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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Demanding Harsh Penalties For Price Fixers

September 20, 2012 1:41 pm | by Paul Elias, Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Justice is demanding that a "remorseless" Taiwanese company pay a $1 billion fine and two former top executives each serve 10 years in prison for their roles as central figures in what prosecutors called the most serious price-fixing cartel ever prosecuted by the U.S.

U.S. And China Clash Over Free Trade

September 19, 2012 9:39 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. government has challenged Chinese policies it says improperly subsidize exports of auto parts in violation of World Trade Organization free trade rules. The issue is politically sensitive at a time when Western governments are trying to boost exports, especially of higher-value industrial goods, to cut high unemployment.

Bentley Acquires Ivara To Redefine Asset Management

September 18, 2012 12:03 pm | by Bentley Systems | Articles | Comments

Bentley Systems, Incorporated, dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure, today announced that it has acquired Ontario, Canada-based Ivara Corporation, a leading provider of asset performance management software solutions for organizations in asset-intensive industries, including mining and metals, power generation and utilities, oil and gas, and petrochemical.

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Japan Businesses In China Hit As Protests Rage

September 18, 2012 10:09 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Scores of Japanese-owned factories and stores in China were shuttered Tuesday as anti-Japan demonstrations erupted in dozens of cities. At stake are billions of dollars in investments and far more in sales and trade between Japan and China, the world's third- and second-largest economies. The two are so closely entwined that both would suffer from any long-term disruptions.

Acquisition Bolsters Allied Reliability Group Service Offerings

September 13, 2012 3:55 pm | by Allied Reliability Group | Articles | Comments

Allied Reliability Group is pleased to announce the acquisition of ABB’s Reliability Consulting business in North America, originally known as HSB RT. The unit consists of 20 remote employees, all of whom will be fully integrated into GPAllied. The Reliability Consulting business unit will complement GPAllied’s current reliability consulting offerings.

Platinum Prices Jump As Mine Dispute Spreads

September 13, 2012 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The price of platinum jumped nearly 3 percent Wednesday as protests spread at South African mines. Workers at a mine run by Anglo American Platinum appeared to go on strike, demanding higher wages. The company denied that the workers were on strike, but said it shut down its mines in the town of Rustenberg for safety reasons.

Q&A: Streamlined Packing Designs

September 13, 2012 11:15 am | Articles | Comments

Bosch Packaging Systems has injected over 100 years of industry experience into their advanced packaging lines with a unique, uniform design principle. The recent fruits of their single design philosophy were formally unveiled last year. To find out more, we spoke with Detlef Gottstein, the responsible product manager from Bosch Packaging Systems, and the company’s consultant Prof. Sigmar Willnauer, an expert in Industrial Design.

Trumping Progress – How Money & Politics Corrupt Innovation

September 7, 2012 8:06 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Have you heard of Nikola Tesla? I’m sure most of you have. Just in case you haven’t, Tesla is arguably the most underrated and overlooked engineer of all time. He developed the alternating current, invented the bladeless turbine, built the first induction motor, and innovated the use of X-rays, to name just a few of his contributions. So, why is this guy just a paragraph in history books?

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Japan, China Territorial Dispute Dampens Car Sales

September 6, 2012 12:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The territorial dispute between Japan and China in the East China Sea has dragged down sales of Japanese cars in China, with most Japanese brands seeing a plunge in sales last month, a senior executive of Nissan Motor Co. said Thursday.

Australian Miner Gets Rare Earth Plant License

September 5, 2012 10:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Australian mining firm Lynas Corp. has been granted a temporary operating license by the Malaysian government to start running its rare earth refinery after months of delay due to public protests over fears of radioactive contamination.

Hong Kong Company Completes Purchase Of Saab

September 4, 2012 10:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Hong Kong-owned company says it has completed the acquisition of bankrupt car maker Saab and will move ahead with its business plan to make electric cars under the Swedish brand. National Electric Vehicle Sweden, or NEVS, said Monday it expects to introduce its first electric vehicle "in approximately 18 months."

The NEMA Premium Labeling Scheme

September 4, 2012 8:06 am | by Rob Boteler, Nidec Motor Corporation | Articles | Comments

The original NEMA Premium labeling scheme was designed to simplify the identification and application of NEMA Premium efficient motors by end users and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Since its inception, the NEMA Premium mark has gained wide acceptance with motor buyers, utilities, and other specifying organizations.

IHI, Paul Wurth To Form Blast Furnace Joint Venture

August 31, 2012 11:50 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

IHI Corp. said Friday it will establish an equally owned company with Luxembourg firm Paul Wurth S.A., the world's largest blast furnace maker, on Nov. 1 to tap growing demand for steelmaking facilities in Southeast Asia, Australia and elsewhere.

