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KEYSTONE THREADED DRILLS DOWN TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF STEM

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is a small acronym but in no way insignificant.

If we question ourselves about the importance of STEM in our daily lives and take time out to really reflect on the implications of the disciplines encompassed by those four letters, we will admit readily that the whole precept of civilization is one that is supported by STEM.

From the understanding of the solar eclipse as a celestial phenomenon and not the wrath of whimsical gods to the towering skyscrapers and the busy, life-changing labyrinth of the internet, our advancement is hinged on how we understand our surroundings, translate our visions into tangible blueprints and execute the blueprints as per best practices to produce robust structures, theories and paradigms. And these activities need to leverage STEM – heavily!

THE IMPORTANCE OF STEM TO A SUCCESSFUL LIFE:

Tackling the pragmatic first, according to a pronouncement made by the United States Department of Labor, eight out of the ten most lucrative careers and valued employees are closely related to STEM disciplines. The Department of Commerce has unearthed substantial discrepancies and inequality between the wages earned by STEM employees and those from non-STEM backgrounds. For example healthcare workers with associate degrees to doctor of medicine, earn a full 20% more over their lifetime than their peers who hail from non-healthcare niches.

Not only does a STEM centric education increase the quality of life because of better compensation, a child interested in Science and Technology is likelier to land a job straight out of college because STEM occupations grow at the rate of 17%, almost double that of non-STEM sectors.

Over 2008 to 2014, biomedical engineers earned $77,400 as median wage and this average applies to the entire nation! It is no small wonder that other jobs boasting high annual incomes also belong to the STEM paradigm.

STEM CAREERS FUEL INNOVATION AND ADVANCEMENT: 

Moving away from the strictly practical considerations, STEM and its popularity is also fundamental to the growth and development of the global economy. From semi-conductors which can function at room temperature to an effective cure to the life threatening curse of cancer, without science, technology and engineering, these leaps into the next generation of advancements and monetization is not possible.

US lags far behind its Asian and European counterparts where the adoption of STEM careers is concerned. A US News Survey says that only 1 in 4 graduates in the country belong to STEM educational pursuits. Even though the demand for STEM skills is the highest, a very small percentage of students who hail from science actually choose to stick to the field and seek gainful employment in the concomitant industries and sectors.

If progress is to be made and maintained by the citizens of the country, STEM has to be encouraged in all its forms. Companies must undergo a mind-set shift and look to invest in STEM endeavours instead of ‘brain draining’ other nations to get relevant jobs done.

Keystone Threaded Products wholeheartedly supports STEM and its pursuit.  As suppliers of threaded bars, nuts and other custom made high quality components, it is dedicated in its commitment to engineering efforts and the benefits to be realized from an education in science.

Ohio Manufacturing Facts

Ohio is powered by manufacturing. Ohio manufacturing is responsible for almost 17% of Ohio’s Gross Domestic Product and contributes to the quality of life in Ohio by providing:

  • More than 600,000 jobs for Ohio workers
  • An annual payroll of more than $33 billion, the highest total annual wages of any non-government economic sector
  • More than $46 billion in products to more than 216 countries and territories
  • A safer environment through decreased emission and increased recycling

In 2009, about 10% of all Ohio workers were employed in manufacturing. Almost 50% of Ohio manufacturing firms employ fewer than 10 people, while 0.3% employs more than 1,000.

Manufacturing is the largest of the 20 sectors of Ohio’s economy with 16.7% of total output in 2010; durable goods were 9.8 percent and non-durable goods were 6.9 percent of output.

Ohio’s manufacturing sector produced $80.0 billion worth of goods in 2010, ranking it fifth in the nation after California, Texas, Illinois and North Carolina.

The average annual earnings of Ohio workers on manufacturing payrolls in 2010 were $53,281.

In the year 2011, Ohio was ranked first nationally in new site selections and the manufacturing was involved in 52% of the new site selections. Transportation equipment, fabricated metals, chemical and machinery manufacturers were the leading manufacturing investors in 2011.

In the year 2011, Ohio ranked third in manufacturing employment nationally, with 5.4% of manufacturing jobs nationwide. Ohio had 25,000 more manufacturing jobs in 2011 than in 2009. Also, 12.5% of Ohio nonfarm employees worked in manufacturing, compared to the national percent of nonfarm employees in manufacturing of 8.9%. In 2011, Ohio was the ninth largest exporting state and in the same year they exported $46.4B in goods to 216 countries and territories.

