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IndustryNet Blog

Posted by IndustryNet
The printed circuit board (PCB) industry is creating a spark in the U.S manufacturing sector, with sales growth nearly three times that of the national average in the industrial sector. The PCB industry is thriving especially in the West, with 37% of U.S. PCB manufacturers located in this region.

Because the industry is thriving, so is job creation: 44% of companies in the West have reported employee growth over the past year and approximately 40% of PCB manufacturing employees are located in this region.

As for companies that are actively growing and hiring new people, IndustryNet lists the "Top 10 U.S. Companies Reporting Employee Growth" over the past twelve months. These companies are:

1. Magna Electronics Technology, Inc. of Holly, Michigan with 500 current employees;

2. TTM Technologies, Inc. of Sterling, Virginia with 315 employees;

3. Streamline Circuits Corp. of Santa Clara, California with 272 employees;

4. Vanguard EMS, Inc. of Beaverton, Oregon with 240 employees;

5. Calumet Electronics Corp. of Calumet, Michigan with 208 employees;

6. Sparton Corporation of Milpitas, California with 190 employees;

7. Sibex, Inc. of Crystal River, Florida with 150 employees;

8. Bestronics, Inc. of San Jose, California with 150 employees;

9. Silicon Mountain Contract Services of Nampa, Idaho with 150 employees; and

10. WORLD Electronics of Reading, Pennsylvania with 114 employees.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to new IndustryNet data, the printed circuit board (PCB) industry has been gaining strength across America's industrial sector, with sustained growth reported in both sales and employment over the past year.

As of April 2017, PCB companies from across the country employed over 45,000 workers, netting annual employment growth of just under one percent. In three industry sub-sectors, the expansion added jobs, including the assembly sub-sector (adding 3.20 percent more jobs over last year): manufacturing equipment (1.8 percent), and PCBs in general (.41 percent). The PCB design industry showed no gains, and the PCB repair industry was down approximately five percent in its employment numbers from last year.

On a per company basis, Mentor Graphics of Wilsonville, OR has the most employees in the industry located at a single site, topping out at 1,100. Magna Electronics Technology, Inc., of Holly, MI, totaled 500 workers at the end of the year, and Streamline Circuits Corporation of Santa Clara, CA topped 270. The top ten companies that reported increased worker numbers now average almost 230 employees each. One multi-regional corporation, TTM Technologies, headquartered in Costa Mesa, CA, employs over 2000 employees across its Chippewa Falls, WI, Forest Grove, OR and Sterling, VA plants alone, along with another 30,000 workers located around the world.

Posted by IndustryNet
The U.S. Department of Commerce reported this morning that new orders for durable manufactured goods backslid in May, falling by $2.5 billion or 1.1% to its current level of $228.2 billion. This is the second month orders for big ticket items such as electronics and automobiles fell, with a 0.6% decline recorded for April. May's loss was led by the transportation equipment sector, reports the Commerce Department, which tanked by $2.7 billion -- the sector's second straight month of decline. Notably, defense-related orders were not included in May's report.

Despite May's weak reading, shipments of manufactured goods bounced back, following two straight months of decline. Shipments were up $1.8 billion or 0.8% in May after falling 0.3% in April. Interestingly, transportation equipment, which led the drop in new orders, also drove the increase in shipments, with the industry reporting an uptick of 1.9% to $78.8 billion.

The number of unfilled orders for durable manufactured goods slid $2.3 billion or 0.2%, with transportation equipment also leading the way, with a 0.4% decrease in unfilled orders reported. Inventories of durable goods, which have been on the rise for the past ten months, bumped up 0.2% in May to $395.4 billion. Electronic products and computers recorded the highest increase in inventories, up 0.3% to $44 billion.

