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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PMA’s March Business Conditions Report

CLEVELAND, OH—March 18, 2015—According to the March 2015 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect steady business conditions during the next three months. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 110 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The March report shows that 35% of participants predict that economic activity will improve during the next three months (up from 33% in February), 58% expect that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 59% last month) and 7% believe that economic activity will decline (down from 8% in February).

Metalforming companies also anticipate little change in incoming orders during the next three months, with 43% predicting an increase in orders (down from 44% in February), 47% anticipating no change (compared to 48% in February) and 10% expecting a decrease in orders (up from 8% last month).

Current average daily shipping levels also remained steady in March. Forty percent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (compared to 38% in February), 43% report that levels are the same as three months ago (compared to 44% last month) and only 17% report a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 18% in February).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff increased to 10% in March, up from 8% in February. The March 2015 figure marks a slight decrease from this time last year, when 11% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.

“Results in PMA’s March report indicate that PMA member companies, especially those supplying the automotive market, are yet to be significantly impacted by slower-than-expected GDP growth, soft consumer demand, the stronger dollar and other indicators which might lead to a near-term slowdown in demand for metal stampings, assemblies and fabricated metal products,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “Eighty percent of PMA members report shipping levels are the same or higher than one year ago, and 90 percent expect orders will be the same or trend higher over the three months ahead. The metalforming industry continues to hope that members of Congress will step up and act on legislative issues such as making bonus depreciation and the R&D tax credit permanent, allowing companies to more confidently plan their investments in new equipment and product development.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

PMA Tennessee District Tours Local College Mechatronics Program, Is Featured in News Story

PMA was featured in a Daily News Journal article about our Tennessee district’s gathering last week at Middle Tennessee State University, which has a special mechatronics major - a program that combines mechanical, computer and electrical engineering, systems integration and project management.

A current senior at the school, Daniel Kiviniemi - who is also an employee of PMA member Feintool Tennessee Inc. - helped lead the tour through the MTSU machtronics program facilities like the Experimental Vehicles Program featuring impressive technologies including the NASA Lunar Rover.

The PMA tour, which took place last Thursday, also included some 40 students from The Academy of Information Technology at Overton High School Tennessee District.  PMA Tennesee district Chairman Perry Hytken is quoted as saying of the tour, “I wouldn't be surprised if you don't see some of these students in mechatronics some day.”

This article provides a good example of ways that local PMA districts show support for community efforts to introduce young people to manufacturing and the high-tech skills needed for high-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector.  Way to go Tennesee district, you are a force in the fight against the skills gap!

The full article can be found here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

PMA Welcomes New Chairman Bill Smith

During the MFG Meeting in Orlando, FL last week, there was a changing of the guard at PMA.  Bill Smith, CEO of Termax Corporation in Lake Zurich, IL took over as 2015 chairman of the PMA board of directors.  Smith assumes the chairmanship following Jody Fledderman's tenure through 2014.

Smith accounced that the theme of his one-year term will be To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected.

With that theme in mind he and the PMA board will be focused on: 1) Developing a PMA mentorship program, 2) Establishing a new funding initiative for the PMA Educational Foundation, and 3) Raising awareness of the PMA/NTMA One Voice advocacy program in Washington, DC.

Here's a video of our new chairman testing out the weight of the gavel.

Congratulations, Bill!  We look forward to seeing your positive influence on the future of PMA!

video

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fifth Annual MFG Meeting to Take Place This Week in Orlando, FL

This week, manufacturing sector leaders from three leading manufacturing industry trade associations including PMA will gather for the fifth annual MFG Meeting.

In addition to the sun and sand, the three-day conference will be focused on the future of the U.S. manufacturing sector, especially the impact of innovative technologies.

A press release about the conference is below.  Stay tuned to our blog and our Twitter account (@PMATalk) for updates from Orlando.


The Power of U.S. Manufacturing on Display in Orlando
Focus on Innovative Technologies at Manufacturing Industry Leader Conference

For Immediate Release                                                                      Contact: Christie Carmigiano
March 3, 2015                                                                                                ccarmigiano@pma.org

Orlando, FL – This week, hundreds of manufacturing sector leaders will gather for an event that captures the spirit of the resurgence of American ingenuity and the growth of the manufacturing sector here at home.

The MFG Meeting, to be held Wednesday, March 4 to Saturday, March 7, at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort, will bring together the complete manufacturing chain for an unparalleled four-day opportunity to learn, network, and be inspired.

With over 500 manufacturing executives expected to attend, The MFG Meeting is one of the largest manufacturing industry conferences in the country.

The event is organized by three leading manufacturing industry trade associations, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA), and the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).

“The U.S. manufacturing sector grew this fall at its strongest rate since 2010,” said PMA Chairman Jody Fledderman.  “But despite that growth, American manufacturers continue to face difficult challenges from the skilled worker shortage to rising business costs.  When industry leaders convene at the upcoming MFG meeting in Florida – a state that hit manufacturing sector growth records in 2014 - we’ll be thinking through solutions, sharing best practices, and making plans to increase growth even further in 2015.”

This year’s MFG Meeting is all about ingenuity and innovation.  From the brilliant inventors who created the first 3-D printed car, to leading academics, industry consultants, Wall St. magnates, and executives from companies like Tesla and Apple, the 2015 MFG Meeting is looking forward to the future of modern manufacturing.

“The MFG Meeting continues to bring the top leaders in the manufacturing technology industry together to network and hear from thought-provoking speakers,” said AMT President Douglas Woods.  “This year’s meeting, the fifth annual conference, will focus on the power of manufacturing, driven by innovation, design, insight, and people.  Attendees will come away with a new understanding of the dynamic economic landscape of modern manufacturing as well as invaluable insight from leaders of the most innovative companies in the world today.”

The keynote speakers and panelists at this year’s event will highlight the new, high-tech world of 3-D printing and the tremendous opportunities for creativity and growth that this technology provides.  Further, attendees will learn about cutting-edge changes to business strategies that are now on the horizon through the evolving “Internet of Things.”

A full list of speakers is available here.

Registration for The MFG Meeting is complimentary for credentialed members of the media.  Interested journalists should contact Christie Carmigiano at ccarmigiano@pma.org.

In keeping with the focus on emerging technologies, AMT, in partnership with VDW (the German Machine Tool Association), will present the inaugural International Additive Manufacturing Award at a reception on Friday evening.  This new annual award recognizes innovations in additive manufacturing for industrial applications, including developments in the design of systems or major components, advances in processes or materials, new applications, and data generation or measurement.

The MFG Meeting will also include a number of unique networking opportunities including a Miles for Manufacturing 5k Run/Walk benefiting the Max S. Hayes High School in Cleveland, OH, which offers customized learning programs including courses in CNC machining, CAD, and welding, along with courses in automotive repair and computer design.  Attendees can also enjoy a special night out at  Universal Studios Florida where they can tour the park’s amazing re-creations of classic cinematic locations and have access to other exciting attractions.

“One of the best aspects of The MFG Meeting is the opportunity to reconnect with industry contacts while also building new relationships,” said NTMA Chairman Herb Homeyer.  “As we look to the future in our rapidly evolving sector, The MFG Meeting helps arm U.S. manufacturers with the latest information in order to remain competitive while addressing the many challenges and opportunities to come.”

Members of the media should contact Christie Carmigiano at ccarmigiano@pma.org to register.

The MFG Meeting organizers have made it easy to stay connected before and during the event on social media using Twitter (@TheMFGMeeting / #MFGmtg), Facebook, Linkedin, and by downloading the MFG Meeting 2015 mobile app.

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