AGMA – Strategy in Action, a Year in Review


AGMA offers a variety of programs and activities to the mechanical power transmission industry and a long list of benefits to our members. But when we take a step back from the detail and look at major categories, most of what we do can be defined in one of three ways: networking, technical programs, and education resources.

The American Gear Manufacturers Association helps its members compete more effectively in today’s domestic and global marketplace. Among the many member benefits you can discuss with AGMA staff are the wide variety of statistical programs that are offered exclusively to AGMA members. There is no better way to measure how your company compares to industry financial benchmarks than to participate in AGMA’s industry reports and salary surveys.

Using data provided by others in this industry, these reports help you see where you stand in the industry. AGMA provides three different industry reports: the Gear Market Report, Monthly Market Trend Report (MMTR), and the Operating Ratio Report. AGMA also alternates years for the two salary reports, the Management and Technical Workers Wage and Benefits Survey, and the Production Workers Wage and Benefit Survey.

For every report, the process is absolutely secure and completely confidential. All reports are mailed to an independent financial consultant or reporting entity; only they see the data. No AGMA member or staff person ever sees the participant’s data.

As always, this information about the programs is available on the AGMA website, but you can always ask specific questions of AGMA staff face-to-face at the next Gear Expo. Details for each report are included below.

In an industry dominated by small and medium-size manufacturers, networking—getting to know others in our business—is especially important.

As another year draws to a close, most of us take stock of what we’ve accomplished over the past year. At AGMA, 2013 was a very active and strong year by any measure, and I’m proud to report that the Association continues to have a thriving membership from around the world. AGMA is, at its heart, a membership organization. Without a diverse and dynamic group of members, AGMA’s programs would not be strong and growing, would not be relevant, and would be on the decline. Fortunately, we’re a long way from these problems.

The membership of AGMA grew to 468 members in 2013, and we have members in 37 countries. Many people don’t realize that while we are the American Gear Manufacturers Association, over 25% of our members are from outside the United States, with the largest international representation coming from Canada, India, Japan, and Australia. AGMA continues to build its international presence by conducting trade missions to manufacturing centers throughout the world, and attendance increased at international trade shows and technical conferences such as our presence at Hannover Fair this year and our booth at IPTEX in Mumbai, India in February 2014. In case you are unfamiliar with the IPTEX show, it was created by the Indian power transmission industry and has been described as “Gear Expo India.”

Another success story for AGMA is a networking group for younger managers, both technical and business, named the Strategic Resources Network or SRN. AGMA’s board created this group several years ago to serve as a training ground for the next generation of leadership in the Association. The activities of the SRN are popular and strongly supported by this up-and-coming management demographic.

Technical Programs
One of the primary reason companies continue to join AGMA is our leadership in the area of technical standard development. Our technical committees continue on the path to advance the standards development programs, conducting valuable and informative meetings that benefit both AGMA and the individual member’s growth. Currently there are 25 active AGMA technical committees, and in 2013 more than 110 committee meetings were held—both in-person and via Internet meetings. Since AGMA began holding web-based committee meetings a few years ago, technical committee participation has increased dramatically in both the number of people participating in committee meetings and the number and location of companies participating.

Internationally, AGMA has been the Secretariat of the technical committee responsible for the development of the international standards, ISO TC60, since the early 1990s. Because of the committed involvement of the AGMA staff and delegates from industry who help facilitate the creation of international standards, AGMA has been reelected as Secretariat every three years.

This year also saw a robust Fall Technical Meeting, held in conjunction with Gear Expo. The FTM featured the presentation of 25 papers on materials and heat treatment, manufacturing and inspection, failure analysis and inspection, and gear design issues. Attendance this year exceeded 175 participants, making it one of the largest FTM’s in AGMA’s history.

Immediately following the Fall Technical Meeting, AGMA held one of the largest Gear Expo’s in its history. Gear Expo 2013 had 226 exhibitors with 54,400 square feet of exhibits, a 26% increase over the 2011 Show. The exhibitors covered the whole range of the gear manufacturing process, and came from around the world—18% of the exhibiting companies were from outside the United States.

Buoyed by a strong show location and a steady economy, Gear Expo 2013 attendance grew 12% to 3,466. The attendees came from around the globe—40 U.S. states were represented and 30 countries in addition to the United States, with the largest delegations coming from China, Canada, Germany, India, and Japan.

