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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

CNC Machines Go Horizontal

July 22, 2013 2:43 pm | Articles | Comments

Suburban Manufacturing has been in business more than 33 years and has a gleaming, state-of-the-art 30,000 square foot CNC machine shop. According to vice president Brian Nuibe, Suburban is a “true job shop. We have vertical machining centers and horizontal machining centers, single- and multi-spindle CNC lathe machines, saws, hones, sand blasting, part marking — a huge array of operations.”

5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Motor Disconnect Switch

July 19, 2013 9:38 am | by Mennekes | Articles | Comments

Dust, water, corrosive chemicals, and airborne particles are severe hazards to many manufacturing and production facilities. Any environment where critical electrical equipment is exposed puts this equipment at risk. This critical equipment includes your motor disconnects and switched receptacles.

Manufacturing Activity In Philly Region Jumps

July 19, 2013 9:38 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region grew in July at the fastest pace in more than two years, suggesting factories may help support economic growth in the second half of the year. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia says its index of regional manufacturing activity jumped to 19.8 in July. That's up from 12.5 in June and the highest since March 2011.

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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.

Lean Energy Management In Manufacturing

July 12, 2013 8:02 am | by Michael Overturf, CEO, ZF Energy Development | Articles | Comments

Lean manufacturing is by now a widely understood method of making wide variety, small quantity products. Few manufacturing managers are not familiar with the idea of lean manufacturing having come of age in the 1980s. This movement has effectively created the low-cost, wide variety product universe in which we live now. Industrialized societies have become so efficient at making stuff in such variety that we’re literally drowning in it.

July 2013: Let's Get Visible

July 11, 2013 10:13 am | Digital Editions | Comments

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.

Bremen Castings: Making Heavy Industry A Safer Place

July 9, 2013 8:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Bremen, Ind., is a small town of about 5,500 people roughly 15 minutes south of the South Bend/Elkhart area. And one of its major employers, Bremen Castings Inc. (BCI), has been around long enough, having been established in 1939, to gain a reputation of being one of the area’s best employers.

ND Synthetic Gas Plant To Resume Production

July 3, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Great Plains Synfuels Plant in western North Dakota is expected to restart this week after production was halted a month for maintenance work. Bismarck-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative says its plant near Beulah was shut down on June 1 for maintenance work pegged at $46 million.

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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.

Nissan Adds 900 Jobs To Make Rogue At TN Plant

June 27, 2013 1:48 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nissan is adding 900 jobs to start making the Rogue crossover SUV at its Tennessee plant, the Japanese automaker announced Thursday. The new jobs are in addition to 800 positions added at the Smyrna plant last year, and will bring total employment at the suburban Nashville facility to more than 7,000. Hiring is already underway, and Rogue production is scheduled to begin this fall.

IMTSTV: Manufacturing With Darwin, Moore, & Metcalfe

June 25, 2013 12:30 pm | by IMTSTV | Videos | Comments

IMTSTV's Penny Brown got a chance to speak with Steve Fritzinger, NetApp's Virtualization Alliance Manager, Java Author, and Economics Writer, about the current state of the manufacturing industry. Fritzinger explains how competition and technology are driving the industry's pace, and why companies must adapt to this change if they want to survive. He also speaks about the future of manufacturing jobs in America.

Ford Explorer Production Goes International

June 24, 2013 8:00 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

The first full-production Explorer rolled off the assembly line in April at Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant in the Republic of Tatarstan for the Russian market. Previously, only knock-down versions of Explorer had been built anywhere outside of the United States. Here, Bruce Hettle, director of manufacturing engineering with Ford, talks global Ford SUV production, the Ford Production System, and the future auto market.

Retaining Your Number One Asset: Employees

June 21, 2013 8:08 am | by Maria Ferrante, Vice President, Education & Workforce Development, PMMI | Articles | Comments

There is one absolute that applies to every company, independent of industry: You cannot expect to operate efficiently without dedicated and skilled employees. When looking at the manufacturing industry specifically, finding a highly skilled workforce has proven to be one of the greatest challenges.

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CT Gun Maker Moving To SC On New Laws

June 20, 2013 10:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Connecticut gun manufacturer is leaving in response to the state's new gun law, passed following the killings of 20 children and six educators in Newtown. John McNamara, vice president of sales at PTR Industries, said Wednesday that the Bristol company will move to Aynor, S.C., as quickly as possible without interrupting production. He says most of the 41 workers will move.

