September 14, 2009 EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Pratt & Whitney says it's finished formal negotiations with the Machinists union but hasn't made a decision on the future of more than 1,000 employees in Connecticut. In a statement released Sunday, the jet engine maker says it's evaluating the union's proposal and an offer from the state.
September 15, 2009 Chances are, your competitors are quickly rightsizing their manufacturing footprint in response to today’s deteriorating global market conditions. Improving operations within facilities is likely not enough. In order for companies to be competitive in this economic environment as well as going forward, manufacturing footprint optimization (MFO) will need to be a strategic priority.
September 15, 2009 It’s finally gotten to me. I have given up on innovation, invention, small business, hard work, and sacrifice as a means of rescue, and I don’t mean from our current economic tribulation; I mean rescue from the economic and social misery which has frayed the fabric of our country.
September 14, 2009 Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO I have to admit I was somewhat disappointed in the article I recently read on GM’s 1 million milestone in the company’s fuel cell test fleet vehicle experiment. While this is an impressive feat, I didn’t find the facts as uplifting as I’d hoped.
September 11, 2009 Imagine: If an operator knew when a production process was unstable and fixed it immediately. If a machine automatically shut off or alerted someone when there was a setup error. If an error could be predicted before it even happened. Every so often a technological breakthrough reinvents the way manufacturing is done.
The Place-A-Vent Portable Fume Extractor (PFE) from Vent-A-Kiln (Buffalo, NY) is a continuation of the original wall-mounted Place-A-Vent fume extractor, and utilizes a high-pressure fan unit fabricated with 14-gage steel housing. A self-cleaning cast aluminum wheel keeps maintenance easy.
E-Z Red (Deposit on the Delaware, NY) offers the Universal Interchangeable 8-Piece hook and pick set, featuring an ergonomic chemical-resistant handle with quick-disconnect. The tools quickly and easily pull clips, rings, seals, cotter pins, washers, and other small parts.
Industrial Press (New York, NY) has released a book by Ramesh Gulati, titled “Maintenance and Reliability Best Practices,” designed to provide a thorough understanding of how plant managers can operate their machinery more reliably and at a lower cost. The easy-to-understand style allows readers of all kinds — from seasoned plant managers and product designers to students looking to break into the field — to follow and learn the information.
Advance US (Plymouth, MN) now offers the Condor XL, a 67-inch wide rider-scrubber with 100-gallon solution and recovery tanks. According to the company, the Condor XL can cover up to 100,000 square feet of open floor space on a single tank of solution, increasing productivity and reducing cleaning costs.
September 11, 2009 FRANKFURT (AP) — German carmaker Volkswagen AG said Friday it wants to spend euro4 billion ($5.8 billion) in China between now and 2011 on new products and plant expansions to keep up with rising demand there. The company plans to make investments, including increasing capacity, at its Nanjing and Chengdu plants, where it hopes to produce two new models starting in 2012.
September 11, 2009 CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Workers at a South Carolina Boeing Co. plant have voted against continued representation by a union as the company considers the site for a second assembly line for its new 787 wide-body jetliner. Workers at the North Charleston plant, which makes fuselage sections for the 787, voted 199-68 Thursday against continued representation by the International Association of Machinists.
September 11, 2009 WILSON, N.Y. (AP) — Pfeiffer Foods says it will close its western New York salad dressing plant this fall, putting more than 150 people out of work. Officials at Pfeiffer, a division of Columbus, Ohio-based T. Marzetti Co., confirmed Thursday that the company's plant in Wilson will close in November.
September 11, 2009 SHANGHAI (AP) — China's recovery gained momentum in August as stimulus spending helped boost industrial output, investment and retail sales in the world's third-largest economy, offsetting a slump in exports. The National Statistics Bureau reported that industrial production rose 12.
September 11, 2009 WASHINGTON (AP) -- Auto dealers and business leaders on Thursday appealed a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency that allowed California to establish the nation's first greenhouse gas standards for cars and trucks, setting the stage for a potential attempt to block the global warming rules.
September 11, 2009 CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A federal official who's been studying Wyoming's high rate of workplace fatalities said the state needs to foster an environment where workers regard following safety procedures as proof of their professionalism, not as a sign of weakness.
September 11, 2009 BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — General Motors Co. is now 1 million miles into its fuel cell experiment and company officials say having everyday people drive a test fleet of pollution-free cars has convinced them they are on the right track. The automaker on Friday said it passed the 1 million-miles-driven mark in its fuel cell Chevrolet Equinox vehicles, with about 5,000 people rotating in and out of more than 100 cars over the past 25 months.
September 11, 2009 MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Deere & Co. said Thursday it plans to lay off 367 production workers at its John Deere Harvester works in East Moline, Ill., due to weak demand for the factory's products. The world's largest maker of farm equipment said the indefinite layoffs, effective Sept.
Keeling & Walker Ltd, and its sister company Thermox Performance Materials Ltd, operate from the same site in Stoke-on-Trent. Between them, they offer more than 50 tin oxide-based materials for use in ceramics, electrical, electronic,s and advanced technology applications. Originally, the companies supplied materials for the local ceramics industry.
Bonjour! This week’s column comes from about 30,000 feet above Quebec, on my way home after three glorious days in Montreal for the Labor Day weekend. Perfect weather, two days of great music on the city’s waterfront and some interesting food (beef tartare — basically a raw hamburger patty but surprisingly good) was exactly what the doctor ordered, and I’m returning to Chem.
September 10, 2009 CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities say a former official at a Chicago factory where workers staged a high-profile sit-in has been arrested and others who ran Republic Windows and Doors are also under investigation. The six-day occupation of the shuttered plant last December drew national attention to the plight of laid-off workers.