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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Tesla Opens Assembly Plant In Netherlands

August 23, 2013 10:14 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tesla Motors on Thursday opened its assembly plant in Tilburg, Netherlands, creating a new distribution site for the luxury electric car company's European customers. The U.S. company began deliveries of its Model S sedan in Norway earlier this month and said that some of its first Dutch, Belgian, French and German customers received their cars at the brand new Tilburg facility on Thursday.

Wal-Mart Pushes 'Made In America' At Summit

August 22, 2013 2:23 pm | by Anne D'nnocenzio, Mike Schneider, Associated Press | News | Comments

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping for a groundswell "made-in-America" movement. The world's largest retailer hosted its first two-day summit Thursday bringing together retailers, suppliers and government officials that it hopes will build on its recent commitment to drive more manufacturing in the U.S.

Survey: China Manufacturing Slump Stabilizing

August 22, 2013 2:18 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing slowdown stabilized in August in another possible sign the world's second-largest economy is improving, a survey showed Thursday. HSBC Corp. said the preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers index rose to 50.1 from July's 47.7 on a 100-point scale. Numbers above 50 indicate an expansion in activity.

Toshiba Mulls Shutting Down TV Factory In Poland

August 22, 2013 2:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toshiba Corp. is considering shutting down its television manufacturing plant in Poland as part of measures to restructure its struggling television business, sources close to the matter said Thursday. But Toshiba will sell the plant if it finds a buyer, the sources said.

The Million American Jobs Project

August 22, 2013 8:03 am | by Million American Jobs Project | Videos | Comments

Economics isn't all that complicated. We can create a million new American jobs this year by simply looking for the Made In America label. If each of us takes a tiny fraction of the money we're already spending and buys U.S.-made goods, we'll create a economic tidal wave. Watch the video, and then share it. Boom, you just helped make a million new jobs. 

Court: Apartheid Suits Vs. Companies In U.S. Barred

August 21, 2013 2:36 pm | by Larry Neumeister, Associated Press | News | Comments

Two automakers and a technology company cannot be held liable in the U.S. for abuses committed by South Africa's government, a federal appeals court said Wednesday in a blow to class-action lawsuits that had tried to hold American, Canadian and European companies liable for the claims of millions of people who say they suffered under apartheid.

Trade Dispute Threatens WA Industry

August 19, 2013 2:48 pm | by Amy Martinez, The Seattle Times | News | Comments

REC Silicon, with 500 workers in this Central Washington town, annually produces enough solar-grade polysilicon to power more than 2 million homes. But a global trade battle over solar panels threatens to plunge REC and its local workforce into financial crisis.

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