Our fourth annual Energy Intelligence Report will again bring IMPO readers the latest industry trends as it relates to plant energy use and overall business efficiency. This report has been designed to spark some ideas for cost savings measures, as manufacturers continue to face tightening budgets and competitive pressures. We hope you can find something of value as you look at your own plant floor and try to determine where to start.
If you are involved in quality and operations decisions for manufacturing or supply-chain management, one of your most important responsibilities is to ensure that the final output of your plant is in compliance with internal and external quality standards.This is not as easy as it sounds.
Twinkies are already back on shelves and now the new owners of Drake's cakes say Coffee Cakes, Devil Dogs, Ring Dings and Yodels will return next month. A spokesman for McKee Foods Corp. said the company plans to bring back the snack cakes in the third week of September. The company is still deciding whether to bring back Funny Bones.
Chrysler's manufacturing chief said Monday that a new midsize car should hit dealerships on time next year, following costly delays with recent product launches. Vice President Mauro Pino said the new model, a sorely needed replacement for the aging Chrysler 200, should reach showrooms as scheduled in the first quarter. The new car is scheduled to reach dealerships sometime in the first quarter of 2014.
Essar Steel Minnesota is delaying the opening of its Nashwauk taconite plant until the second half of 2014, company officials have confirmed. The plant originally was to open this fall with nearly 350 workers. But CEO and President Madhu Vuppuluri told the Star Tribune the opening is being delayed due to financing issues surrounding the company's decision last year to increase production from 4 million tons of taconite to 7 million tons.
Panasonic Corp. will increase domestic production of lithium-ion battery used for automobiles to meet robust demand in the United States, company sources said Thursday. The struggling electronics maker will resume operation of idled lines at an Osaka factory, which produces batteries for U.S. automaker Tesla Motors Inc.
America's third-largest automaker said Tuesday that its sales picked up in the second quarter thanks to strong U.S. demand for trucks and SUVs. But the company cut its target for full-year sales and profit, blaming persistent problems as it adds more shifts and ramps up production of vehicles like the Ram pickup and the Jeep Cherokee small SUV.
Toyota says it will boost production of the Highlander SUV at its southwestern Indiana plant and add 200 jobs there next year. The Evansville Courier & Press reports Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana Inc. announced Friday that it's increasing Highlander production by 15,000 units at its Princeton plant as part of a $30 million investment.
Bombardier has delayed again the first test flight of its much-touted CSeries single-aisle airliner. The world's third-largest maker of civilian commercial aircraft had been aiming for the first flight by the end of July but said Wednesday it will occur "in the coming weeks" without giving a target date.
China's government has ordered companies to close factories in 19 industries where overproduction has led to price-cutting wars, affirming its determination to push ahead with a painful economic restructuring despite slowing growth. The industry ministry issued orders late Thursday to more than 1,400 companies to cut excess capacity that has led to financial trouble for manufacturers.
In the manufacturing arena, four out of five materials handling injuries affect the back and require a median of ten days for workers to recuperate. A strain can have indirect costs in excess of $33K and requires an additional $672K in sales to recoup those costs. Anytime organizations can eliminate the possibility of back injuries, injury costs should be taken into consideration when determining ROI.
Kyle Hermenean is the co-founder of Machina Corp., a company that manufactures 3D Printers with the goal of bringing desktop 3D printing and rapid prototyping to an affordable price. He splits his time between Edmonton and Calgary growing the public's awareness of the second industrial revolution found in 3D printing technologies.
Since 1925, Goodyear blimps have adorned the skies as very visible corporate icons of the world's largest tire and rubber company that began operations in 1898. This remarkable time lapse video shows the beginnings of construction on the Goodyear Blimp.
Workplace injuries in any organization take a bite out of profits. The statistics regarding the number of injuries and illnesses that occur on the job and purported annual costs of $250B is astronomical. In the goods producing industry, which accounts for account for 35 percent of all occupational illness and injury cases, “manual materials handling is the principal source of compensable injuries,” according to OSHA.
Pat and Bill Lancaster believed that pallet loads of product could be better protected — that billions of dollars of unsalable product due to shipping damage could be reclaimed and energy spent recycling, repurposing, or disposing of this damaged product could be regained. Pallet loads could be better stabilized and product should be — and could be — better protected in transit.
Production of the new Jeep Cherokee that Chrysler executives think could be the brand's top-selling model should reach full production in an Ohio assembly plant by September. The automaker said Thursday that the Cherokee began rolling off the assembly line almost a month ago at its Toledo plant and it expects the new sport-utility vehicles to be in showrooms this September.
United States factories cranked out more business equipment, home electronics and autos in June, boosting manufacturing output for the second straight month. The gains suggest factories may be starting to recover from a slow start this year.
South Korean steel giant Posco has pulled out of a proposed $5.3 billion steel plant in the southern Indian state of Karnataka in a new blow to government efforts to attract foreign investment to spur growth. The company said Tuesday it scrapped the project because of inordinate delays stemming from local opposition to land acquisition for the project.
Product lifecycle management (PLM) may sound like one of those deep-in-the-weeds business terms, but it has become one of the most important arenas for accelerating product deliveries, reducing costs, and generating more revenues in major manufacturing industries. So what is product lifecycle management?
Hyundai Motor Co.'s factories have reached their maximum capacity to build cars, and that's costing the company sales in a growing U.S. market, its American CEO said Friday. Hyundai's U.S. sales are up only 1.9 percent for the first half of the year, less than a quarter of the overall market's 8.4 percent growth rate, according to Autodata Corp.
Toshiba Corp. said Wednesday its U.S. affiliate Toshiba International Corp. completed an expansion to its inverter plant in Houston, Texas, that it began in August 2012. The expansion is part of a $20 million capital investment in Toshiba International's medium voltage industrial inverter production.
Stealth barcodes track individual items during the manufacturing process. The barcodes are printed with an invisible ink that is virtually undetectable to the naked eye, but under a black light glows. The system allows manufacturers to track individual products and collect data about their processes.
The manufacturing industry remains in a constant race to improve their products, as well as the process of making their products — all while dealing with tight budgets and low profit margins. These twin efforts push innovation to the forefront, and the tax code rewards manufacturers who are engaged in these efforts to stay competitive with the R&D tax credit.
Ford engineers are developing a highly flexible, first-of-its-kind, patented technology to rapidly form sheet metal parts for low-volume production applications. Once fully developed, the technology (Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology, or F3T) will allow for lower costs and ultrafast delivery times for prototypes – within three business days versus conventional methods that take anywhere from two to six months.
Mazda Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will bolster its annual output capacity for the proprietary fuel-efficient Skyactiv transmission systems from the current 750,000 units to 1.14 million by next July. Mazda will start increasing production lines at a plant in Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, later this month.