Non-defense orders for capital goods were much in line with durable goods orders, reports the Commerce Department. Orders for capital goods, those durable goods which are used in the production of other goods, fell 2.4% to $68.3 billion, while shipments rose 0.4% to $70 billion. Inventories were virtually unchanged, while unfilled orders dipped 0.3%.
Posted by IndustryNet
Earlier this week, IndustryNet reported on scrap metal processing in the U.S., with new data indicating the sector may be poised for a rebound. With so many scrap metal processors out there, it's a challenge to find one that meets your exact specifications. When looking for a scrap metal recycler, many companies might assume the most important factor is the price they receive for scrap. Of course this is an important consideration, but there are several other things to think about before settling with scrap recycler -- which can ultimately affect your bottom line, including:

1. What types of metal does the scrap metal recycler process?

Companies that produce many different types of metal should find a company that can process it all. This may seem obvious, but it is important to note that some companies collect only specialty or common metals. Other companies, like NH Kelman Scrap Recycling of Cohoes, New York, accept all ferrous (i.e. iron-containing) and non-ferrous (i.e. non-iron-containing) scrap metals. Manitoba Corporation of Lancaster, New York offers special services, such as dismantling medical and industrial equipment, including MRI and X-ray machines.

2. How is the final product packaged and how quickly can they package it?

Typically, scrap metal recyclers compress the materials and bale them to provide dense packaging. The faster a company can compress and bale the scrap metal, the more efficient a company's operation can be. A-Line Iron and Metals of Waterloo, Iowa can bale 12-16 tons of scrap metal per hour.

On the other hand, some companies choose to flake or chop scrap metal before packaging to allow for easier handling. Manitoba splits these processed scrap metals into smaller packages, like paper and cloth bags, and plastic or metal pails and drums.

3. Can they recycle scrap metal on site without interfering with site operations?

Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released this week by MNI, industrial companies in Arizona added thousands of jobs over the past year, led by strong growth in the state's electronics industry, as well as steady gains in its massive transportation equipment sector. According to MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, Arizona industrial employment surged by 3,000 jobs, or 1.4% -- the largest manufacturing employment gain recorded for the state since before the recession.

Arizona was hit hard by the housing crisis, and many companies supplying the construction industry had to close their doors. In addition, cutbacks in defense spending hit some of the state's major aerospace and defense companies and plummeting metal prices hurt Arizona's sizable mining sector. As a result, the state's manufacturing recovery was slow in the years following the recession. But recent gains suggest the worst of the state's industrial doldrums may be over, with numerous investments planned for the years ahead.

Arizona benefits from a diverse industrial sector, with strong footholds in sectors as varied as copper mining, aerospace, semiconductors and food processing. Its skilled workforce has encouraged some serious investment, and the state's regulatory burdens are among the lowest in the nation. Arizona maintains a competitive edge over many other Western states, boasting low business costs and attractive incentive programs, and its high quality of life factors into many businesses' site selection process.

Over the past year, employment in Arizona's rubber/plastics industry shot up 9.2%; and the jobs in the electronics sector grew 5%. Gains were also recorded in lumber/wood, up 4.6%; textiles/apparel, up 3.5%; fabricated metals, up 1.7%; and transportation equipment, up 1.2%.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to recent data collected by IndustryNet, U.S. scrap metal processing companies reported improving market conditions between April 2016 and April 2017. As 2017 moves forward, IndustryNet data suggests companies in the scrap metal industry may continue to recover. Here is a look at some of the largest scrap metal processors operating in the country.

Top 10 U.S. scrap metal companies by employment

The latest data from IndustryNet ranks the top scrap metal companies in the U.S. based on employment, square footage, and sales. All of these companies operate in the Midwest and the South, which dovetails with regional differences among U.S. scrap metal processors.

The top 10 employers were:

1. Audubon Metals, LLC

2. Gold Metal Recyclers, Inc.

3. Harris Waste Management Group, Inc.

4. OmniSource Corp.

5. Behr Iron & Metal

6. Sims Metal Management

7. United Scrap Metal, Inc.

8. Miller Compressing Co.

9. PSC Metals, Inc.

Posted by IndustryNet
U.S. scrap metal processors have faced numerous market challenges since the 2008 global economic downturn. In 2016, AmericanRecycler reported price declines for all scrap metal. Scrap steel, copper, and aluminum were all down between 40 and 60 percent just over the last couple of years.

