February 2024 News

Bartlett Bearing plans seventh Las Vegas location
Bartlett Bearing Co. Inc., an independent authorized bearing distributor, is adding a seventh location in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is scheduled to open in the second quarter of this year.

Moblico, HawkSearch roll out AI-driven mobile product search for distributors
Bridgeline Digital, Inc., a provider of marketing software, announced its partnership with Moblico, a leader in mobile engagement solutions for wholesale distributors, providing mobile messaging and custom branded mobile apps.

Franklin Electric ranked among 'Best Places to Work in Indiana'
Franklin Electric Co., Inc. has been named to the Indiana Chamber’s 2024 list of Best Places to Work in Indiana.

Martin Supply celebrates 90 years in industrial distribution
Martin Supply, a leading provider of custom-tailored solutions for maintenance, repair, operation, and production supplies (MROP) in the industrial and construction markets, announced its 90th anniversary.

Big drop in transportation equipment leads latest durable goods decline
New orders for manufactured durable goods in January, down three of the last four months, decreased $18.0 billion or 6.1% to $276.7 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced.

Trucking industry applauds Wisconsin lawsuit abuse reform
The trucking industry praised the Wisconsin State Legislature for passing a commonsense reform to the state’s civil litigation system that would cap non-economic damage awards at $1 million. The industry says capping these subjective, nonmonetary losses is critical to ensuring fairness and balance in civil litigation and will deter abusive and frivolous lawsuits that have perverted the system into a profit center for the plaintiffs’ bar.

Digital leaders convene at AD eCommerce & Marketing Summit
Over 500 digital and marketing experts from AD owner/members, suppliers, and ecommerce partners participated in the 2024 AD eCommerce & Marketing Summit in San Antonio February 12-14. The week was filled with panel discussions, workshops, networking, and collaborative opportunities.

AMH calls for improved safety in non-standard lifts
All Material Handling (AMH) believes that too many non-traditional lifts are still taking place using the wrong hoist rings and eyebolts, creating unnecessary safety risks.

KYKLO rolls out new website to drive digitalization
KYKLO, a leading of digital, content and commerce solutions for distributors and manufacturers, announced it has launched a new website:

Distribution Strategy Group hires chief customer officer
Distribution Strategy Group (DSG), a provider of expert content and specialized analytics for the wholesale distribution industry, announced Brian Hopkins has joined the company as chief customer officer.

Texas A&M offers STAFDA scholarship opportunity
Texas A&M University, College Station, regularly participates in the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association’s Annual Convention & Trade Show by bringing their top construction and industrial distribution students to join the three-day program. The University is now reciprocating the partnership by offering STAFDA members two unique educational opportunities.

Sellars recognized with Top Impact Award
Real Leaders, an organization dedicated to inspiring the future of business, has recognized Sellars Absorbent Materials as a 2024 Top Impact Company.

PTDA welcomes three new members
The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) has welcomed three new members, including Pacific International Bearing, Inc.

Vallen to acquire Wesco Integrated Supply
Vallen Distribution, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Wesco Integrated Supply (WIS) from Wesco International.

National Ladder Safety Month is coming
National Ladder Safety Month is observed next month, as it is every March. Begun by the American Ladder Safety Institute (ALI), the event raises awareness about ladder safety and encourages employers and their workers to engage in annual ladder safety training. In industrial settings, ladders and climbing are often integral to certain job functions, so safe practices are critical to success.

Prominent ransomware gang shut down
LockBit, the most prominent ransomware cartel of the past several years, had its dark web domain seized. Law enforcement agencies from the UK, U.S, and Europol issued an official announcement on the gang'' bust via LockBit's leak site. 

Motion Industries to buy two fluid power companies
Motion Industries Inc., a distributor of maintenance, repair, and operation replacement parts, and a provider of industrial technology solutions, signed a definitive purchase agreement to acquire the operating assets of Perfetto Manufacturing and SER Hydraulics.

US cutting tool orders up 6.9% year to date
December 2023 U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $187.9 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the Cutting Tool Market Report collaboration, was down 7.3% from November’s $202.7 million and down 0.3% when compared with the $188.4 million reported for December 2022. With a year-to-date total of $2.45 billion, 2023 is up 6.9% when compared to the same time period in 2022.

