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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Next-Generation Manufacturers Are Saving Money On Energy

January 20, 2014 9:17 am | by Thomas McCann Mullooly and Kurt Rempe of Foley & Lardner | Articles | Comments

The modern energy marketplace is changing. Annual non-renewable energy expenditures for the industrial sector have been projected to grow from approximately $206 billion in 2010 to $584 billion in 2040. Thus manufacturers find themselves with increased bargaining power that can lead to larger savings.

Manufacturing Needs More ‘Post-Mortems’

January 20, 2014 9:11 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

An in-depth post-mortem can actually increase confidence in a business and encourage more trust. Everyone and every business makes mistakes, and often, what separates a successful one from a failed one is the way in which they respond to the unexpected. Proving that your company can do just that should be a matter of pride, not shame.

FutureGen Gets Key Energy Department Approval

January 17, 2014 1:34 pm | by David Mercer, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Energy Department issued its 25-page approval of the $1.65 billion plan that would refit a coal-fired power plant in Meredosia in western Illinois. The project would remove carbon dioxide from the coal and store it underground. The greenhouse gas is linked to climate change.

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Panasonic To Sell 3 Overseas Chip Assembly Plants

January 17, 2014 9:57 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The move is part of efforts by the Japanese electronics manufacturer to accelerate outsourcing of its slumping semiconductor manufacturing operation. Last month, the company said it will sell off three of its semiconductor plants in central Japan to an Israeli chipmaker.

Senate Easily Passes $1.1T Spending Bill

January 17, 2014 9:24 am | by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press | News | Comments

Congress sent President Barack Obama a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill Thursday, easing the harshest effects of last year's automatic budget cuts after tea party critics chastened by October's partial shutdown mounted only a faint protest.

EPA Denies Politics Delayed Pollution Rules

January 16, 2014 1:52 pm | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is denying Republican claims that the agency delayed formal publication of rules intended to limit carbon pollution from new power plants for political reasons. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the agency submitted the rules for publication last fall and "tried very hard" to get them published in the Federal Register.

Judge Dismisses Suit By French Goodyear Workers

January 16, 2014 1:40 pm | by Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal judge in Akron ruled late Wednesday against workers who had sued to block the shutdown of their plant in Amiens. The judge said the class-action lawsuit failed to prove contract violations or interference by the parent company in its French operations.

Ford: 1,000 New Hires Start Work At Kansas City Plant

January 16, 2014 1:20 pm | by The Association For Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

Ford said it is welcoming nearly 1,000 new employees at its Kansas City Assembly Plant to prepare for the launch of the all-new Ford Transit that goes on sale in the U.S. this summer. The plant is home of the 2014 F-150 and will begin producing the all-new 2015 F-150 in the first quarter of 2015.

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New Hyundai CEO On Quest To Regain Lost Market Share

January 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Tom Krisher, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Under the new Hyundai CEO Dave Zuchowski's predecessor, John Krafcik, Hyundai posted huge sales gains and captured 5.1 percent of the U.S. market in 2011. Then the company's factories couldn't keep up with demand and sales slowed.     

GM Predicts Modest Pretax Profit Gain This Year

January 15, 2014 1:55 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The No. 1 U.S. automaker joined others in forecasting slower growth in the red-hot U.S. market. Still, GM and industry analysts expect sales to reach or exceed 16 million for the first time since 2007. GM said it plans to use profits from the U.S. and China — now its largest market — to boost weaker parts of its business.

Review: Site's Groundwater, Soil Cleanup Working

January 15, 2014 1:47 pm | by Betsy Blaney, Associated Press | News | Comments

The effort to clean up soil and groundwater contamination at the nation's only plant for assembling and disassembling nuclear weapons has been effective so far and will continue for years, according to the first five-year review of the site.   

Auto Parts Maker To Build Facility In Missouri

January 15, 2014 1:42 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Janesville Acoustics plans to build a $13.4 million, 155,000-square-foot facility in Warrensburg to supply parts to a General Motors assembly plant in the Kansas City area. Gov. Jay Nixon says the project could create 164 fulltime jobs in Missouri.