But there's hope for a rebound. The price of scrap metal touched $220 per ton in late January before "mounting a robust recovery." Likewise, IndustryNet data shows that the scrap metal business in 2017 appears to be on the cusp of recovery.

The landscape

As of April 2017, more than 518 scrap metal plants operated in the U.S. IndustryNet's latest data identified domestic distribution at 392 companies. Forty companies imported raw materials and 112 companies distributed internationally.

Percentage wise, domestic distribution accounted for 76 percent of U.S. scrap metal processors, while 22 percent had international distribution.

The latter two figures generally coincided with U.S. manufacturing during this time period. From February 2016 to February 2017, 70 percent of all manufacturers in the U.S. distributed domestically and 29 percent distributed internationally.


The employment statistics compiled by IndustryNet describe a stable industry. The most recent data shows U.S. scrap metal processors accounted for 16,160 jobs, down slightly from 16,177 jobs in February 2016. That is a modest .11 percent decline in employment over last year.
Posted by IndustryNet
Manufacturing activity in the New York region rebounded over the month, and activity in the Philadelphia region shows sustained growth, according to two reports released this morning by the Federal Reserve. This follows a recent report by the Institute for Supply Management, which shows manufacturing activity in the U.S. inched up last month, holding a pattern of sustained growth over nine months, as well as a positive GDP reading for the first quarter of 2017.

According to the Federal Reserve's Empire State Manufacturing Survey, a monthly survey of industrial businesses in New York State, manufacturing activity surged 21 points, and now stands at 19.8, the highest level recorded in two years. This follows a reading of -1 recorded in May.

June's strong reading was led by a 23-point rise in new orders, along with a robust increase in shipments. Employment levels also inched up, and the prices received index climbed six points.

36 percent of respondents reported an improvement in business conditions, according to the Fed, and 16 percent reported worsening conditions. Generally, manufacturers reported feeling optimistic when asked about the six-month outlook, with the index for future business conditions holding steady at 41.7, and the future orders index climbing nine points to its current level of 42.2. Both capital expenditures and technology spending inched up to 20.8 and 11.5, respectively.
Posted by IndustryNet
Are you finding it hard to find a good bearings supplier in the U.S.? With over 1,000 bearings companies in the country, serving numerous industries, it's hard to know where to start. Chances are there are several who meet your exact specifications, and asking a few key questions can help narrow down your search. Here are some factors to consider when searching for the right bearings supplier:

Does the supplier offer precision machining or customization?

You may find yourself in need of a non-typical bearing type and require customization of precision machining services. Several companies have this capacity. Intercontinental Bearing Supply Company of Houston, for example, has extensive engineering and customization services with high-quality performance, fast delivery, and low cost.

Kilian Manufacturing Company of Syracuse, New York is the largest producer of precision-machined bearings and value-added assemblies. Their bearings feature designs tailored to your needs in quantities as small as 5,000 units. Kilian's precision machining will turn your design specifications into low-cost high quality, durable, and reliable bearings.

Posted by IndustryNet
Epec Engineered Technologies, a leading build to print electronics manufacturer located outside of Boston, MA, announced today the acquisition of high reliability custom radio frequency (RF) product manufacturer - Putnam RF Filters, Inc.

Putnam was founded in 2008 in Manchester, NH and was designed to serve the military and aerospace industries. With a focus on manufacturing printed circuits board based RF filters, diplexers, and other custom products.

Epec now offers full design and manufacturing of RF filters which are passive multiport device(s) that allows signals to pass through at discreet frequencies but rejects any frequency outside of a specified range. These devices are typically used in satellite systems, mobile communications, radar systems, medical imaging equipment, remote‐sensing systems, and electronic warfare systems.

Ed McMahon, CEO of Epec said "High reliability custom RF products fit perfectly into our brand promise of providing customers with manufacturing that eliminates risk and improves reliability as Putnam RF Filters is at the leading edge of this technology. With our considerable hi-tech manufacturing investment in both the U.S. and Asia, as well our history as one of the oldest PCB manufacturers in the U.S., we are well positioned to dramatically build this new product offering on the technology and the experience of Putnam RF Filters."

