In an interesting convergence, the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal has taken effect within days of celebrating Independence Day here in the United States of America. The new deal replaces the old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that was implemented on January 1, 1994. While the net effect of NAFTA has been the subject of spirited debate, there are two unfortunate realities. First, the US trade deficit with these countries increased from $17 billion to over $177 billion per year, and over 800,000 US jobs were displaced during NAFTA’s 26-year existence. Likewise, and worse for Americans, since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, 3.4 million US jobs have been displaced, and the annual US trade deficit with them peaked in 2018 at over $400 billion. To add insult to injury, trade with China has strengthened a totalitarian regime that oppresses the Chinese people and views the United States as an obstacle to their global ambitions.
Most companies work to ensure a maximum standard of safety in a workplace environment. There are several unique ways that Liberty makes employee safety and security a priority, by getting not only employees involved, but their families as well.
The global light rail industry is forecasted to reach $4.97 billion by 2026, growing at an annual rate of 9.8%. While Europe continues to maintain the highest market growth, the recent rise in light rail passengers across major U.S. cities has led to approvals for light rail extension projects throughout the country — expecting to drive market growth even further. Light rail vehicles produced by companies like Bombardier, Siemens, Kawasaki, Hitachi, Alstom, Ansaldo, and others are expanding across the nation due to advancements in areas like noise reduction, comfort and safety.
In cable assemblies and wire harnesses, there are hundreds and often thousands of opportunities for defects per assembly. Therefore, it is imperative that a manufacturer takes rigorous steps to mitigate the risk of incurring those defects. Multiple process controls must be deployed to ensure that a wire assembly is produced that meets or exceeds the customer’s requirements. Many of these measures are taken before the components are even built. Revision-controlled quality requirements---specified on prints and in workmanship standards---must be understood. Operators must be trained and must demonstrate this understanding. As an assembly is produced, a predetermined regimen of tests and other validations are employed, both by operators and technicians. These validations, depending on the project, can include mechanical, electrical, and environmental tests. Each of these stages in the quality assurance process ultimately ensures that the product meets or exceeds the customer specifications.
Molding protects the connectors of a wire assembly from a variety of potential harmful influences. These include environmental factors such as water and chemical damage, as well as abrasion and other physical damage in service. Using the best material for the job also ensures the best possible adhesion for the components, yielding reliability and longevity of the end product. The choice of molding material used is directly related to the desired function and level of performance, and utilizing the best materials in the industry---such as urethanes , silicones, and epoxies---ensures the highest quality of assemblies according to client needs.
Recently, the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in the nation’s capital was forced to decommission nearly 75% of its new 7000-series rail cars due to crimping defects. The rail cars had crimping defects that went undetected until WMATA’s quality inspectors discovered them. The WMATA’s Quality Assurance, Internal Compliance and Oversight office (QICO), estimates that the rail cars will take over a year to be repaired. Going forward, QICO is requiring that in-process quality checks and high standards of engineering design be more explicitly outlined in WMATA’s manufacturing contracts.(1)