LOOKING FORWARD TO CONTINUED GROWTH

Did anyone not make money in the manufacturing arena in 2018? What a year! In this 2019 market outlook, Steve Brown, Press Brake Product Manager at Wilson Tool International, uses his 24 years of industry experience and prior background in the financial sector to review the year behind us and look ahead to the state of the market in the New Year.

Person and Machine Shaking Hands

The full article is published on FF Journal. Read it here or continue below for the highlights.

2018 IN REVIEW

  • New tax laws put more money in the pockets of individuals and businesses. But is it enough to spur spending and economic growth?
  • After a steady decline in U.S. manufacturing production from 2010 to 2016, a trend upward began in 2017 and seems to have gained strength in 2018.
  • After years of little movement, federal lending rates continued to climb over the past three years to around 2.25%.
  • With a near historically low unemployment rate of 3.7%, employers are struggling to find the skilled labor needed to keep up with growth.
  • Some manufacturers are turning to automation to fill the labor gap. As the technology continues to improve, some estimates predict robotics could replace up to 800 million workers worldwide by 2030.
  • The full effect of new tariffs such as the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaced NAFTA, remains to be seen. But we have started seeing prices rise on material and finished goods.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019

  • Despite it’s influence on the world economy, the U.S. is not immune to the effects of movement in the worldwide market. But knowing the U.S. economy was estimated to be $19.39 trillion vs. China’s $12.01 trillion – with an 88.8% overall trade surplus to the U.S. (product shipped to the U.S. is a huge part of their economy,) the U.S. has some pretty strong cards to play.
  • The modern American fabricator that has been focused on lean manufacturing and automation will be well positioned to compete with products we lost to other regions and pressure to bring jobs back to the U.S.
  • With a polarized political system, can our politicians work together to make sound decisions? Will our economy be accepting of higher prices? Only time will tell.
  • Are the modest increases in manufacturing wages enough to help fill the shortage of skilled labor?
  • A large backlog of fabrication machinery (lasers, punch presses and press brakes) will continue into 2019.
  • A market correction in 2019 would not be unexpected. But keep in mind, if you had listened to the doom and gloom predictions in recent years you may have missed out on lots of growth.
  • As for Wilson Tool International, we are looking forward to continued growth in 2019 and will keep our foot on the gas as we continue to evolve with the needs of our customers, the marketplace and our employees.

Read the full article as published in FF Journal.

Press Brake Trolley

MOVE PRESS BRAKE TOOLING WITHOUT EVER LIFTING A TOOL

Handling heavy, cumbersome press brake tooling can present a variety of safety issues for operators. A new trolley for press brake tooling has been designed to improve safety when loading press brake tooling. The trolley makes it possible for an operator to move punches and dies from the rack to the brake and back again without ever lifting a tool.

Easy glide rollers eliminate the need for lifting, while gates on both ends prevent tooling from rolling out unexpectedly. A hydraulic hand pump with a cushioned release valve makes it possible to raise and lower the trolley to match the height of the press brake or the tool cart for smooth loading and unloading. Optional punch support arms allow longer, heavier punches to load without tipping and can be adjusted to accommodate the most common style punch tangs.

Loading tooling is as simple as positioning the trolley next to the press brake and lowering the gate closest to the brake. Next, adjust the height of the trolley to line up with the beam of the brake, lock the wheels, and slowly slide the tool into the brake. If loading a punch, make sure the punch support is in place, secure, and ready for loading.

Unloading the tooling is just as easy, simply reverse the steps described above. To ensure the safety of operators and equipment, always be sure the gates are closed and the trolley is at the bottom position before transport.

Although similar products do exist, the trolley for press brake tooling is the only solution to offer rollers for easy movement from the trolley to the press brake or vice versa with no lifting. A wide base also provides additional stability without increasing the trolley’s footprint. At 53 inches, the trolley also offers the most length capacity.

Learn more about the new trolley for press brake tooling.

Brake Partner

PUNCH PRESS TOOLING TO FORM IN YOUR PRESS BRAKE

Brake Partner makes it possible to use new or existing punch press tooling on the press brake to produce forms. The tooling holder, which is manufactured to fit in virtually any press brake, features spring pads to absorb impact and can be used with or without guideposts, depending on the application. It’s an ideal solution for fabricators who have migrated away from punch presses to laser cutting machines, or whose punch presses are running at full capacity.

Learn more about how Brake Partner can help reduce your costs and expand your capabilities.

UNDERSTANDING THE LEAN DEFINITION OF WASTE

8 Kinds of Waste

Lean is a time-tested method for creating optimal efficiency in almost any organization, and it is extremely effective and popular in the manufacturing industry. The minimization of waste is one of the key components of Lean. In this article we consider how to identify – and eliminate – waste in the forms and places that we don’t often think to look.

Read “The Eight Kinds of Waste and How to Eliminate Them in Punching and Bending Operations.”

APPLICATION STATION: ROTARY DIE AND 3D PRINTED RADIUS TOOL

The Application Station is a new addition to Tooling Times where each month we’ll showcase solutions-based videos, including additively manufactured solutions. We hope this will be a great resource for customers in imagining the possibilities in tooling and additive manufacturing.

TRADITIONAL BEND APPLICATION

90 degree Bend Up Video

90-Degree Bend Up Using a Rotary Die for the Press Brake
Learn more about how rotary bending tools can help you minimize sheet marking and reduce costs when bending large or heavy sheets.

Bend3D™ APPLICATION

Bend3D Rib Stiffening Video

Additively Manufactured Radius Stiffening Rib Tool for the Press Brake
Discover the possibilities of made-to-order 3D tools for your press brake process.

GET TO KNOW WILSON TOOL INTERNATIONAL

Mike Sosnoski Headshot

MIKE SOSNOSKI, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS – PRESS BRAKE DIVISION

Mike has worked at Wilson Tool since 2000 in a variety of roles. He was a Manufacturing Engineer for the Turret Specials division and for the Impax Tooling Solutions® division, Lead Engineer and Manufacturing Manager before assuming his current position. He has also functioned as an SAP Super User, Project Manager and a Continuous Improvement / Kaizen facilitator. Mike earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

Setting up the manufacturing plant in China is one of Mike’s most satisfying accomplishments at Wilson Tool. He appreciates how Wilson Tool is more of a family than a place to work, as fellow employees don’t hesitate to help each other out in times of need.
 
In his free time, Mike enjoys downhill skiing with his wife and kids.

Learn more about the USA team at Wilson Tool here.

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SHOT SHOW
Look for Wilson Tool International at the SHOT Show Supplier Showcase, January 21-22 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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