Posted by IndustryNet
According to new data released this morning by MNI, Alabama's manufacturing workforce inched up over the past year, with 1,041 new net jobs created between March 2016 to March 2017, or about a half percent. This is the fifth straight year the state has posted an employment gain, but jobs have been added at a slower rate than recorded in MNI's previous surveys.

Data collected by MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, shows factory employment in Alabama skyrocketed 28% over the past five years, with the strongest gains recorded between March 2012 and March 2015, as automakers and suppliers to the auto industry flocked to its borders, lured by Alabama's low labor costs and attractive business incentives.

Jobs in the state's transportation equipment sector surged 18% in those years, with the industry overtaking food processing as the state's top sector by manufacturing jobs, according to MNI's industrial data.

Gains over the past two years were much softer, however, with jobs inching up just a half percent each year, and employment in transportation equipment barely budged. New challenges have emerged as the dollar grows stronger, global competition increases, and other states in the south refine their competitive edge. And, as manufacturing becomes more technologically advanced, finding workers with appropriate skill levels is more and more difficult.

Which begs the question: is Alabama's manufacturing sector at a turning point?
Posted by IndustryNet
Bearings make the world go round. Literally.

From the small ball bearings found in roller blades to the cylindrical bearings found in automotive transmissions, bearings reduce friction, allowing various parts to work in conjunction with one another without overheating. Bearings manufacturers generated over $24 billion in sales last year, between aircraft, babbitt, ball, rod end, spherical, self-lubricating, and many other types.

IndustryNet, a well-established industrial marketplace that maintains current information on nearly 400,000 U.S. industrial companies, analyzed America's leading bearings suppliers, and found that, out of approximately 1,000 bearing companies in the United States, the following are the top bearings suppliers in terms of employees and facility square footage.

Top 10 bearings companies by number of employees and square footage

1. NTN Driveshaft, Inc. (610,000 square feet, 1,650 employees) - Located in Columbus, Indiana, NTN was the first bearing company to win the Deming Prize - an award that honors people and businesses for the contributions and commitment to Total Quality Management. NTN brings this commitment to bear with all of their clients, including John Deere, Caterpillar, Dana, General Electric, Valmont Industries and many others.

2. Rexnord Industries, Inc. (550,000 square feet, 400 employees) - Indianapolis, Indiana houses this company which primarily serves two major market segments. Under the process motion and control market, the company operates as Rexnord and Rexnord Aerospace. In the water management market, Zurn and VAG are its primary brands.

Posted by IndustryNet
IndustryNet's year-over-year analysis of 1,044 bearings suppliers in the U.S. shows the sector is holding steady, with a number of companies reporting sales growth and strong employment growth recorded in the Midwest.

Aircraft bearings underwent the largest employment growth at nearly 30%. Highly industry-specific, aircraft bearings can include ball, radial ball, needle track roller, rod end, and journal and airframe bearings. With so much at stake, aircraft bearings must be crafted with great precision.

Looking at employment, the Midwest comes out on top with the highest number of employees (34% of the national total) and the greatest employment growth at 46.67%. The South nearly matched the Midwest in terms of number of employees, at 33% of the national total, but had a far weaker employment growth of only 27%.
Posted by IndustryNet
According to IndustryNet there are 970 powder coating companies employing 17,675 nationally, up 5.4 percent from last year. Sales in the industry have topped $6.7 billion annually. Powder coating is very much a local industry, with 87 percent of companies focused on domestic distribution and 41 percent of those companies focused locally.

Your search for the right powder coating supplier might begin with some of the more obvious considerations like cost and turnaround time. However, there are many additional factors you might want to consider before taking the time to request a quote or contact a supplier. Here are just a few that might help you save time and money in the long run.

Posted by IndustryNet
According to the Precision Machined Products Association, the precision machining industry is experiencing growth. The association's business activity index, which is based on reports from 81 shops, reached record-high levels in January, up almost 4 percent over the five-year January average.

In addition, IndustryNet data also shows strong sales and employment growth in precision machining. The industry produces highly engineered machined components based on customer specifications, using materials such as steel, aluminum, titanium, stainless steel and various advanced alloys. Both complex parts and complete assemblies are manufactured to be incorporated into products such as automobiles, aircraft, medical devices and appliances.

