AMT New - February/March
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Whatever happened to instruction manuals?

I find it amazing that today, in this world of social media and information technology, some of the coolest things I’ve learned about my smart phone I learned by happenstance, not from the manufacturer. I mean whatever happened to instruction manuals? My old HP-12C financial calculator, that I still use, has a 245-page instruction manual. Whenever I forget how to run a calculation, which I’m sad to say is often, I look in the manual, and there it is step by step. I know you’re thinking, “No big deal if you want to find something, just ‘Google it.’” Well, to just “Google it” you need know what you’re looking for. With my old HP-12C instruction manual there is an index, and in thumbing through the index I am always amazed at some of the stuff that I find. My point is, unless you just happen to run across a cool new idea for your smart phone, we have no way to know about it. It’s the same as a tree falling in the forest. If no one is around, does it make a sound? I digress.

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February/March Industry News

AGR_logoThe Arthur G. Russell Company, Inc. (AGR), a provider of state-of-the-art automatic assembly equipment, announced that it has launched a new logo to better reflect the company's vision for the future of automation and its commitment to serving the global automation community. The new logo—which depicts a globe encircled by a gear—will feature prominently on the company's website and corporate materials.

"We have always been a world leader in automation, and we want our identity to reflect that," said Jason Ensminger, executive vice president of AGR. "The new logo represents the company as modern and growing while supporting its vision for the future. The logo has changed to better represent what the company is today."

Since 1945, Arthur G. Russell has been an innovator in the field of high-speed automated assembly systems. The company designs, builds, installs, and supports world-class assembly, test, inspection, and packaging systems. Serving a wide range of industries and specializing in ultra-high-volume medical devices and consumer products, it provides custom solutions for even the most demanding automation applications.

"While the logo has changed to better represent the future of the company, our core values remain the same," said Bob Ensminger, CEO. "Our industry expertise and use of technology emphasizes our forward-thinking approach."

An updated corporate website will be introduced as well (www.arthurgrussell.com). It will mirror the new identity and showcase the company's strengths, products, and services.

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Winter is coming

For those who don’t have a significant other engrossed in Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming” is a message of warning and encouragement on the need for constant vigilance. However, I think the series’ author may have borrowed it from masons and concrete workers, for whom it means “Don’t over enjoy your paycheck today, because it will be smaller during cold weather.”

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IMTS, A show in a constant state of renewal

I’m often asked, “What’s new and different with the next IMTS?” My answer is always the same, “Virtually everything!” While we learn from each show, we begin planning for the next IMTS with an eye toward the changes and evolution of the technologies that drive the interest for our audience.

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European market update – opportunities and growth

Recent years have been good for the European economy. Most all the markets of the EU’s 28 members have steadied and demonstrated some solid growth. A few of the markets in Central Europe have been particularly strong. Romania is experiencing the fastest growth in the EU at an impressive five percent and is closely followed by Poland, Czechia, and Hungary. These countries boast low unemployment and continued investment, most notably from Germany (world’s 4th largest economy). Germany, has been experiencing quite strong domestic growth and has also been investing heavily in France, which has an appealing industrial base known to embrace innovation. France continues to attract foreign investment projects at unprecedented levels reaching a 10-year high in 2018.

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The manufacturing technology classroom of the future … today!

In January, the beginning of the new semester at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago also marked a whole new beginning for career and technical education for students on the south side of the Second City with the grand opening of a new Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Center (MTEC).

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Cybersecurity is a challenge both parties want to address this year

It may not seem like it today, but there is life on Capitol Hill beyond shutdowns and trade wars. There are cyberattacks. 

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Have you heard of Cleveland’s Blockland Initiative?

The initiative is the brainchild of Cleveland civic leader, Bernie Moreno, who believes blockchain is the next internet and Cleveland will be the center of the innovation.

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Reflections from the Consumer Electronics Show

Over the past 50 years, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has attracted both business leaders and “outside-the-box” thinkers. CES is the global stage and proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies in the upcoming consumer technologies market. As an industry analyst at AMT, I get to see and hear about new advancements in the manufacturing technology industry, so I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to attend CES and explore the robotics and 3D printing industry.

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The MTCouncil Insight :: February

While the February topic in our 2019 Manufacturing Tech Council webinar series is “Advanced Sensors,” I want to give you some early reading on our focus area for March – Hybrid Manufacturing.

