CEO Eric Treiber walks out onto the factory floor of Chicago White Metal Casting. Workers are busy making aluminum, zinc and magnesium metal parts for cars, swimming pools and farm equipment

The floor’s a lot louder than it was a few years ago. At Chicago White Metal Casting, revenue is up 4 percent from 2010 — and that year was better than the one before.

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US Factory Output Up In December

The AP (1/19, Wagner) reports, “US factory output surged in December by the most in a year.”

Bloomberg News (1/19, Homan) reports, “Output climbed 0.9 percent last month, the biggest gain since December 2010, according to” the Federal Reserve. “Gains in consumer and business spending, combined with lean inventories, may prompt factories to continue to boost payrolls and hours, bolstering economic growth. Additionally, more demand from emerging markets may help shield American industry from a slowdown in exports to Europe as the region’s financial crisis and a weaker euro threaten to restrain sales.”

On its website, MSNBC (1/19, Schoen) reports, “It remains to be seen whether US manufacturers can keep the momentum going amid signs that the global economy may be headed for a slowdown. Much of the fresh demand for US products is coming from overseas markets, where growth rates are higher than the roughly 2.5 percent domestic growth pace. While other recent data seem to show the pace of manufacturing holding up in the first weeks of 2012, most forecasters expect to see that slowing later this year.”

IndustryWeek (1/19, Cable) reports, “Preliminary indications from January regional manufacturing surveys point to a strong start for US manufacturing in 2012,” but Paul Edelstein, director of financial economics for IHS Global Insight, “worries that the global economy could hold the sector back. ‘The concern is that with China’s latest GDP report showing slower growth and the eurozone slipping back into recession, the US consumer could be the ‘last man standing’ for US manufacturing this year,’ Edelstein said.”

OSHA Targets Die Casters in Washington State

This week Washington State Dept of Labor & Industries launched an OSHA Primary Metal Inspection Program targeted at manufacturers. This piggy backs onto the program launched at the federal level by OSHA in May 2011 [OSHA Compliance Directive –]

Basically, this is a wall-to-wall inspection program designed for the metals industry (SIC Code 33). Steel mills, smelters, and foundries have been the main focus at the national level. The federal OSHA NEP for Primary Metal did NOT target die casters.

The targeted industries being used in Washington state does include the die casting industry. Here is the link to the state directive –

NADCA offers a safety training online class at OR If you would like a refresher webinar on Safety for your employees and need safety training certification for their files, please contact Daniel Twarog at NADCA – to discuss.

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