March 2023 News

NetPlus report: 77% of distributor members expect growth in 2023
NetPlus Alliance distributor members remain optimistic about 2023 full-year revenue, despite signs the economy may be slowing, according to the NetPlus Alliance Industry Outlook, a quarterly report based on a survey of NetPlus members. More than three-quarters of NetPlus distributors in the survey think their business will grow by more than 3% this year.

IRS to businesses: Beware of spearphishing
The Internal Revenue Service has warned tax professionals and businesses that they remain a top target for identity thieves and face threats from common scams on this year’s IRS Dirty Dozen list. As part of the annual Dirty Dozen tax scams effort, the IRS and the Security Summit partners are urging tax professionals and businesses to be on the lookout for a variety of suspicious email requests.

Counterfeiters of industrial cutting tools raided in Middle East
Hypertherm Associates, a manufacturer of industrial cutting systems and software, report successful raids of two connected counterfeiting operations in the United Arab Emirates that lead to the seizure of hundreds of counterfeit Hypertherm HPR consumables.

New key industry director at ERIKS NA
ERIKS North America, a distributor of industrial solutions, has appointed Rich Holderman as key industry director.

Applied Industrial Technologies names new general counsel, secretary
Applied Industrial Technologies has appointed Jon S. Ploetz has as vice president – general counsel & secretary. In this role, Ploetz will lead the company’s global legal affairs, governance and compliance activities, ESG efforts, and corporate secretary duties.

Kimball Midwest honors centennial with charitable gift
National industrial supplier Kimball Midwest continued its centennial celebration last week with events at its distribution center in Arlington. The company is holding a series of events to honor its 100th anniversary throughout 2023.

Fed revises industrial production – growth was slightly lower
On March 28, the Federal Reserve said it revised its index of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity and capacity utilization. On net, revisions to total IP pushed its growth rates slightly lower in recent years; the rates of change for total IP have revised no more than 0.6 percentage point in any year. Similarly, the utilization rates for total industry are little changed from previous estimates.

Production-related indicators fall to –0.19 in February
Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) fell to –0.19 in February from +0.23 in January. All four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made negative contributions in February, and three categories deteriorated from January.

Timken reports 9% rise in 2022 sales
The Timken Company, a global supplier of engineered bearings and industrial motion products, reported record sales of $4.5 billion in its 2022 Annual Report, a 9 percent increase versus 2021. 

Winsupply names 2022 vendors of the year
Winsupply Inc., one of the nation's largest wholesalers, has named its Vendors of the Year in each industry category. Allied Group won top vendor in the industrial category.

AD hosts spring network meeting
AD members came together to collaborate and network during the 2023 Industrial & Safety – U.S. Spring Network Meeting March 13–15 in Tampa, Florida. The meeting gives members opportunities to connect with one another, share best practices, and hear from AD leaders about divisional priorities.

Standards update published for valves and fittings industry
The Manufacturers Standardization Society (MSS) of the valve and fittings industry has published the following important update: Errata Sheet for MSS SP-25-2018, Standard Marking System for Valves, Fittings, Flanges, and Unions.

Starrett names new sales and marketing director
The L.S. Starrett Company, a global manufacturer of precision measuring tools and gages, metrology systems and more, has promoted Michael Connor to sales and marketing director North America, industrial products.

YOY cutting tool orders jump nearly 28%
By Christopher Chidzik
January 2023 U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $196.2 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. The total was up 4.2% from December’s $188.4 million and up 22.7% when compared with the $160.0 million reported for January 2022.

ITR Economics partners with FocusCFO
ITR Economics announced a new partnership with FocusCFO, a provider of embedded fractional CFO services. Founded in Columbus, Ohio, in 2001, FocusCFO serves a wide range of small and medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries.

From NASA to the world – Streamlight celebrates 50 years in high-performance lighting
Streamlight Inc., a provider of high-performance lighting and weapon light/laser sighting devices, is marking 50 years of manufacturing high-quality flashlight products. Since its founding in 1973, Streamlight has grown from a small company with a single product to a global manufacturer with a broad range of high-performance lights for law enforcement, military, firefighting, industrial, automotive, outdoor, and DIY users.

Enerpac Tool Group reports fiscal Q2 core sales growth
Enerpac Tool Group Corp. reported fiscal second quarter net sales of $142 million, with a 6% year-over-year increase in core sales, adding that the strengthening of the U.S. dollar reduced sales by 2% year over year.

Turtle hosts supplier expo, launches cybersecurity business
Turtle, a large privately-held electrical and industrial distributor, convened more than 50 manufacturers of energy-efficient innovations at Turtle Rethink 2023: A Supplier Expo on March 21.

