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(www.SME.org/smart), urged people at Mfg4 who are in- volved in additive manufacturing to consider crowdsourcing. “Think about what it means for your business. We got 700 designs extremely cheaply,” by using GrabCAD. “We essen- tially opened up a window to the world and said, ‘Please help us. Here’s what we’ll give you, and here’s what we want.’ “It might be something you want to try, and it might be something that could dramatically change the business model of your particular company,” he added. “Because your competitor is probably looking at that, and if they can get these designs that cheaply, maybe you want to look at that as well.”


—Brett Brune, Editor, Smart Manufacturing A


Machine Tool Recovery Delayed Until 2017, Economist Says


recovery in machine tool orders will likely be pushed back to 2017, an economist said at the Association for Manufacturing Technology’s spring forecast. “We’ve revised down our outlook,” said Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, which prepares forecasts for AMT. Such orders currently are “trending downwards, consis- tent with sluggish global growth,” he said during a presenta- tion in late April. Previously, AMT (McLean, VA) said it expected machine


tool orders to begin to rebound in the fall of 2016. Oxford is still forecasting a recovery next year, he said. Machine toolmakers, and manufacturers generally, have


been affected by a strong US dollar, which makes US- produced goods more expensive in overseas markets. That’s taken place as growth in China slows and other key markets, such as Brazil and Russia, are struggling economically. Also, the oil & gas industry has cut back on machine


tool orders because low oil prices have spurred cutbacks in exploration.


Such factors “had a much more severe impact than we initially thought,” Daco said in a telephone interview. Machine tool orders for the first two months of the year totaled $556.43 million, down 16.3% from the $664.61 mil- lion for the same period in 2015, according to the April edi- tion of AMT’s US Manufacturing Technology Orders Report. The motorized vehicle market still is expanding, Daco said. “The US is still the global growth locomotive,” he said during his presentation.


18 AdvancedManufacturing.org | June 2016


“We’ve had some good years since the Great Recession,” he said. General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles underwent US government-backed bankruptcies in 2009 while seeing increased vehicle sales since. “We continue to see some strong growth numbers but we expect some moderation,” he said of the industry. However, the pace of economic growth “has slowed a


little bit.” —Senior Editor Bill Koenig U


US Manufacturing Expands for Second Straight Month, ISM Says


S manufacturing expanded for a second straight month in April, but at a slower rate, the Institute for Supply Management said. The group’s PMI, which mea-


sures economic activity in manu- facturing, was 50.8% in April, down from 51.8% the month before. New orders and production helped boost results in April, while employment contracted. The report by ISM (Tempe, AZ) is based on a survey of


purchasing and supply executives. A reading above 50% indicates expansion and below 50% contraction. The March PMI was the first to go above the 50% mark since the Au- gust 2015 PMI of 51%.


The PMI has averaged 50.4% the past 12 months. Its peak during that time was 53.1% in May and June of 2015. Of 18 industries, 11 reported economic growth in April, including wood products, primary metals, fabricated metal products and machinery. Four industries reported contrac- tion, including petroleum & coal, transportation equipment and miscellaneous manufacturing. The institute’s New Orders Index was at 55.8%, cool-


ing off from March’s 58.3%. ISM said 15 industries reported increases in new orders, including apparel, wood products, plastics & rubber products, chemical products, fabricated metal products, machinery, primary metals, miscellaneous manufacturing and transportation equipment. Only textiles reported a decrease, PMI said. ISM’s Production Index was 54.2% for April, down from 55.3% the month before. Still, it was the fourth straight month the output index showed a gain. The group said 15 industries reported increased produc- tion, including paper products, wood products, chemi-


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