Ohio had 307,900 jobs linked to manufactured exports in 2009, 7.1% of Ohio’s private sector employment. U.S. manufactured-exports linked employment represented 4.8% of private sector employment.

Domestic versus Import

When companies are tasked with sourcing materials one big question always come up; Should we buy domestic or import? This post will help give a definitive answer to that question: Domestic.

Cost is always an important factor, but just as there is a difference in cost, there is a difference in quality. Although you may save money up front, it may not be least expensive in the long run. There is a chance that products ordered may be missing from the boat or the product may come in not meeting standards. If that’s the case, the product will need to be reworked, which adds to the cost and time in order to fix the issue.  Or there could again be the case of dock workers on strike. This strike negatively impacted the economy at whole and really damaged business that were importing products rather than buying them domestically.

Another issue is that when buying imported products, you are required to purchase a minimum; which is oftentimes an entire container load worth of material! What happens when you only need a fraction of that amount? You will have to order more of products you may not need just to fill the container. Then once you have ordered, the lead times may take up to 4-6 months before delivery. It is important to take into account the manufacturing process, as well as the extended shipping times.

After waiting all that time for your product, there is also the chance that the material is incorrect or defective. If you need to ship it back across the ocean, you will not be able to return and replace it immediately, adding more to your lead time and cost.

Domestic products keep this economy moving, it keeps jobs here, employs many Americans and it supports not only them but their families and communities.  Although you may save anywhere from 10%-35% on cost, you have to consider that the jobs that many other Americans are performing day in and day out, is ultimately affected as well.

We here at Keystone Threaded Products Company fully believe in buying and producing domestic, American made products, and supporting our economy and fellow citizens, while making sure our products are of the highest quality.

Keystone Threaded Products Company and the Adoption of the Metric System

You may remember or have at least heard of the first effort the government made in the seventies to switch the American population over to the metric system. Many may recall the struggle in attempting to convert our view of the world, be it in gallons, feet or inches into the far more sensible and vastly more utilized metric versions used elsewhere around the world. We Americans still measure things in our own stubborn way. Yardsticks are marked in feet and inches, gasoline is dispensed in gallons, and we go for miles as opposed to kilometers, all forms of measurement that are baffling to foreigners. In fact, the metric system is utilized by close to 97% of the world’s population and exclusively within scientific circles.

The metric system is used around the world simply because it is so sensible and easy to understand, despite our feelings otherwise. Measurement is logically based on increments 10, 100, 1000, 1 million, 1 billion, or on fractions of one tenth, one hundredth, one thousandth, one millionth, etc. For instance, if one examines a meter-long stick it is remarkably convenient to simply break it down into 100 equal sections. These units are then aptly called “centimeters” which can be further broken down into “millimeters” and so on. Essentially, the metric system is a decimal system of weights and measures that allows for easy converting between units by simply multiplying or dividing by 10, 100, 1000, etc. Easy mental arithmetic translates into significant efficiencies and this means cost savings.

One company that understands this and has wholeheartedly embraced this sensible system is Keystone Threaded Products Company; a family owned and operated company that has been producing quality threaded parts since 1920. Keystone Threaded Products Company manufactures rolled thread ACME bars as well as the metric equivalent “Trapezoidal” and also a complete line of standard threaded products, in all forms of Vee-Thread (UNC, UNF, UN and Metric). We also stock hard to find threaded items. We understand that there are certain items that require the metric system and are proud to offer that. We are also able to utilize a metric length call out, if a customer requests it. Contact Keystone Threaded Products today to see how you can enjoy both quality and cost savings when in need of quality, threaded parts.

Keystone Threaded Products Company and the Effect of Lower Oil Prices

Last month global oil prices had fallen to significant new lows, leading to shockingly deleterious revenue shortfalls in many countries which rely on the exportation of energy for their economic well-being. Meanwhile, North American consumers have been enjoying substantial savings in the purchase of petroleum fuels for such needs as home heating or for the operation of motor vehicles, to name just a few of the areas where direct savings have materialized due to plummeting oil prices.

It wasn’t that long ago that we were seeing stable (and elevated) oil prices at about $110 per barrel. Since last June though, prices have been cut in half as new sources of North American energy have been exploited and as there has been less demand as a result of slowed or arrested economic growth in many parts of the world.

