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So, it turns out The Wall Street Journal doesn’t have a section in their fine publication devoted to coated components. But here’s the thing – what we do, what you do, it’s a BIG deal. So we’re not going to quit our day jobs, but we monitor what’s going on and post it here on our site. Make sure to bookmark this page, visit often and tell your friends. This is your hub for news and updates for the industry.

The articles linked on this page are shared for informational purposes. The opinions and viewpoints expressed within these articles or their corresponding 'Comments' sections do not necessarily reflect those of Plasma-Tec and/or the employees of Plasma-Tec.

Category: Manufacturing

Yes, Virginia, There Is a U.S. Manufacturing Boom

July 07, 2015 Posted by Chris Wysong

By Harold L. Sirkin A recent opinion piece in the New York Times brings to mind one of the most frequently quoted lines ever to appear in a newspaper editorial: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. The editorial, which appeared in the New York Sun in 1897, was written in response to a letter to the editor from eight-year-old Virginia OHanlon, daughter of New York City coroners assistant Philip OHanlon. The letter was brief: Dear Editor, I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, If you see it in The Sun its so. Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus? One of the Suns editors, Francis Pharcellus Church, a war correspondent during the Civil War, responded, telling Virginia that her friends were affected by the skepticism of a skeptical ageand were wrong. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, Church wrote, he exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion. Today, Virginias great-great-grandchildren, and those of her

Posted in General, Manufacturing Jobs, NaturalGas, Manufacturing

Manufacturing Reality

June 22, 2015 Posted by Chris Wysong

Alan Beaulieu dispells common misconceptions about the state of manufacturing in the U.S. and explains why there is cause for optimism based in reality. Manufacturing Reality By: Alan Beaulieu (ITR Economics) I read a recent article written by a former manufacturing executive in which he expressed his grave concerns over free trade agreements. He lays the following problems at the feet of free trade: massive trade deficit of over $10-$11 trillion; millions of good paying jobs have been lost (net); manufacturing sector has suffered a massive loss, from over 20% of GDP to approximately 11%. I think these concerns, and perceptions, are shared by millions of Americans. Fortunately for all of us, their perception is not backed by reality. Lets deal with the last assertion today, and its first cousin, all manufacturing has gone overseas. Massive loss and all gone are both easy to disprove. The US Total Manufacturing Production Index (Not Seasonally Adjusted) annual moving average is at

Posted in Manufacturing

Supply Chain: Any Old Storm in the Ports

June 10, 2015 Posted by Chris Wysong

February labor disputes at West Coast ports have ended but Dave Blanchard of IndustryWeek reports on the lingering supply chain consequences - including how manufacturers can avoid the impact of similar events in the future. Supply Chain: Any Old Storm in the Ports By: Dave Blanchard (Industry Week) The labor dispute at the U.S. West Coast ports may have ended, but its impact on manufacturers could be long and lingering as it exposed vulnerabilities within the global supply chain. Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, has estimated that it could take as much as three months to clear up the backlog of containers from cargo ships that were anchored offshore during the work slowdown. And a Wall Street Journal report estimates that it could take up to six months to get back to business-as-usual at all 29 West Coast ports affected by the dispute. More than 70% of all imports from Asia enter the United States through one of the West Coast ports, and the labor slowdown

Posted in Labor, Manufacturing, SupplyChain

Dan DiMicco: Why 'American Made' is the Answer

June 03, 2015 Posted by Chris Wysong

Former steel CEO Dan DiMicco believes that creating 30 million jobs over the next 10 years will close the budget deficit and reduce unfunded entitlement liabilities. Dan DiMicco: Why American Made is the Answer By: Steve Minter Healthcare. Greenhouse gases. The deficit and taxes. There has been no shortage of domestic issues taking the spotlight in recent years. But Dan DiMicco, former CEO and chairman emeritus of steelmaker Nucor (IW 500/64), says those issues, while important, distracted U.S. leaders from focusing on the most important issue facing Americaan economic crisis caused by a lack of jobs. In his new book, American Made: Why Making Things Will ReturnUs to Greatness (Macmillan, 2015), DiMicco argues there is one number the country should keep in its sights. The number we need to focus on first and foremost is 30 million. Thats the number of jobs I believe the country needs to create by 2025 in order to close the federal governments budget deficit and begin reducing the

Posted in Jobs, JobCreation, Manufacturing

US manufacturing picks up pace in May

June 02, 2015 Posted by Chris Wysong

US manufacturing has been on an upswing but consumer spending still lags. US manufacturing picks up pace in May By: BBC News An index compiled for the Institute for Supply Management, which represents purchasing managers, rose to 52.8 in May, up from 51.5 in April, providing hope that growth is rebounding from a first-quarter slump. Anything above 50 indicates expansion. Less encouraging were figures showing consumer spending, a large driver of the US economy, was unchanged in April. That compares to a 0.5% increase in March. Stagnant consumer spending is one reason that the US manufacturing sector has stalled, and only grown slightly in the past few months. Manufacturers usually lags consumer spending, as firms wait to boost production in the wake of spending by consumers. To read the rest of this article, visit BBC News.

