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Press Releases

Timmons: Now is Not the Time to Wait for Action from Others

If we fail, America will not endure

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the tragic events in Minnesota:

“At the National Association of Manufacturers, we share the concerns of many Americans about the unfolding events in Minneapolis and in cities and communities nationwide. But even more tragic than these events is the knowledge that, at their root, they are not new. We have spent the last few months talking about a ‘return to normal.’ For too many people across the country, images of oppression and loss is what ‘normal’ looks like.

“We cannot, and we must not, accept that. It is not acceptable for a young black man who has watched images of the enfolding horror of George Floyd’s last gasps for breath while pinned under the knee of a white police officer, to think, ‘could this be me, or my brother, or my father?’ We cannot stand idly by when a young black girl is traumatized into thinking that she will never get a fair chance in life as she bears witness to that gut-wrenching image of a white man expressing self-righteous dominion over someone like her.

“There are too many among us who believe there are those who are ‘less than’ or not worthy of humanity, dignity and equal justice. To turn a blind eye to this blatant bigotry and to not do all we can to eradicate it, makes us less than human. It undermines all that America stands for.

“To be very clear, manufacturers in America do not condone violence or destruction of any kind. But we absolutely stand hand in hand with all those who seek respect, fairness and the right to equality of opportunity that America has promised for centuries and that, even now, has not been delivered to all her citizens.

“This is not a time to sit back and wait for action from others. It’s not enough to say ‘this doesn’t concern me,’ or ‘this isn’t my job, my cause, my fight.’ The manufacturing community, and the larger business community—made up of people from every background, every race, every state and every neighborhood in the country—has a responsibility that is as urgent now as at any time when our nation seemed on the edge of destruction. We must be part of the solution—to end the polarization and division that routinely manifests in our country. We must bring our people together in common purpose, to strengthen the values that bind us together, to rebuild our communities, to reinstill faith in ourselves and to ensure that all of our citizens have a right to live safely and securely.

“If we fail, America will not endure. If we are to succeed, it must be together.”

NAM

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 11.5 million men and women, contributes $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Business Operations

COVID-19 Testing: What Manufacturers Need to Know

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How can manufacturers help their workers get tested for COVID-19 and keep their communities safe? Many manufacturers are wondering about this, but information about testing is often unavailable, confusing or soon out of date. So we asked NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling to tell us what’s really going on.

What kinds of tests are available?  “The situation changes weekly, if not daily,” warns Boerstling.

  • New tests are in development and “coming online with greater frequency,” while the FDA is working to expand their availability quickly. A useful resource: the FDA’s primer on testing basics. The FDA has authorized approximately 113 tests to date.
  • Meanwhile, HHS continues to focus on public-private partnerships that send tests to drive-up facilities in parking lots and similar places, she adds. A list of available community testing sites can be found here.

Currently, it’s still very hard for employers to get tests for onsite facilities, and the FDA has warned that tests bought from overseas suppliers may be unreliable. As Boerstling notes, the city of Laredo, Texas discovered that the tests it bought from China for half a million dollars were only 20 percent accurate.

Is anyone verifying the accuracy of these tests? Yes, but the process is ongoing and the FDA is adapting to a rapidly changing environment, says Boerstling.

  • This week, the FDA announced a new verification tool for developers to improve testing accuracy.
  • “The NIH is working with the FDA to validate existing tests, as well as with private researchers, including a group funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative,” she notes.
  • “Manufacturers should visit the FDA website frequently or check in with the NAM, which is monitoring this issue closely.”

Will the tests be processed in a timely manner? “The time it takes to process a test is changing regularly and depends on the capacity of the lab being used and the type of test,” says Boerstling.

  • “Many NAM members have noted uneven lab capacity across the country.”
  • As of now, more than 245 labs are currently providing testing under the policies set forth by HHS.

What is the federal government doing about this? Congress has provided aid to boost testing capacity, but its impact will be gradual, Boerstling cautions.

