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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

New Fans Cut Lead Times

June 17, 2013 8:05 am | Articles | Comments

Located in the heart of Coppell, Texas, just outside of Dallas, Stone Panels Incorporated manufactures one of a kind, light-weight stone veneer panels used in new construction and renovations across the globe. The facility does not have a centralized air-conditioning system and working in close quarters in a humid, and often times dusty facility can lead to uncomfortable employees and a drop in productivity.

5 Quick Questions: Siemens’ Helmuth Ludwig

June 17, 2013 8:00 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

Although the company operates a diverse collection of business units in 190 countries, German-based Siemens also employs more than 60,000 people in 130 U.S. manufacturing facilities. So with this in mind, we recently sat down with Helmuth Ludwig, the CEO of Siemens’ Industry Sector in North America.

June 2013: Toshiba, Made In America

June 13, 2013 10:49 am | Digital Editions | Comments

In this issue, check out the 2013 Jobs Report, which feature's American-made Toshiba HEV engines, veterans in today's skilled labor jobs, the latest industry numbers, how manufacturers can take back American-made, and more.

Apparel Brands Look To New Asian Frontiers

June 13, 2013 8:03 am | by Reuters TV | Videos | Comments

Attention shoppers: Southeast Asia is the emerging hotspot for apparel manufacturing, with cost and safety concerns driving global brands to shift sourcing from stalwarts China and Bangladesh. Today, countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia are making clothing for some big brands.

Boeing Gets $4B Helicopter Pact From Army

June 11, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing has received a $4 billion, multi-year contract from the Army for 177 CH-47F Chinook helicopters. The Army has options to buy up to an additional 38 helicopters. Deliveries are expected to start in 2015. The order will bring the Army's CH-47F inventory close to its goal of 464 aircraft, including 24 for replacements.

GA Company To Set Up Shingle ME Plant

June 11, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Georgia-based company that manufactures cedar shingles is planning to locate a manufacturing plant in northern Maine that will create 78 new jobs. Gov. Paul LePage and Bryan Kirkey, CEO of Ecoshel, announced Tuesday that the shingle plant will be located at the former Levesque sawmill in Ashland.

Chevron CEO: Responding To Safety Concerns

June 11, 2013 12:25 pm | by Wall Street Journal | Videos | Comments

Chevron CEO John Watson discusses energy production in the wake of BP's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Watson says energy companies are taking a more proactive approach to safety, securing their systems, and operations before government regulators come knocking.

How Iron Man Can Help Make It In America

June 11, 2013 8:05 am | by Mandy Mallott, Industrial Specialist, NIST MEP | Blogs | Comments

Communities investing in manufacturing and economic development apply the same techniques as Iron Man, working in a region, scanning the environment and applying resources (tax incentives, workforce development and infrastructure upgrades instead of repulsor rays) to come out on top with robust economic growth.

Electronic Water Treatment Reduces Fouling In Heat Exchangers

June 10, 2013 8:05 am | by Jan de Baat Doelman, President, Scalewatcher North America Inc. | Articles | Comments

The deposition of material on heat transfer surfaces is called fouling which significantly impacts the thermal and mechanical performance of heat exchangers. Fouling increases the overall thermal resistance and lowers the overall heat transfer coefficient of heat exchangers as well as impeding fluid flow, accelerating corrosion and increasing pressure drop across the heat exchanger.

What Manufacturers Can Learn From The Commandos

June 10, 2013 8:00 am | by Damian McKinney | Blogs | Comments

The world of manufacturing and the soldier seem very far apart at first glance, but they both operate in uncertain and rapidly changing environments. The workforce goes to work, while the military goes to war. Thankfully, in the work environment, people do not often die, but companies can fail and people’s livelihoods can be destroyed through bad decisions.

Locked Doors A Sign Of China Work-Safety Failings

June 4, 2013 1:52 pm | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press | News | Comments

A fire breaks out in a Chinese factory, and panicked workers discover one exit after another is locked. That describes not only the poultry plant fire that killed 119 people Monday, but a toy-factory blaze that left 87 workers dead 20 years earlier. The similarities between the two worst factory fires in China's history suggest that little has changed for industrial workers even as the country has transformed its economy.

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