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ARMATURE interview with Tim

Recent years have been good for the European economy. Most all the markets of the EU’s 28 members have steadied and demonstrated some solid growth. A few of the markets in Central Europe have been particularly strong. Romania is experiencing the fastest growth in the EU at an impressive five percent and is closely followed by Poland, Czechia, and Hungary. These countries boast low unemployment and continued investment, most notably from Germany (world’s 4th largest economy). Germany, has been experiencing quite strong domestic growth and has also been investing heavily in France, which has an appealing industrial base known to embrace innovation. France continues to attract foreign investment projects at unprecedented levels reaching a 10-year high in 2018.

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Transformative Technologies Converge on Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing will be among the transformative technologies on display at an innovative manufacturing event.

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AMT comes to you

One of the best parts of my job is traveling around the country meeting members and learning about their businesses. In conferences, committee meetings, workshops and receptions, there are plenty of opportunities to engage; but I find my best discussions take place when I take AMT to the members.

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Solution of the month – we come to you.

The Road Warrior, Steve Lesnewich, Vice President of Member Services, and I were finalizing our 2019 strategic plan before the holiday break and reminiscing on all the trips we took, places we visited, and people we talked to. Most importantly: what we learned, and what could be of benefit to our members. With that in mind I thought back to my second to last trip of 2018 which was in November but actually started in October. Makes sense, right? It will, read on.

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January's Industry News

Tom Sheridan has been promoted to President of Royal Products. He has been with Royal for 28 years. He has risen through the ranks within the company from Applications Engineer, Design Engineer, Director of Sales and Marketing, Vice President of Marketing, and now, to President. Tom has a BS in Mechanical Engineering

Chris Jakubowsky has been promoted to Executive Vice President. Chris has been with Royal Products for 22 years and has ascended through the ranks at Royal as well, from Industrial Engineer, Director of Production, Director of Operations, VP of Operations, and now, to Executive Vice President. Chris has a BS in Industrial Engineering as well as an MBA.

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Solution of the month – we come to you.

The Road Warrior, Steve Lesnewich, Vice President of Member Services, and I were finalizing our 2019 strategic plan before the holiday break and reminiscing on all the trips we took, places we visited, and people we talked to. Most importantly: what we learned, and what could be of benefit to our members. With that in mind I thought back to my second to last trip of 2018 which was in November but actually started in October. Makes sense, right? It will, read on.

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Shutdown Stalls Action

At press time, there are no signs that the government will reopen. The longer the shutdown goes on, the less likely there will be any real action in Congress this year. Not only is the showdown over the border wall stalling progress on a legislative agenda, so is the partisan division that figured in the last Congress. With little action to report, I’m sharing two charts in place of my column that provide a view of legislative priorities, past, present, and future.

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How long can the good times roll?

U.S. producers of manufacturing technology always get a little nervous when the orders get too good to believe. That nervousness often sets in after 24 months of expansion. Yet, no one flinched this past summer as that mark came and went. Backlogs were still growing. August 2018, a month before IMTS, posted half a billion dollars in orders – unheard of! Then IMTS did not fail to deliver a topper to the August numbers as orders spiked to more than $600 million. October was unexpectedly strong, and November was seven percent higher than November 2017. Expectations are that U.S. consumption of manufacturing technology in 2018 will be a stellar 20 percent larger than 2017.

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New ideas from New Orleans

Last month several staff members from the AMT Exhibitions Department attended the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) trade show EXPO! EXPO! in New Orleans, Louisiana, and brought back some exciting ideas for exhibitors.

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It’s on us.

If you’re a space nerd like me, then you were captivated by the Mars Insight rover mission and the landing on the red planet in December.

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HOUSTEX, A regional manufacturing technology show brought to you by AMT & SME

At the recent IMTS Winter Economic Update webinar, AMT Chief Knowledge Officer Pat McGibbon discussed how the economic indicators for the energy and power industry are trending upward: Industrial Production Index is at 91.3 percent and Capacity Utilization is at 82.5 percent. Micron Technology, Kinder Morgan and DTE Energy all have notable building projects at $1 billion and above.

