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AHMA survey shows modest hiring plans

BY Ken Clark

A survey of members of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) members shows about 20% are expecting to add employees over the next six months.

In a supplemental question attached to the association’s June Confidence Index survey, 19% of respondents replied yes to the question: “Does your company have plans to add employees over the next six months?”

Most respondents, 54%, replied “no,” and 27% said “not sure.”

The survey question was prefaced with the statement: “Government data on the employment situation in the country points to manufacturing as a growth sector in terms of hiring.”

The survey also found that 31% of respondents found that, with interest rates at very low levels, banking partners are willing to provide new loans. However, 19% found that they weren’t, and 50% responded “not sure or not applicable.”

The AHMA’s Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index fell in June to 304.2, down from 312.5 in May. The index was 100 in 2008.   

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Rooted in Germany, Gmaxx hits North American market

BY Ken Clark

A new line of saw blades from German manufacturer Guhdo is armed with “electrostatically applied coating” and a “proprietary grinding process,” the company said.

The company said its electrostatically applied coating is thinner, stronger and more uniform over the body of the blade. The Gmaxx coating and grinding processes provide longer blade life and superior blade performance, according to Guhdo, and are designed for use on table saws, radial arm saws and chop / miter saws.

"Gmaxx represents real, meaningful advances in saw blade technology,” said David Kerr, group VP at Guhdo. “We wouldn’t have introduced the line unless we had product that significantly raised the bar." 

Gmaxx blades are available in a variety of specifications, from 7-1/4-in. to 14-in. diameter.

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California proposes curbs on table saws

BY Brae Canlen

A law that would require an change in the design of table saws to prevent amputations and other injuries passed a committee vote in the California State Senate on July 3, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. 

The 3-to-2 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee followed party lines, as did the 64-4 approval in the State Assembly. Republicans are generally opposed to AB 2218, which would make California the first state to require "injury mitigation technology" that can stop a blade quickly enough to avoid amputations and severe lacerations.

Only one product on the market, SafeSaw by Oregon firm SD3, meets the bill’s criteria. SafeSaw can shut down in one-hundredth of a second when a finger or hand makes contact with a blade. The Power Tool Institute, a trade group in Cleveland, criticized the bill for attempting to create a monopoly for Stephen Gass, who owns the company. 

Proponents have said that Gass’ invention has demonstrated that the technology is viable. Gass himself has pledged to license his invention, which has more than 90 patents, without discrimination and at a reasonable price to his competitors.

The bill will be voted upon by the entire Senate sometime in August. 

 

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