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Shutdown averted, and a new tax proposal
In a last-minute attempt to avoid a government shutdown, congressional Republicans forged a deal with Democrats to fund the government through September 30. The big surprise in this bitterly divided Congress was a rare show of bipartisanship that dealt wins to both parties, but also included significant compromise on both sides.  (more)
Tech Trends: your tech guide to the manufacturing universe
A struggle that manufacturers often identify is the ability to keep up with the latest industry technology developments. As technology changes at an ever-faster speed, it becomes even more challenging to gain awareness about potential disruptions, whether they present an opportunity or a threat. To address this struggle, AMT is developing Tech Trends as an online tool for members to quickly connect to relevant technical information.  (more)
Central Europe update: Industries for top growth
The largest market for manufacturing technology in Eastern Europe, Russia, annually absorbs $1.5 - 1.8 billion in imports of machine tools and equipment. The political climate notwithstanding, trade with Russia has become more complicated in recent years for several other reasons.  (more)
AMT News – May 2017 interactive pdf
- Three Surprising Ways Manufacturers Can Use the Cloud to Drive Innovation
- Shutdown averted, DC shifts attention to tax reform
- Six steps to get over your fear of presentations
- Digital manufacturing and the workforce 
- Market Data Review - Indicators point to clear turnaround
       … and much more  (more)
AMT recognizes and congratulates our renewed CMTSEs
More than 70 Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineers have documented a combination of on-the-job and continuing education experiences (through at least 27 professional development points) in the recertification score card and have renewed their CMTSE credential for another three years.  (more)
Six steps to get over your fear of presentations
I’m frequently asked, “Steve, what’s the secret to having a good presentation? Every time I get in front of a group, I panic.” It surprised me because these questions are coming from some very good salespeople. Amazingly, when I asked how often they had practiced the presentation, or if they completely understood their support materials, the typical answer was, “No, I figured it was pretty much the same as any sales call.” I’ve found that successful presentations can be accomplished more easily than you could ever have imagined by following these six steps: 
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Industry News - May 2017
News from AMT members  (more)
Former AMT international marketing director Rick Kuba dies
Richard W. “Rick” Kuba, 84, of Easton, Md., passed away March 13, 2017. From 1986 to 1998, he worked at AMT as the international marketing director and was responsible for implementing AMT’s first office abroad in Zurich, Switzerland, to service emerging central and eastern European countries.  (more)
Why digital manufacturing is a workforce issue
Data jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago are rapidly growing in all sectors. But workers who started in software, e-commerce, and the app economy increasingly have their sights set on manufacturing. The technology behind algorithms that recommend music and movies or target online ads can, will, and increasingly do enable cutting tool selection, optimize equipment for energy efficiency, or automatically determine part routings and work scheduling.  (more)
We need a moonshot
AMT Smartforce Development is trying to help encourage young people to find their own moon shot. At IMTS, The MFG Meeting and the Global Forecasting and Marketing Conference, we hold a Miles For Manufacturing 5K in partnership with GIE Media. With proceeds from participant fees, donations and sponsorships used to make charitable donations like 3D printers to STEM schools and cash to STEM-based community organizations.  (more)
Indicators point to clear turnaround
The top 10 indicators that AMT monitors as to the health of the manufacturing technology market are coming in strong. In addition to those indicators, the Cutting Tool Market Report for March posted the fifth consecutive year-over-year increase, suggesting that machine utilization is climbing.  (more)
Farewell to longtime AMT News editor Ruth Sharpe
Ruth Sharpe, editor and designer of AMT News, retires this month after more than 33 years at AMT. “It has been rewarding to work on something that is useful and meaningful to the members,” Ruth says. “Our goal has always been to produce an informative, accurate and high-quality paper.”  (more)
How to get the most from your trade show investment
Trade shows are the best place to get in front of your potential customers for face-to-face interactions and hands-on experience with your products. The primary thing you want to have at the show’s conclusion are well-qualified leads. The tool you need is Exhibitor Passport. After the success of IMTS Exhibitor Passport in 2016, AMT is bringing the same powerful app to regional shows, starting with EASTEC 2017. EASTEC exhibitors who purchase Exhibitor Passport get access to 2015 and 2017 show attendee records and much more!   (more)
Florida school receives 3D printer from MFG Meeting 5K proceeds
In March, 76 runners met before dawn at The MFG Meeting in Amelia Island, Fla., to run the event’s Miles for Manufacturing 5K. Weeks later, AMT Vice President – Smartforce Development Greg Jones visited Titusville, Fla., to present a MakerGear 3D printer to Imperial Estates Elementary School that was donated with race proceeds.  (more)
A deeper look at continuous improvement
When I first heard this I was quite taken aback. How could this be true? We are intelligent, rational humans in this global world. How could some of us that have been trained from an early age to manage our time and resources be accused of waste? How was this possible? And, if so, are there significant opportunities to continuously improve?