Education Workshops, Seminars, and Resources
Education is an increasingly important component of Gear Expo and AGMA as a whole. We consistently hear from members that training their employees is a primary concern. This year, the Show’s attendance numbers were boosted by a significant increase in the registration for education programs at Gear Expo, as attendance for Gear Expo 2013 education courses increased 82% over Gear Expo 2011.

Overall, our education programs were very well attended this year with 1,056 students attending AGMA education opportunities (516 participants in face-to-face courses, 540 in virtual courses), a 76 percent increase over 2012. International participation is also strong for our education programs, with 23 percent of face-to-face course participants coming from outside the United States. In 2012 we debuted the Advanced Gear Engineering Certificate, given to individuals who have completed at least five of AGMA’s advanced engineering programs, and to date 10 individuals have been awarded the certificate.

This year, the Education Task Force released the AGMA Skills Assessment Tool, a matrix that assists gear manufacturers in the hiring of new employees and skills assessment of current employees. The tool guides users through a list of job positions, then the five sets of skills required to complete those tasks, and the competency requirements of each skill. The tool has been designed dynamically to afford users complete customization, and is available to all AGMA members for free on the AGMA website. The membership response to this new tool has been extremely positive, and the task force is now working on developing new classes to help meet the training gaps in the industry.

This is just a sampling of the many Association activities this year, and we are looking forward to another busy year in 2014. We always want to hear from you, so if there are any programs that you would like to see AGMA develop in the future, please don’t hesitate to let us know by contacting me directly at

Even though the bulk of our activities contribute to networking, technical activities, or education programs, AGMA offers far more than these three areas to our members. So as you go about your business and look for ways to improve your operations and your bottom line, give us a call with your ideas for your suggestions. I’m pleased we have a dedicated, professional staff and an energized Board of Directors, SRN, and committee leaders.

AGMA Welcomes its Newest Members
The AGMA membership continues to grow—with 25 companies joining the Association in the past six months, AGMA now represents more than 465 companies in 30 countries. To find out more about these companies, visit their websites, which are listed below.  To find out more about AGMA and how membership can benefit your company, visit or e-mail

Associacao de Pos-Graduandos do ITA
The Association of Post-graduate of the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA-APG) is the representative body of graduate students and post-graduates from ITA. Graduate students at ITA are enrolled in their programs of postgraduate (Masters, Professional Masters and PhD). It is located in San Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

Banyan Global Technologies
The Banyan Global Technologies is a worldwide solutions provider for the automotive, aerospace, medical, and alternative energy fields. Banyan also offers consulting and design services to assist in the more technical aspects of gear production, from gashing and hobbing to finish grinding applications. Banyan is located in Clinton Township, MI.

BMT Aerospace
BMT Aerospace International NV is a division of the BMT Group NV (Belgium) and has three manufacturing subsidiaries which are located in Romania (BMT AEROSPACE Romania), Belgium (BMT Aerospace – EURAIR) and the United States (BMT Aerospace USA). Manufactured products include flight safety detail gearing, gearbox assemblies, shafts and couplings for fixed and rotary wing aircraft platforms and systems.  BMT is located in Fraser, MI. BMT is a division of the BMT Group NV (Belgium)

Brevini Gear
Brevini Wind USA, now known as Brevini Gear, was set up in 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Brevini Group (Italy) to manufacture and heat treat large-diameter, high-precision gearing and assemble that gearing into large wind turbine gearboxes – testing each one to full power before shipping.   To do that, Brevini Gear has a 138,000 square foot facility centrally located in Yorktown, Indiana equipped with state of the art equipment for gear shaping, grinding, and carburizing as well as measurement & inspection – all focused on large, high-precision gear sets.   The Brevini brand is well known for planetary gear sets and complex drive systems in Europe.

C&F Applied Material    
Formerly with FL Schmidt, Mr. Ivo Botto has started an independent consultancy that is based in China. Mr. Botto has been an active member of the AGMA Materials and Metallurgy Committee.

Chemtura Corporation
Chemtura is one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies.  They are a supplier of products to markets as diverse as agriculture, building and construction, consumer, electrical and electronics, industrial and transportation. They are located in East Hanover, NJ.

China Machinery Industrial Products Co., Ltd.
Located in Beijing, China, CMIPC Metallurgical Foundry is one of the largest casting suppliers in China and currently employs 2,000 people. There is a staff of 118 engineers with 19 having attained the senior engineer status. Total annual output exceeds 30,000 tons of steel and iron castings. The foundry is ISO 9001:2000 certified and provides products for the construction, mining, petro-chemical, railroad, transportation, pump and valve, power generation, steel, agriculture and scrap and solid waste recycling industries.

