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BY PETER EELMAN AMT VICE PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXPERIENCE OFFICER, EXHIBITIONS COVID-19 hits hard. Six months ago, the United States received the first reports of a novel coronavirus outbreak in the Wuhan province of China. There was little to differentiate this from the mile-a-minute news cycle serving as background noise and no clear sense that it would dramatically impact our businesses and daily lives. As this public health crisis expanded from a regional issue to make landfall in Europe and North America, domestic governments began to implement mitigation strategies, calling for social distancing and closing public spaces and businesses. These measures have hit manufacturing hard, derailing one of the strongest global economies in history. However, since the founding of our country, manufacturing has endured challenging circumstances and has a history of emerging from them even stronger. In the past century, from the Great Depression
and World War II to 9/11 and the Great Recession, manufactur ing’s inherent nature for technolog ical innovation and responsiveness consistently contributed to the industry rebounding. Manufacturing hits back. Many advanced technology companies and institutions have reacted quickly to help in the crisis. From manufacturing technology businesses to OEMs and tech-ed programs, our industry is working together to fast-track projects and restructure customer service. ... Continued on Page 6
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INDUSTRY NEWS UPCOMING EVENTS
For more information visit: www.AMTonline.org/calendar/
September 14–19, 2020 IMTS 2020 Chicago, Ill.
October 28–30, 2020 MTForecast St. Louis, Mo.
March 17-21, 2021 The MFG Meeting Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
MAY 26-27 Show Committee Meeting Online
JULY 22 CMTSE Certification Online Exam
27 AM Medical Virtual Summit Online
SEPTEMBER 14-16 SMART Manufacturing Experience (IMTS) Chicago, Ill.
Economic Forecasting Webinar Online JUNE 2 IMTS Sponsorship Opportunities Webinar Online 10 CMTSE Certification Online Exam 25 AIM Committee Meeting Webster, N.Y.
14-19 IMTS 2020 Chicago, Ill. OCTOBER 28-30 MTForecast St. Louis, Mo. NOVEMBER 18 CMTSE Certification Online Exam
FOR UPCOMING ANSI B11 AND ISO MACHINERY SAFETY MEETINGS, GO TO www.b11standards.org Contact Dave Felinski, B11 Standards Inc., at email@example.com for updated information.
MC MACHINERY ADDS REGIONAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE MC Machinery has appointed Shannon Morris as a regional sales representative for north and central Texas and a portion of east Texas. Morris will utilize her extensive industry knowledge and 28 years of outside sales experience to Shannon support local customers and grow MC Morris Machinery product sales. GF MACHINING SOLUTIONS PROMOTES PETER EIGENMANN As part of the company’s recent sales and marketing realignment efforts, GF Machining Solutions has announced that Peter Eigenmann, former head of sales for the Southeast region, has been promoted Peter to the position of director of sales and Eigenmann marketing. Eigenmann brings to the position extensive experience in machine tools, the mold and die industry, and industrial manufacturing operations. NIIGATA MACHINE TECHNO ANNOUNCES NEW NATIONAL SERVICE MANAGER Niigata Machine Techno USA Inc. has named Dan Selakovic as national service manager for its Machine Tool Division. An industry veteran, Selakovic returns to the builder after two decades in the field where he worked as a contractor for Niigata and Niigata customers.
TOOLING TECH GROUP ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF TTG AUTOMATION EXPANSION Tooling Tech Group has announced that its TTG Automation facility in Temperance, Mich., has completed a 14,000-square-foot expansion, bringing the total facility size to 59,000 square feet. The new area includes a new 5-ton overhead crane system, air compressor, and overhead sprinkler system. TTG Automation offers design, engineering, fabrication, build, commissioning, and ongoing service for a variety of automation equipment.
ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGIES LTD. LAUNCHES POSTPRODP, AN AUTOMATED DEPOWDERING SYSTEM FOR 3D PRINTING Additive Manufacturing Technologies Ltd. (AMT), a leader in industrial, automated, post-processing solutions for additive manufacturing (AM), and Leering Hengelo, internationally recognized producer of blasting equipment for the metal and plastics processing industry, have partnered to bring two new de-powdering systems called PostProDP and PostProDP Pro to the market. The PostProDP range has been specifically designed for the AM industry and provides a standalone, high-throughput, industrial depowdering solution. Both de-powdering machines are CE and ATEX certified. ELLISON TECHNOLOGIES NAMED DOOSAN ROBOTICS IMPORTER Ellison Technologies Inc. has been named the U.S. and Mexico importer for Doosan Robotics through machine tool distribution. As an importer, Ellison Technologies will provide the sales and distribution of Doosan Robotics’ collaborative robots (cobots) throughout the entire United States and Mexico. The Doosan cobots feature 6-axis articulation with torque sensors on all six joints, direct control cockpit, teach pendant, a payload range of up to 33.1 pounds, and a reach of up to 66.9 inches. ABLE MACHINE TOOL SALES ANNOUNCES PERSONNEL APPOINTMENTS ABLE Machine Tool Sales, a Northeast region distributor for top brand machine tools, has announced several personnel appointments. Christopher Lockery has been appointed general manager. Lockery has been with ABLE Machine Tool Sales for 13 years. Mark Perreault has been appointed to vice president of sales, where he will be responsible for strategizing, building, and guiding all aspects of ABLE’s sales department. Ralph Lazzara has joined ABLE as sales manager. Lazzara has over 24 years of machine tool sales and management experience. Georgia Sappleton has been appointed to the newly created position of vice president of human resources. She is a seasoned administrator with over 20 years of education and experience.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Blum-Novotest Inc. Erlanger, Ky. Primary Product: Inspection/ Measurement Equipment
All American Sales & Service Inc. Anaheim, Calif. Primary Product: Machine Tool Components/Attachments/ Accessories
Bommer Inc. San Francisco, Calif. Primary Product: Controls/CAD/ CAM/Software/Manufacturing as a Service
Arizona CNC Equipment Tempe, Ariz. Primary Product: Sales and Service
Bright Machines San Francisco, Calif. Primary Product: Control/CAD/ CAM/Software/Manufacturing as a Service
Adams Machinery Tempe, Ariz. Primary Product: Sales and Service
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ELCo Enterprises Inc. Jackson, Mich Primary Product: EDM/ECM/ Lasers/Welding/Plasma and Waterjet Cutting/Rotary Erosion Invisible AI San Francisco, Calif. Primary Product: Controls/CAD/ CAM/Software/Manufacturing as a Service
ADVOCACY Amber Thomas (571) 216-7448 athomas@AMTonline.org
Gail McGrew Writer
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Cesar Sosa Art Director Ashley Park Graphic Designer Dan Hong Writer/Editor
Tri-D Dynamics San Mateo, Calif. Primary Product: Additive Process/Advanced Materials
READY Robotics Baltimore, Md. Primary Product: Control/CAD/ CAM/Software/Manufacturing as a Service
Vulcan Machine Co. Fort Valley, Va. Primary Product: Milling/ Boring/Drilling/Tapping
Precision Machine Tool Solutions Sinking Spring, Pa. Primary Product: Sales and Service
AMT NEWS Andy Kuchinski Director, Marketing & Communications
Kristin Bartschi Managing Editor
Prosper Machine Tool Richland Hills, Texas Primary Product: Sales and Service
ECONOMIC/MARKET TRENDS Pat McGibbon (703) 827-5255 pmcgibbon@AMTonline.org Submit company news articles to: AMTonline.org/membercms
