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JULY 2018

Member Updates from AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology

Investing in homegrown talent:


PLTW pg.


IMTS making smart investments Meet the Exhibitions Team as they prepare for IMTS 2018 pg. 4

AMT–The Association For Manufacturing Technology 7901 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 900 McLean, VA 22102-3316 Address Service Requested

MTForecast Investing in you Future pg.



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July 2018


AMT Signs Strategic Partnership with International Trade Administration On May 23, Assistant Secretary for Industry & Analysis Nazak Nikakhtar met with AMT President Doug Woods for the ceremonial signing of a strategic partnership between the International Trade Administration and AMT. The event reaffirmed AMT’s partnership with ITA to promote the growth of the U.S. manufacturing sector through exports. AMT and ITA discussed trade policy issues, including export controls on machinery, tariffs, NAFTA renegotiation, and foreign direct investment. Through their partnership, ITA and AMT are collaborating on a program of activities to support U.S. manufacturing. These activities include sharing trade data; the creation of market analyses, including ITA’s Top Markets Reports on Manufacturing Technology and Industrial Automation; advising on industry-specific trade policy issues; and work, through the ITA Global Advanced Manufacturing Team, on export promotion at IMTS.  Star SU recently appointed Riccardo Rubino Operations Manager for the Americas. “Riccardo brings operations and supply chain leadership experience from positions held both in the U.S. and Italy,” said Star SU President David Goodfellow. “He will work closely with me overseeing operations starting with the Star SU Hoffman Estates and Star SU Federal de Mexico, and taking over the quality control for those operations. I am confident that Riccardo’s experience in his previous leadership role will help lead our team in continuous growth and enhance operational activities.” Riccardo has spent the last six years building a career surrounding operations, procurement, sales, and product management with Somaschini North America and Somaschini Automotive.


JULY 2018

N WS Brought to you by AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology

AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology ©2018 7901 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 900 n McLean, Virginia 22102-3316 703-893-2900 n Contact AMT: Penelope Brown, 703-827-5275,

Methods Machine Tools is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018. Founded in November 1958 with three employees and a few refurbished machines, Methods today has roughly 350 employees, eight sales and technology centers, and more than 35,000 machines installed throughout North America, ranging from EDM machines to sophisticated 5-Axis CNC machining centers to robotics, automation, and 3D printing solutions. “Staying true to our founder’s vision, we have built an excellent reputation in the machine tool industry by closely partnering with machine builders and customers, as well as providing strong application expertise,” says Scott McIver, Methods Chairman and third generation owner. “We offer a total service solution from design and applications to engineering, installation, training and unmatched support, to help manufacturers be more profitable, productive, and competitive.” “We are excited to celebrate our 60th anniversary milestone,” said Jerry Rex, President and CEO of Methods. “Our dedicated, experienced team, together with our powerful partnerships, have provided us a strong foundation for serving our customers. We are proud of our heritage and are looking forward to further expand our leading technology solutions in machine tools and automation, including the most proficient ways to apply and support them.” To commemorate its impressive anniversary milestone, Methods will be hosting open houses, holding technology events, and introducing new product lines throughout the year.


Quality Vision International broke ground on a new 16,000-SF manufacturing building on its Rochester, N.Y., campus. Construction of the new building marks the last phase of a five-year, 37,000-SF expansion of the company’s global engineering and manufacturing headquarters. QVI Chief Operating Officer Keith Polidor said that “construction of this new building will complete our five-year plan to add the necessary manufacturing space for our expanded product lines, enabling us to serve the growing market for our metrology system products around the world.” The new building No. 4 is in the final phase of construction to increase manufacturing capacity. The Hudson Avenue campus occupies more than 275,000-SF of manufacturing space and employs more than 300 fulltime staff. QVI has been located at the site since 1973, after operating at various locations throughout Rochester since its founding in 1945. “This additional capacity is a vital step forward as we continue serving our growing base of global manufacturing customers,” said R. Stephen Flynn, Sr. Vice President of QVI. “As precision and quality grow ever more important to consumers, our products become more important to manufacturers. This new space will allow us to build the larger and more sophisticated measurement systems that our customers need to improve their production processes.” Hurco executives rang the closing bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange on June 13. As part of its celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary. In addition to ringing the closing bell, Hurco was featured on the Nasdaq Tower and Marquis in New York City. Okuma recently unveiled its new web site (www.okuma. com), specifically designed for machine tool users and their needs. More than a year in planning and development, the new site features easy navigation and a variety of customer resources. “We appreciate our customer relationships and we value their feedback. This web site redesign is the culmination of ideas, suggestions and teamwork between our employees, customers, and business partners,” said Okuma COO Jim King. “Web site visitors will find it easy to navigate to the information they’re looking for, whether it be product content that assists them in making a purchase or to learn more about Okuma and our culture.”

Send your company news to AMT NEWS Amber Thomas, Vice President Advocacy Penelope Brown, Director Advocacy Cesar Sosa, Graphic Designer Submit company news articles to: ADVOCACY Amber Thomas 571-216-7448 BUSINESS SOLUTIONS Kim Brown 703-827-5223

GLOBAL SERVICES Ed Christopher 703-827-5296

MTCONNECT® Russ Waddell 703-827-5258

MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY Tim Shinbara 703-827-5243

MTINSIGHT Ian Stringer 703-827-5209

Bonnie T. Gurney 703-827-5277


Michelle Edmonson 703-827-5242

MEMBER SERVICES Steve Lesnewich 703-827-5227

SMARTFORCE DEVELOPMENT Greg Jones 703-827-5203

EXHIBITIONS Apply for space at IMTS 2018 Tom Snyder 703-827-5235 Mark Kennedy 703-827-5220

