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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Automakers Wary Of Russia At Geneva Auto Show

March 4, 2014 9:37 am | by Colleen Barry and Josh Heilprin, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Russia has been a key market for recession-battered European automakers that have looked to expand sales and find partners for lucrative joint ventures. But new uncertainty has been raised by growing tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

Oil Prices Spike On Russia Sanctions Fears

March 3, 2014 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Oil prices jumped nearly $2 a barrel Monday as Russia's military advance into Ukraine raised fears of economic sanctions against one of the world's major energy producers.                        

Manufacturers Optimistic Overall, But Energy Costs Are Big Concern

March 3, 2014 12:27 pm | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO | News | Comments

Like their peers in other sectors, industrial manufacturing CEOs are much less worried about the global economy than last year, although exchange rate volatility and energy costs are still big concerns.             

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Automakers Pack Small Models With Premium Features

March 3, 2014 9:55 am | by Colleen Barry, Associated Press | News | Comments

One Geneva Auto Show buzzword is small. Mass carmakers are adding premium design features to their city cars as they fight back against premium carmakers' moving in on their small car territory.                

China Manufacturing Weakens, Economy Cools

March 3, 2014 9:52 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing weakened in February and employers cut staff at the fastest rate in nearly five years, a survey showed Monday, adding to signs growth in the world's second-largest economy is cooling.             

Germany: No Spy Deal With U.S.

February 28, 2014 2:39 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The German government is conceding that it doesn't expect to reach agreement with Washington in the foreseeable future on a hoped-for "no-spy" deal.                              

Hospitals Coping With Persistent Drug Shortages

February 28, 2014 2:36 pm | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

U.S. hospitals are coping better with ongoing shortages of hundreds of medications, but a new survey indicates that obtaining drugs from alternate sources is costing them a lot of money they can't spare.              

Sharp May Sell Plant In Jakarta To Cut Costs

February 28, 2014 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sharp Corp. is considering selling its Pulogadung plant in Jakarta after terminating the production of liquid crystal display televisions and other home appliances to slash costs, sources close to the matter said Friday.         

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Mazda Opens Mexican Plant

February 28, 2014 12:40 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

"This will be the most important production base under the ongoing structural reform in which the fate of the company is at stake," Mazda Chairman Takashi Yamanouchi said Thursday.                  

Ending Currency Manipulation Could Create 5.8M Jobs

February 27, 2014 9:48 am | by Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) | News | Comments

The United States could create up to 5.8 million new jobs if it acted to end global currency manipulation, according to a report released today by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The study found that every state would see significant job gains within three years, with a major impact on manufacturing job growth.

MAPI: China’s Economic Reforms Offer Both Challenges And Opportunities

February 26, 2014 2:25 pm | by The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | News | Comments

Despite being comprehensive and ambitious, China’s new economic reform agenda is criticized for being vague and not overwhelmingly innovative. According to a new report, however, what is encouraging this time is that China’s leaders have demonstrated a stronger will to ensure successful implementation.

EU Lawmakers Back Tough New Anti-Smoking Rules

February 26, 2014 2:01 pm | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Parliament on Wednesday voted for tougher anti-smoking rules that will make health warnings on cigarette packs larger and include mandatory pictures of rotting teeth or cancer-infested lungs.              

Airbus Posts Higher 2013 Profit

February 26, 2014 10:05 am | by Greg Keller, Associated Press | News | Comments

European jetmaker Airbus Group said Wednesday record demand for its civilian jetliners from airlines around the world drove higher sales and profits last year. The Boeing Co. rival, known until this year as EADS, said net profit rose 22 percent to 1.47 billion euros ($2 billion) in 2013, up from 1.2 billion euros the previous year.

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What's A Bitcoin? A Look At The Digital Currency

February 25, 2014 2:27 pm | by Raphael Satter, Associated Press | News | Comments

Early Tuesday, the world's most established exchange for Bitcoin disappeared from the Internet, sending the price of the virtual currency tumbling and prompting fears that the world's biggest experiment in electronic cash could soon be strangled by fraud or regulation.

Honda Increases North American Manufacturing Footprint

February 25, 2014 10:29 am | by The Association For Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

The start-up of the Celaya Plant increases Honda's annual automobile production capacity in North America to approximately 1.92 million units. In 2013, more than 90 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America; this is expected to exceed 95 percent when the Celaya plant reaches full capacity.

French Automakers Seek To Catch Up In China

February 25, 2014 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Their motivation is clear: Europe's auto sales slumped last year to their lowest level since 1995, forcing French brands to join U.S. and European rivals in looking to China to drive revenues. But the timing is awkward.          

BlackBerry Announces New Phones, Services

February 25, 2014 9:58 am | by Anick Jesdaun, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

BlackBerry will release a low-cost phone in Indonesia in April and plans a broader release of a phone that restores a beloved row of control keys with a track pad. The Indonesia phone, the Z3, will sell for less than $200 without subsidies, the company said Tuesday.

Black Hawk Helicopter Maker To Eliminate 600 Jobs

February 24, 2014 9:57 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The company that manufactures Black Hawk helicopters said Friday it is eliminating 600 jobs, most of them in Connecticut, as it struggles with cuts to U.S. defense spending and a reduction in the demand for the workhorse aircraft used by the military to strike targets and ferry troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why New-Shoring Is The New School Of Manufacturing Trends

February 24, 2014 9:39 am | by Rich Thomas, Line/Shape/Space | Blogs | Comments

You may get your product faster and cheaper, but manufacturing overseas has its pitfalls. Through a combination of one of the new manufacturing trends, “new-shoring” — creating new jobs closer to home — and smarter international manufacturing practices, small businesses are helping protect their valuable assets.

Bhutan, Nissan Partner On Electric Cars

February 21, 2014 2:22 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has tapped Nissan Motor Co. to supply electric cars for its taxis and government fleet, hoping to reduce reliance on imported oil. Under the agreement announced Friday, Nissan will supply its Leaf electric car and set up charging stations in Bhutan.

Turkey Receives First Of 4 Surveillance Planes

February 21, 2014 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Turkey's military has taken delivery of its first Boeing-made surveillance aircraft, part of a $1.5 billion project to modernize its air force.                                

Japan Trade Deficit Hits Record $27.4B In January

February 21, 2014 10:08 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan's trade deficit surged to a monthly record of 2.8 trillion yen ($27.4 billion) in January as imports jumped 25 percent, underscoring the challenge the country faces in restoring export-driven growth.              

Mexico To Trump Japan As No. 2 Car Exporter To U.S.

February 21, 2014 9:57 am | by Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press | News | Comments

An $800 million Honda plant opening Friday in the central state of Guanajuato will produce about 200,000 Fit hatchbacks a year, helping push total Mexican car exports to the U.S. to 1.7 million in 2014, roughly 200,000 more than Japan, consulting firm IHS Automotive says.

Mexico Feels Energy Buzz With N. America Summit

February 20, 2014 10:03 am | by Katherine Corcoran, Associated Press | News | Comments

The leaders of the three NAFTA nations met Wednesday in Mexico in part to highlight the economic cooperation that has grown since NAFTA joined the U.S., Canada, and Mexico 20 years ago. But all eyes were on one key area that NAFTA didn't touch: energy.

China's Manufacturing Slows To 7-Month Low

February 20, 2014 9:58 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's economic activity has slowed steadily as the government tries to reduce reliance on investment in industry and infrastructure and encourage more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption.              

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