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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Housing, Manufacturing Give U.S. Economy A Lift

March 27, 2013 10:10 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Gains in housing and manufacturing propelled the U.S. economy over the winter, according to reports released Tuesday, and analysts say they point to the resilience of consumers and businesses as government spending cuts kick in. Demand for longer-lasting factory goods jumped 5.7 percent in February, the biggest increase in five months.

Valve Shipments To Grow 3 Percent In 2013

March 27, 2013 10:00 am | by Valve Manufacturers Association | News | Comments

Shipments for the U.S. industrial valve industry will grow 3 percent in 2013, increasing to nearly $4.3 billion, according to figures released by the Valve Manufacturers Association as part of its annual market forecast. The increase marks the fourth consecutive year of growth following the recession, and exceeds the industry’s previous 10-year peak in 2008.

Boeing Shares Hit Multiyear High After 787 Flight

March 26, 2013 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of Boeing Co. climbed to a multiyear high Tuesday after the company reported a smooth test flight of its new 787 passenger jet and the U.S. government reported that a surge in commercial aircraft sales lifted durable goods orders. Boeing shares rose $1.67, or 2 percent, to $86.52 in midday trading after hitting a high of $86.84 earlier in the session.


Hawaiian Airlines Signs Aircraft Purchase Deal

March 26, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hawaiian Airlines said it has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus to buy 16 new planes as part of a plan for expanded routes between the islands and the West Coast. The Hawaiian Holdings Inc. unit said the deal comes after the airline reached key labor agreements with its pilot and flight attendant unions on the new single-aisle A321neo planes.

U.S. Business Investment Orders Drop In February

March 26, 2013 9:44 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. orders for long-lasting goods that signal business investment plans fell in February by the largest amount in seven months, although the decline followed a strong month in January and may prove to be a temporary setback. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that orders for so-called core capital goods declined 2.7 percent in February from January.

Solar Company Shares Down On JA Solar 4Q Loss

March 26, 2013 9:37 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of a number of solar companies sank Monday after JA Solar Holdings Co.'s fourth-quarter loss widened because of weak global demand for solar products. Solar panel prices have tumbled since the Chinese government pushed hundreds of small players into the industry.

Zero Hope For BlackBerry?

March 25, 2013 1:32 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Shares of BlackBerry, the company formerly known as Research In Motion, plunged after the lackluster U.S. launch of its new Z10 smartphone and the stock was downgraded by Goldman Sachs. Blackberry stock has been volatile over the last few weeks, and the new phone doesn't seem to be helping.

AK Steel Projects Larger-Than-Expected 1Q Loss

March 22, 2013 5:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

AK Steel Holding Corp. on Friday projected a larger-than-expected first-quarter loss, saying that a previously expected seasonal increase in spot demand for steel hasn't materialized. The West Chester, Ohio based company produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products for a range of industries, including automotive, construction and infrastructure, manufacturing and electricity.


Dell Deal May Soon Face Competition

March 22, 2013 5:11 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Is Michael Dell's attempt to gain more control over his company about to turn into a financial tug-of-war? The answer could come Friday. That's the end of a 45-day period that Dell Inc.'s board of directors set to allow for offers that might top a Feb. 5 deal to sell the personal computer maker to CEO Michael Dell and a group of investors for $24.4 billion.

Caterpillar Reports Slowdown In Sales

March 21, 2013 1:44 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Caterpillar Inc. said Wednesday that global sales of its heavy equipment fell 13 percent for the three-month rolling period that ended in February, hurt by a steep drop in Asia Pacific demand. That followed a 4 percent decrease for the three months that ended in January and a 1 percent slide for the three months that ended in December, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Fed Sees High Unemployment Into 2015

March 21, 2013 11:48 am | by The Associated Press | Videos | Comments

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke stayed cautious in his economic projections for 2013, though he showed a little optimism due to lower unemployment claims. Bernanke says unemployment will remain high into 2015, suggesting the Fed will keep short-term interest rates near record lows at least until then.

Bentley Booms, But SUVs Stuck In Garage

March 20, 2013 1:01 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

Premium automotive brands appear to be the only ones doing well these days amid the turmoil in Europe's car market, says Reuters' Julian Satterthwaite. Bentley says it can post higher sales again this year, but a green light for the company's key SUV project remains elusive.

