The Thomas Blog

Solar energy equipment farm - opportunities for manufacturers
Manufacturing and Industrial

Opportunities For Manufacturers In Solar Energy Equipment

In September 2020, Thomas reported sourcing for solar energy equipment on the Thomasnet.com platform had grown by 125% year-over-year and a substantial 171% over Q2 averages. In related category searching on the platform, solar collector panels were up by 157% year-over-year in Q3 2020 and 11% over Q2 2020 figures, and searches for inverters on the Thomasnet.com platform have grown 172% year-over-year and are currently up 88% over Q4 2020 averages.

More recently, searches for solar energy equipment on the Thomasnet.com platform were up 650% week-over-week. 

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Aerospace and Defense
Manufacturing and Industrial

How To Become A Defense Supplier

Did you know that the Department of Defense (DoD) spends more than 60 percent of the federal procurement budget eligible for small businesses? In the 2017 fiscal year, DoD awarded more than $60 billion in prime contracts to small businesses.

From anonymized sourcing activity across Thomasnet.com, Thomas Industrial Data shows the Aerospace & Defense Industry is a rapidly evolving field. Continued military spending growth is a sign for suppliers to secure ongoing business and tap into new market opportunities — but today, businesses continue to shift in their sourcing as they pivot to help the country combat COVID-19. Read on to learn how you can become a part of the solution.

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lithium ion manufacturers
Manufacturing and Industrial

Opportunities For Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturers

In 2019, lithium-ion sourcing activity on Thomasnet.com soared, and the B2B buyer data showed the top two industries driving the trend were software and technology, and healthcare and medical. Today, there are three major lithium-ion battery markets: transportation, electronic devices, and industrial stationary. 

Technology is at the core of the transition, and the next few years will bring significant changes to the industry.

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Defense production act - U.S. manufacturers
Manufacturing and Industrial

What Manufacturers Need To Know About The Defense Production Act

On January 21, 2021, President Biden signed a series of executive orders including invoking the Defense Production Act to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The order directs federal agencies to make use of the act to increase production of materials needed for vaccines, masks, and testing kits. 

Many manufacturers and engineers have volunteered to address the shortage of supplies to combat the coronavirus pandemic throughout last year but some supplies are taking a long time to produce. Invoking the Defense Product Act (DPA) allows the federal government to direct U.S. manufacturers to ramp up production of emergency medical supplies immediately.

Last year, FEMA confirmed using the DPA for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic to order about 60,000 test kits and 500 million personal protective masks. However, FEMA then announced later that same day, “At the last minute, we were able to procure the test kits from the private market without evoking the DPA.”

The uncertainties of today's crisis coupled with manufacturers' exempt status from state-wide closures signal that the industry should remain prepared for the enactment of the DPA. Here’s what it means for U.S. manufacturers and how they can prepare.

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3d printing and additive manufacturing challenges and opportunities
Manufacturing and Industrial

3D Printing And Additive Manufacturing Challenges And Opportunities

The outlook for additive manufacturing and 3D printing is promising. Back in 2017, Thomas reported on the increased sourcing activity for additive manufacturing. Although the base technology of additive manufacturing was developed in the 1980s, its use has become more prevalent in the last few years as advancements grow and prices drop. Sourcing activity sessions for additive manufacturing systems in 2020 was up 37.8% compared to 2019. And according to Statista, the global market for 3D printing and services is expected to grow to almost 50 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.

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steel and metal manufacturing
Manufacturing and Industrial

How To Grow Your Steel And Metals Manufacturing Business

Recently, “steel” was one of the most sourced products on the Thomasnet.com platform. Sheet metal and metal stamping facilities are rising and contributing to the growth of this market. But it also comes as no surprise when steel and metals represent an important supply source to the aerospace, aviation, and medical industries — timely to today’s global pandemic of COVID-19.

So how can steel and metal manufacturing businesses continue the momentum of their business growth? First, make sure you have a clear business plan. Some manufacturers try to grow their manufacturing business by doing everything possible. Choose business goals that are realistic and document them so you can see your milestones and track your growth along the way. You may overwhelm yourself and your employees if you don’t have a clear plan first.

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Evolution of 3D printing - healthcare
Manufacturing and Industrial

The Evolution Of 3D Printing

From reducing costs to increasing efficiency to spurring innovation, many people are excited about the impact that 3D printing will have on the future of manufacturing. However, the truth is, it already has made a significant impact on the industry.

Take a look back at the evolution of 3D printing to see how the phenomenon started and how it has helped the manufacturing industry evolve.

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Beverage industry manufacturing workers
Manufacturing and Industrial

8 Reasons It’s Great To Work In Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is one of the largest and most influential sectors of the United States economy. According to ACS estimates, the number of people employed in the Manufacturing Industry Sub-Sector has been growing at a rate of 0.41%, from 15.4M people in 2017 to 15.5M people in 2018.

But what is it like for the millions of people who actually work in the industry? The truth is, it's pretty fantastic. Here are some reasons why:  

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COVID-19 Response Suppliers COVID-19 Response:
Can Your Company Help Provide Critical Supplies?

We are using the power of our platform to aid in the mass shortage of critical supplies. If your company can help provide supplies, capabilities, or materials for products such as N-95 Masks and Tyvek SuitsPlease let us know.

COVID-19 Response Suppliers