EXHIBITIONS Apply for space at IMTS 2020 Peter R. Eelman (703) 827-5264 peelman@AMTonline.org Bonnie T. Gurney (703) 827-5277 bgurney@AMTonline.org Mark Kennedy (703) 827-5220 mkennedy@AMTonline.org
GLOBAL SERVICES Ed Christopher (703) 827-5296 echristopher@AMTonline.org
MTCONNECT® Russ Waddell (703) 827-5258 rwaddell@AMTonline.org
MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY Tim Shinbara (703) 827-5243 tshinbara@AMTonline.org
SMARTFORCE DEVELOPMENT Greg Jones (703) 827-5203 gjones@AMTonline.org
INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT meetings@AMTonline.org AMTonline.org/meetings
STRATEGIC ANALYTICS Chris Downs (703) 827-5259 cmdowns@AMTonline.org
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FDI markets data shows fewer manufacturing projects since February BY CHRISTOPHER DOWNS DIRECTOR, STRATEGIC ANALY TICS Data from FDI Markets on the industrial market breaks down various initiatives planned throughout the industry in February, March, and April 2020. The statistics cover projects in the automotive, aerospace, medical devices, electrical components, industrial machinery, transportation, and energy markets. Not surprisingly, the data shows a significant downward trend month to month as the coronavirus worsened. In February, 70 projects had been announced; that number fell to 58 in March and 27 in April. Capital expenditures fell from just over $2 billion in February to $424 million in March and $268 million in April. Cash is king in a recession, and many companies want to hold on to some of their money or avoid making project
2020 - MONTHS
announcements until there is clarity in the market. As a result, capital expenditures and projects declined. Additionally, as the virus has disrupted trade and the movement of goods and people, companies have been forced to start rethinking how their supply chains are organized. Many are likely reevaluating their plans and reorganizing them to be more agile, resilient, and sustainable. A recent survey by the Site Selectors Guild and place marketing firm Development Counsellors International provides extra insight on the FDI Markets data. Respondents anticipate that North America will likely benefit from companies rethinking their supply chains, “particularly in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences sectors.” The survey also identifies several important impacts to the industry post-coronavirus such as which sectors will be hottest, the effects of widespread remote working, and more. Investment announcements didn’t completely stop, however, because some companies still need to prepare for new product or model launches that will happen months or years from now. Starting to design, test, and build production lines for those launches is important and takes time. While there is less investment, it hasn’t completely dried up, and opportunities still exist. The key for manufacturing suppliers is to prove how they can add value and resiliency to their partners upstream. For additional information on new investments, SalesLeads’ industrial market research team has conducted their own research into industrial manufacturing projects for March. That report is focused on industrial manufacturing – not on all the categories discussed here. The difference in sources means the data looks different, and they include an in-depth look at their top ten tracked industrial manufacturing projects.
*This figure includes live projects
This article originally appeared on our new AMT News site. To view this article and the related SalesLeads report, visit https://bit.ly/2TeGCSz.
AMTNEWS. YOUR SOURCE FOR MT INDUSTRY NEWS. As part of our commitment to the manufacturing technology industry, AMT has launched AMTNews.org, your one-stop website for updates on COVID-19, stimulus legislation analysis, and breaking industry news. While the print edition of AMTNews now runs on a bi-monthly schedule, you can get the latest news straight to your inbox when you subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter.
Visit AMTNews.org for the latest updates.
AMT BOARD MEMBERS Chairman: Christopher A. Bailey President, COO Air Quality Group, LLC 1st Vice Chairman: Paul Ricard President DP Technology Corp. Treasurer: John B. Cheung Co-founder, retired OMAX Corporation Secretary: Daniel D. Janka President Mazak Corporation Directors: Gregory L. Buck President Productivity Inc. Thomas F. Clark President and CEO INDEX Corporation Michael J. Cicco President and CEO FANUC America Corporation Blake Consdorf President Bourn & Koch, Inc. William R. Eichele President The Motch & Eichele Company, LLC Glynn Fletcher President EOS North America, Inc. Johan Israelsson Senior Vice President and Head of Global Sales Sandvik Applied Manufacturing Technologies Gregory Volovic President Hurco Companies, Inc. Ex-Officio: Steven R. Stokey Executive Vice President and Owner Allied Machine & Engineering Corp.
Douglas K. Woods President AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology
Department of Commerce announces tightening of export controls BY AMBER THOMAS VICE PRESIDENT, ADVOCACY The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to expand license requirements on exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) of items intended for military end use or military end users in China, Russia, or Venezuela. This could have a major impact on manufacturers who export a broadened list of technologies and other dual-use goods to China. The new rule, published in the Federal Register on April 28, expands the licensing requirements for exports to China to include “military end users” and “military end use.” Additionally, it broadens the list of items to which the licensing requirements and review policy apply and expands the definition of “military end use.” It also creates a new reason for control and the associated review policy for regional stability for certain items exported to China, Russia, or Venezuela. Lastly, it adds Electronic Export Information filing requirements in the Automated Export System for exports to China, Russia, and Venezuela. According to the Commerce Department, the rule changes include:
• Expansion of Military End Use (MEU) and User Controls Expands MEU license requirements controls on China, Russia, and Venezuela to cover military end-users in all three countries as well as items such as semiconductor equipment, sensors, and other technologies sought for military end use or by military end-users in these countries. • Removal of License Exception Civil End Users Removes a license exception for exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) to civilian end-users in countries of national security concern for National Security (NS)-controlled items. • Elimination of License Exception Additional Permissive Reexports Provisions Proposes to eliminate certain provisions of a license exception for partner countries involving the reexport of NS-controlled items to countries of national security concern to ensure consistent reviews of exports and reexports of U.S. items. The new requirements are consistent with the Trump administration’s report released in 2017, the National Security Strategy of the United States. The following
year, BIS identified a list of “emerging” technologies that could be subject to tightened export controls, including artificial intelligence, robotics, semiconductors, and advanced manufacturing. This January, BIS issued its first export controls on a technology from the list – artificial intelligence in geospatial imaging. Now that the coronavirus has exposed vulnerabilities in national security, we could see additional tightening of controls. AMT continues to closely monitor U.S. export control policy actions with respect to emerging technologies, China, and other areas that impact our members. If you have questions or encounter challenges with the export licensing process, contact Paul Freedenberg, AMT’s consultant on export control policy, at (703) 395-6499 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions on government relations issues, email me at athomas@AMTonline.org.
