Tag : manufacturing future

Manufacturing Sector

Is US Manufacturing Making a Profit?

Many people view the manufacturing industry in the US as one that is untouched by technological changes. This skepticism has led to some questioning whether the manufacturing industry is making a profit in this era.

Addressing concerns on the decline of the manufacturing industry in the US

The manufacturing industry experienced a major hitch during the recession, with more than 5.8 million workers losing their jobs between the years 2000 and 2010. While the 2007-08 recession played a major role, many attributed this to the automation and the introduction of robotics in the manufacturing industry, some thought that this was a sign of the slow growth of the US economy and that the US was losing its grip to support its population.

According to the IMF, the decline does not necessarily indicate a shift in the industry’s size. Instead, sector inequality is what is bringing about this concern. In a recent IMF report, Bertrand Gruss stated that “the decline in manufacturing need not be a source of concern as long as the policy mix is right.”

Though the industry has gone through dark times in the recent past, data from the US Census Bureau shows that it is making profits, with the first quarter of 2018 having a $154 billion, up from the $117.6 billion that had been realized in the last quarter of 2017.

Manufacturing trends behind the industry’s current profits

Labor automation
The use of CNC manufacturing has played a major role in the success of this industry. While this is no magic wand, it has made manufacturing companies more competitive. Automation of processes and the use of digital machines has led to increased productivity as tasks that were done manually at higher costs, and less accuracy are now automated. This has led to a significant drop in manufacturing jobs, but its benefits far outweighs the challenges. Through an efficient production process manufacturers realize an increased output which ultimately leads to increased profits.

Machine outsourcing and leasing
Automation has not come without its fair share of challenges. These human-capacity-saving machinery in most cases have extremely high upfront costs. However, any company can now walk into an Original Equipment Manufacturer and lease any machine. This, coupled with the many financing options has given the industry a major boost. Finance companies are offering to settle not only the machine’s cost but other soft costs such as its installation and freight.

Rising demand
The US remains to be a lucrative market for manufactured items. This has continued to lure both local and international manufacturers to open companies in the US. The streamlining of global logistics has opened up this industry to the world. Technological innovations have made the moving of products and services faster, cheaper, and easier. As such, manufacturers have increased their visibility to potential clients not only in the US but all over the globe. This has seen the demand soar especially in emerging economies. With the increased demand, manufacturers have doubled their output capacity, which explains their profit story over the last few years.

Further, the rise in global demand has led to US manufacturers seeking international allies. In most instances, the US manufacturer works on the design and the products’ functionality while the international partner manages distribution in the country they are in. This has also enabled the manufacturers to widen their global reach and maximize their revenues.

The rise in industry technologies
Manufacturers can now efficiently source for raw materials or deliver their finished products anywhere in the world. They can now have multiple facilities all over the globe, as opposed to the past where facilities were set up depending on the raw materials’ proximity. Through cloud connectivity, such facilities can sync data which is accessed by each facility in real-time.

Evolution in the precision manufacturing sector has made manufacturers maximize their production output, increase the machine’s running times, and reduce downtimes. Through design and simulation tools, manufacturers can validate the products’ design before the final production. This results in the production of perfect products and reduced design time.

Increased diversification to service provision
The integration of automated systems in the production process has necessitated that there be a constant support for optimal efficiency. Case in point is IBM, which actually sells more services than goods. Many Denver manufacturing shops also offer services that are meant to help companies maintain and upgrade their machines. This has led to diversification and eventual realization of profits.

The future of the manufacturing industry in the US

Concerns on whether the US will be able to recoup its position as a leader in the manufacturing industry continue to be a significant bone of contention. The US population is also waiting to see whether the current administration will deliver its promise, that is, ensure that the low and middle-class workers get their manufacturing jobs back. Besides, everyone wonders what impact increased manufacturing automation have on the workforce in the long run.

All indicators show that the manufacturing industry is experiencing a resurgence, and focus is shifting to policies that will accelerate this growth.  Policies such fewer government regulations and investment in infrastructure geared towards enhancing manufacturing are expected.

While manufacturing jobs are returning to the US, it will be necessary for any machine shop Denver, to employ the same skills that were applicable a few years ago. As a result, we will see more efforts from government agencies and corporates to bridge the skills gap. The curriculum also has to be adjusted and relevant programs introduced to ensure more skilled labor is available.

Also, no CNC machinist is going out of business as technological innovations lead to production efficiency and the production of high-quality products. Undeniably, we can only expect more automated processes. This will further be influenced by the evolution of the Internet of Things. We can expect advancement in M2M applications, 3-D printing, and AI equipment. It is hard to find a custom machine shop that is not making use of such technological innovations for products with multiple customization options and fewer flaws.

The manufacturing industry plays a major role in the US economy. Increase in efficiency due to automation will ultimately lead to increased production, time-saving, reduced downtimes due to the use of smart machines will all lead to higher profit amounts and a healthier economy. While these changes are welcome, they will lead to changes in the workforce and better products.