Beet Plant Shut For Inspection After Worker Death

January 15, 2014 9:51 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Western Sugar Cooperative has shut down its sugar beet processing plant in Lovell while federal and state regulators inspect the facility following a fatal accident. Twenty-eight-year-old worker Anfesa Galaktionoff died Jan. 4 after she apparently fell into a piece of equipment that carries sugar beets into the factory.

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Alcoa Finishes $300M Expansion At Iowa Plant

January 15, 2014 9:47 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The expansion of the plant in Davenport, Iowa, reflects four years of strong vehicle sales increases — U.S. auto sales rose 8 percent to 15.6 million in 2013 — and growing use of lightweight aluminum for better fuel mileage in some models.

Accelerating Operational Excellence: Q&A With LNS’s Mark Davidson

January 15, 2014 9:30 am | by Greg Goodwin, Research Associate, LNS Research | Articles | Comments

When you consider some of the challenges that manufacturers face across industries today — they’re unprecedented. The pressures of global supply and demand dynamics, supply chain complexities, disparate production locations and systems, regulations, and other factors have forced manufacturers to reevaluate operations and optimize them everywhere possible in order to remain competitive and profitable.

Chinese Shoe Factory Fire Kills At Least 16

January 14, 2014 10:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A fire at a shoe factory in eastern China on Tuesday killed at least 16 people, state media reported. The blaze broke out at the Dadong factory in the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province, state broadcaster CCTV said. Firefighters put it out about three hours later and rescued more than 20 people, it said.

Power Quality Problems Plague Manufacturing’s Push For Productivity

January 14, 2014 9:26 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.

Gadget Time At CMU's Build 18 Engineering Fest

January 13, 2014 2:03 pm | by Adrian McCoy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | News | Comments

Carnegie Mellon University's Electrical and Computer Engineering department ushers in the spring semester with the annual Build 18 engineering fest — a fast-paced challenge where students have seven days to build an imaginative and innovative product under tight deadlines and with limited funding — real-world lessons that most startups learn the hard way.

Lexus Makes Kentucky Home To New U.S.-Made Lexus

January 13, 2014 1:48 pm | by Industrial Maintenance and Plant Operation | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) recently announced that construction is underway at the assembly line that will produce the first U.S.-made Lexus. Last April, TMMK announced it would localize production of the ES 350, which has never been assembled outside of Japan.

New GM CEO Hopes To Inspire Science Students

January 13, 2014 1:41 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Responding to a question about being an inspiration to women, Barra said she hopes her engineering credentials make her a role model for young people. "With my technical background — I'm an electrical engineer — and I can motivate young women or young men to pursue a career in science," she said.

Aluminum Revolution: Ford Introduces New F-150

January 13, 2014 9:53 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

On Monday, Ford unveils a new F-150 with a body built almost entirely out of aluminum. The lighter material shaves as much as 700 pounds off the 5,000-pound truck, a revolutionary change for a vehicle known for its heft and an industry still heavily reliant on steel.

Ammunition Manufacturer Goes Lean

January 13, 2014 9:13 am | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Metalform manufactures American-made magazines for the 1911 pistol to brands like Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Kimber. Over the past few years the company has experienced amazing expansion, with forty percent growth in their business.     

Philip Morris Int'l Building Facility In Italy

January 10, 2014 2:08 pm | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Tobacco Writer | News | Comments

Overseas Marlboro maker Philip Morris International Inc. says it's investing up to 500 million euros (about $680 million) for a manufacturing facility and pilot plant in Italy to make new tobacco products.The company said Friday the facilities near Bologna will produce its so-called "reduced-risk" tobacco products.

Wanxiang Says It Might Build Fisker Cars In Del.

January 10, 2014 1:58 pm | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A Chinese auto parts conglomerate that wants to buy failed electric-vehicle manufacturer Fisker Automotive says it would build next-generation Fisker cars in Delaware if there is sufficient consumer demand. Wanxiang Group Corp. outlined its intentions in a court filing late Wednesday as it pushes for a competitive auction of Fisker's remaining assets.

Chinese Biz To Put Plant At Former Ohio GM Site

January 10, 2014 1:48 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. John Kasich and company and site officials planned to officially sign an accord and discuss details in Columbus on Friday. The new plant would be on land where General Motors idled an assembly plant in 2008 in the south Dayton suburb of Moraine. There were 1,100 workers at the time.

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