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NEWS DESK WHAT’S NEW IN MANUFACTURING n M


Manufacturing Cools a Bit but Keeps Growing The group’s New Orders Index slowed to 57.5% in April


anufacturing economic growth eased in April but remained widespread, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM; Tempe, AZ) said.


The group’s PMI, which measures economic activity in manufacturing, was 54.8% for April, according to a monthly report. That was down from 57.2% in March. April marked the eighth consecutive month of expansion. What’s more, 16 of 18 industries reported economic


growth, ISM said. Only one industry, apparel, leather and al- lied products, reported economic contraction.


from 64.5% in March. Sixteen of 18 industries reported an increase in orders, including machinery, fabricated metal products, miscellaneous manufacturing, primary metals, transportation equipment and petroleum and coal products. No industries reported a decline in new orders. ISM’s Production Index rose to 58.6% last month, a


1-percentage point gain from March. The group said 17 industries said output increased, including machinery, pri- mary metals, miscellaneous manufacturing, fabricated metal


“There’s going to be ups and downs” in the rate of growth, he said.


“We’re off to a very solid start” in 2016, Bradley J. Hol- comb, the outgoing chair of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, told reporters on a conference call. “There’s going to be ups and downs” in the rate of


growth, he said. “We can’t see these things going up, up, up, or else we bump our heads against the ceiling.” The ISM report is based on a survey of 350 purchas- ing and supply executives. A reading above 50% indicates expansion and below 50% contraction. The PMI has aver- aged 53.6% the past 12 months and 56.4% for the first four months of 2017. The index hasn’t been below 50% since August.


Factora Joins GE Digital Alliance Program


F


actora (Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada) said it has joined the GE Digital Alliance Program.


“Factora has collaborated with GE for more than a de- cade,” Charles A. Horth, CEO at Factora, said in a statement. “Over the years, we’ve developed a deep domain expertise in GE’s Manufacturing Operational Management solutions to better understand the real-world challenges of delivering value to the bottom line. As a member of the Alliance Program, we plan to build on and enhance this existing foundation.”


products, transportation equipment and petroleum and coal products. No industry reported a decline in production. Both the New Orders and Production indexes have ex- panded for eight consecutive months. The group’s Employment Index was 52%, compared with 58.9% for March. Twelve of 18 industries reported job gains, including fabricated metal products, primary metals, machin- ery and miscellaneous manufacturing. Four industries reported job cuts, including petroleum and


coal products and transportation equipment. April was the seventh consecutive month the index was above 50%. —Senior Editor Bill Koenig


Factora said being a part of the GE Industrial Internet ecosystem will provide its customers with a variety of benefits including access to digital tools, technologies and domain expertise.


“As our customers embark on their IoT journey leverag- ing the GE Predix platform, Factora is ready to guide and support them in this migration strategy that is founded on years of development and research,” Barry Lynch, Factora vice president of sales and marketing, said in the state- ment. “This alliance marks both an evolution of our relation- ship with GE and an expansion of our Smart Manufacturing service offering.”


June 2017 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 17


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