CONGRESS’ THREE-PHASE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE AND NEXT STEPS PHASE 1
INITIAL SUPPORT & VACCINE DEVELOPMENT H.R. 6074 — Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act
PAID LEAVE, UNEMPLOYMENT & FOOD ASSISTANCE H.R. 6201 — Families First Coronavirus Response Act
• $8.3 billion in COVID-19 response funding for developing a vaccine and preventing further spread of the virus
• $100 billion in worker assistance, including emergency paid sick leave, food assistance, and unemployment payments
• Became law on 3/6/20
• Became law on 3/18/20
PHASE 4 - TBD
ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC SUPPORT (LIKELY); INFRASTRUCTURE (MAYBE)
MAJOR ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE H.R. 748 — CARES Act • Major stimulus package ($2 trillion) • Loans and support to major industries, including airlines and small businesses • Direct payments to individuals and families • Became law on 3/27/20
ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES/HOSPITALS
• Speaker Pelosi’s priorities for Phase 4 include additional payments to individuals and small businesses, expanded food assistance, and paid sick leave
S.Amdt.1580 — Paycheck Protection Program & Health Care Enhancement Act
• Pelosi also suggested infrastructure spending, an idea backed by President Trump, but was met with resistance from some senior Republicans
• $310 billion for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program, additional funding for hospitals and testing • Became law on 4/24/20
Sources: The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Congress.gov, US News.
MARKET DATA REVIEW
Pandemic adds a level of difficulty in understanding market BY PAT MCGIBBON CHIEF KNOWLEDGE OFFICER
U.S. REAL GDP GROWTH PERCENT CHANGE, Q/Q ANNUALIZED
Source: IHS Markit
U.S. MANUFACTURING PMI
members polled do not expect to see a V-shaped recovery even with sharp, upward growth rates as businesses get back to work. Most members believe that it will be the first or second quarter of 2021 before we get back to fourth-quarter-2019 levels. Their projections match up nicely with the forecasts by IHS and Oxford Economics. Oxford Economics forecasts GDP growth of 8% and 19% for the third and fourth quarter respectively, but they are still projecting that the U.S. economy will not grow back into fourth-quarter-2019 levels until the second quarter of 2021 (see graph included). USMTO data through the first quarter reports that cancelations for the first quarter were below historical averages, sitting at 2.6%, and validates responses to members polled. The market in March showed that contract machining orders grew by 12%, and other industries, such as defense and space and medical equipment, continued to be strong. Members have shared that contract machining was softer in April but that defense and space and medical remained strong while Tier 1 and 2 suppliers to the auto industry were preparing for the major auto manufacturers to reopen at the end of May or early June. Companies are stretching budgets and cash to retain employees as they expect challenges to reemploy top workers as they, their competitors, and customers all begin to increase capacity throughout the summer months. AMT members widely report that their customers are placing orders for projects they are committed to and projects they are prepping for in the late fall. End-users don’t seem to be canceling programs, just delaying immediate investments to preserve liquidity. I want to thank all those who have shared their stories and sent in their perspectives on the market. I also want to thank the social groups meeting weekly who have shared their insights and helped identify opportunities. We have also been asked how our members can become part of a web conference network. There are two ways to leverage the experience of others in the membership. First, if you are comfortable with sharing your question or idea with the entire membership, post it to the AMTNews.org forum page. Second, if you would like the smaller audience and social aspects of a group, Steve Lesnewich, vice president of membership services, would be glad to help put groups together. If you are interested, contact Steve at (703) 827-5227 or email him at slesnewich@AMTonline.org. 2018-q3
and March with expectations that April orders will fall by less than 10% and that May orders will fall by 15-20%. In comparison, cutting tool shipments fell 4% in February from January levels, two months before equipment orders fell. Based on insights from a couple dozen tooling firms, the tooling industry will post a 10-15% decline in March and declines of more than 30% in both April and May, and most believe that tooling orders will reach a trough in June. This reversal in the two elements’ roles in identifying a downturn probably rests with the sudden nature of the downturn. Paraphrasing one member’s theory, the faucet was shut down to a trickle in the middle of March on new business opportunities in equipment sales and in shipments of consumables. Equipment providers have been able to continue to move existing quotation activity into orders in March and April while cutting tool orders and shipments were crushed in the same time frame. There is still a trickle of quotation activity for equipment, but builders and distributors will likely see a significant drop in orders during May and June. If manufacturing operations begin to expand activity in June, then July or August should show improving business for providers of manufacturing technology. An overwhelming percentage of AMT
February and March metrics looked great for most manufacturing technology providers. USMTO orders were up, month over month, in both months. The Cutting Tool Market Report showed a sharp uptick in January, and the forecast for cutting tool demand released in December pointed to a strong rebound starting in the second quarter. Government metrics like the Census Bureau’s M3 Series on manufacturing shipments, orders, and inventories pointed to a continuation of an upward trend in manufacturing. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic impacted our nation’s economy and our industry’s health in an instant and highlighted the weakness of trend data to help guide our strategic decisions. In response, companies have developed market-reading teams that meet on a daily and weekly basis about what is happening in the market and are adjusting plans on a weekly – if not a daily – basis. Manufacturing technology equipment (i.e., machining centers, presses, lasers) lead downturns in the durable manufacturing business cycle while manufacturing technology consumables (i.e., cutting tools, workholding) lead upturns in the manufacturing business cycle. The current crisis seems to have turned this relationship on its head. As noted, USMTO orders were up in both February
Source: Oxford Economics & U.S. BEA, Forecasted Data in Red
If you have any questions about information in this article or would like to discuss what is going on in the market, please feel free to send me an email or call me at (703) 827-5255.
CK A R
JE O R
Making design tools freely accessible
RECED E NTED
recovery period is unique. Unlike
Working to develop reusable metal filters with respirators that could protect against the COVID-19 virus
STRY IS WORKING T OGE
FA ST -T
GE O T
START A NEW PA TH
other comebacks where innovation primarily galvanized the growth and revitalization, this crisis requires that
Putting their CAD-CAM, 3D printing, and metal cutting skills to work making a variety of equipment
we also RESET THE SUPPLY CHAIN. Continued from the cover ... Autodesk has made their design tools freely accessible, including 360 Design, Fusion 360, Fusion Team, and AutoCAD, to give the community access to the tools they need to design new parts. Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is offering free offline licensing, remote access options, and online learning tools. Additive manufacturers like Protolabs, Stratasys, and Xometry are 3D printing a wide range of coronavirusrelated items, such as face shields, temperaturemeasurement devices, masks, visors, and ventilator parts. Materialise released f iles for a 3D-printed, hands-free door handle attachment to alleviate germ transmission via door handles. ExOne and the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering are working to develop reusable metal filters
with respirators that could protect against the coronavirus. Across the country, high school to graduate programs within the Haas Technical Education Network are putting their CAD/CAM, 3D-printing, and metal-cutting skills to work making a variety of equipment, including respirator masks, ventilator components, and face shields for their local healthcare workers and first responders. In just 12 days, good old-fashioned American ingenuity helped Airon Corp., a small Florida manufacturer, quickly partner with Ford and GE Healthcare to fast-track a ventilator production agreement to help healthcare workers fight COVID-19. Of course, many more businesses, schools, and organizations have adjusted workforce strategies, production tooling, and sourcing to combat and advance through this unprecedented challenge.