FINANCE & HUMAN RESOURCES Becky Stahl 703-827-5246

Melissa Williamson 703-827-5272

STRATEGIC ANALYTICS Pat McGibbon 703-827-5255

July 2018




MTForecast and You: A New, Revamped Forecasting Conference from AMT


hen people change names, it is a signifier of an important shift happening in their lives, whether internal or externally apparent. In the case of the event formerly known as the Global Forecasting & Marketing Conference (GFMC), an event with more then 40 years under its belt, name changes are a familiar necessity. In the last 20 years alone, the name has been altered six times! Each one has heralded a new facet of this conference, and “MTForecast” is no different in this regard. Why now, after a decade with the GFMC name? “This is more than just a name change; it’s refocusing the conference on the market trends and changes that will affect business in the next 1-5 years,” said Christopher Downs, Assistant Director of Strategic Analytics at AMT. “This year we really wanted to try something new and refresh the conference. We have tours and workshops on the agenda that were piloted last year and have also added a new ‘track system’ that we think attendees will love. This will add more sessions to the event, enhancing value for attendees while also allowing them to tailor their experience to their interests.” The MTForecast name is the result of a process that started last year and included input from marketing experts, AMT member committees, and an internal contest among staff. Additionally, the committees provided feedback and suggestions regarding the content and direction the conference will be taking. “It is a greater focus on forecasting and market trends, and less an emphasis on sales tactics for individual salespeople,” Downs said. “The conference will help attendees think strategically and chart a plan for their business. Each year, we have attendees telling us they come to our Fall conference to help write a business plan; this year we are building on that with focused sessions on exploring new business opportunities and extracting more information from data.” In addition to the topic areas, added tours, and the new track system, the new tagline for MTForecast is “Forecasts, Analysis, Strategy, Trends” – or FAST. “We want

our members to be able to adapt quickly to a changing marketplace. This conference redesign is centered on giving them the tools and information to do that.” In order to achieve this, there will be three tracks attendees can choose from: Strategy, Opportunity, and Data. Maintained from previous iterations of the conference will be the focus on marketing, insomuch as it encompasses forecasting, sales planning, and business strategy. There will still be economists and industry experts that are popular year after year. “We know people use the data in these presentations for their business plans, so we wanted to make sure to keep that while replacing some of the sales skills presentations with more forward-looking content,” Downs said. “We are also

keeping the networking events that are always popular.” For those who will miss the sales skills content, Distribution Regional Summits and D19 meetings are excellent places to obtain sales tools, tips, and tricks for individual sales representatives. Attendees at MTForecast will be the same high-level decision-makers, strategic planners, and C-suite executives who are involved in the business side of manufacturing. Additionally, the conference will feature pricing packages that will more easily allow companies to send multiple attendees. The 2018 MTForecast Conference will take place October 10-12 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. Registration and more info are available at

FAST Tracks Strategy

High-level business planning and decision-making methods; considerations to take into account when designing a new “blueprint” for your company


How to find new, promising customers and markets; tools and techniques for identifying markets of which you may not currently be aware of


Who, What, When, Where, and Why of data. Whom the data is for, what differentiates data from information, where to get various types of data, when to use it, and how it can inform decisions




July 2018

Clockwise: “Past Times” in McCormick Place, Adam Gambrel, Exhibtions Marketing Administrator, “Past Times” by Kerry James Marshall

Making smart investments


ow would you feel if a painting you bought for lists of potential buyers, email marketing campaigns, $25,000 sold 21 years later for $21.1 million? and sales strategies throughout the year. Contact them at I bet you’d feel your investment exceeded all and expectations! That scenario happened just this spring with a paintPeople ing that once adorned the walls of McCormick Place. Perhaps the best investment any of us can make is in In 1997, the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority people. We have invested in training and expanded opthat oversees McCormick Place, bought “Past Times” by portunities for our staff to cultivate their strengths. I’d like Chicago contemporary artist Kerry James Marshall for to recognize their efforts and give you an update on your $25,000. This year, the Grammy award-winning record exhibitions team. producer Sean “Diddy” Combs purchased Two years ago, Michelle Edmonson the artwork through an auction in New added marketing to her responsibilities as the York. Senior Director – Exhibitions Operations & This investment reminded me that Marketing. She is doing a tremendous job leading with good intentions can often exleading the IMTS Dreamers & Doers promoceed expectations. The MPEA is required tion campaign among her many other duties. to spend a portion of its budget on art Mark Kennedy, Director – Exhibitions displayed to the public. Choosing a local Sales, has been assisting exhibitors with their artist’s work to hang in the convention operations and marketing needs as well facilicenter, the MPEA reflected the cultural tating a smooth move-in experience at IMTS. heritage of the convention center’s South He is working to bring new technology into Chicago location. the show, which will allow exhibitors to reach The good news to IMTS exhibitors? The PETER EELMAN potential customers online in exciting new MPEA plans to spend a portion of the mon- Vice President, ways. ey on feasibility studies to open the McCorBonnie Gurney, Director – Industry Exhibitions & Business mick Place Grand Concourse to C Hall. Partnerships, has built essential relationships Development to bring innovative technologies to IMTS IMTS Exhibitor Passport through the Emerging Technology Centers If I told you there is a golden ticket, especially designed with partners such as Local Motors and Oak Ridge Nafor our industry to gain new business, you’d buy it, right? tional Laboratory. She continues to lead IMTS media AMT has developed possibly the best marketing and relations and her new responsibilities include working sales tool in our industry: Exhibitor Passport. It contains with SME to co-produce regional shows. the contact information of registrants who self-select Bill Herman, Director – International Exhibitions categories that describe the products that interest them, and Sponsorship, has extended AMT’s reach internaallowing exhibitors to create lists of highly qualified prostionally by expanding the presence of member compects. panies in the leading trade shows around the world. An investment that pays for itself and more, Exhibitor He has also taken on responsibility for identifying and Passport can be used beyond IMTS! You can integrate it selecting companies that will present at AMT’s newinto your existing marketing efforts and use it for other est endeavor: MT360, a strategically positioned event industry shows throughout the year. focused on catapulting manufacturers into the digital Adding value is the fact that Exhibitor Passport also industrial revolution. comes with expert customer support. Kim Brown and Several experienced staff continue to embrace new Aslan Moini are experienced marketing and sales proprojects while tackling the details. Tom Snyder, fessionals, eager to help IMTS exhibitors create targeted Exhibitions Sales Manager and an AMT employee for

