OSHA’s Form 300A (Rev. 01/2004)
Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
All establishments covered by Part 1904 must complete this summary page, even if no injuries or illnesses ocurred during the year. Remember to review the log to verify that entries are complete.
To get the form for free go to DOL site, here, click on the OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 forms link in the box on the right that is titled “Most Frequently Viewed OSHA Publications.”
Feeling lazy? Please read our prior posts on National Emphasis Program on Recordkeeping.

Guest post by Jeff Wiltsie, Vanamatic Company

Result of Washington policies.

It’s time for a reality check. Congress authorized the administration to spend hundreds of millions of dollars of stimulus to keep unemployment from reaching 8% which is now at 10%.  The real unemployment rate is estimated to be as high as 17% when you include the people that have given up looking for work.  The stimulus money has eluded the manufacturing sector which provides more economic activity per dollar than any other sector.  Each job in the manufacturing sector supports as many as four other jobs.   What’s wrong?
2010 Gross National Debt estimate – $14.456 Trillion
The debt is 98.1% of the United States GDP
China owns 5.5% of the debt – $798.9 Billion
Have you ever heard the comment, “It’s the economy stupid”?  That statement was famous in 1992.  Today’s statement should be, “The answer is manufacturing stupid”.  Debt is piling up while manufacturing is declining.  Remember, manufacturing provides more economic activity per dollar than any other sector.  Unemployment is expected to exceed 10% in 2010 while manufacturing is declining.  Remember, each manufacturing job supports as many as four other jobs.
Manufacturers continually improve productivity while reducing costs; this is good for the consumer!  Congress and the Administration print more money and don’t worry about costs; this is NOT good for taxpayers.  Manufacturers work with suppliers and customers to reduce or eliminate non-value added costs.  Congress and the Administration inflate costs.
During President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union, he acknowledged the need to focus on getting people back to work.  The President said, “Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be American businesses.  But government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers” … “We should start where most new jobs do – in small businesses, companies that begin when an entrepreneur takes a chance on a dream, or a worker decides its time she became her own boss.”
Job creation is an area where Republicans and the administration can turn rhetoric into reality.  Working together they can develop a response which will encourage job creation in the private sector.  Virginia’s Bob McDonnell’s Republican response included, “We must enact policies that promote entrepreneurship and innovation so America can better compete with the world.  What government should not do is pile on more taxation, regulation, and litigation that kill jobs and hurt the middle class.”
Building a reputation for quality, delivery, integrity and ethical behavior is of the utmost importance for long term business survival.  Imagine an automotive executive speaking at a dealer conference, telling the dealers, “It’s vital to the survival of the company to promote and sell this new model.  Building a new model is a daunting task, we don’t always get it right the first time but we can fix it after we get sales up.”  This executive would be fired and the company sued for knowingly putting out a potentially unsafe vehicle.
Al Franken recently said, “Big pieces of legislation often need to be fixed and improved after passage.  Health care would be no different.”[1]  Building a reputation for quality, delivery, integrity, and ethical behavior should also apply to Congress and the Administration.
Congress and the Administration can learn a lot from manufacturers and help put more people back to work at a greater pace.

[1] http://www.minnpost.com/derekwallbank/2010/01/28/15403/franken_urges_house_to_pass_senate_health_bill_and_fix_it_later

The World Trade Organization (WTO)  established an expert panel January 19th  to investigate and rule whether punitive U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made tires breach WTO regulations.

President Barack Obama approved punitive tariffs up to 35 percent on all car and light truck tires from China last September in an attempt to “remedy the clear disruption to the U.S. tire industry.”
The expert panel was established at a meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). China reiterated its position that the U.S. tariffs “run short of factual bases and breached the U.S. obligations under the WTO.”
“The Chinese government deeply regretted the U.S. decision to impose restrictions on Chinese tires and believed it was a departure of international consensus of G20 leaders to fight against protectionism,” the Chinese delegation said.

No word that the Chinese Government had any regret on currency manipulation.
 The WTO expert panel usually consists of three members, and it takes up to 45 days for them to be appointed. The panel will need at least half a year to issue its final report.
Photo credit.

You can choose to organize to make decisions quickly. Or you can have the market ignore you.“- Seth Godin
Our industry knows that reducing cycle times   (the time it takes an operating machine to make one part) on our machines helps it stay competitive.
In the last say 10 years or so, most of us figured out that reducing setup times  (the time needed to tear down a machine and retool it to make the next product) is another critical piece of the stay competitive in brutal markets puzzle.
I was impressed with the story of Brandon Smith, who I read about on Seth Godin’s Blog. Brandon Smith took two hours to get this Help Haiti T-shirt to market.

Two hours from idea to design to produced and available for sale.