AD owner/members elect 2023 board of directors
The owner/members of AD have elected three directors to its board of directors: François Deschênes, president & CEO of Deschênes Group Inc. is newly elected, and Chrissy Nardini, president, American Metals Supply, and Donald D. Slominski, Jr., executive chairman of the board at McNaughton-McKay Electric Company, were reelected.

Alliance for American Manufacturing: ITC report affirms tariff benefits
The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) released a report March 15 on the economic impact of Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports. Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul praised the policy in a statement.

AFFLINK adds new member IPS Packaging & Automation
AFFLINK, a global supply chain management provider, has added IPS Packaging & Automation (IPS) as its newest member.

Michelin, Hiab partner on MOFFETT forklift tire
Michelin and Hiab have announced a joint partnership to place the MICHELIN X TWEEL TMF tire on the MOFFETT M8 NX and PRINCETON PB 55+ two-way truck-mounted forklift models as original equipment beginning April 1.

Oceaneering Mobile Robotics adds U.S. manufacturing site
Oceaneering announced March 20 that its Mobile Robotics group has added an extra production campus in Orlando, Florida.

Alro Steel celebrates 75 years
Alro, which includes Alro Industrial Supply, is celebrating 75 years in business. The company is headquartered in Jackson, Michigan, and serves 15 states with over 75 locations and more than 3,000 employees.

Distribution Solutions Group files shelf registration statement
Distribution Solutions Group, Inc., a multi-platform distribution company providing distribution solutions to the maintenance, repair & operations (MRO), original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and industrial technologies markets announced March 17 it has filed a universal shelf registration statement on Form S-3 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to register one or more future offerings of up to $500 million of equity and debt securities.

MasterMover partners on AGVs with BlueBotics 
MasterMover, a global manufacturer of electric tug and tow solutions, has partnered with vehicle automation supplier BlueBotics to provide ANT navigation technologies for MasterMover’s range of automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

White Cap awarded Top Workplace 
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has named White Cap the Top Workplaces 2023 award for the second consecutive year.

Stellar Industrial Supply wins supplyFORCE award
MRO distributor Stellar Industrial Supply has been named the supplyFORCE Awards for Excellence–Member of the Year 2022, an award it also won in 2013 and 2016.

AD partners with Philadelphia-area food nonprofits
AD associates from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico participated in a giving back event on March 9 supporting Share Food Program and Sharing Excess, two Philadelphia-area nonprofit organizations providing fresh food and nonperishable items to the local community experiencing food insecurity.

Live from ConExpo: New data says equipment manufacturing rebounded in '22
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) released the latest economic impact report for the equipment manufacturing industry ahead of the organization’s largest trade show CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023, highlighting the industry’s return to growth and increased output following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acme Tools opens Twin Cities distribution center
Acme Tools, an online retailer of tools and equipment, has opened a new distribution center in Burnsville, Minnesota, to support its growing e-commerce division and better serve its increasing base of e-commerce customers throughout the U.S. This distribution center will control the majority of truck shipments and larger parcel shipments to customers.

OTR plans for Monterrey, Mexico facility
OTR Engineered Solutions (OTR), a provider of off-the-road tires, wheels, assemblies, and services for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the aftermarket, will initiate plans to open a new facility near Monterrey, Mexico, in late 2023 to early 2024.

QED opens new Colorado branch
Quality Electric Distribution (QED), a Sonepar Company, has opened its new Monument, Colorado, branch location. Founded in 1987, QED serves residential and commercial contractors, industrial facilities, and OEM businesses through 13 branch operations across Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada.

Orders 17% over a typical January
New orders of manufacturing technology totaled $355.6 million in January 2023, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. January 2023 orders were down 17% from December 2022 and down nearly 20% from January 2022.

Precision Aviation Group acquires PTB Group
Atlanta-based Precision Aviation Group, Inc. (PAG), a provider of products and value-added services to the aerospace and defense industries, has acquired PTB Group (PTB). 

Distribution Solutions Group reports Q4 '22 GAAP revenue spike of 154%
Distribution Solutions Group, Inc., a multi-platform distribution company serving the maintenance, repair & operations (MRO), original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and industrial technologies markets, announced its GAAP revenue for the last three months of 2022 was $328.9 million, an increase of $199.6 million or 154.5%, which included $60.2 million of additional revenue from companies acquired in 2021 and 2022 other than Lawson Products.

