The HeyScottie Newsletter Fetching you interesting insights in US Manufacturing

Iron Man for Real

Well, Iron hands. Waupaca Foundry (a Hitachi Metals Ltd. Holding company) produces graphite, and iron castings for manufacturers in the automotive, commercial vehicle, and other industrial markets. They’ve developed a mechanical helping glove that is as cool as you’d hope it would be. Very gritty, and more original Blade Runner than Blade Runner 2049.

The Ironhand system consists of a full glove and a power pack that is worn as a backpack or holstered to the hip. The system is activated when the operator starts moving his/her hand to perform a task, relying on sensors located on the palm and on the fingers.

Sad Noises

The WSJ reported some bad news that many manufacturers already know about. New orders for manufactured goods contracted for the sixth straight month through February, according to surveys by the Institute for Supply Management. The article goes on to cite a few more depressing stats.

Relieved Sighs

American Machinist reports machine tool orders are slightly down. This is not a cause for concern because machine tool orders have been on fire for the last two years!

Happy Noises


Read on for a much happier story about metalworking activity creeping Into Growth Mode in February.

MachineMetrics shows the power of IIoT.

IIoT is real.  A decade after I first started to hear about IIoT – which, at the time, I thought was a stupid acronym, and I still do – I am seeing some really compelling case studies. Edge computing and IIoT can deliver results.  Read on for one such success story: 

“With the ROI of a three-month pilot at one facility, we were able to pay for the deployment of MachineMetrics across the entire company.”

Example data items include Custom Sensor Values, Machine Status, Modes, Alarms, Overrides, Load, Speeds, Feeds, PMC parameters, Diagnostics, and more.

Proof Point: The IRS Hates Manufacturers! 

Here’s another example of the tax code being discriminatory for manufacturers.  The WSJ reported that a 2017 tax law provision requiring companies to spread deductions for research costs over five years is complicating tax filings for some businesses. 

Due to the change, many that broke even or posted losses in 2022 are seen as profitable for tax purposes and owe the IRS money.

Congress included the change for research-expense deductions in the 2017 tax law to help pay for cutting the corporate tax rate.

So, the corporate tax rate decrease is being partially paid for by manufacturers’ dollars.If you want to know what to do about this, let’s talk!

CA Air Resources Board Notification of New Chromium Restrictions  

CA is severely restricting the use of chromium, seriously impacting the plating industry. Other states will likely follow suit, ushering in a new age of plating with greener alternatives. But in the meantime, it will be chaos and lots of platers are closing shop. Read the full text here.

Fun Paint News!  Purdue’s Whitest Paint Wins 2023 SXSW Innovation Award

The world’s whitest paint, developed by Purdue University researchers and recognized in Guinness World Records, has been named winner of the 2023 Innovation Award in the sustainability category SXSW. Here’s a picture: 

JK!  Why is that cool?  Typical commercial white paint gets warmer rather than cooler when subjected to sunlight. 


In comparison, Purdue’s white reflects 98.1% of solar heat away from its surface.

Figure 2: Purdue’s Whitest Paint can reflect sunlight and stays cooler than its surroundings.

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