ApprenticeshipUSA Expands From $90 to $200 Million

The skills gap affecting manufacturing businesses may see a solution in a new initiative. Working with advisor Ivanka Trump, private enterprises, industry associations, democrats and republicans, President Trump and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta outlined a plan to reorganize existing labor programs and make apprenticeships more accessible. The reorganization of the ApprenticeshipUSA program aims to make good on Trump’s campaign promise to create more jobs, such as the 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs looming in the next decade, part of 6 million unfilled jobs across multiple industries.

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Environmental Policies Benefit Manufacturers

Sustainable and environmentally-conscious operations secure longevity and safety for future generations, but these considerations also impact businesses’ finances, reputations, hiring practices, and many other aspects. R&M is conscious of the state of the local neighborhood as well as impacts that manufacturers have on the world and uses environmentally-friendly policies and practices to minimize negative environmental impacts. Besides supporting the neighborhood and biosphere, initiating or strengthening positive environmental policies can also benefit businesses commercially and financially.

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R&M Helps Freeland Robotics Team Construct a Winner

The Freeland Robotics Team, also called the Freeland Fabricators, has earned a spot in the FIRST Robotics Competition, a global championship in St. Louis, Missouri, after successfully competing in the district and then the state level. To help the aspiring young engineers build the best bot possible, R&M offered their expertise and instruction. R&M helped the students to safely weld, program and build their robots. While the students did the work, R&M was able to help with any snags along the way.

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The Shift to ISO 9001:2015 Certification

As of September 2015, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) revised the quality management standards outlined in ISO 9001:2008. These standards impact businesses of all sizes, in all industries, including over 1 million businesses and organizations across over 170 countries. R&M Machine currently operates under ISO 9001:2008 certification and is shifting processes and quality management tools to meet certification requirements of ISO 9001:2015.

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R&M Recognized with Economic Excellence Award

The State of Michigan and Saginaw’s economic development organization, Saginaw Future Inc., has awarded R&M Machine Tool Inc. an Economic Excellence Award to recognize the positive changes R&M has helped to enact in the area and the impact we have had on the community. On February 17, Saginaw Future Inc. celebrated the growth and development of our community with the 25th Annual Awards Luncheon, recognizing R&M and other high-achieving Saginaw businesses for their success in building local job growth and urban development.

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Solving customer challenges

At R&M, we have built our business by being a source to help customers with the challenges they face. Whether it’s a quick turnaround, extremely close tolerance, or complex design, R&M’s “do our best” attitude gets the job done. The following is an example of how the R&M team stepped in to help one of our customers in the automotive market.

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The New Administration and Manufacturing

Each new administration brings its own laws, regulations, trade agreements and economic policies to office, each causing subsequent market reactions and fluctuations in every aspect of the economy. In manufacturing, international trade policy, private investment, unemployment rates and fiscal stimulus policies all play an important role in market variations and real positive or negative growth. Following the election of Donald Trump in November, markets reacted immediately and, though the effects of the new administration’s policies have yet to be seen, both positive and negative forecasts exist in manufacturing, resulting from key economic indicators seen up to this point.

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Three Trends to Plan for in 2017

The last year brought a number of surprises, but overall positive growth to the U.S. economy and the manufacturing sector. Looking forward, 2017 looks bright, with trends towards economic growth and new technology taking manufacturing to new horizons.

Revenues, Profits, Hiring Look Up

With only a 1% rise in manufacturing revenues this year, that number is expected to grow to 4.6%, outpacing slower rises in labor and benefits costs, and costs of inputs. Hiring in manufacturing is also expected to expand, though modestly, mainly due to a lack of skilled workers required to fill vacant jobs. While markets soared immediately following the results of the election, economists predict these number to even out, as any policies enacted in 2017 are unlikely to produce such immediate, noticeable economic effects in big businesses. For specific industry outlooks, low food prices are expected to drive down buying in agricultural equipment, aerospace spending is likely to decline from consistent previous growth, but spending in oil, coal, and natural gas production and transportation are expected to increase.

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Additive and Subtractive Processes Complete the Production Equation

Starting with raw materials and milling, turning, or drilling down to the right shape has long been the known and preferred method for machine shop production. Over the years, process evolution has given subtractive manufacturing a diverse range of tools, devices, and methods for creating a wide array of parts and products. Beginning in the 1980’s, 3D printing reversed this process, building materials from the bottom up through a combination of CAD software and laser technology, first constructing simple objects like hammers and screwdrivers and now building complex, delicate items such as dental implants or aerospace components. Where they have been traditionally separate processes, many manufacturers are combining the advantages of each process in different ways to optimize production.

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