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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Is This Tech CEO The Steve Jobs Of China?

September 18, 2013 2:25 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Lei Jun might not be a household name outside of China, but he has turned his company into one of China's most watched brands. Xiaomi founder Lei Jun is running an innovative technology giant in China, but he's quick to point out the differences from Apple. 

Germany: Economic Giant Reluctant To Lead

September 18, 2013 9:54 am | by Geir Moulson, Associated Press | News | Comments

Germany boasts the world's most powerful woman, Europe's most powerful economy and an industrial machine that's the envy of the planet. With all that muscle, it seems natural to assume the mantle of Europe's undisputed leader. But Germany is a reluctant giant — and this Sunday's national elections are unlikely to change that.

Built Ford Tough

September 17, 2013 3:45 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive industry leader, manufacturing or distributing vehicles across six continents. With 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company has leveraged the dedication of its employees and UAW partnership to become more efficient, improve its product cadence, and be a more effective automotive industry competitor than ever before.

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European Auto Sales Hit New Low

September 17, 2013 2:21 pm | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Car sales in Europe are still sagging despite the return of modest economic growth. For the first eight months of the year, passenger car sales in the European Union were off 5.2 percent to 7.84 million compared with the same period last year, the European Auto Manufacturers' Association said Tuesday. That's the lowest January-August figure since the group started keeping track in 1990.

Survey: Sluggish Global Economic Recovery Ahead

September 17, 2013 2:20 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A robust recovery for the global economy remains well out of reach. That's the view that emerges from a survey of economists just as the Federal Reserve is expected this week to reduce its stimulus for the U.S. economy. Europe has finally emerged from recession. Japan is growing after two decades of stagnation. And the United States is trudging ahead. 

FDA Halts Drugs From Top Indian Drugmaker's Plant

September 17, 2013 2:18 pm | by Kay Johnson, Matthew Perrone, Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. health regulators have placed a ban on imported drugs from a factory operated by India's largest pharmaceutical company, Ranbaxy Laboratories, due to manufacturing and quality control problems. The import alert, issued Friday by the Food and Drug Administration, effectively stops imports of 11 drugs from Ranbaxy's Mohali factory in Punjab province. 

South Koreans Back At Reopened Inter-Korea Factory

September 16, 2013 2:14 pm | by Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press | News | Comments

North and South Koreans got back to work Monday at a jointly run factory park after a five-month shutdown triggered by rising animosity between the rivals, with some companies quickly resuming production and others getting their equipment ready. South Korean business owners who have lost millions of dollars because of the hiatus say they'll need several months to recover.

Havana Sees New Life For Seedy Industrial Port

September 16, 2013 2:10 pm | by Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press | News | Comments

Havana's harbor has long been an unsightly jumble of piers left to crumble into piles of rusty, twisted rebar. Its dominant feature is a refinery smokestack across the bay that belches smoke and flame 24 hours a day. But lately demolition crews and towering cranes have been working double-time to finally tear down the ruined docks. 

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Can The 308 Hatchback Save Peugeot?

September 13, 2013 2:19 pm | by Sarah DiLorenzo, Associated Press | News | Comments

European carmakers can live and die by their mid-sized hatchbacks. And that category has long been the realm of the Volkswagen Golf. French carmaker Peugeot is hoping to change that with its redesigned 308. Every bit of this car shows the company is gunning for Golf customers: a sleek design, a minimalist interior and the promise of a low-emissions version that would rival VW's.

The Sweeping Transformation Of Manufacturing

September 13, 2013 8:02 am | by Beth Ambaruch, Director Corporate Communications, PTC | Articles | Comments

Whether we like it or not, globalization has been a major factor in the staying power of many manufacturers. The practice of scattering production, jobs and plants across the globe has delivered great benefits to the consumer and the manufacturer. Companies have been able to squeeze as much efficiency as possible from the products they make so that what we desire is affordable and readily available.

How Low-Cost Dacia Accidentally Conquered Europe

September 12, 2013 2:07 pm | by Sarah DiLorenzo, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The fastest-growing car brand in the European Union was never even supposed to be sold there. Dacia, the Romanian subsidiary of French manufacturer Renault, sells low-cost cars. Really low-cost cars — in some cases, 50 percent cheaper than rival models.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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