In order to meet the challenges of the global marketplace, the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association (RTMA) provides a variety of programs to assist manufacturers enhance their knowledge, productivity, and financial success.
A key benefit is the RTMA CoreValue Program.
The CoreValue Program is a diagnostic tool which will provide member companies information comparing them to their peers regarding key performance measures. It identifies both strengths and weaknesses, and presents an opportunity to make strategic competitive improvements leading to financial growth.
Click on the video below (90 seconds) to see what Core Value can do for your business.
As you can see, CoreValue Software will do the following for your business:
Identify the untapped value trapped by weak operations.
Benchmark your company against your peers.
Identify red flag threats to growth and value.
Show how your company stacks up compared to industry best practices.
We will be promoting this program throughout the year. If interested, please contact RTMA Executive Director, Kevin J. Kelley at 585-292-3761 or email: KKelley@rtma.org.
The RTMA is your resource to beat the competition!
RTMA KeyNote Address:
The Push For Balanced Trade
During the week of March 13th, I participated with members of the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) to make the case for balanced trade with over 100 Congressional Members and their staffs.
We urged support for policy that eliminates the trade deficit and demands smart tax reform while opposing trade deals that have decimated our manufacturing and agriculture industries.
America has the largest cumulative trade deficit in world history. The result is economic stagnation, job loss and the deindustrialization of America. America must achieve trade that promotes manufacturing and agricultural growth, produces jobs, increase incomes, and enhances our national economy.
The information below defines the national goal that the U.S. needs. It is the elimination of the trade deficit. As you review it, you will see how the annual U.S. Trade Deficit has reduced each year’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 3% to 5.5%.
Those reductions compound over time. The RTMA continues to collaborate with strategic partners, like the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) to benefit its members.
RTMA regular Member Highlight
The Gray Family has strived for excellence in the manufacturing of various metal products. The family owned business began in 1908 with the Rochester Can Company. By 1932, Gray Metal Products, Inc. was officially founded in Rochester, New York. To this day, we continue to produce the highest quality of HVAC products, committed to providing the best customer service and products to our current wholesale distributors, as our customer base expands.
We are currently located in Avon, New York, where Gray Metal Products, Inc. employs over 200 employees under the leadership of the 4th generation of Grays, continuing the Gray family legacy. Our company manufactures over 5,000 varieties of heating and air conditioning products, as well as custom and specialized goods. We take pride in maintaining our successful business as we continue to advance our product lines and fulfill the demand for our products as we grow.
U.S. Favors Free But Fair and Balanced Trade, Mnuchin Says
Published March 18, 2017
The United States remains committed to free trade but wants to re-examine some trade deals and correct their excesses, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday after G20 finance chiefs backtracked on past commitments about trade.
Making only a token reference to trade in their communique, finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the world's top 20 economies broke with a decade-long tradition of endorsing open trade, a clear defeat for host nation Germany, which has fought to maintain the G20's past commitments.
"What was in the past communique is not necessarily relevant from my standpoint," Mnuchin told a news conference in Baden Baden after his first meeting with the finance chiefs of the world's 20 biggest economies.
"I understand what the president's desire is and his policies, and I negotiated them from here. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome," Mnuchin said.
In the new U.S. administration's biggest clash yet with the international community, G20 finance chiefs rowed back on a pledge to reject protectionism and maintain an open and inclusive global trade system.
"We believe in free trade, we are in one of the largest markets in the world, we are one of the largest trading partners in the world, trade has been good for us, it has been good for other people," Mnuchin said.
"Having said that, we want to re-examine certain agreements," Mnuchin said, adding that NAFTA would have to be reviewed, some WTO rules needed to be better enforced and older agreements may have to be renegotiated.
Although the government is also reviewing financial regulation, Mnuchin pledged support for the now stalled Basel III accord, a major global attempt to regulate lenders consistently.
"We’re hopeful there will be a resolution on the Basel III/IV changes," Mnuchin said. "We need to make sure we bring unity to the international market."
Original Article: http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/03/18/u-s-favors-free-but-fair-and-balanced-trade-mnuchin-says.html
Legislation to clarify tax deduction for U.S. manufacturers introduced in Senate
U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced a bill that clarifies the domestic manufacturing tax deduction for U.S. manufacturers.
The Promoting More American Manufacturing Jobs Act clarifies the Domestic Manufacturing Deduction (DMD) to the Internal Revenue Code.
While application of the DMD to fully integrated manufacturers is relatively clear, the IRS has implemented regulations relating to the domestic manufacturing deduction that does not benefit most U.S. manufacturers that rely on contract manufacturing, even though both types of domestic manufacturers make similar contributions to U.S. job creation. The bill would eliminate the unfair different treatment of manufacturers with vertically integrated and non-vertically integrated supply chains.
