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MIT report: US manufacturing hits a wall when it's time to scale
Manufacturing isn't dead in the U.S. But when it comes time to pump out products on a large scale, the pull of overseas economies and investors becomes too strong to resist. A new MIT report aims to give a broad picture of the current state of manufacturing in the U.S., with an emphasis of how "production" industries ranging from heavy industry to biotech can compete in an era increasingly focused on intellectual heft and engineering prowess.
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Fiber laser welding will boost medical role of copolyesters
Plastics Today
Use of high-performance fiber lasers introduced at NPE 2012 may significantly advance use of a variety of clear plastics in medical applications, such as fluid bags now made from polyvinyl chloride. Eastman Chemical announced that the technology developed by IPG Photonics has significant potential for advancing its clear copolyester plastics.
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Manufacturing growth hits highest point since June 2011
American factories expanded in February at the fastest pace in almost two years, spurred by a jump in orders that is helping propel an economy about to be tested by federal government cutbacks. Companies are benefiting from growing demand as businesses boost spending and economies in emerging markets pick up. Combined with a rebound in housing and sustained gains in household purchases, the factory gains will help lift growth after the economy stagnated in the fourth quarter, even as across-the-board budget cuts set in.
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Toyota offering students work in Texas
San Antonio Express-News
Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Texas announced a new scholarship to address a shortage of skilled workers that it has faced since its truck assembly plant opened seven years ago. Pitching the scholarship as a workforce development program, the company said graduates can earn about $50,000 a year in the manufacturing industry and could be offered a job at the San Antonio plant.
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Workers at naval shipyard visited by Obama fear sequester will cost jobs
The Guardian
As Barack Obama used the Newport News, Va., shipyard as a backdrop in an attempt to bounce Republicans in Congress into a deal over the sequester, employees said they were concerned that the failure to reach a deal would lead to layoffs. For these workers, the sequester is not academic. Christina Licano, a welder who came to Virgina from New Mexico two-and-a-half years ago for the work, said "I am worried that if it does come to cuts, it will affect the navy. Our lives depend on these jobs."
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  Self Propelled Double Sided Beveling Machine

New DBM 50 plate beveling machine with rotary milling head produces high quality machined bevels that reduce fit up time, weld defects and material handling for plate thickness from ¼” to 2-3/4”(7-70mm). Unique 3D Trolley permits rapid 180 degree inversion of bevel head to perform double sided bevels without flipping over the plate. MORE

The dawn of the smart factory
The factory of the future — the smart factory — is a paradise of efficiency where defect and downtime, waste and waiting are long forgotten issues of a long forgotten age. In it, plant managers and CIOs scheme together in a seamless blend of data and production, of IT and manufacturing, to illuminate every turn of every machine, every cut of every blade, every move of every piece in its global dance to delivery.
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Increase productivity and decrease material handling with the KBM® Plate Bevelling Machine. Automated bevelling with angle adjustment for 22.5°-55°. MORE
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Emerson Electric's David Farr bets on a manufacturing renaissance
A CEO's No. 1 job is deciding which businesses to be in, and Emerson Electric's David Farr is making changes. His view of global trends tells him to double down in businesses that help manufacturers worldwide produce their wares more efficiently and precisely, and to focus on cooling — especially for data centers, which are multiplying fast.
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PTI breaks ground for new welding, oil & gas electronics facility
VideoBrief The Pittsburgh Technical Institute broke ground on a brand new facility that will house two new programs. Leaders at PTI have spent more than a year coming up with curriculum for the new programs. They say graduates will be ready to enter into critical positions in growing fields. There is currently a shortage of skilled welders, students in the oil and gas program will be qualified for a number of jobs.
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Upgrade Your Welding System Now!

Beginning February 2013, the well-known 3M™ Speedglas™ 9000 Series welding helmet systems will become obsolete making room for the next generation of welding helmets, the 3M™ Speedglas™ 9100 Series. Find the necessary tools and resources to guide you through your transition from a 9000 system to the new 9100. MORE
Flex-a-Prene® by Direct Wire & Cable

Flex-a-Prene® is the most trusted welding cable in the market today. Flex-a-Prene has the recommended copper stranding according to SAE standards, producing quality welds, while ensuring the safety of you and your equipment. Contact a distributor in your area and ask for Flex-a-Prene, a “Made in the U.S.A.” product.
Workstation Bridge Cranes in Fabrication

Production lines and workstation bridge cranes work together seamlessly. When you need to add parts to your project or you have several different phases in production, the workstation bridge crane is perfect for moving things down the line. With our customizable workstation bridge cranes, SPANCO will meet your company’s needs. MORE

