In order to assist its members in being more competitive in the marketplace, the RTMA continues to offer programs and resources. The RTMA will be partnering with World Leaders to provide a program on selling to the business level decision maker. In large organizations, it’s the product or program manager. In smaller companies, it’s the COO or CEO. This program will teach sales teams how to first initiate a business conversation (about improving the client’s competitive advantage) and then connect with engineering to influence the technical requirements. The decision makers then spec the sales team into procurement and the deal gets done.
Procurement is changing the game. However, procurement organizations have dramatically changed within the last five years. They have become more sophisticated and their control within the company has increased every year. Today’s sales rep needs to effectively sell to procurement, product management, and engineering. The purchasing conversation can no longer be avoided.
Selling to Procurement for Manufacturing and Technology Sales
After extensive research, World Leaders has documented the changes within professional procurement organizations and created an approach for negotiating and winning more sales. this special RTMA Class “Selling to Procurement” teaches sales people the following four major selling strategies as it relates to procurement.
1. Asses the Maturity Level of your Targeted Procurement Organizations
2. Create the New Evaluation Criteria (Besides Price)
3. Challenge the Requirements
4. Stop Bidding
Who Should Attend?
All personnel involved in selling, solution engineering, pricing, bidding, presenting, and closing manufacturing and technology sales.
Wednesdays, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
April 18, 25 and May 2 and 9
Monroe Community College Applied Technologies Center, Room 150
$1,000 for non-members
$850 for RTMA Members
RTMA KeyNote Address:
rtma Apprenticeship Update
The Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association’s (RTMA) involvement as an intermediary sponsor for apprenticeships is critical to address annual job opening demands in advanced manufacturing. Studies conducted by Monroe Community College, which have measured middle-skills gaps, indicate an average of 78% of available positions will go unfilled each year in the Rochester Region. This is due to insufficient graduates produced with the necessary middle-skills to compete in manufacturing.
There is a strong need in the Rochester Area to remediate the growing gap of skilled workers that companies require to meet their labor demands. The average age of skilled workers is reported by the New York State Department of Labor as 56 years of age. These individuals are very close to retirement. Manufacturing employers do not have an adequate number of candidates to choose from with the necessary skill sets to replace them.
The RTMA is engaged to become a Registered Intermediary Sponsor. It will be able to provide an option for employers to get involved with apprenticeship training plans that meet their business needs. Their involvement will relieve them from the burden of administrative duties. Guidance throughout the duration of the apprentices’ training will be provided by the RTMA.
As an intermediary, the RTMA is positioned to act as a liaison among the employer, New York State Department of Labor, training providers, and the apprentice to coordinate the successful completion of the registered state program.
Since implementing the Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) in the Rochester Region, there has been significant interest and involvement on the part of small and mid-size manufacturers. Within the span of five months, over 120 companies have been informed of the program’s benefits, and 11 companies have given commitment to participate. The goal is to generate thirty apprentices within the framework of twelve months. As of late January, there are 14 apprentices currently enrolled and conducting training at their respective facilities, and new companies signing on weekly adding to that number. Given the feedback from manufacturers to date, this program will be a purposeful great resource in closing the skills gap.
WASHINGTON — The United States trade deficit with China climbed to its highest level on record in 2017, a trend that could prompt the Trump administration toward tougher trade actions in the coming months.
The gap between Chinese goods imported to the United States and American goods exported to China rose to $375.2 billion last year, up from $347 billion the prior year, data released Tuesday morning by the Commerce Department showed.
The overall United States trade deficit in goods and services with the world widened 12.1 percent to $566 billion last year, the largest gap since 2008.
Economists said the growing trade deficit stemmed largely from the strength of the United States economy, which helped American consumers afford more imported electronics, clothes and appliances. The declining value of the dollar last year, which makes American products cheaper to buy overseas, also helped to lift exports, but not enough to prevent the gap from widening.
The Trump administration has long promised to eliminate the trade gap, citing it as evidence of the decline of American manufacturing and a troubling reliance on foreign goods.
In a statement Tuesday, Wilbur Ross, the Commerce Secretary, said the administration would ultimately reduce the trade deficit by enforcing trade rules, renegotiating existing trade pacts and forming new ones. He pointed to the president’s recent decision to impose tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines, as well as ongoing renegotiations of trade deals with Canada, Mexico and South Korea, as ways in which the United States would narrow the trade gap.
“Strenuous effort is underway, but it is not practical to set an exact deadline,” Mr. Ross said of closing the trade gap.
In September 2016, Peter Navarro and Mr. Ross, then senior economic advisers to the Trump campaign, proposed that President Trump would eliminate the $500 billion United States trade deficit, generating enough tax revenue to largely offset the cost of the president’s tax plan. During the campaign, Mr. Navarro, now director of the White House National Trade Council, said that the administration’s trade plans would allow it to eliminate trade deficit “within a year or two.”
