Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Sometimes putting extra focus on ‘the basics’ goes a long way to boosting productivity and profitability. We came across a terrific case study in Manufacturing Business Technology magazine and an article about Vermont-based Tivoli, Inc. Tivoli makes taps and other precision cutting tools, but it’s their attention to the basics that sets them apart.

Their success is based on two key strategies that the work hard to instill in every one of their employees:
1: Always focus on progress and continuous improvement, and
2: Focus on partnerships both with customers and suppliers.

Sounds basic enough but, when you think about it, these are the elements that can have either positive or negative impact on overall performance. Basic…but great.

You can read the complete article here

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Actor John Ratzenberger, best known as Cliff Clavin on the TV series “Cheers,” is, in real life, a serious guy. These days, he’s busy helping young people discover the potential in American manufacturing.

He explains that while touring America’s factories for The Travel Channel’s “John Ratzenberger’s Made in America,” he kept hearing about (and seeing for himself) the dire need for fresh, skilled workers. So, three years ago, he started “Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs,” an organization that provides summer camps and scholarships to help get youth ‘hands-on’ with well-paying jobs in manufacturing.

Catch up with Ratzenberger, and read more about his plans for “NB&T” in this interview at manufacturing.com


It’s not every day that METAL is at the forefront of design, but the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee is (like their product) all about the METAL.

In an article in Modern Metals magazine, designers said “most of the metals in the interior were fabricated from standard shapes of rolled, punched and fabricated steel" to give it a true ‘factory feeling.’

So whether you’re into metals, Harleys or just amazing work, it’s definitely worth checking out. Here’s the complete article. And, see more pictures of this steel beauty here

Sunday, September 5, 2010


News of the state of the nation getting you down? Well, there are some amazing things happening in our country and, while not all rooted in manufacturing, they shine a beacon on the men and women, the opportunity and drive that are helping…no, MAKING us succeed.

M. Robert Weidner III, Publisher of Forward, the magazine of the Metal Service Center Institute, spells it all out in his article “The Case for Optimism.”

You can read the complete article here.


The Institute for Supply Management is reporting manufacturing in the U.S. grew for the 13th consecutive month in August, while the overall U.S. economy has grown for 16 consecutive months. We know that this doesn’t mean the recovery is a sure thing, or that potential down months aren’t ahead. We’ve also got long way to go to reach pre-recession levels. But it does indicate we’ve risen off the bottom and, through innovation and drive, manufacturing is leading the way.

Read the complete article here

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


We can't say enough about our business relationship with Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the growth they've help us bring about through Five-S coaching and LEAN training.

Now, you can take a video tour of our facilities in Walworth, as Dalco President Bill Ring highlights some of the customer-focused changes we've made.


It's been slow...but steady. Despite its fluctuations, Amrican manufacturing contiues to grow, and the prognosis is good. Though in the single digits, there have been three consecutive months of growth and, according to Norbert Ore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Business Survey committee, "the sector appear to be solidly entrenched in the recovery." The same is reflected in the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey and trends in the auto industry.

You can read the complete BizTimes article here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


We hear the word ‘innovation’ used a lot these days. But, when it comes to manufacturing, nobody defines it better than Mike Klonsinski, Executive Director of Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

In his recent article, 'Whose Innovation is it Anyway,' Klonsinski compares the conventional wisdom of innovation (research and development from laboratories and universities) with real-world innovation (“…the ability to anticipate customer needs and then deliver products, services, and solutions to meet those needs…profitably, rapidly, continuously.”)

He’s not knocking R & D by any means, but cites examples of Wisconsin companies who are innovating at a basic level, and reaping the rewards!

You can read his complete article here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Has your company gone LEAN? If so, you’re more efficient, save money, and can serve your customers better than ever before. These days, you’ve got to keep innovating to stay ahead of change. Here at Dalco, we’re working with some outstanding change agents from Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Their guidance with Lean manufacturing and 5S helped make us more efficient, and gave our employers more control over their jobs. The results have been incredible.

Read more about Dalco’s journey with WMEP here.


