Connecting with fellow members is always at the top of the list when we survey our members about why they belong to PMPA.
But our connections aren’t exactly Pitcher – Batter adversarial relationships.
Our members like to connect because they are on the same team- the “Lets keep good paying, high quality of life, advanced manufacturing jobs here in North America” team.
We sell to many different customers, and while we might be competitors at one or another, the chances are pretty slim that any two shops directly compete. We all want our industry to succeed– so when a member needs an assist – to borrow a gage that’s 6 weeks out, or trying to figure out why a reamer is cutting oversize, many people respond with offers to help or advice. We all want to improve our knowledge and execution of our craft– thats why we connect at PMPA’s National Technical Conference and local meetings. We all want to know what are the issues that can affect our business decisions– market, supply, customer, regulatory. PMPA members call this “Business Intelligence” and connect at our Management Update, Local meetings and on our online listserves. As an industry, we have some of the sharpest and experienced minds in our field, all connected through various means. So we welcome connection. We share. We collaboratively problem solve. We work together on trying to resolve regulatory issues. We connect– Our business is better for it. Our employees are better for it. Our quality is better for it. Our world is better place because we collaborate, identify and share best practices, and come to the aid of our team mates to help keep jobs here in North America.
Planes fly. Cars stop safely. Utilities are delivered. Food packages assure no contamination. Medical Devices make a difference in thousands of lives every day.
Because we’re all on the same team. The quality team. The best for our craft team. The mentor our up and coming talent team. We don’t call it “Team PMPA.” But that’s how we connect. Are you connected?
The powered industrial trucks (PIT) standard (29 CFR 1910.178) is the most commonly cited standard throughout the material handling industries. Most fatalities occur when a worker is crushed by a forklift that has overturned or fallen from a loading dock. The Southeastern USA Regional OSHA is conducting a special emphasis program on Powered Industrial Trucks.
Even if your shop is not in the Southeast U.S. Region, here’s what you need to know:
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced a new emphasis program focused on reducing fatalities and serious injuries in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi, related to powered industrial trucks.
The goal of the special emphasis program is to encourage employers to bring their facilities into compliance with OSHA standards in the maritime, construction and general industries. The regional emphasis program began on May 29 and will continue until Sept. 30, 2012, unless it is extended. PMPA staff urges all PMPA members with powered industrial trucks to take this opportunity to review their training, procedures and compliance programs. Here are 3 resources
Fischer Special Tooling President Kevin Johnson and PMPA Executive Director Mike Dufffin are prominently featured in a report on the recovery of manufacturing in Ohio by WCPN reporter Mhari Saito which aired this morning. Here is a link to the radio broadcast and transcript.
Link to Fischer Special Tooling. PMPA Business Trends Reports.
Ten Northeast Ohio high schools fielded teams that built, (REPAIRED!) and battled their robots in the competition.
Twenty-four percent (24%) of employment in Lake County is related to manufacturing.
Competitions like this one help students develop skills and understanding that will serve them well in all areas of life. Planning, designing, making, solving problems, fixing, redesigning…
While most parents today think of manufacturing like it was in the smokestack days of their parents, the students at Saturday’s competition learned that it’s not about punching a time clock or shirking work- its about being part of a team that comes together to design create, and operate real things. We’re pleased that PMPA members are helping a new generation find the joys of manufacturing. Of how it feels to be one of the People Who Make Things.
Manufacturing is a vital part of the economy in Lake County and the state of Ohio.
And for 10 teams of high schoolers, its a vital part of understanding a bright future for themselves.
Thanks to Criterion Tool, Fischer Special Tooling, Technical Equipment Company, Lakeland College, and all the other sponsors that came together to give these high school students a chance to feel for themselves the joys of manufacturing- building a product, and watching it perform. Congratulations to the team from Lake Catholic who won the Championship.
See a video on the News Herald site here.
Industry Week’s report on the AISI’s annual meeting in Colorado Springs is the Official report on AISI website.
Here are a few key highlights.