The trade deficit figures could strengthen the resolve of Mr. Trump’s trade advisers, including Mr. Navarro and Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, who want the United States to take a more aggressive stance on trade and are urging tougher action on trading partners that export more to the United States than they import, like China, Mexico and South Korea.
After rolling out trade actions on washing machines and solar panels that were nominally aimed at China, the administration is considering sweeping action to protect American intellectual property from Chinese incursions. American negotiators are working to rewrite trade pacts with Mexico and South Korea, in large part because these countries run large bilateral trade surpluses with the United States.
Some left-leaning groups that support the president’s promises to end offshoring embraced the view that the administration’s trade policies simply haven’t gone far enough.
“The same trade policy that Trump attacks ferociously and promised to speedily replace is still in place,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “It’s not surprising that the deficit is up because in year one there has been a wide gulf between Trump’s fiery trade rhetoric and action.”
Despite Mr. Trump’s frequent promises to reduce the trade deficit, many economists believe that his trade policies will be largely powerless to reverse the trend. That’s because the overall trade deficit is governed by macroeconomic factors, including the relative growth rates of countries, the value of their currencies, and their saving and investment rates. So while changes in trade policy can shift imports and exports from one country to another, for example, reducing the American trade deficit with China while increasing its trade deficit with Thailand, they are unlikely to reduce the American trade deficit overall.
And Mr. Trump’s signature economic policy so far — the $1.5 trillion tax cut — is likely to widen the trade deficit in coming years by encouraging more investment in the United States, many economists say.
Bryan Riley, director of the Free Trade Initiative at the National Taxpayers Union, said that an increase in the trade deficit from the prior year “should not be viewed as a problem to be fixed, but as a predictable result of a growing economy that enables people to afford more imports.”
Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell University, cautioned against Mr. Trump’s interpretation of the bilateral trade deficit as a scorecard for an economic relationship.
Mr. Prasad said that some persistent deficits, like the one that the United States runs with many countries including China, could be a sign of structural imbalances, like China’s historic tendency to undervalue its currency. But bilateral trade balances can increase for many reasons, both bad and good — for example, if wealthier American consumers want to buy more stuff — making it a problematic metric for measuring fair trade.
“The problem is that even if China were to provide greater access to its markets today, if the U.S. economy were to do well, and China were to slow down, the deficit might actually increase,” Mr. Prasad said. “It would certainly be problematic to view the size of that deficit as an indicator of whether trade is fair.”
DESPITE TRUMP'S TOUGH TALK, TRADE GAP HITS 9-YEAR HIGH
Feb. 6, 2018
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to overturn U.S. trade policy and bring down the country's massive, persistent trade deficits. After a year in the White House, he still has a lot of work to do.
The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services rose 12 percent to $566 billion last year, biggest since 2008. A record $2.9 trillion in imports swamped $2.3 trillion in exports last year.
"The data continue to show solid growth in exports, but imports have been even stronger in recent months, boosting the deficit," said Jim O'Sulllivan, chief U.S. economist with High Frequency Economics.
The deficit in the goods trade with China -- frequently accused of unfair trading practices by the White House -- hit a record $375.2 billion in 2017. The goods gap with Mexico climbed to $71.1 billion.
"Trump's trade team has not been able to stem the flood of imports into the country yet," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.
The trade gap grew even though the U.S. dollar dropped nearly 7 percent last year against the currencies of its major trading partners, a move that gives U.S. companies a price edge in foreign markets and makes imports pricier in America.
Dean Baker, senior economist at the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research, said it takes time for a weaker dollar to have an impact on the trade balance.
Countries run trade deficits when they buy more products from other countries than they sell and run surpluses when they export more than they import. The U.S. hasn't turned a trade surplus since 1975, when Gerald Ford sat in the White House and "Jaws" ruled the box office.
Why hasn't Mr. Trump been able to begin rebalancing America's lopsided trade relationship with the rest of the world? Economists and trade analysts offer several explanations:
The flip-side of good times
The president likes to boast about the American economy's strength. Economic growth rose to 2.3 percent last year from 1.5 percent in 2016, despite getting off to a slow start in 2017. The unemployment rate is idling at a 17-year low 4.1 percent. Wages finally seem to be growing.
But when it comes to trade, there's a flip-side to good times: "A stronger economy will draw in more imports" as confident consumers seek out foreign products, said Bernard Baumohl, chief economist at the Economic Outlook Group.