Columbus McKinnon Corporation
Located in Salem, OH, Columbus McKinnon is a global leader in the material handling industry, supplying products and systems that efficiently and ergonomically move, lift, position or secure materials. Key products include hoists, cranes, actuators, chain and forged attachments. The Company is focused on commercial and industrial applications that require the safety and quality provided by its superior design and engineering know-how.

Dual Talleres Metal Mecanica, S.A. de C.V.
Dual Workshops Metal Mechanics SA de CV is a Mexican company dedicated to providing solutions to the industry through the maintenance, repair, fabrication and reconstruction of machinery, equipment and industrial plants. Founded in 1982 as Dual Engineering and Technical, as a manufacturer of replacement parts or components of industrial equipment whose original manufacturer no longer exists. In 1985 it was established as Dual Workshops Metal Mechanics SA de CV.

EES KISSsoft GmbH (EES) was formed in 2008, and is located near Zurich, Switzerland.  Besides the engineering & consultancy services, EES acts as a distributor of KISSsoft software in Asia.

Located in Mexico City, Mexico. Grupo CEA SA DE CV manufactures and sells gearboxes and speed increasers and gears.

Hamilton’s Industrial Machine Shop
Since 1994 Hamlton’s Industrial Machine Shop has strived to bring the best of mechanical manufacturing technology to Jamaica. They are located in Montego Bay.

iRobot designs and builds robots that make a difference. iRobot was founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists with the vision of making practical robots a reality. They are located in New Bedford, MA.

Mackeil Ispat & Forging Limited
Located on Kolkata, India. Established in 2009, Mackeil Ispat and Forge  Ltd , an open die forge plant with world-class forging, heat treatment facilities, offers the customers a glimpse of a 21st century manufacturing unit. MIFL factory covers an area of 33 acres (132,000m2) of which  14,200 m² are covered by factory sheds.

Mondragon Goi Eskola Politeknikoa JMA
Located in Arrasate-Mondragon, Gipuzkoa, Spain. MGEP is a co-operative integrated into both MONDRAGON Corporation and Mondragón Unibertsitatea (the University of Mondragón) and is the legal owner of Mondragón Unibertsitatea’s Faculty Of Engineering. Its principal activities are training and research, development and innovation.

Northrop Grumman Corporation
The Marine Systems Division is a business unit of the company’s Electronic Systems sector, a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense and commercial electronics and systems including airborne radar; navigation systems; electronic countermeasures; precision weapons; airspace management systems; communications systems; space sensors; marine and naval systems; government systems; and logistics services

PowerTrain Technologies
We provide our clients with well-designed gear-related assemblies that can be economically manufactured to obtain the desired performance and life cycle.  By combining experienced power transmission engineers with state of the art software and analysis tools, PowerTrain Technologies delivers transmissions that are functional, affordable, and designed to last. Located in Clemmons, NC.

PVZ Gears
PVZ Gears was formed by Piet van Zyl, a Transmission Design Engineer, with a wide range of experience in Formula 1 gear and gearbox design, as well as off-road vehicle gearbox design and the design of quiet gears for road car and aerospace applications. PVZ Gears will be working with Dontyne Systems who supply gear design and analysis software as well as consultancy.

Shuster Corporation
Shuster plans, creates and delivers precision engineered bearings from the most simple to the most complex. Shuster is an international company working with both the smallest of companies as well as the largest corporations in the world.  Shuster has, through its 90 years of experience, been recognized for its extraordinary ability to deliver the highest level of engineering solutions at reasonable costs.

Specialty Steel Treating, Inc.
Located in Fraser, MI, Specialty Steel Treating, founded 1956, has been performing precision heat treating for more than 50 years. Since our inception, SST puts quality and customer service at the forefront of our business philosophy. With customers in mind, SST has four operating facilities with one distribution center in Michigan, and one operating facility in Connecticut, resulting in over 200,000 square feet across all facilities.

Spencer Pettus Machine Company
Our facility was strategically arranged with the goal of meeting our customer’s manufacturing needs. With minimal outsourcing, we keep manufacturing costs down and ensure great quality and delivery for our customers. From custom cut gears to gearbox rebuilds, precision machined parts to fabrication projects, our diversity of manufacturing, quality, and customer service has separated us from our competition.  They are located 15 miles west of Charlotte, NC.