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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

China OKs Bid To Purchase U.S. Battery Maker A123

December 3, 2012 12:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China has approved a proposal by auto parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group Corp. to purchase the assets of bankrupt U.S. battery maker A123 Systems. The Chinese Commerce Ministry's approval of the bid was announced by the official Xinhua News Agency on Sunday. Wanxiang, based in Zhejiang province, is interested in buying substantially all of the assets of A123, which is based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Yaskawa Europe To Acquire Majority Shares Of VIPA

December 3, 2012 11:35 am | by Yaskawa | News | Comments

The Drives & Motion Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. is pleased to announce that Yaskawa Electric Corporation has signed an agreement between its European subsidiary, YASKAWA Europe GmbH based in Eschborn, Germany, and VIPA Gesellschaft für Visualisierung und Prozessautomatisierung mbH, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, whereby YEU will acquire a majority of the shares of VIPA.

Eaton Completes $11.46B Deal For Cooper Industries

December 3, 2012 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Diversified manufacturer Eaton Corp. said Friday that it has completed its acquisition of electrical equipment supplier Cooper Industries PLC. Eaton said in May it was buying the Dublin, Ireland-based electrical components maker in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $11.46B. With the acquisition, Cleveland-based Eaton is seeking to expand its reach in the global electrical power and distribution business.

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Cisco To Buy Cariden Technologies For $141M

November 30, 2012 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Internet networking gear maker Cisco Systems Inc. is buying software maker Cariden Technologies Inc. for $141 million as part of its effort to provide more tools for managing increasing online traffic from mobile devices. The all-cash deal announced Thursday is expected to be completed sometime during Cisco's current fiscal quarter, which ends in late January.

Bombardier In Deal With VistaJet For $7.8B

November 28, 2012 10:03 am | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

Bombardier Inc., the world's third-largest maker of civilian commercial aircraft, said Monday it has made the biggest sale of business aircraft in its history, potentially worth up to $7.8 billion if all options are exercised. VistaJet, a private European company that provides luxury chartered flights, placed firm orders for 56 Bombardier Global jets valued at $3.1 billion and acquired options for a further 86 Global jets.

USNH, Community Colleges Focus On Tech Grads

November 28, 2012 9:59 am | by Holly Ramer, Associated Press | News | Comments

Working harder to hold onto already interested students is faster and less expensive than recruiting newcomers when it comes to increasing the number of science, technology, engineering and math degrees, a national education expert told New Hampshire education leaders Tuesday.

GE Lighting To Buy Albeo Technologies

November 27, 2012 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

GE Lighting is buying LED fixture maker Albeo Technologies Inc. in order to meet the demand for energy-efficient high-bay LED lighting products. Privately held Albeo Technologies's LED systems are used in commercial, warehouse, industrial, cold storage, office, data center, food processing, parking garage, school, sporting and correctional environments.

Weakened U.S. Manufacturing Is Still Strong

November 27, 2012 1:58 pm | News | Comments

Despite media reports that tend to focus on job loss, plant closings and other negative events, the truth is that while U.S manufacturing has been weakened in recent years, it is still quite strong. Perhaps no one knows this better than Chelsea C. (Chip) White, the Schneider National Chair of Transportation and Logistics in the School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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InfinityQS, Keops Partner For Global Manufacturing Intelligence

November 27, 2012 11:28 am | News | Comments

InfinityQS International, Inc. today announced a strategic partnership with Keops Technologies, Inc. that increase efficiency and improve quality. With offices in Montreal, Madrid and Paris, and recent expansion in Dubai, Keops has formalized its partnership with InfinityQS to complement its existing manufacturing solutions with ProFicient, InfinityQS’ enterprise quality hub powered by statistical process control (SPC).

Fiat Industrial, CNH Reach Merger Agreement

November 26, 2012 2:06 pm | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The Italian heavy-duty vehicles maker Fiat Industrial reached an agreement Monday for a full merger with its U.S. subsidiary, the farm equipment maker CNH Global N.V., creating the world's third-largest capital goods company by sales. Fiat Industrial had aggressively pursued the full merger of the 12 percent of CNH that it didn't already own.

Eaton Deal For Cooper Cleared By China, Europe

November 26, 2012 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Diversified manufacturer Eaton Corp. said Monday that its pending acquisition of Cooper Industries PLC has received regulatory approvals from Chinese and European officials, putting it a step closer to closing. The deal has now received all of its required regulatory approvals and been approved by the shareholders of both companies. It remains subject to customary closing conditions, Eaton said.

VA Center Aims To Help U.S. Reclaim Manufacturing

November 26, 2012 10:24 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Tucked away just miles from the railroads that for years have transported goods made in Virginia to the rest of the world, a recently opened research facility in Prince George County is bringing together universities and industry in an effort to help the state — and the country — regain its manufacturing roots.

