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It’s an Exciting Time for Metal Industry Job Shops

Metal manufacturing companies continue to invest in machinery to control what their new normal will look like going forward.

Posted: June 15, 2022

As demand increases for its products, The Systems Group is expanding its Arkansas operation and adding 60 new jobs, including welders.

Job shops across the country continue to successfully navigate the economy when it comes to issues of inflation and questions of recession. One thing is certain: the manufacturing industry is paving its own path of positivity in uncertain times.

The U.S. manufacturing economy is expected to expand in the remainder of 2022, according to the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the ISM Spring 2022 Semiannual Economic Forecast, which was released in May.

In the semiannual report, the Institute for Supply Management found:

  • Revenue for 2022 is expected to increase, on average, by 9.2 percent, which is 2.7 percentage points higher than the December 2021 forecast of 6.5 percent.
  • Capital expenditures will increase to 7.4 percent; capacity utilization is at 87.2 percent.
  • Sixteen of the 18 industries report projected revenue increases for the rest of 2022; coming in at No. 3 is fabricated metal products.

Favorable Growth and Investment

On June 3, ISM released its monthly manufacturing PMI, which registered at 56.1 percent; an increase of 0.7 percent from April’s number. The New Orders Index reading of 55.1 percent is 1.6 percentage points higher than the 53.5 percent recorded in April. The report found that new orders, production and backlogs are growing at faster rates.

Another indicator focuses on the activity recorded by metal formers. The Precision Metalformers Association’s May report shows that 16 percent of metal forming companies expect an increase in general economic activity in the next three months (decreasing from 19 percent in April); 63 percent forecast no change in activity (the same percentage reported in April); and 21 percent predict a decrease in activity (compared to 18 percent in April).

Don’t just take economic reports and survey results as indicators as to how manufacturing is faring; look to industry members themselves. Examples include:

  • MuShield (Londonderry, N.H.), a manufacturer of custom magnetic shields, precision sheet metal fabrication and hydroforming, has purchased a Beckwood Press Co. Triform 16-15-7 deep draw sheet hydroforming press. “The machine is going to take our current hydroforming capabilities to the next level as we stay ahead of the competition as an industry leader in custom magnetic shielding,” said Luke Grilli, vice president of sales and marketing for MuShield. “More importantly, it will also allow for peace of mind that we have an excellent hydroform on the shop floor for the next 20 plus years.”
  • Franklin Bronze Precision Components (Franklin, PA) has purchased a Doosan Puma Mill GT 2600 Mill Drill Turning Center. “The machine’s live tooling allows us to turn and mill castings in one setup,” said John Mangoyan, general manager, Franklin Bronze Precision Components. “It will greatly improve productivity and throughput while adding capacity.” The investment upgrades the company’s machining capabilities and part production, reinforcing their commitment to continuous improvement to its customers.
  • The Systems Group is adding 47 acres to its El Dorado, Ark., operation. The expansion will support the production of its Spray-Cooled equipment, which is used to prevent electric arc furnaces from melting while producing new liquid steel. The company will hire 60 new welders, fitters and fabricators. “America is going through a resurgence of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the USA, and our business is benefiting from that,” said Lee Morgan, president and owner of The Systems Group. “This expansion will help us triple the equipment we currently build in Arkansas.”

Job shops are proving to be a positive and determined group, taking control of their futures for the long term.

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