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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Staff Seize Bosses At French Goodyear Site

January 6, 2014 9:40 am | by Lori Hinnant, Associated Press | News | Comments

The factory's union says the director and human resources chief were blocked from leaving after an especially difficult meeting Monday with staff; a Goodyear representative, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the tense situation, says the two managers were being held against their will.

Finding And Keeping A Next-Gen Workforce

January 6, 2014 9:06 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manfuacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Everyone in the manufacturing space has heard about the dramatic talent gap in the industry, where companies cannot find employees with the skills necessary to help run a high-tech operation. Knowledge in automation equipment, or with CNC machines, can be a rare commodity, with most young people moving toward other industries, and manufacturing-centric education faltering or disappearing elsewhere.

4 Dead After Cambodian Police Fire On Garment Workers

January 3, 2014 12:45 pm | by Sopheng Cheang, Associated Press | News | Comments

Workers at most of Cambodia's more than 500 garment factories are on strike, demanding an increase in the minimum wage to $160 a month, double the current rate. The government has offered $100 a month. The local human rights group LICADHO said in a statement that at least four civilians were shot dead and 21 injured.

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Odds Dim For Fisker Production In Former Del. GM Plant

January 3, 2014 10:05 am | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Hybrid Technology LLC, owned by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, is seeking to buy Fisker's remaining assets in bankruptcy after paying $25 million for DOE's outstanding loan, resulting in a loss to U.S. taxpayers of $139 million, but would then sell the former General Motors plant meant for production.

Flowmeter Approved For Hazardous Areas

January 3, 2014 8:40 am | by KROHNE, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

The H250 M40 combines the major explosion protection types in one device. It can be used in any suitable application that requires intrinsically safe (IS) or non-incendive (NI) wiring strategies, as well as for dust-ignition or explosion proof installations.

Ill. Chemical Plant Unit Down Pending Fire Probe

January 2, 2014 1:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the Cook County judge on Tuesday granted a preliminary injunction against Blue Island Phenol in suburban Alsip. It requires the company to investigate the cause of the Dec. 13 explosion and fire that injured two workers and identify corrective measures.

Ala. International Paper Closure Leaves Regional Scars

January 2, 2014 12:56 pm | by Errol Castens, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal | News | Comments

Memphis-based International Paper Co.'s plan to shut its Courtland, Ala., paper mill next year may impact landowners and businesses across Northeast Mississippi.  Logging jobs may be lost or moved, and timber owners in some counties may find it difficult to market pulpwood at all.

Retirement Unlikely For Some Blue-Collar Americans

January 2, 2014 9:59 am | by Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press | News | Comments

Many have jobs that provide paltry pensions or none at all, as many companies have been moving toward less generous retirement packages in the past decade. Many boomers expect to work the rest of their lives because they have little cash put away for their old age and they worry Social Security won't cover their bills.

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ThyssenKrupp Sells Massive $5 Billion Ala. Mill

December 27, 2013 9:40 am | by Melissa Nelson-Gabriel, Associated Press | News | Comments

News that ThyssenKrupp planned to sell the $5 billion mill just five years after it opened sent a ripple through the region, which depended on well-paying jobs related to the mill throughout the economic downturn. ThyssenKrupp has said its plan to import steel slabs from its plant in Brazil fell apart because of the recession and increasing production costs in Brazil.

Labor Dept. Approves Help For Displaced Vt. IBM Workers

December 27, 2013 9:38 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor authorized former employees of the Williston IBM plant and some other businesses involved in memory design services in that town to participate in a program designed to help workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign competition, state officials said Thursday.

Mary Barra, A Child Of GM, Prepares To Lead It

December 27, 2013 9:31 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Write | News | Comments

In 33 years at GM, Barra has worked in engineering, communications and human resources. She's gained in-depth knowledge of a company whose complexity contributed to its losing ground to rivals and, four years ago, a trip through bankruptcy court. In each stop, Barra analyzed the situation and simplified things. For instance, she streamlined designs by using the same parts in many different models.

Eastern Ill. Employee Shoots Boss, Kills Self

December 27, 2013 9:28 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A longtime eastern Illinois chemical plant employee shot his company's CEO during a performance evaluation, before committing suicide when he turned a handgun on himself.                       

Westmoreland To Buy Coal Operations For $435M

December 24, 2013 11:55 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Westmoreland Coal Co. said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy the coal mining operations of Sherritt International Corp. for about $435 million which will help it expand its operations in Western Canada. The Englewood, Colo., company said the deal will double its business and make it the sixth largest coal producer in North America.

