Tag Archives: american manufacturing

National Manufacturing Day Serves as an Opportunity to Dive Deeper into 2018s Modern Manufacturing World

Inspiring a New Generation of Manufacturers

 

National Manufacturing Day® was created as a movement of the modern manufacturing industry, meant to motivate the next generation of new manufacturers. Taking place on the first Friday of every October, manufacturers around the country will open their doors to inspire students and encourage their perusal of manufacturing careers.

In order to generate a much larger career interest, industry authorities work annually to change the public’s perception of the industry. Each year, participants continue to correct the “old factory” image.

With the change in industry dynamic comes a new manufacturing image: modern manufacturing. In reality, today’s manufacturing jobs are exciting, harnessing the latest in technological innovation, and require highly skilled workers familiar with using such state-of-the-art technologies. 2018 manufacturing facilities are contemporary, stimulating, and inventive work environments. With current technology, trade workers might be placed in an office or lab, beyond the factory floor. Today, automation plays a huge role in the industry and we need the right players to assist with the functions and continual development of manufacturing throughout the U.S.

Embracing Technology and Innovation

Over the past few decades, American manufacturing has embraced technology and other revolutionary concepts.

National Manufacturing Day undertakings include the promotion of STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, and math – to bridge the skills gap and reshore jobs back to the U.S. Scholarships are available.

UPR and other manufacturing businesses continue the efforts of pushing this movement forward throughout each year.

Beneficial for the Economy and Local Business

Universal Polymer & Rubber supports the significant strides that National Manufacturing Day participants have created to grow the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Reshoring is currently generating new job totals as many major producers choose to keep manufacturing facilities in the United States.  Local businesses and the overall economy are benefiting as a result.

UP&R’s American-Made Tarp Straps

As an Ohio-based company, UPR proudly offers the AMERIPRIDE line of tarp straps that are U.S. made. The AMERIPRIDE tarp strap is available at an affordable price for use in the trucking, transportation, recreational vehicle, and marine industries. These UV-resistant straps are secured with S hooks that are manufactured from in-house wire coils.

Keep in Touch

By recognizing National Manufacturing Day, UPR supports the proud contributions of everyone in the manufacturing industry.

To learn more about how we support American manufacturing, follow us on our blogTwitter, and LinkedIn. For more information on our products and services, contact us today.

What’s Holding US Manufacturing Back?

In the United States, the manufacturing industry is very important as it creates jobs for millions of people, as well as provides the products and goods the country needs.  Our previous blogs have looked at how the economy has fared since President Trump took office and the importance of the American Manufacturing industry and Manufacturing Day.  While there have been positive signs that the manufacturing industry is growing, it is still not at the peak levels of the past.

Manufacturing

3 Obstacles Holding US Manufacturing Back

  • Securing Talent: The majority of American Manufacturing is based in mid-western states, and in areas that are more rural than city.   Many manufacturing companies in these areas have jobs available for qualified candidates but have trouble convincing people to relocate to these areas.  By being based far away from high population cities, long commutes could keep candidates from accepting offers.  To grow a business, quality employees are needed, and this can be difficult for Midwestern manufacturing companies.
  • Lack of Modernization: While technology has advanced significantly over the last decade, not all manufacturing companies have taken advantage of this.  Many are still running their operations on old computer systems and software, and are still doing business by fax.  Reasons for this range from the potentially high cost of updating these systems, to not wanting to change a system that has been in place for years due to a high level of comfort.   By not updating this technology companies are missing out on opportunities to be more efficient which could lead to additional profit and revenue.  It also could prevent talented employees from joining the team who would not want to work with outdated systems.
  • The “Old School Culture”: Many Midwestern manufacturing companies are family owned and operated, and are made up of employees who have been with the company for decades.  While their loyalty and experience is necessary and important, many times this can create a culture that is resistant to change, and unwelcoming to new employees and ideas.  By not staying up with the latest industry innovations, and welcoming new viewpoints and ideas from new employees, it will be hard for these companies to be competitive and successful long term.

By embracing new ideas and technology, manufacturing companies across the United States will be able to improve their efficiency and production and set themselves up for long-term success.  At Universal Polymer & Rubber we are proud to be a Midwestern manufacturing company and are always looking for the best way we can serve our customers.  For more information on our products and capabilities, please contact us.

How Is the Economy Doing Since President Trump Took Office?