Data from IndustryNet reveals the companies that are leading the way among the thousands of precision machining companies operating in this healthy market.

Posted by IndustryNet
Servicing industry sectors and creating objects of every shape and size, precision machining is used to manufacture everything from the smallest of surgical instruments to the largest of aircraft parts.

In order to manufacture these parts, a precision machinist follows a set of blueprints that are created using computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). These designs are transferred to a computer numerical control (CNC) machine that creates each piece by removing material to precise specifications, enabling the machinist to produce any quantity of parts precisely as designed.

As technology improves, so does the ability of machines to create parts with greater precision. However, manufacturing has not yet reached a point where every job can be performed by a robot. While a CNC machine is robotic, a human interface is still required to enable programming and monitoring of the machine due to the complexity of processes involved in precision machining. Additionally, robots lack human dexterity and, more importantly, the innately human ability to collaborate and innovate.

IndustryNet has compiled statistical information analyzing the precision machining industry in order to gain insight into current industry trends and compare company performance across a spectrum of data points.

For its most recent analysis, IndustryNet tracked 3,373 precision machining plants with 73,487 employees. Job growth has remained at a steady 4 percent in this sector over the past year. Average industry sales have grown nearly 5 percent over the past year to more than $6 billion.

Posted by IndustryNet
Like many other sectors in the U.S. manufacturing industry, packaging companies continue to report high sales growth as 2017 moves forward. Overall, sales growth for U.S. packaging companies increased by nearly 5 percent, according to new data from IndustryNet. A look at the top 10 packaging companies provides key information for U.S. manufacturers searching for the most successful business partners.

Not surprisingly, many of the largest packaging companies based on annual sales are located in the Midwest. Oshkosh, WI based Bemis Co., which makes flexible and rigid plastic packaging for a variety of products, reported sales in excess of $4 billion, while sales at Packaging Corp of America in Lake Forest, IL topped $2.8 billion.

Looking to the West Coast, Nippon Dynawave Packaging in Longview, WA reported sales of $250-$500 million, and ranks among the industry�s largest employers with 1,500 workers.

In the Northeast, sales at Hampshire Paper Corp. which provides laminated packaging solutions topped $15-20 million, and in the South, Texas-based Cryovac, Inc., which makes packaging for the food industry, reported sales of $25-$100 million.
Posted by IndustryNet
New data from the Institute for Supply Managment released this morning shows manufacturing activity in the U.S. inched up in May. The ISM's latest Manufacturing Report on Business, a leading economic indicator based on a survey of the nation's supply executives, shows U.S. manufacturing activity rose 0.1% to 54.9% in May, from 54.8% in April, marking the sector's ninth consecutive month of growth.

A reading of 50% or higher indicates expansion.

Growth was reported in fifteen of the eighteen manufacturing industries surveyed by the ISM, and included nonmetallic mineral products; furniture & related products; plastics & rubber products; machinery; primary metals; food, beverage & tobacco; and electrical equipment. Apparel, leather & allied products as well as textile mills were the only two industries to indicate contraction.

Overall, the ISM manufacturing activity report for May shows continued strength in the U.S. industrial sector, with multiple sub-sectors reporting sustained growth. New orders, inventories, and employment remain in expansion territory, reports the ISM, though supplier deliveries are slowing and prices are on the rise.

The New Orders Index registered 59.5%, up 2% from April�s reading of 57.5. The employment index jumped 1.5% to a reading of 53.5% in May � marking the sector�s eighth straight month of gains.

Inventories held steady at 51.5% reports the ISM, up a half percent from April. Sectors reporting increased inventories included transportation equipment, rubber & plastics; furniture; and food, beverage & tobacco products.

The ISM�s Export Index continues to grow, though at a slower rate, registering 57.5% in May, compared to 59.5% in April. Eleven out of eighteen industries reported increased exports in May, with only computer/electronic products and fabricated metal products reporting decreases.