Resilience and recovery History has shown us that manufacturing thrives on resiliency, just as the human body does. After enduring stress, a recovery period allows our muscles to grow stronger than before, just like the muscle of U.S. manufacturing. Today’s manufacturing recovery period is unique. Unlike other comebacks where innovation primarily galvanized growth and revitalization, this crisis requires that we also reset the supply chain. At first look, it appears as if the 2019 tariffs and COVID-19 created the supply chain weakness. Long links were stretched and broke, exposing our dependence on offshore sources. However, the supply chain was already fragile. A perfect storm had been brewing for nearly half a century. How did we come to rely so heavily on other countries?
Cancelations won’t stop industry from supporting STEM students BY GREG JONES, VICE PRESIDENT, SMARTFORCE DEVELOPMENT, AND BILL HERMAN, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS & SPONSORSHIP
From the 1940s to the 1970s, the U.S. machine tool industry was at the heart of U.S. manufacturing and led the world in both machine tool production and consumption. After WWII, the United States had a phenomenal trade surplus. A series of short-sighted monetary policies brought the U.S. surplus to zero by 1979. From the 1980s to the 2000s, supply chains were unintendedly weakened due to administration goals on higher education and international trade policies as well as legislation and shifts in business philosophy focusing solely on price. Luckily, since the late 2000s, administration policies, new trade agreements, legislation, and businesses have focused on strengthening the U.S. industrial base. Strides forward include tax breaks on capital investment, the creation of funds for technical education, high-skilled apprenticeships, and Manufacturing USA (formally the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation). These efforts encourage a secure U.S. global leadership in advanced manufacturing. Manufacturing will hit back harder. The deep crevasse in the broken supply chain shines a bright light on new opportunities and the strategies that will work. Some manufacturers are fulf illing new orders, collaborating, innovating, and easily retooling thanks to digital manufacturing. Others are analyzing their
products and services, determining streamlined operational processes, and developing reorganization strategies to determine their post-COVID-19-crisis business approach. Regardless of your situation in these past months, one certainty remains: every manufacturer in the United States is rethinking ways to rebuild the supply chain. Whether you are an advanced manufacturer, job shop owner, or OEM, AMT and IMTS are committed to supporting you as we rebalance supply chains. We are dedicating significant staff and financial resources to help you rethink, reengage, and reestablish supply chains. As manufacturers move forward with supply chain concerns top of mind, AMT and IMTS are poised to play a critical role. Through the breadth and depth of our resources, OEMs and job shops can explore ways to shorten and rebalance supply chains to mitigate risk without sacrificing profitability, find qualified suppliers, implement multi-sourcing strategies, learn the government’s role in such initiatives, and explore how reshoring or nearshoring can lower total costs and enable an agile response. “We are eager to help our community through this crisis by getting you what you need. With strengthened supply chains and digital manufacturing implemented, I sincerely believe we are going to see new levels of agility, productivity, and prof itability,” says AMT President Douglas K. Woods.
AMT Resources AMTNews.org/COVID-19 • Updates on government actions, tax policy, and legislation • Business strategies to manage the pandemic • Resources for smarter sourcing decisions Supply chain market research Contact Chris Downs, AMT director, strategic analytics, at CMDowns@AMTonline.org. Legislative guidance, government incentives, and AMT Manufacturing Technology Mandate Contact Amber Thomas, AMT vice president, advocacy, at AThomas@AMTonline.org.
IMTS.com/SupplyChain Information on how to rethink, reengage, and reestablish your supply chain. IMTS Insider e-newsletter Articles and webinars with resources to strengthen the supply chain. Doug’s Daily Minute on AMT LinkedIn From business advice to industry updates, AMT President Douglas K. Woods shares resources and important information to help manufacturers work through this pandemic. AMT and IMTS LinkedIn and Facebook Pages Exclusive updates by industry experts with ideas and resources for managing your business through this crisis.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, AMT made the decision to postpone The MFG Meeting in April. This also required a cancelation of the Miles for Manufacturing (M4M) race set to take place at the event. Although the race was canceled, many M4M sponsors have made the selfless decision to still pledge their donations to the school programs. At a time when so many extracurricular activities are being canceled, the support that our M4M sponsors provide to these school programs is truly appreciated. The following companies have committed to donations to the recipient schools: • EMAG • ASME • BIG KAISER • HEIDENHAIN • Machinery Finance Resources • Royal Products • SME Recipient schools include: Atlantic Technical College and Technical High School received $4,000 to support the materials budget for their Additive Manufacturing 3D Professionals Club. Once schools are back in session, this donation will go a long way to allowing the students to engage and learn from the technology that is made possible by assuring they have the materials they need. Team 135 Black Knights FIRST Robotics Team received $500 to support team mechanical technology investments. Due to COVID-19, FIRST Robotics suspended the season and canceled the FIRST Robotics National Championship in April. This donation provided a much-needed morale boost to Team 135. Teams rely on support from corporate sponsors and mentors to make their programs work. On behalf of the students, faculty, and teachers, we would like to thank these companies for their generous support of STEM education in a time when students need it most. Proceeds from the M4M 5K race series are donated to local schools to support STEM education programs that prepare students for careers in advanced manufacturing. Since its debut at IMTS 2014, M4M has been run at advanced manufacturing meetings around the country and has raised more than $93,000 to assist middle school, high school, and technical college programs that promote careers in advanced manufacturing.
How companies are preparing for the loss of tribal knowledge as baby boomers retire BY GREG JONES VICE PRESIDENT, SMARTFORCE DEVELOPMENT As experienced, technically skilled workers continue to retire from the manufacturing workforce, the loss of tribal knowledge affects productivity, quality, and safety. Manufacturing companies are developing and deploying a variety of new technology-based systems and solutions to help them meet the challenges of this brain drain. We’ll take a look at a few technologies emerging in this important area. Augmented reality Augmented reality (AR) is one technology that is increasingly being used to provide knowledge transfer and training. AR can display information, data, procedures, and images in real time through smartphones, tablets, or smart glasses and can guide a technician remotely through learning a new process. Learning modules that are available on demand with short training units have been shown to be a highly effective way to bring new employees up to speed on job responsibilities. Research has demonstrated that guiding someone through a task and showing them how to do it visually or experientially has a greater impact on learning than traditional classroom learning. “Augmented reality offers the promise of providing the industrial workforce with relevant, contextual, and customized information and guidance from across the enterprise into their field of view in a seamless, hands-free, intuitive manner that transforms the way they work,” said Amar Dhaliwal, CEO, Atheer Inc. An additional benefit of some AR platforms such as the Atheer platform is that it was developed to be a low-code platform, which is in effect “a no-code platform so that people with no programming experience whatsoever can create step-by-step guides on operating procedures, processes, and workflows. This has proven very successful,” said Dhaliwal.