On Disclosing ‘Conflict Minerals’

November 26, 2012 8:09 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

French thinks “there’s going to be a lot of information technology costs associated with this,” in terms of leveraging big data and supply chain software to help better understand the sourcing picture. He also thinks that as more major manufacturers try to move toward conflict-free minerals, prices of those mined ethically could rise, leading to higher inbound costs for all companies.

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Kickstart Your Heart

November 21, 2012 8:06 am | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, Product Design & Development | Blogs | Comments

It’s time to embrace the power of Kickstarter.com and like-minded sites that offer a crowdsourcing funding platform for new products attempting to enter the market. While the site is used to fund everything from films and music to new technology, Kickstarter has become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the world of engineering start-ups.

HP Says Acquired Company Lied About Finances

November 20, 2012 10:11 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Hewlett-Packard Co. said that a British company it bought for $9.7 billion last year lied about its finances, resulting in a massive write-down of the value of the business. CEO Meg Whitman avoided calling it a fraud, but said Tuesday that there were "serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations at Autonomy Corporation PLC."

Twinkies Likely To Survive Sale Of Hostess

November 19, 2012 10:12 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Twinkie lovers, relax. The tasty cream-filled golden spongecakes are likely to survive, even though their maker will be sold in bankruptcy court. Hostess Brands Inc., baker of Wonder Bread as well as Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Ho's, will be in a New York bankruptcy courtroom Monday to start the process of selling itself.

Jaguar To Build Factory In China In Joint Venture

November 19, 2012 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A new joint venture will for the first time see Jaguars and Land Rovers built in China. The British luxury car company said Sunday that a deal has been made with the Chery Automobile Company to build the cars at a new factory to be built near Shanghai. The company says it is a 1 billion pound ($1.6 billion) joint venture.

Manufacturing Skills Gap Less Pervasive Than Thought

November 16, 2012 8:06 am | by The Boston Consulting Group | Articles | Comments

The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing today is more limited than many people believe and is unlikely to prevent a projected resurgence in U.S. manufacturing by the end of this decade. But more severe shortages could develop, threatening to constrain that revival, unless aggressive steps are taken now, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Chicago Puts $1.25M Into Manufacturing Training

November 14, 2012 2:38 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chicago is spending $1.25 million to create new programs to teach advanced manufacturing at a high school in the city. Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office said Tuesday that the money will be used at Austin Polytechnical Academy to train workers in manufacturing skills as well as core subjects such as English and math. Local manufacturers also will be given access to new technologies featured at the campus.

BASF, Gazprom Agree On Asset Swap

November 14, 2012 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BASF SE has agreed on an asset swap with Russian natural gas heavyweight OAO Gazprom — a deal that the German industrial group hopes will allow it to increase its production of oil and gas while exiting the gas trading and storage business. BASF said the two companies' chief executives on Wednesday signed the agreement to swap assets of equivalent value. It said the transaction should be completed by the end of next year.

Q&A: How To Handle Your Supply Chain When Natural Disasters Strike

November 14, 2012 8:23 am | Articles | Comments

In this challenging environment, forward-looking insights combined with disciplined execution can help organizations ensure that their supply chain is healthy and robust, helping to assuage the impact of unexpected chaos, like the recent Hurricane Sandy that hit the east coast.

Hitachi Metals, Hitachi Cable Plan Merger

November 13, 2012 10:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hitachi Metals and Hitachi Cable announced that they plan to merge in April to expand their businesses overseas and boost their competitiveness against foreign rivals amid the shrinking Japanese market. The merger of the two subsidiaries of Hitachi Ltd. will create an industrial product maker with around 1 trillion yen in annual revenue, based on their annual sales reported for the year ended March.

Sherwin-Williams To Spend $2.34B On Paint Maker

November 12, 2012 1:57 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sherwin-Williams is buying the privately held Mexican paint company Consorcio Comex in an all-cash deal valued at about $2.34 billion. Consorcio Comex, S.A. de C.V., sells paints and coatings under several brands in the United States and Canada, and it sells architectural and industrial coatings in Mexico. It has company-operated stores and also works with independent paint dealers.

The Ryt-Way To Control 2,500 SKUs

November 12, 2012 8:08 am | Articles | Comments

As a leading contract packager of dry food products for hundreds of well-known brands, Ryt-way offers customers a wide variety of “market-smart” packaging options. But as it continued to expand its breadth of capabilities, Ryt-way’s Des Plaines, IL facility had a spare parts inventory system for its 900-plus pieces of equipment that was proving woefully inadequate.

The Next Frontier of Competitive Wars in Supplier Management

November 8, 2012 5:31 pm | by Vineet Seth, Head of Product Management, SAP Global Business Incubator | Articles | Comments

If you are responsible for managing the supply base within your company, in order to be very successful you must not only be a procurement expert and an operations whiz, but also an analytical data junkie. And in the face of ever-shortening product lifecycles, increased cost pressures and lean supply chains, you are continually faced with potential supply disruptions.

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