Historically when there is a change in presidential administrations, there is a sense of hesitancy in the business and manufacturing world as people wait to see what changes will be made.  This year with the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency, that hesitancy does not seem to exist.  A key part of President Trump’s campaign platform, and his first months in office has been the goal of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States and increasing the amount of American made products and goods.  This has led to a positive feeling in the manufacturing industry as companies look to take advantage of this new presidential direction.

Economy and Manufacturing in USA

Job Creation and the Economy:

One of the best ways to track how the economy is doing is with job creation numbers.  In February, reports from ADP and Moody’s Analytics reported that jobs were added at an impressive pace, much more than was predicted. Employment in the private sector increased by 298,000 in February, and goods producers added another 106,000 jobs on top of that.  Construction and the manufacturing industries also added 66,000 and 32,000 jobs respectively as well.  These are enormous numbers and show that businesses believe the economy is going to continue to grow under President Trump.

Manufacturing Growth:

Manufacturing growth has also been up significantly since President Trump has been in office.  According to the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) monthly Manufacturing Report on Business, the February PMI came in at 57.7.  The PMI is the index used by ISM to measure growth, and this February reading is the highest monthly PMI reading since August 2014.  Many manufacturing sectors contributed to the growth including transportation equipment, computer & electronic products, fabricated metal products, and wood products among many others.  New orders, which are a huge factor when calculating the health of the manufacturing industry was up 4.7% to 65.1, matching the previous record high that was last seen in December 2013.  Overall almost every reading was up in the latest report, showing that the platform of the new administration is enhancing the economy and manufacturing industry.

At Universal Polymer & Rubber we are proud to be an American manufacturing company.  Our GOLDLINE, SILVERLINE, and AMERIPRIDE tarp straps are American made and used throughout the trucking industry.  This positive trend for the economy and manufacturing industry has been great to see after years of stagnation, and we look forward to seeing it continue.  For more information on products and services, please contact us.

Introducing AMERIPRIDE Tarp Straps from UP&R

UP&R is excited to introduce our latest product for the trucking industry: AMERIPRIDE Tarp straps. Made in the USA, the AMERIPRIDE line continues the tradition of our GOLDLINE and SILVERLINE Tarp straps, which have been a standard for the trucking industry since the 1970s. Tarps are vital for truckers to keep their cargo safe from weather and other environmental hazards, and AMERIPRIDE straps will help meet your tarp tie down needs.

Made of EPDM in our Middlefield OH facility, the AMERIPRIDE strap has excellent UV and Ozone resistance. The AMERIPRIDE tarp strap is available at an affordable price for use in the trucking, transportation, recreational vehicle, and marine industries. Remaining flexible across a variety of climates, these straps will perform their task of holding down tarps. Available in sizes of 10”, 15”, 21”, 31”, and 41”, they come 50 pieces to a boxed and can be shipped to any location. Delivered with S hooks that are manufactured in house directly from wire coils, UP&R is proud to offer a product that is completely Made in the USA.

Also this year from March 23-25, we will be exhibiting at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. This show is the largest heavy-duty trucking industry event in the world, with over 70,000 attendees, and 1,000+ exhibitors from the United States and abroad. An annual event for the trucking industry to come together and showcase new products and ideas, this is a can’t miss show. Be sure to visit us at booth #69128 for one of the first opportunities to get a look at our AMERIPRIDE Tarp straps. Our product specialists will also be available to answer any questions about our products and services.

For more information on our AMERIPRIDE Tarp straps and how they can assist in your tarp tie down requirements, contact us.

The American Manufacturing Industry and Manufacturing Day

The manufacturing industry is very important to the American economy.  It is a provider of jobs and goods that the country needs.  In recent years there has been a push to promote the importance of manufacturing and make sure that the youth of America know that it is a viable career option.  This first led to the creation of Manufacturing Day, which is held on the first Friday of October, which has then grown to celebrating the manufacturing industry all throughout the month of October!

Made in AMERICA

The goal of Manufacturing Day is to celebrate the modern manufacturing industry, and inspire the next generation of manufacturers.  Throughout the country events are held at manufacturing facilities where student groups and the public can come in and tour the facility.  On these tours they will get to see first-hand the manufacturing process in action, and learn more about what it takes to make a career in the manufacturing industry.  With there being a high demand for skilled workers in the manufacturing industry, these events help to show students the future jobs that are available to them.  With the population getting older, and more people retiring, it is important that these manufacturing jobs are filled with qualified candidates.  Manufacturing Day is one way to bring exposure to the availability of these jobs.