U.S. steel shipments will rise 14% in 2011 to approximately 90 million tons as the industry continues to rebound from the recession, according to Nucor Chairman and CEO Daniel DiMicco
In March finished steel imports into the United States rose to their highest level since January 2009, said DiMicco, who also serves as AISI chairman.
Demand from the commercial and residential construction industry remains weak and is not expected to reach pre-recession levels until 2012 at the earliest, said DiMicco.
Increased demand from infrastructure construction projects has the potential create up to 3 million jobs over the next several years, said Mario Longhi, president and CEO of Gerdau Ameristeel Corp. and AISI director.
PMPA’s own Business Trends shows a recovery in progress. AISI reporting Steel Shipments up 14% and record imports confirm this- Steel is foundational to economic activity.
If you think steel prices are high now wait until commercial and residential construction recovers in a year or so…
Sometimes, you just have to leave it in the good hands of your trusted colleagues.
I was on the schedule for this year’s PMPA National Technical Conference and Precision Machining Technology Show being held in Columbus now through Thursday. I had prepared a couple of presentations and was really looking forward to reconnecting with the people who make things– You!
Sometimes however, Life has other plans.
I’m happy to know that Bob Drab, a colleague of many years and THE product specialist on stainless at Schmolz + Bickenbach will be presenting my program on Material Sensemaking- Understanding Foreign Grade Designations. And that one of my fellow staff directors will be giving my presentation giving you a behind the scenes look at the TOOLS YOU CAN USE on PMPA’s website.
Precision Machining companies belong to the PMPA because they know the benefits of collaborating to solve problems. To share resources that perhaps each one needs but cannot afford on their own. To know that they have a network of knowledgeable industry professionals available to back them up when they run into a problem they haven’t seen before.
Just as companies in the PMPA back each other up by sharing resources, knowledge and solutions to solved problems, I have learned that staff and colleagues do the same for each other when the need arises.
I call this EFFECTIVE ASSOCIATING.
I’d have given anything to be there with my ‘INDUSTRY’ in Columbus this week. To see you. To listen to your ideas, answer your questions, hear your concerns, see new processes, meet old friends. MAKE NEW FRIENDS.
But it wasn’t in the cards.
Why, I’d rather chauffeur Bob Drab around on a bicycle… than miss this event.
Sorry I’m not able to be there. While you’re there, say”Hi” for me to Bob Drab, and my staff colleagues Monte, Rob, Mike, and Carla.
And please, somebody take some photos!
While the price increases for the raw materials that we need in our precision machining shops continue to climb (March ISM Data), the policy makers tell us it is not inflationary.
Here’s the graph and an explanation from Mark J Perry, economist at the University of Michigan that tells them to tell us not to panic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell us how to deal with the squeeze between our large OEM suppliers ‘This is the price- pay it !” and our large OEM customers-“We aren’t accepting any price increase. We’re not paying.”
I have found Mark Perry to be a pretty clear thinker, so here is his post: RISING COMMODITY PRICES DO NOT NECESSARILY LEAD TO HIGHER CORE CPI INFLATION
by Mark J. Perry
We hear a lot of talk about how rising prices for copper, cotton, oil, and other commodities are signaling that inflationary pressures are building up in the general U.S. economy, implying a direct and tight connection between commodity prices and consumer prices. For example, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said recently that rising commodity prices are creating “inflation anxiety.” But what exactly are the implications of rising commodity prices for core inflation, and how closely are those two variables related?
That’s the question posed in a new Chicago Federal Reserve Bank research paper by Charles Evans and Jonas Fisher. As the chart above of annual PPI inflation rates for industrial commodities and the annual core CPI inflation rates shows, the answer to the question is “not very much.” From the introduction of the paper:
“The recent run-ups in oil and other commodity prices and their implications for inflation and monetary policy have grabbed the attention of many commentators in the media. Clearly, higher prices of food and energy end up in the broadest measures of consumer price inflation, such as the Consumer Price Index. Since the mid-1980s, however, sharp increases and decreases in commodity prices have had little, if any, impact on core inflation, the measure that excludes food and energy prices.
