U.S. Manufacturing on the Rise

After experiencing the great recession, the United States economy is now rising. The US manufacturing is starting to rise through the annual contribution of American factories, which summed up to around $2 trillion. This information was delivered Jay Timmons, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President to the Economic Club of Minnesota on his visit to Washington D.C. The Economic Club of Minnesota includes Cargill, Apogee, 3M Co., Ecolab, and Donaldson Co.

According to Timmons, Minnesota is the home of the most noticeable, robust and resilient manufactures nationwide.

With this, Minnesota factories are now reviving from the trip during the Great Recession despite some restrictions including crippling government regulations, trade policies, backed-up railways and ports, and collapsing roads. Fortunately, after terminating staffs and employees during the Great Recession, they are now hiring new people and give one in every state job.

With 88,000 workers and staffs all over the 70 countries, these manufacturers have 3 million global reach. Timmons commended several companies like Bloomington-based Apogee, manufacturer of architectural glass, and Graco, foam-spraying equipment and machine manufacturer for its expertise and great performances.

Similarly, Douglas Baker, Ecolab CEO, identify NAM as a “champion” in promoting U.S Manufacturers. Moreover, he recognized Timmons as “one of the top shakers and movers” in Washington D.C. Timmons was also credited for becoming persistent on promoting manufacturers on Capitol Hill.

In an interview, Timmons said that he is dedicated in sharing the industry’s challenges and success with the members worldwide. Aside from Minneapolis, he plans to visit 12 more countries on the next three weeks. These prospect countries include Texas, Alabama, Colorado, Washington state cities, Detroit, and Cleveland.

Besides his continuous success and accomplishments, Timmons also disclosed the fact that manufacturing sectors are facing significant challenges and changes. With this, he pleaded to factory heads to minimize broader trade policies, burdensome regulations. Instead, build and improve railways, ports and roads, and submit legislation with long-term U.S manufacturers financing options.

STATE OF MARYLAND MANUFACTURING

Experts, economists and analysts all over the world are eyeing the latest developments in the US economy with an abundance of positive expectations. After the market crash and the subsequent ravages of the recession, 2014 proved to be a turning point of sorts, encouraging manufacturing to create a stronghold within the country as the trend of outsourcing slowed down considerably. In the race to recovery, Maryland has emerged as a prominent player.

The 42nd largest state in the country, it is a hub of manufacturing and has a clutch of thriving industries to contribute significantly to the betterment of the standard of living of its blue collar workers.

THE MARYLAND ECONOMY:

Maryland is one of the only 10 states in the US to retain its ‘AAA’ bond rating from all the major credit rating agencies. In 2013 its GDP was $342.4 billion because of its diversified economy and international trade flow. Both established companies and small business owners or start-ups have made the most of the excellent credit track-record as well as the highly educated population to attract investments and erect ventures with solid foundations. Maryland also plays a crucial role in transportation throughout eastern United States and proudly claims manufacturing to be the engine driving its prosperity and growth.

WHY MARYLAND IS A MANUFACTURING HUB?

The nature of manufacturing in Maryland is rapidly evolving. As technology makes vast inroads, the integrated process of production together with the rising savvy of the workers is poised to usher in an era of accelerated growth.

According to a recently published survey, manufacturing as a revenue sector employs more than 100,000 people and adds $20 billion dollars annually to the state GDP.

Some of the reasons behind this excellent performance are:

  • The desirable infrastructure of the state conducive to setting up of manufacturing units.
  • Robust education system that focuses on both theoretical knowledge and practical applications. This fine blend has produced some of the most skilled floor workers and white collar management executives in the country. The ‘skill’ gap may be an issue plaguing other states but the workforce is actually an asset to Maryland’s manufacturing saga.
  • Strategic position as the Boston-Atlanta Corridor on the Atlantic seaboard with borders along Washington D.C. Transportation costs is a major criterion affecting the decision to set up manufacturing strongholds. Maryland also scores big in this regard.

SOME MANUFACTURING DATA YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Maryland manufacturing enthusiasts should know that manufacturing accounts for roughly 5.81% of the net Gross Domestic Product of the state and employs 3.95% of the total workforce.