33 years, has welcomed the increase in exhibitors, and continues to organize and manage the IMTS 2018 floor plan. Jessica Aybar, Exhibitions Operations Manager, has been with AMT for 18 years and continues to take on more responsibility. She manages the IMTS e-Kit and oversees production of our printed IMTS pieces. With more than 30 years of experience in the tradeshow industry, Matt Lutz, Exhibitions Project Manager, brings a wealth of knowledge as a former exhibitor and trade show contractor. He is comprehensively evaluating registration and lead retrieval systems to determine what best serves the needs of IMTS visitors and exhibitors. Kathy Webster, Exhibitions Marketing Content Manager, brings 25 years of technical writing and marketing experience to ensure our IMTS communications are accurate, consistent, and compelling. We are pleased to introduce Martha Sproehnle, who will serve as Senior Manager – Exhibitions Operations. With more than 20 years of experience working in the trade show business, Martha brings extensive exhibitor education and logistics management to our team. We all gain tremendous energy from our younger staff. Katie Carey, Exhibitions Data Specialist, coordinates exhibitor logistics and has recently stepped into a more technical role in web development and design. Adam Gambrel, Exhibitions Marketing Administrator and former AMT intern, produces dynamic videos for IMTSTV and leads our IMTS social media efforts. Valerie Misch, Exhibitions Operations Coordinator, organizes an innumerable amount of details. Two interns from the George Mason University, Patrice Booth and Natalie Heavren, bring a fresh perspective and great creativity to the team. There is much to gain when we invest in building a talented and diverse team. Our investment in our employees surely enhances their value to AMT, its members, and IMTS. Investments in artwork might not always pay off, but investments in Exhibitor Passport and your employees surely will, and like “Past Times” may exceed all expectations.

July 2018





LESSONS LEARNED Prepare them with a mentor’s touch

Should you take a stand at work? Last month we had some visitors to AMT headquarhas also proven to be problematic. Standing is more ters in McLean, Va. As with most visitors their initial tiring, puts a greater strain not only to the circulatory response was amazement: “Is this for real?” Why that system but also on the legs and feet. Here’s a really big kind of response? For those of you haven’t seen our downer: Prolonged standing at work increases the risk offices, we work in a full-fledged open office concept. of varicose veins and accounts for more than one-fifth Individual offices are a thing of the past. There are, of all varicose vein cases of working age sufferers. however, plenty of department team rooms and conStanding also adversely affects the performance of ference rooms. For me, this open office concept was many fine motor skills like computer work, detailed culture shock. But then again I’ve been a desk guy since writing or drawing, and fine micro surgery (not that the ‘70s so change is difficult. But I digress. we have any surgeons at AMT). Another problem with So back to our visitors. After the ooohs and ahhhs standing is that when you raise the desk height for keyabout the open office, the next question is always about board and mouse work you must also raise the screen our workstations. AMT uses standing workstations. height above the desk or you get excessive neck flexion They can be adjusted for either sitting or standing (a stiff neck). and anything in between. The prevailing There’s more. When standing for computer opinion in our office is that standing at work there is greater wrist extension, so we your desk is much healthier than sitting, typically overcompensate by leaning, which which is my preferred position. Our further exacerbates the wrist posture, which guests asked our president Doug Woods then increases the risk of a musculoskeletal his opinion. Doug, who is an ultra-marproblems like carpal tunnel syndrome. The athoner, said he liked and felt better Cornell ergonomists recognized that standing standing. But he also said that many is more tiring than sitting to work. In fact, staff at AMT preferred sitting. Then standing requires 20 percent more energy than Doug suggested that, for my next Road sitting. The Cornell field studies of sit-stand Warrior article, I should investigate the workstations found little evidence of dramatic pros and cons of sitting and standing in widespread benefits from standing, and that the workplace. the amount of a worker’s standing time rapidSTEVE LESNEWICH I too was curious and did some ly declines after one month to where most of Vice President, research. Not to my surprise, Cornell the workers are sitting all the time. University Ergonomics department, part Member Services In summary what the Cornell Ergonomics of Cornell Medical School, which most field study found is that there is clear evianyone would consider a reliable source, did a recent dence that over sitting can be hazardous to your health, study on “Sitting and Standing at Work.” Here’s what I just as over standing can be too. learned from the study. So now what do we do? The Perils of Sitting: I know it looks like there is no perfect healthy answer Cornell’s research shows that sitting continuously for the sit-stand workstation. But don’t be discouraged; for more than an hour can induce biological changes there really is an option. It’s called MODERATION in your fat and glucose metabolism that could lead (which I’m sure is no surprise to anyone). Here’s to fat deposits in your adipose tissue. In other words, Cornell’s Ergonomics Department’s solution: Sit to excessive sitting can increase your percentage of body do computer work with a height-adjustable, downfat. Strangely enough, these same changes can happen ward-tilting keyboard for the best posture. Then every both to people who exercise aerobically regularly and 20 minutes, stand for at least 8 minutes and MOVE for unfit obese people who do not. Additionally, the study two or more minutes. Simply standing is not enough! showed that excessive sitting increased the risks of heart Movement is very important for blood circulation and disease and kidney disease. On the plus side, sitting also the muscles. (I mean really, who wants varicose veins?) uses less energy than standing and helps to stabilize the Vigorous exercise is not required. Just walking around body. Conversely, this is also one of the reasons why is more than enough. Walk to the kitchen, the copier, the standers advocate standing to work, because there or instead of sending an email to your colleague, walk is more muscle activity (exercise), which can burn up to over and talk to them. This is not rocket science, it’s just 20 percent more calories. common sense. The key is to include plenty of movement into your normal work day. If you do this, you The Perils of Standing: will be more comfortable, healthy and productive. Trust Cornell’s research also showed that standing to work me, and like Nike says - Just Do It!

