Last updateThu, 06 May 2021 8pm


A New China?

mitch_freeMitch Free is the CEO of MFG.com, an online marketplace for the manufacturing industry. Because of his extensive travel and business with suppliers, manufacturers and importers, Free is in a unique position to monitor manufacturing companies all over the world.

One of the biggest economic concerns in the last few months has been the notion that China is losing steam as an economic powerhouse, toppling a fragile world economy. “Not likely,” said Free during a recent interview. “China is going to be the powerhouse for a long time. While there will always be another lower cost country that can do the labor for less, there is not another China on the horizon.”

U.S. Drives Global Growth as Manufacturers Ready for Upswing

steelfactorywebManufacturers worldwide remain optimistic about the near-term outlook for their businesses. They are using the low-growth environment to become leaner and more efficient. Since 2011, manufacturers have become slightly more bullish that an upswing in the global economy is imminent. They are ramping up their innovation activity, finding ways to increase efficiency (for example, by improving the ways they manage costs and optimize their supply chains), and add value to their offerings simultaneously. This is stated in "Global Manufacturing Outlook 2012: Fostering Growth Through Innovation," an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report sponsored by KPMG.

The True Cost of Offshoring

harry moserIn his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama announced what he called a Blueprint for an America Built to Last. The plan is to encourage companies to create manufacturing jobs in the United States and remove deductions for shipping jobs overseas. Whether or not any of the proposals Obama sent to Congress are actually enacted is yet to be seen, but private enterprise is nevertheless taking a serious second look at the feasibility of manufacturing goods overseas.

Intellectual Property Theft: Part One

stockvalvesWEBAs part of the Valve Manufacturers Association’s ongoing efforts to help manufacturers defend against IP Theft, and to protect end users and the public against dangerous products, Valve Magazine is presenting a two-part Web feature covering the far-ranging effects of counterfeit products. Here in Part One, we present a general overview and the opportunity to catch up on information previously published online and in Valve Magazine.

In Part Two, to be published in a May Web Feature, we will be talking with valve manufacturers, distributors and end users to ask them about the current state of affairs in this industry. What steps are being taken by your manufacturing company to protect against counterfeits? What would you like to see being done by government agencies? End users and procurement officers: What safeguards are you taking? How has technology helped you defend your IP rights? What experiences have you had dealing with counterfeiters?

Presidential Proposals

obama state of the union 2012In his State of the Union address on Jan. 18, President Obama presented several programs and initiatives to Congress and to the American people, many of which could have a noticeable impact on manufacturing—which, of course, includes valve, actuator and control manufacturing.

He also proposed changes to policy regarding the oil and gas industry and had ideas for repairing America’s aging infrastructure. Following are a few highlights from the speech, categorized by areas that could be of special note to our readers.

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