Challenges are still ahead, but AGMA’s resources are here to help

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There are many things the manufacturing industry struggled — and still struggles — to control. The ever-growing workforce GAP (leaving thousands of jobs unfilled), the uncertainty of the supply chain (providing companies with material shortages and product delays), and the changing trade and tariff laws that keep businesses in the dark regarding financial forecasting. These three key areas are why AGMA has made sure to grow its offerings to provide members and the industry with answers.

“In the near term, factories are having a hard time hiring just as the economy reopens. The shortage is exacerbating order backlogs and getting in the way of the sector’s otherwise stellar expansion.” www.Businessinsider.Com/economic-recovery-manufacturing-worker-shortage-diversity-training-labor-market-study-2021-5

Manufacturing is impossible without a workforce. You can bring in automation and temporary hires, but nothing will keep you on task like a full plant floor of operators. Numbers have been slowly going down for some time due to a generational shift and lack of exposure to the opportunities out there. However, the pandemic exacerbated these numbers to drop quickly, and it couldn’t have been at a worse time. Our No. 1 challenge — as stated by our membership — is developing and retaining a workforce.

AGMA has hosted many subject matter experts to share their tips on how to diversify their hiring strategies and to make their companies more appealing. The AGMA Foundation developed an incredible set of resources (the Get Into Gears Toolkit) that manufacturers were able to use at job fairs and online to attract the latest industry talent. Webinars, articles, blogs, and statistics have been shared at no cost with members to provide the information they need to stay on top this issue. We have a long way to go to find the right solution, but with the help of our partnerships and committee members, AGMA and its members are looking forward to 2022 to help bring more people into manufacturing.

“Global supply-chain bottlenecks are feeding on one another, with shortages of components and surging prices of critical raw materials squeezing manufacturers around the world.” — Global Supply-Chain Problems Escalate, Threatening Economic Recovery – WSJ

The second side of this crazy double-edged sword is, even if you have the workers, some of the work cannot be done because the parts or supplies are not available. COVID-19 caused an incredible issue for manufacturers getting the shipments and materials needed to complete projects. Many members have expressed that much of their work in 2020 was finishing a backlog, but that new business was going to be difficult to get done on time — costing companies millions of dollars.

AGMA worked closely with the Board of Directors and committee members to pinpoint some of the main issues causing them stress. With presentations at our SRN, MPT Expo, and moderated, member-only roundtable session at the 2022 AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, members have been getting the information needed to develop their strategic plans with the supply chain in mind.

“Current concerns about the trading system focus both on areas where multilateral trade rules exist but where fair international competition is hindered by continuing high barriers and state support, and areas where trade rule-making has not kept pace with changes to the global economy. Both these ‘gaps in the rulebook’ are highlighted in calls for reform and modernization of the World Trade Organization (WTO), across both its monitoring and transparency and its negotiating functions.” — Current trade challenges and opportunities – OECD

Quality trade information has become so important to stay on top of all changing rules and tariffs. Keeping up with lawmakers is like nailing Jell-O to a wall, and staying on top of the latest regulations is a full-time job. That is why AGMA has made sure to bring the best legal experts on domestic and international trade from our partnered law firm. We have webinars each month that are free for everyone. They discuss USMCA, Section 232 and 301 tariffs, the “Buy American” initiative, and so much more. Additionally, the attorneys we work with come to many of our in-person events to offer onsite answers to those important questions that can affect members.

The above three challenges are not going to go away December 31. In fact, we might see things get a little worse before they get better. AGMA, its team of dedicated staff, the incredible Board of Directors, committee members, and volunteers are going to make sure that members have the information they need to face these challenges. AGMA doesn’t just develop programming, it lets the leaders of the industry, the members, take the driver’s seat and curate the experience of all that is offered. If you aren’t part of this team, make sure to join as soon as possible.

Upcoming Events

Education

Fundamentals of Gear Design and Analysis
January 18-20, 2022 | Clearwater Beach, Florida

Gain a solid and fundamental understanding of gear geometry, types and arrangements, and design principles. Starting with the basic definitions of gears, conjugate motion, and the Laws of Gearing, learn the tools needed to understand the interrelation and coordinated motion operating within gear pairs and multi-gear trains. Basic gear-system design process and gear measurement and inspection techniques will also be explained. In addition, the fundamentals of understanding the step-wise process of working through the iterative design process required to generate a gear pair will be reviewed. Learn the steps and issues involved in design refinement and some manufacturing considerations. An explanation of basic gear-measurement techniques, how measurement equipment and test machines implement these techniques, and how to interpret the results from these basic measurements will also be covered.

Analytical Gear Chart Interpretation
February 10, 2022

This course is an introduction to the methodology of analytical gear inspection and the evaluation and interpretation of the resulting data. The application of this information to identify and correct manufacturing errors will be explored. Additionally, it reviews chart interpretation and applies inspection data to understand the causes and cures of manufacturing errors. Many chart examples are used to understand cause and effect. 

Detailed Gear Design
February 22-24, 2022

There is a distinct difference between “designing” a gear and “optimizing” a gear design. In this course, we will address the optimization process via an understanding of those factors beyond basic bending and pitting ratings. Optimization may focus on load capacity, economy of production, or minimization of overall gear-system envelope. In this course, we will learn how to improve gear designs via optimization and gain new insight into concepts presented through illustrations and demonstrations. Explore all factors that go into good gear design from life cycle, load, torque, tooth, optimization, and evaluating consequences. 

Networking

2022 Fall Technical Meeting Call for Papers
Deadline: January 14, 2022

It is required that all drafts of your paper be submitted electronically via the online portal as a Microsoft Word document. Read AGMA’s Guidelines for the Preparation of FTM Technical Papers to assist you in the preparation of your paper. Note: Please review the guidelines carefully even if you have previously presented an FTM paper, as various items have changed. Take a deep dive into the gear industry at AGMA’s Fall Technical Meeting (FTM). This meeting brings together top researchers from across the globe who will provide the latest information on their peer-reviewed gear industry research. Network with industry experts, academics, and engineers; ask your burning questions; and see what is in the future of this industry.

2022 AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting
March 31-April 2, 2022 | Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

The AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting is back and will be the event of the year. Our industries have been through so much since we last gathered, and it is important to get together once again to further the future of our workforce, supply chain, emerging technologies, and businesses. Join your peers for a three-day event that will get you out of the office, with a fresh perspective, to hear from subject matter experts while networking at a luxurious resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to connect with other top-level executives and share your perspective on how to drive the industry forward.

Calendar of Events

December 28 — Robotics & Automation Committee Meeting — WebEx

January 11 and 18 — Metals and Metallurgy Committee Meeting — WebEx

January 18-20 — Fundamentals of Gear Design and Analysis — Clearwater Beach, Florida

January 20 — Gear Accuracy Committee Meeting — WebEx

February 9-10 — TDEC — Orlando, Florida

February 10 — Analytical Gear Chart Interpretation — WebEx

February 22-24 — Detailed Gear Design — WebEx

February 23 — Aerospace Committee Meeting — WebEx

February 24 — Metals and Metallurgy Committee Meeting — WebEx