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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Wind Turbine Maker To Close Pa. Plant

January 29, 2014 1:44 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gamesa USA officials said Tuesday that the closure of the 8-year-old plant was prompted by a shift in the market from Pennsylvania and the Midwest to the southwestern United States. They said the company had to alter its manufacturing and supply chain strategy to keep energy costs low and maintain a strong market presence.

How Lean Do You Really Want To Be?

January 24, 2014 9:16 am | by Tom McNamara and Erika Masillac | Articles | Comments

Just-in-time (JIT) deliveries, little to no inventory, outsourcing, sole sourcing — all of these “lean” concepts have been at the heart of operations management for years now. But more and more companies are starting to ask themselves a simple question; Just how lean do we really want to be?

U.S. Wholesale Costs Rise On Gas Prices

January 15, 2014 1:40 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the producer price index, which measures costs before they reach the consumer, rose 0.4 percent last month from November. That ends three straight months of falling wholesale prices.       

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Accelerating Operational Excellence: Q&A With LNS’s Mark Davidson

January 15, 2014 9:30 am | by Greg Goodwin, Research Associate, LNS Research | Articles | Comments

When you consider some of the challenges that manufacturers face across industries today — they’re unprecedented. The pressures of global supply and demand dynamics, supply chain complexities, disparate production locations and systems, regulations, and other factors have forced manufacturers to reevaluate operations and optimize them everywhere possible in order to remain competitive and profitable.

U.S. Import Prices Drop, Export Prices Rise In December

January 14, 2014 2:02 pm | by Bureau of Labor Statistics | News | Comments

U.S. import prices recorded no change in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, following declines of 0.9 percent in November and 0.6 percent in October. In December, higher fuel prices offset declining nonfuel prices. U.S. export prices advanced 0.4 percent in December, after edging up 0.1 percent the previous month.

Q&A: element14 And Big Distributor Trends For 2014

January 14, 2014 9:37 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

In an electronics market that has seen relatively flat performance over the last several years, there continue to be a number of areas where distributors can differentiate and find growth. One of the ongoing challenges within the market is the rapidity of demand swings, increasing frequency of orders and diminishing average order sizes.

The Evolution Of Private Equity & Why Supply Chains Take Center Stage

January 13, 2014 9:22 am | by Jim Tompkins, CEO of Tompkins International | Articles | Comments

The private equity game was once focused on buying and selling a company as quickly as possible. But the industry has evolved to focus more on engineering companies’ supply chains to build profit and value.             

Best Logistics Advice For 2014: Dump Tribal Knowledge

January 10, 2014 9:27 am | by Tim Garcia, Apptricity Founder and CEO | Articles | Comments

Here's some food for thought when it comes to evaluating and improving logistics in your enterprise: Whatever else you do in 2014, make it a priority to dump the tribal knowledge you might be using to make mission-critical decisions. Instead, substitute the facts. 

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U.S. Trade Deficit Declines

January 7, 2014 9:54 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit fell in November to its lowest level in four years, an encouraging sign for economic growth. Gains in energy production and stronger sales of American-made airplanes, autos and machinery lifted exports to an all-time high.

Intel Says Its Processors Are Now 'Conflict-Free'

January 7, 2014 9:30 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

It's the first major U.S. technology company to make such a claim about its products. It's the fruit of four years of work by the company to determine the sources of four crucial metals widely used in electronics manufacturing: tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold.

Domestic Minerals Production Could Boost Manufacturing

January 7, 2014 9:14 am | by Hal Quinn, CEO, National Mining Association (NMA) | Articles | Comments

After decades of outsourcing, the resurgence in domestic manufacturing is now America’s favorite comeback story. But one troubling trend could signal a major complication for returning manufacturers: our nation’s increasing reliance on unstable supply chains of imported minerals.

Setting the Table For Successful Supply Chain Management

January 3, 2014 9:33 am | by Michael Schmitt, Chief Marketing Officer, E2open | Articles | Comments

Over the past decade, I’ve watched as globalization, competition and digitalization have forever changed the business landscape. Throw in the fact that current, and potential, customers now have higher expectations, and more buying power, than ever before and you have very little room left for error when it comes to supply chain planning, process management and execution.

Top 10 Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2014: No. 3 & 4

December 18, 2013 10:30 am | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO & Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

IDC Manufacturing Insights provides organizations with insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon.  Today's predictions focus on your supply chain.              