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Global opportunity awareness for 2019

To better serve our members in 2019, there will be some welcome additions to the palette of information services offered by Global Services. AMT’s Strategic Analytics Department and our international tech centers have, for years, supplied AMT members with the business intelligence necessary to make sound strategic decisions to drive sales. This has, for the most part, been on a reactive basis initiated by specific member inquiries. There are the various business intelligence apps available through our MTInsight platform where curated data and powerful analytics yield actionable intelligence. Kudos to all of you who have taken advantage of all of this. However, many members do not even know these sources and services exist at AMT!

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The MTCouncil Blog :: January

Hi Everyone,

The January webinar for the Manufacturing Tech Council (MTC) focused on advanced sensors and I want to share some great content that provides additional perspective and insight into the rapid evolution of sensor technology. From the Industrial Internet of Things to autonomous vehicles, Industry 4.0 to medical care, new types of sensors are changing the game and creating new opportunities for improved operations, reduced maintenance, and new revenue sources.

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Mexico manufacturing board optimistic for 2019

In December 2018, AMT organized the annual meeting of Mexico´s Manufacturing Processes Advisory Board. It took place at Schneider Electric’s facility in Monterrey. In addition to our host Schneider, also represented were: Case New Holland, Tremec, Paulo, Brembo, Cummins and domestic job shops both from the metal cutting and forming industries. Experts from the die and mold design industry were present, as well as executives from the Mexican Auto Parts Manufacturers Association.

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AMT News - January 2019
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Shortage of Manufacturing Resources

Having the opportunity to attend many of the international shows, a common theme continues to play out: the improvement of the global economy and the positive impact to the manufacturing world. As many companies enjoy these good times, they are also confronted with the impact to their supply chain since many are depending on the same suppliers and the lack of component supply. The other area that is impacted as well is the shortage of skilled personnel available to meet the growing demands.

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Brazil’s push for clean vehicles creates new opportunities

Brazil's economy, by far the biggest in Latin America, faces a brighter future after several difficult years. Consumer demand and investment will help Brazil post performance outpacing the rest of the region this year while the politics are finally left behind.

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E-mail etiquette: It’s really just common sense

Just the other day I received an email from a friend/business acquaintance who asked a simple question about an upcoming conference. I quickly replied with a short response and, me being me added a quip about the only time I hear from him is when he wants something. I even added LOL at the end. It wasn’t two minutes later that I got his heated response, tearing me a new one, saying that if answering his question was such a burden, no worries, he’ll ask someone else.

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2019 agenda: On your mark, get set … get social!

Over the last year or so I’ve had a lot of conversations with members about their business use of social media. Responses and activity level vary up and down the scale, from “yeah, we’ve got someone dedicated to that” to “I’m just not sure I see how useful this is for our industry.”

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AMT News - December 2018
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What’s ahead for Education and Workforce Development?

In recent months, there has been very good news on the jobs front in manufacturing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing has averaged an increase of 18,000 jobs per month over the past twelve months. Wages have been increasing in recent quarters as well.

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Happy Holidays from AMT!

In the true spirit of the season, wishing you peace and joy. Wishing you the gifts of love, friendship and good health. May love, hope and happiness be yours at this holiday season and always. Season's greetings with all the best for the New Year.

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Changes bring opportunities

This year is rocking the USMTO order books. October is on track to produce a third month in a row with $500 million in orders or better, which hasn’t happened in the history of USMTO program. The supply chain has not caught up with demand pushing backlogs on orders out further. Two other first-time developments also occurred in September as the medical equipment sector became the third largest market by dollar volume and the South East became the largest region by dollar volume for the first time since USMTO began. As 2018 comes to an end, let’s look at other areas that producers, distributors and service providers in our industry might find as interesting opportunities.

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Midterm elections: How will they influence the 2019 agenda?

When the dust finally settled on the mid-term elections, Democrats gained a net 39 seats, shifting control of the House of Representatives to the democrats. Republicans strengthened their majority in the Senate with a net pickup of three seats. Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Mitch McConnell will lead their respective bodies in the 116th Congress. How will the new faces and a divided leadership impact the policy agenda? Here’s a look at several topics being discussed:

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Augmented reality: the future of field service

Phillips Corporation is now utilizing the potential of augmented reality technology to improve training to its worldwide team of field service engineers, including initial training of new engineers and supporting seasoned engineers, while also directly supporting customers working on their own equipment.

