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October 25, 2012
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  MAPI Research and Insight 
  • The earnings picture in U.S. manufacturing
    Cliff Waldman, senior economist
    During the summer of 2006, real hourly earnings of the U.S. manufacturing workforce fell below the private sector average for the first time since December 1975 and have remained below since. In this edition of Issues in Brief, Cliff Waldman examines manufacturing earnings over time and across industry sectors. He discusses the complex mixture of domestic and global factors that impact U.S. factory sector paychecks and concludes with a policy recommendation. Issues in Brief LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Will Brazil finally address its infrastructure deficiencies?
    Fernando Sedano, Ph.D., economic consultant
    Brazil's poor growth performance is arguably more of a structural issue than just a cyclical one. Among other structural barriers to growth, the poor quality of infrastructure stands out for an economy the size of Brazil's. The news for MAPI members is that the authorities may have finally realized that Brazil is in need of a major infrastructure boost, judging by this summer's announcement of an ambitious concessions program to build and operate roads and railways. Issues in Brief LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Economic update: What will drive the U.S. manufacturing outlook?
    Cliff Waldman, senior economist
    In spite of the September gain in manufacturing output, the factory sector experienced a 0.9% contraction during the third quarter of 2012, a near mirror image of the 1.0% increase seen during the second quarter. Further, the Purchasing Managers' Index has been flashing disconcerting signs for near-term activity in U.S. manufacturing. One of the most disheartening consequences of the now clear slowdown in U.S. manufacturing output growth is the renewed loss of manufacturing jobs after a relatively strong string of gains that was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak job market recovery. Economic Update LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  MAPI Analysis and Citings 
  • Slow global demand affects corporate profits despite growth
    Corporate profits in North America are growing, but slowing global demand is keeping that growth from creating more jobs. Companies are spending more on equipment and "looking to make investments in new capabilities that help drive better productivity, better performance for them," said Scott Santi, Illinois Tool Works acting CEO and member of MAPI's board of trustees. American Public Media/Marketplace (10/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  In the Industry 
  • Economists say China's economic growth could mean recovery
    China's economy grew by 7.4% year-on-year in the third quarter, a quarter-on-quarter growth of 2.2%. Economists say the numbers point to recovery. "This confirms that the economy is rebounding," said Dariusz Kowalczyk of Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong. "There is no room and no need for further major stimulus." (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study gives Siemens top marks for being green
    Siemens received high marks for its environmental initiatives in a study by PA Consulting Group. The study evaluated four major companies' product portfolios, strategies and organization and operational performances to determine their green performance. The evaluations were based on use of efficient carrier arrangements, solar panels and renewable and green product offerings. The study also included GE, Alstom and ABB. Modern Materials Handling(free registration) (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Product failure: An inevitability of manufacturing
    Product failure is inevitable in manufacturing and can cost companies millions of dollars, experts say. When Ford and Firestone recalled more than 14 million tires in 2000 because of tread separation, the automaker revamped its testing process, but its products still fail eventually. "Companies come to me and say they want to be 100 percent failure-free after three years. But that's impossible. You can't do it," said Fred Schenkelberg of the firm FMS Reliability. Wired magazine (10/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NASA considers issuing Unmanned Aircraft System challenge
    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is looking at issuing a challenge to aviation innovators to develop methods and technologies to help unmanned aircraft navigate in civil airspace. The development of so-called drone aircraft by the military means the planes will inevitably be adapted for civilian use. NASA wants to determine ways such aircraft can operate safely under a range of conditions. AVweb (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Leadership and Strategy 
  • CEOs need to view lean as a culture, not a tool
    When lean-manufacturing expert Art Byrne asked workers at Wiremold in the 1990s to cut one of their machine setup processes from 14 hours to under 10 minutes, they said it was impossible -- but then cut it to six minutes with a few changes. That kind of improvement happens when CEOs treat lean management as a part of company culture and actively get out and promote it, Byrne said. Dan Ariens, the CEO of lawn and garden equipment producer Ariens Co., said he takes regular "gemba walks" through the company's five plants to monitor and praise employees' lean efforts. "Once we move the stake in the ground forward on continuous improvement, I have to be the guy who holds the stake in place and not let it slip back," Ariens said. IndustryWeek (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we seek too late the one that is open."
--Alexander Graham Bell,
American inventor

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About MAPI
The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, founded in 1933 and located in Arlington, VA, contributes to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing by providing economic research, professional development and an independent, expert source of manufacturing information.
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