India’s Bharat Forge announced that it will partially resume manufacturing operations at its Mundhwa, Chakan and Satara plants pursuant to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bharat Forge is commencing operations in a gradual manner pending the completion of mandatory safety checks and training personnel on physical distancing, health and hygiene per guidelines stipulated by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs. The training for employees includes: mandatory self-declaration of good health before joining; the wearing of face masks; regular sanitization of personal items and work stations; maintaining social distancing; and thorough sanitization of all workplaces, buses and other official vehicles after each trip.
The Executive Committee of the Forging Industry Association’s (FIA) Board of Directors has decided to cancel the International Forging Congress (IFC) 2020 scheduled for September 19-21 at the Marriott Magnificent Mile Downtown in Chicago, Ill. This step has been taken because of the safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. FIA could not be assured that the configurations in the venues where IFC 2020 activities were scheduled to be held could be arranged in a manner to provide sufficient protection for delegates and exhibitors against the transmission of COVID-19. Delegates who have registered and paid to attend IFC 2020 will be reimbursed 100% of their registration fees. Those companies that have reserved and paid for a booth or tabletop at IFC 2020 will be reimbursed 100% of their registration fees. Emails will be sent to both groups explaining the reimbursement process.
Sheffield Forgemasters is devoting its 3D-printing facility to help protect vulnerable, frontline national health service (NHS) workers and assist in the U.K.'s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s Research, Design and Technology (RD&T) department has started to produce 3D-printed components for protective visors used by NHS staff. The initiative coincides with the request of the mayor of the Sheffield City Region for South Yorkshire businesses to join the national effort and help make life-saving medical equipment during the pandemic. RD&T uses its 3D-printing output to produce models and prototypes for ultra-large, complex steel components, but – with the ability to 3D-print the visor components – the business is more than happy to play its part in assisting the fight against the pandemic.
According to research conducted by Clear Seas Research (a BNP Media Company) April 2-6, 63% of active business and 57% of planned business throughout the manufacturing industry is still on schedule during the coronavirus pandemic. These numbers show a decline from the last survey March 24-26, which showed 67% of active business and 63% of planned business was on schedule. Along those lines, 9% of active business has been cancelled, which is an increase from the 7% reported in the last survey.
Ford is delaying the restart of production at its North America plants to help protect its workers. The company aimed to restart production April 6 at Hermosillo Assembly Plant and April 14 at several key U.S. plants but has now further postponed those dates. The Rawsonville Components Plant will restart the week of April 20 to produce the Model A-E ventilator, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, supported by paid volunteer UAW workers. The Model A-E ventilator is a basic, cost-efficient design that addresses the needs of most COVID-19 patients. Production will quickly scale up to produce 50,000 ventilators by July 4.
The nation's small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the president signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.
According to research conducted by Clear Seas Research (a BNP Media Company), 67% of active business and 63% of planned business throughout the manufacturing industry is still on schedule during the current coronavirus pandemic. The report also found that only 7% of active business and 6% of planned business has been cancelled at this point in time. In addition, 26% of active business and 31% of planned business has been delayed.
My last column in February targeted some politico/economic factors that could affect the global and domestic forging industry through 2020. What wasn’t on that list was any mention of COVID-19, the virus-induced petroleum price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and the U.S. stock exchanges plummeting toward the earth’s molten core.
ArcelorMittal is following government and World Health Organization advice and guidelines at all of its global operations in order to protect employees and prevent the spread of infection. Given the extent of the outbreak, the health and safety implications, and particularly the impact it is having on several European countries in which ArcelorMittal operates, the company is taking steps to reduce production from its European operations to ensure the well-being of employees is maintained and that production is aligned with demand.