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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

1,400 New Employees Kick Off U.S. Fusion Production

August 29, 2013 1:20 pm | by Ford Motor Company | News | Comments

Supported by 1,400 new employees, the new Ford Fusion rolled off the line at Flat Rock Assembly Plant yesterday, marking the first time the popular car has been built in the United States. The move expands Fusion availability by more than 30 percent – up to 350,000 units annually – as the midsize sedan is setting sales records for Ford.

Ford Fusion Now Made In U.S.

August 29, 2013 12:28 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

For the first time, Ford Fusion vehicles are being built just outside Detroit, a positive sign that the automotive industry is bringing production back to the United States. The company's Flat Rock, Mich., plant near Detroit will start making the Fusion Thursday. Ford hired a second shift of 1,400 new workers to make the Fusion at the plant, which also makes the Mustang sports car.

Surprise Yourself With The True Potential Of Your Process

August 28, 2013 8:01 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

Each of us has a nemesis process; that process that we engage regularly and that drives us crazy because of its inefficiency, its guarantee to waste our time, and some variety of reasons that prevent it from being reasonably improved. Some of us have more than one.

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Fast Plant Is Boost For Japan Auto 'Also-Ran' Mazda

August 27, 2013 10:10 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Mazda, the longtime also-ran of Japanese automakers, says it came up with innovations in nearly every step of auto manufacturing for a super-efficient assembly line that rolls off vehicles at a stunning rate of one every 54 seconds. The revamped Hofu plant underlines how Mazda Motor Corp. has defied skeptics who predicted the automaker's demise after Ford Motor Co. ended a long partnership.

Jack Daniel's Prepares For Its Largest Expansion

August 22, 2013 2:20 pm | by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press | News | Comments

Jack Daniel's is being served a $100 million-plus expansion of its rural Tennessee distillery to flex more muscle in the growing whiskey market. The investment amounts to the largest single production expansion in the brand's long history.

Six Steps For Streamlining Manufacturing Processes

August 21, 2013 8:01 am | by Bob Vormittag, President & CEO, VAI | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers are eager to streamline complex processes in an effort to produce significant cost and time savings while increasing overall productivity and profitability. However, streamlining long-established processes can be a daunting, time-consuming endeavor. 

Who Is Responsible?

August 12, 2013 4:29 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

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.

Top 5 Quality Metrics For The Plant Manager’s Dashboard

August 7, 2013 8:01 am | by Mike Roberts, Research Associate, LNS Research | Articles | Comments

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.

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Drake's Cakes To Return Next Month

August 6, 2013 2:04 pm | by Candice Choi, AP Food Industry Writer | News | Comments

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 Exec Says Next New Car To Be On Time

August 6, 2013 10:12 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

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 Minn. Delays Taconite Plant Opening

August 5, 2013 10:26 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

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 To Boost Lithium-Ion Battery Production

August 1, 2013 3:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

Chrysler's 2Q Net Income Up Despite Growing Pains

July 31, 2013 2:20 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

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.

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Toyota To Add 200 Jobs At IN Factory In 2014

July 29, 2013 2:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

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 Delays First Flight Of CSeries Plane

July 26, 2013 10:14 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

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 Orders Production Cuts In Some Industries

July 26, 2013 10:06 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

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.

Pneumatic Conveying Systems Health & Safety: Exploring ROI, Part 2

July 26, 2013 8:02 am | by Doan Pendleton, VP of VAC-U-MAX | Articles | Comments

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.

The Future Of Manufacturing: TEDxEdmonton

July 25, 2013 8:02 am | by TEDxTalks | Videos | Comments

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.

Time Lapse: Building The Goodyear Blimp

July 24, 2013 12:38 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

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.

Pneumatic Conveying Systems Health & Safety: Exploring ROI, Part 1

July 24, 2013 8:02 am | by Doan Pendleton, VP of VAC-U-MAX | Articles | Comments

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.

Wrapped Around Innovation

July 22, 2013 2:38 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

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.

Ohio Plant Ramping Up Jeep Cherokee Production

July 22, 2013 1:56 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

U.S. Factories Increase Output In June

July 16, 2013 1:34 pm | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

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.

Posco Scraps Plan For $5.3B Steel Plant In India

July 16, 2013 10:11 am | by Nirmala George, Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

Why PLM Is So Important For High-Tech Manufacturers

July 16, 2013 8:02 am | by Kevin Prendeville, Managing Director, Accenture | Articles | Comments

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?

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