On a flight returning home recently, I had the opportunity to sit next to a middle-aged pastor who was busy contemplating and preparing his thoughts for an upcoming sermon. He was deep in thought, so our meeting consisted of a pleasant smile between us, and away he went back to his preparation, with great concentration and focus. Please let me state that I am a person of faith and respect people of all faiths. Given the global nature of business, this is a critical factor in understanding our international business partners. Now back to the SKIP WOLFORD lesson learned. OEM Relations Manager, I was familiar with his Hangsterfer’s church and location and was Laboratories, Inc. immediately drawn to what he had chosen to title his remarks, “I am unprepared, but have His promise.” Was this a call to motivate? Moving forward with this line of thinking brings us to our very real need for talented young men and women to fill a vast upcoming void in all sectors of the manufacturing economy. We all are aware of the need for skilled and dependable trades and service/support personnel. Trade and technical education facilities abound and are gaining traction within many education systems. The efforts and leadership shown by many members of AMT with regard to recruiting talent for long-term sustainability across their sales and service sectors are notable and growing. The very real key to success in growing any organization is to have clearly defined goals, choose the best talent, train them, coach them, and be a cheerleader when great effort is made. When successes and mistakes occur, turn those efforts into a learning experience, and then reenergize the team and get out of the way. One of the great mentors in my career once told me that he would give me all the rope I needed to succeed. This, as I had just been promoted to VP of a division. Curious advice from the man who was responsible for guiding my career for more than 20 years. His advice and support were invaluable. “My door is open for you. Do your job, do it ethically with total integrity and honesty, make things happen and don’t be afraid to share ideas, be loyal and know that I will stand with you when you are right, and will also be at your side to tighten the rope and correct you when you are in need of it.” We have more and more young professionals entering our ranks, which is what we want. Being a positive role model or mentor is what will be needed to sustain them as they grow in knowledge and experience. We learn and experience new things every day as our industry pushes the boundaries for better and faster. Let’s make sure that we take the time to touch base and mentor the upcoming generation. The days of having a sales/tech binder handed over to the new hire, followed by a slap on the back and “go get ‘em” are long gone. But, the collective experience of decades of service within given teams is invaluable and cannot be found on Google. Skip Wolford is OEM Relations Manager at Hangsterfer’s Laboratories, Inc.




July 2018


Investing in homegrown talent: AMT Chairman rolls up his sleeves About a decade ago, I got involved in what I think is a unique way to create an impassioned and skilled local engineering and technical workforce. Today, the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program we established in our small county in northeast Ohio has become a renowned model for encouraging homegrown talent to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. PLTW is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering students to thrive in their education and careers. The nonprofit offers K-12 curricular and teacher training programs in the areas of computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. In Ohio, there are more than 300 active PLTW programs at the high school level. These programs, combined with traditional mathematics and science courses, intro-

duce students to the scope, rigor, and disciplines of computer science, engineering, and/or biomedical science prior to entering college. PLTW also has programs for middle and elementary school students that help them understand STEM concepts and develop critical-thinking skills. I was intrigued by the notion of strengthening students’ skills so they could take advantage of STEM opportunities in our area, so I picked up the phone and called the number I found on a PLTW flyer. Once I made that fateful call, I was quickly enlisted as chair of the local PLTW Project Implementation Task Force, a group of community business and education members. The Tuscarawas County program partnered with Ohio’s local coalition of PLTW partners, who know the academic side and speak the education language. The

beauty of the arrangement is that it is truly plug and play. The group leaned heavily on the educator group to walk the business community through the process and explain how to integrate the program into the school system. The superintendents focused on building understanding among teachers and finding teachers who would be interested in being trained to teach the courses. I brought my passion and belief in our local talent to the game and was excited to become the chief fundraiser. Along with my company, Allied Machine & Engineering, other local business partners, foundations, and grants contributed more than $700,000 to launch STEVE STOKEY the program and purchase Executive Vice President, equipment and technology Allied Machine & needed to run the program. In nine years, the program Engineering Corp. has raised well over $1.5 million – impressive for a small Ohio county with less than 100,000 people. As part of the PLTW program, hundreds of students have participated in field trips to the Allied manufacturing facilities. Tours are designed to show students a modern manufacturing facility. Allied Machine & Engineering does its part in hiring homegrown talent into our building as well. Each summer, we bring in more than 20 student interns to introduce them to the high-skilled jobs available in today’s manufacturing sector. Those with the right skills receive a job offer prior to their senior year. I am proud to say that no other county in Ohio has been as successful at partnering with schools and the business community. This approach to grooming homegrown talent is batting a thousand. Adapted from a March 8, 2018, blog post originally published on the PLTW web site. Steve Stokey is executive vice president at Allied Machine & Engineering in Dover, Ohio. Steve is also on the PLTW Ohio Executive Council and chairman of AMT’s Board of Directors.