Two hours!
Two hours from hearing of the devastation, to getting his shirt designed, prototype made, photographed,  arrangements for manufacture, and sales materials up on the web.
Just two hours!
Now, I can hear you saying, “Miles, it’s  only a T-shirt. He didn’t have to do contract review. He didn’t have to …”

No excuses! Want to know what best in class might be for time to market in our industry?
240 part numbers 90 days
As Seth Godin said in his blog “You can choose to organize to make decisions quickly. Or you can have the market ignore you.
So while 2 hours might be a tad ambitious for some of us not in the T-shirt business,  just how agile are you?
Do the people answering the phone or email  at your company have the knowledge and the power to say “Yes” and make it happen right then and there? How long does it take your company to get to yes?
Is it longer than two hours?
If your people answering the phone or email at your company can get the answer right then and there and have the power to say “Yes,” I have 2 a questions.
Do your customers know?
More importantly, do your people know?
To purchase a help haiti t-shirt (part of proceeds is a donation).
Archie photo credit.


Speaking of manufacturing

 EMC Precision Machining, a fourth-generation, family-owned company that produces complex precision metal components for a diverse group of global customers, was a stop on President Barack Obama’s area tour today prior to his Town Hall Meeting at Lorain County Community College.
President Obama met with EMC Precision Machining CEO Jeffrey B. Ohlemacher and President Bradley R. Ohlemacher before touring the facility and meeting many of the company’s 44 full-time employees.
How we make things.

EMC is a 4th generation, 85 year young enterprise that has weathered the economic storm by continuing to invest in its people, systems, and assets, keeping its focus on the urgent machining needs of its customers.
Customers in industrial equipment, hydraulics, pneumatics, transportation, medical and aerospace and agricultural markets. EMC produce precision machined components that go into a wide range of applications, from putting glue on your cereal box, to critical hydraulics systems in helicopters.
We’re glad the president got to see first hand how people who make things, make things.  We’re glad that the Ohlemachers and employees at EMC Precision Machining were able to connect with the president, and share how their experience with continuous education and training, staying up to date with the latest technologies and investing in priorities has kept them competitive despite difficult times.
Thats a message to take back to Washington.
More details on the presidents visit here. Here. And here.
More details on EMC Precision Machining.
The EMC Website.

  Guest post by Peter Morici
Whoever is declared the winner, the outcome of the Massachusetts senatorial election is neither a mandate for President Obama’s liberal agenda nor a license for a return to status quo ante of George Bush.  
The fact that a conservative put Ted Kennedy’s seat at play is a repudiation of Democrats recent partisan governing style, and an agenda that is simply out of step with the real change Americans want.
 From health care to jobs to the banks, it’s time for Democrats to stop accusing critics of deceiving the public and to step back ask what voters will accept.
 On health care, Americans don’t want a comprehensive federal takeover and higher taxes. To cover the uninsured, they would support reforms that make Medicaid and other federal programs for the poor much more cost efficient, and changes that lower prices and don’t more-severely ration access for middle class Americans already paying for health care.
 A new health care bill should focus on lowering drug prices to those paid by health systems in other high income counties like Germany and Canada, ending the inefficiencies imposed by a mindless malpractice system other advanced countries don’t have, and aligning doctors pay and insurance company administrative costs with those in Europe.
Real reform should not require new taxes or higher premiums, but rather should lower the cost of health care-that’s the yardstick the president should use, not budget neutrality.
 Regarding unemployment, the president needs to acknowledge that the stimulus package will not deliver the four million jobs promised, and that fanciful dreams of replacing eight or nine million jobs over three years with new opportunities in green industries and smart buildings are just that-fanciful dreams.
 The president may be right that American leadership in green industries is essential to American economic leadership in the future, but in the here and now, green industries will only provide one-tenth of the jobs needed, at best, to get unemployment down to acceptable levels.
 Obama must tackle the trade deficit.

We need to export manufactured products if we are to pay for imports

For many years to come, Americans will still use oil and buy traditional manufactured products like cars, computers and coffee makers. Unless Americans export more of those products, or import few of them, consumer spending cannot create enough demand for U.S. products to provide enough jobs for Americans.
 Alternative energy is important but Americans will continue using fossil fuels for a long time. The United States has abundant, untapped offshore oil and huge on-shore natural gas. Developing those would raise taxes to reduce the federal deficit and create jobs in drilling, refining and supporting industries.
Don’t abandon new green technologies, but don’t forget that medium-term choice is between importing oil and borrowing from China to pay for it, or using what we have and becoming more self reliant.
China undervalues its currency to subsidize its products on U.S. store shelves, and keep out U.S. exports. It’s time to bite the bullet. Either China agrees to revalue the yuan to rebalance trade, or President Obama should tax the conversion of dollars into yuan to effect the same change.
Finally, the banks are not lending to worthy homeowners and businesses. Wall Street is again recklessly trading in derivatives and questionable securities, and paying huge bonuses. All of this accomplished with $1.5 trillion in near zero interest loans from the Federal Reserve-an amount much larger and more important than the TARP.
 It’s time to separate real banks, who take deposits and make loans, and whose solvency the public must guarantee, from the casinos at Goldman Sachs and other financial houses of questionable ethical judgment.
 Regulate the banks and their pay, and let the casinos pay executives what they like but don’t let them have access to the Federal Reserve or issue money market accounts or anything that looks like a bank account. Require those writing derivatives back those up with adequate funds to pay out potential losses and don’t let banks own securities.
There you have it-bank reform in less than 100 words, not 2000 pages.
If the President lived up to his promise and embraced such an agenda, the drug companies, insurance executives, doctors, tort lawyers, and bankers would make Washington lobbyists the richest people on the planet.
It would also leave aghast, Ivy League liberal and conservative economists, who alternate advising Washington, but they have given us enough bad advice.
It’s time the President the champion the folks that elected him. That’s the message of from Massachusetts.

