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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Wind Turbine Maker To Close Pa. Plant

January 29, 2014 1:44 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gamesa USA officials said Tuesday that the closure of the 8-year-old plant was prompted by a shift in the market from Pennsylvania and the Midwest to the southwestern United States. They said the company had to alter its manufacturing and supply chain strategy to keep energy costs low and maintain a strong market presence.

ND Synfuels Plant To Add $402M Fertilizer Facility

January 29, 2014 1:39 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Urea is a granular fertilizer used by farmers. It requires anhydrous ammonia and carbon dioxide, both of which are produced at the synfuels plant that turns coal into natural gas for distribution in the eastern U.S.          

Beretta To Build New Firearms Plant In Tenn.

January 29, 2014 1:30 pm | by Lucas L. Johnson II, Associated Press | News | Comments

Italian gun maker Beretta says it is building a new manufacturing and research facility in Tennessee. The $45 million plant in the Nashville suburb of Gallatin is projected to create 300 new jobs.                

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AAM On SOTU: Rosy Picture, Slow Progress On Manufacturing

January 29, 2014 10:16 am | by The Alliance For American Manufacturing (AAM) | News | Comments

"This is the third consecutive State of the Union in which there has been a strong rhetorical focus on manufacturing, and that’s welcome. But the progress, despite the rosy picture painted by the President, has been painfully slow. And in some cases, such as the trade deficit with China, we’ve seen backsliding."

Chrysler, Fiat Move Forward As Single Company With New Name

January 29, 2014 9:49 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Fiat's board of directors agreed on the name Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, with headquarters for tax purposes in the United Kingdom. But the board sidestepped the thorny political issue of whether the true headquarters would be in the United States or Italy.

Power Quality Problems Plague Manufacturing’s Push For Productivity

January 29, 2014 9:25 am | by Ben Grimes, Chief Technology Officer, Innovolt | Articles | Comments

Power is the lifeblood of manufacturing. However, the integration of sensitive electronics into most logic assemblies has made the circuitry (and therefore productivity) of the equipment that drives industrial automation much more susceptible to power quality fluctuations.

Solving The Production Puzzle To Improve Your Bottom Line

January 29, 2014 9:00 am | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Every day, plant planners are expected to solve extremely complex puzzles – which operation will run on which line, how many of each part needs to be produced, how will each step happen at the right time – and they often lack the proper tools to do the job.

Suzuki To Set Up New Car Assembly Plant In India

January 28, 2014 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Suzuki Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will set up a new car assembly plant in India's western state of Gujarat to supply cars to Maruti Suzuki India Corp., Suzuki's subsidiary in India. Suzuki said it will invest 50 billion yen (about $488 million) for the project, and production is expected to start in 2017.

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Ohio Magnet Maker Attracts Customers Selling Scrap

January 28, 2014 2:03 pm | by Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch | News | Comments

Walker Magnetics, with a plant near Rickenbacker Airport, is the country's leading manufacturer of magnets for the steel industry. Inside the walls of a nondescript building, workers fabricate magnets capable of lifting more than 100 tons.   

Honda Becomes Net Exporter In The U.S.

January 28, 2014 1:13 pm | News | Comments

American Honda recently announced that it ships more American-made cars out of the country than it imports in from Japan. Throughout 2013, the company exported 108,705 U.S.-made Honda and Acura vehicles while importing 88,537.       

Senator Coons: Manufacturing Jobs Must Be A Focus Of State Of The Union

January 28, 2014 1:01 pm | News | Comments

On the eve of President Obama’s fourth State of the Union address, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) urged the President to prioritize investments that will help American manufacturers grow and create jobs, saying it was premature to give up on American manufacturers and the workers they employ.

Ford Beats 4Q Profit Forecasts, Braces For Weaker 2014

January 28, 2014 9:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. enjoyed one of the best years in its history in 2013, but the celebration won't last long. Ford has already warned that profits will be down this year as it launches a record 23 vehicles and builds seven plants around the world.  