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Owner Plans To Open Hopewell Bio-Fuel Plant

December 24, 2013 11:50 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The owner of a bio-fuel plant in Hopewell plans to open the facility instead of dismantling it. Vireol Bio-Industries had planned to ship the plant's equipment to its plant in England.                    

To Clean Up Coal, Obama Pushes More Oil Production

December 23, 2013 11:22 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press | News | Comments

To help the environment, the government allows power companies to sell the carbon dioxide to oil companies, which pump it into old oil fields to force more crude to the surface. A side benefit is that the carbon gets permanently stuck underground.

Top 10 Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2014: No. 9 & 10

December 23, 2013 11:00 am | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO & Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

IDC Manufacturing Insights hosted a web conference “IDC Manufacturing Insights Predictions 2014: Worldwide Manufacturing” highlighting the Top 10 predictions for the year ahead.  Today's predictions focus on implications on factories of the future.  

10 Years After Mad Cow, Little Change On Tracking

December 23, 2013 10:37 am | by Ross Courtney, Yakima Herald-Republic | News | Comments

But 10 years ago Monday, it took just one cow to send shock waves through the cattle industry of the United States, home to some 100 million cattle, slam the door on billions of dollars in exports and scare a lot of beef eaters.       

A ‘Monster’ Look At Manufacturing Jobs

December 23, 2013 9:14 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Not too long ago, Monster.com, the well-known online job marketplace, conducted a comprehensive survey (see infographic below) on the state of U.S. manufacturing jobs, and came to some compelling, if not worrying, results.        

ADM Stays In Illinois Despite Lack Of Tax Breaks

December 23, 2013 8:07 am | by David Mercer and Sophia Tareen, Associated Press | News | Comments

ADM's announcement to stay in Illinois likely will give ammunition to both sides over whether states should play ball when companies make demands, though some incentives skeptics warned not to read too much into one company's decision. Chicago, with its two international airports in the heart of Midwestern farm country, was the best place for ADM's new headquarters, CEO Patricia Woertz said Wednesday.

Q&A: Sriracha-Based Lessons For Manufacturers

December 23, 2013 8:05 am | by Mitch Carrel, Partner, Real Estate Practice Group and Food Industry Team, Freeborn & Peters | Articles | Comments

The battle between Sriracha-maker Huy Fong Foods and the city of Irwindale, Calif., has fired up in recent weeks, highlighting the importance of companies maintaining a positive relationship with their surrounding community. Mitch Carrel talks about the case, what considerations food manufacturers should make when choosing a new plant site and how a facility’s location plays an important role in its ability to do business.

Jazz Pharma To Pay $1B For Rare Disease Drug Co.

December 20, 2013 12:33 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Jazz will make a tender offer of $57 per share for the Italian company, about a 2 percent premium to Gentium's closing stock price in the U.S. on Thursday. Gentium develops drugs to treat a variety of rare diseases and conditions, including orphan vascular diseases related to cancer treatments.

Whirlpool Reshoring Some Production To Ohio Plant

December 20, 2013 12:29 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Whirlpool is moving production of its commercial front-load washing machines from Mexico to Ohio. The appliance maker, whose brands include Maytag, Kenmore and its namesake, said Friday that 80 to 100 new jobs will be created in Ohio over the next three years to support the relocation.

Financing Deal Set On $1B Ind. Fertilizer Plant

December 20, 2013 9:54 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A businessman says he has reached a deal with a Chinese company to finance a proposed southern Indiana fertilizer plant that could cost nearly $1 billion to build.  Ohio Valley Resources president Doug Wilson of Fairfield, Ill., announced Thursday that the Chinese company will provide equity financing for the construction while his company will manage the project near the Ohio River town of Rockport.

New Mexico AG Sues To Stop Horse Slaughter

December 20, 2013 9:50 am | by Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press | News | Comments

The move by Attorney General Gary King comes after a federal appeals court rolled back a court order that had kept Valley Meat Co. from starting operations earlier this fall. Owner Rick De Los Santos has been making plans to open Jan. 1, and his attorney said Thursday that those plans haven't changed.

Manufacturing’s Renaissance Depends On Skilled Workers

December 20, 2013 9:31 am | by Philip Odette, President, Global Supply Chain Solutions | Articles | Comments

Global shifts in costs, processes and consumer purchasing habits put the U.S. in a position to revitalize its manufacturing sector and enhance businesses and industry at home.  The only thing missing is enough skilled workers to maintain the momentum.

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