“This legislation will help ensure our tax code encourages good-paying manufacturing jobs right here in the United States,” Portman said. “The IRS’s interpretation of the section 199 regulations has resulted in unnecessary disputes and litigation between the IRS and contract manufacturers and, as a result, it has diminished the law’s intended purpose of promoting more American manufacturing. This bill will end those disputes so that businesses can get back to focusing on creating more jobs.”
Stabenow called it a “common sense” change that will encourage manufacturers to create more jobs. “We don’t have an economy or a middle class unless we make things and grow things,” Stabenow said.
Brown said U.S. manufacturers should be rewarded for providing American jobs with good benefits.
“This simple fix will promote job creation by making sure American manufacturers can get the tax deduction they need to grow,” Brown said.
Original Article: https://financialregnews.com/legislation-clarify-tax-deduction-u-s-manufacturers-introduced-senate/
This Iconic American Populist Shows What ‘America First’ Trade Policy Should Look Like
Bryan Riley / March 21, 2017
The Oxford dictionary defines populism as support for the concerns of ordinary people.
The Trump administration has been described as populist in many ways, particularly with its embrace of “America first” trade policies. A look at history shows how such populist policies can put America’s interests first when it comes to international trade.
In the United States, populism originated as a response to high taxes (tariffs) on manufactured imports. William Jennings Bryan, a renowned populist figure in American history, described the foundations of populist trade policy in his 1908 speech on tariffs and in congressional comments in the 1890s in which he compared protectionists who supported high tariffs to pickpockets.
For instance, Bryan criticized tariffs that fell disproportionately on poor consumers rather than on the rich:
At the present the articles used by the poor bear a higher [tariff] rate than the articles used by the rich.
He also criticized the way tariffs raised the cost of domestic production, since raw materials from abroad are often required:
We cannot hope to invade foreign markets to the extent we should, until we relieve our manufacturers of the handicap that that protection places upon them in the purchase of materials they have to use.
In the same vein, Bryan thought it best to let in cheap products for the American consumer:
I believe that instead of preventing foreign countries from deluging us with something which they can sell us cheaper than we can produce us, we had better let the flood come.
Bryan saw that protectionism was misguided and would not result in increased wages for American workers. Instead, he saw improvements in the market as the way forward:
Protection does not make good wages. Our better wages are due to the greater intelligence and skill of our workingmen, to the greater hope which free institutions give them, to improved machinery, to the better conditions that surround them, and to the organizations which have been formed among the wage-earners.
And most crucially, Bryan saw and criticized the corrupting influence of cronyism on the entire market. He called out government for cozy relationships with business, saying:
The whole system is vicious. Business should not be built upon legislation; it should stand upon its own merit, and when it does stand upon its own merit we shall not only have purer politics, but we shall have less fluctuation in business conditions and a more equitable distribution of the proceeds of toil.
Is it right to tax all of the people for the benefit of a few?
Bryan and ‘America First’ Trade Policy
Bryan’s comments are especially apt in our own day. U.S. trade policy
today continues to harm ordinary Americans. According to a January study, “tariffs function as a regressive tax that weighs most heavily on women and single parents.”
Taxes on imported shoes and clothing average 13 percent. And while an
imported Prius or BMW faces a 2.5 percent tariff, the tariff on pickup
trucks is a prohibitive 25 percent.
But despite the current disadvantages in U.S. trade policy, Americans
are not anti-free trade. Recent polls indicate that Americans strongly
In a February Gallup poll,
a record high 72 percent of Americans viewed trade as an opportunity,
and just 23 percent viewed it as a threat to the economy. And according
to a February Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 43 percent of Americans believe free trade with foreign nations has helped America, while 34 percent disagree.
This means that the current upsurge in populism is coinciding with increased support for free trade.
Key Elements of Good Trade Policy
Bryan’s populist speeches show what a modern “America first” trade
policy should look like. U.S. trade policy should represent the
interests of ordinary Americans. Government shouldn’t pick winners and
losers. Definitely don’t restrict imports of goods that Americans need
to compete in the global economy. Above all, promote economic freedom
The trade policy inherited by the Trump administration does not
accomplish these goals. Instead, it penalizes single parents with
regressive taxes on imported shoes and clothing, pickup truck drivers
with a prohibitive 25 percent tariff, and other ordinary Americans in
all walks of life.
It is not a populist policy, and it sure doesn’t put America first.