Ford To Use Rotating Shifts To Avoid Ohio Layoffs

January 28, 2014 9:44 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. will use rotating shifts — two weeks on, two weeks off — to avoid indefinite layoffs at its assembly plant, located west of Cleveland. Ford said Monday that rotating shifts for 1,000 workers at its Avon Lake plant will begin in August and continue until a new product launch in 2015.

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Taking Control Of Energy

January 28, 2014 9:28 am | by Michael Nicoloro, PE and Joan Fontaine, PE | Articles | Comments

Over the past generation, energy has been a defining issue of our economy. Fluctuations in price and availability of energy have a significant impact on corporate profitability, and the unpredictability of the energy markets are a common source of worry for corporate leaders who have to manage energy supplies.

Auto Makers Turn To India For Sourcing Engines

January 27, 2014 12:25 pm | by The Association for Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co, which exports its Figo small car and EcoSport compact sport-utility vehicle from India, plans to source a new generation of small-capacity petrol engines, called Dragon, from its local unit.             

GM's Barra Promises Investment For Lossmaking Opel

January 27, 2014 9:42 am | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

New General Motors chief Mary Barra is stressing the company's support for its struggling Adam Opel AG subsidiary in Europe, saying Opel workers will get the job of building a new vehicle at the company's main plant in Germany.       

Boeing Supplier Hired To Help Build 787

January 27, 2014 9:32 am | by The Association for Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

A Virginia-based aerospace products supplier has won a Boeing contract to build substructural composite components for the 787 Dreamliner assembled in North Charleston as the airplane builder ramps up its production rates.        

Agency Clears Way For $1B Steel Mill Construction

January 27, 2014 9:20 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission lifted a stay on an air permit for the $1.1 billion Big River Steel plant near Osceola. The stay was imposed when rival steel-maker Nucor Corp. objected to the issuance of an air permit last year by the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The Future of Localized Manufacturing

January 24, 2014 2:10 pm | by The Atlantic | Videos | Comments

Neil Gershenfeld, Director of the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, and Robert Atkinson, Founder and President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, argue about the role of localized 3D printing in manufacturing's tomorrow.

USDA Gives Tenn. $4M In Rural Development Aid

January 24, 2014 2:06 pm | by Travis Loller, Associated Press | News | Comments

The largest loan is for $2 million to build a manufacturing plant in New Tazewell. According to the USDA, the pass-through loan will go through the Powell Valley Electric Cooperative to Homesteader, Inc., a trailer manufacturer.       

Colgate-Palmolive Building New Tenn. Plant

January 24, 2014 1:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty says the company will invest $25 million in manufacturing equipment and building and infrastructure improvements in Morristown.                

Barra To Stay The Course At GM, But Accelerate

January 24, 2014 9:33 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Among her priorities is making GM's brand messages clear and consistent worldwide. New vehicles like the Cadillac ATS sedan — which goes on sale in China this year — can help Cadillac become a global luxury brand. Chevrolet needs to show that it provides a lot of value to buyers.

Pepsico, Nestle To Boost Mexico Investments

January 24, 2014 9:22 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

PepsiCo said it plans to invest $5 billion in the country over the next five years, with the funds going toward efforts such as the expansion of its production lines and delivery infrastructure, and the strengthening of research and development capabilities.

How Lean Do You Really Want To Be?

January 24, 2014 9:16 am | by Tom McNamara and Erika Masillac | Articles | Comments

Just-in-time (JIT) deliveries, little to no inventory, outsourcing, sole sourcing — all of these “lean” concepts have been at the heart of operations management for years now. But more and more companies are starting to ask themselves a simple question; Just how lean do we really want to be?

Cargill To Pay $2.2M In Discrimination Settlement

January 23, 2014 9:50 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The money will be used to pay back wages and interest to nearly 3,000 applicants who were rejected for jobs at facilities in Springdale, Ark.; Fort Morgan, Colo.; and Beardstown, Ill., between 2005 and 2009. U.S. Department of Labor officials say the company's hiring process discriminated based on sex, race, and ethnicity.

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