AR also has important safety-related applications. Manufacturing production lines are often extremely complex, and a piece of equipment can require dozens of maintenance procedures that involve hundreds of components and many different steps. Inexperienced and untrained workers pose safety challenges to themselves and others if not completely trained on using equipment or handling materials properly. CNC programming made easier Sandvik recently developed and launched an AI-based application that enables the programming of simple components using 3D visualizations. Called Prism, and running on a tablet, it is user friendly and intuitive and does not require programming skills. “Prism allows companies to recruit less experienced people and close a skills gap, and it was developed for precisely this challenge. With Prism, the user chooses the equipment and the features, and the application makes recommendations. Once those recommendations are accepted, it automatically generates what is called ‘g-code’ – the programming language that is exported to the machine to run the process. Prism can cut CNC coding times from hours to less than ten minutes,” said Johan Israelsson, senior vice president and head of global sales, Sandvik Applied Manufacturing Technologies. Troubleshooting service problems ABB has developed a service management application to enable service engineers to access knowledge and best practices when servicing ABB automation equipment and ABB-automated processes. Its ServicePro Service Management System is equipped with libraries of ABB
equipment and associated factory- and field-developed preventive routines. Available on mobile devices and focused on safety, the software allows the user to identify, classify, and prioritize issues for immediate problem-solving. “This means an operator doesn’t need long years of experience or training to be able to troubleshoot common equipment or process issues,” said Dave Biros, ABB’s global product marketing manager for process automation. The foundation of ABB ServicePro is a comprehensive knowledge database containing libraries of best practices. These procedures are documented, collected, integrated, and deployed through ServicePro and available to anyone who needs them at every facility that uses ServicePro. To date, ABB has developed modules for maintenance management, parts management, contract management, optimization management, and report management. Conclusion Generation Z and most millennials are digital natives and they are not only used to – they expect – technology in the workplace. They will not resist automation and will prefer it to repetitive tasks. For more frequent updates, follow @GregoryAJones on Twitter, read the latest industry news at www.AMTNews.org, or contact Greg Jones at gjones@AMTonline.org or (703) 827-5203.
COVID-19: How wide could the skills gap grow? BY GREG JONES VICE PRESIDENT, SMARTFORCE DEVELOPMENT It’s generally known in the education and workforce development community that there is an inverse relationship between a strong, robust economy and workforce development programs at community colleges and community-based adult education programs. Normally, when the economy is booming, companies are less likely to send workers to school to learn new job skills. But when the economy slows down, workforce programs are filled. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread closure of non-essential businesses, the balance has once again shifted. Sudden layoffs increased unemployment in the “non-essential” sector, mainly in the service industry. Normally, unemployed persons would seek out worker retraining programs at schools. However, with so many schools closed through the spring, this brings into question how the industry will come out the other side and whether the skills gap in manufacturing could be further exacerbated. We’re speaking with many state educators and seeing that schools may stay closed for the balance of the school year, though students may yet return for summer school programs. Fewer career and technical education (CTE) high school graduates with appropriate industry-recognized credentials will be entering the workforce than normal. Unfortunately, SkillsUSA canceled their National Leadership and Skills Championships that usually occurs in late June. Normally, many of the high school students and nearly 100% of the community college students who compete in the CNC machining championships have already accepted jobs in the industry. Competing at the SkillsUSA Nationals means they possess the best CNC skills in the country. AMT
has been a decades-long partner of SkillsUSA, a leader in vocational education. We already had a signif icant skills gap in manufacturing, and now we are seeing “Help Wanted” notices for manufacturing companies whose operations are considered “essential,” especially among companies in need of CNC machinists and 5-axis-capable machinists to support the supply chain for the medical device industry. The impact of the pandemic has shed light on the gaps in the global supply chain and will likely result in a focus on increasing “Made in the U.S.A.” products going forward. However, this will put additional strain on the education-to-workforce supply chain as well. We will have to redouble our efforts to support CTE high school programs and our local community colleges. We must put an even greater effort into changing perceptions about careers in manufacturing to encourage more young people – as well as workers who are suddenly unemployed – to seek an education and career pathway in manufacturing technology. For our part, AMT Smartforce Development will continue to take the pulse of federal, state, and local education leaders to gauge their challenges and to help build solutions that benefit individuals, schools, AMT members, and their customers. To keep pace, we’ll need to emphasize learnwhile-you-earn, industry-recognized apprenticeship programs that are competency-based and not timebased. Schools have already been shifting to virtual, e-learning programs, and we’ll need to double down on those so working students can combine book learning with hands-on learning.
What AMT members can do to keep their business and relationships from disappearing during COVID-19 BY MARIO WINTERSTEIN CEO, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GROUP INC. In times like these, no matter where in the world you do business, the most important thing you can do is stay close to your customers. After all, they’re the source of your new orders; if they temporarily become idle or shift their focus, they – and their orders – will return as the crisis abates. Below, we have listed ways that may keep you visible, available, and engaged with them. Not all of these recommendations may apply to you but pursuing one or a few of them may net you unexpected, positive results. Remember: in the midst of any crises, unexplored opportunities are likely to arise. • Create a realistic but uplifting message to your customers, partners, suppliers, representatives, distributors, and service providers that shows you care and you want to find ways to address the downturn together. • T his is the time for collaboration. You may even consider working with some of your competitors to complement each other’s offerings and provide value to your common customers. • T his is the time for integration. You may want to look differently at the supply chain of your market segment and go wider and deeper about what services you can provide to your customers based on your true expertise. This may mean that you create new – perhaps temporary – partnerships with your suppliers or customers to provide a wider range of services. • This is the time for open access. Do not be afraid to share your knowledge with your customers, provided it is not truly proprietary, even though you may not be immediately paid for it. Once this is over, they will remember who supported them during meager times. • T his is the time for communication. Make sure you keep in constant contact with all stakeholders so that new ideas are not lost in the shuffle in this remoteworking environment. • Create domestic and international sales contingency plans. • “A plan by itself is nothing; planning is everything.” • Contact all of your best customers – the 20% that represent 80% of your revenue. • For each of them, find out what they need to stay in
