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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Fracking Fight Hits England

August 15, 2013 8:03 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Areas in the North of England are being prepped for the controversial process of freeing fossil fuels from shale rock (or "fracking"), and residents in these rural farming communities are expressing worry about how the drilling plans will impact their communities and their livelihood.

Pipeline Fire Lights Up IL Sky

August 13, 2013 2:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A fuel pipeline exploded beneath a western Illinois cornfield, sending flames hundreds of feet into the sky and leaving a 15-foot-deep crater before pipeline crews were able to stem the flow of fuel and bring the fire under control, authorities said. Nobody was injured in the explosion, which was reported around 11:15 p.m. Monday.

Taking The What To The How

August 12, 2013 4:44 pm | by Mike Collins, Author, Saving American Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

Throughout my manufacturing career, I’ve spent many hours in customer waiting rooms, where I would always read the company mission statement if it were mounted on the wall. I must admit that I have never been comfortable with the idea of mission/vision statements because I always thought them to be statements on what the company would like to do — not what they are really capable of doing.

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U.S. Says Differences Remain After Japan Trade Talks

August 9, 2013 9:54 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. and Japanese officials wrapped up a round of talks aimed at reducing trade barriers Friday, but differences remained over autos, insurance and other industries. "These concerns remain," Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler told reporters at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. "The negotiations got off to a good start this week."

EU Pursues Probe Of Chinese Solar Subsidies

August 8, 2013 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Union is pressing ahead with an investigation of whether China unfairly helps its solar panel makers with government subsidies. The European Commission, the 28-nation bloc's executive arm, had only days ago agreed to a settlement over China's alleged practice of selling its panels below cost, a practice known as dumping. But complaints over Beijing's alleged state subsidies were never settled.

Japan, U.S. Hold Talks Linked To Regional Trade Pact

August 7, 2013 1:47 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

U.S. and Japanese officials are holding talks in Tokyo to overcome obstacles to Japan's ongoing participation in American-led efforts to forge a regional free trade bloc. Acting deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler is heading the U.S. side in talks that began Wednesday on autos, insurance and non-tariff barriers to trade.

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows To $34.2B In June

August 6, 2013 2:12 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in June to its lowest level in more than 3 ½ years. Exports rose to all-time high and imports declined, signs that economic growth could be stronger than previously thought. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the June deficit fell 22.4 percent to $34.2 billion.

ISM: Manufacturing Surges Ahead

August 6, 2013 8:02 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

“It’s a great way to start the second half of 2013,” says Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the ISM Business Survey Committee.  “I think it’s a very positive and well-balanced report in terms of all of the underlying metrics. Things are pointing in a very favorable direction right now.”

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Obama Administration Overrules Apple Import Ban

August 5, 2013 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

President Obama's trade representative has vetoed a ban on imports of some Apple iPads and older iPhones, dealing a setback to rival South Korean electronics company Samsung. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Saturday overruled a June decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which had banned imports of the iPhone 4 and some variations of the iPad 2.

Obama Likely To Miss Goal Of Doubling Exports

August 5, 2013 10:22 am | by Tom Raum, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

Back in January 2010, President Barack Obama set a lofty goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years. With just 18 months to go to 2015, that target seems to be slipping beyond reach and has vanished from White House talking points. Blame tepid U.S. manufacturing growth, the lingering weak global economy, and a stronger U.S. dollar, which makes it harder to sell American goods and services overseas.

French Military Receives First A400M

August 1, 2013 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

France has become the first country to receive an A400M military transport plane from Airbus, bringing to fruition a long-troubled program. The delivery Thursday culminates "a long, complex and thorough process" between Airbus Military and the seven European nations behind the program, France's DGA military procurement agency said in a statement.

Nissan Building Park For Suppliers At Miss. Plant

July 30, 2013 2:52 pm | by Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Phil Bryant and Nissan officials spoke Tuesday during a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday near Canton. The manufacturing plant opened in 2003 and is about 15 miles north of Jackson, facing Interstate 55. The new supplier park will not be visible from the interstate.

China, EU Reach Settlement On Solar Panels

July 29, 2013 10:00 am | by Didi Tang, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Europe Union and Chinese solar panel exporters said Saturday that they had reached a settlement in their long trade dispute, with the exporters agreeing to sell their products at a minimum price in the EU market. The agreement ends one of the biggest-ever trade disputes between China and Europe — a row that threatened to escalate into a full-blown trade war involving European wines and to disrupt EU-China relations.