Recent history shows that the trade deficit tends to grow when times are good and shrink when they turn bad. The trade gap hit a record $762 billion in 2006 toward the end of a six-year economic expansion. It dropped to $384 billion in 2009, in the depths of the Great Recession as American consumers hunkered down and bought fewer imports.
"If the goal is to reduce the trade deficit, we know how to do that -- just send our economy crashing, and we won't be able to afford to import as much," said Bryan Riley, director of the conservative National Taxpayers Union's Free Trade Initiative.
However, a bigger trade gap might not hamper U.S. growth. "Despite the widening in the trade deficit to a nine-year high of $53.1 billion in December, from $50.4 billion, a continued acceleration in real export growth should ensure that net trade is, at worst, neutral for GDP growth this year," according to Capital Economics.
Tough talk, little action
On the campaign trail, candidate Trump talked tough on trade. He threatened to slap big tariffs on Chinese and Mexican imports, and said he'd tear up trade treaties and sanction China for manipulating its currency.
He has been more cautious since taking office.
Yes, he withdrew from an Asia-Pacific trade pact negotiated by the Obama administration.
But he abandoned plans to label China a currency manipulator. His attempt to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico -- which he labeled a job-killing "disaster" -- has bogged down amid resistance from Ottawa, Mexico City and U.S. businesses and farmers that enjoy NAFTA's market-opening benefits.
U.S. investigations into whether cheap aluminum and steel imports threaten U.S. national security, which could lead to trade sanctions, have been delayed by pressure from U.S. companies that consume steel and aluminum.
"It's not surprising that the deficit is up because in Year One there has been a wide gulf between Trump's fiery trade rhetoric and action," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch and a critic of NAFTA and other trade deals. "So the same failed trade policy Trump attacked as a candidate is still in place."
Sailing against strong economic currents
Even if Mr. Trump began aggressively taxing imports and strong-arming other countries into meeting his demands to buy U.S. exports, he still likely would find it hard to make a big dent in America's trade deficit.
"Trade deficits are generally not susceptible to manipulation through trade policy," said Phil Levy, senior fellow on the global economy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Levy noted that Germany runs a big trade surplus and France runs a deficit even though both operate under the European Union's common trade rules.
Instead, trade deficits are the consequence of bigger economic forces. The U.S. spends more than it saves. Just look at budget deficits in Washington and credit card balances in American households. When you spend more than you produce, imports fill the gap.
Despite the widening in the trade deficit to a nine-year high of $53.1bn in December, from $50.4bn, a continued acceleration in real export growth should ensure that net trade is, at worst, neutral for GDP growth this year.
FUZEHUB OFFERING GRANTS FOR NONPROFITS TO SUPPORT MANUFACTURING INNOVATION
By Eric Reinhardt, Feb. 6, 2018
Albany–based FuzeHub says the application period for its next round of manufacturing grants is open and will continue through Feb. 28.
Nonprofit organizations can propose projects that help New York manufacturers in developing and improving products or enhancing their production capabilities.
The maximum grant award amount is $50,000, FuzeHub said in a news release.
FuzeHub is a nonprofit organization that seeks to assist small to medium manufacturing companies in New York by matching them with technical and business resources. It offers manufacturing grants “periodically.”
For more information about the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund and the types of projects that are eligible for manufacturing grants, visit https://fuzehub.com/innovation-fund/.
FuzeHub in 2017 awarded more than $800,000 in manufacturing grants, in addition to supporting $250,000 worth of commercialization projects for startup companies.
About the grant funding
FuzeHub awards the manufacturing grants through dollars available in the Jeff Lawrence Manufacturing Innovation Fund.
Lawrence, who died in 2015, was a top executive at the Albany–based Center for Economic Growth, the manufacturing extension partnership (MEP) center for the Capital Region, and a supporter of New York manufacturing and entrepreneurial communities.
The manufacturing-innovation fund, which was established with $1 million annually for five years, supports activities designed to “spur technology development and commercialization” across New York state.
FuzeHub is administering the fund as part of its role as the Empire State Development (ESD)-designated statewide MEP center.
A public-private partnership to accelerate innovation, dubbed InnovatePGH, has launched in Pittsburgh.
InnovatePGH was formed to accelerate Pittsburgh's growth as a global destination for technology-based economic activity. It will push for development in three main areas: advanced manufacturing, automation and life sciences.
The partnership also aims to support the Pittsburgh Innovation District, which will launch in April.
Pittsburgh's history as a manufacturing city left it in a bit of a downturn as U.S. manufacturing jobs began disappearing over the past couple of decades. But in recent years, the city has been pushing full steam ahead with its revitalization and becoming a smart city. Leaders are working to move beyond just a focus on steel and other manufacturing, without entirely stripping the community of that culture.