Despite the pain that is felt in some sectors, many economists believe that there are winners in a time of cheaper oil and they’re not just consumers. Though they estimate that the economic activity of oil companies and related businesses could slow by about $150 billion this year, they also note that in other areas of the economy an increase of around $400 billion is quite conceivable.  Just looking at the numbers it becomes clear that the good outweighs the bad (for now). This is all calculated to have a net effect that is twice the annual value of the payroll tax cuts that occurred in 2011 and 2012, both of which spurred sizeable boosts to consumer spending.

One company that certainly can benefit from lower oil prices is Keystone Threaded Products Company, a family owned and operated firm that has been manufacturing quality threaded parts since 1920. It takes energy for Keystone to manufacture their line of standard threaded products. Contact Keystone Threaded today to see how you can enjoy both product quality and the substantial cost savings from lower oil prices when you stock up on their top-notch threaded parts.

What is the skills gap, and how do we overcome it?

As American companies such as us here at Keystone Threaded Products Company, bring more manufacturing jobs back to America in the reshoring efforts, challenges have sprung up.  And as our economy is trying to recover from the 2008 recession, employment in the skills gap is shifting.  One of the major challenges have become the obvious in recent years is the skills gap, and small businesses are struggling to find employees whose skills match their industry needs.

What is the skills gap?

The skills gap is the space between the skills that are needed for daily manufacturing work, and the skills that exist in the current workforce.  This leads to skilled workers going on without jobs, and manufacturing jobs left unfilled.  The skills gap has an impact on small businesses, since they do not have the same resources as larger corporations to spend money on recruiting skilled workers.  This also has an impact on the economy as small businesses account for two thirds of new jobs.  Estimates place the number of jobs that are empty due to lack in skills gap at nearly half of a million jobs.

Why does the skills gap exist?

There are a number of reasons the skills gap has developed.  The growth in demand increases year in and year out, while the baby boomer generation, which is well-trained in manufacturing skills, continues to age and retire.  Another reason is that, while prospective workers are gaining skills, they aren’t the skills needed for necessary job functions – workers needed basic math and computer abilities.  Nowadays, corporations are investing more on capital and modernized machinery – where the skills of the trade are no longer needed, since modern CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines can be programmed to produce a part.

How do we overcome the skills gap?

The best way to address the skills gap is for manufacturers to turn to the younger generation and demonstrate to them that manufacturing is no longer a dark, dirty segment of the economy.  It is now a technology-driven and is a fine alternative to a four-year college degree, with competitive wages and cleaner work environment, also with room to move up the ladder and become a shop manager.  As well as in the manufacturing industry every day is a new challenge, as products and manufacturing is constantly changing.  And the skills in the manufacturing industry are gained through experience, since some newer machines cannot perform the functions to produce complex machining. Manufacturing is an art form; the complexity cannot be done by machines alone, and need the skilled, human touch.

Many industries are doing this already, with manufacturers’ small and large working with local community and local schools to develop technical programs and educate students on the viability of a career in the manufacturing field. Many companies are also offering apprenticeships for those interesting in the field, but haven’t yet chosen a specialty as well as on-the-job training. This can help create a new generation of workers who can be part of the manufacturing sector for generations to come.  One of the biggest problems is retaining those workers that are trained, and being able to have them teach the younger generation their experiences.  Unfortunately with such competition for trained workers, they constantly have offers of work.

At Keystone Threaded Products Company, we see that filling the skills gap is necessary to the health and growth of the American manufacturing sector moving forward.  Closing this gap will help our economy grow and succeed, and set a foundation for decades to come.  If you are interested in helping to close this gap, get in touch with us or with our local resources including vocational schools and manufacturers alike that are looking for workers.

Why thread rolling

Thread rolling is widely accepted as the fastest and preferred method of economically producing uniform smooth, precise threads of superior physical qualities.  Thread rolling utilizes hardened steel rolls to produce external threads.  The working surfaces of the rolls have a thread form which is a mirror image of the thread to be produced.  In penetrating the surface of the blank, the rolls displace material to form the thread roots, and force the displaced material radially outward to form the thread crests.

Advantages of thread rolling:

Cold working of metal during the thread rolling process improves the thread form physical characteristics and mechanical properties.  When the material is rolled, the structure is deformed creating the thread and improving the surface hardness.  The increased surface hardness results in thread form properties that are superior to those of original material.

