In this issue, manufacturers face new resources as they look to improve the visibility of their facility's assets, Lantech talks 40 years of innovation, and IMPO readers reveal how evaluate their current equipment and potential purchases when it comes to energy efficiency, and more.
A group of 17 North American retailers and clothing makers has agreed to a five-year safety pact aimed at improving conditions at Bangladesh factories that calls for inspecting all factories that supply their garments within a year. They also agreed to set up basic safety standards within three months and are requiring that the inspection results of the factories be made public.
Talks between the rival Koreas aimed at restarting a stalled inter-Korean factory park ended Wednesday with no breakthrough, but both sides agreed to meet again next week to discuss restoring what was once a rare symbol of cooperation between the archrivals.
China's trade declined abruptly in June in a sign growth in the world's second-largest economy might be cooling even more sharply than expected. Exports fell by 3.1 percent compared with a year earlier and imports contracted by 0.7 percent, customs data showed Wednesday. Both were below forecasts of growth in the low single digits.
It might look like a model airplane, but don't let the size fool you. The Heron 1 is the latest in Israeli drone technology and the growth engine of Israel's defense industry. Between 2001 and 2011, 41 percent of drones came from Israel. President and CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries, Joseph Weiss, explains why this technology is a necessity.
Last year, Chinese consumers bought 19 million cars and trucks — 5 million more than consumers in the U.S. Ford's share of those sales was just 3 percent. Years of corporate chaos and financial trouble slowed Ford's entry into China as its rivals gained a foothold. Together, General Motors and Volkswagen control a third of China's market.
The manufacturing community is currently enmeshed in an ideological debate over sourcing and procurement. There's vigorous — and at times emotional — argument surrounding strategies for insourcing, outsourcing, near sourcing or keeping it in-house. The argument really shouldn’t focus on the fervent and at times politically-tinged abstractions of what flag flies over the factory, but rather what’s best for your business.
Delegates from North and South Korea held talks Saturday on restarting a stalled joint factory park that had been a symbol of cooperation between the bitter rivals, but there was no word on whether any significant progress had been made as discussions went into the night.
Chinese authorities have filed criminal charges against nearly a dozen public officials blamed for the high death toll in a fire last month that killed 121 people in a poultry plant in the northeast. China's top prosecuting agency has charged 11 public officials with dereliction of duty, according to a report Friday in the agency's official publication, Jiancha Daily.
A group of primarily European retailers and clothing makers has set a deadline of next spring to inspect clothing factories in Bangladesh that make garments for the companies. The group of 70 companies includes Swedish retailer H&M, Italian clothing maker Benetton and French retailer Carrefour. They say they will concentrate on renovating the most hazardous factories.
According to the business consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle, there has been a significant uptick in the number of tech manufacturing jobs in the U.S. since 2001. One of the major reasons for expanding manufacturing to the U.S. stems from the desire to have factories closer to consumers and those who can then fix problems.
The European Parliament on Wednesday backed a rescue plan for the world's biggest cap-and-trade system for emissions of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas from human activities. In a 344-311 vote, European lawmakers in Strasbourg, France, approved a proposal to delay an auction of allowances in the EU's emissions trading scheme.
The U.S. trade deficit increased in May to the highest level in six months as a weak global economy depressed U.S. export sales while imports of autos and other nonpetroleum products hit an all-time high. The trade deficit rose to $45 billion in May, up 12.1 percent from April's $40.1 billion imbalance, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. It was the largest trade gap since November.
Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it will expand its semiconductor manufacturing plant in central Japan to meet growing demand for memory chips used in smartphones and tablet computers. Expansion work at the Yokkaichi facility in Mie Prefecture will start in late August for scheduled completion in summer next year, the company said.
China's Commerce Ministry announced Monday it has launched a formal investigation into claims that European Union countries are selling wine at unfairly low prices, as a prolonged dispute over Chinese solar power products continues to affect trade relations. The ministry said in a notice late Monday that it had accepted the complaint brought by the Chinese wine industry in May following a review.
French President Francois Hollande demanded on Monday that the United States immediately stop its alleged eavesdropping on European Union diplomats and suggested that the widening surveillance scandal could derail free-trade negotiations worth billions. The Obama administration is facing a breakdown in confidence from key allies over secret surveillance programs that reportedly installed covert listening devices in EU offices.
Toyota Motor Corp. will aim to boost its sales of vehicles in emerging markets from 3.7 million in 2012 to 5 million in the future, a company executive said Monday, as the automaker predicts its global sales will reach a record 10 million units.
The European Union is offering companies tax incentives to hire more apprentices, in a plan to put the "lost generation" back to work. One apprentice, who helps build a crucial part for Boeing's 737, talks about his experience as a Safran apprentice.
NextGen Illumination Inc. is moving its manufacturing operation from overseas to Oklahoma. The Fayetteville-based maker of light-emitting diode lighting for industrial, commercial, residential and agricultural applications has struck a deal with Cherokee Nation Industries to build products in Stilwell, Okla., a few miles from the Arkansas border. The company's manufacturing operation had been in Asia.
Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday its Turkish subsidiary held a line-off ceremony for the Corolla car and the Verso minivan at a factory in Sakarya, Turkey. The models, to be exported to more than 50 countries in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, will be assembled at the plant, which cost an additional capital outlay of 150 million euros, it said.
China's manufacturing weakened again in June amid a credit crunch and slower U.S. and European orders, two surveys showed Monday, adding to signs that growth in the world's second-largest economy is decelerating. HSBC's purchasing managers' index declined to 48.2 from May's 49.2 on a 50-point scale on which numbers below 50 show a contraction.
Germany has blocked a European Union agreement on capping car carbon emissions because the deal could have cost jobs and harmed its domestic auto industry, officials said Friday. The blunt admission that Europe's biggest economy put business interests before environmental standards is at odds with Germany's image as a champion of green issues.
An American executive held hostage for nearly a week by his company's Chinese workers in a pay dispute said Friday from his Florida home that he was held for ransom and paid nearly half a million dollars for his freedom. "One-hundred percent I got held for ransom," Chip Starnes said on NBC's "Today" show, just hours after arriving back home from China.
General Motors says it will invest $691 million in its assembly plants in the Mexican cities of Silao, San Luis Potosi and Toluca. GM Mexico's president Ernesto Hernandez said Wednesday the investment will help build a new factory in Silao to manufacture 8-speed transmissions and expand the factories in San Luis Potosi and Toluca.
The United States is expected to suspend trade privileges for Bangladesh because of concerns over labor rights and worker safety that intensified after hundreds died there in the global garment industry's worst accident. Congressional aides said the Obama administration would make its announcement Thursday, the culmination of a yearslong review of labor conditions in the impoverished South Asian nation.