Metal Wheel Concept

Improving CNC Machine Shop Efficiency and Productivity

As manufacturing continues to evolve, CNC machinists find themselves in stressful situations since the skills gap is diminishing with time. It has become very difficult to find experienced CNC manufacturing machinists in this industry. The level of competition is up which requires high CNC automation of machine tools to provide stiff competition to other CNC machine providers.

The high demand for quality parts means that mechanical engineering and milling processes must put more emphasis on increased productivity and manufacturing. Today, modern valuable CNC machining tools have made it possible for most shops to modernize their operations. To remain competitive, CNC machinists must find viable ways of increasing their output and maintain reliable, quality and exceptional customer care services.

Time is an important aspect in CNC manufacturing and each machine shop owner wish to make their shops more productive and efficient. Here are three main tips for improving your CNC machine shop efficiency and productivity.

Prolonging the Life of the Tool

Consider having a high-pressure coolant system or increase the concentration of the existing one. It is advisable to examine your tool holder and the inserts from time to time to enhance its lifespan. This simple process helps you to prevent any disastrous failures. You should also record the number of materials that are being removed. Mechanical engineering schools put a lot of emphasis on avoiding extreme contact time with the new materials.

During this process, it’s advisable to go for harder insert grades of your choice which will service you for long. To maintain your tool holder for a long time, some specific coatings like aluminum oxide will help you to reduce the cycle while increasing the lifespan of your tool, feed rates and cutting speeds. Alternatively, you may consider investing in a cryogenic machine.

Improve the Organization

Lack of proper organization may lead to loss of money and significant manpower. There is need to maintain a properly arranged workplace for your business especially if it’s a machine tool. You have to organize things and put them in place when you are done with your work.

You should make sure you invest in quality shadow boards, and tool draws such as those used at US manufacturing schools. You should also improve the labeling system of your arrangements to prevent confusions. Cleanliness of your equipment and shop floor should be maintained since it’s beneficial to your health and business.

Equipment Management System

It is profitable to keep your tool cost as low as possible and invest in US manufacturing tool management system while setting your time down. A good and reliable tool management system will help you to manage and track your inventory. This will enable you to reduce the cost of overstocking or understocking of the tool supply.

The manufacturing in USA enables you to find useful software that will help you control performance, tool usage and procurement in your CNC machine shop. The software also provides crucial purchase notifications to help you avoid costly downtimes. You need to understand that your production quantity isn’t the only factor that drives business growth. You need to thoroughly evaluate the kind of services you are providing to your clients and streamline your overall business processes.

high-speed machining

High-Speed Machining: What Is It and How Does it Help?

According to the US mechanical engineering schools, high-speed machining can be defined in two different ways. However, the most commonly used definition is based on the relative surface speed between the workplace and the CNC manufacturing tool. This definition is primarily a thermo limit since most of the CNC mechanisms depend on temperature. According to surface speed definition, high-speed CNC machining is favored by metal cutting researchers and toolmakers from US manufacturing department.

Researchers and tool makers define high-speed machining by indicating the range of a transitional region which is yellow, conventional machining region which is green and high-speed region which is red and depend on surface speed. The surface speed is in meters per minute, and its equivalent to v=πdn where n is spindle speed and d is the diameter of the milling work piece.

The second definition which is widely used by mechanical engineering schools is the DN number that is centered on the rotation capability of the loaded spindle bearings. D is the diameter in mm of the larger bearing bore, and N is the spindle speed in rpm.

High-Speed Machining Principles

High-speed machining operates on several principles. Keep in mind that not every type of machining will benefit from HSM, but most applications could from HMS with implementation of CNC automation and assumptions. Below are high-speed machine principles.

CNC machine
Tool holders
Cutting tools
CAD system
CAM system

How Does High-Speed Machining Help?

Every machining shop desires high productivity and improved machining process. Machinists make complicated metal parts, shapes and need to run complicated programs to help them provide good services to their clients. Machinists use high-speed machining to make their work faster and easier. Here are some benefits of using high-speed machining.

Reduced Energy or Heat Loss

High-speed machining helps in increasing the rate and speed of material cutting which reduces excessive heat loss and transfer. When you reduce heat transfer, turnaround time and transmission are kept low which lowers energy consumption. Traditionally, time was provided for metals to cool down and form a hardened metal but in this case, the coolant is used in metal cooling which reduces heat loss and increases the speed of production since less time is spent on cooling.

Increased Productivity Rate

High-speed machining has driven manufacturers and machining shops to higher rates of productivity. Faster productivity rates mean the machines can produce more parts in a short period. However, the functionality of high-speed machining is often affected by the ability of the cutting materials themselves. Manufacturing in USA prefer the use of faster cutters since their productivity is high.