The best thing about the statistics from the government endeavour Advanced Manufacturing Survey is the clear indication of the affluent lifestyle enjoyed by these workers who boast an annual income of $80,310 on an average.

Maryland truly is the ‘land of opportunities’.

The following is a snapshot of the top manufacturing industries in the state and their individual contributions to the cumulative GDP.

wichitech maryland

*All numbers are in Million dollars

From chemical products to electronics to plastics, the whole gamut of ‘modern’ sectors required to keep the heart of the American civilization pumping and the American dream alive find realization in Maryland.

Wichitech is the industry leader where hot bonders and composite repair machines are considered. Situated in Baltimore, Maryland’s largest city, it is proud to be a part of the Maryland legacy and is committed to be up front and center to make the most of the oncoming manufacturing golden era.

To know more about our services, please write in to us at wichitech@wichitech.com

An Overview of the Out of Autoclave Process

Out-of-autoclave (OOA) manufacturing has come a long way to process the next-generation structures, particularly in the aerospace industry. The reason for manufacturers to adopt the OOA is due to the two important factors – money and size of the part. Traditional autoclave curing systems are expensive to buy and operate and are available only in limited sizes.

Manufacturers in aerospace and other industries are increasingly turning to OOA to cure parts. Out-of-autoclave is less capital-intensive and less costly, especially as parts increase in size and number. Several of the latest advancements push the technology even further, offering curing solutions that are out-of-autoclave and out-of-the-oven. Among the solutions under development are integral liquid heating/cooling and induction heating. These technologies offer the same benefits of OOA and then some – fewer steps, less material and shorter cycle times.

OOA is most heavily utilized by aerospace industry manufacturers as well as a variety of sectors are adopting OOA methods, from renewable energy to automotive and consumer electronics. This is mainly done to improve the quality of the products, increase throughput, cut down on production time, decrease capital, operating and labor costs. Curing time appears to be industries biggest bottle neck and this has forced companies to send employees to trade shows in search of new OOA processes. With the advancement in the OOA technology, some companies are using induction heating to create aerospace parts and internal car parts.

OOA is evolving to address the application problems ranging from part size, manufacturing costs, part quality and curing time. It also is adapting across sectors, including aerospace, automotive, renewable energy, consumer electronics and even farm equipment.

The Power of Wind

Manufacturing composite repair systems for clients in a range of industries, from aerospace to alternative energy, we are constantly staying on top of the latest news, information, and technology as they relate to our clients.

One of the ever-expanding sectors that are attracting a lot of buzz these days is wind energy. In many areas of the world, use of this alternative energy is growing significantly, and in Northern Ireland, 2013 saw the highest levels of wind energy ever for that region. In fact, on December 17, 2013, 506MW of electricity were generated, which happened to be 36% of all electricity needs for Northern Ireland at the time, as well as the first time wind generated over 500MW for Northern Ireland. *

This was a cause for excitement at a recent Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) conference, where the focus was not only on this past success, but on promoting future success. One of the reasons for this focus on wind energy is that Northern Ireland’s aging electricity grid, built in the 1960s, was not designed with wind in mind, making it a challenge for many to take advantage of.

This area’s infrastructure, and many similar areas around the world, need much better infrastructures to meet greater needs and to attract large investors who could support these needs. The industry and area experts are certain that many opportunities exist for great investment in wind energy, which would in turn bring great benefits. Those involved believe the best ways to do this are through educating the public on the economic advantages of renewable energy, and getting politicians involved.

Of course, Northern Ireland isn’t the only area where wind energy usage is increasing, and where proponents are singing its praises. A surprising study by Stanford University has even shown that “mammoth offshore wind farms can tame hurricanes rather than be destroyed by them.”** The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) credits wind power with everything from job creation to generating enough electricity to power over 11 million homes in a single year.***

Its use is growing and its advantages are being seen more and more; it will be interesting to see what the future holds.

* http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/small-business-can/future-of-wind-energy-set-to-blow-in-the-right-direction-29976571.html

** http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/26/offshore-wind-farms-tame-hurricanes/5813425/

*** http://www.nrdc.org/energy/renewables/wind.asp

Student Training Kits

At WichiTech, we offer student training kits, which provide power and vacuum for four repair training stations. We have three different types of student training kits:

  1. Kits with vacuum inputs and RD-3 tap hammer,
  2. Kits with only vacuum inputs, and
  3. Kits without vacuum inputs.

Each kit allows you to operate four different training repair stations off of one bonder. In other words, instead of purchasing four separate bonders, you’re able to operate four stations using the kit, which will save you money.

