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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

General Electric CEO Calls For More Innovation

July 12, 2013 2:03 pm | by Scott Bauer, Associated Press | News | Comments

The United States needs more startup companies and innovation to compete with the rest of the world, General Electric Co. chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt told the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents on Friday. Immelt said the U.S. needs more risk capital to help fuel startups, less government regulation, a greater emphasis on research and development and more cooperation with higher education.

Mercury Marine Invests $20M In WI Expansion

July 12, 2013 1:59 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Mercury Marine has begun a $20 million expansion of two of its Fond du Lac plants, saying there has been greater demand for its outboard engines amid the slow rebound of the boating industry following some tough years. The company has begun constructing the expansions, which will add a total of 38,000 square feet of manufacturing space to the 1.5 million it already has in the city.

Colgate Closing NJ Plant, Laying Off 350

July 12, 2013 1:56 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Colgate-Palmolive has announced plans to close its Morristown plant. The New York-based consumer products company says that it will lay off 350 employees and move more than 200 nonmanufacturing workers to its Piscataway technology center.

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Smartphone Slowdown Could Spell Trouble In Taiwan

July 12, 2013 11:45 am | by ReutersTV | Videos | Comments

With signs the high-end smartphone market in the developed world is at a near-term saturation point, Taiwanese chipmakers like TSMC may find once-assured profits are more fleeting than expected. The promised explosion of next-gen mobile devices may not create the windfall these chipmakers were expecting.

OR Company Moving Plant From China To NY

July 12, 2013 9:59 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Disposable flatware maker Trellis Earth Products is moving its manufacturing operations from China to upstate New York, where it will create 189 jobs. Trellis, with headquarters in Portland, Ore., plans to break ground on an $8 million, 80,000-square-foot facility in the Rochester Technology Park by the end of the summer.

VT Airport To Host Small Plane Manufacturer

July 12, 2013 9:57 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Vermont officials say a German light aircraft manufacturer is going to set up operations at the Newport State Airport creating 25 jobs. The expansion was announced Thursday by Gov. Peter Shumlin and the owners of the Jay Peak resort who are leading an economic charge designed to create thousands of jobs in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.

Carpet Company To Invest $350M On Factory

July 12, 2013 9:55 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Documents filed with a state agency show that a carpet company expects to invest $350 million to complete one of two new factories planned for Georgia. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Engineered Floors filed documents with the Department of Community Affairs saying the project should generate almost $7 million a year in local sales and property tax revenue.

Prevent Your Kidnapping With Re-Shoring?

July 12, 2013 8:01 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

Who, at this point, hasn’t heard about Chip Starnes, the American co-owner of a medical supply company, who was held against his will for five days by his own Chinese employees? As with most other news of labor relations coming out of China, many are using this event as another example of why manufacturers need to be moving back to the U.S. as soon as possible. I wouldn’t be so quick to judgment.

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Microsoft Reshuffles Company Structure

July 11, 2013 1:50 pm | by Barbara Ortutay, Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writers | News | Comments

Microsoft Corp. is reshuffling its business in an attempt to promote faster innovation and a sharper focus on devices and services. The move by the world's largest software maker comes amid lukewarm response to the latest version of its flagship Windows operating system and a steady decline in demand for PCs as people turn to tablets and other mobile gadgets.

Toshiba Completes U.S. Inverter Plant Expansion

July 11, 2013 1:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toshiba Corp. said Wednesday its U.S. affiliate Toshiba International Corp. completed an expansion to its inverter plant in Houston, Texas, that it began in August 2012. The expansion is part of a $20 million capital investment in Toshiba International's medium voltage industrial inverter production.

Vestas, Xerox Planning To Add CO Jobs

July 10, 2013 2:18 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Colorado officials are encouraged after wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems said it wants to hire more than 100 new people in Pueblo, while Xerox Services in Greeley said it plans to add 1,000 more seasonal employees through the end of the year.