  • “The recently enacted $484 billion COVID-19 relief package included $25 billion for broad testing initiatives. Currently, the NAM is working to see how employers fit into this equation,” she elaborates.
  • Earlier this month, the administration announced that it sent $11 billion to states for testing support this month, along with about 12 million swabs.

Related: Of course, testing isn’t the only important tool for keeping employees safe. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons has been stressing the importance of face coverings and other types of PPE as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy. Watch a recent video here.

Business Operations

How A Manufacturer Is Cleaning Hospitals’ Air

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How do you prevent COVID-19 from traveling through hospitals? Powerful air filtration is essential to stopping the spread, but many hospitals only have these systems in certain areas—like isolation rooms. In cities with the worst outbreaks, there are far more patients than rooms with safe air.

Carrier Global Corporation—a Florida manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as refrigeration and fire and security technologies—used their expertise to help convert normal rooms to air isolation rooms by developing the OptiClean negative air machine.

The specs: Powerful air filtration systems are usually hard-wired, making them impossible to transport. Carrier’s OptiClean device, on the other hand, is unique, featuring:

  • A wheeled base, allowing it to be moved to different hospital rooms as needed;
  • A cord that plugs into a standard 115-volt outlet, so it can be used in pretty much any room;
  • A 100% seal, which keeps unclean air from bypassing the filters—making it as powerful as traditional air filtration systems that are hardwired into isolation rooms; and
  • A two-way system that allows it to serve as either 1) a negative pressure machine, drawing in clean air from outside a hospital room while pumping contaminated air into a contained exhaust system, or 2) a “scrubber” in an open-air temporary hospital, by pulling air in, removing contaminants, and sending cleaner air back out.

The timeline: In just two weeks this March, the Carrier team developed a prototype and shipped four models to hospitals across the country for field trials—a process that would ordinarily take up to a year.

The result: Carrier has been producing OptiClean devices since April and has already fulfilled orders for hundreds of units.

What’s next: Carrier is hoping OptiClean devices will be used in homes, businesses, assisted living facilities and elsewhere in future to provide cleaner air and protect vulnerable populations.

Across the country, manufacturers like Carrier are helping people breathe easier.

Press Releases

NAM Survey: Manufacturers Face Major Headwinds, but Continue Operating in Support of COVID-19 Response

Despite Drop in Optimism and Worsening Business Conditions, Majority of Industry Keeping Doors Open

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers today released the results of the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2020 showing that despite a historic drop in optimism, to nearly 34%, and challenging business conditions, the vast majority of manufacturers (98.7%) have continued or only temporarily halted operations. The survey also shows that manufacturers are innovating to find solutions to keep businesses running and to protect workers and communities, with almost 22% retooling to produce personal protective equipment, 67% reengineering processes to reflect COVID-19 safety protocols and 12% completely reevaluating the mission of the firm.

Manufacturers have led the country through the COVID-19 response, and America is counting on our industry to lead our recovery and renewal, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. While these numbers show that we’ve faced difficult circumstances and that there is a challenging road ahead, manufacturers have proven that with our grit, determination and patriotic spirit, we can overcome any challenge facing the nation. And in our ‘American Renewal Action Plan,’ the NAM has shown the way forward.

As policymakers and regulators debate solutions to help the economy recover from this pandemic, the NAM urges them to focus on the renewal agenda laid out in the “American Renewal Action Plan.” We have been encouraged by actions taken thus far, but there is still greater need for targeted liability reform, tax provisions to ensure investment in manufacturing and measures to reaffirm the U.S. supply chain to protect those businesses that continue to work on the front lines of the COVID-19 response to ensure as swift a recovery as possible.

The Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey has surveyed the association’s membership of 14,000 large and small manufacturers on a quarterly basis since 1997 to gain insight into their economic outlook, hiring and investment decisions and business concerns. The NAM releases the results to the public each quarter. Further information on the survey is available here.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 11.5 million men and women, contributes $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

NAM Releases Agenda to Strengthen Manufacturing Supply Chain

Launches Seven-Figure National Advertising Campaign to Bolster Business in America

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers has released a detailed agenda of supply chain policy recommendations to help policymakers as Congress and the administration look at ways to boost long-term economic growth. Manufacturers are also launching a seven-figure national advertising campaign on the importance of U.S. supply chains in the wake of COVID-19. The national television and digital advertising campaign urges leaders to make smart policy decisions that incentivize job creation and investment in America, without closing off critical global supply chains. Such a constructive approach will enable manufacturers to lead America’s recovery and renewal while continuing to produce the vital supplies, medicines and essential products on which Americans’ health and safety depends.