Labor Secretary Nominee Acosta Outlines Policy
By Eric Morath Updated March 22, 2017 3:43 p.m. ET
Labor secretary nominee Alexander Acosta spoke in support of federal job-training programs and an updating of overtime rules, policy positions that may put him at odds with a White House seeking to slash spending and roll back regulation.
Mr. Acosta, a law school dean, gave his first detailed views on labor policy at a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday. They mostly lined up with prevailing Republican thinking, including the need to closely review Obama-era regulations, such as the fiduciary rule governing certain financial advisers.
At the hearing, Democrats pressed Mr. Acosta on whether he would enforce labor regulations, including those completed last year. And they asked questions on Mr. Acosta’s handling, when he was a prosecutor, of an underage-prostitution case involving a Florida financier.
Despite the senators’ concerns, Mr. Acosta’s confirmation process is expected to move more smoothly than that of President Donald Trump’s first choice for labor secretary, fast-food executive Andy Puzder. A committee vote is expected next week.
Mr. Acosta, dean at Florida International University College of Law since 2009 and a former Justice Department official, said he would enforce existing laws and regulations, but plans to conduct a thorough review of Obama-era regulations as ordered by the White House.
“As a former prosecutor, I will always be on the side of the law and not any particular constituency,” he said.
On the issue of overtime, Mr. Acosta seemed to indicate there is a middle ground between the existing 2004 regulation and the large expansion the Labor Department sought during President Barack Obama’s term.
“I think it’s unfortunate that rules involving dollar values can go more than a decade without adjusting,” Mr. Acosta said. “Life does get more expensive.”
Last year, the department completed a rule to raise the threshold salary under which most workers are required to receive time-and-half pay for working extra hours to $47,476 from $23,660. The new rule also adjusts the level every three years.
Many Republicans and business groups opposed the rule, and last year a federal judge halted the rule from being implemented after states and businesses sued. The pending lawsuit, Mr. Acosta said, also raises the question of whether the secretary has the authority to set significantly higher threshold levels.
On job training, Mr. Acosta said programs can “have substantial positive impact on American workers,” but a better effort must be made to align training with the skills demanded by employers.
One program he named as a model, Job Corps, provides those between 16 and 24 years old with free vocational training. Several senators, including Republicans, also spoke in favor of that program. Mr. Trump’s budget, released last week, would see centers closed and funding for other job-training programs reduced, thereby shifting responsibility for such services to state and local governments, and employers.
Mr. Acosta said he favors public-private partnership and said the department should work with local governments, businesses and educational institutions.
Democrats at the hearing by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions challenged Mr. Acosta on his approach to enforcing labor law, and about two controversies arising from his time at the Justice Department.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) pressed Mr. Acosta to pledge to enforce recently drafted regulations, including one concerning silica dust, and the fiduciary rule. Mr. Acosta said he would follow through on Mr. Trump’s executive order to review the regulations.
Ms. Warren said Mr. Acosta was “hiding behind” the executive order, causing her to have “no confidence” in his ability to serve a secretary of labor.
“Whether it is those who are working,” Mr. Acosta said, “those who still seek work, those who are discouraged or underemployed, or those who have retired, if confirmed as the secretary of labor, part of my job will be to be one of those advocates.”
Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the committee considering Mr. Acosta, said at the hearing she has “serious concerns.” She pointed to a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general that found Mr. Acosta and other managers failed to properly supervise a lower-level political appointee who sought to fill career positions based on applicants’ political ideologies.
“You at best ignored an extraordinary politicization of the work of this critical division—and at worst, actively facilitated it,” Ms. Murray said.
The conduct reported by the inspector general “should not have happened,” Mr. Acosta said. “It happened on my watch, and I deeply regret it.” Mr. Acosta previously said he delegated hiring responsibilities to a deputy.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.) asked about the investigation of billionaire South Florida financier Jeffrey Epstein, which occurred during Mr. Acosta’s time as U.S. attorney in Miami.
Mr. Epstein faced allegations that he paid a string of high-school-age girls for sexual encounters. Lawyers for some of Mr. Epstein’s alleged victims have filed a lawsuit, which faults the Justice Department for negotiating a secret plea deal—under which he ultimately served a 13-month prison sentence—they said was too lenient.
Mr. Acosta said the case involving Mr. Epstein “was hard fought” and the outcome was a “point of pride” at the time, Mr. Acosta said. The case was initially a state matter, Mr. Acosta said, and a state grand jury brought only a single charge that would have resulted in no jail time for Mr. Epstein. Mr. Acosta said the plea deal resulted in Mr. Epstein going to jail, registering as a sexual offender and preserving victims’ rights to restitution.
Republicans, so far, appear to be uniform in supporting Mr. Acosta, who has been confirmed three times previously by the Senate. And Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who is not a member of the labor committee, indicated he will vote for his fellow Floridian.
