In this issue, check out the 2013 Jobs Report, which feature's American-made Toshiba HEV engines, veterans in today's skilled labor jobs, the latest industry numbers, how manufacturers can take back American-made, and more.
Chief executives for the largest U.S. companies are more optimistic about sales over the next six months and plan to add more workers. The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that its April-June quarterly survey found 32 percent of its members expect to expand payrolls in the next six months.
Italian carmaker Fiat says it will temporarily stop production at some European car plants in the coming days due to insufficient deliveries of plastic parts. Fiat said in a statement Wednesday that more than 5,500 vehicles can't be completed due to missing components from the Italian supplier Selmat, creating an "unmanageable" backlog.
BP says the United States saw its biggest-ever annual increase in oil production in 2012, while the world's demand for energy grew at a slower pace than the year before. In its annual Statistical Review of World Energy released Wednesday, BP PLC says the U.S. produced 8.9 million barrels a day, up 13.9 percent from 2011.
An estimated $400 million polysilicon plant in eastern Idaho now has only eight workers, all security guards, after its last engineer exited last month amid dwindling hopes the facility will ever produce materials for solar panels. Hoku Scientific Inc., based in Hawaii, started building the plant in Pocatello about five years ago, as interest in solar energy grew and polysilicon prices rose.
After spending the last seven decades in Italy, a World War II-era Jeep returned home to Toledo last week, 70 years to the day after it rolled off the production line. Vittorio Argento, an Italian radio journalist and military vehicle enthusiast, shipped the carefully restored vehicle across the Atlantic Ocean, then drove it from New Jersey to Toledo, where he parked in the shadow of a Willys-Overland smokestack.
Some motorcycle enthusiasts feared Keith Wandell might be the outsider who drove Harley-Davidson into the ground. Instead, he may be remembered as the guy who kept the motorcycle maker on the road. Wandell grabbed the handlebars at the motorcycle maker in the heart of the economic crisis in 2009. Harley lost $55 million that year, as buying a motorcycle stopped being an option for many consumers.
General Motors is laying off 560 workers while it retools an engine plant near Detroit to build a new motor. GM says layoffs at the Romulus, Mich., factory will start in August and run to late 2015. The company is rebuilding the inside of the factory to make a new, more efficient V-6 engine.
A shuttered General Motors Corp. stamping plant that once employed more than 6,000 workers near downtown Indianapolis will be demolished this fall after failing to attract a buyer. The property owner's redevelopment manager said that after consulting with commercial real estate experts, it was clear the 102-acre site's well-worn buildings were hampering efforts to sell the property.
A southeast Missouri business that makes chrome-plated plastic auto parts is receiving state aid to train its employees. Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday that Missouri is providing up to $809,000 of job training services for 350 employees at SRG Global in Portageville. He says the training incentives are part of a $4.2 million capital investment by the company.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in May for the first time since November 2012, and the overall economy grew for the 48th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.
Three business reasons — quicker, closer and custom — prompted computer maker Lenovo Group to open its first U.S. manufacturing operation in North Carolina instead of low-cost foreign locations like Mexico or China, its North American president said.
Orders to U.S. factories rose modestly in April as manufacturers rebounded from a weak March performance. Factory orders rose 1 percent in April compared with March when orders had dropped a sharp 4.7 percent, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The big swing reflected volatility in commercial aircraft orders, which were down sharply in March but surged 53.3 percent in April.
An early morning fire has prompted the closure of a South Sioux City oat processing plant.The Sioux City Journal reports firefighters responded about 3 a.m. Monday to a fire on a manufacturing line at the Viterra grain processing plant. Tracey Shelton, a spokeswoman for plant owner Richardson International, says the plant is closed while crews assess the damage.
Training is extremely important to the future of manufacturing in the United States, yet in many states, it has fallen by the wayside. Training for skilled manufacturing positions has been hit by a perfect storm of budget cuts and the mistaken idea that all young workers should go to college.
Fire raged through a poultry plant in northeastern China on Monday, trapping workers inside a cluttered slaughterhouse and killing at least 119 people, reports and officials said. Several dozen people also were hurt in the blaze in Jilin province's Mishazi township, which appeared to have been sparked by three early morning explosions, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The Kohler Co. expects to begin construction later this summer to expand its generator manufacturing plant in eastern Wisconsin. Increased demand for standby power generators from residential and industrial customers in North America is driving the 80,000-square-foot expansion at its plant in the Town of Mosel, Kohler officials said. The cost of the expansion was not disclosed.
Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Inc. is set to expand its operations in Georgia's Walton County, creating 250 new jobs and investing $80 million, state officials announced Tuesday. The expansion will require an additional 290,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its current two buildings, Gov. Nathan Deal said in a written statement.
Kobe Steel Ltd. said Wednesday it will close a blast furnace at its iron mill in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, and increase utilization ratios at two other blast furnaces in the same prefecture. The company said it will consider building a thermal power generation plant at the premises of the furnace to be closed in order to expand its power supply business.
New complaints about the odor coming from a Green Bay area plant that processes animal fats and food waste has some Brown County supervisors pushing harder to punish the owners if the matter isn't addressed soon. Supervisor Patrick Evans says the county has provided plenty of time for Sanimax to fix the odor problems.
Since the catastrophic Imperial Sugar explosion, most food processors recognized some potential for combustible dust explosions and "deflagration," which refers to the catastrophic pressure wave caused by the startled cloud of dust triggered (and ignited) by the initial explosion. However, so many factors are at play that even comparable "baking" facilities may present widely varying amounts of problems, or none at all.
Food Manufacturing spoke with Roger Kilmer of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) about the importance of maintaining a strong manufacturing presence in the United States, and what resources are available to domestic manufacturers. The purpose of the NIST MEP program is to enhance the productivity, technological performance and global competitiveness of small- and medium-sized U.S. based manufacturing firms.
Tennessee officials say that automotive seat manufacturer NHK Seating of America Inc. plans to expand its facility in Murfreesboro, adding 94 jobs in the process. Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said Thursday that the company's expansion represents a $6.8 million investment in Rutherford County.
The eastern New Mexico peanut butter plant that was shuttered eight months ago after a salmonella outbreak is back in production, and company officials say their coveted natural and organic butters could be back on store shelves within a month.
A survey shows China's manufacturing contracted this month, adding to signs a fragile recovery in the world's No. 2 economy is slowing. HSBC Corp. said Thursday the preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers index fell to a seven-month low of 49.6 from April's 50.4 on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 show a contraction.