The policies that we are proposing will allow manufacturers to lead our economic recovery by strengthening supply chains and accelerating onshoring, through incentives for creating the next job or investing the next dollar right here in America. We also cannot close off access to critical components or resources that our lifesaving and life-changing products require, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. Manufacturers are working around the clock to create the protective equipment, cleaning supplies, medicines and other essential products in the wake of COVID-19, and we need the right policies so we can make even more here at home and lead a truly historic American renewal.

In April, the NAM released its “American Renewal Action Plan,” which provides a comprehensive list of policy recommendations to guide the country through the stages of response, recovery and renewal.

More information on the campaign can be found at www.nam.org/recovery.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 11.5 million men and women, contributes $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org

Business Operations

The MaskForce Comes to the Rescue

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It started on a Saturday morning when a Wisconsin doctor knocked on his neighbors’ doors, asking for mask donations. Four weeks later, dozens of local organizations had collaborated to design a comfortable, reusable, high-performance mask. Now, the “MaskForce” is rolling out its products across the state and in neighboring regions.

Here’s how it happened: One of the doctor’s neighbors happened to be Pat Masterson, vice president of corporate manufacturing at automotive and mobile equipment manufacturer Husco. Masterson soon brought his company’s resources to solving the problem, but they knew they needed more.

  • Through word of mouth, the project’s team developed into a 25-member consortium that included local education groups, industrial manufacturers and frontline medical and emergency response personnel.
  • After the group hammered out some concepts, Husco led the design of a high-volume, injection-molded prototype using medical-grade materials.

How it works: The MaskForce team tested hundreds of suitable materials before settling on the best design. Features include:

  • Comfort: The mask sports a soft, high-performance and low-pressure face seal that enables easy breathing.
  • Re-usability: It uses sanitizable and replaceable components.
  • Efficiency: It’s made with 60% less filter material than other mask designs—a big difference, as filter media are in high demand.

The numbers: Today, the MaskForce is producing around 1,000 masks per day, with the goal of ramping up daily production to 10,000 or even 100,000+ masks per day. Currently, it has completed 10,000 of its initial 30,000 production run.

Next steps: Husco is now producing the face mask under the FDA Emergency Use Authorization. It is also seeking certification from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, so the mask can be used by multiple industries.

What’s in a name? In case you were wondering, the MaskForce gets its memorable name from a youthful collaborator: Masterson’s 14-year-old daughter.

Husco and the MaskForce team have accomplished in weeks what would typically take months or years to do. It just goes to show—you might be surprised at what can happen when you knock on a neighbor’s door.

Business Operations

A Manufacturing CEO Explains His Pandemic Safety Plan

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Let’s start with a Styrofoam cup. At one of Bradbury Group’s facilities, an employee pointed out a risk: anyone could touch the cups stacked up in the breakroom, potentially leaving traces of COVID-19. So the company installed a cup dispenser instead.

It sounds small, but this decision exemplifies Bradbury’s thorough approach to employee safety. So does another fact: the metal processing equipment company created a 66-page “pandemic handbook” of safety procedures, which includes a guide to good decision-making, for its facilities worldwide.

As businesses of all sorts reopen, they’re searching for best practices like these. So we recently asked Bradbury CEO David Cox for some advice.

First, a hot topic for employers. Do you use temperature checks at your facilities?

  • “No, we felt that having 300 people gathering in close quarters at one entrance would be counterproductive. We did our research, and temperature checks don’t seem to be that effective,” says Cox.
  • The company keeps infrared thermometers on hand for any workers who feel ill, he adds.