Workforce is number one business concern
By Amy Kinard
C-I contributing columnist
March 21, 2017
The number one concern of businesses considering coming to central
South Carolina, and therefore, Kershaw County, is workforce. Mike
Briggs, President and CEO of the Central South Carolina Alliance (a
not-for-profit organization that promotes central South Carolina as a
valuable business location) shared this point at a recent Kershaw County
Council meeting. We’ve heard this before, from our own Kershaw County
Council Chairman Julian Burns: “trained and ready workforce.” I have
also heard concerns about workforce voiced by existing local businesses,
primarily from the perspective of: how can they find dedicated and
Workforce is crucial to the success of any business. Thankfully,
leaders and organizations in Kershaw County, including the Kershaw
County Chamber of Commerce, realize the importance of workforce. There
are many on-going projects and new activities planned to support this
key to business success. Here are a few examples.
One of the most influential organizations on workforce development
in Kershaw County is the Kershaw County School District. I had the
opportunity recently to visit schools and classrooms around the County
for a range of grade levels. The public education that our children are
receiving is impressive. Not only are they being taught the basics
(“reading, writing and arithmetic”), but they are also being taught
responsibility, critical thinking, and accountability. Skills are
necessary for employability but these last three items are very
important to employers. Business owners have to rely heavily on their
employees for the day-to-day activities, so that the owner can
concentrate on long term planning, strategies, and opportunities.
Employers need reliable, trustworthy, and dedicated employees, and our
children have opportunities to build these skills at our local public
The chamber is proud to partner with the School District on
workforce development projects. One successful joint project is the
Junior Leadership program for high school students (special thanks to
Laurie Parks and Ed Garrison for coordinating this program). Junior
Leadership is a national program that allows students to learn more
about leadership, career opportunities, community responsibility, state
government, and cultural diversity. The students involved in this
program have a unique opportunity to exercise and further develop their
leadership, teamwork and problem solving skills – all of which are
important to businesses.
Another organization that influences workforce development in
Kershaw County is Central Carolina Technical College (CCTC). CCTC and
the Kershaw County Economic Development Office/Committee of 100 recently
hosted a chamber Breakfast Before Hours at the Kershaw County CCTC
campus. This event not only provided the opportunity to network but also
allowed Terry Booth, CCTC Interim President and Peggy McLean, Kershaw
County Economic Development Director, to share the vision and plans for
their new building. This new building, at the Kershaw County campus near
I-20, will allow CCTC (among other things) to offer additional courses
in Kershaw County, such as mechatronics. Mechatronics courses teach
students the necessary skills to perform basic maintenance and repair of
industrial equipment with both mechanical and electrical components –
skills that are important to area businesses and industry, and are
needed in our heavily mechanical and technical world. Hosting these
classes (and others) in Kershaw County provides a great opportunity for
our residents to get the work skills training they need, right here at
Adult leadership programming is another important workforce
development initiative. The State of South Carolina and the Columbia
Chamber already have programs like this, called Leadership South
Carolina and Leadership Columbia respectively. The Kershaw County
Chamber would like to develop a similar program for emerging community
and business leaders in our area. The main goal of such a program would
be to engage young professionals to learn more about the issues facing
our county and the resources available to help address these issues.
This leadership program would offer in-depth learning experiences and
project assignments designed to make a positive impact on our community.
The Kershaw County Chamber is committed to workforce development
initiatives. Developing dedicated employees and strong leaders of the
future is necessary for local businesses and industries, and for our
community to thrive. By continuing strong existing programs and by
developing new innovative activities, Kershaw County can continue to
develop a great workforce!
ROchester Institute of Technology (RIT) Research centers flourish
This year marks two major milestones for Rochester Institute of Technology.
It is the 25th anniversary of RIT’s Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies program in June, and the Golisano Institute for Sustainability will mark a decade in operation this September.
GIS houses research centers, industrial programs and a training program. CIMS is part of GIS, and the program consists of in-house technical experts and academic, industry and government resources.
Research centers under CIMS are:
New York State Pollution Prevention Institute;
Center of Excellence in Advanced & Sustainable Manufacturing;
Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery;
Center for Sustainable Energy Systems;
Center for Sustainable Mobility;
NanoPower Research Labs; and
The Printing Applications Lab.
This year’s anniversaries allow RIT officials to reflect on the progress of each initiative. There have been some recent big wins for both GIS and CIMS.
In January, the Golisano Institute for Sustainability was selected to lead the new Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions Institute.
“The REMADE Institute is a huge boost for us,” said Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director of GIS. “We could never dream of having a national institute in an area that we’re very active in that we’ve actually been doing a lot of work in for many years.”