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Three Surprising Ways Manufacturers Can Use the Cloud to Drive Innovation
Quantifying and qualifying the effects of the cloud is almost impossible, but it’s fair to say it’s made everything different — almost. While manufacturers as individual consumers have made the shift to a cloud-enabled reality in their day-to-day lives, few have managed to pull off the same shift in their day-to-day work. Here are three ways to stay ahead of the global wolfpack.  (more)
For marketing, think help first and sell later
AMT has been giving a comprehensive review to its marketing practices to analyze everything from how we track our projects to what types of content are most relevant for our audience. Similar to the technology evolution in manufacturing, the marketing and communications world has been inundated with new tools and products as everyone searches for the best way to leverage their digital outreach.  (more)
The MFG Meeting 2017: Thought-provoking advice for an uncertain future
“Network. Food. Adapt. Emotion,” shouted MFG attendees when closing keynote speaker Jon Dorenbos asked the audience to describe the MFG Meeting, held March 22-25, at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Amelia Island, Fla. Jon stunned the 350+ audience when these same words rolled out of an envelope set on stage before the show had begun.   (more)
Manufacturing bill advances, other priorities delayed
The Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act passed the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and is now headed to the full Senate for a vote. This bicameral, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the last congress with the support of several manufacturing organizations including AMT. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) reintroduced it last month with a long list of cosponsors.    (more)
Thoughts of spring – and apprenticeships
Springtime is here, and before you know it, thoughts of students (and their parents and teachers) will turn to graduation, summer jobs, and eventual careers. It seems appropriate, then, to talk about your own summer hires — a great time to start your company’s own apprenticeship program!  (more)
Making data easy to see and use: Meet Alka Parandekar
Alka Parandekar has a passion to help others, whether it is providing valuable information for AMT members to grow their businesses, or helping the less fortunate. As a Senior Application Developer for AMT’s Business Intelligence Group, Alka writes software that translates enormous amounts of data (such as attendee demographics at IMTS) into graphics and easy-to-use tools for members to make decisions and zero in on potential customers.   (more)
Introducing a new Advanced Workholding Technology app
AMT is excited to announce the launch of a new MTInsight app for participants in the Advanced Workholding Technology benchmarking survey. This new app offers the data visualization and valuable analysis tools that make all the MTInsight applications unique and useful to our members, but takes it one step further with new views of the data never seen before.  (more)
Market Data Review - April 2017
Many key economic indicators are showing strong, positive signs for our industry. The Purchasing Managers’ Index moved up for the sixth consecutive month, suggesting continued expansion of the manufacturing sector. February’s 57.7 is the highest level for the index since August 2014. Another key growth indicator for the manufacturing technology market is the expansion of cutting tool shipments — the consumables that go onto the capital equipment.  (more)
A little homework can go a long way
“Are these leads from the show any good?” “Is this referral worth my time?” These are the questions that salesmen have been asking themselves since Barney Rubble told Fred Flintstone that he “knows a guy” who’s interested in Fred’s latest invention. The answer to this age-old question is all up to you.   (more)
Straight talk on additive manufacturing, from GE’s Kirk Rogers
“Additive is not taking over manufacturing, it’s just another step in the manufacturing process,” says Kirk Rogers, Ph.D., Technology Leader of General Electric’s new 125,000-square-foot Center for Additive Technology Advancement (CATA) in Pittsburgh, Pa.  (more)
AMT elects 2017-2018 officers and directors
At the AMT Annual Business Session during The MFG Meeting, the association elected its 2017-2018 officers and directors. The board year began April 1, 2017.  (more)
The ISA human-machine interface standard
The human-machine interface is the crossing point between operators and modern manufacturing technology. The human machinist/operator depends on the HMI’s output to provide feedback on the physical process. It is the instrument operators use to adjust operating parameters.  (more)
