PM Blog

Registering 59.5 for March, the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Precision Machining notched up its best quarterly performance in recorded history. Compared with the same month one year ago, the index increased by slightly under 2 percent; however, this is largely because of a spike reading from March 2017. Comparing first-quarter performance with the prior year, the Precision Machining Index (PMI) is more than 5 percent. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data indicates that supplier deliveries, production, new orders and backlog all lifted the business index higher. The components, which lowered the index’s average-based calculation, included employment and exports. Exports contracted (registered a reading below 50) for the first time since November 2017.

The latest month’s components readings indicate that aggressive increases in supplier deliveries starting at the beginning of the year have played a pertinent role in improving production rates and tackling surging new orders. Looking at the last 18 months of data, it is apparent that supplier deliveries were caught off guard when new orders jumped during the fourth quarter of 2016. Throughout 2017, new orders continued to pressure job shops to increase production, and they did. However, suppliers needed several months to adapt to the upward shift in demand for manufactured goods.

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Industry 4.0 is on its Way


There is much hoopla about Industry 4.0, what it can do for manufacturers and how it will revolutionize metalworking. Some of this is true and some is speculative.

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Aerospace Industry Veterans See Supplier Consolidation Trend


While visiting a machine shop specializing in medical parts a few months ago, I was clued in to a growing trend in the manufacturing industry of OEMS consolidating suppliers. As the April issue of Production Machining had an aerospace focus, an aspect of the industry that shares similar traits of quality standards and traceability with medical manufacturing, we thought we’d investigate if this trend was being felt elsewhere.

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Surface Finishing Industry Meets for Sur/Fin 2018


If you are connected to the surface finishing industry through machining or manufacturing materials, then Cleveland is where you will want to be June 4-6 when the community gathers at the Sur/Fin Manufacturing and Technology Trade Show and Conference hosted by the National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF).

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