1998: It was a very good year Do you remember the important changes and introorbiting Earth conducting research back then. ductions in technologies that happened in 1998 and Data sent from the Galileo probe in 1998 indicathave you considered how these technologies have ed that Europa, one of Jupiter’s largest moons, has a evolved over time? liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice. In From Hollywood, the movie “You’ve 2018, we’re studying deep deposits of ice Got Mail” signaled that the Internet on Mars thanks to advances in technology had clearly taken hold and was bemade possible by the Mars Reconnaissance coming an important part of our lives. Orbiter. Few people have AOL accounts today, In Akashi, Japan, the world’s largest suspension bridge (at the time) was completdial-up connections to the Internet have ed in 1998. Today, we’ve demonstrated the been replaced by ubiquitous broadband ability to build bridges with 3D printing. connectivity, text messaging is replacA new $20 bill that was designed to be ing email, and chat rooms have been more difficult to counterfeit entered circureplaced by social media apps. lation in 1998. Today, crypto currency and Assembly of the International Space blockchain have become technologies that I Station began in December 1998. Today, GREG JONES think only a few people fully understand yet. from the science that we’ve learned Vice President, Google was founded in 1998, and today, there, NASA is not alone in space Smartforce Development it is such an important part of our lives that exploration and private companies like the word “Google” has evolved into a verb. SpaceX are playing a key role. We’re as focused on the Apple unveiled the iMac in 1998. Today, smartpossibility of sending astronauts to Mars for explophones in general, led by the introduction of the ration and research as we were in having astronauts

iPhone in 2007, have put much more computing power and capacity than the iMac had right into the palm of our hands, our pockets, or our belt holsters. In 1998, e-commerce began to take hold as more companies embraced the Internet and consumers eventually followed. Today, Amazon has not only changed the way that we purchase and read books, they’ve also become the largest retailer in the world and have significantly disrupted supply chains and logistics. Microsoft released Windows 98 and became the biggest company in the world in 1998, valued at $261 billion on the New York Stock Exchange. Today, Apple, Alphabet (Google) and Amazon join Microsoft at the top of the list of largest companies by market cap. Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomePod have all changed the way that we search the Internet, using advanced algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to allow us to search by voice rather than by mouse interfacing with a desktop. Technology has changed since 1998 and will continue to be disrupted by further advances. In 1998, we produced the first Student Summit at

July 2018





Recruitment, retention, and the value of company culture As you’re reading through the pages of this month’s AMT News, you may be noticing a recurring theme: how to develop talent, how to help those employees grow, and how to keep them around at your company. One of the most important elements for improving all three of those boils down to your company’s culture. The No. 1 concern most often heard from AMT members is the inability to find skilled workers to hire. The Smartforce initiative at AMT is working to directly tackle that by encouraging young people to develop an interest breeds a mindset of mistrust. Do you share your finances in STEM education and manufacturing careers. In addiwith your employees on a regular basis? Do you hold regtion to students, there are opportunities for finding talent ular meetings to update staff on what’s happening around among former members of the military, individuals who the company? Do you keep an open-door policy for have been displaced from other industries/ employees who want to ask questions, even if careers, and others. the answers are difficult? A willingness to disBut beyond finding the people who can cuss everything – the good, the bad, and the assume a role at your company, what’s next ugly – will keep your employees from feeling for making sure they stick around? That’s like they are operating in the dark. where culture comes into play – made up Trust: If you treat your employees like of a company’s vision, values, systems, children, what type of performance do you beliefs, and habits. think you’ll get? Be mindful of things like Unfortunately, many companies make micromanaging or a “guilty until proven the mistake of adding “window dressing” innocent” mindset when asking employees instead of actual culture improvements. to get things done. When mistakes happen Culture isn’t introducing a monthly pizza (and they will), how do they get addressed? Is party and then calling it a day. Instead, it treated as a learning opportunity, or just a PENELOPE BROWN it’s developing the norms that define your chance to call someone on the carpet? Director, company, and reinforcing them over and Respect: Toxic jerks will only breed more Marketing and over again. toxicity among your staff and send good Communications Have you considered these elements of employees out the door. No matter how well company culture? they perform, someone who is disrespectful, Transparency: Nobody likes it when they feel like rude, or condescending needs to be corrected, or even the people around them are keeping secrets, because it dismissed if they can’t find a way to improve. While mere

kindness can’t make up for incompetence, there must be zero tolerance for bullies. Ownership: Give employees room to grow through increasing responsibility. If someone has an idea for a new product, process, or other initiative, give them a chance to run with it (within reason and with clearly established boundaries and goals). Go-getters get bored and will look for another job elsewhere if they are continually shot down. Incentives: These aren’t just in the form of sales bonuses or raises at the end of the year. In short, you can’t treat your top employees the same as a low performer. While a struggling employee should have a chance to receive coaching and mentorship in an effort to improve, pushing an excessive workload onto the person who “always gets it done” makes that top performer feel like they’re being punished for doing a good job and eventually leads to burnout. If you have workers who aren’t up to the job, cut ties with grace and respect. They’ll do better finding a role that’s a better fit, and your good employees won’t feel like they’re being forced to carry dead weight. Feel free to contact me at

The first Student Summit, held at IMTS 1998.

IMTS in support of our industry’s need to address the widening skills gap and to change perceptions about careers in manufacturing. In the past 20 years since the first student summit, the number of students, teachers, administrators, as well as industry and STEM exhibitors has grown dramatically along with the overall footprint of the summit within McCormick Place. Since our industry invented the concept of continuous improvement, we’ve made changes to the student summit to keep pace with advances in technology. At the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2018,

the content focus will be around disruptive technologies like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) for use in education and in field service job functions, collaborative robotics, additive manufacturing, machine learning and AI, five axis machining, and mechatronics. Our goal is to inform students, teachers, administrators, and parents that these advanced technologies are already being used in manufacturing today; our industry leads the way in technological disruptions and that if students choose an education in STEM and a career in manufacturing, these and other technologies that haven’t

been invented yet represent the exciting career pathways of their future. Students who were born in 1998 have grown up with these new technologies and have either already begun joining the workforce or are nearing workforce readiness. In 2018, we will continue to impress the next generation of young people about the importance of manufacturing technology! For more frequent updates on Smartforce Development and the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2018, follow @GregoryAJones on Twitter.