Posted by IndustryNet
New data released this week by MNI, researcher and compiler of the U.S. manufacturing data that powers IndustryNet, shows Florida's manufacturing sector continues to thrive, adding jobs for a fourth straight year. Florida's manufacturing job levels inched up a third of a percent between March 2016 and March 2017, adding to the significant gains recorded in the years following the recession.

This year's gain was led by a 2.5% rise in the Florida's fabricated metal industry, which currently employs 48,531 workers -- the state's largest sector by industrial employment.

This is the fourth straight year Florida added manufacturing jobs, with more than 20,000 jobs added between March 2013 and March of this year. Paper products, rubber/plastics, electronics and textiles were among some of the other sectors to add jobs, while losses were recorded in furniture, industrial machinery and chemicals.

Florida gets high marks for a variety of site selection factors. The state ranks second in the U.S. for its infrastructure, and its business costs are among the lowest in the nation. Forbes recently ranked Florida as first in the nation for growth prospects, and eighth in the U.S. for economic climate -- and it doesn't hurt that Floridians pay no income tax.

Florida's 13,942 industrial companies employ 476,202 workers. Here's a breakdown of the numbers:

Posted by IndustryNet
With 2,423 packaging suppliers in the United States, all with many different types of packaging capabilities, it may be daunting to find one that can fit your specific needs.

Because many companies specialize in specific types of packaging, you can easily narrow your search by eliminating those companies that do not address your needs. For example, if you require primary corrugated packaging service, you can rule out companies that specialize in other areas, and instead, focus on companies like Stamar Packaging, based in Elgin, Illinois, which offers custom primary, secondary and tertiary corrugated packaging services.

However, with mandated certifications, labeling specifications and retail packaging requirements, you cannot settle on a company you've just picked out of a hat. Although laborers and high-tech machinery are important, there are additional factors to consider. Above all, it's essential to find a packaging supplier who fits your budget and meets your company's needs. It is also important to learn as much as possible about each potential packaging supplier's track record and years of experience in the business.

Before making a deal with a packaging supplier, make sure your company inquires about the following:
Posted by IndustryNet
The Commerce Department reported this morning that real gross domestic product (GDP) rose at a revised annual rate of 1.2% in the 1st quarter of 2017. This follows an initial estimate of 1st quarter GDP growth reported by the of just 0.7% reported at the end of April.

Although the 1.2% increase in GDP paints a better picture than previous estimates, it still lags behind the 2.1% growth reported in the last quarter of 2016, and is the worst GDP reading since the first quarter of last year, in which U.S. GDP rose just 0.8%.

The BEA�s revised figure is based on an increase in nonresidential fixed investment and greater consumer spending, though these figures were offset by a decline in private investment.

Current-dollar GDP rose 3.4% in the first quarter of 2017, according to the BEA, amounting to a $158 billion increase, compared to a 4.2%, or $194 billion increase in the 4th quarter of 2016.

Gross domestic income rose by nearly one percent, following a 1.4% decline in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the Commerce Department. Gross private investment rose 4.8%, with a notable rise in equipment investment of 7.2%.
Posted by IndustryNet
The U.S. packaging industry, which comprises packaging for consumer products as well as industrial machinery, continues to show resilience, according to IndustryNet. As packaging companies across four different regions reported strong growth, packaging containing flexible materials stood out. Data further suggests that U.S. manufacturing is still in the midst of an economic rebound.

IndustryNet's data shows that overall the U.S. packaging industry has grown 4.6 percent over last year. Total average yearly sales in the U.S. packaging industry exceeded $26.3 billion. As 2017 moves forward, experts at IndustryNet anticipate sales growth to remain strong.

Domestic distribution rose 70 percent while international distribution rose 29 percent, by comparison, suggesting that U.S. packaging companies have pivoted to provide more services within the U.S..

Taking a deeper dive into the data, packaging machinery sales inched up 1 percent. Sales at flexible packaging companies rose by as much as 23 percent, and packaging automation equipment skyrocketed 31 percent.

The cost benefits of sustainability and recyclability are two reasons why packaging companies have reported such strong growth. In fact, the market for reusable, green packaging is expected to exceed $274 billion by 2020.

