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Modern manufacturing offers a chance to design and build the future, whether it’s inventing the latest aircraft or automobile, a lifesaving medicine or a new way to harness power. Across America, millions of manufacturers are working everyday to make America – and over the next decade manufacturers are expected to hire 3.5 million more people to do it.

Unfortunately, nearly half of those jobs may go unfilled due to a lack of trained workers. Our Creators Wanted campaign is designed to raise awareness about opportunities in manufacturing and share the stories of young manufacturers who are pursuing fulfilling careers and changing the world in the process.

We caught up with Karsten Gamble, a 29-year-old senior engineer at Eli Lilly, a manufacturer of life-improving technologies. Gamble, who works in Eli Lilly’s Indianapolis facility, explained what he finds rewarding in modern manufacturing and why others should pursue it.

What was your path to becoming part of modern manufacturing?

“I graduated with a college degree in mechanical engineering and was then hired into a global manufacturing support role where I became curious about the work that occurs at the site level. Fortunately, I was able to transition into my current front-line support role to gain hands-on manufacturing experience.”

What do you like best about your job?

“I enjoy working within a cross-functional team where I have the opportunity to interact with members from Engineering, Operations, Maintenance, and Quality every day.”

Thinking about the next 5-10 years, what excites you most about where modern manufacturing is going? 

“The most exciting thing about the future of modern manufacturing is the predictive software in development. It would be incredible to have the data you need already generated for analysis.”

Young people can go into lots of different careers – healthcare, banking, retail, etc. What are the advantages of going into modern manufacturing?

“The two advantages are developing a broad and in-depth technical skill set and gaining an innovative perspective that there is always a better, more efficient way of doing something.”

If you had to give young people the best reason to go into modern manufacturing, what would it be?

“Going into modern manufacturing gives you the opportunity to be exposed to new technologies. This provides a continually changing environment where there is always something different to learn and master.”

The post Meet Karsten Gamble, A 29-Year-Old Engineer At Lilly appeared first on Shopfloor.

(Photo Credit: International Paper)

Manufacturers have announced a series of investments so far in 2018, including the construction of new facilities, or upgrades and expansions to existing ones. Ford Motor Company recently announced a $25 million upgrade to its facility in Louisville, Kentucky, and FedEx is planning a nearly $1 billion investment to expand its hub in Indianapolis.

U.S.-based paper-manufacturer International Paper announced this month that it will be spending more than $500 million to upgrade its facility in Selma, Alabama, in order to meet growing market demand for its products:

International Paper Company recently announced that it will almost double planned investments in the Alabama factory in order to meet consistently growing market demand. The paper and packaging firm will increase its planned investment from $300 million to $552.7 million in its Riverdale Mill in Selma, AL.

The company intends to convert its No.15 paper machine in Selma to manufacture white top linerboard and containerboard, which have a strong customer base.

The NAM visited International Paper’s facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, for the 2018 State of Manufacturing Tour on Wednesday, and will be touring Alabama on Thursday to share the incredible success stories of modern manufacturing and highlight the profiles of America’s manufacturing workers. Visit Shopfloor.org/Media-Hub for social media highlights from #MFGTour2018!

The post International Paper Announces $500 Million Investment In Alabama Manufacturing Facility appeared first on Shopfloor.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that consumer prices jumped 0.5 percent in January, its fastest pace in four months. The increase in consumer inflation was led by higher energy costs, which rose by 3.0 percent in January, with gasoline prices up 5.7 percent and fuel oil up 9.5 percent. This is largely consistent with data from the Energy Information Administration, which pegged the average price for regular conventional gasoline at $2.384 per gallon on December 25 but increasing to $2.516 a gallon on January 29. At the same time, food prices rose by 0.2 percent for the second straight month. Since January 2017, food and energy costs have increased 1.7 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively.

Excluding food and energy, core consumer inflation increased by 0.3 percent in January, its highest rate in one year. Higher costs for apparel, household furnishings and supplies, transportation and medical care services and used car and trucks helped to push core consumer prices higher in the latest data, with lower costs for medical care commodities and new vehicles.

The bottom line was that the consumer price index rose by more than anticipated in January, which had pegged an increase of 0.3 percent. That will feed further speculation that inflationary pressures are picking up, and financial markets will interpret that as a sign that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates more than previously expected. Indeed, analysts now predict three to four hikes in the federal funds rate this year, up from a prior consensus of two to three increases, with the next increase coming at the Federal Open Market Committee’s March 20–21 meeting.

With that said, it should be noted that consumer prices have risen by 2.1 percent year-over-year in January, the same pace as seen in December. That is a fairly modest rate, and while it represents an increase from 1.6 percent year-over-year in June, it remains well below the 2.8 percent pace seen last February. Moreover, core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy costs, have risen 1.8 percent over the past 12 months. This would indicate that pricing pressures remain under control for now, even if those pressures were accelerating in the monthly data.

The post Higher Energy Costs Pushed Consumer Prices Higher in January appeared first on Shopfloor.