At Universal Polymer we are strong supporters of the manufacturing industry in the United States.  Based out of Middlefield, Ohio we manufacture rubber molded parts, rubber extruded parts, and plastic extruded parts.  Our products such as the GOLDLINE and SILVERLINE tarp straps are American made and used throughout the trucking industry.   Since our beginning in 1970, we have been committed to providing first-rate service, timely service, and quality every time.  For more information about our products and services, please contact us.

Mixed Signals in US Manufacturing

Since the recession years of the late 2000s, the manufacturing industry in the US has been working to rebound.  In 2016, there are mixed signals and confusion over how the manufacturing industry is doing.  Articles and reports are coming out on a regular basis, talking about how this specific market is up, while another is down and even others that are staying flat.  Many of the stories seem to be written with a positive spin to show only positive numbers, looking for anyway to portray that manufacturing is as strong as it’s been in years.  At Universal Polymer we work with customers in a number of markets, and have seen firsthand the differences in the health of these markets.

Economic Uncertainty

A recent report from the Federal Reserve said that factory production dropped 0.4 percent in August, after an increase of 0.4 percent in July.  From a year ago factory output is also down 0.4 percent.  This after multiple reports showing strong gains in June and July this year that seemed to signal that the manufacturing industry was beginning to turn a corner.  Industrial output which includes areas like mines and utilities also dropped 0.4 percent.  U.S utility output fell 1.4 percent in August after 2 consecutive months of strong gains that reflected the seasonal use of air conditioning during the hot summer weather.  Mining production actually rose 1 percent, and is on a trend of increases after a long period of declines, but yet is still 9.3 percent lower than a year ago.

All of the numbers that come out in these reports seem to show that overall the industry is staying flat.  Headlines saying that manufacturing output stumbled or is slumping are using the most minimal changes in output to determine that.  Reporting every month does not give a truly accurate picture of the trends that are occurring in manufacturing if the difference is only 0.4 percent.  In a previous blog this year we explored how auto sales have been reported to be growing at the fastest pace since 2000 this year, while production numbers have been low and manufacturers have been facing scandals.  This is just another example of the mixed signals over the overall health of the auto industry, which may be considered strong or weak depending on the report you read that week.

At Universal Polymer we work with many different markets and industries and see the challenges that each is facing in today’s economy.  We work with our customers to find solutions to their rubber and plastic extrusions and rubber molding needs and are the only manufacturer of the world famous Gold Line Tarp Straps.  In an industry where the health and outlook seems to change every month, we are consistent in our desire to tackle new challenges and provide answers to our customer’s questions.

National Concrete Pipe Week

National Concrete Pipe Week is observed this year from August 14-20 to celebrate the concrete pipe and precast products industry. An initiative of American Concrete Pipe Association, the sole purpose of this week is to make people aware of how concrete pipes, precast units and the ancillary industries related to them positively impact the quality of life of US citizens.  During this week long celebration, the contributions of workers, manufacturing plants, and other industries that support concrete pipe producers will be acknowledged.

Concrete pipe

To understand why this week occurs it is important to list out some ways in which concrete pipes are unique and useful.
  • Concrete pipes are intrinsically strong. They derive their strength and their robustness from the concrete mix and the production process. They do not rely much on soil traction and thus are used to reinforce structures even in areas where the top soil is loose.
  • Concrete pipes are capable of handling large volumes of fluids and all types of liquid waste and sewage. Without the arteries of concrete pipes, suitably bolstered with steel, crisscrossing the country the drainage in many of the nation’s most congested areas would be compromised and could result in unseasonal flooding.

With the latest advancements in technology and breakthroughs, there is increased precision of the fabrication process. Computer controlled designs and batch production facilities have eliminated instances of waste and expedited delivery timeline resulting in a more profitable industry.

The National Concrete Pipe Week will showcase these developments and will also put the spotlight on the transporters, the sand and stone providers and the concrete suppliers who make manufacturing and distribution possible.

Universal Polymer is Proud to Support the Concrete Pipe Industry:

At Universal Polymer we are excited to celebrate National Concrete Pipe Week. We support the concrete pipe industry and produce concrete pipe and manhole gaskets from a variety of polymers. All of the concrete pipe and manhole gaskets we manufacture meet ASTM C-443 and/or ASTM C-361 depending on the particular pipe specification.  For more information on our capabilities please contact us.

American Automobile Sales are Up in 2016 – What That Really Means

The automotive industry in America is huge, with more people traveling by car than any other mode of transport.  In 2016, automotive sales are growing at the fastest pace since 2000.  Most companies are beating their sales expectations and automakers posted a 6.9% sales increase in February, compared with a year earlier.   While these numbers are positive, they are not sharing the full story on the state of the American automotive industry.