And what about social distancing? Cox says the company has provided face shields or masks to all employees. They must wear those coverings when standing closer than 6 feet to each other.

How do you get information out? Department managers hold stand-up briefings on Mondays (originally Monday, Wednesday, Friday) to keep workers informed, he says, along with a daily safety briefing. Also important: a weekly email briefing from the CEO covering a variety of important updates. .

  • It includes the latest safety procedures, infection rates for the surrounding areas, warnings about the tricks scammers are using to steal stimulus checks and updates on tornado season.

How do you keep people safe on the road?

  • “We analyze every stop our employees make. Our health and safety coordinator contacts every vendor on a route to evaluate their safety policies—sharing a copy of our handbook when necessary,” says Cox.
  • “If they don’t meet our standards, our people don’t go.”

What about incoming shipments from suppliers?

  • “We do the same process in reverse—we find out where those drivers go on their routes. If we don’t like what we hear, we have the driver stay in the truck while our employees unload.”

This is how seriously Bradbury takes those restrictions:

  • “We kept one routine vendor away for the whole month of April due to an outbreak in their county. We didn’t even want their vehicles in our parking lot, given the anxiety that would create for our employees.”

Let’s move on to cleaning. What are your procedures?

  • “We have several dedicated workers walk through the facility to sanitize hard-surface touchpoints, multiple times a shift.”
  • “Workers have chlorine spray bottles and wipes for their keyboard and screens, and for any parts they pass from workstation to workstation.”

Meanwhile, Bradbury’s health and safety coordinator, Tasha Schmeidler, is an EMT, which comes in handy.

  • She oversees symptom tracking and contact tracing and has full authority to quarantine any workers who may be sick or exposed–with pay if they were exposed on the job.

Lastly, how have your workers improved your protocols?

  • “The extra cleaning solution on tables and stations—that was an employee suggestion. They even thought of putting wipes on the inventory pickers, so they could clean items as they took things down,” says Cox. (And, of course, there’s the Styrofoam cups.)

These precautions don’t just keep workers physically safe, but also make them feel comfortable coming to work and confident in their management. As businesses of all sorts reopen, manufacturers like Bradbury are showing them how.

Related: Don’t forget to check out this collection of operational and safety practices, recently released by the NAM’s Manufacturing Leadership Council.

Business Operations

How One Manufacturer Is Helping Doctors Breathe Easier

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At several facilities in Arizona, health care providers are wearing camouflage-patterned gowns. It sounds too good to be true, but it is: manufacturer W. L. Gore & Associates donated its fabric laminate—normally used in protective outerwear for the military and others—to be sewn into gowns by local apparel manufacturers. In total, Gore’s materials will be used to make 40,000 gowns nationwide, though only a fraction will be patterned.

And that’s only the start. Gore, a maker of everything from medical devices to fabrics to cables and more, is producing a variety of PPE products, including a few new inventions. Here’s a look at how much a single manufacturer is doing during the COVID-19 crisis.

Respirator covers: In less than a week, Gore developed a prototype for a cover that can prolong the use and reuse of N95 respirators.

  • An accordion-folded piece of filtration material, with holes punched at either end, the cover is easy to make yet powerful.
  • It’s made of proprietary ePTFE filtration laminate, which protects against 99% of aerosolized particles, and can be decontaminated for reuse.

Thousands of covers have been produced so far, and they’re already in use at health care centers across the country.

Respirator cartridges: The company also developed cartridges that can be incorporated into respirators, hoods and ventilators. These work with a variety of designs, whether produced by 3D printing or injection molding.

N95 respirators: Gore is collaborating with other manufacturers to produce respirators, which remain in high demand.

  • Multiple manufacturers have developed prototypes with Gore’s filtration materials, which keep out more than 95% of particles at 0.07 microns in size. Currently, all these partners are in the process of obtaining emergency use authorization from the FDA.

And here’s a great number: the company plans to donate enough material to make about 1.5 million N95 respirators.

Engineering services: Gore is providing engineering and prototyping support to hospitals that need new designs or components.