With the student training kit, each student will have his or her own blanket and will be able to program off of one bonder. We offer training in training composites, and we sell these kits to technical colleges and universities. We have separate training institutions that buy them in training composites and any kind of private training institution. When training in composite repairs, you use a bonder and apply the heat to the repair. Ordinarily, you would use one bonder per repair, but now, training institutions can buy only one bonder that can operate up to four stations as opposed to just one.

The alternative way to do this would be to purchase four bonders, since they are necessary to perform certain repairs. Normally, when this equipment is manufactured, it’s manufactured in an oven, which, of course, is a very large appliance, and then these pieces are all assembled. When they’re repaired, you can stick an aircraft back in an oven, and all you have to do is what we call a “spot repair” to the aircraft.

We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from technical schools about our student training kits. Schools are very budget conscious, and lately with the advent of using more composites on aircrafts and even things like cars that are starting to use composites, more people will need to be trained to repair these materials. With the right training, a sheet metal mechanic will be able to do composite repairs. Having those combined skills of sheet metal work and composite training will be valuable in the years to come.

For more information about our student training kits, please check out the following link on our company website.

8 Steps for a Better Process Change

When performing an operational process change, it’s important to not only be efficient during the job but also to fully understand what the problem is and what needs to be changed. Here are eight innovative steps to take that will allow you to properly make a process change the best way possible:

1. Understand the Current Process

It’s important that you ask yourself, “Why is the process in its current state?” From there, you can determine what changes need to be made and avoid making previous mistakes.

2. Know the Reason for the Process Change

Usually, the reason for a process change is cost or variation reduction. For a cost reduction change, good cost organization is essential. For variation reduction, the change agent should know whether random variation or special-cause variation can be eliminated.

3. Identify the Specific Change to be Made

Once the flaws in the current process are pointed out to be changed, the new process should be conveyed in a clear and concise way. This can be done in the form of a text document, flow chart or any other organizationally appropriate documentation. It should be easy enough to understand for other operators to know how the new process will work.

4. Make All Affected Stakeholders Aware of the Change

The new process should be expressed to everyone who will be affected by the change. This can be done through a meeting, posting online and allowing anonymous feedback, etc.

5. Validate Process Data and Measuring Systems

Before beginning the actual process change, it’s important to ensure that the data and measures are reliable and to constantly check them to ensure accuracy or any changes along the way.

6. Train for the Change

After everyone has been informed of the impending process change, all operators working on it must be fully trained prior to beginning the actual project.

7. Set a Clear Line

The clear line indicates a point in time in which you will be able to categorize data before and after the change. Once the line is set, you’ll be able to keep track of the change more easily.

8. Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control

After the change has been applied, the results should be properly analyzed and measured in order to control the process.

By conducting these steps, the process change can run much more smoothly and allow everyone involved to be on the same page.

October is National Manufacturing Month! – Get Involved.

Last October was the first official “Manufacturing Month”, and after much success, the celebration returns again this year! Manufacturers around the country are supporting the cause, educating our youth on manufacturing, and highlighting the industry and the economy in order to make a stance and bring awareness to the industry as a whole.

October 4th is Manufacturing Day — but companies and industry professionals will be celebrating Manufacturing throughout the entire month. Last year, more than 240 events, across 37 states, with more than 7,000 people participated. Wichitech Industries, and all of our employees, are excited to be able to join in to educate people on the increasing amount of career opportunities that manufacturing has to offer, and how the industry and ‘New Manufacturing’ has evolved over time.

Across the country, several Manufacturing Day programs will be taking place to help change the image of Manufacturing – which was one seen as dark and dangerous, and designed for unskilled workers.

Companies are opening their doors to students and professionals who are curious about the industry and letting them know what Manufacturing is really about:

  • “Manufacturing is technologically advanced, with ample use of automation, 3D printing, robots, and screen technology.
  • The annual average salary of manufacturing workers is more than $77,000.
  • Manufacturers have the highest job tenure in the private sector.
  • 90% of manufacturing workers have medical benefits.”

