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Every heat treater has two enemies working against your ability to thrive and grow everyday: The Labor Drought Time…Never Enough With these two enemies in your face every day, it is important for every heat treater to think through how to get work done differently in order to maximize productivity and output. Because of these two daily challenges, it is important that you and your key management attend Furnaces North America 2022 (FNA 2022).   FNA 2022 is the largest heat treat only trade show and technical conference in North America.   The focus on this year’s show is to help heat treaters overcome challenges occurring in the labor market and ...
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Metal Treating Institute, the largest nonprofit network of commercial heat treaters in the world and Furnaces North America, North America’s largest heat treat only trade show and technical conference, is excited to announce it has established a new honorary award for the heat treating industry. During the Metal Treating Institute’s 2021 Fall Board meeting, the MTI Awards Committee, chaired by Jim Oakes from Super Systems, recommended to the Board the idea of recognizing an individual within the industry who has had a significant impact on the heat treating industry over the last five years.   As the producer of FNA, the MTI Board was in full agreement and ...
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As MTI has been meeting with members around the country and having conversations on the key challenges in 2022, knowing how cost and productivity metrics are going comparatively has been a huge topic of conversation.   Operational costs including energy, labor, and raw materials to name just a few are all over the place. Being able to see how you compare with other heat treaters your size, batch vs continuous, and all heat treaters on key cost metrics, would give your management team inside information to improve productivity and output.   If managing your costs are giving you anxiety or driving you crazy, guess what?   Everyone is feeling the pinch, ...
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Wholesale prices rose at a brisk pace in May as inflation pressures mounted on the U.S. economy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday. The producer price index, a measure of the prices paid to producers of goods and services, rose 0.8% for the month and 10.8% over the past year. The monthly rise was in line with Dow Jones estimates and a doubling of the 0.4% pace in April. Excluding food, energy and trade, so-called core PPI rose 0.5% on the month, slightly below the 0.6% estimate but an increase from the 0.4% reading in the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, the core measure was up 6.8%, matching April’s gain. The two PPI measures remained ...
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Over the next 7 to 9 years, labor management is going to play the #1 role in the growth of your company.  With wage rates all over the place and rising since COVID, it is important that you know how competitive you are in the marketplace in the areas of wages and benefits. MTI’s Annual Wage and Benefit survey provides you the inside information to know what the benchmarks are for all the key salary and hourly positions in your plant. MTI's   Benchmarking Committee is pleased to announce the 2022 Wage and Benefit Survey as one of MTI's most valuable benefits. MTI’s Wage and Benefit Survey provides critical information unmatched by any other ...
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The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is warning plant operators that ransomware attacks are increasing in the manufacturing sector. Trade organization The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) cautioned plant operators this month that ransomware attacks against manufacturing targets are increasing and urged facilities to “be on guard” against the threat.   Ransomware incidents disable operations technology until victims pay to restore functionality. NAM said that manufacturers that cannot afford to halt production often pay the ransom. The use of ransomware attacks “increased significantly in 2021, with criminal groups specifically identifying ...
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Trucking and warehousing companies added 31,000 jobs last month as pandemic-driven e-commerce growth appears to be waning,   Companies on the front lines of supply chains pulled back hiring in May amid signs that the boom in e-commerce demand is waning and consumers are shifting spending from goods to services. Trucking, warehousing and parcel-delivery companies added a combined 32,900 jobs last month, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary employment figures the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday, down from 44,700 jobs added in April. The pullback came as the broader U.S. economy   added 390,000 jobs   in May, in the slowest pace ...
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Vision, mobility and enhanced safety features make robotics ideal for labor automation, says Divya Prakash, director of business consulting at   SICK . Because labor availability is one of the key challenges for warehouse operators, a great more automation is entering the warehouse, Prakash says. And not just traditional equipment, such as conveyors. As online shopping increases, everything is moving at a faster pace. Consequently, autonomous vehicles and smart sensors are providing needed visibility and intelligence. “There’s a whole new industrial revolution going on, bringing intelligence and connectivity,” Prakash says. “And we’re looking to automation ...
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The last 10 years have brought tremendous growth in artificial intelligence. Consumer internet companies have gathered vast amounts of data, which has been used to train powerful machine learning programs. Machine learning algorithms are widely available for many commercial applications, and some are open source. Now it’s time to focus on the data that fuels these systems, according to AI pioneer   Andrew Ng, SM ’98, the founder of the Google Brain research lab, co-founder of   Coursera, and former chief scientist at   Baidu. Ng advocates for “ data-centric AI,”  which he describes as “the discipline of systematically engineering the data needed to build ...
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Monday Economic Report

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Higher Mortgage Rates Have Dampened New Home Sales     New single-family home sales   tumbled 16.6% to 591,000 units at the annual rate in April, declining sharply for the fourth straight month and dropping to a post-pandemic low. The steep hike in mortgage rates and affordability issues have dampened enthusiasm for new home sales. At the same time, the median sales price for new homes was $450,600 in April, a new record. The   personal consumption expenditures deflator  (the preferred measure of inflation for the Federal Reserve) rose 0.2% in April, slowing from the 0.9% gain in March. Energy prices fell 2.8%, falling for the first time ...