Sales growth of this magnitude provides a key point of reference when analyzing the health of U.S. manufacturing. Overall, manufacturing output is at an all-time high in the U.S., a recent article by Forbes reported. Sales growth in U.S. packaging coincides with this trend.

Posted by IndustryNet
According to a report released this morning by MNI, researcher and compiler of the extensive U.S. manufacturing data that powers IndustryNet, Mississippi lost manufacturing jobs for the first time in four years, led by a 2.2% loss in the transportation equipment industry. Although this year's loss amounted to a slight half percent decline (1,046 jobs), it stands in contrast to the nearly 4,500 jobs the state added in the years following the recession. The state's post-recession gain was largely due to a 24% rise in transportation equipment employment, as more manufacturers moved south to escape high labor costs in other states.

This past year's loss reflects a number of challenges faced by Mississippi manufacturers, including global competition and a strong dollar -- factors that plague U.S. manufacturing as a whole. Competition from neighboring states also plays a part, but a dearth of skilled workers and lagging focus on tech and innovation weighs most heavily on Mississippi's manufacturing climate.

This isn't to say the state is not making some progress on the challenges it faces. Important measures have been recently adopted in the state, such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and a multitude of business incentives designed to draw more manufacturers to the state. And there's no ignoring the fact that Mississippi's cost of doing business is among the lowest in the U.S.
Posted by IndustryNet
Yesterday, we brought you a report on growth in the U.S. powder coating industry, citing a 5.4% increase in employment. This is no wonder given how essential powder coating finishes are to the manufacture of appliances and equipment. A powder coating is superior to other finishes like paint because it provides a thicker, more durable coat, doesn't sag after application and has a wide range of specialty effects that are not available with other finish options. Matching the coating to the color of the project provides a polished, professional appearance.

Today, we're taking a closer look at some of top industrial suppliers in the sector. America boasts over 970 powder coating suppliers. In terms of numbers of employees, these companies are at the top of the list:

Protective Coatings, Inc.

This Kent, WA company provides work for 325 employees and focuses on the aerospace and automotive industries, among others.

Axalta Coating Systems, LLC

In Houston, TX, Axalta employs 280 workers and offers Nap-Gard and Herberts O'Brien brands.

Powder Cote II, Inc.

This Mount Clemens, MI corporation has 250 employees who focus on powder and electrocoating for numerous industries.

PPG Industries, Inc.

In Strongsville, OH, this ambitious company with its 250 employees seeks to be the world's leading coatings company.

Hartford Finishing, Inc.

This "One-Stop" Powder Coating Job Shop employs 249 workers and is one of the largest powder coaters in the Midwest.

TMCO, Inc.

The Total Manufacturing Company has 200 workers in Lincoln, NE, and provides concept-to-completion metal manufacturing services.

Hentzen Coatings, Inc.

This Milwaukee, WI company employs 198 people to provide an engineered coating for every industry.

Almond Products, Inc.

The 185 employees of this Spring Lake, MI company pride themselves on their cutting edge technology.

Posted by IndustryNet
The economic outlook for the powder coating industry in the U.S. continues to give manufacturers much cause for optimism. As 2017 moves forward, it will be interesting to see if the following positive trends pick up steam or level off, should global macroeconomic conditions drag down U.S. manufacturing output. The good news is that new data suggests that strong growth will most likely continue in 2017, which bodes well for U.S. powder coating companies.

Overall, job growth in the powder coating industry continues to increase. At the time of this writing, 697 powder coating companies served the U.S. market and ranked among the most successful manufacturers in the country. Today, U.S. powder coating companies employ 17,675 workers across 970 plant sites.

According to data from IndustryNet, the rate of job growth in this sector increased 5.4 percent over last year. 912 jobs were added by U.S. powder coating companies in 2016, and industry experts anticipate further growth this year as manufacturing in the U.S. gains momentum.

As an industry, U.S. powder coating companies reported positive growth, yet Midwest manufacturers - comprising 30 percent of all powder coating companies in the country - stood apart as the most successful. Compared to sales growth in other regions, 44 percent of successful powder coating companies operated in the Midwest.

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