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Manufacturing

Navigating the New Administration’s Impact on Manufacturing and Trade

In the Spring issue of VALVE Magazine, we reported on potential political and economic ramifications from the new administration’s stance on jobs, manufacturing, environmental regulations and trade. In that article, we shared some of the information given in a presentation by legal counsel Eric McClaffery of Kelley Drye and Warren at VMA’s 2017 Leadership Forum.

In this web-exclusive feature, we are expanding on that presentation along with many other issues space did not allow for in coverage in the print edition.


Reshoring, Robots and What Happens if We Do Bring Jobs Back?

While offshoring is painted as the major villain in the decline of numbers of manufacturing jobs in the U.S., automation may actually be a bigger threat. It has been estimated that 80-90% of the manufacturing jobs lost since 1977 have been caused by productivity gains, not trade deals or foreign labor.

Among the technologies that have made possible those productivity gains are industrial robots. New research from MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Boston University’s Pascual Restrepo has quantified those gains in terms of job losses. They asserted that up to six workers lost their jobs for every robot per thousand workers, and wages fell by as much as .075%. The researchers assert that robots eliminated up to 670,000 American jobs between 1990 and 2007.

The State of Industrial Distribution in 2017

Key trends for the industrial distribution sector and recommendations on how distributors can gain a competitive edge in a complicated economic environment were the topics addressed during a recent webinar hosted by Modern Distribution Management.

David Manthey, senior research analyst at Baird, began the presentation with an overview on the current state of the economy as revealed by Baird’s Fourth Quarter 2016 survey of distributors. He pointed out that, even though there are many positive indicators—including record-breaking highs on the stock market, low interest rates and high employment rates—the U.S. economy has only been able to achieve single-digit growth. However, the election of Donald Trump has changed the atmosphere somewhat toward a pro-growth inflationary environment with less regulation and infrastructure investment.

TPS: The People Side of Lean

The term “Lean” is used in a variety of ways in many companies. However, the basic concept refers to work practices that consider it wasteful to expend resources (time, people or money) for any goal other than the creation of value for the customer , and thus a target for elimination. Lean manufacturing is a management philosophy and a set of tools derived from the Toyota Production System (TPS).

Valve Companies Urged to Comment by Aug. 30 on Proposed Export License Requirements

export2Many valve companies must currently obtain export licenses for shipments of certain commercial products that could also potentially be used for nuclear or chemical weapons purposes. There have been more than 50 federal enforcement cases in recent years against fluid handling companies that did not obtain required licenses. Some of the penalties in these cases are counted in the millions of dollars and some company officials are in jail because they did not comply with U.S. export control regulations.

 

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