July 2018


Time for a summer check in Colleges have unleashed a new set of graduates on the job market. High school students are mowing lawns and sitting atop tall stools at pools. Manufacturers are looking to group summer vacations in tune with production/ delivery schedules. So, it is a good time to check in on where the market is, where it will be going, and challenges to keep your business eye on.

likely come in the size or value of new units rather than the number of units. In general, the indicators are looking healthy and suggest a steady expansion of the manufacturing sector through IMTS barring a significant political upheaval or natural disaster. Current industry analyst outlooks are positive and have been increased from their forecasts earlier this year. Updates in April and May suggest that most analysts fear the challenges of the current trade battles more than a change in consumer demand and the continued income expansion to support their spending.

Top 10 Indicators The top 10 indicators that our analysts keep a keen eye on have not changed much in the past four months. If you were to do a side-by-side comparison you would notice that while the colors are all the same, more than half the indiMarket Change cators are flat or falling even if they remain positive. The The supply chain challenges continue with both parts changes can be broken into two segments. The continued and imported machines. The issue is continuing to creep worsening of relations with our major trading partners and into niche markets where lower volumes usually protect China, related to new tariffs imposed in the the builder from shortages. Technologies like past three months has led to concern in the laser punch presses, large mechanical pressU.S. manufacturing sector. The Purchasing es, and even sawing machines are running Managers’ Index has leveled off at 58-59, into production issues, though the scale in which is still significantly above the expanthese products is modest in comparison to the sion level of 50 but also reflects the concerns challenges facing those importing or building businesses have about trade. The modest machining centers and NC lathes. There are decline in the University of Michigan Consome interesting anomalies in the trade data sumer Sentiment Index is similar. While the though. South Korean vertical machining cencurrent level of 98.8 is very high, the nearly ters shipments to the United States are growing 3-point drop from 101.4 gives credence to faster than the average of all the other major anecdotal evidence that consumers are also importing countries of the same product. But concerned about these issues. the rate of change curve for imported Korean PAT MCGIBBON You should also keep an eye on mortgage Vice President, vertical machining centers pales in comparison rates and housing starts. Housing starts to a spurt in imports of Swiss NC horizontal Strategic Analytics over a million is typically a strong sign, as turning centers. are mortgage rates below 5.25 percent. In the past month, industrial machinery However, with new tax reform laws there (food processing, semi-conductor manufacturis a reduction on the amount of home mortgage intering, woodworking machinery, etc.) has made a significant est that can be deducted, and the impact of this change rebound, pushing regional order totals in areas like New is not clear. It is unlikely to impact the middle class or England, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahosignificantly impact loans put in place before 2017, but ma upward building on the strength of other indigenous it may direct consumers to homes whose loans meet the sectors’ capital spending. Oil and gas exploration is on the criteria set through 2025. Any changes in output would rise again, prompting some significant order activity not

Segment Business Conditions

only for capital equipment but for both workholding and cutting tools as well. Visiting manufacturers in the west revealed a robust manufacturing sector on the cutting edge of technologies including additive, artificial intelligence, and advanced automation. Finally, the EU’s long-announced implementation of the Global Data Protection Regulation went into effect in May. The purpose is to protect the privacy rights of EU residents, but unfortunately it has resulted in one of the most onerous regulations that the EU has enacted in decades. Companies are spending millions of dollars to prepare for the regulation. GDPR will likely impact smaller U.S. companies because they might have a handful of EU citizens in their customer database or leads retrieved at a foreign show or IMTS. The point is that the regulation says it has the right to pursue violations of any EU citizen’s privacy no matter where the data resides. Some quick facts: • You must have a system that allows people to review their personal data on file • You must allow users to correct, move, or delete the data you have on them • You must notify authorities within 72 hours of a data breach • You must have affirmative consent from an individual or show you have a legal basis to collect the data • Failure to follow these guidelines would result in a 4 percent fine on annual revenue or $23 million (at today’s exchange rate). AMT is not the expert on this new regulation as there are questions as to how it can be enforced in the United States, whether it is legally binding on United States companies operating in the United States, if you can contract your responsibility away, etc. However, if you have any questions we will strive to provide an answer and will work to keep you abreast of new developments. If you have any other questions about the information in this article, don’t hesitate to reach out by phone at 703-827-5255 or by email at

Status Notes

Manufacturing Technology Business Conditions

Mfg Tech orders take expected dip in April but are on the upswing, Y/Y continues in double digit growth.

Durable Goods Manufacturing Business Conditions

The manufacturing sector is taking in orders but backlogs are edging upward!

Economic Indicators Summary



Purchasing Managers’ Index


The purchasing managers’ index sits near 14-year highs and well above the expansion line.

Capacity Utilization for Mfg.

Capacity Utilization for Manufacturing continues to edge toward the magic 80. April durable goods orders down as companies with March as year-end push orders into March at the expense of April. Housing starts are still over 1.2 million but have flattened in past four months though at a good number.

Orders for Mfg. Durable Goods Housing Starts 30 Yr. Mortgage Rate

Mortgage rates are saying goodbye to 3% and probably a hello to 5% before year-end.

Consumer Sentiment

Talk of trade wars have lessened the steam in Consumer Confidence.


The MBI, published by GardnerWeb, sits well above the expansion level of 50. It also tracks well with USMTO.

Light Vehicle Sales


The Baltic Dry Index is a gauge on utilization of cargo carriers on the ocean. The figures are

Baltic Dry Index Restaurant Performance Index

The Light Vehicle Sales is still strong and product mix favors capital equipment expansion. bouncing toward new highs but potential trade wars keep it in yellow.


