Volume 15 | Issue 3 | Year 2012

An international trade association, the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA), is a leading – and reliable – resource for companies operating in the gear and mechanical power transmission industry.
Based in Alexandria, Va., AGMA was organized in 1916 by nine companies largely for the purpose of developing technical standards for interchangeable gearing parts. Today, AGMA is more than just a standards or technical organization. It provides members an advantage over competition through access to publications, reports, training, and meetings, and by fostering the networking with industry peers.

Development of industry standards and other technical information is one of the AGMA’s key activities. But as its membership has substantially expanded in 95 years, the Association has adapted. The ever-changing business landscape – and the related new needs and interests of the industry – drive AGMA’s agenda and programs. AGMA’s membership now includes more than 440 gear manufacturers, industry suppliers and consultants, and academic members in more than 30 countries. About 25 percent of the members are outside of North America.

LEARNING & NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES
There is no better time than now to build or strengthen your network. Bottom line is critical. That’s why AGMA offers information and provides events and a network relevant to your company.

As one member said, “The best thing about AGMA is that it gives you an opportunity to network with everybody associated with the industry – whether they’re vertical or horizontal, whether they make gears or enclosed gears, or support those types of activities. It gives you tremendous exposure to a group of talent that you probably wouldn’t get elsewhere.”

Each year, AGMA holds a number of education and networking events for all levels of gear industry personnel. These events enable you to learn from industry experts and meet peers from around the world.

ELEVATING STANDARDS
The AGMA technical division organizes and oversees committees of subject matter experts who develop industry quality consensus standards designed to meet domestic and international market needs. Additionally, AGMA promotes continuous improvement in gear design and manufacturing through technical papers presented at major meetings. (The standards and papers the Association supervises, develops and maintains are available free to members and for sale to non-members.)

AGMA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop all US standards on gearing. In 1993, AGMA was elected as the Secretariat for Technical Committee 60 (TC60) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). TC60 is the committee responsible for developing international gearing standards. In addition, AGMA participates actively in the ISO working groups related to gearing.

BENCHMARKING INFORMATION AND MARKET FORECASTS
AGMA is committed to helping you compete more effectively in today’s domestic and global marketplace. One of our most useful tools is our set of business activity, financial and wage and salary surveys. Using data from others in this industry, these benchmarking reports help you see where you stand. At no cost, AGMA members can participate in our statistical, marketing and financial data programs.

Supplementing the wage and salary reports, AGMA sponsors an annual Financial and Operating Ratio Report (ORR) for members who participate in the surveys. ORR details industry cost information by company size, product manufactured and profitability. This allows companies to fine-tune their analysis with an eye to improving operations and cost control to increase profitability.

AGMA partnered with IHS Global Insight Inc., a recognized leader in providing comprehensive global macroeconomic information, analysis and consulting services to corporations, financial institutions and governments around the world. IHS Global Insight economists worked with AGMA to develop both quarterly comprehensive industry forecasts and forecasts for 10 key-user industries. The economists present the information and their global outlook at two meetings each year.

Also, AGMA provides participating members monthly data on well-defined product markets for eight categories of major gearing products.

Together, these benchmarking reports, market forecasts and product tabulations give members a solid understanding of their company in relationship to the industry and their peers.

The technical and business information, combined with a growing international membership, keep AGMA’s leaders invested in the industry’s future and in helping members compete successfully in today’s global marketplace. AGMA is truly technology driven and globally connected.

Author Joe T. Franklin, Jr. has served as AGMA’s president since 1991. AGMA is a voluntary association of companies, consultants, and academicians with a direct interest in the design, manufacture, and application of gears, couplings and related power transmission components and equipment. Its mission is to enhance the global competitiveness of the American gear industry.