Archive for January 7th, 2013

For students pursuing studies and future livelihoods in manufacturing-related fields, there are many degrees and credentials to choose from. Whether it takes two years to earn an associate’s degree or four-plus for a bachelor’s and beyond, the pathway from education to career can be varied. Here we look at the basic profile of each of the primary education paths toward a career in manufacturing, as well as trends in each path. Read more

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Plus: Factory Orders Remain Stable in November, Unemployment Rate Remains Unchanged, Consumer Confidence Falls, and Manufacturers Voice Disappointment at Lapsed Tariff Bill. Read more


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Intermediates are materials, supplies or components that are supplied by one entity as an input to another entity’s manufacturing process. It’s a diverse and diffuse market that can include basic commodities like chemicals, resins, films, sheets or other kinds of relatively undifferentiated processed materials — or it can include more refined and differentiated components such as plastic parts.

The concept of intermediates is not limited to the field of plastics; it can encompass materials such as lumber, metals, leather, paper, textiles, paints, dyes, fertilizers or even energy products such as petroleum, gas or electricity. An intermediate component can be complex in itself and can incorporate many parts and many different materials. For example, a car seat is a fairly complex assembly made up of a frame, foam padding, upholstery material, parts for controlling seat position and possibly even a heating element and electronic controls. The seat is made up of a number of intermediate components, but in reality the seat itself can be seen as an intermediate component that will eventually make up part of an automobile. Read more

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