The Restaurant Performance Index is sitting near 100, a neutral level but after growth in the economy.


July 2018




Snapshot on trade Status of President Trump’s major trade actions (NAFTA) Canada, Mexico Implemented 1994-2008


KORUS South Korea Agreement reached

Signed into law

Sect. 232 Nat’l Security – steel & aluminum All countries Indefinite exemptions: Argentina, Brazil, South Korea Announced

Investigation finished


Agreement in principle March 2018

Signed into law

Sect. 301 Unfair trade practices–intellectual property theft China

Retaliatory tariffs enacted

Tariffs enacted

Implemented 2012

Investigation finished


Tariffs enacted


Retaliatory tariffs enacted

In progress


Trump moves ahead with plan to impose steep tariffs on China

$250 Billion



Amount of imports that could be affected amounts to roughly 50 percent of the $500 billion the United States imported from China last year.

Tariffs imposed on Chinese imports.

Product categories targeted under White House Actions. Additions to the list in July

China Sec. 301 Tariff timeline 3/22 Pres. Trump signs memorandum on Chinese tariffs after a USTR investigation on Chinese IP theft.







White House announces 25 percent tariffs. 301. • China complains to WTO, proposes tariffs on 106 U.S. products • USTR considers $100 billion of additional tariffs.

United States and China reportedly reach an agreement and put the tariffs on hold while they work out the details.

USTR releases list of 1,300+ Chinese products targeted. China responds with a 25 percent tariff on 106 items.

President requests USTR to identify $200 billion in Chinese goods for additional 10 percent tariff if China “refuses changes its practices.”

United States and China reportedly reach an agreement and put the tariffs on hold while they work out the details.

A portion of the announced tariffs on Chinese goods due to take effect.

NAFTA negotiations, major sticking Major sticking points

Outside pressure factors:

Dispute settlements U.S. demand: Option to opt out of dispute resolution panels

U.S. midterm elections November 2018

Sunset clause U.S. demand: Review trade deal every 5 years Automotive rules of origin Currently 62.5 percent parts made in N. America U.S. demand: 75 percent made in N. America 40 percent of components built by workers making at least $16 per hour

Mexico presidential election July 2018 Inauguration December 1, 2018 Trade promotion authority Expires July 2018 (likely extended) Vocal U.S. agriculture interests Farm Bill also expires Sept. 2018

Adapted from National Journal Research, 2018.

Pres. Trump placed Section 232 tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports, including on imports from key allies Steel 25 percent tariff on steel imports

Aluminum 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports

Argentina Australia Brazil South Korea

Permanently exempted after agreeing to place quota limits on steel & aluminum exports to the United States

Canada Mexico European Union

Exempted until June 1 for negotiations, but did not reach a deal, so tariffs are imposed




July 2018


AI: The next great thing to happen in automation Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been all the buzz heard over the past year from the likes of Google, Facebook, Tesla and many other growing companies. But, when will it arrive in the industrial automation industry? Well, it’s finally here ... and fear not! AI involves machine learning and predictive analytics, in addition to deep learning, which uses artificial neural networks to do things such as detect objects, recognize speech, and process language. These key features can become powerful tools when implemented into factory automation. For example, during robotic bin picking applications, a system that utilizes deep learning technology uses success MARC FREEDMAN rate learning to develop a suggested picking order. This President, Dynamic Automation results in higher throughput and faster cycle times. Likewise, after learning the robotic path through a touch pen, AI can provide path control resulting in higher accuracy for welding or cutting applications. Again, this can provide higher throughput and reduced scrap rates. Another key AI application that is seeing more use in factory automation is predictive maintenance/repair. Robotic axis failure detection is an example of this. By using deep learning, the data of self-test movements under normal conditions are analyzed and the occurrence of something anomalous can be detected. That means as opposed to sticking to a routine preventive maintenance schedule that occurs at fixed intervals, a machine can be serviced as the need arises and before a breakdown occurs. AI provides condition monitoring and early identification of potential problems. AI is introducing many exciting new possibilities to manufacturing as we move through the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Get ready to embrace the next big movement in the automation industry. Marc Freedman is President of Dynamic Automation.