This from Milwaukee-based BizTimes Magazine:

Manpower survey shows continued manufacturing, related industry hiring recovery

Employers around the country anticipate more hiring in the third quarter of this year, marking the third consecutive quarter of job growth, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey conducted by Milwaukee-based Manpower Inc.. Manufacturing and related industries are among the industries that anticipate continued job growth, the survey says.
Eighteen percent of the more than 18,000 businesses surveyed plan to hire more workers in the third quarter, while eight percent anticipate a decrease – leaving a net employment outlook of +10 percent. Seventy percent of those surveyed expect no change in employment.
“We have been waiting for the labor market to show signs of sustained recovery,” said Jeff Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower. “The survey results for the third quarter are indicating a trend of hiring retention that has historically proven to be the positive inflection point of accelerated job growth.”
About nine percent of durable goods manufacturers anticipate hiring more workers, while about 12 percent of non-durable goods manufacturers will increase employment. About 17 percent of companies in the mining sector will hire more employees in the third quarter. About nine percent of the transportation and utilities and eight percent of the construction employers anticipate increased employment as well.
“Although we are still facing a difficult labor market, more employers indicate confidence about the direction of their businesses, and with that comes an intention to increase their workforces,” said Jonas Prising, president of the Americas with Manpower. “We are in the early stages of the job recovery, and although we have a long way to go, the job market will continue to improve from there.”

Sunday, April 11, 2010


You’ll find a terrific article on Dalco Metals in this month’s Modern Metals Magazine.

We’re proud to have been chosen by Modern Metals to talk about our 0.25-inch, 0.25-inch-by-72-inch cut-to-length line, and our 0.187-inch slitters from Braner. Chuck Damore, Executive Vice-President of Braner comments "At Dalco, all of the lines can handle anything from really thin-gauge, soft material to high-strength applications," he says. "[It’s] carbon steel, typically--cold rolled, galvanized, hot-rolled pickled and oiled, hot-rolled black and high-strength materials."

Check out the full article in Modern Metals here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jay Talks Welding Opportunities

With all the attention being given to economic sings, the long term shortage of highly-skilled trades people continues, most notably certified welders.

“Companies are reporting drastic shortages of high-skilled welders, especially those with certifications,"
said Bob Bernini, Vice President of Academics for the Triangle Tech Group. "In fact, according to regional economic development studies, one of the largest industry needs is in metal working.”

The industry has found an unlikely ally: Jay Leno. In this short video, From his Big Dog garage, Leno talks about the opportunities for welding professionals. Thought you’d like to take a look.

Seven Consecutive Months

It’s hard to read any single economic report these days and try to draw long-term conclusions from it. Trends matter more than snapshots, and the good news is that the latest Manufacturing ISM (Institute for Supply Management) Report on Business showed that economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the seventh consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 10th consecutive month.

We know that a lot of you are working harder (even putting in non-paid time) to get the job done. It sometimes sounds cliché, but we’re in this recovery together and will do everything we can to make this a strong year.

You can check out the complete Report on Business here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Purchasing's business conditions index at 35-month high

From Purchasing Magazine:

Purchasing magazine's business conditions index jumped to 61.4 this month from 51.2 in January, marking the sixth month of the past seven in which the index was above the 50.0 market that signals growth

The Purchasing index is above the 58.4 manufacturing index reading reported in January by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) and the highest since the 62.8 reading in April 2007. "Business is still down considerably from 2007-2008 levels," says the purchasing director of a heavy equipment manufacturing firm in Illinois. "However, many customers are still making inquiries about potential equipment purchases in 2010."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Good News for 2010

Is that a sunrise we see? It IS!

In a recent interview, Steve Jagler, executive editor of Biz Times Milwaukee, lists more than ten concrete examples of growth in the Badger State. His message includes:

"The recovery has begun and will pick up steam in 2010. It won't come easily, and it won't come quickly, but we're seeing some very promising trends: In recent polls, 86 percent of BizTimes.com readers say their company will either add jobs or at least maintain the status quo in 2010, and 76 percent say they are optimistic about how their company will do in 2010."

You can read the full article here

Global Impact on Prices

We often hear things about the global effect on steel prices. Is China buying? Selling? How about freight costs? What is the bottom-line result? At Dalco, we stay on top of prices and trends, both here and abroad. We don't get wrapped up in what 'might happen' or make any knee-jerk reactions. But it helps to know how global markets affect what we all pay for raw materials.

Here's a great example. It's a New York Times report about copper mining entitled "China Willing to Spend Big on Afghan Commerce." We're not reading anything political into it, and we deal in steel, not copper, but it demonstrates that current events can affect pricing and availability in the future. Take a look.