Manufacturing innovation

By Lauren Duensing

October 2012 - In mid-September, Modern Metals’ staff attended the International Manufacturing Technology Show, held at McCormick Place in Chicago. According to IMTS, “total registration for the six-day event was 100,200, which was a 21.6 percent increase over 2010, marking the largest show-to-show increase ever.” IMTS also noted these results were the strongest in more than a decade. Everyone I spoke with said their booth had been busy and they were having a great show. 

The crowds at IMTS brought with them a palpable excitement, despite some nagging economic uncertainties. Attendees and exhibitors discussed growing markets, innovative solutions, ways to gain competitive advantage, increase productivity and process new materials. 

An upbeat outlook also was reflected in the latest Mid-Market CFO Survey released by GE Capital. The data showed that U.S. CFOs of middle-market companies “remain generally positive about the state of their own industries,” although “their view on the current health of the world economy continued to deteriorate.”

“Middle-market CFOs still see expansion opportunities over the next three years but remain cautious as concerns about the business environment and uncertainties in areas such as tax and health care policy persist,” said Dan Henson, president and CEO of GE Capital, Americas, in a press release. “From our perspective as a provider of capital, we see positive year-over-year growth in both lending and leasing. Economic sentiment, while still positive, is slightly more guarded than we saw in the last survey. In the meantime, the credit markets are very healthy, providing extremely attractive terms for borrowers as credit facilities come up for renewal and as acquisition or other investment opportunities develop.”

The forecast for a brighter future often translates into confidence, especially when there are continued opportunities for expansion. Of the CFOs GE Capital surveyed, 

85 percent expect the economy to grow or be stable in the next 12 months, and 88 percent expect their industry to grow or be stable during the same time period.

For 2013, many of the individuals we spoke with for this year’s metals economic outlook echo this opinion, predicting most markets will either grow or remain flat. Even construction, the longtime elephant in the room, is expected to turn around. 

Booming markets, like the growing energy industry, are helping to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. Bob Aronson, executive director of the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency, points out the investment in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and upstate New York (where Seneca County is located) has brought considerable growth to these areas as they become a base for supply-chain companies working in the Marcellus Shale. Seneca County also has attracted advanced manufacturing companies, such as ITT Corp. and BonaDent Dental Laboratories, to invest in the region.

Whether it’s because of oil and gas or other industries, areas like Seneca County are returning to their manufacturing roots. These slices of the United States typically have ample resources such as a ready-to-work labor force and proximity to highways, railroads and ports. 

It’s both an exciting and uncertain time to be part of the manufacturing industry. The individuals that work for these companies are proud of their businesses, they’re proud of their industry and they will continue to push manufacturing forward in 2013. MM


Interested in purchasing reprints of this article? Click here

Leave your comments

  • No comments found

mm sm ed cal banner330px 2016

MM Cover 10 15 digital

vert-current-linewhiteOctober 2015

2016 End User Outlook

Although low pricing on metal products across the globe once inspired companies to stock up, there’s little appetite for risk peering into 2016.


Instagram - @ModernMetalsMag

MIDWEST register deadline3

Modern Metals on Twitter


Industry Partners


PNC BankDoALL Sawing ProductsStraub Metal International


Executive Search Services

Sawing Technology

Stainless Steel

Aluminum USA 2015 Leadership Search Group Advanced Machine & Engineering Rolled Alloys
Kaiser Aluminum

Financial Services

Behringer Saws, Inc. Scan Tube/Nebetco Stainless
Sapa Extrusions North America BMO Harris Bank Cosen International, Inc. Stainless Sales Corporation
Gerdau Special Steel North America

Industrial Contracting Solutions


Stainless Steel Service Center

CNC Cutting (Plasma, Waterjet, Laser, Router)

Delta Industrial HE&M Saw Comprinox
Multicam Inc.

Laser Technology


Stainless, Nickel, Aluminum, Pipe, Tube & Bar

Coated Coil

Amada America, Inc. Kasto Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys, L.P.
Centria Coating Services Mazak Optonics Corp. KMT Saw


Coil Coatings

Machining Centers

Lenox Alliance Steel LLC
Chemcoaters Handtmann CNC Metlsaw Systems Central Steel Service, Inc.

Coil Processing

Material Handling

Sawblade.com Pacesetter Steel Service, Inc.
Applefelt Combilift USA Scotchman Industries, Inc. Parker Steel Co.
Bradbury Group Samuel Strapping Systems Specialty Saw Inc. SSAB
Braner USA Steel Storage Systems Inc.

Service Centers

Steel Dynamics, Inc.
Butech Bliss Walker Magnetics North American Steel Alliance

Thickness Gauges


Milling Machinery

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. Advanced Gauging Technologies
Formtek Maine Amada Machine Tools America, Inc. United Performance Metals


Machine Concepts

Perforated & Expanded Metal


Carlson Tool & Manufacturing Corp.
Red Bud Industries McNichols Co. Compusource Corporation

Tube & Pipe

Copper & Brass


Enmark Systems, Inc. Independence Tube Corp.
Christy Metals Inc. Allor Manufacturing Inc.


Specialty Pipe & Tube, Inc.
Concast Metal Products Churchill Steel Plate Ltd Venus Stainless NA Yoder
Farmer's Copper



Tube Mill Equipment & Machinery

National Bronze & Metals








GRB Innovations LLC



OMAX Corporation








Koike Aronson




XRF Analyzer




Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas


Instagram Icon Large twitter facebook linkedin rss

FFJ 1115 brandingcovers