Some economists argue that rising commodity prices are inflationary and, therefore, require a tightening of monetary policy. Others say rising commodity prices have sometimes led to inflation and sometimes not. Therefore, a monetary policy response may not be required. In this Chicago Fed Letter, we empirically assess these views by conducting a statistical analysis of quarterly data on commodity prices, inflation, and monetary policy since 1959. We find that since the mid-1980s, after the big oil shocks and the tenure of Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the reactions of both core inflation and the federal funds rate (the monetary policy instrument) to shocks in oil and other commodity prices have been extremely modest.” SOP: We’ll come back another time to discuss whether or not Core CPI is an honest measure of inflation or another one of those indicators hijacked by the functionaries inside the city. In the meantime,the cost of the commodities we buy, and their surcharges and transportation, continue to rise.
You can follow Mark J Perry on his Carpe Diem Blog
While PMPA staff are working on preparing handout materials, loading presentations and testing them on laptop computers, and some of us are still creating those powerpoints that WON’T put you to sleep, we are also tackling some other projects too.
I’ve just completed a program that takes a look at the tools you can use on the PMPA’s website.
And I’m finalizing a technical session on understanding and interpreting foreign material grade designations.
For Steels, Stainless Steels, Aluminums, and Copper and Brass materials.
US, German, Japanese, some Chinese formats explained.
Maybe not as exciting as say, a police stop and search of Mr. Nelson’s tour bus, but hey. This will be some critical information to your shop as we see more and more foreign specification material.
Thursday I’ll be off to Seven Springs PA to judge an F-1 skills competition.
So if you get passed by a siver sedan and you think that it looked like me, well, this week, you might be right.
It probably won’t be Mr. Nelson. He usually travels by bus. link
Darlene Miller, Chief Executive of Permac Industries in Burnsville Minnesota, was named last week to President Obama’s 22-person Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
The council was created by President Obama last month to advise him on economic issues, and is focused on jump starting employment recovery and other issues. Other members of the panel include the heads of American Express, Intel, DuPont, and leaders from labor unions, economists, and others.
In her comments to the President and the Council, Miller focused on the need for talent and skills, not mere labor- “The biggest challenge, even though there is huge unemployment, is that we don’t find skilled labor. In our shops we need people with talent and skills. We really don’t have any unskilled labor jobs.”
Miller’s comments were picked up by national media including the Washington Post,and the Minneapolis StarTribune.
Her comment about the need for skilled talent resonated with the committee and the President who mentioned the need for skilled talent in his remarks.
Miller also discussed the especially heavy burdens that regulations place on small businesses like her precision machining shop, which produces precision machined components for almost all industries including medical, aerospace, food service equipment and many more.
Ms. Miller has been an active member of the PMPA since 1997, where she has been a member of the board and served on several committees and currently chairs the Statistical and Financial Resources Committee.
PMPA is proud that our member was selected to serve on this important council and is confident that Ms. Miller will carry the message from Main Street to the White House that “Small and medium enterprises are the key to job creation and economic recovery. Identifying and acting on issues that prevent smaller companies from operating effectively will be positive for both job creation and economic recovery.” Permac Industries Small Business of the Year
Lead is added to steels to improve their machinability. But Lead is not considered an alloying element.
An Alloying element is “An element which is added to a metal (and which remains within the metal) to effect changes in properties,” according to my copy of the Metals Handbook Desk Edition.
While lead is an element that is added to a metal:
It does not remain in the metal, it remains separate from and mechanically dispersed in the steel as ‘inclusions’ when it solidifies. It is the dark material on the ends of the manganese sulfides in the photo above.
It does not change mechanical properties of the steel.
“Lead can be added to both carbon and alloy steels to improve machinability…The lead is present as small inclusions that are usually associated with the manganese sulfide inclusions…Lead has no apparent effect on the yield strength, tensile strength, reduction of area, elongation, impact strength, or fatigue strength of steel. “- Cold Finished Steel Bar Handbook
For this reason, the addition to lead to steel is not considered an alloying addition. The addition of lead is a great way to improve the economics of machining and improving the surface finish of complex parts from steel.
Photo from L.E. Samuels Optical Microscopy of Carbon Steels