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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Natural Gas Export Plans Stir Debate

May 13, 2013 2:28 pm | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

A domestic natural gas boom already has lowered U.S. energy prices while stoking fears of environmental disaster. Now U.S. producers are poised to ship vast quantities of gas overseas as energy companies seek permits for proposed export projects that could set off a renewed frenzy of fracking.

Leaving Bangladesh? Not An Easy Choice For Brands

May 13, 2013 2:18 pm | by Anne D'Innocenzio, Jonathan Fahey, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Bangladesh offers the global garment industry something unique: Millions of workers who quickly churn out huge amounts of well-made underwear, jeans and T-shirts for the lowest wages in the world. But since a building collapse April 24 killed at least 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh in one of the deadliest industrial tragedies in history, the country has gone from one of the industry's greatest assets to one of its biggest liabilities.

Building Apple's iPhone Doesn't Pay Like It Used To

May 13, 2013 11:52 am | by ReutersTV | Videos | Comments

Apple's legendary profit margins may be challenged if the firm releases its long-rumored low-end iPhone later this year. But the ones really feeling the pinch will be its suppliers. Apple does none of its own production and relies on Asia's contract makers - the biggest of the bunch being Foxconn. Foxconn draws an estimated 60 to 70 percent of its business from work commissioned by Apple.

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By The Numbers

May 10, 2013 3:42 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

 Conveying equipment can’t just keep getting faster – it has to get smarter as well. Learn how market conditions, design elements, and maintenance issues work together to create positive trends in the conveyor industry. 

China Reports Stronger April Trade Growth

May 8, 2013 2:25 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China reported stronger April trade but analysts said export data were inflated and its shaky recovery might be weaker than it looks. Exports rose 14.7 percent over a year earlier, up from March's 10 percent growth, customs data showed Wednesday. Imports gained 16.8 percent, up from the previous month's 14.1 percent.

Ferrari To Sell Fewer Cars To Boost Exclusivity

May 8, 2013 10:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ferrari says it will limit sales of its high-performance street cars this year to below 7,000 units to protect the brand's aura of exclusivity. Chairman Luca Montezemolo says that means sales will decline overall by "more than 1 or 2 percent" from last year's sales of 7,318 cars. Sales in the first four months have risen 4 percent over last year.

Is The United States Ready To Take Manufacturing Back?

May 8, 2013 8:05 am | by Patrick Van den Bossche, Pramod Gupta, Hector Gutierrez, Chui Lee — A.T. Kearney | Articles | Comments

Word on the street is that substantial portions of previously offshored manufacturing operations are due to return to the United States. A number of macroeconomic factors seem to have tipped the balance in favor of domestic manufacturing.

Q&A: Barriers To American Re-shoring

May 7, 2013 8:05 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Over the last few years, there has been an increasing amount of buzz around the concept of “re-shoring,” in which an American company decides it’s more financially viable to bring manufacturing operations back to the U.S. from a foreign land. Generally speaking, company leaders are finding that the “total cost” of producing overseas actually makes outsourcing the worse financial picture.

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HK Dockworkers Accept Offer, End 40-Day Strike

May 6, 2013 2:19 pm | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Hong Kong dockworkers have accepted a 9.8 percent pay increase, ending a 40-day strike that slowed traffic at one of the world's busiest ports. About 90 percent of the workers voted late Monday in favor of the offer from four middleman contractors that provide staff to a container terminal operator controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.

China City Quashes Protest Against Petro Plant

May 6, 2013 10:28 am | by Didi Tang, Associated Press | News | Comments

Residents say they are worried the plant would pollute the air and water, and question why the plant is being built in a region prone to earthquakes. Pengzhou is in the same fault zone as the 2008 Wenchuan quake that left 90,000 people dead or missing, and for an earthquake last month that killed at least 196 people.

ALCOA Expanding TN Plant For Auto Making Needs

May 3, 2013 5:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

ALCOA says resurgent auto manufacturing is creating demand for its aluminum products and it will expand its plant in Tennessee. The Daily Times first reported the company will create 200 new jobs with a $275 million expansion of its rolling mill in Alcoa, Tenn. Some 400 construction jobs will be created in building it.

Steel Firm To Add Jobs To Supply CAT Plant

May 2, 2013 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A steel fabricator plans to add more than 150 jobs over the next three years at its Dawson County plant, company executives said, to supply parts for a new Caterpillar production facility near Athens. The Times of Gainesville reported that Impulse Manufacturing will produce parts for several small excavators that will be produced at the new Caterpillar plant.

Quincy Compressor Acquires Four National Pump & Compressor Midwest Branches

May 2, 2013 12:40 pm | by Quincy Compressor | News | Comments

Quincy Compressor has acquired the assets of four National Pump & Compressor’s (NPC) branches in the state of Illinois. Formerly operating as Cochrane Compressor and acquired by NPC in 2009, the acquired company has been a Quincy distributor for more than 60 years.