Posted in Manufacturing, ConsumerSpending, Economy

Manufacturing is Vulnerable to Blockbusting Hits

November 24, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

Chris Byrne of Businessweek looks at supply chains and their vulnerability to drama. Manufacturing Is Vulnerable to Blockbusting Hits By: Chris Byrne Manufacturing supply chains are the action stars of the business world. Everything depends on them, and theyre always ending up in tight spots. A natural catastrophe here, a geopolitical event there, and the next thing you know, your supply chain is involved in a cliffhanger. In the wake of massive natural disasters in recent years, supply chain disruptions and risks have been in the news worldwide. Manufacturing leads the way in the globalization of business, says Erika Melander, Manufacturing Practice Leader at Travelers. No other sector deals with so many components and sources in its supply chain, where a disruption to any single piece could derail the whole processand the daily life of millions of people along with it. All of this makes it startling that 78 percent of manufacturers worry about supply chain disruptions, but only

Posted in Manufacturing

Manufacturing's Multiplier Effect - It's Bigger Than You Think

October 27, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

Much has been made about the manufacturing industrys effect on the economy - particularly in terms of jobs. While there are jobs to be created and filled, manufacturings real benefit comes in its multiplier effect which stimulates more economic activity across society than any other sector. Stephen Gold of IndustryWeek reports. Manufacturings Multiplier Effect Its Bigger Than You Think By: Stephen Gold (IndustryWeek) In recent years, politiciansamong them President Obama in his 2013 State of the Union addresshave publicly acknowledged the economic significance of the manufacturing sector. But their focus is almost exclusively on jobs. The sector does still employ just under 10% of the total workforce, providing jobs with an average compensation level greater than the average for the rest of the business community. But its also clear that 21st-century automation and productivity gains will prevent manufacturing employment as a percentage of total employment from ever approaching the

Posted in Manufacturing

Regulations: Why Small Manufacturers Face a 'Double Whammy'

October 13, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

A new study has found that manufacturers with less than 50 employees pay an estimated $34,671 annually per employee to comply with regulations - almost doulbe the average manufacturer and nearly four times the amount that the average U.S. company pays. Steve Minter of IndustryWeek investigates these costly regulations and the effect they have on the manufacturing industry. Regulations: Why Small Manufacturers Face a Double Whammy By: Steve Minter Small businesses and manufacturers carry a disproportionate share of the $2.023 trillion burden that federal regulations impose on the economy annually, according to a new study from the National Association of Manufacturers. The study, conducted by economists Nicole V. and W. Mark Crain of Lafayette College, found that the average U.S. company pays $9,991 per employee per year to comply with federal regulations. However, the average manufacturer pays nearly double that amount $19,564 per employee annually. And for small manufacturers with

Posted in Manufacturing

Manufacturing's Second Wind

October 06, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

Companies that have traditionally been known for offshoring, like GE, are now turning to reshoring. As this becomes more common, U.S. manufacturers will need labor and talent to accommodate the growing workload. Dave Blanchard of IndustryWeek reports on the steps needed to make this transition successful. Manufacturings Second Wind By: Dave Blanchard Reshoring, like politics, makes strange bedfellows. Consider, for instance, the recent spectacle of retail giant Walmart gathering500 of its biggest suppliers into one room and urging them to manufacture their products right here, in the United States. There is a delicious irony in the fact that Walmart, of all companies, is now spearheading a Made in the USA effort since it was largely the retailers insistence on rock-bottom low prices that led many of its U.S. suppliers to ship their work overseas to China in the first place. Probably no other company has done more to promote Chinese-made goods to the American public than Walmart, and

Posted in Manufacturing, Reshoring

Manufacturing and Energy: Advantage USA

October 06, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

In this article from IndustryWeek, Steve Minter looks into how the recent energy boom in the U.S. could help make the country a low-cost manufacturing destination. With the U.S. on pace to become the worlds largest oil producer by 2020 and a net exporter of natural gas the same year , domestic manufacturers can take advantage of these improvements and become major competitors on the world stage. Manufacturing and Energy: Advantage USA By: Steve Minter It is 1979 and each day thousands of U.S. motorists are waiting in long lines for gasoline. The Iranian Revolution has resulted in lower oil exports and, combined with the Carter Administrations decision to ban Iranian oil imports, panic had ensued over the availability of gasoline. This was not a new situation for U.S. consumers. Just six years earlier, the Yom Kippur War had led OPEC to ban oil exports to countries that supported Israel in the war. By the time the oil embargo ended five months later, gasoline prices in the U.S. had

