Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Manufacturing Revitalization Bill Passed by House, Now In The Hands of the Senate

(Compiled from multiple sources)

A bipartisan effort to bolster the country's manufacturing sector passed the House in mid September, and as of early October is awaiting action by the Senate. The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 (RAMI) calls for the creation of a network of regional institutes across the country, along the lines of the “manufacturing hub” pilot project launched by the Obama administration in Ohio.

The bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Joe Kennedy (D-MA), and in the Senate by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). The intent of the legislation is to expand our ability to compete for advanced manufacturing jobs by investing in manufacturing technologies and capabilities. The planned institutes would bring together companies and universities, supported by Federal agencies, to co-invest in world-leading manufacturing technologies and workforce capabilities.

The bill's sponsors apparently recognize that America’s manufacturing sector is critical to an innovation economy that supports a strong and growing middle class. After a decade of decline, the manufacturing sector has added 515,000 jobs since the beginning of 2010, and adding bipartisan government support can help insure the growth of a U.S. manufacturing renaissance. This legislation would fund the institutes with up to an initial $600 million investment channeled through the National Institute of Standards and Technology. However, the funding expires after 7 years; the institutes would then have to arrange for private-sector funding 

According to Rep. Reed's office, he and Rep. Kennedy see the legislation as a way to re-establish the United States as the global leader in manufacturing. Each institute will be focused on a unique technology, material, or process relevant to advanced manufacturing. Comprised of local industry, academia and other stakeholders, the institutes would work to (1) expand research and development, (2) close the gap between R&D and commercialization of products, (3) support small and mid-sized manufacturers, and (4) train a top-tier advanced manufacturing workforce.

“We’re thrilled to have such overwhelming bipartisan support for our bill to create high-tech, high-paying manufacturing jobs for Americans,” said Congressman Reed. “These are the kinds of jobs that will give generations to come the opportunity to create and innovate right here at home – not across the ocean. Americans need something to come together on, something to unite around to fight for jobs. RAMI is that uniting initiative. The nation as a whole will benefit from the skilled workforce, innovative manufacturers and some of the best education and research institutes in the country that RAMI brings together. The House passage of this bill is the result of bipartisan partnership and countless input from industry leaders and colleagues on both sides of the aisle."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Basic Project Management Training

A "train and do" workshop introducing the basics of Project Management, including classroom presentation and exercises on how to organize and manage projects and bring them to a close – on time and on budget.

This training is for manufacturing, engineering, and installation personnel with project leadership responsibilities, whether in a new role or just in need of a refresher.

• Introduction to Project Management
• Individual Roles and Responsibilities
• Defining the Mission & Approach
• Methodology Overview
• Work Plan Review and Sign-off
• Project Tracking (Working the Schedule)
• Action and Contingency Plans
• Project Status Reporting
• Book shelving Project Management Data

(Course materials are based on methods described in the Program Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), published by the Program Management Institute)

Date: November 11th, 2014
Time: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
and continental breakfast
at 7:30, lunch also included
Location: Treadway Inn, Owego, NY
Cost: $150 ($100 for AM&T Associates)

Register at www.amt-mep.org/events or contact Kathy Peacock at 607-774-0022 x308

Registration Deadline: November 05, 2014

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/4414/1166/6581/2014-09.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org

Leaders, Principles and the Pursuit of High Performance Teams

By Art Petty
"In high-performance teams, the leaders managed the principles and the principles managed the teams." – Carl Larson and Frank LaFasto via Jim Highsmith in Agile Project Management - Creating Innovative Products.

Larson and LaFasto in their assessment of high performance teams offer us a profoundly powerful and simple to comprehend answer to the question of how to support the emergence of effective teams: clear, strong, actionable, livable principles beget an environment for effective collaboration and innovation.

Every high performance team I’ve experienced as a participant, a sponsor or an outside advisor, was governed by an overarching set of principles or values that formed and framed the culture. And while good words alone don’t create success, the combination of the leaders and participants living and acting according to those words everyday made things work.
On successful teams, the team leaders…and ultimately the participants eat and drink the principles for breakfast, communicate them constantly and most importantly, they live them in how they collaborate, problem-solve and challenge themselves and their team members forward in pursuit of success.

And since as we all know, even the best of teams face dark days when nothing goes right, the guiding principles serve as bedrock for self-reflection and guidance for navigating the way forward.
There’s a cautionary tale here. As Highsmith warns us, "Grand principles that generate no action are mere vapor." When engaging with an organization for the first time, I make it a habit to understand a firm’s values, and all too often, what I find are nice words…unarguable in their intent, that serve only to occupy space on a wall in a conference room. It’s a wholesale failure on the part of the leadership of an organization, when the guiding principles aren’t a visible part of everyday life.