The new institute falls under the Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance, a consortium of over 100 research universities, national laboratories and industrial partners.
It is a $140 million manufacturing institute focused on finding new and less expensive ways to reuse, recycle and remanufacture metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste, officials said.
REMADE is expected to bring a public-private clean energy manufacturing institute here to Rochester, fueled by $70 million in federal funding along with another $70 million in matching funds from consortium partners. The competition was held by the U.S. Department of Energy.
“All of the state support for the headquarters and RIT’s testbeds ($20 million) will stay in Rochester—in addition to a federal match for the headquarters (over $10 million). RIT will play a major role and expects to receive significant funding for its role as lead of the REMADE Institute,” Nasr said. “It is hard to estimate the annual funding that will be allocated to the university, however, since the funding will be based on annual project budgets and other factors not yet finalized.”
There also is a good number of local companies involved in REMADE, and officials expect that they would benefit from the institute’s funding and projects as well.
“While we expect significant value from having this institute based in Rochester, having a hub for technology development, transfer and workforce development in such a growing field will bring much significant value in business attraction, spinoffs and opportunities for our local industries,” he said. “This institute will clearly put Rochester on the map as the home of the growing sustainable manufacturing, remanufacturing and recycling industries.”
The RIT-led consortium includes Xerox Corp. and Caterpillar Inc.
With the American Institute for Manufacturing Photonics, announced in July 2015, and the REMADE Institute, Rochester is the only city to be the headquarters for two Manufacturing USA institutes. Manufacturing USA institutes are a network of public-private partnerships between industry, academic and government partners.
In 2011, CIMS helped to establish the Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative, which aims to increase economic growth and job creation in the nine-county Finger Lakes region.
The initiative was created with the help of a Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The state Department of Environmental Conservation also provided funding support through the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute.
Total funding topped $1.9 million, officials said.
“What we said in the proposal was we really need to help some of these people that have been displaced from the Kodaks and Xeroxes that used to put a roll of film into a canister and cap it,” said Andrij Harlan, assistant director of operations for CIMS. “Now how different is that from putting apples or peaches into a can and closing it up? These people have been doing a job like this for a long time.”
A big idea
GIS started as a big idea of Nasr. GIS was an outgrowth of CIMS and a chance to expand the work CIMS was doing, Nasr said.
“They were looking for mega ideas, so the idea had been in my head for a long time,” he said. “That was the greatest opportunity to present it to the board of trustees. At the time, they didn’t really want to add more Ph.D. programs, because the Ph.D. programs were expensive.”
Planning for and completing the roughly 225,000-square-foot facility was a three-phase process. The plan for GIS was formed as the recession lurked in 2007, timing some thought would hamper its progress.
“When we started, the recession hit in 2008,” Nasr said. “Nobody thought that we could do it because the whole initiative—we’re talking about a building and equipment that’s $50 million—and everybody thought you’re dreaming, but you’re dreaming also at the wrong time.”
“I always had faith that we were going to make it,” he added.
With strong funding support from Paychex Inc. founder, billionaire Thomas Golisano, who gave RIT a $10 million grant, and the Henry Luce Foundation, the Helen and Ritter Shumway Foundation and the Chester F. and Dorris Carlson Charitable Trust, GIS found its footing early and surpassed the expectations of RIT officials.
RIT was also awarded a $13.1 million grant by the National Institute of Standards and Technology Construction Grant Program, and $15 million in funding from the state to complete GIS.
GIS was the focus of a 10-year strategic vision for RIT. The main goals, including the level of esteem of the facility within the community, nationally, and even internationally, happened much faster. Over 120 people are employed at GIS, including funded faculty, staff, research assistants and student employees.
“Our goal is to be the premier institute for sustainability as we focus on the industrial system and the built environment; that’s our goal—we don’t want to be in every area,” Nasr said.
GIS was developed as a standalone institution without a model to compare itself to.
“We didn’t have any courses. We didn’t have any faculty. We didn’t have any long range plan to how we were going to do this,” he said. “We were pioneers, so it’s not like there was a program out there that you can benchmark against. We had to develop everything from scratch.”
With a chance to develop a program like no other in the country, RIT dared to dream.
“We dreamed that by 2015 we would be a significant player in the industrial world and academic research, and we did it way earlier than 2015,” Nasr said.
The initial and ongoing mission of GIS is to be a resource for material work, design work and sustainability.
GIS had a cumulative average growth rate of 28 percent from 2000 to 2006. In 2016 in revenue alone GIS grew by 40 percent. RIT declined to disclose the revenue total.
