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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Inside The Vertu Luxury Smartphone Factory

October 2, 2013 4:02 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Vertu is polishing up its newest product and getting ready to unveil its more affordable smartphone known as Constellation, though the company is not known for its affordability. Each Vertu smartphone is all assembled by a single person and the finished product can run thousands of dollars. 

The Importance Of Metal Fabrication Management

October 2, 2013 8:02 am | by Mike Bowlby, Owner, Mack Hils Metal Fabrication | Blogs | Comments

Successful metal fabrication companies are always on a mission to improve their lead times to cut down on operating costs and to increase customer satisfaction. Many managers may try to analyze what the company does or doesn’t need, or which of the available suppliers might be cheaper and/or faster, yet provide them with their company’s specific needs without sacrificing quality in their products. 

Bridgestone Drops Plan To Close Italian Car Tire Plant

October 1, 2013 2:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Bridgestone will keep running its passenger car tire plant in Italy, dropping an earlier plan to close it in 2014, on the condition that the plant's productivity and costs improve, the Japanese firm's European arm said. An agreement was signed by all stakeholders including local institutions, the Ministry of Welfare and trade unions to implement a plan for the plant to focus solely on tires for general use, Bridgestone Europe NV/SA said.

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5 Reasons For Small To Mid-Size Manufacturers To Leverage PLM For Enterprise Quality Management

October 1, 2013 8:01 am | by Chuck Cimalore, CTO, Omnify Software | Articles | Comments

By implementing a Product Lifecycle Management system, companies benefit by simplifying each phase of the product development process. Due to their focus on product engineering, discrete manufacturers in the small-to-medium sized space typically adopt a PLM system to support best in class engineering processes and to address challenges with continual new product introductions, shorter product lifecycles and shrinking profit margins.

U.S. Study Puts iPhone 5S Production Costs At $191

September 25, 2013 2:34 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

While the iPhone 5S includes a handful of new features that set it apart from Apple's previous model, the actual cost to make the phone hasn't changed very much, according to a new study. An IHS Inc. teardown of the new smartphone found that the components that make up a 16-gigabyte iPhone 5S cost $190.70. Manufacturing costs add another $8, bringing the total production cost to $198.70.

Delivery Of First China Jetliner Delayed Again

September 25, 2013 2:26 pm | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press | News | Comments

The delivery date of China's long-delayed first commercial jet airliner has been pushed back again, the manufacturer said Wednesday, the latest setback for China's ambitions to challenge market leaders Boeing and Airbus. Originally promised for 2007, the plane was most recently expected late this year, but Comac Chairman Jin Zhuanglong said it will now be ready in mid-2014.

Nestle Adding Production Line At IN Plant

September 25, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nestle USA says it will spend $72 million to add a new production line to the central Indiana plant where it makes several beverage products. The expansion project will start up a seventh production line at the factory along Interstate 69 in Anderson. The company says it will be making more of its Boost and Carnation Breakfast Essentials drinks at the plant. 

Will The Wave of New Wearable Products Change Product Development?

September 25, 2013 9:08 am | by Kevin Prendeville | Articles | Comments

The buzz around wearable technology has been escalating the past several months. With this market gaining momentum, a key question needs to be addressed: How prepared are manufacturers to design and deliver these new and innovative types of products time and time again?

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OH Plant Making New Cherokee Idles 500 Workers

September 24, 2013 10:16 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

About 500 workers have been temporarily laid off from a northwest Ohio plant that produces the new Jeep Cherokee. Transmission reprogramming and extra test-driving delayed shipment of the vehicles, and inventory from the Toledo facility has accumulated, so some second-shift workers have been idled. The layoffs are expected to last about two weeks.

Long, Strange Trip Ending For VW's Hippie Van

September 23, 2013 10:02 am | by Bradley Brooks, Stan Lehman, Associated Press | News | Comments

It carried hippies through the 1960s, hauled surfers in search of killer waves during endless summers and serves as a workhorse across the developing world, but the long, strange trip of the Volkswagen van is ending. Brazil is the last place in the world still producing the iconic vehicle.

GE Plans To Move NY Capacitor Work To FL

September 19, 2013 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Electric Co. says it plans to close an electrical components plant in upstate New York and move the work to Florida. Local media outlets report that the Fairfield, Conn., company gave union workers in Fort Edward notice on Wednesday it could close by September 2014.

Boeing To End C-17 Airlifter Production In 2015

September 19, 2013 2:02 pm | by Robert Jablon, Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing Co. announced Wednesday that it will end production of its C-17 Globemaster III military cargo jet and close the final assembly plant in Long Beach in 2015, putting as many as 3,000 jobs at risk as orders plunged in the fragile world economy.