MPETAC update: Export controls for materials processing equipment
On March 7, 2017, the Materials Processing Equipment Technical Advisory Committee met to discuss the latest matters in export control. The purpose of this committee is to advise the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Export Administration with respect to technical questions that affect the level of export controls applicable to materials processing equipment and related technology.  (more)
Why closed-loop design needs standards
Artificial intelligence is an up-and-coming application space for the Internet of Things. More specifically, the notion of self-aware machines or systems that can learn from their own environment and adapt on the fly are gaining wider acceptance as a feasible future state. The seemingly mundane world of communication standards and protocols is playing a key part in technology development because critical infrastructure is still missing.  (more)
Continuous improvement: It starts with culture
After 25+ years in the global manufacturing world, I have come across organizations of all sizes and shapes that were in the process of self-improvement. Often, they struggled with defining which “knobs” to tweak, focusing mostly on metrics and financials and not really understanding how culture plays into the equation for creating continuous improvement.  (more)
Mexico: Still a strong export destination despite uncertainty
In 2017, Mexico will present many challenges and opportunities. While there has been a lot of press regarding the current situation in Mexico, the truth is when talking to an average Mexican you see no major change in the economy over the last eight years. After coming out of a sharp decline in 2008 due to the financial crisis, the Mexican economy has grown by 2 percent (or more) every year.  (more)
Continuous Improvement: Updated training resources from AMT
Over the past few months, we have been updating the AMT member experience with our education products and services, including updates to our platforms and content.  (more)
AMT recognizes and congratulates twelve new CMTSEs
On March 15, 12 Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineer candidates became official CMTSEs upon passing their certification exam. The new CMTSEs were the first to utilize our online exam platform developed in partnership with ToolingU/SME.   (more)
AMT News – April 2017 interactive pdf
 - The MFG Meeting 2017
 - Market Data Review - Signs of recovery begin to bloom
 - MTInsight - Introducing a new Advanced Workholding app
 - MPETAC update: Export controls for materials processing equipment
       … and much more  (more)
New Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineers, CMTSE - 2017
CMTSE exam questions are developed by the Certification Committee, which includes machine tool distributors, builders, sales engineers, customers and allied industry representatives. The exam is a knowledge-based, online exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions. Candidates have three hours to complete the examination. Find out more about becoming a CMTSE.  (more)
NIST highlights manufacturing
As an AMT member and manufacturer, you know that manufacturing is vital to a healthy economy and national security. The recently updated graphic provides specific facts on the importance of manufacturing in the United States.   (more)
Reach new markets in 2017: Think regionally
Committed to creating opportunities that grow our members’ businesses, AMT has partnered with SME to deliver a series of regional events that give exhibitors more opportunities to expand their markets and meet new customers. Featuring a blend of education, applications and technology innovations that are of specific interest to that region.  (more)
Washington gets down to business
President Trump didn’t waste any time inviting manufacturers to the White House to discuss plans for developing high-wage manufacturing jobs. In the first of a series of “listening sessions,” two dozen business leaders, from companies including Emerson, Ford, GE, Dow, U.S. Steel, Lockheed Martin, 3M, Dell and General Dynamics, came together with the president, cabinet members and advisors to talk about ways to create jobs through trade, tax, regulatory and infrastructure improvements.   (more)
Manufacturers: It’s time for an image campaign
In late February, a group of manufacturing CEOs visited the White House for a meeting with President Trump. While Trump and the executives all stated their commitment to restoring factory jobs lost overseas, a few of the CEOs in attendance said that they had plenty of jobs – but not enough qualified people to fill them.  (more)
Are your sales territories balanced? Find out with Territory Wizard!
