We get paid to Austemper people’s steel and iron parts. What we really do for a living is help current (and potential) customers replace one material/process combination with a better, faster, cheaper one. Very often, that solution includes Austempered Steel, Carbo-Austempered™ steel, Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI), Carbidic Austempered Ductile Iron (CADI™), LADI™ or Austempered Gray Iron (AGI). US manufacturers are discovering the benefits and thriving with the results.
According to an article in IndustryWeek.com (www.industryweek.com) by Carlos Cardoso, President, Chairman and CEO of Latrobe, PA based Kennemetal (www.kennemetal.com ), manufacturing is leading the recovery and our elected officials are finally starting to take notice. Mr. Cardoso shares a long held belief of this author when he says, “To grow our economy, we have to make something or grow something, plain and simple”. Amen.
Jobs result when wealth is created. Jobs created by governments or handouts are gone when the budget or stipend ends. Jobs resulting from wealth creation are self sustaining. In fact, in 2009 the average manufacturing worker made 17% more than a non-manufacturing worker. According to the same article, manufacturing supports 18.6 million jobs in the US, and employs 12 million workers (9% of the workforce) directly in manufacturing.
In a recent conversation with this blogger, Brian Beaulieu, CEO of the Institute for Trend Research (www.itreconomics.com ), an economic consulting firm, indicated that we can expect continued growth at least into the first half of 2013. After that, the jury is still out. Recent talk about an imminent “double dip” recession is not helping peoples’ confidence. Brian exhorted us to, “Keep the faith…no economic bust for the next 22 months”. There, Brian, it’s in writing, ready or not. Readers of this blog will be looking back in June of 2013 to see how you did!
It’s also easy to get a little depressed when high profile, big wigs like Donald Trump say things like, “We don’t make anything here anymore”. I like his moxy but he seems to be a bit of an economic idiot. According to IndustryWeek.com the US is the world’s largest manufacturing economy, producing 21% of all manufactured goods worldwide…..and doing it with under 6% of the world’s population. You wouldn’t know it to listen to the news, but the US produces about 1.5 times more manufactured goods than China with about one fourth the population.
As to the notion that manufacturing is declining and we are becoming a “service economy”; don’t you believe it. According to the IndstryWeek.com article, US GDP and US manufactured goods have both grown by about seven times (in inflation adjusted prices) since 1947. Look around. Our manufacturing plants are humming and backlogs are sizeable. Construction equipment production is up by over 60% this year. Heavy truck production is up by 50% and there is a 115,000 unit backlog for Class 8 tractors. Class 8 trailer manufacturers are working through a 100,000 trailer backlog. Railcar orders will double this year and there’s a 12,000 car backlog. John Deere could sell an additional 19 combines per week if they could just get the parts and build them fast enough. In manufacturing, there’s plenty of good news to go around and Applied Process Inc. is glad to be working with our manufacturing partners to grow the pie.
Strap in. If Brian Beaulieu is right, we’ve got plenty of work to do. Like Mike Rowe of popular show “Dirty Jobs” says, “We Make America”. So do we, Mike; so do we.