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Carlyle Buying DuPont Coatings Business For $4.9B

August 30, 2012 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Carlyle Group says it is buying DuPont's performance coatings business for $4.9 billion in cash, giving it another investment in the automotive and industrial segments. The private equity firm will also take on $250 million of DuPont's unfunded pension liabilities.

Hospira Buys Manufacturing Facilities For $200M

August 29, 2012 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hospira Inc. said Wednesday that it will pay $200 million to buy antibiotic manufacturing and research and development facilities from an Indian drug company. Hospira is buying the facility in Aurangabad from Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals. Hospira said the acquisition should reduce its costs, help it maintain its supply of key antibiotics like penicillin, and help develop future products.

Japan's Daikin To Buy Goodman Global For $3.7B

August 29, 2012 10:03 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan's Daikin Industries, Ltd., plans to buy Houston, Texas-based Goodman Global Group Inc., a purchase that will fortify its status as the world's biggest maker of residential heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems. Daikin, based in western Japan's Osaka, said Wednesday its board approved the $3.7 billion deal as part of its strategy for expanding in the U.S. residential market.

Why Cheaper Warehouse Equipment Isn’t Always Less Expensive

August 29, 2012 8:06 am | by Carol Thorsen, Manager of Wynright Corporation’s Inside Sales | Blogs | Comments

Perhaps one of the most significant contributions the Internet has made to our daily lives is the ability to find the rock-bottom price for just about anything we need to purchase easily. With a quick search on the right keywords, or a visit to megasites such as Amazon.com or eBay, we can find exactly what we’re looking for and save money to boot. Or so it would seem.

GM To Take Volt Plant Off-Line To Control Supply

August 28, 2012 10:28 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors will temporarily close the Detroit-area plant that makes the Chevrolet Volt next month to control inventory and prepare to make a new model. Spokesman Bill Grotz says the factory will be off-line to match supply with demand and prepare to build the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. He wouldn't say how long. Grotz says GM is happy with its supply of electric Volts.

Molycorp Shares Climb On Start-Up Of CA Site

August 28, 2012 10:22 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Molycorp Inc. said Monday that it has started operations at a new California mine that will become a source of rare earth elements used in applications ranging from hybrid electric vehicles to consumer electronics. Shares of Molycorp rose more than 5 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement.

Social Technology In Manufacturing & Supply Chain

August 28, 2012 8:06 am | by Dylan Persaud, Managing Director, Eval-Source | Blogs | Comments

In today’s world, the term social is used to describe the simplest task or component and often is more a marketing term than anything else. For all the social interactions written about social and sharing, they have mostly referred to a B2C business model. The social aspect works well for this scenario. What has been forgotten and overlooked is the lack of communication and social aspect as it pertains to the B2B model.

Spyker: China's Youngman Invests $12.5M

August 27, 2012 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Spyker NV, the company that bought Saab but couldn't save it from bankruptcy, says Chinese car manufacturer Zhejiang Youngman Passenger Car Group Co, Ltd. will invest €10 million ($12.5 million) in Spyker to make a new car. Spyker said Monday Youngman will pay €6.7 million for a 29 percent stake in Spyker, and loan it another €3.3 million.

Manufacturing Is Getting A ‘Kickstart’

August 27, 2012 8:06 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

Maybe you’ve heard of Kickstarter before. It’s a relatively simple service in theory: It helps inventors, artists or designers (and other professionals) get funding to transform their designs into real products when they don’t have the up-front cash. The web service has definitively taken off in the last year or two, with many projects gobbling up millions of dollars in “investment.”

China Raises Rare Earths Export Quota For 2012

August 22, 2012 10:18 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China on Wednesday slightly increased this year's quota for rare earths exports under controversial controls on the exotic minerals needed by manufacturers of mobile phones and other high-tech products. The Commerce Ministry announced an export quota of 9,770 tons for the second half of the year.

Using Supplier Score Cards To Improve Profitability

August 22, 2012 8:06 am | by Shawn Dennison, CPA, CMA, Vice President of Finance, Cerro Wire | Articles | Comments

I have learned that each customer makes their purchasing decisions differently. Some companies delegate purchasing decisions to the local branch, while others centralize their purchasing. Whether the decision was made locally or from a central office, each buyer still had its own way of evaluating the purchase decision. Some buyers valued the lowest price, some valued relationship, and so on.

Imagining The Future Of Lean & Six Sigma, Part 2

August 21, 2012 8:40 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

Now let’s discuss Six Sigma. Six Sigma, too, attacks a very real demon. That bad guy is named “variation.” It is a real and true deficit to our businesses to expend resources, time and energy desperately trying to control outcomes that are continuously changing and unpredictable. The aim of Six Sigma is to control processes well enough that their outcome is always stable and always predictable.

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