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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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.

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"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.

Toyota To Boost U.S. Transmission Production

September 3, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota said Friday that it will spend $102 million to increase U.S. production of transmissions. The company said that it will boost its automatic-transmission assembly and machining capacity at its Buffalo, W. Va., plant, as well the capacity at its powertrain plant and Bodine Aluminum casting facilities in Missouri and Tennessee.

First U.S.-Made Smartphone Cheap To Produce

August 29, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Motorola's new Moto X phone doesn't cost more to make simply because it's assembled in Texas, research firm IHS said. The Moto X is the first smartphone to carry the "Made in the U.S.A." designation. Labor costs are higher in the U.S. compared with Asian factories, where phones are typically made.

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.

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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