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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

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...

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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...

Key Performance Indicators For The Supply Chain

February 6, 2015 2:51 pm | by Jesper Lillelund | Articles | Comments

Manufacturing is an industry typified by countless unique processes and workflows. Because of this, assessing overall performance and efficiency is a complex task. When looking specifically at the supply chain, companies make large investments in equipment and people to ensure flawless execution and are constantly looking for ways to evaluate...

MillerCoors Engineer Offers Advice On Asset Management, Skills Gap

February 6, 2015 2:19 pm | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

For 31 years Wes Dean has been supporting production, maintenance, IT and warehouse operations – the majority of that time being spent in the Coors and MillerCoors family. He currently serves as the Senior Asset Care Systems Engineer for MillerCoors where he provides technical leadership for assets and material management...

Siemens To Cut 7,800 Jobs Globally

February 6, 2015 6:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Industrial machinery maker Siemens AG says it will cut 7,800 administrative jobs worldwide as part of an effort to streamline the sprawling company and its many businesses. Munich-based Siemens said in a statement Friday that 3,300 of the job losses will be in Germany. Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser...

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How The Industrial Internet Of Things Is Expanding Deming’s Model

February 5, 2015 3:08 pm | by Carl Ford | Articles | Comments

Few people have influenced manufacturing as much as W. Edwards Deming and his approach to the manufacturing process. W. Edwards Deming brought manufacturing to a new level of excellence by showing that quality was the result of not only manufacturing but the total cost of the goods.  This made it so the production line was...

Tesla A Step Closer To Selling Cars From AZ Stores

February 5, 2015 1:28 pm | by Ryan Van Velzer, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors has moved a step closer to selling vehicles directly to consumers at Arizona stores. The state House Commerce Committee advanced a bill Wednesday that would allow carmakers to bypass dealers and sell directly to consumers if the company establishes a service...

TX Company Postpones Northeast NE Plant Project

February 5, 2015 1:27 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A company that makes piping and casing for oil and gas drilling has postponed plans to build a manufacturing plant in northeast Nebraska, the company president said Wednesday, citing changing conditions in the oil market. Tejas Tubular Products President Maximo Tejeda told the Norfolk Daily News...

Regulators: Design Flaws Led To DuPont Plant Deadly Gas Leak

February 5, 2015 1:27 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal regulators say problems in the design of a network of pipes and valves at a Houston-area DuPont chemical plant contributed to a poisonous gas leak that killed four workers in November. U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigator Dan Tillema said in a news briefing Thursday that the events...

U.S. Productivity Falls At 1.8% Rate In Fourth Quarter

February 5, 2015 10:09 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. worker productivity went into reverse in the final three months of the year, while labor costs increased. Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, fell at 1.8 percent rate in the fourth quarter after rising at a 3.7 percent rate in the third quarter, the Labor Department reported Thursday...

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Death Reported At Altoids, Life Savers Plant

February 4, 2015 3:11 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations | News | Comments

The Chattanooga Wrigely Manufacturing plant, the home of Altoids and Life Savers, has had a reputation for being a dangerous; however it seems to have solidified it this past week when a 54-year old man died on the job, making it the second employee death at the plant within the last 16 months. The details of the employee Wallace Scarbro’s death...

White House Budget Would Boost Labor Regulators

February 4, 2015 2:28 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

President Obama's fiscal year 2016 budget proposal includes a $1.3 billion funding increase for the Labor Department -- including millions to bolster the department's regulatory oversight agencies. Of the department's proposed $13.2 billion funding level, $1.9 billion would be allocated to worker protection agencies such as the...

Manufacturing Snapshot Of The Week: USW Leads Largest Strike Since 1980

February 4, 2015 12:07 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | News | Comments

On Sunday, February 1st, the United Steelworkers Union called for their largest strike in over three decades, asking nearly 3,800 refinery workers to walk out of nine refineries. The reason for this massive strike was the breakdown of negotiations with Shell Oil Co. Negotiations began January 21st but apparently fizzled out by the time the...

New Rule Allows Idaho Dairies To Dump Waste Without Losing Permits

February 4, 2015 10:41 am | by Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Companies that are part of Idaho's $2.4 billion dairy industry are no longer at risk of losing their operating permits if caught illegally dumping waste into streams and waterways. The Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee approved new rules Tuesday that would no longer allow the Idaho State Department of Agriculture to revoke...

How To Minimize Your Supply Chain's Exposure To Extreme Weather & Natural Disasters

February 4, 2015 9:41 am | by Howard Sosoff, Clark Schweers | Articles | Comments

From Hurricane Sandy to Typhoon Haiyan, there is no denying that extreme weather is almost a yearly expectation. Weather- and climate-related disasters have caused $2.4 trillion in economic losses and nearly 2 million deaths globally since 1971 according to the World Meteorological Organization. For companies leveraging...

Study: VT Dairy Industry Milking In The Money

February 3, 2015 2:50 pm | by Kari Imberg, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | News | Comments

A new study says Vermont's dairy industry is bringing in big money. The economic assessment, which was funded by the Vermont Dairy Promotion Council, looks at the value that the state's top agriculture product brings to its people. It's been a decade since such a report has been done, and some of the top...

U.S. Factory Orders Dropped 3.4% In December

February 3, 2015 11:29 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories dropped for a fifth consecutive month in December, while a key category that signals business investment plans fell for a fourth straight month. Factory orders declined 3.4 percent in December after a 1.7 percent drop in November, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. It was the biggest drop since...

NC Poultry Plant Public Hearing Draws Hundreds

February 3, 2015 10:32 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sanderson Farms says it is no longer planning to build a $95 million poultry processing plant in Cumberland County, but that didn't stop hundreds of people from turning out for a public hearing in which most speakers opposed the project. Media outlets report almost 800 people attended the 5-hour hearing in Fayetteville...

Q&A: Food Facilities And FDA Registration

February 3, 2015 10:16 am | by Jesse Osborne, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Last month, food companies around the world found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is in the process of removing all food facilities that did not renew their FDA registration by the Dec. 31, 2014 deadline from its registration database.According to Registrar Corp, the Food Safety Modernization Act requires...

Predictions For 2015: A Tipping Point For Supply Chain Sentience

February 3, 2015 9:53 am | by Sean Riley, Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain Solutions Director, Software AG | Articles | Comments

Software AG has released the company’s top ten predictions for the next year in the manufacturing and supply chain industry, calling 2015 the tipping point for supply chain sentience. Next year innovative manufacturers will leap ahead by deploying more and better sensors, add more comprehensive automation and increasingly...

Alibaba Promises More Action Against Fake Goods

February 2, 2015 3:25 pm | by Joe Mcdonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

E-commerce giant Alibaba pledged Friday to do more to fight online sales of counterfeit goods, quickly settling a public dispute with a Chinese regulator after the value of its U.S.-traded shares plunged. Alibaba founder Jack Ma and the director of the Cabinet's State Administration of Industry...

Apple Turning Closed AZ Facility Into Data Center

February 2, 2015 3:25 pm | by Bob Christie, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tech giant Apple said Monday it will invest $2 billion over 10 years to open a data center in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa that will be the company's fifth in the U.S. and serve as a control facility for the other four. The announcement comes four months after an earlier Apple plan for the 1.3...

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