“I think GIS has become a signature program for RIT,” Nasr said. “The programs that we developed are top-notch. We’re seen as leading the nation in this area. I think it’s been a nice addition to RIT’s portfolio as a university committed to sustainability.”
GIS is the first independent, multidisciplinary institute focused on sustainable manufacturing in the United States, RIT said.
This year there are three particular focuses for GIS: REMADE, which has already been achieved, the industrial food system and sustainable mobility, an area that focuses ways to create sustainable transportation systems.
“It’s a no-brainer,” Nasr said. “It was to me at the time. We just cannot operate in a mode that we’re not worrying about supply and demand in terms of material consumption, emission, regardless of how big of a problem you think we have or how small of a problem we have, that model has to change to make sure that we actually understand the consequences of what we’re making. We can do it in a more efficient way.”
Beginning of CIMS
CIMS was started in June 1992. During the 1990s, businesses were not as prone to work with universities as they are today, Harlan said.
“When you come from a university, people think that you’re an academic,” he said. “(They ask) ‘what are you going to do? Do a three-year study and I’ll get a white paper when I’m done?’”
CIMS officials told the businesses they were going to study the problems, provide solutions and help them implement those solutions, he said. “We were an anomaly to the university as well as to the outside; we’re kind of like in the middle of both worlds.”
Remanufacturing has become a way for companies to have another revenue stream. Harlan previously worked at Xerox Corp. and recognized the company’s focus on remanufacturing there.
“(Remanufacturing) was huge for Xerox; it was a cash cow,” he said. “It was unbelievable how much money we made in remanufacturing product, but people kept that a secret. It was competitive. Back then, and still today, money drives it all. We’re not tree huggers here or anything like that and neither are companies.
“They’re in business to make money; they will not just focus on environmental stuff to satisfy someone’s itch there—they’ve got to show bottom line that they’re in the black.”
In the mid-2000s Harlan began to see a shift in how companies thought about remanufacturing, moving away from the American habit of throwing things out to thinking about sustainability—designing products with their future in mind.
By 2010, companies started to work more with CIMS and GIS and to understand that pairing with an institution like RIT could save them time and money.
“It’s a real paradigm shift,” Harlan said. “It was for the designers to think, ‘how do I make this thing last forever?’... As an American society especially, that’s the way we are—we throw stuff out. Other countries, they will sit there and they will figure out how to make it last indefinitely.”
For businesses working with CIMS or GIS there is a lot to be gained, he said.
“We’re really good at doing matchmaking,” he said. “We’re independent, unbiased. We don’t have that hidden agenda that says this is where we’ve got to go with this. We don’t ever endorse anybody … we say here’s the data.”
Local companies have used GIS to further their business objectives.
“We reach out to our business community all the time,” Nasr said. “Many probably haven’t worked with us, probably don’t know enough about us, but we are definitely very interested in being a resource to our business community.”
Impact on companies
Markin Tubing—a dba of Markin Tubing L.P. which is a subsidiary of Markin Tubing G.P. Corp.—has been using RIT’s resources in a variety of ways, including in a collaboration announced last month with the university’s Center of Excellence in Advanced & Sustainable Manufacturing.
RIT and Markin Tubing have been awarded a $30,000 grant for their project from FuzeHub—a nonprofit organization that matches small to midsize manufacturing firms in New York with business resources.
Markin Tubing sees RIT as an extension of its research and development arm and works on two to three projects with RIT annually.
“We’ve worked with RIT to identify new coatings, develop new manufacturing technologies, reduce our environmental footprint and assist with highly technical materials and product analysis,” said Daniel Cunniffe, president and CEO of Markin Tubing. “We’ve engaged them on conversations that we’ve had with General Motors and other automotive OEMs. We’ve engaged them on conversations that we’ve had with our global Tier-1 customers, and we’ve engaged them with our key steel suppliers. In these conversations, RIT serves as an extremely legitimate and objective third party. “
RIT has helped Markin Tubing put its best foot forward in client meetings.
“To be honest, the things that we’re doing with RIT, the value that we receive from the relationship with RIT, is difficult to put a figure on. But it is clear that there is significant and tangible value in the relationship,” Cunniffe said. “In many ways we view
RIT as an extension of our own organization. The relationship provides us with a clear advantage over our competitors and it has helped position us as one of the leading small tube manufacturers in the world.”
“There are so many ways that we can tap into RIT. I feel I’ve only just scratched the surface,” he added.
Rochester Colonial—a dba of Rochester Colonial Mfg. Corp.—is based at 1794 Lyell Ave. The firm specializes in custom windows and doors and has worked with CIMS since the late 1990s. It is now interacting with both CIMS and GIS on three projects.