You're doing a good job.

Giving clear instructions is an art.
So is giving feedback.
Here are 25 Ways to say “Very Good.”
These are Dad proven to encourage  children, and are Laboratory Supervisor-Plant Manager proven to encourage adults.

  1. You’re on the right track now!
  2. You’re doing a good great job!
  3. Looks like you figured it out.
  4. That’s RIGHT!
  5. Looks like you’ve got the hang of it.
  6. Nice job!
  7. You’re doing fine.
  8. Now you have it!
  9. That’s GREAT!
  10. You did it that time!
  11. GREAT!
  15. Good job!
  16. That’s really nice something.
  17. WOW!
  18. Good for you!
  19. Nice going.
  20. That’s good work.
  21. Thats better than I can remember.
  22. I like it!
  23. SWEET!
  24. Couldn’t have done better myself.
  25. Outstanding!

Positive feedback assures connection between the expectation, the performance, and the receiver.  Connection assures alignment of activities
Alignment of activities assures achievement of the mission.
26. THAT”S IT!
Photo credit.

Externally threaded fasteners is what we are blogging about.

Many times a print will come in to be quoted with material called out to be “Grade 8,” “Grade 4.8, “, “B7” or something similar.
Where can you find the material, chemistry, process, and mechanical requirements when given these ‘clues?’
Hint number 1: If the dimensions are customary US units, try SAE J429 Mechanical and Material Requirements for Externally Threaded Fasteners. J429 calls out grades 1, 2, 4, 5, 5.1, 5.2, 8, 8.1, 8.2 J429 is  available from SAE. J429 link.
Hint number 2: If they are metric, try  SAE J1199Mechanical and Material Requirements for Metric Externally Threaded Fasteners. J1199 calls out 4.6, 4.8, 5.8, 8.8, 9.8, and 10.9. J1199 is available from SAE here. SAE J1199 link.
Hint number 3: Bolts with a “B” prefix like B7, B7M, B8, B8A etc can be found in ASTM A 193 Alloy Steel and Stainless Steel Bolting Materials For High Temperature Service. available from ATSM. A193 link.
These are covered by the bolt specs too.

One final thought. These are not the only sources of bolt grade designations by number. ISO 898-1 is another document for metric bolting materials.
Photos credit- PMPA Active Member Huron Automatic Screw Company.

Reuters reports:” California has urged U.S. environmental regulators to slow down implementation of rules on greenhouse gas emissions saying they could hurt the state’s plan to transform its energy system to run more on renewable energy like solar power.
The Environmental Protection Agency proposed last year to require power plants and factories emitting over 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year to obtain operating permits. The EPA has said the rules could take effect as soon as this spring.”

Energy Commission doesn't want to have to permit these?

Now, the way we see it, California Energy Commission is urging  U.S. EPA to  relieve it from the need to file for permits for new greenhouse gas producing natural gas boilers. Filling out the needed paperwork for the permits might be ‘disruptive” to their plans.
Go figure.
We see their point. Because solar and windfarm produced energy are sporadic sources, new agile natural gas boiler plants are needed for back up. But the new natural gas boilers, if they emit greenhouse gas above the 25,000 ton threshold of the law,  really ought to be permitted.
But the irony is priceless.
Why shouldn’t these have their papers too?
If this were in my neighborhood, I'd want it to have a permit...

 Photo credit 1.
Photo credit 2.

Exports hit $130.7 billion during the month as global trade perked up, bringing China’s full-year export figure to $1.20 trillion, according to figures from the General Administration of Customs.
The nation’s trade surplus hit $18.4 billion for the month of December,
According to Agence France, ” With China’s trade data for all of 2009 now out, the nation’s crowning as the 2009 export champion is expected to be confirmed when Germany releases full-year trade figures on February 9.”

Exports up from China? We're Shocked!

 We wonder if predatory currency manipulation might be involved?
Ya think?

Great discussion of this issue here.

China needs the U.S. economy to recover strongly and renew its import growth. Otherwise, China will have a tough time sustaining its recovery,” said Eswar Prasad, an economist at Cornell University. That is one of the key reasons China is reluctant to lift its currency now.”
So it’s up to US to keep buying?