- SPECIAL REPORTS
As usual, our annual Capital Equipment Spending Survey provided a wealth of interesting and often contradictory data. Thirty percent of plants will spend more on assembly technology next year than they did this year, and only 20 percent will spend less.
Have you ever ordered a meal that sounded delicious on the menu, but tasted terrible once it arrived at your table? Have you ever purchased the latest recording from your favorite musician only to find it lacking? No matter what the product or service, what you expect isn’t always what’s delivered.
Slowly but surely, the economy is recovering from the Great Recession.
Last month, my nephew began his first year in college. He hopes someday to get a job in the automotive industry, and I wish him the best of luck.
Imagine the U.S. Department of Energy establishes aggressive new energy-efficiency standards for your product. As a result, you spend millions on R&D to meet the challenge.
Back in July 2008, we were thrilled when Volkswagen announced it was building a new assembly plant in Chattanooga, TN. Of course, any new assembly plant is big news to us, but a new automotive plant? Well, that’s peaches and cream, as a British friend likes to say.
Recent headlines have provided stark reminders that cheap manufactured goods from overseas often come at the expense of human lives.
In April, electronics assembler Mack Technologies completed work on a substantial installation of money-saving technology at its factory in Westford, MA. The company didn’t get a new paste printer, reflow oven or pick-and-place machine. In fact, the plant’s slick new technology had nothing to do with assembly.
In early March, UAW officials met with workers from Nissan Motor Co.’s assembly plant in Smyrna, TN, to lay the groundwork for a third union representation vote. Plant employees turned down the UAW by a 2-to-1 margin in 2001. A 1989 attempt to organize the plant also failed.
For example, according to the Precision Metalforming Association, 69 percent of U.S. metalworking companies have job openings. However, 91 percent of those companies are experiencing challenges finding qualified employees, and 42 percent describe that difficulty as “severe.”