“You get a great amount of substance in terms of the level of quality of people who are going to be working on your project,” said Tim Forster, division director of HeartWood Fine Windows and Doors at Rochester Colonial. “And very personal service; they bend over backwards to make sure that you’re getting what you want and that you understand what you have, and if something doesn’t work they jump right on it.”
One of the projects includes Rochester Colonial’s new invention: FoldUp. The new model window was tested using the tools at GIS.
“With the FoldUp window, we had various options to think about. We knew we had something that was unique,” Forster said. “We ended up building it, and it was a successful project. We got great feedback from it, but we realized we had done so without really an awful lot of time to think through the design or development of the design.”
The most common uses for FoldUp include screen rooms, porches, and pass-through windows for residential homes. Commercially the FoldUp window is used on storefronts.
The FoldUp window was launched in 2013. The Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles was the first customer to use the innovative design.
RIT tested the window for safety, ease of use, durability, and also to better understand the window’s entire range of operation, including the balancing forces involving the number and weight of the springs.
“They set a team up and developed a very complex but a very complete mathematical model that predicts the motion and forces on the window throughout its entire range of operation,” Forster said. “What that tells us in this case is how big can the window be before the operational forces become either unsafe or untenable for a user.”
Small businesses have a lot to gain from working with RIT, Forster said. The industry experience of employees at GIS and CIMS is significant.
“I think people who are small might benefit more, because who can afford Ph.D.s to come in and work on their staff?” Forster said. “It’s almost like they’re on retainer, meaning we see them as a resource in the community whom we can call on.”
The recent change of administration in Washington is not expected to alter the goals of GIS or CIMS, Nasr said.
Remanufacturing and sustainability are critical to the economy and will remain that way, he said.
“We think that once Washington figures out the plan going forward, there’s no doubt that they will see that this work results in more efficiency, less dependence on foreign material, and stuff like that is going to help job creation,” he said.
“(It) is going to help our competitiveness, so I can’t imagine that will be a challenge. Our industry demands that we need to be competitive with the rest of the world,” he said. “A lot of this stuff is good for the economy, it’s good for job creation, it’s good for America in general and industry is demanding it.”
Original Article: http://rbj.net/article.asp?aID=239948
Education and Training
RTMA/OptiPro MasterCam Training Benefit
The RTMA is offering subsidized MasterCam Training. We are implementing this program with OptiPro, which is a certified reseller and training facility for MasterCam.
OptiPro has agreed to reduce their standard pricing by 25% for participating RTMA Members. The RTMA will subsidize half of the remaining cost up to a cap of $1,000 per company, and the participating company will contribute the other half.
For example, if a course is normally $1,000, it would be reduced 25% by OptiPro for the RTMA. It now becomes a cost of $750. The RTMA would pay $375 (half), and the member’s cost would be $375 (the other half). The benefit is that the member is receiving a $1,000 course for $375.
The RTMA will pay half of the course costs up to $1,000 cap per company, not per student. Any overage is the responsibility of the RTMA Member.
Please note, that the prices are standard, and would be discounted 25%.
The following classes are being offered within the next 30 days:
Mastercam Mill 3D Advanced Group Class 3-Day Course – April 11th, 12th & 13th (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday)
Mastercam Mill Beginner Group Class 4-Day Course – April 25th, 26th, 27th & 28th (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday)
If interested, contact Lynda Bechtold at OptiPro Systems. She can be reached at:
RTMA Event Highlights:
March Meeting HighlightS
RTMA MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
Business spotlight: Optimax, high-tech firm started in Webster barn
As a high-precision optical firm, Optimax Systems does a lot of work for the defense and semiconductor industries.
Some of the other work, well, that’s where it gets pretty futuristic and sounds pretty amazing. Optimax is involved in still-in-development stuff like the newest Mars Rover and “autonomous” vehicles — think of driverless trucks hauling freight down the Thruway.
Company CEO Rick Plympton discussed another project that would radically change laser-eye surgery.
“It’s like something out of Star Trek,” he said. “It’s cool.”
The Ontario, Wayne County, company with humble roots has averaged 25 percent growth each year since it was founded in 1991, Plympton said. Optimax started with two people in a barn in Webster; now there are 300 or so employees in a three-building, 60,000-square-foot facility.
Optimax also has made the Democrat and Chronicle “Top Workplaces” list for four years running. Plympton talked about the company’s “unique corporate culture,” tossing out phrases like personal accountability and empowerment and discussing a move away from top-down management systems.
“We’ve always run our company open-book,” he said. “We’re working hard at handing off responsibility and authority throughout the organization. The sphere of influence here is huge ... We have a fundamental belief that people want to go to work and create value and be rewarded.”