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Brazil's Embraer Inks 30-Jet Deal With United

April 30, 2013 1:39 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Brazilian plane maker Embraer says it's signed a firm order with United Airlines for 30 regional jets. With the option for United to buy an additional 40 jets, Embraer says the deal could eventually be worth nearly $4 billion. The first planes are to be delivered in the first quarter of 2014.

Goodyear, Union Begin Contract Talks For 6 Plants

April 29, 2013 2:24 pm | by Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press | News | Comments

With the backdrop of an uncertain economy, shrinking unions and company cost-cutting, Goodyear and the Steelworkers are negotiating on a new national contract covering 8,000 tire workers at six plants. The first round of talks in Cincinnati ended Thursday and recessed.

Entrematic Strengthens N. America Offering With 4Front Acquisition

April 26, 2013 5:01 pm | News | Comments

Entrematic’s presence in North America is strengthened by its most recent acquisition of4Front, the U.S.-based loading dock and warehouse products company with its industry-leading brands, including Kelley and Serco. By combining long established brands under one umbrella, Entrematic now boasts one of the world’s most complete ranges of entrance automation products, supported by dedicated specialists with extensive experience.

S. Korea To Withdraw Workers At N. Korea Factory

April 26, 2013 10:20 am | by Sam Kim, Associated Press | News | Comments

Seoul said Friday that it has decided to withdraw the roughly 175 South Koreans still at a jointly run factory complex in North Korea, raising a major question about the survival of the last symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. The statement by the country's minister in charge of inter-Korean relations came after North Korea rejected Seoul's demand for talks on the factory park that has been closed nearly a month.

S. Korea Demands Talks With N. Korea On Closed Factory

April 25, 2013 2:16 pm | by Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press | News | Comments

After weeks of threatening rhetoric from the North, South Korea on Thursday promised its own unspecified "grave measures" if Pyongyang rejects talks on a jointly run factory park shuttered for nearly a month. The park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong is the most significant casualty so far in the recent deterioration of relations between the Koreas.

MS Special Session Friday For Auto Parts Maker

April 25, 2013 2:07 pm | by Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press | News | Comments

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is calling lawmakers back to the Capitol this Friday for what many hope will be a quick a special session to lure an auto parts maker to the state. Bryant has released few details about the project, beyond saying it's for Mississippi's "automobile corridor."

Boeing 737s Being Built At Highest Monthly Rate Ever

April 25, 2013 1:49 pm | by Boeing | Videos | Comments

The new CopaAirlines 737 symbolizes an important change in how the 737 is built. The world's best selling airplane, the Boeing 737, is now building at its highest rate ever. In Renton, Washington, the Boeing factory is now assembling 38 planes a month.

Isuzu To Sell Remaining Stake In Poland Unit To GM

April 23, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Isuzu Motors Ltd. said Tuesday it will sell the remaining 40 percent stake in its plant-operating affiliate in Poland to General Motors Co. by the end of April. The U.S. automobile giant will raise its stake in Isuzu Motors Polska Sp. z.o.o. (ISPOL) to 100 percent from the current 60 percent it acquired from the Japanese truck maker in 2002. Financial terms were not disclosed.

MSC Completes Acquisition Of Barnes Group

April 22, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc. said Monday that it has completed its $550 million acquisition of the North American distribution business of Barnes Group Inc. MSC, which is based in Melville, N.Y., is a major distributor of metalworking and maintenance supplies to industrial customers. The company said the deal expands its service and product offerings for customers and establishes a significant presence in the Canadian market.

Toyota To Build Lexus ES 350 At KY Plant

April 19, 2013 10:19 am | by Toyota | News | Comments

For the first time, a Lexus vehicle will be produced in the United States. The Lexus ES 350 will be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky in 2015, Toyota announced today. The move will generate 750 new jobs. To support the new dedicated assembly line, Toyota will invest $360 million in the Georgetown plant.

PA Governor Winds Up South America Trade Mission

April 17, 2013 1:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was headed home Tuesday from a 10-day trade mission to South America with high hopes for the future but few concrete accomplishments to talk about. In a teleconference with Pennsylvania reporters, Corbett described a whirlwind schedule of meetings and events in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Santiago, Chile.

Coca-Cola's Independent Bottlers See Shifting Role

April 17, 2013 10:01 am | by Candice Choi, AP Food Industry Writer | News | Comments

Coca-Cola has struck preliminary deals to begin handing back more of its U.S. distribution network to independent bottlers, a move that's expected to improve profit margins in its flagship market. The world's biggest beverage maker had purchased its biggest North American bottler in 2010 to make it easier to introduce new products and clean up a messy patchwork of factories.

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