Manufacturing didn’t fare so well last month, falling just slightly into contraction territory, as measured by the Institute for Supply Management. The data support what a few shop owners have been telling me.
“Business is softening.”
That was Bruce Hupfer, director of technical sales at Qualtek Manufacturing. The 40 people at this manufacturer know how tumultuous U.S. manufacturing can be. At one point, much of its business came from stamping computer chassis. After that business left for Asia, the company made a push for diversification. Today the stamper serves the medical field, renewable energy, as well as general industrial customers.
The shop has technology that can form components like few competitors can. The company invested in several servo-presses with a ram stroke that’s fully controllable. The ram can change speed during forming, dwell at the bottom, and even rock back and forth to ensure the metal of the formed part has “settled” into its final shape. This technology can take on some seriously complex parts.
The company also offers finishing and heat treatment services, making it one-stop shop for many customers. The shop’s diverse capabilities and customer base will most likely protect the firm for what may be a bumpy road ahead.