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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

CA Refinery Unit Experienced Problems Before Blast

February 19, 2015 7:12 pm | by Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press | News | Comments

A California oil refinery unit that was damaged by an explosion was already offline for unplanned maintenance when the fire occurred, industry analysts said Thursday. The so-called fluid catalytic cracker unit refines gasoline and is critical to producing California-grade fuel. The unit had been offline for two days because of problems when a different piece...

Caterpillar Says U.S. Is Investigating Its Movement Of Cash

February 19, 2015 3:43 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. government is investigating how Caterpillar has been moving cash between its business units in the U.S. and overseas, the construction equipment company said Wednesday. Caterpillar said it received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois on Jan. 8 that asked for...

Skills Gap Solutions: Q&A With Jeff Owens

February 19, 2015 3:36 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Last year ended with some bad news: U.S. average hourly earnings shrank in December. The lack of competitive wages in the manufacturing industry contributes to the skills gap, or the shortage of qualified workers applying to available jobs. I had the opportunity to sit down with Advanced Technology Services...

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U.S. Wholesale Prices Drop 0.8% In January

February 18, 2015 11:16 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. wholesale prices fell by a record amount in January, led by the biggest drop in gasoline prices in six years. The Labor Department said Wednesday that its producer price index declined 0.8 percent last month, the biggest drop in a data series that goes back to November 2009 when the...

NAM Partners With Ecolab To Support Manufacturers Nationwide

February 18, 2015 10:20 am | by Jamie Hennigan, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) | News | Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today named Ecolab Inc. an exclusive Manufacturing Partner to provide thought leadership at NAM regional and national events and engage with manufacturing executives nationwide. "Ecolab has consistently been an industry leader in providing water...

U.S. Factory Output Rose A Modest 0.2% In January

February 18, 2015 10:04 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factory production edged up last month as manufacturers cranked out more computers, clothing, steel and other metals, offsetting declines in autos and aerospace. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that factory production increased 0.2 percent in January, after a flat reading in December. The data suggests...

Quartz Surface Manufacturing Plant Expanding In GA

February 17, 2015 6:30 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A company that manufactures quartz surfaces is planning to expand a plant near Savannah. Gov. Nathan Deal announced Tuesday that Caesarstone is planning to expand its plant in Richmond Hill and create 130 jobs. Deal said in a statement that the company is expanding its U.S. manufacturing...

3 Steps For Evolving IoT Architectures

February 17, 2015 3:10 pm | by Jack Tison, SVP Emerging Business, Panduit on behalf of Industrial IP Advantage | Articles | Comments

As the Internet of Things (IoT) moves into the industrial space, studies show 86 percent of manufacturers are investing in IoT as they go after an estimated $4 trillion in benefits for manufacturing applications. Why now? The cost of sensors, networking, storage and computing have dropped...

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VW Certifies UAW Alternative Group At TN Plant

February 17, 2015 3:05 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Volkswagen has certified a group called the American Council of Employees to represent workers at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, setting the stage for the group's continued showdowns with the United Autoworkers union. The ACE formed at the plant as an alternative to the UAW, which had long sought...

New “Flexible” Factory In India Is Changing How We Make Things

February 17, 2015 10:16 am | by GE Reports | Articles | Comments

When people talk about the future of manufacturing, they usually have Germany, Japan and the United States in mind, not India. That’s about to change. GE has invested over $200 million in a new “flexible factory” that will produce diverse products, from jet engine parts to locomotive...

Three Ways Leaders Create Lean

February 13, 2015 3:57 pm | by John Maher, VP Product Strategy at Synchrono | Blogs | Comments

For those of you who have heard this before, it bears repeating. For those of you who have not, this is important - leadership is the single most important component to lean success.  Gone are the days where leaders sit in their offices sending out directives to the rest of the organization and lead mainly by pounding on the...

The Relationship Between Workplace Safety And Product Safety

February 13, 2015 12:13 pm | by Kenneth Ross | Articles | Comments

One of the most intractable problems facing manufacturers is where the product is used in a workplace environment.  Many times, it is the employer that created an unsafe work condition that contributed to the accident.  And, because the employer is usually not a party to the lawsuit, such cases can be very...

Toyota Plant Reaches 500,000 Cars Built

February 13, 2015 10:34 am | by Dennis Seid, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal | News | Comments

A red Toyota Corolla LE — specifically Barcelona Red Metallic — assembled Thursday morning is headed to Mexico for a waiting buyer. This Corolla doesn't have any particular feature other similar models have, except one particular distinction: It's the 500,000th car built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing...