Posted in Manufacturing, Energy

Bridging the Skills Gap: Best Practices for Finding, Keeping and Growing Talent

October 06, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

Manufacturers are always looking to find, develop, and maintain talent. With a shortage of trained, educated workers, this process is becoming more and more important for long-term success in the industry. Steve VanNostrand investigates these issues and looks at how incorporating best practices can improve business, brand, and market share. Bridging the Skills Gap: Best Practices for Finding, Keeping and Growing Talent By: Steve VanNostrand A shortage of trained, educated workers is forcing the manufacturing industry to change how it finds and retains talent. A survey of manufacturing executives by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte ranked access to a highly skilled, flexible workforce as the most important factor in their success -- 20 percentage points higher than other factors, such as new product innovation or increased market share. Against these challenges, manufacturing companies need new ways to build and retain not only qualified engineers and welders, but positions

Posted in Manufacturing, BestPractices, Talent

Solving Manufacturing's Lesser-Known Workforce Challenge

October 06, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

IndustryWeek Editor-In-Chief Patricia Panchak suggests that many of the problems that manufacturers blame on schools, systems, or workers, can actually be easily solved by plant leadership. Solving Manufacturings Lesser-Known Workforce Challenge By: Patricia Panchak While manufacturing leaders lament the lack of a skilled workforce, manyif not mostneglect to maximize the contributions of their current employees. Its always easy to complain when someone else is to blame. As many manufacturing leaders will tell you, our public K-12 schools need to be fixed; our colleges and universities arent graduating enough scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians; andkids these days!they just dont seem to get that manufacturing careers are exciting and lucrative. But what many, if not most, manufacturing leaders arent doing is lookingreally lookingat how workforce practices at their own companies discourage the creative contributions of every person they already employ. And, dare

Posted in Manufacturing, Leadership

How to Attract Millennials to Solve the Skilled Workforce Shortage

October 03, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

In a follow-up to a previous months column, Patricia Panchak addresses exactly what it will take for manufacturing firms to attract millennials to the industry. How to Attract Millennials to Solve the Skilled Workforce Shortage By: Patricia Panchak It seems I touched a nerve with last months column calling for manufacturing leaders to do their part to solve the skilled worker shortage by changing how they lead production staffby treating them as professionals. If the response is any indication, you should know that this idea, while not new, is gaining widespread appeal and, with the millennial cohort coming aboard, increased urgency. The good news is: So few executives and managers understand the importance of this approach that, if you start now, you can gain a decided advantage over your competitors. Its impossible in this brief column to detail the actions you need to take to change how you lead production professionals. To start, review INDUSTRYWEEKs online treasure trove of

Posted in Manufacturing, Millenials

Toward a New Skilled Workforce Shortage Solution

October 03, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

There is no shortage of manufacturing organizations attempting to attract young, innovative professionals to work in the industry. These efforts are shaped mostly around an image change, but Pat Panchak of IndustryWeek challenges manufacturing leaders to change the way they lead these professionals if they want to create lasting change within the industry. Toward a New Skilled Workforce Shortage Solution By: Patricia Panchak It seems several manufacturing organizations are beginning to rally around another solution to one of manufacturings most vexing problems: that of recruiting people to work in factories. The new effort is an extension of an earlier one, which set out to change societys perception of manufacturing workand which, after over a decade, has had no discernible effect on alleviating the problem. In the earlier iterations, the thinking was that too many people viewed manufacturing jobs as low-paying, dumb, dirty, dangerous and disappearing. With videos and tours of clean,

Posted in Manufacturing

Tracking Manufacturing's Transformation

October 03, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

IndustryWeek Editor-In-Chief Pat Panchak writes on the importance of unity between innovation and production. Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris adds that making things cannot be separated from improving them and developing the next generation of them. Tracking Manufacturings Transformation By: Patricia Panchak For the past few years, weour country, the manufacturing sector and INDUSTRYWEEKhave been on a journey toward an increasingly better understanding of what it means to be a U.S. manufacturer. At the turn of the decade, as the manufacturing sector helped pull the U.S. out of a deep recession, our attention turned toward questions concerning the importance of manufacturing to the nations economic growth. Much of the discussion focused on production, the actual making of things on the factory floor, where crucial jobs that drove the economy in times past might once again be created. But even as we talked about the benefitsto companies and the countryof reviving factory work, research