business to bridge the downturn and to continue to buy your products. • G et input from your salesforce; learn what unconventional methods they feel could work while maintaining afloat. • Work with your distributors (domestic and international) and brainstorm ways that you, together, can keep business flowing. • F ind out from them what is happening in their territory that may create unique opportunities you would not encounter any place else. • B e open to discuss concessions and enhancements that increase the value of your offerings. • Seek new applications for your products: • In case you did not do this already, make a list of products that are being used to address the COVID-19 pandemic for which you do or could provide manufacturing technology equipment, tooling, instrumentation, and support. • Medical emergency equipment, hospital equipment, safety gear, respirators, valves, masks, etc. are being manufactured in large scale by conventional companies for these products ( Johnson & Johnson, Honeywell, 3M, GE, etc.) and unconventional ones (GM, Ford, FCA, Boeing, etc.). Make sure they and their suppliers have what they need to support their manufacturing requirements. • R emember that this is a global emergency. Companies in Europe (Rolls-Royce, Dyson, JCB, bicycle manufacturers, etc.), Asia (various plants in Japan and South Korea), and around the world are similarly being creative to supply their region with this same range of equipment. Make sure your international representatives build similar lists of potential customers working on these types of equipment and products. • S everal industries are actively pursuing opportunities in emergency gear products: masks built from 3D printing; dies and molds for a variety of medical plastic parts; safety packaging products; mechanical parts for respirators; and many more. • For lists of COVID-19 equipment manufacturers and suppliers, see the Resource Hub published by
Thomas Net: https:// b l o g. t h o m a s n e t . c o m / covid-19-response. • T here are quite creative transformations taking place to address shortages. For example, in Brazil, several sugarcane alcohol producers who normally produce ethanol fuel or liquor are converting their operations to produce hand sanitizers. The same is happening at Oakland Spirits in California. • D on’t forget the job shops and the contract manufacturing companies (service providers) including Protolabs, ICOMold, Protocase, Xometry, and many more in the United States and abroad. Also, keep in close contact with manufacturing capacity brokers (service brokers) who know who is busy and who is not and may be able to point you to potential customers. They are all integral parts of the digital manufacturing supply chain and may need what you have to offer, quickly. • Figure out a way to replace imported products that are no longer viable options due to import restrictions with your own products. • A ll of a sudden, the supply chain is upside down. You may no longer be competing with lower-cost products from abroad anymore. • F ind key qualified products that you may be able to supply in lieu of what used to be imported; products lower in price due to larger scale importing and, sometimes, inferior quality may no longer be competition. All these ideas and more may be expanded and further discussed by contacting AMT headquarters in McLean, Va. or the AMT Tech Centers and offices in Shanghai, Chennai, Monterrey, Warsaw, and Sao Paulo.
For more information, contact Ed Christopher at echristopher@AMTonline.org.
TECH TRENDS BITS BY STEPHEN L AMARCA MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY ANALYST Here are some juicy articles from the past few months pulled from MTInsight’s Tech Trends. To get up to speed, use the Bitly link to view the full article. SMART ROBOTS STEP UP TO HELP COMBAT CORONAVIRUS The spread of coronavirus has blindsided the world. Think about it: you’re probably reading this at your kitchen table, on the couch, or in bed instead of at your desk in your office building. Anyway, intelligent disinfection robots could soon help stop the spread of viruses in hospitals – and they were developed in just seven days! https://bit.ly/2xEuEcC DENMARK OPENS SWANKY HQ FOR ROBOT COWORKERS Looks like Denmark is officially the (collaborative) robotics capital of the world! Although cobots aren’t necessarily common (yet), collaborative robots are the fastest-growing segment of industrial automation, and Denmark is the home to Universal Robots (UR), and they exclusively build collaborative arms! https://zd.net/39wIifN
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BOSTON DYNAMICS, OTTO MOTORS PARTNER ON WAREHOUSE AUTOMATION Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Boston Dynamics. If you’ve been to IMTS before, you’ve certainly seen OTTO Motors and their warehouse industrial autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in action. Together, Boston Dynamics and OTTO Motors can make AMRs more capable and productive than ever before. https://bit.ly/2wTQ05M ABB AND COVARIANT PARTNER TO DEPLOY INTEGRATED AI ROBOTIC SOLUTIONS Robot arm technology breaks down like this: your first-generation arms are of the industrial type. Industrial arms are fast and strong, but dumb. They need to be safeguarded to ensure they don’t kill anything organic near it when it’s working. Collaborative robots (cobots) are the second generation arms that are much friendlier to work with, more forgiving, and less accident-prone around humans. Now enter the current state: robot arms implementing artificial intelligence, sometimes referred to as adaptive robots. ABB has just partnered with Covariant to provide the AI brains for their robots. https://bit.ly/33Zn1tr SCIENCE FICTION VS. REALITY: A ROBOTICS INDUSTRY OVERVIEW Robots have really taken off over the past few years in the manufacturing industry and even in military settings; one of my personal favorites is the Phalanx CIWS, an automated Gatling cannon that shoots down incoming missiles. But I digress. The robots we’ve come to know and love in science fiction are surprisingly considered a long-term goal.
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Understanding the value of your business and how to maximize it! BY PHILLIP MARSH, CONTROLLER, CHAD NYBOER, CFO, AND STEVE KLOTZ, PRESIDENT FROM THE HUIZENGA GROUP AIM COMMIT TEE CHAIRMAN: RICK BL AKE, EDGEWATER AUTOMATION Congratulations! You have run a successful company and are beginning to think about the next stage in life. Many business owners in your situation are curious about the value of their (likely) largest personal asset as well as how to maximize that value over the next few years. If selling your business is your ultimate goal, you should understand how a buyer might value your business so you can take any required steps before going through a sales process. How buyers will value your business. Buyers will use various ways to value your business. In unique situations, a buyer may take an asset-based approach by looking at the fair market value of the underlying assets. For startup tech companies, the purchase price may be a multiple of revenue. Under conventional wisdom, most valuation approaches will focus on the free cash flow generated by the business with consideration to the risk the buyer must assume for the right to that cash flow stream. Typical financial buyers will use a discounted cash flow analysis or a leveraged buyout model, although these are often approximated as a multiple of the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) generated by the business. When hearing what other businesses sold for, it is very often a multiple of EBITDA; however, when comparing two identical businesses with the same EBITDA, the business with the lower capital expenditure requirements will be valued higher because it will generate more cash. The weighted average cost of capital is what a buyer will use to contemplate the risk of generating future cash flows. The lower the cost of capital, the more valuable a business will be. Typically, the least expensive form of capital is bank financing. If a buyer can finance a larger portion of the purchase price with bank financing than with equity, it will increase the value of your business. DISCOUNTED CASH FLOW ILLUSTRATION Base Case $100 K $150 K $250 K $250 K $50 K $1,700 K
Increase Earning 20% $1,200 K $150 K $300 K $250 K $50 K $1,950 K
Reduce Capex $300K $1,000 K $150 K $250 K $250 K $50 K $1,700 K
Annual capital expenditures (capex.)
Free cash flow
Earnings Interest Taxes (assume 25%} Depreciation Amortization EBITDA
Earnings plus interest, depr., amort., less capex.
