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Last updateThu, 23 Feb 2017 7pm

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Manufacturing

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.

 

Ancient Roman Valves

LorenzThe story of water supply in the ancient Roman Empire is grand. The transport and hydraulic control of large quantities of fresh water was one of the factors in the immense, unprecedented success of the Roman Empire. The major Roman cities were located, in part, in the proximity of good water supplies. Plentiful water improved public health and allowed the urban life to provide labor and support businesses to build the Roman economy.

Hydraulic Fracturing, Natural Gas, and the U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance

anvilThe Great Recession has been hard on America’s domestic manufacturing industries. Even before the 2008 economic spiral, domestic industries suffered under the pressures of foreign competitors with lower labor, raw material, and energy costs, as well as more permissive regulations. In the face of this downturn, America’s oil and gas industry, an industry which itself was facing declining domestic production, embraced game-changing technology with the capability of unlocking unprecedented reserves of oil and gas.

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