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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Johnson Controls To Add 11 Factories In China

September 12, 2013 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Johnson Controls Inc.'s auto parts unit plans to open 11 new manufacturing sites in China during the next few years to handle expected growth. The company's Plymouth, Mich., Automotive Experience unit, which makes seats, electronics and interiors, now has 57 sites in China. The company said in a statement Thursday that the expansion comes after 16 years of continuous growth.

Inside America's First Smartphone Factory

September 12, 2013 1:40 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The Moto X smartphone is now being manufactured out of a new facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Gov. Rick Perry and top executives attended the opening of a Fort Worth plant where cellphone pioneer Motorola will produce the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S.

Koreas Set To Restart Jointly Run Factory Park

September 11, 2013 2:42 pm | by Foster Klug, Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press | News | Comments

North and South Korea agreed Wednesday to restart operations at a jointly run factory park that Pyongyang shut down in April during a torrent of threats, the latest sign of easing animosity between the rivals. Wariness, however, still lingers in Seoul and Washington over Pyongyang's springtime provocations.

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Death Toll From Chinese Explosion Rises To 7

September 11, 2013 9:59 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Authorities in a southern Chinese city said Wednesday that a deadly explosion was sparked while workers unloaded banned caps for children's toy guns and that the toll from the blast rose to seven dead and 36 injured. Tuesday's blast was ruled accidental, the Guangzhou Internet Information office said.

First U.S. Smartphone Assembly Plant Opens

September 10, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Rick Perry and top executives are attending the opening of a Fort Worth plant where cellphone pioneer Motorola will produce the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S. Motorola is owned by Google, whose Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, will be on-hand Tuesday, as will Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside.

Jaguar To Create 1,700 New Jobs In UK

September 10, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Jaguar Land Rover has announced a substantial new investment in Britain and the creation of 1,700 jobs. The Indian-owned company plans to invest 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) to produce an advanced new car manufactured out of aluminum.

China's August Exports Accelerate, Imports Slow

September 9, 2013 10:09 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's August export growth accelerated, adding to signs of a gradual recovery for the world's second-largest economy, while import growth weakened. Exports rose 7.2 percent to $190.7 billion, accelerating from July's 5.1 percent growth, customs data showed Sunday. Imports rose 7 percent to $162.1 billion, but that was down from July's 10.9 percent.

IN Gov. Departs For Trade Mission To Japan

September 6, 2013 10:05 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence left Thursday on his first overseas trade mission as governor, taking along more than 40 political and business leaders to Japan. The trade delegation flew out of Indianapolis for a nine-day trip through Tokyo, Nagoya and Tochigi Prefecture, Indiana's Japanese sister state.

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Boeing Sees China's Air Fleet Tripling In 20 Years

September 5, 2013 2:36 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's airlines are likely to triple the size of their fleets over the next two decades, driven by strong economic growth and rising tourism spending, Boeing Co. said Thursday. Boeing and European rival Airbus Industries are looking to China to drive sales as growth in demand cools elsewhere. 

Fiat Confirms Investment In Flagship Turin Plant

September 4, 2013 2:14 pm | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Italian carmaker Fiat, which controls Chrysler, will go ahead with investments in its flagship Mirafiori plant in Turin, where it will produce Maserati SUVs. Fiat confirmed the decision Wednesday, after signing a contract with seven unions on flexible work rules.

U.S. Trade Deficit Widens To $39.1B

September 4, 2013 10:14 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit widened in July from a four-year low in June. American consumers bought more foreign cars and other imported goods, while U.S. companies exported fewer long-lasting manufactured goods. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the trade gap rose 13 percent to $39.1 billion. 

Microsoft Takeover Of Nokia Fans Fears In Finland

September 3, 2013 2:30 pm | by Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nokia, the former star of the cellphone world, has seen its light further dimmed by the news Tuesday that Microsoft Corp. was acquiring its handset operations. "This is naturally a big day of change in Finland's industrial history," Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen told reporters in Helsinki Tuesday after Microsoft's 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion) deal was announced.

Toyota To Boost U.S. Transmission Production

September 3, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota said Friday that it will spend $102 million to increase U.S. production of transmissions. The company said that it will boost its automatic-transmission assembly and machining capacity at its Buffalo, W. Va., plant, as well the capacity at its powertrain plant and Bodine Aluminum casting facilities in Missouri and Tennessee.