Weighted avg. cost of capital Enterprise value Plus cash, less debt Payment to owners Multiple of EBITDA
10.7% $9,810 K ($2,000 K) $7,810K 5.8x
10.7% $11,680 K ($2,000 K) $9,680 K 6.0x
10.7% $12,620 K ($2,000 K) $10,620 K 7.4x
Potential buyers will want to project the future cash flow of a business. For automation integrators that are project-based, it is difficult to project cash flows in one to three years; consequently, a goal of a seller in this industry is to show consistent year-over-year growth with the same customers or find a way to have more recurring revenue (e.g., spare parts, service contracts). Quite a few business owners have discretionary (personal) expenses being paid by the business, and they like to “add-back” those expenses to profitability and cash flows. Buyers will question the validity of those add-backs unless you have very good documentation. Sometimes, it is better to eliminate the add-backs to make the cash flows and EBITDA pure. How to maximize that value in a short horizon. By understanding the methodology used by buyers, you can work to enhance the value of your company. As illustrated in the image above, increasing your earnings or reducing the required CAPEX to run your business will increase your valuation. You can further enhance the value of your business by reducing the inherent risk associated with your business, which will result in a lower weighted average cost of capital applied by the buyer. Commonly, closely held private businesses are susceptible to the risks identified below. To the extent you can solve these concerns prior to the sales process, you will better position yourself to realize maximum value for your business. For automation integrators, a “work in process” is typically one of the largest assets on the balance sheet. You should have good systems and processes in place to be able to value that asset and its corresponding revenue and expenses to ensure your financial statements are accurate month to month. Consider your buyer. While it is important to get your business ready to sell and go through a sales process, it is also important to consider each prospective buyer and what that will mean to your business, customers, and employees. • Is the buyer financially sound to fund future seller financing payments (if applicable), support future growth, or weather an industry downturn? • Does the buyer bring operational, financial, or industry expertise? • If the buyer is someone within your industry – a strategic buyer – will they continue to maintain your company legacy and value your employees? • Will the buyer hold your business long-term, or will your customers and employees be going through another transaction in three to five years? Most business owners pour a majority of their personal resources, both time and money, into their business. It is important to think about succession planning early on to ensure a smooth process and a satisfying outcome. Please remember that when going through the sales process, there will be ups and downs, and competent legal and banking assistance will make the process smoother. RISK
QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF
Customer or industry concentration
Would your business materially suffer from the loss of one of your top customers or a downturn in a specific industry?
Diversify your customer and industry base. Otherwise, obtain longer-term agreements or illustrate that you are irreplaceable to your customer(s).
Key employee risk
Would your business materially suffer from the loss of key employee(s), including yourself?
Build a management team and depth throughout your organization. Otherwise, provide creative forms of short term and long- term compensation showing that key employees are vested in the business.
Robust systems and processes
Is your business capable of growing profitably without key employees micro-managing that activity?
Review internal processes and consider potential enhancements that can facilitate data-driven decision-making. Consider involving a consultant.
Enterprise value divided by EB/TOA
WEIGHTED AVERAGE COST OF CAPITAL Senior bank financing Seller financing Mezzanine financing Required equity return*
pre-tax 6.0% 8.0% 18.0% 25.0%
after-tax* 4.5% 6.0% 13.5% 25.0%
% 40% 20% 20% 20%
*Required equity return is subjective based various considerations: Risk free rate of return plus: Industry risk premium Size risk premium Specific company risk premium Any other risks identified by the buyer
rate 1.8% 20% 2.7% 5.0% 10.7%
A new way of thinking
Identifying critical points for the additive manufacturing process BY BILL HERMAN PRESIDENT, NEW ERA ASSESSMENTS The additive manufacturing (AM) industry has emerged from its infancy, a place where science and science fiction were legitimately co-mingling for decades, to find itself moving beyond the dream stage in a search for legitimate manufacturing uses that would maximize AM’s impressive capabilities. While it is true high compound annual growth rate (CAGR) percentages and revenue numbers starting with “b” will get plenty of attention in the global market, it doesn’t change the fact that I have seen many AM processes up close that either stumble out of the gates with unfounded expectations or stall after encountering setbacks. For each business I assess, my first challenge is often getting leadership to understand that adopting an AM model means also adopting a new way of thinking. The first question they should ask themselves is: am I ready to re-evaluate everything I think I know? In my experience, there’s three things that make an AM process a success: • Business • Culture • Product application Business There probably has not been a technology that has been as disruptive as AM technology since before World War II. That means nobody in today’s business arena has gone through anything like the evolution of AM. Oftentimes, what’s old is new, and that can be said for AM. The automotive industry was using AM technology in fuel pumps 30 years ago, printing out the impellers through stereolithography (SLA) techniques. Three decades later, we all expected AM to be far more integrated into a wide array of industries. Only recently have we seen significant steps forward in plastics, composites, and metals. Yet progress still has been a challenge. Culture The importance and impact of a business’ culture cannot be overlooked. One could argue that AM has been advancing faster than the ability of most companies to fully utilize it. I believe that is rooted in traditional manufacturing cultures that cannot find that “new way” of thinking. Aerospace and medical industries have always been quick to adopt new technologies. Their AM success is well documented, but their willingness to embrace innovation comes as much from their adoption of new tech as it does from their success adapting the wholly new engineering approaches required to get there.
Product Far too often, an AM business model is created that does not focus enough on the application of the AM technology to create a specific product. Rather, businesses may purchase a machine and then try to adapt it to creating their existing product in some stage of the existing process. With the variants of quality AM machines available – most requiring millions of dollars to simply power up – there’s no reason to not acquire the perfect machine for a specific product need. Best practices in the implementation of AM are to start small and focus on each of the specific operational silos required for the manufacturing process. By talking to our AM customers in manufacturing, we have learned of many common problems, including a lack of understanding for what AM operations require. It all starts with an organic design. Organic Design My team has a saying we believe in when it comes to designing organically: “Let the part be what it wants to be.” The premise suggests each individual application requires a thorough understanding of the best material to use and process to follow for the very best results. From identifying the right vendors to establishing realistic AM throughput expectations to improving the essential processes necessary to succeed, we transform raw, inefficient AM business models into viable manufacturing processes. Manufacturers who are willing to let my team show them how they can adopt a successful AM manufacturing process will have access to the insights necessary to meet their specific needs and business goals. Our insights are geared to market growth, profit, quality, ROI, ideal energy consumption, and efficient transportation costs. It’s a new era of assessment for a manufacturing process that extends both up and downstream from suppliers to distributors. You just need to be willing to think differently. About the Author: Bill Herman is the President of Cincinnati-based New Era Assessments, LLC. In addition to a quality and test engineering background in traditional manufacturing, Bill has extensive experience in the additive manufacturing/3D printing industry, specializing in additive development and lean manufacturing for aerospace, medical, automotive and energ y sectors. New Era Assessments, LLC is an additive manufacturing/3D printing assessment firm specializing in innovative, comprehensive additive manufacturing consulting—providing expert insights in design engineering, education, prototype parts development, production and parts development.