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One Million Electronic Components Accessible Via BOM Manager

December 16, 2013 11:49 am | by Digi-Key Corporation | News | Comments

Global electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation announced that it has surpassed one million in-stock components available for immediate shipment, accessible via the new and improved Digi-Key Bill of Materials (BOM) Manager.

Q&A: Protection Against Automotive Counterfeits

December 13, 2013 9:36 am | by Tia Nowack, IMPO Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

This month, we had the chance to speak with Mark Prokosch, Vice President at Verify Brand.  Verify, a Minneapolis-based software as a service (Saas) brand protection company, recently announced enhancements to its cloud-based platform to combat counterfeiting in automotive supply chains. 

Quantum Opens West Coast Distribution Center

December 13, 2013 9:08 am | by Quantum Storage Systems | News | Comments

Quantum Storage Systems is pleased to announce the opening of its new west coast distribution center located in Fresno, California.                                  

Survey: 80 Pct. Don't See Supply Chain As Strategy Enabler

December 11, 2013 1:30 pm | by Hitachi Consulting | News | Comments

Spanning nine European countries, Hitachi Consulting’s survey aimed to identify the extent to which supply chain management activities and priorities are aligned with a strategic transformation agenda. The survey found that over half of the respondents do not regard their business’s supply chain as a fundamental source of business value.

Incorporating Sustainability Across The Supply Chain

December 11, 2013 9:11 am | by Iuliana Nita, Global Marketing Manager, Food and Beverage, Process Systems Business Unit of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics | Articles | Comments

Sustainability is a hot topic in the food and beverage industry. As manufacturers seek to reduce costs and maintain customer loyalty, implementing sustainable practices can help to achieve these aims while at the same time ensuring that companies are playing a responsible role in their industry and society in general.

Sustainability: A 3PL’s Role In Your Green Supply Chain

December 10, 2013 9:21 am | by Jamie Wyatt, COO, Linkex | Articles | Comments

The supply chain is getting greener and discussions about sustainability are cropping up in more calls and conferences than ever before. What this means for you is that the “green-ness” of your supply chain will soon be a deciding factor for your manufacturer and shipper partners as well as your other customers.

Is Reshoring A Viable Option?

December 6, 2013 9:04 am | by Tia Nowack, IMPO Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Wages in China are steadily rising at an annual rate in the double digits.  Tax incentives for foreign manufacturers are expiring, energy costs continue to increase, and the cost associated with shipping are increasing.  In short, China is becoming a far less attractive manufacturing option for American companies.

5 Questions: Made In The USA

December 5, 2013 9:11 am | by Alliance for American Manufacturing | Videos | Comments

Josh Miller, of Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey, sits down with the Alliance for American Manufacturing. He discusses what he learned making the film, how to be a better Made in the U.S.A. shopper, and even gave us a glimpse of his next big project.

Biden: U.S.-China Ties Rely On Trust, Good Motives

December 4, 2013 1:21 pm | by Josh Lederman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Emerging from a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that U.S.-China relations depend on trust and a positive notion of each other's motives. Neither leader made public mention of a major clash over disputed airspace that's pitted China against the U.S. and its Asian allies.

MODEX 2014

December 2, 2013 4:32 pm | by MODEX 2014 | Events

MODEX 2014® is the industry's newest expo for the manufacturing and supply chain industries. It’s where the best and brightest thinkers in the supply chain gather to discuss the trends of today and the challenges of tomorrow.

5 Quick Questions On Supply Chain Management

December 2, 2013 12:30 pm | by Sean Rollings, Vice President, Product Marketing at E2open | Articles | Comments

Sean Rollings, Vice President of Product Marketing at E2open, answers some questions about supply chain management, globalization, data management, and continuity and contingency planning.                  

In Securing Your Supply Chain, Don’t Forget To Lock The Back Door

November 29, 2013 8:01 am | by Tim Garcia, CEO, Apptricity | Articles | Comments

Over time, business has gotten a lot smarter when it comes to protecting enterprise technology from the hackers and viruses that are constantly fighting to get in. At the same time, though, we sometimes forget to account for a key vulnerability in the security perimeter — the many data links maintained with suppliers and service providers. The oversight is potentially serious.

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