Current city initiatives put an emphasis on innovation, resilience and environment, but Mayor Bill Peduto is adamant about putting people first and not pushing innovation at the expense of Pittsburgh's citizens. He's trying to avoid some of the gentrification that's happening in other U.S. cities that are making comebacks.
InnovatePGH is an effort to continue the city's progress in an equitable way. The partnership will continue the focus on bringing more tech jobs to the city and making it an attractive destination for global tech businesses.
"InnovatePGH is the city’s platform to build the knowledge infrastructure needed to translate our technological strengths into an inclusive and equitable growth strategy for the entire city," Peduto said in a statement. Pittsburgh recently made the list of 20 finalists for Amazon's HQ2, and InnovatePGH notes that it is closely coordinating with the city's HQ2 bid as part of its work to attract innovative businesses.
RIT USES OPTOMEC'S LENS 3D PRINTING PROCESS TO FIX METAL AUTOMOTIVE COMPONENT
By Sarah Saudners, Feb. 7, 2018
3D printing has definitely found a home in the automotive industry, as the technology has been used to fabricate spare parts, custom tools, personalized exteriors, lightweight prototypes, and race car components. The complexity possible through 3D printing is especially helpful for making specific car parts, and incorporating the technology is a good way to provide excellent customer service for those who need parts not easily found in traditional supply chains, like components for older trucks. In addition, one of the other great benefits of 3D printed parts is that they are typically more lightweight, and components can also be made in one piece, rather than several.
New York-based Hansford Parts and Products, a manufacturer and precision machine shop located not far from Rochester, was recently looking for a replacement for a broken gear shaft on a 1960s machine, made in Germany, that has not had available parts for a long time. So employees kicked things into high gear (get it?) and partnered up with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), which secured a grant in 2016 to open an AMPrint Center, to come up with an answer.
Researchers from RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) worked out a unique 3D printing solution with Hansford, and used a process that employed additive and subtractive manufacturing techniques at the same time in a traditional CNC machining center.
Specifically, RIT used the hybrid laser engineered net shaping (LENS) 3D printing process by Optomec to deposit material onto the surface of the steel gear shaft, which had sustained a total of five broken teeth.
“Using the 3D printing capabilities available here at RIT, we were able to fix those gear teeth and have Hansford’s machine back in use in a fraction of the time. We can do in hours what traditionally can take days or even weeks,” said Mark Walluk, who’s been an engineer at RIT for a decade.
Combining LENS with CNC machining allows damaged material to be removed from a part and the structure restored. An Optomec LENS 3D printer was installed at GIS three years ago, and the university’s Center for Remanufacturing and Resources Recovery (C3R) used the LENS 3D Hybrid Vertical Milling Center in 2016 to restore legacy metal parts, so the university is definitely familiar with the technology.
According to Hansford’s Vice President and COO Bob Krochmalech, a different method would have been more expensive and taken more time.
Krochmalech said, “We would have had to identify more time-consuming and costlier ways to make our custom cutters.”
Walluk said that the LENS printer is optimized for fixing and enhancing metal components, just like Hansford’s broken gear shaft.
“Traditionally, that part would have had to be recycled and become scrap metal,” he said. “We can certainly replicate the 3D printing solution we developed for Hansford’s gear shaft in future applications.”
The 3D printing system features a high-powered laser, which 3D prints structures from a recipe of powdered alloys, ceramics, composites, or metal; this results in multiple benefits, such as reduced process time, lower materials and manufacturing costs, and less environmental impacts.
Krochmalech said the additive manufacturing solution was “a complete success.”
“Our machine is working great and back making our cutters,” Krochmalech explained. “I believe in the near future, most if not all prototypes will be 3D printed in the manufacturing arena—even in the smallest shops. Additive manufacturing is instrumental in the reusing and remanufacturing of parts, and saves raw metal and energy resources for a more ‘green’ solution. It’s changing the way we look at manufacturing and engineering components in the future.”
$300,000 Still on the Table for Digital Manufacturing Technology Adoption
Digital Manufacturing is the driving force behind valuable strategies like energy monitoring and predictive analytics. With $300,000 in funding available to manufacturers from the NYS Office of Empire State Development, COE-ASM can help you adopt, implement, and optimize these technologies to reap the benefits of a connected future. Read More.
RTMA Upcoming Events
RTMA February Monthly Meeting
"The State and Future of Robotics in Manufacturing"
with Mark Krystofik, Ph.D.
When: Thursday, December 7th, 2017 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
When:Brook-Lea Country Club
Speaker Presentation — 5:30pm to 6:15pm
Networking—6:15pm to 7:00pm
Dinner—7:00pm to 7:30pm ($35 per person)
Compliments of the RTMA: Open Bar with Select Beer, Wine and Soda Only.
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