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Friday, May 29, 2015

PMA’s May Business Conditions Report

CLEVELAND, OH—May 13, 2015—According to the May 2015 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect softening business conditions during the next three months. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 126 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The May report shows that 24% of participants predict that economic activity will improve during the next three months (down from 33% in April), 60% expect that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 58% last month) and 16% believe that economic activity will decline (up from 9% in April).

Metalforming companies also forecast a decline in incoming orders during the next three months, with 35% predicting an increase in orders (down from 41% in April), 50% anticipating no change (compared to 47% in April) and 15% expecting a decrease in orders (up from 12% last month).

Current average daily shipping levels also dipped in May. Thirty-six percent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (compared to 46% in April), 43% report that levels are the same as three months ago (the same percentage reported last month) and 21% report a decrease in shipping levels (up from 11% in April).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff increased to 9% in May, up from 7% in April. The May 2015 figure marks a slight increase from this time last year, when 7% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.

“PMA’s Business Conditions report for May reflects a typical seasonal adjustment in orders and shipments that generally occurs as we approach the end of Q-2,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “PMA’s confidential Monthly Orders & Shipments Report of a sample of PMA members detailed that actual Q-1 orders and shipments grew by 3% and 2% respectively, vs. 2014, year-over-year. This reflects the slow growth pattern evidenced in GDP and Federal Reserve projections. The automotive sector continues to lead a general economic recovery in manufacturing in the United States.”

Thursday, May 21, 2015

It's time for you to be recognized for your high standards of achievement!

PMA’s Awards of Excellence in Metalforming recognizes the high standards of achievement set by the metalforming industry in the areas of design, quality, safety, training and education, process control, product development and productivity.

Winning companies benefit from: 

  • company acknowledgement at the FABTECH tradeshow.
  • recognition in a video presentation highlighting the winning companies' accomplishments
  • prominent coverage in MetalForming magazine reaching more than 55,000 readers in the metalforming industry.
  • customized announcements to send to your key customers, suppliers and prospects.
  • key presence on PMA's website, visited by nearly 100,000 people annually.
  • induction into the prestigious winners circle

This sounds great, doesn't it? So what’s stopping you from applying? 

“I don’t have time to fill out an awards application—I’m too busy developing innovative training and safety programs, evaluating suggestions for improving productivity, and providing world-class
customer service!”

That’s an understandable reaction from small manufacturing companies like mine.  But if your company is excelling in safety, training, innovation, quality and productivity, you've already done the hard part!  Winning a national award for those efforts will build your credibility with customers and prospects. It also provides a well-deserved recognition of the commitment and effort your employees bring to the job every day. Believe me, seeing our 50-person company on a list of industry giants makes us all stand taller.

Win or lose, the application process provides an opportunity to analyze and reflect on your company’s best practices. You’ll appreciate what you've accomplished and get fresh ideas for where you want to go next. That makes PMA awards a good business practice.”

-Erick Ajax, E.J. Ajax & Sons

This is your opportunity to be recognized for the fantastic performance of your employees and company - apply today!

Entries for the 2015 competition are now being accepted. Deadline to apply: June 30.  
Contact Christie Carmigiano with any questions.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

PMA Member Spotlight -- Karla Aaron, Hialeah Metal Spinning, Inc.

Each month, the PMA Member Spotlight features an outstanding member sharing his/her insights into the latest industry trends and technologies.

PMA is pleased to highlight Karla Aaron, president of Hialeah Metal Spinning, Inc. (HMS), Hialeah, FL. Established in 1957, HMS is a woman-owned company specializing in metal spinning and deep drawing. The company has distinguished itself from other metalformers by combining the benefits of spinning and deep drawing to create a competitive advantage for its customers. This combination allows HMS to offer the most cost-effective solution for each application, while ensuring superior quality.

Read about Karla’s thoughts on technology challenges facing metalformers, finding skilled workers, what’s on her wish list for her facility this year and more!

Karla Aaron, President, Hialeah Metal Spinning, Inc. 
Q: Which job classifications are the most challenging to find skilled workers?
A: Finding what I call “talent” is always a challenge. This is especially true today given the double whammy of increased demand for talent combined with the reduced labor pool. I define “talent” as someone who can look at a print, know how to make the part (including tool design) and oversee the production. This individual has hands-on experience, in-depth metalforming knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Q: What is the biggest technology challenge metalformers face today?
A: Keeping ahead of the curve – knowing what’s happening now, knowing what’s coming up, knowing how to position your company to take advantage of the change.

Q: What is on your wish list for your shop in 2015 (i.e., a new piece of equipment)?
A: I’d love a 5 axis machining center; a Faro arm with laser checking; a triple action deep draw press, and more!

Q: What is the best conference or seminar you or your employees attended in the past year and why?
A: I attended PMA’s Executive Development Academy in January. This was a unique gathering of industry professionals, all committed to moving their companies forward. The combination of educational, inspirational and thought-provoking sessions along with open conversations among colleagues was unparalleled. This is a great event. (And, no, PMA did not ask me to make a plug!)

Q: What conference topic (related to the metalforming/manufacturing industry) would you be most interested in attending?
A: Anything that keeps us ahead of the curve: 3D printing, simulation software, etc.

Q: Minivan, SUV or sedan?
A: If I’m driving in town, I’ll take an SUV so that I can see out. (I’m vertically challenged.) If I’m driving through the countryside, I’d love a slick, fast, two-seater convertible with a manual shift.

Q: What are the top three songs on your play list right now?
A: I’m enjoying pop country right now: Downtown by Lady Antebellum; Mean to Me by Brett Eldridge; Whiskey on My Breath by Love and Theft.

Thank you for your participation, Karla! 

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