Teams are a fact of life. We execute strategy via projects. We innovate on teams. We develop new products, improve processes and search for ways to better serve our customers via projects and teams. We darned well better figure out how to succeed at this more often than not. Right now, in too many organizations, "not" is winning.

The Bottom-Line for Now:

This intangible, sticky, squishy topic of operationalizing guiding principles or values doesn’t lend itself well to a prescriptive list of steps-to-success. The onus is on you as a team leader, project leader, functional leader, informal leader or organizational leader to ensure that your best efforts are supported by meaningful, actionable guiding principles. If you can’t articulate what those principles are and what they mean for behavior, accountability and performance, then it’s time to take a step back and tackle this issue. The effort will pay dividends going forward. Larson and LaFasto are right…leaders should manage the principles and the principles will manage the team.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/4414/1166/6581/2014-09.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org

Manufacturing Day is October 3, 2014 - Join the Movement

Come Join the Celebration!

As we near MFG DAY, we wanted to share some changes we’ve made to the event registration process in order to accommodate as many hosts as possible.
• Registration has been streamlined and now takes just 5 minutes.
• Multiple events can be created under one user account.
• An event can be designated "invitation only."
• Dates other than October 3 can be selected — and are encouraged!

We’ve also made a number of technical improvements. Uploading logos is easier. And hosts can generate reports to see who plans to attend their events.

So if you haven’t already, we invite you to check out the new registration process and put your MFG DAY event on the map. Let’s show the world what manufacturing is all about!

Register Your Event

Register by Phone:
If you still need a little help registering your event, you’re welcome to call Fabricator & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) Customer Service toll free at 888-394-4362.

Event Planning:
Once you’ve registered your event, you may want some tips for running it. Get started with the Manufacturing Day Host Toolkit.
Get the Toolkit at http://www.mfgday.com/resources/manufacturing-day-host-toolkit

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/4414/1166/6581/2014-09.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org

Four Steps for a Successful Brainstorming Session

By Fast Company

Don’t filter. If you start a meeting and you say, ‘Okay, we’re gonna come up with really good ideas,’ that can be a really bad way to start. With that kind of pressure to come up with the best ideas right away, you don’t have a sense of exploration. Things will kind of run dry.

Don’t start with an example. Planting a solution which worked in the past in someone’s mind makes them much more likely to come up with similar solutions rather than new ones.

Use analogies. They allow you to step between worlds that seem disconnected and connect them based on some structure to help you come up with new ideas, even if they’re not radical, and then build on them.

Beware of incentives. When you give people incentives (like cash) for ideas, they come up with lots of ideas and they tend to be very similar to each other but not a lot of creative ideas.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/4414/1166/6581/2014-09.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org

Creating Strategic Impact - Do You Need a Strategic Plan?

By Mike Brown

If you’re interested in creating strategic impact, now is a natural time to be asking if your organization needs a strategic plan. The question makes sense whether you are considering an update to a previous strategic plan or something completely new.

From our perspective, it’s not a question you ask and answer as some type of check box, i.e., "We have a strategic plan, so we can check that off the list!"

Instead, you should address the question of whether you need a strategic plan in light of important aspects of how it would help your organization in creating strategic impact. Some of the questions to consider include:

Given your situation, is it essential to your organization’s success that you take the time to look ahead and consider dramatically new opportunities and directions?

Does your organization need stronger alignment for its direction?

Is there a need for more strongly communicating the organization’s strategic direction to everyone in the organization?

Do you need to need the guidelines and impetus to change the management discipline in your organization so you accomplish the important activities you spend more time talking about than addressing?

Yes answers to any of those four questions could indicate it’s time to take on developing a new strategic plan for your organization.

If you want to get the maximum value from a strategic planning process, any of the reasons above should suggest a different type of planning process geared to deliver those organizational results.

Not sure where to start with accomplishing that?

Let us know. It’s what we deliver for clients so strategic planning creates real results and beneficial impacts throughout their organizations. All that, plus we make it a rewarding, stimulating, and fun experience.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/4414/1166/6581/2014-09.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org

Growing Sales and Maximizing Profits

If your Sales and Profits are Down or Stagnant and you’re not sure what to do about it this seminar is for you!

Section 1: Is your Company prepared for growth?

Everything starts and ends with the value your company provides. It’s easy to blame the sales team when business is down and profits are eroding, but you can’t sell what you don’t have and you really shouldn’t expect significant sales growth or high profitability if your company, products and services are not meaningfully unique in your target markets.