Due to the popularity of requests for this tool, AMT has added the Territory Wizard tool to the portfolio of apps available on AMT’s business intelligence platform. We are happy to announce that the Territory Wizard is now live and available for all USMTO participants.  (more)
Market Data Review - March 2017
Last spring, the best analysts covering manufacturing technology were predicting an upward swing in orders before summer 2017. Those forecasts seem to be right on track as the top indicators for our industry’s market are signaling a stronger market within the next 90 days.  (more)
Too many “to dos”? Keep track with Toodledo
If you’re like me, and have been in sales for any length of time, your to-do list is your bible that guides you through each day, week, month, etc. Without it, you are lost. We have all tried to come up with new and better ways to prioritize our tasks. For me, it started with the standard list where my No. 1 task was the first task (or the most important one) on my list and then each subsequent task was less important. Then I came up with the non-numbered tasks that were used as reminders of things that had to be done, not that day, but in the future.  (more)
Meet Bill Herman: Focused on new business for you!
Being friendly, witty and hardworking all come naturally to Midwesterner Bill Herman, who grew up on a cattle farm near Oconomowoc, Wis. Those attributes are key to his career. With more than 27 years of experience managing trade shows and events large and small, in dozens of industries and in more than 20 countries, Bill has gained a broad perspective on what makes an event relevant to both the exhibitor and visitor communities.  (more)
Knowledge is power – gain insight and more at the MFG Meeting
Time is running out to register for the MFG Meeting, the event where manufacturing leaders find insight, networking, inspiration and new ideas. Join us March 22-25, 2017, at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation in Amelia Island, Fla.   (more)
MTConnect working groups seek contributors
Are you interested in shaping the future of MTConnect? Working groups within the MTConnect Technical Advisory Group (TAG) are a great way to get involved, and they encompass a wide variety of topics and technologies.  (more)
Advanced manufacturing’s growing place in India
A few weeks ago, I went to my first IMTEX, as well as my first trip to India. The 2017 IMTEX further introduced me to our association colleagues at the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers Association (IMTMA), provided a glimpse into “doing business in India,” and also allowed me to see the level (and type) of demand for MTConnect. It was a great trip on all accounts!  (more)
Comparing servo presses vs. traditional hydraulic presses
Last November I had the pleasure of attending FABTECH 2016 in Las Vegas. As one would assume when visiting Vegas, I saw quite a bit. One of the coolest things was a demonstration differentiating hydraulic presses vs. servo presses.  (more)
Opportunities in China's automotive industry
According to the IMF World Economic Outlook, China’s 2016 GDP growth was 6.7 percent, the fastest rate in the world. Both auto and truck sales are considered an important indicator of consumer demand. In 2016, China’s automobile sales reached a new record level of 28.02 million cars sold, which is about a 13.7 percent increase from 2015.  (more)
Global Services has a new director
We have some exciting news in Global Services. After a rather lengthy search we now have a new Director, Marcel Beraud, to be based in our McLean, Va., headquarters. Marcel comes to us with more than 30 years of international manufacturing operations experience. He is a true global business professional speaking five languages and possessing extensive experience in Europe, Asia and Latin America.  (more)
Policy matters
Over the past eight years, the whole national conversation around STEM education, the overall employment picture and the issue of a skills gap in manufacturing has translated into a distinct focus on career and technical education and training from inside the beltway in D.C.  (more)