Retail spending declined by 0.3 percent in January, which was a disappointing, especially given the consensus expectation for a 0.2 percent increase. Moreover, retail sales were unchanged in December, a notable revision from the prior estimate of a 0.4 percent gain. As a result of these latest figures, it is clear that consumer spending has been softer in the past two months than we would prefer. Yet, the larger narrative remains an encouraging one, with consumers being a bright spot over the past year. Indeed, retail sales have risen 3.7 percent year-over-year in January, suggesting a decent pace overall even if it represented a deceleration from the more-robust rate of 5.2 percent in December. Excluding automobiles, the pace was even stronger, with retail sales up 4.2 percent over the past 12 months.

Retail spending data were mixed in January. The largest increases were seen in the following categories: gasoline stations (up 1.6 percent), miscellaneous store retailers (up 1.6 percent), clothing and accessory stores (up 1.2 percent), department stores (up 0.8 percent) and electronics and appliance stores (up 0.5 percent). Gasoline station sales were boosted by higher prices. In contrast, there were reduced monthly sales for building materials and garden supply stores (down 2.4 percent), motor vehicles and parts (down 1.3 percent), health and personal care stores (down 1.2 percent), sporting goods and hobby stores (down 0.8 percent) and furniture and home furnishing stores (down 0.4 percent). At the same time, spending at food and beverage stores, food services and drinking places and nonstore retailers was unchanged in January.

Over the past 12 months, the fastest growth in retail sales were in the following segments: nonstore retailers (up 10.2 percent), gasoline stations (up 9.0 percent), furniture and home furnishings stores (up 4.7 percent), miscellaneous store retailers (up 4.6 percent), building material and garden supply stores (up 3.6 percent) and food and beverage stores (up 3.6 percent).

The post Retail Spending Activity Disappointed in January appeared first on Shopfloor.

Manufacturers have announced a series of investments so far in 2018, including the construction of new facilities, or upgrades and expansions to existing ones. In the last week alone, Ford Motor Company announced a $25 million investment in its Kentucky facility to meet rising demand, and International Paper detailed plans to spend half a billion dollars to upgrade its facility in Alabama.

U.S. aerospace and defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin is the latest manufacturer to make exciting moves in 2018.

The company announced on Wednesday that it has begun construction of a new $50 million, 255,000 square foot facility that will create 500 well-paying jobs within the next two years:

Defense giant Lockheed Martin broke ground Wednesday on a 255,000-square-foot Orlando facility that will create space for up to 1,000 workers.

The company plans to hire about 1,800 nationwide during the next two years. About 500 of those new jobs will be created here, with those positions paying an average salary of $87,000.

Engineers at the facility will work on defense-related and other technological projects:

The new research and development facility, set to open in 2019 and sitting just south of the intersection of Sand Lake and Kirkman roads, will host work that could make its way into the U.S. military’s next nuclear missile.

Programs housed at the new $50 million building will also support research and development in several industries with new technology, including autonomous cars, artificial intelligence and human-machine interaction.

“We just need more space to handle all the growth we’re experiencing,” said Frank St. John, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control.

Manufacturers ended 2017 with record-high optimism and a surge of encouraging news about the industry. So far in 2018, manufacturers have continued to expand their facilities, create new jobs, and invest in their workforce.

The post Lockheed Martin Announces Construction Of New $50 Million Facility In Florida appeared first on Shopfloor.

Manufacturing activity in the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s district eased somewhat in February but remained strong overall. In the latest Empire State Manufacturing Survey, the composite index of general business conditions declined from 17.7 in January to 13.1 in February. While this was the fourth straight deceleration in the headline index, off from the three-year high of 28.8 in October, the pace of expansion has remained decent overall, averaging 26.9 over the past 14 months. In February, the underlying data were mixed. New orders (up from 11.9 to 13.5), employment (up from 3.8 to 10.9) and the average workweek (up from 0.8 to 4.6) each picked up in the latest data, but shipments (down from 14.4 to 12.5) and inventories (down from 13.8 to 4.9) slowed a little..

As we have seen in recent months, pricing pressures continued to increase. The prices paid index rose from 36.2 to 48.6, its highest level since March 2012. Indeed, more than half of those completing the survey said that their input costs were higher in February, with just 2.8 percent saying that they were lower. The forward-looking inflationary measure suggested that this trend should continue, with the expected prices paid index inching up from 55.1 to 55.6, its fastest pace since May 2012.

Despite the increased pricing pressure, manufacturers in the New York Fed’s district remained very upbeat about the next six months. The future-oriented composite index rose from 48.6 to 50.5, its best reading since January 2011. Shipments (up from 46.3 to 46.7) and the average workweek (up from 16.7 to 20.8) both accelerated in January’s forward-looking indices, but other measures pulled back slightly, even while continuing to reflect very promising growth for the coming months. Those included new orders (down from 47.6 to 47.2), employment (down from 26.9 to 19.5), capital expenditures (down from 34.8 to 31.9) and technology spending (down from 27.5 to 23.6).

The post New York Fed: Manufacturing Activity Remained Strong but Eased in February; Input Costs Accelerated appeared first on Shopfloor.