Mitsubishi Electric Looking To Boost Overseas Sales

March 19, 2013 1:47 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The president of Mitsubishi Electric Corp. said Tuesday the company is aiming to strengthen its business in emerging markets to boost its ratio of overseas sales by 5 percentage points from the current level to 40 percent in fiscal 2015.


Ryanair Gives Boeing A Boost With Big Order

March 19, 2013 9:40 am | by Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press | News | Comments

Ryanair has made the biggest-ever order of Boeing planes by a European airline, announcing Tuesday it will buy 175 aircraft in a major boost for the U.S. aerospace giant. Neither side disclosed the purchase price for the 737-800s, but budget carrier Ryanair said it did negotiate a bulk discount off the total list price of $15.6 billion.

KiOR 4Q Loss Nearly Doubles On Startup Costs

March 19, 2013 9:31 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

KiOR's fourth-quarter loss nearly doubled with the start-up costs of a Mississippi production facility weighing on results from the alternative fuel company. It was a better showing than Wall Street had expected and shares edged up on a down day for major markets.

Airbus Gets Biggest Order Ever From Indonesia

March 18, 2013 10:21 am | by Sarah DiLorenzo, Sylvie Corbet, Associated Press | News | Comments

Airbus signed its biggest deal ever on Monday, an order from Indonesian's Lion Air worth €18.4 billion ($24 billion) that President Francois Hollande said should inspire the struggling French economy and all of Europe. The CEOs of both companies signed the contract for 234 planes in a ceremony at the French presidential palace, a sign of its importance to the government.

Can 10 Million People Be Wrong?

March 18, 2013 9:00 am | by Mark Schmit, Manager, Strategic Partnerships, SelectUSA | Blogs | Comments

Last month Hasbro missed a golden opportunity to immortalize the importance of our country’s manufacturing sector, especially with the renaissance the sector is currently experiencing. Hasbro ran a poll to elect a new game icon to be included in all new editions of the game Monopoly, an All-American game if there ever was one.

Strong Auto Output Boosts U.S. Factory Production

March 15, 2013 1:57 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A strong increase in auto output boosted U.S. factory production last month, the latest sign that manufacturing is helping drive economic growth after lagging for much of 2012. Factory output rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent in February from January, after falling 0.3 percent in the previous month, the Federal Reserve said Friday.

BMW Profits Rise In 'Most Successful Year' Ever

March 15, 2013 1:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German automaker BMW says net profit increased 4.4 percent to €5.1 billion ($6.6 billion) in 2012 — hailing it as its "most successful year" — thanks to a big sales jump in Asia and a better market in the United States. The company, based in Munich, said Thursday that unit sales rose 31 percent in Asia, including a 40 percent rise in China excluding Hong Kong, and 14 percent in in the U.S.

Volkswagen CEO Stresses Cautious Outlook

March 14, 2013 1:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Volkswagen's chief executive Martin Winterkorn said Thursday the company faces a challenging year particularly in Europe where many countries are in recession. Winterkorn told the company's annual news and analyst conference that "Volkswagen is feeling the headwinds — especially in Europe."

MAPI: Slower 2013 Activity To Precede Pickup in 2014

March 14, 2013 1:41 pm | by The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation | News | Comments

Recent trends suggest a reason for optimism for the U.S. economy and its manufacturing sector, according to the quarterly Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation U.S. Industrial Outlook (EO-121), a report that analyzes 27 major industries.

U.S. CEOs Optimistic About Economy, Wary Of Hiring

March 13, 2013 2:09 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies are much more optimistic about their sales prospects than they were three months ago, though many remain cautious about hiring. The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that 72 percent of its members expect sales will increase in the next six months.

U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Down

March 13, 2013 2:02 pm | News | Comments

January U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $370.62 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was down 26.5 percent from December and down 12.2 percent when compared with the total of $422.33 million reported for January 2012.

Government Sells Another Chunk Of GM Stock

March 12, 2013 10:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. government has sold another chunk of its stake in General Motors Co. The Treasury Department says in its February report to Congress that it sold $489.9 million worth of GM common stock last month. The report dated Monday says the government has recovered about $29.8 billion of its $49.5 billion bailout of the Detroit automaker. That means taxpayers are still $19.7 billion in the hole.

Suntech Gets Breathing Room To Make Payments

March 11, 2013 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Solar panel maker Suntech Power Holdings Co. has been given some breathing room to make note payments to certain bondholders after signing a forbearance agreement with them. If Suntech is unable to make payments due on the convertible notes on March 15, the bondholders have agreed not to exercise their rights under the notes until May 15.

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