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Deadline Looms For SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule

July 29, 2013 8:02 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

With reporting requirements for the SEC’s Dodd-Frank mandated Conflict Minerals Rule coming due on May 31, 2014, companies are scrambling to determine their next steps in providing transparency required under the new rule, according to PwC. A survey found that almost half of the nearly 900 executives surveyed are still in the initial stages of their compliance efforts, while 32 percent are determining if the rule applies to them.

Brazilian Group Seeks PA Expertise On Shale Gas

July 26, 2013 2:03 pm | by Kevin Begos, Associated Press | News | Comments

With the discovery of shale gas reserves in Brazil and plans to auction drilling rights there, a delegation is visiting Pennsylvania to see how its drilling boom has turned the state into one of the leading natural gas producers in the U.S. The group of Brazilian business and energy industry professionals hopes to learn from the state's experience and to explore the possibility of exports to Brazil during meetings Wednesday and Thursday.

Spirit AeroSystems Announces 360 Layoffs

July 25, 2013 2:07 pm | by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Spirit AeroSystems announced Thursday it is laying off about 360 salaried support and management employees at its Kansas and Oklahoma facilities. The Wichita-based aircraft parts maker said it remains strong with a "robust backlog" of orders worth about $36 billion.

Japan Trade Deficit Narrows On June Export Jump

July 24, 2013 2:28 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan's trade deficit was a smaller-than-expected 180.8 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in June as the weaker yen boosted exports. The deficit reported by the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday was smaller than most forecasts and down from May's deficit of 996.4 billion yen. Still, it was more than triple the 56.1 trillion yen deficit recorded in June 2012.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Vehicle Tracking & Management Deployment

July 23, 2013 8:04 am | by Zebra Technologies | Articles | Comments

Land Rover extended its Lean manufacturing to cover vehicles rolling off the production line at its Solihull, England production facility by implementing Zebra Solutions Vehicle Tracking & Management Solution. Newly assembled vehicles move around the site as they are prepared for dealer orders, so it was a manually intensive process to establish their precise location and identify and direct each vehicle to the next process.

GETRAG FORD’s Material Flow Deployment

July 23, 2013 8:03 am | by Zebra Technologies | Articles | Comments

GETRAG FORD is one of the largest manufacturers of automotive transmissions in the world. As part of its Lean manufacturing initiative, the company implemented Zebra Material Flow Replenishment system to automate parts processes throughout its 2 million square foot assembly plant in Cologne, Germany.

Eliminate Supply Chain Waste With Real-Time Asset Management Solutions

July 23, 2013 8:02 am | by Zebra Technologies | Articles | Comments

In difficult economic times, Lean thinking strikes a chord for manufacturers as it promises to reduce costs, improve quality, and transform the bottom line by eliminating waste in every area of the value stream. Its goal is to eliminate non-value added processing from the customers’ perspective, enabling less inventory, less space, less resource, less time and less cost to produce more – and all highly responsive to customer demand.

Energy Intelligence Report: An Eye On Efficiency

July 22, 2013 4:03 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Our fourth annual Energy Intelligence 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.

ISM Polls Show External Effects On Manufacturing And The Supply Chain

July 22, 2013 3:25 pm | Articles | Comments

The Institute for Supply Chain Management held their 98th Annual International Supply Management Conference & Educational Exhibit April 28th through May 1st in Grapevine, TX. More than 2,000 professionals attended the conference and several “instant” digital polls were held, taking a look at reshoring and tax concerns. Thomas Derry, CEO of ISM, discusses the results of those polls and how they are affecting business and the economy.

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.

China Hikes Tariff On U.S., Korean Solar Polysilicon

July 22, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China has fired a new salvo in a global trade battle over solar panels by raising import duties on U.S.- and Korean-made polysilicon used to manufacture them. The Ministry of Commerce said the duties of up to 57 percent are in response to dumping, or selling at improperly low prices.

Grainger Celebrates Grand Opening Of IL Distribution Center

July 22, 2013 1:49 pm | by Grainger | News | Comments

Grainger, a leading broad line supplier of MRO products serving businesses and institutions, on Thursday hosted a grand opening to celebrate its new distribution center in Minooka, Ill.  This one-million-square-foot facility serves as the company’s new central stocking distribution center and runs a state-of-the-art automated system.

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