VW's Plant In TN Is Front-Runner For New SUV

September 18, 2013 1:31 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Volkswagen AG says its factory in Tennessee is the front-runner to build a new SUV. Marc Trahan, executive vice president of quality for Volkswagen in the U.S., said at an Automotive Press Association luncheon on Tuesday that Volkswagen will decide by the end of this year where to build the seven-passenger SUV, which the company believes it needs in the U.S. market.

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Toyota Makes 1 Millionth Truck In San Antonio

September 18, 2013 9:57 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A South Texas vehicle assembly plant has produced its 1 millionth truck. Officials with Toyota Motor Corp. say workers at its San Antonio plant on Tuesday completed a 1794 Edition Tundra pickup truck. The vehicle's color is described as sunset bronze mica.

United Tech: Europe Improving, Military Parts Down

September 18, 2013 9:50 am | by Stephen Singer, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Sharp cuts in U.S. military spare parts orders are hurting United Technologies Corp.'s helicopter maker, Sikorsky, the chief financial officer said Tuesday, although he was more optimistic about prospects in Europe. CFO Greg Hayes told investor analysts that automatic U.S. federal budget cuts beginning in March could take a bigger bite out of profit in 2014 than the company initially expected.

The Gray Shift Part 2: Using Ergonomy To Retain Valuable Older Workers

September 18, 2013 8:01 am | by Earl Hagman, PhD, MSEE, MBA, President, Ergotech Incorporated | Articles | Comments

To address coming workforce demographic changes, employers must create a corporate culture that promotes both safety and wellness. Healthy workers and a safe workspace reduce costs and increase productivity, so these efforts will be repaid fully.

Built Ford Tough

September 17, 2013 3:45 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive industry leader, manufacturing or distributing vehicles across six continents. With 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company has leveraged the dedication of its employees and UAW partnership to become more efficient, improve its product cadence, and be a more effective automotive industry competitor than ever before.

Eiji Toyoda, Key Figure In Toyota's Rise, Dies

September 17, 2013 10:04 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Eiji Toyoda, a member of Toyota's founding family who helped create the super-efficient "Toyota Way" production method, has died. He was 100. Toyoda, a cousin of the Japanese automaker's founder Kiichiro Toyoda, died Tuesday of heart failure at Toyota Memorial Hospital in Toyota city, central Japan, Toyota said in a statement.

The Gray Shift Part 1: An Aging Workforce Creates New Workplace Injury Issues

September 17, 2013 8:01 am | by Earl Hagman, PhD, MSEE, MBA, President, Ergotech Incorporated | Articles | Comments

The median age of the labor force is anticipated to increase rapidly, with one-third of the U.S. labor force turning 55 by 2015. This may have far-reaching implications on the number and type of work-related injuries experienced. Most companies are not prepared for these changing demographics.

Workers At CAMI Plant Ratify Agreement With GM

September 16, 2013 10:02 am | by CAMI, plant, GM, CAW, union, agreement, union, workers, auto, Unifor | News | Comments

Production and skilled trades workers at the General Motors assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., have ratified a contract agreement with the automaker. The 2,700 workers are members of Unifor, the new union created by the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union.

The Sweeping Transformation Of Manufacturing

September 13, 2013 8:02 am | by Beth Ambaruch, Director Corporate Communications, PTC | Articles | Comments

Whether we like it or not, globalization has been a major factor in the staying power of many manufacturers. The practice of scattering production, jobs and plants across the globe has delivered great benefits to the consumer and the manufacturer. Companies have been able to squeeze as much efficiency as possible from the products they make so that what we desire is affordable and readily available.

The Future Of Control Automation Has Arrived

September 11, 2013 8:01 am | by Eric Klein, Director of Sales, Lenze Americas | Articles | Comments

Automated and robotic machines for manufacturing operations can pose design challenges. The expansion of automation into broader applications has spurred demand for smarter, more efficient drives, controls and software tools. Staying ahead of the technological curve requires leveraging state of the art tools.

First U.S. Smartphone Assembly Plant Opens

September 10, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Rick Perry and top executives are attending the opening of a Fort Worth plant where cellphone pioneer Motorola will produce the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S. Motorola is owned by Google, whose Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, will be on-hand Tuesday, as will Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside.

"Made In America": The Competitiveness Imperative

September 10, 2013 8:01 am | by Scott Paul, President, Alliance for American Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

Politicians love promoting "made in America" during an election season but tend to forget about it once the dust settles. And so, for all the praise of American manufacturing in the last campaign – by Democrats and Republicans alike – very little has actually been done. So what happened to a real competitiveness – and – jobs agenda?

Green Mountain Coffee Closes Toronto Facility

September 6, 2013 2:18 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. said Thursday that it will cease production at its facility in Toronto and cut 120 jobs as it consolidates its Canadian production in Montreal. The Waterbury, Vt., company said it will move all of its Canadian coffee and portion-pack production to its facility in Montreal. It plans to end its operations in Toronto by March 5.

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