Industry News

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The U.S. economy grew 2.4 percent in 2014, just barely edging out the 2.2 percent gain in 2013. Yet, that somewhat understates the strength of the economy since the winter-related weaknesses seen at this point last year. Indeed, real GDP increased by an annualized 4.1 percent during the last three quarters of 2014, and in the fourth quarter, Americans spent at a healthy 4.3 percent annual pace, the fastest rate since the first quarter of 2006. Still, the 2.6 percent growth rate in real GDP in the fourth quarter also had some red flags. Weaker growth abroad, a strengthening U.S. dollar and worries about dramatically lower energy prices have impacted capital spending and international demand negatively. Therefore, while manufacturers remain mostly upbeat about orders and production in 2015, these developments serve as a reminder of the challenges in the global marketplace right now.

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01
The Powder Coating Institute (PCI®) announced the 2015 Executive Committee and Board of Directors at the beginning of January. The Executive...

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01
Organizations join trade associations for different reasons. Some want to belong to the “club,” some want discounted rates on products ...

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30

The Powder Coating Institute (PCI®) announced the 2015 Executive Committee and Board of Directors at the beginning of January. 

The Executive Committee for 2015 is John Cole, President, Parker Ionics; John Sudges, Vice President, Midwest Finishing Systems; and Ron Cudzilo, Secretary/Treasurer, George Koch Sons. The rest of the 2015 PCI Board is  Bob Allsop, Nordson Corporation; Kevin Biller, The Powder Coating Research Group Inc.; Shivie Dhillon, Sundial Powder Coatings; Craig Dietz, Powder Coatings N.A., Axalta Coating Systems; Steve Kiefer, Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc.; Chris Merritt, Gema USA Inc.; Suresh Patel, Chemetall US Inc.; and Paul West, Sun Polymers International Inc.

The following people have been appointed by the Board President, John Cole from Parker Ionics, to be the chairs to the committees listed below:

Education & Development: Mike Wittenhagen, Axalta Coating Systems
Custom Coaters: Shivie Dhillon, Sundial Powder Coatings Materials
Technology: Kevin Biller, The Powder Coating Research Group Industry
Communications: Craig Dietz, Axalta Coating Systems
Membership Committee: Chris Merritt, Gema USA, Inc.
Regulatory & Advocacy: Mark Bamford, Milgard Composites Division
Trade Show: Greg Dawson, Nordson Corp.
Market Intelligence: Chris Merritt, Gema USA, Inc.
Certification: Terry Watson, A Plus Powder Coaters Inc.

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The AP (1/23, Crutsinger) reported that the Conference Board on Friday said that its index of leading indicators rose 0.5% last month, following a revised gain of 0.4%. The index had posted solid increases in September and October after a flat reading in August. December’s increase reflected widespread strength, with eight of the 10 indicators that make up the index all higher. “The short-term outlook is getting brighter and the economy continues to build momentum,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, a Conference Board economist. “Still, a lack of growth in residential construction and average weekly hours in manufacturing remains a concern.” The only negative contributor to the index last month was a decline in building permits. Average weekly manufacturing hours held steady, meaning it neither added to nor subtracted from the overall index reading.

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23
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is proposing to impose new requirements on product manufacturers and various other business entities under Proposition 65—the California law requiring warnings in the presence of certain chemicals. Under Prop 65, a manufacturer, producer, packager, importer or distributor of a product that causes consumers to be exposed to a listed chemical is required to provide a warning to consumers. Currently, a Prop 65 warning must be given prior to the time of anticipated exposure, but under the new rule, the warning must be given prior to sale, imposing new burdens on website and catalog retailers. 

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22
The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity slowed in January, beginning the new year on a softer note. The composite index of general business conditions dropped from 8 in December to 3 in January, its lowest level in five months. Underlying this figure, new orders (down from 14 to -8), production (down from 7 to -2), shipments (down from 8 to -5) and exports (down from zero to -7) declined for the month, and hiring (down from 8 to zero) stagnated. On the positive side, it was the 13th straight month with expanding levels of sentiment, and manufacturers remain mostly optimistic about the coming months.

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21
Tuesday night in his State of the Union speech, President Obama emphasized his goal of sustaining the newly resurgent US economy. Regarding trade and other policies that affect the nation’s manufacturing base, Obama said: “Our manufacturers have added almost 800,000 new jobs” since 2010. “Some of our bedrock sectors, like our auto industry, are booming.” Explaining that “95% of the world’s customers live outside our borders,” the president said Americans “can’t close ourselves off” from opportunities in trade and international commerce.

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20
Drew Industries Incorporated (NYSE: DW), a leading supplier of components for recreational vehicles (RVs) and manufactured homes, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI®), has acquired the business and certain assets of EA Technologies, LLC. EA Technologies is an Elkhart, Indiana-based manufacturer of custom steel and aluminum parts and provider of electro-deposition ('e-coat') and powder coating services for RV, bus, medium-duty truck, automotive, recreational marine, specialty and utility trailer, and military applications. EA Technologies' e-coat process is ISO 9000 certified. Sales of the acquired business for 2014 were approximately $17 million.

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