That includes monthly bonuses, or profit-sharing checks. Optimax has created a program to fund new spin-off companies for employees with “entrepreneurial spirit.” As for the attitude, consider the word mellow.
“Tie dye is our corporate uniform,” Plympton said. The business started with a lot of musicians who love the Grateful Dead, he added.
Former Eastman Kodak employees launched Optimax in 1991 with an idea of building high-precision custom optics and optical components via “concurrent engineering” — or, as company president Mike Mandina has said, “To build prototypes while developing systems.”
That approach made Optimax faster to respond to customer needs. The approach took time to gain traction. Optimax at the beginning had no telephone and no accounting system because no money was changing hands.
Eventually, the company got a newly developed high-end grinding machine called an Opticam and things began to take off. Optimax moved, first to an old cabbage factory building in Ontario and then in 1996 to its current site in an industrial park on Dean Parkway.
Optimax diversified into areas like fiber-optic telecommunications, solid-state lighting, digital photography and diagnostic medicine. “Through word of mouth, the company grew,” Plympton said. “We’re make-to-print manufacturers. (Customers) come to us and say ‘This is what we need,’ and we make them.”
That has resulted in the company’s ongoing growth and success. Plympton called the aerospace work “one of the funnest markets” and discussed Optimax’s involvement making optics for what NASA is calling the 2020 Rover, which is set to launch in 2020 and explore Mars.
Optimax is continuing to increase its workforce and utilizing its “unique corporate culture” to retain and encourage employees. That’s paid off with the “Top Workplaces” awards.
“That’s reinforcement that we’re doing something right,” Plympton said with a laugh, “even if we don’t know what it is.”
Alan Morrell is a Rochester-based freelance writer.
Rick Plympton (Photo: Provided by Optimax)
Location: 6367 Dean Parkway, Ontario, Wayne County.
Executives: Rick Plympton, CEO; Mike Mandina, president.
Arnold Magnetics Technologies: L Type Laminated Permanent Magnets Offer the Thinnest Insulating Layers & Lowest Eddy Current Losses for Optimal Efficiency
ROCHESTER, NY--(Marketwired - March 21, 2017) - Achieve optimal magnetic performance with the lowest resistance: announcing L Type Laminated Magnets from Arnold Magnetic Technologies.
Motor designers in markets such as aerospace, motorsports, automotive, and industrial are challenged to continually improve the efficiency of their high efficiency, high switching frequency applications. These applications demand the best magnetic materials, and Arnold L Type laminated magnets deliver record-breaking performance under extreme conditions.
L Type magnets are crafted from best-in-class RECOMA® samarium cobalt and neodymium iron boron materials with:
The thinnest available insulating layers, <20 um
Performance at temperatures up to 200˚C
Magnet layers from .5 mm and up in custom shapes and sizes in neodymium iron boron or samarium cobalt"
L Type Laminated Magnets are the ideal solution for customers looking to get increased efficiency from their permanent magnet motor materials," Arnold CEO Dan Miller stated. "The innovative laminated magnet process results in next-generation material -- a perfect complement to our suite of industry-leading samarium cobalt and neodymium iron boron magnets and assemblies."
To learn more about L Type laminated magnets and to download the data sheet, visit http://www.arnoldmagnetics.com/en-us/L-Type-Magnets
About Arnold Magnetic Technologies
Arnold Magnetic Technologies, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., is a global manufacturer of high performance magnets, precision magnetic assemblies and thin metals. High performance materials from Arnold support motor systems that are smaller, lighter and more efficient while operating in high speed, high heat environments. Arnold's advanced materials and magnetic assemblies serve a wide range of industries including aerospace & defense, automotive & motorsports, consumer & industrial, oil & gas, medical, and more. Many of our products are ITAR compliant, made from our advanced, DFARS compliant materials. In addition, Arnold Magnetic Technologies holds certifications in ISO:9001, AS9100, ISO TS 16949, and NADCAP. For more information, visit Arnold Magnetic Technologies at www.arnoldmagnetics.com, or call us at 800-593-9127.
RTMA Upcoming Events
MAY MONTHLY Meeting
When: WEDNESDAY, May 17th, 2017
Where: Brook Lea Country Club
Topic: Get a Boost and Grow Your Business - Economic Development Programs That Can Help!
Speaker: Vincent Esposito (Regional Director, Empire State Development Finger Lakes Regional Office and Executive Director, Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council), Jeffrey Adair (Director of Monroe County Department of Planning and Development), and Thaddeus Schofield (Project Manager, Economic Development and Secretary, Rochester Economic Development Corporation/REDCO)
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