PM Blog

Gardner Intelligence’s quarterly review of the medical industry, based on Gardner’s proprietary data and the quarterly financial filings of 70 publicly-traded medical firms, revealed an industry that continues to see growing free cash flow and revenues. In the 12-month period ending with the first quarter of 2018, total free cash flow grew by nearly 3 percent after posting three prior quarters of contractions while revenue growth was reported above 7 percent and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization contracted by slightly less than 2 percent.

Importantly for the manufacturing industry, capital expenditure across the medical industry, according to Gardner’s analysis, rose by 2.9 percent in the year-to-date period ending first-quarter 2018. The latest data illustrate a recent trend of slowing growth in capital expenditures after reaching a peak expenditure growth rate of over 15 percent during the first quarter of 2017. This may have been in part due to the industry rebounding from a lackluster 2015.

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Maximize Automation Results with Bar Feeders


As shop owners seek creative ways to increase productivity and reduce labor costs, automation solutions are more frequently finding their way onto the shop floor. Bar feeders are the primary automation option for the precision turned parts shop. Choosing the right one for a given application is important in achieving maximum performance.

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All signs are pointing toward growth: Index Corp. is on an expansion course in all of its markets, Dr. Dirk Prust, managing director, technology at Index said during the company's recent open house in Reichenbach, Germany. With a share of 52 percent, Germany is still the biggest market for the company, but Index intends to change that and hopes to be a much more global company, according to Dr. Prust.

"We seek to expand massively, especially in Asia and the Americas, with a focus on application engineering and automation,” says Reiner Hammerl, managing director, sales.

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Earning the Business in a Captive Shop


From the perspective of a job shop, the stability of workflow coming into a captive shop seems enviable. As we see in this story, Captive Shop Must Still Compete, that’s not always the case.

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Eliminate Grinding Through Rotational Turning Technology


In order to meet close-tolerance specifications of workpieces that must be without machining marks, most hardened parts are transferred from the lathe to the grinding machine for final machining. Grinding, however, has high tooling costs, requires refixturing of the part and relatively long processing times. As a result, hard turning is a machining method often used instead of grinding, but it also has several disadvantages, including some applications for hard-turned surfaces being limited because the workpiece ultimately ends up with a micro-thread or scroll structure.

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