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Ammonia Leak Kills 15 People In Shanghai

September 3, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

At least 15 people were killed Saturday after liquid ammonia leaked from a refrigeration unit at a cold storage plant in China's financial hub of Shanghai, the local government said. Twenty-five people were injured in the accident, which happened at a plant in the Baoshan district of the east coast city, the Shanghai government Information Office said. Five of the injured were in serious condition.

A ‘Made In America’ Walmart: Truth Or Gimmick?

August 30, 2013 8:01 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Last week, Walmart Stores announced that they would be holding a summit on U.S. manufacturing, and there’s a fair amount of skepticism over the company’s motives, particularly considering its long history of sourcing a vast majority of products from overseas.

U.S. Sugar Producers Receive Good News

August 29, 2013 2:24 pm | by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press | News | Comments

Questions about low sugar prices, dry growing conditions, discolored product and a bloated North American market due in large part to Mexican exports had American Crystal Sugar Co. officials reeling in recent weeks. But CEO David Berg told employees about plans by Mexico's soft drink industry to buy more of its own cane sugar so less of it will be sold elsewhere, an issue that has frustrated U.S. executives.

First U.S.-Made Smartphone Cheap To Produce

August 29, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Motorola's new Moto X phone doesn't cost more to make simply because it's assembled in Texas, research firm IHS said. The Moto X is the first smartphone to carry the "Made in the U.S.A." designation. Labor costs are higher in the U.S. compared with Asian factories, where phones are typically made.

Walmart's Plan Sells 'American Made'

August 29, 2013 12:33 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Walmart SVP Michelle Gloeckler explains her company's $50 billion effort to sell more American made goods over the next ten years. Even if Walmart is successful in getting key retailers and suppliers on board, experts say it won't rejuvenate the U.S. manufacturing industry. But the movement could help stem the tide of jobs flowing to China and elsewhere that has been occurring in the last two decades.

Signs Of Life In China's Factories, But For How Long?

August 28, 2013 2:11 pm | by Reuters TV | Videos | Comments

A leading indicator shows a fresh spike in manufacturing activity, but with debt pressures lingering and the country on a slower growth track, economists remain cautious on China's outlook. China's manufacturing slowdown stabilized in August in another possible sign the world's second-largest economy is improving, a survey showed.

Maruti Suzuki Says New Plant Delayed

August 27, 2013 2:18 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. said Tuesday that the opening of its new plant in India's western state of Gujarat will be delayed due to the overall slowdown of the Indian economy and car market. The company's chairman, R.C. Bhargava, stated that the Indian unit of Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp. will "miss the target" of commissioning its Gujarat plant by March 31, 2016.

Startups Gain Appeal As Some Japan Inc. Names Fade

August 26, 2013 2:23 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

In a shabby back-alley office in Shibuya, a Tokyo district known for youth culture and tech ventures, defectors from corporate Japan are hard at work for a little known company they fervently believe will be the country's next big manufacturing success.

China: Economy Stabilizing After Slowdown

August 26, 2013 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's government tried Monday to reassure companies and its public about the economy's health, saying growth is stabilizing after a lengthy decline and should hit the official target of 7.5 percent for the year. The announcement by the chief spokesman for the Cabinet's statistics agency was part of official efforts to defuse unease about the country's deepest slump since the 2008 global crisis.

Jim Tompkins: When Considering Reshoring

August 26, 2013 8:01 am | by Jim Tompkins, CEO of Tompkins International | Blogs | Comments

Is manufacturing coming back to the U.S.? Some may be returning, but the single best answer is “No”. No, there is not a mass movement to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. No, we are not moving away from global supply chains. No, the U.S. does not have a large workforce waiting to take low paying jobs.

Smith Electric Announces Joint Venture In Taiwan

August 23, 2013 4:37 pm | by Smith Electric Vehicle | News | Comments

Smith Electric Vehicles, a leading global producer of all-electric medium-duty commercial vehicles, today announced that it has signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with Taikang Technology Corporation in Taiwan. Taikang Technology Corporation, a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer in Taiwan, has twenty-five years of automotive experience and has expertise in upfitting specialized municipal commercial vehicles. 

Indonesia Curbs Luxury Car Imports

August 23, 2013 1:54 pm | by Niniek Karmini, Associated Press | News | Comments

Indonesia said that it would curb imports of luxury cars and take other steps to bolster national finances as Southeast Asia's largest economy suffers a slumping currency and stock market. Indonesia has been buffeted by an exodus of cash from its financial markets as improving economic prospects in the U.S and Europe reverse the tide of money that swept into developing nations the past few years.

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