From the Shop Floor — The Week in Manufacturing (6/8/2012)

I didn’t even consider it at the time, but the same week that I posted a blog about the critical need for this country to start investing in a massive overhaul of our national infrastructure, the Golden Gate Bridge (75th) and the Chicago El mass transit system (120th) both achieved landmark birthdays — giving us a chance to not only celebrate their critical importance to our economy, but to remind ourselves once again just how old and constantly in need of repair each of them is.

A study released this week by the Federal Reserve shows that both economic growth and hiring remain mostly steady in this country.

On the other side of the coin, Bloomberg’s Business Week reports that factory orders in the U.S. unexpectedly declined for the second month in a row.

This one’s a little like Opie and Andy meet the 21 Century.   A congresswoman serving parts of the San Francisco Bay Area will be at a booth entitled “Make It in America,” in which 18 different manufacturers, including Ford, Chevy and Lockheed-Martin will be displaying their latest, state-of-the-art designs and products.  And where will the event be held?  At the San Mateo County Fair.

Solar Industry, an industry trade pub, asks Can Chinese Tariffs Save U.S. Solar Factories?

Speaking of China, says that the country’s investments in Europe have tripled.

There is telltale sign in many port that manufacturing is slowing in China: mountains of iron ore.  The Economy Group Team at Wells Fargo seconds that notion, citing what it calls the country’s “concerning signs of slowing down.”

Two NAM board members write this week that manufacturing can unite us.

The San Jose Mercury-News tells us that China is attempting to create its own Silicon Valley.

Reuters reports that many manufacturing execs are fighting fear with flexibility.

Here’s an interesting one: Plastics News speculates that the recent uptick in U.S. manufacturing could trigger a new wave of mergers and acquisitions.

This story off the business wire says that U.S. manufacturers have discovered fresh wind in their sales and now are buoyed by their new-found sense of “Made in America” pride.

Fox News reports that the company that has been making the classic Zippo lighter for years celebrated a major milestone this week.

The Motley Fool blogs that Italian auto maker Fiat will attempt to become part of the U.S. manufacturing renaissance.

And finally a group of students writing in a suburban Milwaukee paper as part of a class project opined this week that if the government really wants to help U.S. manufacturers expand it has to halt the currency manipulation going on in China.

Pretty heady stuff from a bunch of kids.


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