Enpro sales decreases offset by Sealing Technologies' record profitability
Enpro Inc. announced full-year 2023 sales of $1.06 billion, a 3.6% decrease. Organic sales decreased 3.3%. Fourth quarter sales of $249.1 million represent an 8.4% decrease, and organic sales decreased 9.0%.

Ingersoll Rand Q4 revenues up 12%
Ingersoll Rand Inc., a global provider of mission-critical flow creation and industrial solutions, reported a strong finish in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Airgas Named to Newsweek’s America’s Greatest Workplaces 2023
Airgas, an Air Liquide company, has been featured on two of Newsweek’s prominent lists: America’s Greatest Workplaces for 2023 and America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity 2024.

2023 manufacturing technology orders beat expectations
By Chris Chidzek
Just like the larger U.S. economy fared better than many predicted at the beginning of 2023, orders of manufacturing technology, measured by the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, outperformed even the best expectations.

Manufacturing output declines in January
Industrial production edged down 0.1% in January after recording no change in December, according to data released from the Federal Reserce Board of Governors.

ADI recognizes key suppliers
ADI Global Distribution, a wholesale distributor of security, AV, and low-voltage products, announced the recipients of its 2023 Supplier Awards – the company selected Digital Watchdog as Supplier of the Year for North America.

MRC Global posts 1% sales increase over '22
MRC Global’s fourth quarter 2023 gross profit was $153 million, or 19.9% of sales, as compared to gross profit of $158 mil-lion, or 18.2% of sales, in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Wesco reports Q4 net sales down 2% YOY
Wesco International reported fourth quarter net sales down 2% YOY. Its full-year record net sales were up 5% YOY, and organic sales were up 3%.

Blackline Safety wins deal with major U.S. energy company
Calgary-based Blackline Safety Corp., a provider of connected safety technology, announced a four-year contract valued at $2.7 million with a major U.S. upstream energy company headquartered in Houston, Texas.

GreenStory Global partners with Orbizorb
GreenStory Global, a provider of innovative products with a focus on environmental sustainability, announced its strategic partnership with Orbizorb, known for the "Best Working Wipes" line of products.

CSV Marketing promotes Oberholtzer
CSV Marketing Inc., a manufacturers’ representative agency offering a diverse array of high-quality, industrial and safety products, announced the promotion of Beck Oberholtzer as vice president, sales and operations.

CFO change at Enerpac Tool Group
Enerpac Tool Group Corp. announced that Anthony Colucci is stepping down as executive vice president and chief financial officer to assume an executive role at a private equity firm. He will remain as CFO through March 1 to assist with the transition.

AD owner/members set new sales record in 2023
AD is reporting a record result for 2023 in owner/member sales, which increased 5% over prior year to $78.9 billion.

Kennametal innovation named Edison Award finalist
Kennametal Inc. announced it has been named an Edison Award finalist for its industry-first, additive manufactured cutting tool designed with KENionic technology.

RBC Bearings posts 6% net sales increase
Third quarter net sales of $373.9 million increased 6.3% over last year for RBC Bearings Inc.'s third quarter of fiscal 2024. Aerospace/Defense was up 22.5% and Industrial dropped 0.6%.

Ingersoll Rand receives top rankings for sustainability
Ingersoll Rand Inc. has been recognized as a leader in sustainability with top rankings from CDP, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), and MorningstarSustainalytics.

Snap-on Q4-23 sales rise 3.5% over Q4-22
Snap-on Inc. announced 2023 operating results for the fourth quarter and full year. Net sales of $1,196.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 represented an increase of $40.7 million, or 3.5%, from 2022 levels, reflecting a $26.1 million, or 2.2%, organic gain, $5.5 million of acquisition-related sales, and $9.1 million of favorable foreign currency translation.

Kennametal reports highest first-half cash since fiscal 2016
Kennametal Inc. reported results for its fiscal 2024 second quarter ended December 31, 2023, with sales of $495 million, compared to $497 million in the prior year quarter, and earnings per diluted share (EPS) of $0.29, compared with $0.27 in the prior year quarter. Adjusted EPS was $0.30 in the current quarter, whereas EPS was not adjusted in the prior year quarter.

