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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

5 Things To Know About The UAW Vote At Volkswagen

February 14, 2014 9:14 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Employees at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., are voting on whether they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers union. With a three-day election wrapping up Friday, here's a look at what's at stake.         

Lean Principles, Impressive Results

February 13, 2014 3:43 pm | by Mike Engel, Chief Operations Officer, FLEXcon | Articles | Comments

FLEXcon began its lean manufacturing program in 2003 and has since achieved a 90 percent improvement in on-time deliveries, 20 percent reduction in waste and a 35 percent increase in total productivity. Dollar savings are more than 10 times what was invested to roll the practice out and educate and train 1,000 employees. 

Q&A: Making Compressed Air OSHA-Compliant

February 13, 2014 3:35 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

End users use air guns or homemade devices to clean that are unsafe and do not meet OSHA regulations. For example, we have seen a device constructed out of a ball valve and a piece of pipe. If the tip on this homemade device were to become blocked, full line pressure would be built up behind the blockage — this could be hazardous.

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Q&A: How Manufacturers Can SAVE FOOD

February 13, 2014 3:07 pm | by Holly Henschen, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Food waste drains food manufacturers’ resources and profits. Data on the issue is shocking. For example, 40 percent of all food produced in less-developed countries spoils every day before it reaches consumers.            

Nuclear Fusion Project Takes Key Step In Lab Test

February 13, 2014 2:02 pm | by Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Scientists say they've taken a key step toward harnessing nuclear fusion as a new way to generate power, an idea that has been pursued for decades. They are still a long way from that goal. The amount of energy they got out of their experimental apparatus was minuscule compared to what they put into it.            

Marchionne Optimistic He'll Get Canadian Aid

February 13, 2014 1:53 pm | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Sergio Marchionne said Thursday he's more than halfway to getting what he's seeking from the Canadian and Ontario governments for a proposed multibillion upgrade to its Canadian plants.        

Study: Manufacturers Will Benefit From Low-Cost U.S. Natural Gas

February 13, 2014 1:32 pm | by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) | News | Comments

Cheap natural gas will have a greater impact on U.S. manufacturing over the next several years than is commonly assumed, giving the U.S. a powerful cost advantage that will benefit a wide range of industries across the full value chain, from feedstock to finished goods.

Huge Thermal Plant Opens As Solar Industry Grows

February 13, 2014 9:37 am | by Brian Skoloff and Michael R. Blood, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, sprawling across roughly 5 square miles (13 sq. kilometers) of federal land near the California-Nevada border, formally opens Thursday after years of regulatory and legal tangles ranging from relocating protected tortoises to assessing the impact on Mojave milkweed and other plants.

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Industry Group Says Indiana Added 960 Solar Jobs

February 12, 2014 1:45 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Indiana's solar power industry added nearly 1,000 jobs last year, an employment surge that boosted the industry's Hoosier job force by 178 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by a solar advocacy group.            

W.Va. Coal Prep Plant Spills Slurry Into Creek

February 12, 2014 9:56 am | by Sarah Plummer, Associated Press | News | Comments

A pipeline ruptured at a coal-processing plant Tuesday, sending 108,000 gallons of coal slurry into a Kanawha River tributary, about 18 miles upstream from where a large chemical spill at a different plant tainted drinking water for 300,000 people a month ago.

GOP's Corker Urges Rejection Of UAW At Volkswagen

February 12, 2014 9:53 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

About 1,500 Volkswagen workers are eligible to cast ballots in a three-day election beginning Wednesday. They'll decide whether the plant becomes the South's first foreign automaker to unionize. But it wouldn't be the UAW's first foray into the state.

Leading The Way On A New Manufacturing Generation

February 12, 2014 9:37 am | by Timm Johnson, Vice President of Sales/Marketing, Spee-Dee | Blogs | Comments

I want to invite you to go take a walk out onto your shop floor. Notice anything about your workforce? Some of them may be graying and soon preparing to retire. The age of your workforce represents a good opportunity for qualified younger employees to step in and launch their career. The problem you face is finding that young person.