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‘Tis the season for making wishes. What might IMTS exhibitors wish?

Wish #1: Obtain a qualified list of potential customers with quantifiable communication management.
Gift: IMTS Exhibitor Passport

IMTS Exhibitor Passport gives you exclusive access to all contact information for IMTS 2018 and IMTS 2016 visitors. Equipped with built-in analytics and communication tools for sending targeted emails and downloading addresses, IMTS Exhibitor Passport automatically matches exhibitors’ product categories to the visitors’ self-selected interests, which is the magic of this product.

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Big changes in store for IIoT in 2019
What do security, ‘fog’ and edge computing, 5g cellular, and digital twins have in common? They’re among the critical opportunities and issues shaping the industrial Internet of things, which is the focus of the November webinar of the Manufacturing Tech Council.  (more)
IMTS 2018 - An Attendee's Perspective

IMTS 2018 and the U.S. Machine Tool Industry today.  Age has its privileges and having attended four NMTBA shows, the first in 1955 at the stockyard, and 26 IMTS shows, the first in 1972 at McCormick Place East when it opened its doors, and with a little more wisdom and years in the business the following is my perspective of IMTS 2018 and the U.S. machine tool industry.

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AMT News – November 2018
Find out the forecast for the manufacturing technology market, workforce solutions, tax reform and more.  (more)
Smart manufacturing’s balancing act between edge and cloud computing

Smart manufacturing revenue will grow substantially during the next eight years, from $4.5 billion this year to $51.5 billion in 2026.

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Market sees a strong finish to 2018

Last month’s column title “Will this IMTS be one for the record books?” was clearly a rhetorical question that deserved an exclamation point rather than a question mark. By any measure, IMTS 2018 was the best ever – square footage, number of visitors, weight, number of exhibitors, value of equipment shown and, most importantly, business generated. 

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Trilateral Agreement on NAFTA reached

With no time to spare before the deadline, the United States, Mexico, and Canada reached an agreement to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. The new deal, called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), is expected to be signed by the countries’ leaders in November. 

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IMTS 2018 was the best! What’s next?

While we’re all basking in the afterglow of a successful IMTS 2018, let’s remember there are many other events on the AMT calendar in trade show marketing worldwide! Let’s take a glance at upcoming global events in 2019.

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Signs of progress for manufacturing’s next generation

Our industry’s task of doing battle against the skills gap has been underway for decades now. Are we showing any signs of progress? Yes. I think that we can point to the recent Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2018 to find very concrete signs of progress.

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It’s spooky season. What’s your biggest fear?

When most of us are asked what our greatest fear is, we usually rattle off one of the obvious choices: Heights. Public speaking. Flying. Creepy-crawly things. (Personally, I don’t much care for large flying insects. I don’t really like balloons either, but we can talk about that some other day. I’m not saying it makes sense.)

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Record breaker: IMTS 2018 was the largest one yet

A strong economy, dynamic advances in technology, and an energized manufacturing industry all came together to make IMTS 2018 the largest show of all time. The 32nd edition of the show drew a record registration of 129,415 people and featured 1,424,232 SF of exhibit space, made up of 2,123 booths and 2,563 exhibiting companies. IMTS 2018 ran from Sept. 10-15 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. 

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Introducing: The AMT Research add-in for Microsoft Word

Ethyl, a mechanical engineering graduate student, is composing a research paper for her Metrology for Precision Manufacturing class. As she writes about abrasive jet finishing, she struggles to find manufacturing technology papers on ambiguous terms like material removal, surface integrity, and polishing tools. Fortunately, she has downloaded AMT’s app that sits inside Microsoft Word.

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Export controls experts: Is United States at a disadvantage with China?

Concerns about relations with China, including tariffs, were priority topics at the latest Materials Processing Equipment Technical Advisory Committee meeting in Washington, D.C. In its August 7 meeting, the committee discussed Wassenaar Arrangement signatories and export controls surrounding additive manufacturing. The Wassenaar Arrangement is a voluntary export control group whose members exchange information regarding export control for conventional weapons and sensitive dual-use goods and technologies.

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Three big questions for a top nanotech expert

Examining the current state of nano and advanced materials. Exploring the future for manufacturers.

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