Understanding welding fumes
Manufacturers Monthly
With the correct PPE, arc welding mild steel in an outside area or in a well-ventilated workshop is not a problem, but when welding more exotic materials, that's when fabricators and coworkers should take special care. Arc welding fumes contain very small particles from the consumables base metal and base metal coating. The substances in the fumes change depending on what is in the electrode and the base metal including any coatings.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Whistleblowers file lawsuits against Louisiana welding company (St. Tammany News)
Potential sequester will have big effect on manufacturing, private sector (Carroll County Times)
Is China the world's next rust belt? (strategy+business)
Michigan man wins welding competition at Daytona (The Daytona Beach News-Journal)
Sign of a comeback: US carmakers are hiring (The New York Times)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Lincoln Electric named welding supplier for Stadium Super Trucks
Team-owner and driver Robby Gordon launches his Stadium SUPER Trucks Series at the University of Phoenix Stadium on April 6. All trucks featured in the series are being built in Gordon's shop using equipment from his longtime NASCAR and Off-Road partner, Lincoln Electric. All of the trucks are fabricated in Robby Gordon's SPEED Factory facility in Charlotte, N.C., with welding equipment supplied by Lincoln Electric.
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Last C6 Corvette rolls off the line
All the Chevrolet Corvette talk these days is focused on the 2014 Stingray, the seventh-generation car that arrives this fall. But the C6 era only ended Feb. 28 as the last car rolled off the assembly line in Bowling Green, Ky. In the nine-year run for the sixth-generation Corvette, the Bowling Green plant built 215,100 copies of the two-seater. The $131-million overhaul of the Bowling Green plant has been under way for nearly a year. The new body shop that will weld up the aluminum frame for the Corvette Stingray is finished and operational.
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Researchers 'nanoweld' by applying light to aligned nanorods in solid materials
North Carolina State University
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a way to melt or weld specific portions of polymers by embedding aligned nanoparticles within the materials. Their technique, which melts fibers along a chosen direction within a material, may lead to stronger, more resilient nanofibers and materials.

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Caterpillar's worker hunt means welders top banking pay
Bloomberg Businessweek
Spence Brennan makes $55,000 as an assistant manager of a Chinese restaurant chain. He is betting he can do better as a welder. On an October morning at Mountain View College in Dallas, the 22-year-old sent sparks flying in a workshop as he practiced his electric-arc technique. The two-year school is a regular stop for manufacturers recruiting for skilled technical openings.

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Whistleblowers file lawsuits against Louisiana welding company
St. Tammany News
Two whistleblowers — one a former uncertified welder and another a quality inspector — from Slidell, La., have filed lawsuits against their former employer Alliance Laser alleging the subcontractor to Textron Marine & Land Supply falsified documents and committed fraud against the U.S. government.

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Indiana manufacturing plant laying off 150 workers
Indianapolis Business Journal
A north-central Indiana plant that makes gears and various types of mechanical drives is laying off 150 production workers due to sluggish demand for its products. Oerlikon Fairfield, founded in 1919, makes gears, planetary drives and other drive components for applications ranging from construction equipment to offshore drilling platforms.
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Virginia School of Metal sparks interest in welding
The Daily Progress
Steve Brownell recently opened the Virginia School of Metal. The goal is to teach students a technical skill that's not only fun, but something that has practical applications. The school launched its first classes this past weekend. An introductory 16-hour course covers the background of welding, safety, equipment and then, under expert guidance, students will have a chance to apply their new skills by crafting a welded piece of metal artwork to take home.
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Nicolet College expands welding program
Hearing about jobs on the rise can be comforting. A program expansion at Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wis., highlights one of those growing job markets. They're expanding their welding program to bring in more students and meet the needs of a growing workforce. "The need for welders, not only in our district here, but nationwide, is phenomenal," said welding instructor Chuck Kopp.
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Schuette Metals sponsored high school welding contest to bolster workforce
Wausau Daily Herald
Fifteen-year-old Jack Stacker never really thought about welding as a career until he found out that he is quite good at it. Stacker was one of more than 400 students to compete in what could have been called "The Wausau Area's Best High School Welder Contest," organized by Schuette Metals, a metal fabrication company in Rothschild, Wis. The contest was designed to raise awareness about careers in the manufacturing industry among area high schoolers.
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Female welder loves her work
Dayton Daily News
Like many young adults, Erin Hause of Dayton, Ohio, began thinking about her future early. And though her father was a carpenter by trade, involved his daughter in many of his jobs and taught her to build, the 2007 graduate of Milton Union High School planned to go to a traditional college. "Then a friend mentioned that I look into welding as a professional career," Hause said. She made an appointment with Hobart Welding School in Troy and said it immediately felt right.
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Ecoguard Type M
a.k.a. Spark Buster

The Ecoguard Type M transforms your grinder into a multi-cutting saw that is in compliance with ANSI standards to safely use Metal Cutting Blades. When used with an abrasive cut-off wheel, the Spark Buster safely exhausts the dangerous sparks from the cutting edge for a safer operation. Installation of the blade is very simple with an Easy Blade Change System, as well as a Functional Side Window for viewing while cutting. MORE
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