At Wichitech, we’re happy to be involved in Manufacturing, and are proud of what it has become today. Get involved in National Manufacturing Month! Share your thoughts about Manufacturing, reach out to learn more, and experience what Manufacturing has become today.

Getting the Training you need for Composite Repairs

Repairing an aircraft that is manufactured with composites can be difficult. Some small repair shops may not be as well-versed in composite repair as some large maintenance organizations are, but advanced composites aren’t only used in a larger aircraft. A smaller aircraft and its components can also be manufactured with composite materials, so being able to repair them is of utmost importance regardless of the size of your business. Buying the equipment you need to repair composites is only the first step. It’s important to have the knowledge, skills, and hands-on training to be able to complete these complicated repairs accurately.

When repairing a composite, it’s important to know that much of the damage may not be visible from the outside. When performing a “tap test,” and tapping a coin on the surface of the composite and listening for a void, you can find the exact area where the composite is damaged.

You then have to cut out a portion of the composite and perform a scarf repair, sanding outward so that you can clearly see how the materials are layered. It’s imperative to learn exactly how the composite was originally constructed, or you will be unable to repair it. Only then can you replace the material and repair the damage.

Reading up on composite repair is great, but there is no substitution for hands-on training and experience. Companies like ACT (Advanced Composites Training) and ABARIS TRAINING offer a multitude of composite training classes for students from a variety of sectors. With the knowledge and hands-on training afforded by attending classes, along with the necessary tools, you can assure that you will be able to complete composite repairs accurately and effectively.

Why customization matters when it comes to heating blankets

When it comes to composite curing applications, they often require blankets that can resist chemicals, moisture, and abusive treatment. They need to heat-up gradually and maintain steady temperature maintenance and uniform heat distribution.

In all areas of manufacturing, products often need to be produced to meet certain specifications — because not all projects are created equal.  The difference between purchasing products that come in limited sizes and specifications versus buying custom made is phenomenal.  In fact, whether you’re a consumer, a retailer, or a manufacturer, sometimes custom-made is crucial.

The same holds true for hot bond composite repair systems and their accessories.  All needs and applications are not the same.  And when you’re in need of a silicon heating blanket, being able to purchase one custom designed and engineered to your exact specifications can be of great benefit.

We realize many of you have size and shape requirements that go beyond basic.  While we stock basic, commonly-ordered sizes of our high-quality silicone rubber heating blankets from 6×6 inches through 18×18 inches, we can also make round blankets, blankets smaller or larger than the in-stock products, and even shaded blankets, where the heat is applied more to one specific area, rather than another (often necessary when performing cures in areas where heat sinking my occur).  Custom-molded radome blankets are also available for those in the aircraft industry.

You deserve custom work for your composite repair– so think about it the next time you need blankets for a project.

WichiTech Goes to Europe

What our long-term customers have come to know is that at WichiTech, we design and manufacture the highest quality Hot Bonding Composite Repair Systems at an incredible value, and have been doing so for years.  What our European customers will be happy to learn is that they can now get them even faster and for less money than in the past.  We are very excited to announce our new partnership with Aerotecs nv, located in Lummen, Belgium, which will be our center for European distribution and recalibration.

Through this distribution agreement, Aerotecs nv will be Europe’s place to buy WichiTech’s Hot Bonder Composite Repair Systems, blankets, and all accessories. In addition, they will be providing warranty and non-warranty repair work.  What this means is that you no longer have to send the products back to the U.S, thus providing a much faster turnaround and lower shipping costs and customs fees.  We will be providing full training for operating our equipment, both at Aerotecs’ location and yours.

Aerotecs nv has a long history in Belgium of being a full-service provider of other aviation ground support equipment. So you can remain confident that we are dealing with a company that is as reputable and experienced as ours.

For private, military, corporate, or commercial aircraft, and companies large and small, you’ve trusted in our Composite Repair Systems for years, and now it’s that much easier for you to enjoy their quality.  We look forward to this mutually-beneficial partnership, and to continuing to bring the best to our customers in Europe.