Strategies and tips for marketing to younger generations BY ANDY KUCHINSKI DIRECTOR, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
There are currently more than 520,000 open manufacturing jobs in the United States according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and a recent report from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute projects that 2.4 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled over the next decade. As baby boomers continue to retire, the industry will continue to struggle with a shortage of new workers to fill these job openings. To attract younger generations, companies will need to continue to adjust their recruiting strategies and messages. In this article, we’ll refer to millennials and Generation Z (Gen Z) collectively as “younger generations.” Research suggests that the efforts of manufacturing companies in recent years to promote the field in their communities at high schools, technical colleges, annual MFG Days, and otherwise are paying off. A study by Leading2Lean (L2L), headquartered in Sparks, Nev., in the summer of 2019 found that 32% of Gen Z has had manufacturing suggested to them as a career option, compared with only 18% of millennials. In 2020, millennials ranged between 23 and 39 years in age, and Gen Z’s ages ranged between seven and 22 years. The L2L report also found that Gen Z is more likely to consider working in the manufacturing sector and is less likely to view it as an industry in decline than other cohorts. While this is good news, community outreach efforts must continue. On a macro level, all manufacturers should continue to address the preconceived ideas the public and their respective regional communities may have about jobs in manufacturing by providing information programs and education to high schools, technical schools, STEM programs, and guidance counselors. They should also continue participating in annual events like MFG Day, hosting plant tours, and offering paid apprenticeship positions after school and during the summer. Marketing strategies On the marketing front, there are several communication strategies and best practices as well as recruiting practices that will help make your company more attractive to younger generations. Understanding their perceptions and expectations will help you appeal to this demographic. Showcase innovation In terms of overall branding and communication, showcase your company’s innovation and focus on technology wherever possible. Digital natives expect technology and automation in the workplace, and they equate it with progress and opportunity. A lack of technology suggests inefficiency and limited growth opportunities. Remember that your website is likely the first impression you will make on potential employees, so start there. Showcase diversity Americans are increasingly diverse in myriad ways,
and this diversity needs to be welcomed at your company. Your website and career page should include images of the diverse talent you’re trying to attract. This applies to the recruiters you send out into the field too. Do not use standard stock images of people who are the same ethnicity, gender, or age, and, instead, consider using images of your actual employees. This will also make you come across as more authentic to jobseekers. Showcase growth opportunities Showcase and discuss personal and professional growth opportunities, training, and career advancement at your company, including ways that employees work with management and executives. Recruiting on the internet To maximize your recruitment efforts, make sure your job openings are listed on one or more of the leading online job sites and recruiting tools: LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, or Monster Jobs. Glassdoor also lets job seekers read comments and reviews about your company from your current and past employees. Job seekers typically encounter dozens to hundreds of job postings every day. Try to make your company stand out in some way to get more attention from job applicants. Communicate unique characteristics and benefits of your company, your company culture, and the position. Work with your marketing department to create a compelling narrative around your company or eye-catching job ads. You might consider developing profiles or a video of a diverse selection of employees, including their backgrounds, personal interests, and what brought them to your region or to your company. If your company has a pizza lunch every Friday, mention it. If you know you’re looking for a “young, tech-savvy, millennial talent” to fill a position, mention this! Leverage social media Think of social media as the billboards your community drives past every day. Use it to brand your company and job opportunities. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to communicate and promote your company’s job openings. In summary, the messages that appealed to past generations might not be enough to get younger generations through the door today. By adjusting your recruitment strategy to align with what younger generations value – social and environmental responsibility, flexibility, work-life balance, assistance with student loans, and more – they will be more open to considering your company for their next position. Contact Andy Kuchinski for more marketing tips at akuchinski@AMTonline.org.
Say it with Loom BY STEVE LESNEWICH VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBER SERVICES During these weeks of COVID-19, we have learned to adapt quickly and use the new skills, products, and services that can make our work from home (WFH) jobs more productive. I’m always on the lookout for the next unique sales tool that will resonate with customers to help start or improve our relationship with them. For Road Warriors, any tool that can get our customers to notice and respond is a win. About two weeks ago, during one of our weekly Leadership Forum Zoom meetings, one of our members, Rick Bauer, vice president at Edge Technologies, said he found a new app that had surprisingly good responses from customers. Well, that certainly got my attention. I asked him the name of the app. Rick answered: “Loom.” Loom? Why would anyone name their app Loom? It turns out that for today’s Road Warrior, Loom is a great and unique way to get your prospects’ and customers’ attention. Let’s be honest: as a WFH Road Warrior, we’re pretty much stuck with either phone calls or emails to set up virtual meetings with customers. Yes, some of us use Twitter but with limited success. And Twitter is still not as accepted by older, more seasoned owners and managers – the ones who usually hold the purse strings. We’ve all gotten pretty creative in thinking of ways to get our customers’ attention. But so has your competition. Phone calls and emails have inherent limitations. Most of the time with phone calls, we leave voice messages. And I don’t care how cheerful and
excited you try to sound, you never sound convincing. If the customer could see the speaker, it would be a much more compelling message. With emails – even ignoring the fact that we receive a ton of these every day – separating the wheat from the chaff is still very difficult for the reader, regardless of the quality of your subject line and the genius of your strong value proposition. Let’s be honest: emails are text with the occasional picture. They just lack dynamism. But what if we could do it all in one email – create a message that uses text, video and sound – wouldn’t that be a game changer? Loom does just that. It’s a video recorder that makes a video recording of you, your screen, or both to get across your message in an exciting way. It’s a great new and novel way to send opportunities, product demonstrations, follow-ups, or any other type of email. I went to www.loom.com and downloaded the free application to my desktop. The pro version, which allows you to draw on the screen, is only $5 per month. Once loaded, the Loom icon will show up on your apps bar. Click on the Loom icon and your live face will show up on your screen in a really cool-looking circle that you can drag to any place you want. Press the start button, do your thing, press stop, and review your video. If you like what you see, save it, and a link will be sent to your desktop. From there, create your email, paste in the link, and send it. Badda-bing, badda-boom! Just think about it. For new prospects, you can create a personalized Loom video of a new product: show it
on the screen, talk about a few of the features, and provide a follow-up date to set up a meeting. Keep the video under a minute, tell a quick story to whet their appetite, and you’ve got them. If you’re sending a quote or time study, and there are some key points that should be discussed, instead of typing them all out, send a Loom video to not only point out those details but discuss your key points. A video is much faster than typing, and it’s easier to get your point across. Sending a simple “How-to” Loom video is much more effective than a bunch of email instructions. People retain information through video far better than by reading emails. Remember this: The human touch cannot be ignored. Adding human interaction with a Loom email can have a significant impact on starting relationships with new prospects or checking in with existing customers. Be the Road Warrior whose emails get noticed, are remembered, and who gets the sale. Thank you, Rick Bauer, for this great tool for all Road Warriors.
If you are interested in learning more, contact me: slesnewich@AMTonline.org or call me at (908) 313-8266.
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AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members—those who des...
Published on May 28, 2020
AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members—those who des...