Global Fastener News

1979 FIN – President of Fastener Manufacturer Dating Back to 1816 Offers Forecast for the 1980s

June 19
00:00 2009


December 12, 1979 FIN – H.C. Kornman, president of a fastener manufacturing company in continuous operation since 1816, predicts the high costs and shortages of energy will be the single most important influence on the fastener industry during the 1980s.

The Townsend division of Textron Inc. traces its history to 1816.

“While our growth in the past decade has been significant – more than threefold – it is with cautious optimism that we view the decade of the 1980s,” Kornman responded to a Fastener Technology survey of fastener executives on what to expect in the new decade. “We believe the key word of the 80s will be ‘change’ and that the basic patterns of the future will closely match the reality of the present. Worldwide upheavals and political unrest can no longer be considered temporary deviations.”

“Compounding this area of concern is continuing government interference and regulations which tend to not only deter productivity, but to inhibit initiative and creativity – keystones of the Townsend philosophy of planned growth,” Kornman added.

He noted that Townsend’s company philosophy favors a “strong, open world market wherein the quality and merit of a fastening concept are bought and sold on the basis of the real value of the producer’s product.”

However, because foreign governments give their fastener producers “the extremely unfair competitive edge,” Kornman supports the “import curbs recently enacted and encourage strict enforcement by our government. It is our hope that as a result of these measures the domestic fastener industry will again be in a position to make the heavy capital investments so necessary to make a strong aggressive industry able to compete toe-to-toe in a world marketplace.
International trade, and especially U.S. imports, will be major factors in re-establishing our country as a world leader.”©1979/2009 Fastener Industry News

Keys to Growth in the 1980s

December 12, 1979 FIN – Herbert A. Tewes, president of Midwest Sintered Products, said the four keys to profitable growth in the U.S. fastener industry in the early 1980s will be increased emphasis upon product development, research and innovation; increased investment in equipment and manufacturing process productivity; increased U.S. political awareness, “which to date has bordered on naivety in facing up to the free world competitive countries”; and an acceptance of an internationally competitive depreciation policy to encourage all U.S. industries to rebuild its increasingly obsolete and unproductive capital equipment base.

“If all four of these areas are not addressed promptly and constructively by both business and government, the U.S. will be a second class economic power by 1985,” Tewes predicted.

S.W. Gumbiner, president of Equality Screw Company, avoids the negative talk about the recession.

“Our firm like all fastener distributors is feeling the recession in the third and fourth quarter of 1979, but unlike our counterparts we have elected to be aggressive instead of cautious. We have expanded our capacity by purchasing a new building and increasing our square footage two times.”

The president of the fastener distributor specializing in the woodworking field said “positive thinking” is contagious.©1979/2009 Fastener Industry News

Valley Bolt’s Meyer: Outlook for 1980 Not Optimistic

December 27, 1979 FIN – The outlook for 1980 is not very optimistic, Ron Meyer, president of Valley Bolt Co. of Davenport, Iowa told FIN.

Meyer noted that Automotive News reported a 25% December drop in auto production from November. “One major automotive manufacturer is already in a difficult financial position and several others are considering closing some facilities and contemplating large scale layoffs if things do not improve.”

Steel companies are also having their share of problems, Meyer added. “This could indicate more shut downs and layoffs. The productivity of U.S. business and workers has declined for the third consecutive quarter – the first time that has happened since the 1974 recession. Government economists say unless the rate improves the nation will be stuck with high inflation and a reduced standard of living for the foreseeable future.”

“We are, in addition, shackled with an uncertainty of world conditions, such as turmoil in the Mid-East, the skyrocketing price of gold, the fluxuating stock market and the extremely high prime interest rates. Building and plant expansion may be slowed down because of this. All in all, we seem to be headed for troubled waters.

“It is at times like this that we must keep a cool head and reevaluate our position. We at Valley Bolt are not going to go too far out on a limb, looking for short term trends and rolling with them – but always keeping our eyes open to a long range program. We all will have to work harder, look for new business and products and try to get more diversified business. Many accounts, even if their individual potential is small, are a goo hedge on a recession. Too many eggs in one basket could be very dangerous.©1979/2009 Fastener Industry News.

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