In? this section we will take a comprehensive overview of what consistently drives sales and profitability in successful growth-oriented companies... and how you can do the same.

Section 2: Is your Sales Team prepared for success?

In this section, we will discuss Sales Systems, Processes, Tools, Skills, and Knowledge required to build and manage a high-performance sales organization that can quickly identify and develop high-potential opportunities that will consistently grow your top-line sales and maximize your bottom-line profits.

Who Should Attend

Companies of all sizes and industries. Whether you are a company of 1, or you are a large corporation, the principles in this seminar apply to you.
• Smaller companies should send Owners, Managers and Sales personnel.
• Larger companies should send Company Executives, Sales Managers, and Professional Salespeople. To get the most out of this seminar, we recommend that you bring a cross-functional team.

Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Time: 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
(Sign-in and full breakfast at 7:30 am)
Location: Owego Treadway - Owego, NY
Cost: $75 ($50 for AM&T Associates)

For questions about this seminar contact: Jim Cunningham at 607-725-1225 or jcunningham@amt-mep.org

Register at www.amt-mep.org/events or contact Kathy Peacock at 607-774-0022 x308

Registration Deadline: September 10th

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/4414/1166/6581/2014-09.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org

Associates’ Corner - Crowley Fabricating & Machining Co., Inc.

Crowley Fabricating was established in 1985 and has recently received AS 9100 and ISO 9001 certifications and are ITAR registered. They have the ability to receive and send encrypted documentation. Their customer base consists of 60% Commercial, 35% Prime Contractors and 5% Department of Defense customers, and they are proud of their very diverse customer base which has allowed them to continue to grow.

Use of an MRP System allows them to manage and standardize administrative activities and track all information on a real time basis.

Crowley Fabricating has two manufacturing locations and one warehouse. Machining and offices are located at 403 N. Nanticoke Avenue in Endicott, New York. This location houses Sales and Manufacturing Engineers, Customer Service, Shipping/Receiving, CNC Programmers, and Administration Departments as well as twenty CNC Mills, seven CNC Turning Centers, Waterjet, Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM), Cut-off Department and a Mechanical Assembly area.

Sheet metal fabricating is located at 2 N. Nanticoke Avenue in Endicott, New York which is two blocks away from the main office. Last year over one million dollars was invested in new state of the art fabricating equipment such as a new Amada FOM2 NT 4000 Watt Laser Cutting System with Shuttle Table, a new Amada HD 1303 NT CNC 143 Ton x 122" Long Bed Press Brake, a new Amada ID 404ST Spotwelder and a new Series 4 Pemserter for hardware insertion. Amada’s latest software, which is used by CNC Programmers to program the CNC sheet metal equipment, was also purchased. This software enables quick turn work. New equipment was added to help support our other sheet metal equipment such as Turret Press, Press Brakes, Timesaver, MIG and TIG Welding Equipment along with Assembly. Certification has been obtained to several welding specifications.

Crowley Fabricating is a certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business that has received numerous awards and recognitions for performance throughout the years.

Please contact Tom or Mike Crowley at 607-484-0299 or visit www.crowleyfab.com for more information.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/4414/1166/6581/2014-09.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org

Associates’ Corner - Courser, Inc.

Courser Incorporated is an Elmira, NY contract CNC machining and general machining company. Incorporated in 1974, Courser produces customer’s products to their specifications with special attention to on-time delivery and quality. Their experienced and friendly customer service staff makes procurement of machined components an enjoyable process for their customers.

Courser utilizes military quality standards for measurement equipment calibrations and quality systems. Customer specifications are verified with 1st article, in-process, and final inspections supported by automated coordinate measuring machines that utilize solid modeling inspection routines. Solid modeling systems are integrated into each phase of manufacturing, from providing quotations to CNC programming creation to final inspection routines. These capabilities reduce the lead time and cost of manufacturing both simple and complex products.

Courser continues to expand their impressive machining capabilities and support systems. Two 5-axis vertical machining centers produce complex components with close tolerances and have produced a wide array of complex aerospace components that could not have been produced on 3-axis machines. Their most recent addition is a new large vertical machining center with a 10 foot bed and 10 feet of X-travel that allows large components to be machined. A new tooling crib and bin system provides the shop floor with all the proper tools and fixtures at exactly the right time. The updated shipping and receiving area provides a clean and efficient area for packing outgoing shipments.

For more information, contact: Daniel Herman at dherman@courser.com, 1-800-568-0045, ext. 215, or visit www.courser.com

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/4414/1166/6581/2014-09.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org