The State of Manufacturing

Is it the end of manufacturing as we know it or the beginning of a new wave industrial revival? Both opinions have been offered as fact very often in the past few months as the American economy gets back on its feet, so which should you believe?

The fact of the matter is that no one can really know for sure where the manufacturing economy is headed, but we can say for certain that some areas of the country are seeing strength in their industrial sectors. USA Today recently published an article naming the top ten states for manufacturing, and Ohio (our home state) came in at number 7. Ohio had the fifth largest manufacturing output in 2012, totaling $87.2 billion dollars, with a large chunk of the output coming from metals, rubber, and plastics businesses. It’s also one of the top states in the country for manufacturing employment with more than 658,000 jobs; only California and Texas had more.

While some economist argue that manufacturers are a dying breed, it is clear that many industrial businesses are evolving with new technology to provide fresh solutions in the field. Pucel is proud to be part of one of the biggest manufacturing economies in the nation and to provide jobs for hard working Ohio residents. America’s manufacturing industry is alive and kicking, and starting to make a real comeback after taking a big hit from the recession. In July, the sector grew for the second month in a row and we hope to see more growth in August!

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Custom Modification Makes the Difference

You can take your suit or dress to a tailor for that special, unmistakable feeling of a custom fit, but how do you get the perfect fit from your industrial equipment? Custom shop equipment, material carts, stock trucks, workbenches, and lockers are not easy to come by. Many companies will only give you the option of what is in their catalog, limiting your vision of exactly what you want and need. It can be a difficult, frustrating, and arduous process to select the perfect product from a finite menu of options. So what if you could take a sketch with your exact specifications and requirements to a custom designer plan and have them manufacture the perfect piece of equipment, just for you?

Versatility and consolidation are very important when choosing the right storage and equipment for your space. You want something that will be functional in a variety of different applications and will make the most of your available area. Pucel understands these needs, so if you can’t find what you want in our standard 64-page catalog, we will think outside of the box to create a custom solution.

Here at Pucel, that has been our history since 1949. Our customers’ needs come first and we will do any custom work that you may require. We will modify a standard product in our catalog or we can completely customize a product from scratch. Unlike other custom manufacturers, the size of your order will not affect your job. Whether you need one custom product or thousands, we will take on the project and deliver on our promise of the perfect custom product. Our family owned and operated business has your needs in mind and the experience and expertise to meet them. Our core values set us apart from other manufacturers where what is in the catalog is strictly what you can get. Let Pucel give you that custom fit feeling.

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A Healthy Auto Industry is Good News for All

You may have already heard news of the recent boom in the U.S. auto industry. Many American automakers are operating close to 100% capacity. Auto sales are up 9% in June, continuing the trend that could lead the U.S. to its first 16 million unit year since ’07. Ford and Chrysler have even announced reduced summer shutdown time at their factories to meet the increasing demand for their cars and trucks. The spike in consumer demand is prompting the auto industry to go on a “hiring spree” that will include thousands of new employees ranging from technicians to factory workers.

But it is not just the automakers themselves who are manufacturing in high gear: auto suppliers are also feeling the heat when it comes to meeting consumer demand. Many parts suppliers are seeing the same sales success and increased orders that have trickled down from the major automakers. These hiring and production trends then continue on to many more areas of manufacturing. Suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors all benefit from the jump in new car sales. For example, Pucel manufactures many of the benches, cabinets, tables and carts used in machine shops and automotive plants, so if the auto plants are hiring more workers to make more cars, they will need more material handling equipment as well. Consequently, auto sales indirectly affect Pucel’s sales. The “trickle down” theory of economics can very easily be applied in this instance. While Pucel is surely feeling the positive effects of increasing demand for cars, it has been filtered down through a line of car dealerships, auto plants, distributors, and more. In this manner, many people end up benefitting from the purchase of a brand new car.

Demand for new cars and trucks suggests a boost in consumer confidence, which is great news for our economy as a whole. When Americans are willing to make a big purchase like a shiny new F-150, it often signals a healthier economy and more jobs.

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Teaching the Next Generation of Manufacturers

Experience is the new term causing stress to present college students. The workforce is now expecting recent graduates to not only have the proper education but experience as well. Unfortunately, many job-seekers have met the educational requirements but lack the hands-on know-how that will land them a career. Manufacturers, on the other hand, are having trouble finding skilled workers that are capable of the advanced technical duties required to craft their product. This is why a new hybrid of S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education and experience is so important to the next generation of manufacturers.

