Tariff Rate Quotas Kicked Off on Jan. 1

January 4, 2022

MF Business Edge
Executive Insights
Larry Harrison
Principal Financial Group
Harbour love letters
Laurie Harbour
CAMMU Steel Chart
Use of Alternative Methods to Control Hazardous Energy—In Lieu of Lockout of Press-Related Equipment
In our latest contribution from the expert safety team at White Horse Safety, Inc., we learn how metal formers responsibly can use alternative methods to control hazardous energy when performing stamping-related tasks in the pressroom, in lieu of lockout.  Referencing ANSI standards, the article notes:

“Unfortunately, far too often the analogy of having the ‘cart before the horse’ occurs as the alternative method is implemented without following the requirements prescribed in ANSI Z244.1: 
  • A practicability/justification analysis
  • A risk assessment
  • Other applicable evaluations as detailed in clauses in the standard.
“The above documentation, along with the properly designed and validated safety-control circuit, provides the defendable information to justify not following the hazardous-energy-control lockout methods.  Only after completing this documentation and analysis should a stamper implement an alternative method.”
Electrical Steel
4 Things to Think About as Fed Policy Changes
As Federal Reserve policy reverts back a more normal state, returning from a lengthy period of overt stimulus in response to the COVID-19 crisis, it’s important to understand the potential impact on economic growth. That’s the subject of this new blog post from Brian Beaulieu, CEO and chief economist of ITR Economics:

“Growth will continue for GDP and Total Industrial Production,” writes Beaulieu, “albeit at a slower pace than in 2021. Also of note: Post-recession recoveries for Nondefense Capital Goods New Orders (excluding aircraft) continued to exhibit strong rising trends in the year following the withdrawal of stimulus.”

And regarding inflation, Beaulieu adds: “The current inflation rate will likely peak, with the rate-of-change then moving lower. That means less inflation (i.e., disinflation). However, if you have seen our inflation forecast, you know that we expect that the disinflation will be temporary, with a whole new round of high inflation waiting for us in concert with the next business cycle (post mid-2023).”
Will 2022 Live up to the Hype Around Hyperautomation?
Predictive process automation—dubbed “hyperautomation” by researchers at Gartner Inc.—take traditional automation technologies such as robotics to the next level, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning. While this movement may seem unlikely to impact small to midsized metal formers any time soon, consider that the market for hyperautomation-enabling technologies is projected to reach $596 billion in 2022, up nearly 24 percent from $482 billion in 2020. As noted in this QAD blog post:

“The pandemic quarantine…accelerated the adoption and implementation of hyperautomation and many other technologies that would have taken years to become mainstream. It won't be long before hyperautomation-enabling technologies…become a ‘condition of survival’ for manufacturing operations.”

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