  • The company recently made components for face shields, donating 1,000 shields to local providers.

That’s a lot for one company, and there’s more in the pipeline. Manufacturers like Gore prove that the industry is finding as many ways as possible to be of service.

Business Operations

How Leading Manufacturers Are Navigating COVID-19

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The Manufacturing Leadership Council, a division of the NAM, has unveiled a new online information resource center for COVID-19 operational resources and shared practices. This follows more than 50 days of the NAM and the MLC’s joint emergency collaboration—which not only disseminates crucial information to manufacturers, but also brings them together to learn from each other and lead the country toward a successful recovery and renewal.

What to look for: Among the new online resources, “New Operational Practices to Consider in the Time of COVID-19” outlines practices that can help manufacturers meet or exceed federal guidelines while also reducing operational and business risks.

What it includes: The document covers a range of practices that manufacturers can use to protect themselves and their employees, including:

  • Site access practices including restricted visitor access, self-certification questionnaires and temperature screening
  • Workstation social distancing measures including barriers, facial coverings and regular cleanings
  • Facilities and traffic management to reduce gatherings and the use of high-touch surfaces
  • Shift and team design practices to reduce widespread interactions and encourage touchless hand-offs
  • Illness or diagnosis response plans like contact tracing and partnerships with community health officials
  • Essential travel policies, such as requiring PPE use at remote worksites
  • Plans for returning nonessential workers that reinforce protocols and prioritize on-site roles

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons says: “Manufacturers have been on the front lines throughout this crisis, and this guide leverages the experiences and real-world practices that manufacturers across America have put into place.”

The last word: Timmons has a simple message for all Americans, whether they work in manufacturing or not: “Wear a face covering.”

Business Operations

Manufacturers Unveil Industry COVID Shared Practices

Manufacturing Leadership Council Releases COVID Operating Practices from Leading Manufacturers

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Manufacturing Leadership Council, a division of the National Association of Manufacturers, released a new collection of emerging strategies and operational practices that leading manufacturers of all sizes are implementing to keep their employees safe and facilities operating. The MLC’s “New Operational Practices to Consider in the Time of COVID-19” brings together the best shared practices within the industry to help manufacturers continue to lead the way as America moves from response to recovery and renewal.

“Manufacturers have been on the front lines throughout this crisis, and this guide leverages the experiences and real-world practices that manufacturers across America have put into place. We’re all looking to get back to some sense of normalcy, but that’s not possible unless we can protect manufacturing workers,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “By collecting these practices, the MLC is helping all manufacturers continue to set high standards for protecting employees, families and communities, while creating products essential to our daily lives.”

Shared Practices Breakdown:

  • Site Access to Mitigate Exposure
  • Workstation Measures to Promote Social Distancing
  • Facilities and Traffic Management
  • Shift and Team Design
  • Leave Policies
  • Illness or Diagnosis Response
  • Essential Travel Policies
  • Returning Nonessential Workers

The MLC compiled and shared these practices to assist manufacturers taking steps in their facilities to meet or exceed existing guidelines from the various federal agencies while also mitigating operational and business risks that are outside the scope of such guidance.

“Since this crisis began, the NAM has been working with Vice President Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and others to relay real time information from our industry and to ensure manufacturers received the critical guidance they needed to operate safely,” said NAM COO Todd Boppell. “The MLC has also convened thousands of manufacturing leaders to share practices and develop new ideas for operating safely through this crisis. Manufacturers have come together to help each other and to help our country.”

This information is not meant as authoritative legal, medical or regulatory guidance or advice. It is not an exhaustive list of operational practices in the COVID-19 environment but rather represents some of the most common “best practices” communicated to the National Association of Manufacturers.

To read the full document click here.

-MLC-

The Manufacturing Leadership Council is the world’s first member-driven, business leadership network dedicated to helping senior industry executives identify the opportunities created by transformational digital technologies in the operation, organization, and leadership of manufacturing enterprises as they pursue their journeys to Manufacturing 4.0. For more information visit https://www.manufacturingleadershipcouncil.com/

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org

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