the classic machine, including alternative power sources, and increased maneuverability, and even going digital:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is underway, and forklifts are no exception to the trend. In fact, intelligent forklifts could have serious implications for distribution centers in a good way.

With newly equipped tech like RFID sensors, objects are able to communicate directly with work or electronic management systems (WMS or EMS). Tracking and information collection is simplified and RFID enable speedier decision making regarding good transport. From here, lifts can essentially take charge of all complex procedures and operators would only be required to make minimal inputs.

Business Best it’s Been in Years According to New York Manufacturing Survey

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released its latest survey of the state’s manufacturing industry, this one reporting figures for August. The results showed a strong month across the board:

Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity expanded strongly in August. The general business conditions index rose fifteen points to 25.2, its highest level since September 2014. Forty-two percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 17 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index climbed seven points to 20.6, pointing to a solid increase in orders, and the shipments index rose slightly to 12.4. The unfilled orders index held steady at -4.7. The delivery time index was little changed at 5.4, pointing to somewhat longer deliver times, and the inventories index fell to -3.1, indicating that inventory levels were slightly lower.

Read the Full Report

To Close the Skills Gap Fix the Gender Gap

In 2016, women accounted for just 29% of all U.S. manufacturing jobs. When you consider that women make up 47% of the entire U.S. workforce, that’s an alarmingly low number. What’s even more alarming is that the problem has nothing to do with job shortages. Instead, manufacturing is suffering from a significant shortage of skilled workers and ingrained misconceptions of male-dominated industry steeped in tradition. A new article in IndustryWeek lays out how gender diversity, combined with a skilled talent pool could be the answer to manufacturing growth. A 2015 study found that companies with gender diversity were 15% “more likely to outperform” their bottom line potential. That means gender diverse work environments have the potential to increase revenue and profits.

To achieve gender diversity, certain misperceptions that discourage women from entering manufacturing roles must be addressed and removed. Chief among those misperceptions are these three:

  1. Manufacturing is labor intensive work suited only for men
  2. There’s no work-life flexibility
  3. Manufacturing jobs are low-skill, lower-class jobs

The New World of Predictive Data

The use of predictive data can help manufacturers predict problems and make proactive adjustments, asserts Doug Fair, chief operating officer of InfinityQS. This trend shifts away from the use of data to “chase” problems.

Modern manufacturers collect mountains of data every day. But how much of that data is ever studied, beyond the small percentage that raises red flags?

The newest quality software trends point to predictive data, and the ability to roll reams of information together into meaningful bundles. These solutions are also increasingly cloud-based, viewed on a browser and offered as a service product rather than on on-site, dedicated servers.

Predicting problems before they exist, or seeing previously invisible improvements to manufacturing processes is the ideal use of the new capabilities, as opposed to data signaling more problems to chase…

Read More

4 Ways 3D Printing will change the Metals Industry

Management consulting firm McKinsey & Company has published an article on the impact of 3D Printing on the metals industry in which they highlight 4 key ways the technology will change the industry.

The main benefits of 3-D printing are a shorter value chain, cost and time reductions through elimination of assembly steps, greater customization and design freedom, and minimal waste. But the technology still has significant challenges to overcome. These include the high costs of metal powder and 3-D printers for large-scale production, as well as significant constraints on the dimensions of printed parts. Additionally, most printers cannot mix materials within one item. However, R&D activities by corporations and academics are rapidly addressing these limitations.

Get the Details from the Full List Here

Looking Beyond Efficiency

In a new OP-ED published on Forbes, Jim Lawton questions if a decades old emphasis on increasing efficiency while keeping costs down as the benchmark for measuring success in the manufacturing industry may be out of place with the new Advanced Manufacturing.

Technology has always promised to improve efficiency – the ability to do things right. And that has always been at the heart of any case for investment. Today though, technology has to meet a higher standard: effectiveness or the ability to do the right thing. For manufacturers, having leveraged technology to optimize efficiency, it is time to focus on growth, innovation and customer-centric models to change the mindset that’s fueling the race to the bottom (line). Emphasizing the results that contribute to opportunity and potential will cultivate performance that’s built on lasting value.

Read More