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Summer is on the horizon, and for many of us, those above average temperatures have already hit. Unfortunately, higher temperatures and higher energy bills go hand in hand if not properly managed. Coupled with the volatile electricity and natural gas prices as of late, many businesses are looking at significant increases on their energy bills this summer. Despite rising temperatures and costs, businesses can take action to try to curb energy usage and the associated costs with some easy-to-implement energy savings tips.  Program your thermostat:  Keeping your thermostat as little as 1-degree higher in the summer can be impactful in reducing electricity ...
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The Department of Defense hopes to begin implementing its   Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program requirements in contracts in May 2023, as part of an effort to prod hundreds of thousands of defense contractors to better protect their networks and controlled unclassified information. The requirements are currently going through the federal rulemaking process for the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, which is required before they can be implemented. “We’re hoping by March of 2023, they will give us an interim rule. Now that’s not guaranteed,” Stacy Bostjanick, the Pentagon’s director ...
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A recent survey of US manufacturing execs indicates that workforce challenges remain a major concern as end of 2022’s first half nears.   Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers have taken a number of steps to alleviate ongoing labor shortages, including raising wages and offering enhanced benefits. Despite those efforts, a survey released this month by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)’s Manufacturing Institute (MI) and Colonial Life indicates that workforce challenges remain a major concern for US manufacturing firms in mid-2022.   About 93% of respondents in   “The Manufacturing Experience: Compensation and Labor Market ...
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If you’re not already DFARS 252.204-7012 and NIST 800-171 compliant, NOW is the time to get started to avoid losing current and future Federal contracts. It’s not too late.     Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.204-7012 has been the buzz of the defense contracting world over the last few months. While it became a final rule in 2016, companies have just now begun to feel pressure to comply with it.   You may have received communications from your customers or have seen announcements from the Government mandating self-attestation of compliance with DFARS 252.204-7012 through the Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS) . At ...
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If you are like most heat treaters, the last 24 months have been some of the most challenging times in our history of being in business. Lost sales, increased costs, and a lack of qualified employees have plagued everyone in the heat treating industry.     The good news is the economy is on the rebound, but not without some serious challenges ahead. With uncertainty looming in labor and overall costs, and as businesses begin to build back again, every company needs to be focused on six key elements:   Sales Regeneration Cost Containment Quality Performance Workplace Safety Employee Recruitment Automation   Throughout COVID, the Metal ...
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The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach say containers are moving off crowded docks even though a planned penalty program has been repeatedly pushed back.   Southern California port officials say the threat of a penalty fee, which has never been imposed, is a major reason cargo has been moving quickly and an enormous backup of container ships offshore has receded. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have pushed back what they call a container dwell fee each week since it was announced on Oct. 25, when officials said the growing stacks of containers sitting for days or weeks at a time were impeding the flow of goods through the busiest port complex ...
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A fresh take on the classic theme of generic business strategies. Business strategy is fundamentally about allocating scarce resources to create the greatest impact on organizational performance. As a strategist, you will often be confronted with two broad innovation strategies: “making” and “milking”. The making strategy involves enhancing value creation through an organization’s products and services by better meeting customers’ needs. This value to customers, as measured by their willingness-to-pay minus the costs incurred by the firm to serve them, is critical for profitability as it enables the firm’s offering to better compete with that of rivals. ...
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U.S. factory production rose at a solid pace for a third month in April, pointing to ongoing strength in the sector.    The 0.8% increase followed a similar gain in March, Federal Reserve data showed Tuesday. Total industrial production, which also includes mining and utility output, climbed 1.1% during April.   Median forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 0.4% advance in factory output and a 0.5% gain in industrial production.   Another robust month of factory output illustrates how an easing of capacity constraints tied to labor and materials is providing producers greater wherewithal to meet resilient demand for business equipment ...
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As CEO, you have a vision and plan to deliver results, handsomely rewarding shareholders and employees alike. And while that may look like success to many, including you, the reality is that it won’t be enough to create a truly enduring legacy.   Your legacy is about more than bottom-line results. It’s about how you leave the company—meaning in the strongest position possible, fit for the future, and, crucially, in the capable hands of a well-chosen successor.   After value-creation, you could say that an enlightened approach to succession planning is one of the most important things you will do as CEO. Succession planning is legacy-building.   ...
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Only two words fully describe the MTI 2022 Spring Meeting:  We’re BACK!  Members attending the spring meeting in Hilton Head Island, SC were all pleased to see MTI meeting attendance rising back to pre-pandemic levels, with over 180 in attendance.    The MTI Board of Trustees and Education Committee would like to thank all of the  attendees for their participation in the 2022 Spring Meeting. Members have given rave reviews of their experience, energy, and education at the Spring Meeting. The meeting experienced numerous first-time attendees and they stated that they loved the connection, energy, ideas, content, and people.   ...
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