PM Blog

Bringing in the new year with a reading of 61.7, the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Precision Machining started 2018 by recording its fastest-ever rate of expansion. Compared with the same month one year ago, the index increased by almost 10 percent. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data indicates that new orders, production and backlog lifted the business index higher, while supplier deliveries, employment and exports pulled the index lower. For a second month in a row, no components contracted. 

January was notable for its strong new orders reading and a surprise jump in backlog.  For a second month in a row, new orders expanded faster than production. Both components have been the primary drivers of the Precision Machining Index since the fourth-quarter of 2016. Reviewing past trends from the Gardner Business Indices reveals that when new orders growth exceeds production growth, it is typical for manufacturers to experience additional growth in future months as manufacturers adjust to increased demand. The outpacing of new orders with production has resulted in significant increases in backlogs as evidenced by January’s backlog reading being the highest in more than five years. Expansionary exports readings in recent months indicate that some portion of the growing demand for manufactured goods is due to growing international demand.

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By: Chris Koepfer 9. February 2018

Automation Choices

Automation Choices

 

 

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Recruiting Firms Benefit Employers and Employees

PM “About Your Business” contributor Todd Palmer thinks recruiting firms are the way to go when hiring new employees.

In his column “Recruiters Benefit Manufacturers and Job Seekers,” Mr. Palmer examines the benefits of using credible recruiting firms. They are private and confidential, and save the hiring company time by handling all the paperwork and labor. They also benefit the job seeker, who could be applying to a new job while working full-time or may be approached while working for a competitor.

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View PM’s February 2018 Digital Edition

Production Machining’s February Digital Edition is now available. This issue features an emphasis topic of Inspection & Measurement with special coverage of Medical Machining. Our cover story is a deep look into an automated inspection/measurement system that implements multitasking principles to facilitate the process. For our other feature, we visit a medical supplier to see how it is expanding capability to accommodate this industry’s trending consolidation of suppliers.

Our Tech Brief covers a modular workholding system designed to reduce setup times by improving accuracy and productivity with an easier alignment process. Our Case in Point visits a shop that is using automation to double production in its high precision optical work for scientific cameras.

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Think ‘Out of the Box’ to Find Answers

Although a lot of manufacturing is powered by advancements in technology that use a power cord, brainpower is an important resource as well. Jack Schron Jr., president of Jergens Inc., writes about the importance of this brainpower and thinking differently to solve problems in a Last Word column called “Gray Matter Matters.”

“Companies embracing thorough workforce development and collaboration with industry experts are routinely coming up with out-of-the-box solutions that many times overcome challenges that can limit or even stop manufacturing.”

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