Roll threading also improves the finish of the threads.  Smooth flanks of rolled threads provide better surface contact with mating threads.  The burnished roots and flanks are free of chatter, tearing or cutter marks that can serve as a focal point or stress and starting point for fatigue failures.

Rolled threads maintain consistently closer tolerances and uniformity than a cut thread.  Thread rolling is unique in its ability to maintain accuracy of the original set up during long runs of high-speed production.  Tooling does not change appreciably during the life of the rolling dies; they do not wear like other types of threading tools.

Roll threading material is more eco-friendly by using less material than thread cutting.  There is less material used during thread rolling, which will reduce cost of the threaded rod and offer savings to the customer.

How Agricultural Subsidies Remain Important in the Industrial World

In 2012, approximately $486 billion in agricultural subsidies were available to farmers in the top 21 food-producing countries worldwide. According to research done by the Worldwatch Institute, today,  governments continue to provide nearly $500 billion worth in farm subsidies annually.  A common type of subsidy is a direct payment which is paid regularly to farmers who produce designated crops. This means that farmers are able to produce as much or as little as they want while still receiving the subsidy.

The main issue, however, is that these agricultural subsidies are not equally distributed around the world. As a matter of fact, Asia spends more money than the rest of the world combined. China, alone, provides $165 billion in subsidies to farmers. Europe also contributes a large amount of money to agricultural subsidies due largely to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union (EU). In 2011, at over $50 billion, CAP accounted for about 44% of the entire EU budget. In total, the EU spent over $106 billion on agricultural subsidies. Meanwhile, North America provides $45 billion worth in subsidies, with the US spending a little over $30 billion, Canada spending $7.5 billion and Mexico spending $7 billion.

Fotosearch_k6076052 (1)Another component of subsidies besides direct payment is price support, which is intended to keep domestic crop prices high enough so that farmers will want to grow crops even throughout periods of overproduction. These price supports help the industry because, instead of letting oversupply go to waste, crops are traded on the market at lower prices.

How Near-Shoring Can Help Create More Jobs

Keystone TP NearshoringRecently there’s been a near-shoring movement that’s been creating a lot of hype in the supply chain world all thanks to a substantial boost from consumers. Near-shoring is when businesses are transferred from a nearby country to another, allowing both to benefit from the geographic, economic, cultural and political links. New initiatives are being introduced to the US, including the Million Jobs Project an ABC World News series on Made in America and Wal-Mart’s “Buy American” campaign and commitment. The intent is to source an additional $50 billion in products from US manufacturers.

Near-shoring is an important concept because, according to the ABC World News website, 60% of everything US consumers purchase is manufactured overseas. If consumers were to buy just 5% more on made in the USA goods, over one million additional jobs would be created here in the US. In order to alleviate this issue, some large manufacturing chains have already brought a decent portion of manufacturing back to the US due to the rising costs of outsourcing as well as the need to improve service by bringing them closer to consumers.

More and more companies are getting on board with near-shoring in an effort to reduce costs and inventories. Near-shoring is increasingly becoming a viable and effective business option for both emerging and long-existing companies. It not only helps save money by creating more US jobs, it also reduces physical and political risks, proving just how beneficial it’ll be for companies to consider this growing initiative.

Closing the STEM Gender Gap

Keystone TP STEMMen are currently dominating STEM-related fields, which is exactly why it’s become more important than ever for women to get involved in order to start bridging the career gap between the two genders. By doing so, it will create much-needed diversity in the workforce of engineers, mathematicians, computer programmers and scientists. Right now, only one in seven engineers is female, according to a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Also, in the U.S., only 1/5 of physics PhDs are awarded to women, and only 14% of physics professors in the U.S. are women.

There are many ways for women to get involved in STEM fields, but getting them interested and encouraging them to pursue STEM careers is one of the main problems. There are many negative stereotypes and generalizations that people tend to relate to STEM fields that need to be broken. Namely, men are more qualified and naturally excel more at those types of jobs than women. However, women are just as capable as men to succeed in STEM related fields, and by educating women about the many opportunities out there, the STEM fields will be able to grow and become more diverse.

Moving away from the negative connotations that are, in fact, untrue, more women will want to take the step towards STEM related fields. It’s beneficial for girls to get involved at a younger age through STEM educational programs. By taking these proactive steps, the STEM gender gap can and will start to become smaller and smaller as more and more women rise in STEM fields.