In this day and age, becoming a manufacturer is not exactly on the top of the dream job list. Often times children are conditioned to want to become doctors and lawyers because they are not frequently exposed to technology and engineering careers. They are instead steered towards more traditional colleges and majors. The ones that do choose the manufacturing field are often not given the proper hands-on experience throughout their formal education that would consider them valuable enough to a company.

Many businesses are pressed to find fresh, young minds with skills such as welding, engineering, or equipment operations and are coming up short because of the lack of experience.

Graduates often wonder how to close the gap between education and experience. One solution is to find companies that are willing to teach young people through internships and partnerships with local colleges. Pucel Enterprises is doing just that in an effort headed by the Advanced Technology Academy (ATA) of Cuyahoga Community College.  ATA trains the students in a classroom and textbook environment, and then hands them over as interns to Pucel, where they receive practical experience in a manufacturing facility. This internship is paid for through the Workforce Investment Act and provides these students with real world experience that they can apply to future job searches.

Here at Pucel, we’re dedicated to America’s next generation of manufacturers.

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Innovation: American Manufacturing’s Latest and Greatest Trend

If you’ve been following the latest news, you’ve probably heard that, for the first time in years, American manufacturing is undergoing a positive transformation.  Words like “renaissance”, “recovery”, and “reshoring” are being paired with “manufacturing” on a daily basis, and companies big and small are bringing their work back to American shores, to the delight of American consumers and business owners.

One of the reasons behind this positive turn is the major emphasis on innovation—a trend in American manufacturing that’s being seen across the board, in almost every industry.  Manufacturers have been working on finding creative solutions to problems and equally creative ways to advance.  While they’re realizing that they can’t always compete with foreign prices and labor costs, what they can do is offer quality products and services, which customers are finding preferable.  Through innovation—in the form of technology, better workforce practices, and business operations—they are offering this quality, and it’s doing nothing short of advancing our country’s manufacturing as a whole.

An example of this industry-changing innovation is the use of robots—robots that have come a long way.  Take, for example, Rethink Robotics, who, according to this article, have “succeeded in giving robots a ‘brain’.” Their robot, named “Baxter”, is equipped with highly advanced software that actually helps it learn tasks, rather than just repeating them. And rather than replacing human workers, which has been a fear of some opponents of robotics, the use of Baxter is meant to free up workers who can then do more complicated tasks. At $22,000, Baxter’s cost effectiveness and overall value mean small businesses can hire more skilled workers, maintain quality, and remain competitive.

Rethink Robotics is just one example of the type of advancement and innovation that is being used by American companies.  There are countless examples, and they serve as both reminders of the country’s history of progress and leadership, and illustrations of how we can keep the progress moving full steam ahead.

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Pucel Enterprises: Made In the USA, Family Owned and Operated Since 1949

For the past 60 years, Pucel Enterprises, Inc. has manufactured high-quality material handling and industrial equipment.  Founded by Edward L. Pucel in 1949, the company has always focused on several core values:  superior products that are American-made, and are backed by excellent customer service.  These guiding principles have been the lifeblood of the company and remain so today with several generations of the Pucel family actively working in the company.  From family members to employees, these values are the foundation that we return to each day as we manufacture our storage cabinets, workbenches, lockers, carts, trucks, drum handling equipment, and shelving units along with shop, medical and warehouse equipment.

As we have moved into the 21st Century, we have found that these core beliefs have ensured that we have long and devoted business relationships with our customers and suppliers.  They know that we are committed to excellent products and that we use quality as the number one measurement for our success.

All of our products have been and continue to be made in Cleveland, Ohio.  Made-in the USA is part of our DNA as much as it is part of our products.  Our production facility is centered on fabricating, forming, welding, spot welding, grinding, and powder coating of all our products.  Pucel Enterprises material handling equipment feature heavy duty all-welded construction and are made of heavier gauge steel than most of our competitors. We have automated our processes to meet lean manufacturing standards and we have improved our capabilities via automated lasers and robotic machines.

The customer has always been our foremost concern in the production cycle.  We work to exceed their expectations and to make sure they are happy with the final product.  This customer focus extends to meeting their custom needs.  We can modify anything in our 64-page catalog or we can create new items from customer supplied sketches and prints – from initial engineering to the final product.

These core values of quality, American-made products, backed by first-rate customer service have maintained and built our ongoing business relationships.  For more information about our company, please visit www.pucelenterprises.com.

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