Wireless Adaptor For Wired Field Instruments

February 12, 2014 9:26 am | by Yokogawa Electric Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has developed a multi-protocol wireless adaptor that enables wired field instruments or analytical sensors to be used as ISA100 Wireless devices.

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Auto Parts Maker Shiloh Adding 145 Indiana Jobs

February 11, 2014 2:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says auto parts supplier Shiloh Die Cast Midwest will expand two of its northern Indiana plants, creating about 145 new jobs by 2018.                       

Tenn. Lawmakers: VW Incentives Threatened By UAW

February 11, 2014 9:45 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Republican lawmakers in Tennessee threatened that the state could turn off the spigot of incentives for Volkswagen if workers at the automaker's plant decide this week to approve union representation.               

Explosion At N.H. Ball Bearings Plant Injures 15

February 11, 2014 9:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Monday afternoon's blast at the New Hampshire Ball Bearings Inc. plant in Peterborough is being investigated but all indications were that it was an industrial-related incident, said Peterborough Fire Department spokesman Eric Bowman.     

Cargill To Expand Seed And Oil Research

February 10, 2014 2:05 pm | by Pat Ferrier, The Coloradoan | News | Comments

With an eight-year turnaround from research to yield, Cargill's expansion in Fort Collins will reach into the next generation of oils to meet consumer needs including Omega 3 for brain and eye development, said Lorin DeBonte of Cargill Specialty Seeds & Oils.

Toyota To End Car Manufacturing In Australia

February 10, 2014 9:46 am | by Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota's announcement, which will result in the loss of around 2,500 jobs, was widely anticipated, coming just two months after General Motors Co. said it would end production in Australia by 2017. Ford Motor Co. announced in May that it would cease Australian production in 2016.

Manufacturing Decline Is A Misconception

February 10, 2014 9:32 am | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Even in our turbulent global economy, the popular idea of declining farms and factories is largely unfounded. UN and World Bank data show that food and manufacturing output are growing everywhere, but remain hidden by the faster-growing services sector.

Safely Move Delicate Parts

February 10, 2014 8:41 am | by Creform Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

The Creeform cart is extremely stable for transporting the stringers while its tilted shelves provide good visual inventory management and ease of parts loading and unloading. 

Cargill Adds 'Textured Beef' Wording To Labels

February 7, 2014 1:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Cargill, one of the nation's largest meatpackers, has added wording to its labels on ground beef packages that indicates whether the meat inside includes a product that's been called "pink slime."               

Leak, Fire Shut Down Neb. Beef Processing Plant

February 7, 2014 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Lincoln Journal Star reports workers at the Cargill plant in Schuyler detected the ammonia leak around 3:40 a.m. Thursday. Smoke and flames were reported several minutes later above an area where beef carcasses are trimmed to smaller cuts.  

UAW Critics Take Differing Approaches To VW Vote

February 7, 2014 9:40 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Two of the more vocal Republican critics of efforts to unionize the Volkswagen assembly plant in Tennessee are taking opposing approaches to a pending vote over United Auto Workers representation next week.              

Must-Have ERP Features For The Automotive Industry

February 7, 2014 9:25 am | by Plex | Articles | Comments

Automotive OEMs and parts manufacturers are fighting for survival in an increasingly more competitive global economy. As large companies spin off parts of the whole and smaller companies are acquired by more substantial players in the industry, they share one common goal — streamlined, efficient operations that maximize profitability.

Kellogg Cereals Struggle To Keep Spot At The Table

February 6, 2014 2:12 pm | by Candice Choi and Michelle Chapman, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Kellogg's cereals keep getting pushed aside at the breakfast table. The maker of Frosted Flakes, Pop Tarts, and Eggo waffles said Thursday that sales in its flagship U.S. breakfast unit declined 4 percent.              

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