Even if all cutters are faster, the results produced by cutters of different materials are unique. For instance, diamond, ceramics, HSS, tungsten carbide and cermets cutters all provide different outputs. High-speed cutting tools can take a lot of time and may even lead to stress. The main problem that is associated with high-speed cutting tools is that they don’t manage heat effectively and require a coolant.

manufacturing marketing

5 Valuable Online Resources for Marketing Your Manufacturing Business

In a short period, the marketing landscape has changed dramatically. The internet, social media, and inbound marketing capabilities have assured that manufacturing competition is now global. Staying ahead of trends and having a substantial online presence bolstered by quality content is now mandatory. The reality is that your manufacturing marketing, and or, salespeople probably need some guidance to compete at this relatively new game. Here we will highlight five quality online resources that provide insights and instruction for marketers in the manufacturing sector.

Hubspot
Personalized advice & resources for your inbound business Hubspot is a fantastic resource if you or your marketing department are new to, or struggling with inbound marketing efforts. They offer different levels of service, tailored to your specific needs and allow you to upgrade the services as your marketing efforts grow. To start, Hubspot provides a vast array of services that you or your team can use to learn more about, and engage the inbound marketing approach. The free tools and courses alone, available for both sales and marketing teams, will get your manufacturing business up to date with the current trends of effective online and content marketing.

Content Marketing Institute

Leading global content marketing education and training organization Content Marketing Institute was founded by author and content marketing guru Joe Pulizzi, as part of an on-going effort to educate the masses about the present and future of marketing. CMI has an impressive list of companies with which they have worked. In addition to direct consulting services, CMI offers workshops, podcasts, events, a digital magazine, blog posts and an online University to provide you with the resources that you will need to expand your inbound manufacturing marketing strategy.

Thomas Marketing
With Thomas Marketing you will find a group that focused marketing strategy that is specific to manufacturing and industrial industry. According to their website, as many as 57% of business purchasing decisions are made before the first personal contact. These decisions are made solely on the content that you provide. At Thomas, they understand the importance of a robust inbound marketing strategy and where it fits into your industry. The Thomas Network allows you to list your business, with a limited amount of information for free, and Thomas Insights offers white pages, case studies, and articles so that you can stay up to date and get inspired.

Advantage Business Media
Having developed from a company focused on publishing to offering full-service marketing solutions, Advantage Business Media as an advantage over others concerning content creation. They create high-quality content in-house, and regularly collect and utilize data to ensure that they are targeting your ideal audience, and justifying ROI. The Blog and Playbooks, on their website, offer valuable free information and insights into inbound strategy and marketing efforts.

Marketing Profs
A massive platform offering information for manufacturing marketing individuals and teams, Marketing Profs is a go-to source for informative articles, podcasts, courses and interactive workshops.There is an abundance of helpful info available with their free membership. However, for a small membership fee, three members of your marketing team can access significantly more tips, tools, and discounted courses. Although not a manufacturing industry specific site it will be an excellent match for a manufacturing company with an established marketing team in place that could use help with the newest B2B marketing trends.

manufacturing companies

How to find new customers in the manufacturing industry

Currently, there are so many manufacturing companies which mean there is bound to be competition for whichever products you produce. Does that mean you exit the manufacturing industry? No. It merely means you need to act smart when targeting customers. You have to keep in mind that your customers are always right.

So, how do you find new customers in the manufacturing industry? Here are a few tips which you can use to drive customers to your manufacturing companies.

Focus on Current Customers

The best way to get customers is through referral. But how do you get referrals? By focusing on your current customers. Once you get a customer, do everything you can to make him or her satisfied. Serve them with the best products in the market regarding quality. Make sure your employees can relate to the customers such that they would be willing to come back to the same shop the next time a need arises.

Once the customer is satisfied, you can relax knowing that he or she will tell other people about your business. And in that way, you will get more customers.

Research Customers

Most are the times when we research the market to know what is in demand and what is not. However, that should not be a priority. What is essential is to know customers. Even if customers are in the same industry, they always have different needs. Focus on their needs, their projects and their purchase criteria. Try to keep relationships by knowing why some customers stopped coming to your shop and why others keep coming back.

With that, you can know where you are going right and where you are going wrong and thus improve your sales strategy. In the end, you will attract more customers.

Improve your social media presence

We are living in a technological era where everything is done online. That means the best way to get customers is going online. Make use of the social media platform by posting your products and blogs on your company. In that way, more people will know about you, and ultimately, people will contact you, and that is a chance to sell your products and to make new clients.

Optimize your website

Your website should tell people who you are. Also, it should be appealing, mobile friendly and easy to use. In that way, people can access your products and your team. However, for your website to be recognized by many people, it has to be highly ranked by search engines. Therefore, the first step should be to optimize your website such that it is among the top-ranked on the internet.

Compete on scope

When looking to increase sales, it is easy to focus on the scale other than scope. But to get more customers, supply customers with what they want and not necessarily what you are making. You can partner with other manufacturing companies who will use your brand to produce different products. In that way, you can get what your customers need from such companies even if you don’t gain so much. In the end, what people see is the brand, and so, next time they need something they will come to you.

Make your customers your priority, and you will get new customers every day.