Posted in Manufacturing

Why American Manufacturing Still Matters

September 29, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

Mike Petters, President and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries, speaks on why he believes manufacturing in the U.S. still matters and why we should go to great lengths to preserve it. Why American Manufacturing Still Matters By: Mike Petters Every afternoon at 2 p.m., Jason Ayers leaves his home in Hampton, Va., and drives to his job as a machinist on the second shift at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), as he has done for the past three years. In a world where people change careers seemingly in a heartbeat, Jason is the fourth generation of his family to work for NNS, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (IW 500/157). His father, William C. Ayers, still works at NNS in the same department as his son, but on first shift. Jasons grandfather, R. D. Ayers, was a shipfitter for 36 years, and his great-grandfather, Thomas, was a welding foreman for 33 years. Remarkably, a member of Jasons family has gone to work every day for 118 years to build the worlds most capable and high-quality

Posted in Manufacturing

The Cool Factor: The High-Tech Pull of Millenial Manufacturers

September 29, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

In this article, IndustryWeek profiles Zach Gosney - a millennial being lured into manufacturing for a reason no one saw coming: its cool. Bright, clean factories with high-tech tools, bright screens, lasers, and gadgets are now appealing to millennials who had all but written off the industry as a whole. The Cool Factor: The High-Tech Pull of Millennial Manufacturers By: Travis Hessman When Zack Gosney first walked into Mazaks Florence, Ky., machine tool plant back in 2011, he had no idea what he was in for. Like most of his classmates from Scott High School in Taylor Mill, Ky., Gosney hadnt intended to find himself in a factory after graduation. Hed grown up with the images of dark, dirty and dangerous manufacturing plants his whole life and had no plans to join one once he was out of school. Id never really been in a factory before, he recalls. I thought it would be dirty and hot and sweaty. I thought when I left Id look like I hadnt showered in three days. I didnt really know

Posted in Technology, Manufacturing

Three Reasons Manufacturers Should Invest in the United States

September 24, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

Stephen Gold, President/CEO of Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, believes that energy demographics and innovation provide strong evidence for moving manufacturers back to the U.S. In this article, he details his top three reasons why manufacturers should return to domestic production. Three Reasons Manufacturers Should Invest in the United States By: Stephen Gold Executives in an industry known for offshoring recently asked me why they should consider moving their operations back. While the United States remains the most competitive country in the world for manufacturing in many respects, three reasons stand out at this juncture. Energy Revolution. One energy expert described the dramatic shift as the energy equivalent of the Berlin Wall coming down. Since 2008, the U.S. has seen a steep rise in available domestic natural gas and oil, a result of coupling hydraulic fracturing with directional drilling technologies, providing U.S.-based industry with some of

Posted in Manufacturing

Recruiting Students to Manufacturing: The Ground Game

September 24, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

As Patricia Panchak walked around the AWT Robobot Competition in April, she became inspired by the enthusiasm, creativity, and drive that students were showing. Panchak is encouraged about the future of manufacturing because she believes the best and brightest students are working with dedicated teachers and manufacturing professionals to shape it. Recruiting Students to Manufacturing: The Ground Game By: Patricia Panchak I have seen the future of U.S. manufacturing, and it is vibrant, exciting and dynamic. Its robobot competition season in the U.S., and if you can find your way to a tournament, you too will see the bright future I see. But when you go, please know: You wont see that future by watching the battles. Sure, theyre the hook: Sparks fly! Metal screeches against metal! Parts careen through the air! But thats the sideshow. Instead, watch the students, their teacher advisors, andespecially for you, the INDUSTR WEEK audiencethe company-sponsor advisors and representatives. Look

Posted in Manufacturing, Students, Future

Robots, Reshoring and the Promise of the 21st Century

September 24, 2014 Posted by Chris Wysong

When Rodney Brooks visited Chinese factories that were manufacturing robots in the early 2000s, he found that most of the manufacturing was still being done by hand. He says hand manufacutring is costing our country jobs, manufacturing capacity, and innovative power. With his new robot invention, Brooks is working to integrate robots seamlessly into manufacturing and improve the process across the system. Robots, Reshoring and the Promise of the 21st Century By: Travis Hessman In 2002, Rodney Brooks brought the first real taste of the 21st century into the world and, even better, into our homes. When it first hit the market, the Roombathe tiny, autonomous robot vacuum created by Brooks first major startup, iRobotrepresented the pinnacle of high-tech, ultra-modern life. It was the first definitive sign that the sci-fi future wed been promised for the new millennia was starting to come true. However, there was one part of it that didnt quite live up to the promise: manufacturing. We

Posted in Manufacturing, Robots
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