NC Approves State Package For 240 GE Aviation Jobs

July 10, 2013 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A General Electric Co. unit is getting a rich incentives package to add about 240 jobs at four North Carolina factories within five years. Gov. Pat McCrory's office said Tuesday GE Aviation could get state tax breaks worth up to nearly $5 million if the company meets hiring and investment targets.

Immigration Legislation To Remake America's Workforce

July 9, 2013 1:55 pm | by Erica Werner, Associated Press | News | Comments

Landmark immigration legislation passed by the Senate would remake America's workforce from the highest rungs to the lowest and bring many more immigrants into the economy, from elite technology companies to restaurant kitchens and rural fields.

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Manufacturers Turning To Nontraditional Schedules

July 8, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

More manufacturers are turning to nontraditional schedules as they look to boost production. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that manufacturers are turning to 12- and 10-hour shifts and 36-hour weekend shifts to keep assembly lines moving at efficient levels.

Temporary Jobs Are Becoming A Permanent U.S. Fixture

July 8, 2013 10:15 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Hiring is exploding in the one corner of the U.S. economy where few want to be hired: Temporary work. From Wal-Mart to General Motors to PepsiCo, companies are increasingly turning to temps and to a much larger universe of freelancers, contract workers and consultants. Combined, these workers number nearly 17 million people who have only tenuous ties to the companies that pay them — about 12 percent of everyone with a job.

Companies Move Ahead With Bangladesh Safety Accord

July 8, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

Auto Firm To Close Opelika, AL Plant

July 3, 2013 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An automotive industry firm is announcing plans to close its Opelika plant, which would put about 121 employees out of work soon. The Opelika-Auburn News reports that Benteler Automotive Corp. on Tuesday announced the closure of its facility at the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park.

Zoetis To Expand NE Plant, Add 30 Jobs

July 3, 2013 2:00 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Animal health company Zoetis is planning to expand its Lincoln plant, so it can take over production of a drug currently made by another company. The expansion should add up to 30 jobs in Lincoln once the 19,000-square-foot addition is done in 2014.

U.S. Unemployment Benefit Applications Fall To 343K

July 3, 2013 10:07 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000 last week, a sign that employers are adding jobs at modest pace. The less volatile four-week average dipped 750 to 345,500, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

GM Supplier Plans Opening Factory Near Fort Wayne

July 3, 2013 10:00 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A General Motors supplier plans to open a new facility near Fort Wayne and hire up to 160 workers in the next few years. Ground Effects LLC announced Wednesday it expected to spend about $3.4 million to lease and equip a facility where it will process bed liners and other accessories for GM's nearby pickup truck assembly plant.

Nothin' But Blue Skies

July 3, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

After a car maker or a steel mill wears out a factory, extracts all the tax breaks a treasury will bear, and accumulates more obligations to its workers than the stockholders will bear, it flees town like a deadbeat husband, leaving a worn-out, exploited patch of land no else will touch. An industrial city follows the same life cycle as a boxer, or a prostitute.

Gov: Unions Not Needed At Mercedes-Benz Plant

July 2, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance does not need a union. His comments from a visit to the Tuscaloosa County plant last week are the most pointed public ones to date from a state official about the United Auto Workers' aggressive campaign, Al.com reported Monday.

Metal Manufacturing Company Expanding In AL

July 2, 2013 10:10 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A metal manufacturing company has announced plans to add between 250 and 300 jobs at its plant in Hartselle. The Decatur Daily reported Monday that Indiana-based Busche plans to hire new employees over the next five to six years. The company makes parts for heating and ventilation units, air conditioning compressors and tractor-trailers.

U.S. Factory Activity Expands In June, Jobs Decline

July 1, 2013 2:04 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturing activity grew in June behind a pickup in new orders, exports and production. Better economic growth overseas is boosting U.S. exports and could help American factories rebound in the second half of the year. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of factory activity increased to 50.9 in June. That's up from 49 in May, which was the lowest reading in four years.

EU Unemployment Solution: Apprenticeships

July 1, 2013 12:36 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

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.

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