March 25, 2014
Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— a sourcing firm sees gradual manufacturing improvement in the U.S. over the next two years; China’s manufacturing sector has hit a wall; the last big U.S. bicycle maker keeps rolling; a Nebraska fabricator gains national exposure; and a female welding instructor weighs in on working in a “man’s world.”
Among today’s Fab Top 5 items published on the Web in the previous week are stories about U.S. manufacturing’s future; stalled manufacturing growth in China; the last big U.S. bike maker; a “discovered” Nebraska fabricator; and a female welding instructor surviving in a man’s world.
According to the StrategicSourceror, the U.S. “may not expect a gross influx of manufacturing development over the next two years, but the current decade is expected to yield gradual improvement.” As reported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, “energy-intensive manufacturing jobs will increase by more than 1 percent a year over the next six years, with 72 percent of those positions going to cities.” Apparently metropolitan metal fabricators and steel producers already “have greatly benefited from the improving energy economy.” U.S. manufacturing improves despite apprehension among economists; www.strategicsourceror.com
China’s manufacturing sector has contracted for the fifth straight month. “Some economists are predicting China’s leaders will have to take steps to boost growth in order to meet this year’s gross domestic product target of “about” 7.5 percent. ‘Weakness is broadly-based with domestic demand softening further,’ Qu Hongbin, Hong Kong-based chief China economist at HSBC, said in a statement. ‘We expect Beijing to launch a series of policy measures to stabilize growth. Likely options include lowering entry barriers for private investment, targeted spending on subways, air-cleaning and public housing, and guiding lending rates lower.’” Why China’s manufacturing sector has hit a wall; www.businessweek.com
When you think of an American bicycle brand, what comes to mind? Schwinn? Wrong. Cannondale? Also wrong. Trek? Maybe, maybe not. Only a fraction of Treks are made in the U.S. The last big U.S. bicycle maker is Worksman Industrial Cycles, Queens, N.Y. In business since 1898, Worksman produces thousands of bicycles a year, but its customers are mostly big businesses rather than weekend riders.
Many are for use in industrial spaces; trikes with back cargo space are big sellers for maintenance men and security personnel at factories, colleges, and warehouses; smaller bikes are used for deliveries, and four-wheeled bikes are popular in beach towns. Wayne Sosin, the company’s co-owner, said, “A lot of companies are trying to create the illusion that they’ve been making bikes for 100 years. They make up a cool story and put a leather seat on it, but it’s all made up. Those people that want the genuine article, they find us.” Meet America’s oldest bike maker; money.cnn.com
Nebraska fabricator Lucas Oswald found himself a long way from home when he spent six months last year filming the car reality series “Lords of the Car Hoards.” The six-episode series, starring hosts Rick Dore and Chuck Palumbo, features an assembly of car hoarders who agree to part with their collections of unrestored classic cars in exchange for services that will transform their favorite keeper into the car of their dreams. Dore worked with 29-year-old Oswald for more than a decade and asked him to participate. Cars transformed into dream rides by Oswald and four others during filming included a 1968 Charger, a 1955 Pontiac, a 1970 Camaro, a 1961 Corvair van, a 1940 Ford truck, and a 1950 Mercury. Nebraskan on Discovery Channel series about car lovers; www.omaha.com
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