Inside A $350,000+ Porsche

June 20, 2013 8:03 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

CNN Money's Sue Callaway goes inside Singer Vehicle Design, an exclusive Porsche shop in Southern California that takes old Porsches and modernizes them – for a price. Singer Vehicle Design says it is “dedicated to the passionate study, preservation, and optimization of the world’s most respected high performance vehicles through modern techniques and unique and fresh perspectives.”

OR House Passes Bill To Track Toxic Chemicals

June 19, 2013 2:24 pm | by Lauren Gambino, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Oregon House passed a bill Tuesday that would set up a public database to track 19 toxic chemicals used in children's toys and products and would require manufactures to remove the chemicals from their products within five years. The bill, which passed 39-21, would require companies with gross sales of more than $5 million per year to report the presence of the chemicals in their products.

GM Breaks Ground On China Cadillac Plant

June 19, 2013 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors Co. executives broke ground for a new Cadillac factory in China on Wednesday to target luxury buyers in the world's biggest auto market, though they said the segment would grow slower than expected this year. Company leaders said they were optimistic about long-term growth in the luxury segment and have aggressive plans to expand Cadillac's dealer network.

United 787 Heading To Tokyo Diverted To Seattle

June 19, 2013 10:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Boeing 787 flying from Denver to Tokyo diverted to Seattle because of an oil filter issue, a United Airlines spokeswoman said. An airline maintenance team was inspecting the jet after Flight 139 landed normally Tuesday afternoon at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, United spokeswoman Mary Ryan said in an email statement.

Gevo Restarts Isobutanol Production At MN Plant

June 18, 2013 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gevo, which makes fuels and chemicals from plant matter, has restarted commercial production of isobutanol at its plant in Luverne, Minn. Isobutanol is an alternative to ethanol that is blended into fuel. Gevo Inc. CEO Patrick Gruber said that there was some microbial contamination at the plant that the company has since learned how to control and manage.

Developing A Workforce

June 18, 2013 8:06 am | by Maria Ferrante, Vice President, Education & Workforce Development, PMMI | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers are on the cusp of a major generational shift. Baby Boomers are preparing to retire out of the workforce, and Gen Y is poised to replace them. However, several obstacles are preventing a seamless transition of Gen Y-ers into these soon-to-be vacant roles.

An Easy Reach: Industrial Ergonomics

June 17, 2013 4:45 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Ergonomics can be thought of as much like a dinner table setting: Everything should be in easy reach and no one should have to reach too far or stretch into an unnatural position to get at what they need, says Ed Metzger, president of BioFit. “By ensuring that workers have the freedom to move comfortably and naturally, companies can prevent many of the musculoskeletal injuries and fatigue that leads to lost time and productivity.”

Competitive Edge

June 17, 2013 4:40 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Manufacturing in America isn’t as simple as just setting up shop and producing a product. Nowadays, a globally networking economy means competition has taken on more nuance: labor rates are eroded by low cost countries, which results in lower cost imported goods and an ever-sloping playing field.

Toshiba: Made In America

June 17, 2013 3:34 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Many don’t think of Toshiba as an American-made brand, especially when it comes to the U.S. automotive market. And for quite some time, that was true. Since 2003, Toshiba had manufactured HEV motors for Ford Motor Company at its Japan facility. But in 2011, under the weight of supply chain pressures and growing currency risks, Toshiba Industrial Corporation began manufacturing motors for Ford’s hybrid vehicles in Houston, TX.

Lear Assembly Plant Drives Integrated Systems & Quality Assurance

June 17, 2013 3:29 pm | Articles | Comments

Lear Corporation’s 94,000-square-foot, four assembly line seating plant in Montgomery, AL is one of the most modern and efficient facilities of its kind. At peak production, Lear builds approximately 1,000 seat sets per day or 73 sets per hour in 56 distinct combinations of colors and options for the Hyundai Sonata sedan and Santa Fe SUV built at Hyundai’s Alabama plant.

Diamond Tool Enables Sikorsky Helicopters to Overcome Production Stop

June 17, 2013 3:27 pm | Articles | Comments

Sometimes the most experienced technicians or skilled toolmakers need to look to specialists outside when it comes to solving critical service problems. Such was the case when a legendary helicopter company was confronted with a worldwide problem in cleaning scale from a small, outsourced part that was preventing it from proceeding with production of its helicopters all over the world.

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