Member Login

WVMA All State Meeting 1040x150 1a

NAM Archive

Manufacturers have charged into 2018 with a surge of new investments in America and its workforce. In just the past two months, companies like Lockheed Martin, Michael Foods, Fiat Chrysler, and Ford Motor Co. have all announced plans to build new facilities or expand existing ones.

One of America’s most popular furniture manufacturers is the latest addition to the list.

England Inc., a division of La-Z-Boy Incorporated, announced plans to expand its existing manufacturing campus in New Tazewell, Tennessee by adding 87,000 square feet and creating 200 new jobs:

Tennessee officials say a furniture manufacturer plans a $31 million expansion that will create about 200 jobs…

England will add 87,000 square feet to its New Tazewell manufacturing facility and build a new 23,000-square-foot corporate office space. The facility is expected to be up and running by January 2019. The corporate office space will be operational by spring 2019.

The current 1.1 million square-foot complex, which already employs 1,400 people, manufactures a “full line of upholstered stationary and motion furniture.” La-Z-Boy detailed their expansion plans in a press release:

The scope of the investment includes two projects: an 87,000 square-foot expansion to the existing 400,000 square-foot upholstery manufacturing plant; and the construction of a new 22,500 square-foot corporate office building to replace one destroyed in a fire in May of 2017.

La-Z-Boy operates five U.S. manufacturing plants, six distribution centers and more than 100 company-owned retail stores, and employs more than 6,300 workers across the country.

“Ongoing strategic investments across our manufacturing operations is essential as we continue to strengthen our domestic manufacturing platform,” La-Z-Boy Inc. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Kurt L. Darrow said. “We look forward to the plant expansion and hiring additional workers as England continues to flourish.”

The post La-Z-Boy Announces $31 Million Expansion Of Tennessee Manufacturing Complex appeared first on Shopfloor.

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity continued to expand strongly in February, building on solid growth seen for the past year. The composite index of general business conditions increased from 16 in January to 17 in February, a four-month high. Many of the key underlying data points also reflected faster growth for the month, including new orders (up from 14 to 16), production (up from 16 to 21), shipments (up from 14 to 24), employment (up from 18 to 23) and the average workweek (up from 2 to 11). Forty percent of respondents said that new orders were higher in February, with 24 percent citing reduced sales. At the same time, exports (down from 6 to 2) slowed somewhat but remained positive for the third straight report.

On the downside, the index for prices paid for raw materials (up from 34 to 50) soared to its highest point since May 2011, mirroring other recent indicators showing accelerating input costs. Half of the manufacturing leaders responding to the survey said that their raw material costs were higher in February, with just two percent noting reductions and 48 percent suggesting no changes. This is a trend that is expected to continue moving forward, with the forward-looking index for input costs (up from 58 to 73) jumping ta level not seen since March 2011. Accordingly, 69 percent of manufacturers in the Kansas City Fed district see raw material prices rising over the next six months, with 1 percent predicting declines for their firm.

Meanwhile, manufacturers were more optimistic about the next six months. The future-oriented composite index increased from 29 to 38, an all-time high in the survey’s 17-year history. More than 60 percent of respondents anticipate higher new orders, production and shipments in the coming months, with 46 percent and 48 percent seeing more employment and capital spending, respectively.

The post Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing Outlook Remained Very Optimistic, but Firms See Accelerating Costs appeared first on Shopfloor.

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.