While sales numbers are up, North American production is only up 4% on the year.  Production is being supplemented by imports coming in from Europe and Japan.  This hurts the idea that an increase in sales means an increase in the production of vehicles by American automotive companies.   Also contributing to the high sales numbers are the large number of SUVs that are being purchased as opposed to smaller sedans.  SUVs are hugely profitable for automotive companies compared to smaller sedans.  Sales numbers are also up in 2016 due to lower price of gas.  As gas prices keep dropping across the nation, automobiles become more affordable for the average American, but this could change if gas prices begin to rise again.

Though the numbers for automobile sales have been positive in 2016, there have also been a few news stories that have the potential to tarnish this good news.  Volkswagen is still dealing with the fallout of its diesel emissions scandal, and other diesel car companies are having their emissions numbers scrutinized as well.  Testing is becoming stricter as the European Commission works to make sure small diesel car models are not producing more pollution than allowed.  Also, Fiat Chrysler is facing a lawsuit from auto dealerships alleging that its U.S. unit was offering money to falsify sales.  These stories are contributing to the idea that those American automobile sales may not be as healthy as they look.

As a manufacturer of rubber molded parts, rubber extruded parts and plastic extruded parts, UP&R works with many different industries including the automotive industry.  Take a look at our website for all our products and services.

Top Quality Tarp Straps

The trucking industry is very important to the American economy as it allows for the easy transport of goods and materials over large distances.  To keep these items safe from weather and other environmental hazards, many trucking companies use tarps to cover the load they are hauling in their flatbeds.  A quality tarp strap is needed to keep those tarps in place, and UP&R is the place to get those straps.

The GOLDLINE ® strap from UP&R is a must have product for all road fleets.  Made in the USA in our Ohio manufacturing facility, the GOLDLINE ® strap is the number one brand of tarp straps for truckers and tarp strap users.   Composed of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, this strap has exceptional strength, durability and resistance to environmental factors such as UV radiation and ozone.  The straps are available in sizes of 10”, 15”, 21”, 31”, and 41” and made for the transportation, recreational vehicle, and marine industries.

GOLDLINE and SILVERLINE tarp strapsUP&R also offers the SILVERLINE ® brand of tarp straps as an alternative product.  These straps are made of natural rubber and are popular in northern areas as well as Canada, because even in frigid conditions they remain flexible.  Advantages of these straps include a high initial strength and UV inhibitors, but a shorter life span than GOLDLINE ® straps.   The S hooks for both brands are also manufactured in the USA, as UP&R has the single-source, in-house manufacturing capabilities that cannot be matched by any other tarp strap manufacturer.

UP&R offers additional products including rubber tie downs, plastic pipe gaskets, and cast iron coupling gaskets.  Capabilities also include the manufacturing of rubber molded parts, rubber extruded parts and plastic extruded parts for the transportation and cargo control market, construction and pipe manufacturers market, and the automotive OE supply chain market.  Take a look at our website for all our products and services.

Can the US Manufacturing Sector Handle a Full Economic Recovery?

The manufacturing sector is on an upswing as our first quarter comes to a close. With the popular consensus being that the US economy will continue to improve, an important question comes to mind. Is there capacity in the US manufacturing sector to handle a full economic recovery?

The increase in manufacturing activity became readily apparent at Universal Polymer in December of 2014. In previous years, for every market we served there has been a downturn toward the end of the year. Traditionally, December is 60-70% of normal sales, with March and April being pretty consistent.

At the end of 2014, however, we noted at Universal Polymer a sizable boost in manufacturing activity. This trend is continuing now as we reach the end of our first quarter. The increase spreads across each of our major markets, from the automotive OE supply chain to the construction and pipe manufacturer’s market.

The increases in the manufacturing sector are at least partly due to the strength of the automotive market, with upwards of 17 million cars built in North America in 2014 alone. The forecast was for the auto market to continue to strengthen in 2015. However, the news is not all positive. There is a big looming question of whether the manufacturing sector can meet with the economic changes.

For example, consider the housing market. While it has incrementally risen over the last few years, if you compare the housing market today to 50 years ago, as was done by Wisconsin Real Estate Viewpoint, it is still in the lower 5% of that period. The capacity has been taken out of the housing market in every level. Housing starts are the lowest per capita that they have been since the Viewpoint study began collecting the monthly data in 1959.

What will the next 50 years hold for the manufacturing sector? Universal Polymer will continue to update you and consider the implications as they relate to the US economy.