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Apple On Quest To Improve Labor Conditions In Supplier Factories

February 13, 2015 10:15 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Videos | Comments

Apple has released its 9th major annual audit to show that labor conditions are improving year by year, particularly in light of their record $18B profit last quarter. Stephen Engle of Bloomberg discusses the controversial past of Apple’s labor conditions. Apple wants to ensure that the new generation of phones...

Refinery Strike To Continue, Talks On Hold Until Next Week

February 13, 2015 9:37 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

A nearly two-week-old strike at oil refineries appears set to continue into next week as talks between workers and industry representatives remain on hold. The United Steelworkers union and Royal Dutch Shell, the lead negotiator for several companies involved in contract talks, each indicated negotiations...

Thought Leaders: Tips On Using Your Supplier For An Improved Safety Program

February 12, 2015 2:23 pm | by Manufacturing.net | Videos | Comments

Manufacturing.net had the opportunity to chat with safety expert Nino Granatiero, Vice President, Safety and Marketing for Grainger, to go over common safety issues Grainger witnesses with its manufacturing customers, and how it works to help customers streamline some of these...

GM To Build Electric Car With 200-Mile Range At MI Plant

February 12, 2015 10:22 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An electric car with a 200-mile range and a price tag of $37,500 will be built at a General Motors factory north of Detroit, the company announced Thursday. The small hatchback will be based on the Chevrolet Bolt concept car shown at the Detroit auto show last month. GM has said it...

How Manufacturing Has Shaped IoT: Q&A With Tony Paine

February 11, 2015 10:09 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

When you hear people discuss the Internet of Things movement, you may picture something along the lines of a wearable device monitoring your sleep and alerting your coffeemaker to being brewing the moment you awake. The same major concepts behind IoT—interconnected intelligent...

Rise Of The Machines: Study Sees Robots Cutting Labor Costs In Factories 24%

February 10, 2015 2:56 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Cheaper, better robots are expected cut labour costs at Canadian factories by 24 per cent over the next decade as more companies replace human workers at a faster pace, according to a report issued Tuesday. Globally, labour savings are expected to be reduced by some 16 per cent by 2025, the report by the Boston Consulting Group...

Robots Replacing Human Factory Workers At Faster Pace

February 10, 2015 9:33 am | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Cheaper, better robots will replace human workers in the world's factories at a faster pace over the next decade, pushing labor costs down 16 percent, a report Tuesday said. The Boston Consulting Group predicts that investment in industrial robots will grow 10 percent a year in the world's 25-biggest export nations through 2025, up from...

Food Scares Take A Bite Out Of McDonalds' Sales

February 9, 2015 3:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Food-quality scares are hurting McDonald's in China and Japan, where weakness contributed to a key global sales figure falling 1.8 percent. The world's largest hamburger chain said sales dropped 12.6 percent in January at locations open at least 13 months in the division that includes the Asia region. That overshadowed a 0.4 percent rise at U.S. locations...

Technology On The Shop Floor: Empowering Your Manufacturing Team

February 9, 2015 1:53 pm | by Lori Payne | News | Comments

Operations leaders at small and mid-sized manufacturing companies have no shortage of stress. Much of the burden of bringing in jobs on-time and on-budget falls on you, which explains the thirst for visibility and hawkish attention to detail regarding everything on the shop...

MAPI: Is Cuba Open For Business?

February 9, 2015 10:20 am | by Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | News | Comments

The announcement by President Barack Obama on December 17, 2014 that the icy relations between the U.S. and Cuba may begin to thaw was met with surprise and mixed reactions. What, many asked, will the future hold for tourism, a potential new economic paradigm, and...

CA Formally Opens Large Solar Plant

February 9, 2015 6:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

California is rushing to expand its use of solar power to meet the renewable energy requirements, and one of the nation's largest solar projects will be dedicated Monday in the Riverside County desert. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is scheduled to join federal and local officials to...

Why Should Manufacturers Care About Net Neutrality?

February 6, 2015 5:43 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

Earlier this week, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler proposed redefining broadband internet as a telecommunications service rather than an information service. While this change seems like an issue of semantics, it has massive implications for individual internet users, broadband internet service providers, and businesses of all...

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