​​Live​​ ​​Video​​ ​​Sessions

The advent of the intelligent robot Osaro, one of the emerging companies that participated, has developed AI software that can be deployed across multiple robotics systems, through partnerships with manufacturers. The company describes the AI platOne of the most intriguing developments in manufacform as “deep reinforcement learning technology,” and turing technology involves the emergence of self-learnclaims its algorithms, data processing, and management ing robots that capitalize on advances in artificial tools will enable commodity hardware to be adapted intelligence and machine learning techniques. This into powerful new systems for a wide variety of applienables them to handle new jobs and even work side by cations in advanced manufacturing, food “assembly,” side with humans on the shop floor. smart warehouses, and inventory/stock picking, among These advanced robotics systems are gaining new other things. “senses” with improved touch, sight, and language CloudMinds, the other emerging company showprocessing skills. These enable them to move more easily, cased, is striving to build exactly what its name implies switch their “hands” as they go through a multistep – a cloud-based mind that can hold a vast array of data process, and discern a wide variety of different objects and machine learning capability that far-flung robotics to manipulate them in unique ways based on an object’s tap into to learn new skills and share their own “expecharacteristics. Rather than requiring complex program- riences” as they work and adapt. Up there in the cloud, ming to handle narrow, specific tasks, they are picking up CloudMinds will host natural language processing, new skills along the way from their human partners (emvision, speech recognition, and what the company calls ployee, meet your co-bot!) and even tapping into massive “robot control unit” capabilities. “Integrating with robot databases – like cloud-based robot brains – to learn from onboard sensors and providing a secure data commuthousands of other robots around the world. nication path to cloud AI, the RCU enables intelligent “Traditionally, industrial robots have been locked control and seamless switchover between AI and Hubehind cages, their heavy bulk and rapid movements man-in-the-loop systems,” the company reports. making them unsafe for human interaction. They have CloudMinds recognizes the difficulty of embedding required highly trained programmers to set their tasks deep learning capabilities in individual robots and sees and, once installed, were rarely moved. Now, a lighter the cloud as the only way to maintain, update, and weight, mobile plug-and-play generation is arriving on easily distribute the intelligence for the future factory. the factory floor to collaborate safely with human work- There are also a variety of cross-industry and research ers thanks to advances in approaches to this same sensor and vision technolconcept, such as the Roogy and computing powboBrain initiative out of er. Get in their way and Stanford University. they will stop. Program Osaro and CloudMinds them with a tablet or simare just a couple of examply by moving their arms ples of the many compain the required pattern; nies advancing the state no coding is necessary. of the art in self-learning And if the robot is needed robotics. For example, Rein a different part of the think Robotics is a leader factory — unlike the in collaborative robots heavy robotic arms that that team with workers populate the world’s automotive factories and are bolted on the floor, and Kindred’s new robots are working in to the floor — they can be easily moved,” writes Peggy warehouses and e-commerce environments handling a Hollinger in The Financial Times. wide variety of products and items, getting better at it A June 26 webcast for the Manufacturing Tech Coun- through machine learning and human partnership. cil (MTC) explored the reality of advanced, self-learning With many manufacturers facing a shortage of skilled robotics, and showcased a couple of emerging compaworkers, the advent of self-learning robots is a boon. nies that are pushing the envelope in robotics today. The As AI and machine learning capabilities, as well as the webcast also featured a top executive from GE Aviation cloud, continue to advance, the potential for even more discussing that company’s robotics strategy and its future adaptability and intelligence in robotics seems virtually needs. Jointly sponsored by AMT and Traction Technol- limitless. ogy Partners, the MTC is a membership-based commuFor more information on the MTC, visit nity for manufacturing technology leaders who want to understand how advanced technologies are transforming the industry — and how to use them to succeed. JOHN GALLANT EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, MANUFACTURING TECH COUNCIL

MTCONNECT—A Deep Dive Into The Emerging Standard For Connecting Machines

July 31

“When super-intelligence goes into robots, those robots with super intelligence will change our lives.” —Masayoshi Son, CEO, SoftBank

July 2018




What does it take to be 4.0 ready? Here we are in the fourth cycle of manufacturing, which through the assembly of a complex product using data some call Manufacturing 4.0 and others call Smart streamed to their visor. Imagine a world where we Manufacturing, all enabled by the advent of Internet of would not need any documentation on the floor. Skill set Things. While it all sounds very cool, what many fail to expectations would be reset since the individual would mention is what it takes to play and excel in this realm. be told step by step how to do the assembly. If an error And where does the journey end? How do we embark occurred, the operator would be alerted, and the line on it, how much is it going to cost, what does it mean, would stop. How cool is that? and how do I measure my progress? These are all valid What they forget to mention is the robustness of all questions that we ask ourselves when we hear, read, or those input points. Data integrity would be of utmost participate in one of these sessions. importance, much greater than ever before. During the What is it for me? Simple: It is the goal of a fully presentation I was thinking how I would support all integrated supply chain that is closed loop and this. What if the headgear is not returned to provides feedback, so waste and errors can be its right location after the shift, or what if it eliminated, thus increasing customer satisfacwas broken and I didn’t have another set for tion and positive impact on the bottom line. I the next shift? What if all this gear produccan hear you asking: “Isn’t this what we have es safety or health issues to my employees? all been working toward all these years?” Or if my system is down and needs to be As an avid floor manufacturing guy, to me it rebooted, do I have backup systems in place all starts with the basics. We need to have roso I don’t lose my line output? What are bustness in everything we do: our designs, our the infrastructure costs and maintenance process instructions and controls, our material required to keep all this data flowing? Ultiselection and control, employee selection/remately, does it improve the way of life of my tention, environmental and safety awareness, workforce? MARCEL BERAUD etc. Everything we do needs to be well deOne analogy might be the assimilation Director – Global fined, controlled, monitored, and repeatable, of GPS navigation systems in our vehicles, Services and most of all have a positive impact on the whether through our phones or another human who is performing the tasks. devices. We have grown so accustomed to This closed loop supply chain is all about using those that if they fail or take us to the data, which will allow us to “predict to anticipate” and wrong place, we are way out of luck. Whatever happened “adapt to adjust” with the agility to respond much faster to our abilities to use maps to find our location? Another than we have ever dreamed of. But as one person said, “bad example is our cellphones. It seems we have grown so data in is bad data out.” So, what can one do to get ready dependent on them that some have lost their confidence for 4.0? For one, make sure that we anticipate the outcome to socialize in person. of our processes, making sure all variables are accounted To me, the purpose of technology is to help me for, and that we engage the workforce. It is they who will improve my way of life. When it becomes dependency, I ultimately enjoy the benefits of this journey, and they need try to distance myself. As we move into 4.0, let’s not forto know it is not just the flavor of this week, month, or year. get that it all starts with the fundamentals: robustness in It is here to stay. Our competitors, customers, and suppliers everything we do, consistency in the way we do things, will expect it. and predicting as much as possible the future outcome Recently, I participated in a technical session about with the resources at our fingertips. The revolution is augmented reality on the factory floor. Everything here, and we need make sure we are ready for what it sounds so cool and futuristic, where an employee could takes to thrive in this type of environment. wear some goggles and a system would walk them


APRIL 30–May 2 Smart Manufacturing Experience Boston, Mass.


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