Fastenal names new executive VP human resources
Fastenal Company has appointed Noelle J. Oas, JD, as executive vice president of human resources. She will oversee several teams that fall under the human resources umbrella: benefits, insurance, payroll, diversity and compliance, and the Fastenal School of Business (the company’s employee training and development division).

Allied Motion delivers record annual gross margin
Allied Motion Technologies Inc., a designer and manufacturer of precision and specialty controlled motion products and solutions for the global market, reported annual revenue up 25% to a record $503.0 million, driven by strong demand in Industrial and Aerospace & Defense markets and incremental sales from acquisitions. 

ALL offering announces surplus parts for sale
ALL Erection & Crane Rental, an authorized new equipment dealer for Kobelco, Skyjack, and Maeda, is promoting the availability of its surplus parts as part of a sales growth focus by newly-appointed Parts Sales Manager Jordan Nessmith. ALL sells used, reconditioned, and surplus parts from top manufacturers straight from its own large inventory.

Supply chain leaders tour ABCO
ABCO, a provider of warehouse design and warehouse automation, hosted the New York/New Jersey chapter of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals on March 2 at its Carlstadt facility. The company showcased its technologies to about 30 of the region's supply chain management thought leaders.

Martin taps VP sales, fastening 
Martin Inc. has appointed Kevin Cozine as the new vice president of sales for Martin Fastening Solutions. He will be responsible for expanding the market share of Martin Fastening Solutions and collaborating with the sales team across all of Martin's lines of business.

Manufactured goods orders drop 1.6%
New orders for manufactured goods in January, down two of the last three months, decreased $8.9 billion or 1.6 percent to $542.8 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. This followed a 1.7 percent December increase.

February 47.7% PMI shows manufacturing contracting
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in February for the fourth consecutive month following a 28-month period of growth, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

Franklin Electric launches women’s network for employees
Franklin Electric Co., Inc. has formed a new employee resource group (ERG) dedicated to providing an avenue for women to grow professionally and personally through education, networking, and advocacy.

Fastenal reports 9.6% sales growth for February
Fastenal released its February 2023 net sales of slightly over $582 million, a 9.6% increase over the same period of 2022. Daily sales were reported at just above $29 million.

CRC Industries releases CSR report, earns EcoVadis Medal
CRC Industries, Inc., a global manufacturer of specialty products and formulations for maintenance and repair professionals and do-it-yourselfers, has been awarded an EcoVadis Bronze Medal in recognition of its continuous Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability efforts. The company also published a comprehensive CSR report highlighting its work related to ethical business practices, environmental sustainability, human rights, diversity and inclusion, and philanthropy.

Turtle & Hughes names vice president
Turtle & Hughes' Integrated Supply (THIS) division has promoted Blake Varbero to vice president of business development, responsible for leading the division’s national sales efforts.

anyseals USA makes two leadership appointments
anyseals Inc., a wholesale industrial sealing supplier, expanded its leadership team with the appointment of Scott Rassett as CEO. In this role, Scott will lead anyseals operations in the U.S. with a focus on enhancing and further developing the company’s sales organization, customer base, and management team.

Grainger subsidiary appoints new president, an e-commerce company that sells millions of supplies, equipment and tools to small businesses nationwide, has promoted Chief Revenue Officer Sandy Mattinson to president, effective April 1, 2023. Her predecessor Kevin Weadick has been president since 2017.

January construction spending jumps 5.7% YOY
The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the value of total construction put in place for January 2023 was a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,825.7 billion, 0.1 percent (±0.7 percent)* below the revised December estimate of $1,827.5 billion. The January figure is 5.7 percent (±1.2 percent) above the January 2022 estimate of $1,726.6 billion.

cargo-partner launches services Asia to Western Europe 
cargo-partner, an international transport and logistics provider has expanded its range of LCL solutions by introducing new weekly sea freight consolidation services from China and India to Rotterdam, Netherlands, serving various destinations in Western Europe.

Four suppliers join NAHAD
NAHAD – The Association for Hose and Accessory Distribution announced four new supplier members to its ranks: KYKLO, Tubes International, United Hose Inc., and Transfer Oil.

Imperial Dade Canada buys 3 companies
Imperial Dade, a distributor of foodservice packaging, printing papers and janitorial supplies, has acquired Servicorp Industrial Supplies, Inc., Solutions Sherby, and Action Paper & Packaging.

Emerson virtual conference offers free access to sessions 
Registration is now open for the Emerson Exchange Virtual Edition 2023 that offers content curated from the in-person Emerson Exchange Americas conference held last October in Dallas. The virtual event is free and open to users in all industries.