Power Tool Institute launches miter saw safety video
The Power Tool Institute (PTI), an organization for power tool safety resources, information, and education, has launched a new online safety video designed to help users better understand the safe way to use miter saws.

NAW urges swift passage of border security bill
The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) expressed strong support for the recently released bipartisan Senate bill on border security and aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

Fastenal grows January sales 6.4%
Fastenal reported a year-over-year 6.4% net sales increase for the month of January totalling $6.3 million. 

Federal Reserve Board survey: industrial lending standards tighten
A survey in January of senior loan officers on bank lending practices shows business loan standards tightened amid weaker demand for commercial and industrial (C&I) loans to firms of all sizes over the fourth quarter. Banks also reported tighter standards and weaker demand for all commercial real estate (CRE) loan categories.

Arvato expands with Kentucky DC
Arvato, a service provider in the field of supply chain management and e-commerce, has expanded its network in the U.S. with a new warehouse with approximately 970,000 square feet of space in the greater Louisville, Kentucky area.

Zenex adds manager to aerosol technical team
Zenex International, a provider of private label aerosol, hand soaps, and liquid product solutions for industrial, automotive, janitorial, and screen-printing applications, announced the addition of Allen Price II as product category manager, aerosols.

AD Chairmans' Council convenes in Palm Beach
A meeting of the AD Chairmans’ Council was held on January 24-25 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Container rates surge amid the Red Sea crisis
In response to the escalating Red Sea crisis, Container xChange, an online container logistics platform, has released a comprehensive report detailing the far-reaching effects on container trading and leasing rates worldwide.

Singer Industrial acquires Hose Tech USA
On January 31, Singer Industrial joined forces with Hose Tech USA.

Manufacturing employment edges up in January
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 353,000 in January, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported February 2.

IDCO welcomes Royal Brass & Hose as newest member
IDCO, a cooperative for independent distributors specializing in hose, fittings, gaskets, rubber materials, and related products, announced Royal Brass & Hose as its newest member.

Hyson adds advanced turning machine to Brecksville, Ohio, facility
Hyson, a business of Barnes Group Inc. and provider of nitrogen gas systems for metal forming operations, announced the upgrade of its Brecksville, Ohio, facility with two new machine tools to provide faster and more diverse gas spring solutions.

Manufacturing PMI at 49.1%, new orders growing
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in January for the 15th consecutive month following one month of “unchanged” status (a PMI reading of 50%) and 28 months of growth prior to that, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

Suncor Stainless appoints regional account manager
Suncor Stainless Inc., a manufacturer for stainless steel hardware in the industrial, marine, government, architectural, OEM and commercial industries, has named Sam Pegram Southeast account manager.

Grainger sales up 5% for Q4 '23
Grainger reported results for the fourth quarter and full year 2023. Sales of $4.0 billion in the fourth quarter 2023 increased 5.1%, or 5.5% on a daily, organic constant currency basis versus the fourth quarter of 2022.

ERIKS North America rebrands as LGG Industrial
ERIKS North America, a provider of fluid handling, sealing, and material conveyance solutions, announced it is rebranding to LGG Industrial.

December construction spending up 1%
Total construction spending during December 2023 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $2,096.0 billion, 0.9% (± 0.8%) above the revised November estimate of $2,078.3 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The December figure is 13.9% (±1.5%) above the December 2022 estimate of $1,840.9 billion.

Ingersoll Rand acquires dryer, chiller manufacturer
Ingersoll Rand Inc., a global provider of mission-critical flow creation and industrial solutions, closed on the acquisition of Friulair S.r.l. (“Friulair”) in an all-cash upfront purchase price of approximately $146 million.

Grainger to open new distribution center near Houston
Grainger announced plans to open a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center (DC) in Hockley, Texas in 2026.

Parker Hannifin sales increase 3%
Parker Hannifin Corp., a global provider of motion and control technologies, reported record sales of $4.8 billion for its fiscal 2024 second quarter, a 3% increase compared with $4.7 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2023.

NIBCO appoints Webstone general manager
NIBCO Inc. has promoted Lisa Lyon to Webstone general manager, with responsibility for overseeing all aspects of operations for the Webstone business unit of NIBCO.