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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Alcoa Cuts Demand Outlook

October 10, 2012 11:59 am | by Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Alcoa Inc. has slightly lowered its aluminum demand expectations for the rest of the year largely because of China's economic slowdown. Alcoa, which makes aluminum for a wide range of businesses, predicted aluminum demand would grow 6 percent this year, down from 7 percent in the previous quarter.

Engineering Crucial Element To Burgeoning Firearms Industry

October 9, 2012 11:47 am | by ATW Companies | Articles | Comments

Firearm sales have increased exponentially over the past few years. As manufacturers seek to meet demand while decreasing costs, reducing weight and increasing durability, the spotlight is turning to engineering and design capabilities in the industry. Engineered metal solutions, such as metal injection molding (MIM), will be key to meeting the challenges of this booming industry.

Platinum Producer Fires Striking Miners

October 5, 2012 11:08 am | News | Comments

Anglo American Platinum fires 12,000 striking South African miners for staging an unlawful strike. Strike leader Gaddafi Mdoda said Friday he was one of about 12,000 mineworkers who received emails or SMS messages telling them they had been dismissed.


Egyptian Steel Magnate Jailed For Money Laundering

October 4, 2012 8:21 am | News | Comments

An Egyptian court on Thursday convicted a Hosni Mubarak-era steel magnate of money laundering, sentencing him to seven years in prison and fining him about $3 billion. Ahmed Ezz, also a leader in Mubarak's now-dissolved ruling party, is already serving a 10-year sentence for a corruption conviction last year.

Ancient Remains Show Female Metal Worker

October 3, 2012 11:23 am | News | Comments

An Austrian museum says skeletal remains found in an ancient grave are that of a woman metal worker — the first indication that women did such work thousands of years ago. The Museum of Ancient History says the grave originates from the Bronze Age, which began more than 5,000 years ago and ended 3,200 years ago.

Nippon Steel, Sumitomo Metal Combine To Become No. 2

October 1, 2012 10:38 am | News | Comments

The newly formed entity, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., said Monday it aims to expand its global operations, especially in China, India and other emerging countries, where demand is expected to grow, while consolidating operations in the shrinking Japanese market.

China's Biggest Steelmaker Shuts Mill

September 27, 2012 8:21 am | News | Comments

China's biggest steelmaker has closed a mill in Shanghai due to lack of demand in a new sign of the country's economic malaise as companies and investors look for signs of a long-awaited rebound in growth. Baosteel Group said it was closing the facility to avoid mounting losses amid weak demand for steel plate.

Auction Date Set For Sparrows Point

September 25, 2012 3:52 pm | by Alex Dominguez, Associated Press | News | Comments

The mill outside Baltimore employed more than 2,000 before RG Steel filed for bankruptcy, and employees have been hoping the liquidators would find buyers interested in operating the mill again instead of dismantling it. Hilco is advertising the mill on its website as one of the world's largest steel mills with rare access to a deepwater port.


FEMCO Introduces 23-Station Horizontal Lathe At IMTS

September 21, 2012 9:56 am | | Product Releases | Comments

FEMCO Inc. has introduced the HL-35DMSY lathe, which uses the company's patented 23-station Durga turret. The new machine also uses two spindles with a Y-axis and 11 live tool stations.

Ko-ga-me Brings 3D CNC Measuring To Almost Any Process

September 19, 2012 2:51 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Mitutoyo has announced the availability of its new Ko-ga-me measurement head, which was desinged to increase capacity in applications where a compact, high-performance, 3D CNC, 2- or 3-axis measurement system is needed. The Ko-ga-me is only 17.3" x 16.1" x 4.6', and weighs 17.6 pounds, which makes it agile enough for any customer to mount it using an available fixed base or a moving-axis mounting system of the customer's own design.

Alpha To Close 8 Mines, Cut 1,200 Jobs

September 18, 2012 8:00 am | by Vicki Smith, Associated Press | News | Comments

Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources says it's eliminating 1,200 jobs, including 400 with the immediate closing of eight mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Crutchfield says the layoffs begin with the mine shutdowns Tuesday. The rest will come by the end of the first quarter.

South African Chrome Miners Join Strike Despite Crackdown

September 17, 2012 8:04 am | News | Comments

The South African Press Association reports mining strikes that have halted work at seven gold and platinum mines have spread to the chrome sector. The official news agency quotes a strike leader saying some miners at Samancor Chrome stopped work Friday demanding a minimum take-home pay of $1,560.

Ormet To Lay Off 200 At La. Alumina Plant

September 12, 2012 9:33 am | News | Comments

Ormet reopened the shuttered Burnside alumina plant in late 2011, after the plant had been closed for five years, but says that reduced demand caused by rising power rates in Ohio has forced the company to wind down operations in Ohio and Louisiana.


Malaysia Rare Earths Plant Wins License To Operate

September 5, 2012 4:34 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Australian miner Lynas Corp. says it has secured the Malaysian government's approval to fire up a controversial rare earths plant. The operating license ends months of delays sparked by safety concerns surrounding the Australian company's plans to process rare earths crucial for manufacturing high-tech products.

U.S. Steel, Union Agree On Pact For 16,000 Workers

September 4, 2012 12:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. Steel and the United Steelworkers announced a tentative agreement Sunday on a three-year contract covering more than 16,000 workers at domestic facilities. Details of the contract were not announced. The union said members will vote after reviewing details over the next few weeks.

Judge Holds Hearing In RG Steel Bankruptcy

August 30, 2012 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Bankrupt steelmaker RG Steel is working with creditors to resolve issues surrounding the sales of its steel mill facilities. Creditors for the most part are trying to preserve their property and access rights to material they own at the Sparrows Point mill near Baltimore.

EPA Asked For More Time To Study Taconite Plan

August 30, 2012 9:34 am | News | Comments

The EPA is proposing tighter limits on nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than called for by plans offered by Minnesota and Michigan. It's considering requiring a new type of "low NOx" burner for taconite pellet furnaces that already has been tested at U.S. Steel's Minntac plant. That type of burner can cut NOx pollution by up to 70 percent, said Douglas Aburano, a section chief with the EPA.

If The Climbing Shoe Doesn’t Fit, Design A New Foot

August 29, 2012 10:22 am | by Nick O’Donohoe, Morris Technologies | Articles | Comments

Exposed on a vertical face, rock climbers rely on their instincts, experience and, as importantly, their equipment. For C.J. Howard, a northern California-based climbing enthusiast, as with all climbers, the shoes are important. But as a lower-leg amputee, even more important is the customized prosthetic foot that he designed with climbing partner and environmental/aerospace engineer Mandy Ott.

New Industrial Plant To Bring Jobs To Hanceville, Ala.

August 28, 2012 2:14 pm | News | Comments

Authorities say a new industrial plant in Hanceville is expected to create as many as 30 local jobs in its first phase of operation. The Cullman Times reports that Morris-based Kennedy Galvanizing Inc. will locate the new plant on 24 acres of industrial property in a $2.75 million dollar project.

Schnitzer Steel To Cut 300 Jobs In Restructuring

August 28, 2012 11:38 am | News | Comments

Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. said Tuesday it will cut about 300 jobs as part of a restructuring plan designed to save the company $25 million in annual operating costs. The company also issued earnings guidance for the current quarter well below average Wall Street predictions, blaming lower sale prices for many of its products.

China Raises Rare Earths Export Quota For 2012

August 22, 2012 6:42 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China has 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 said Wednesday the quota for the second half of this year will be 9,770 tons.

S. Africa Defense Minister Apologizes For Shot Miners

August 21, 2012 2:13 pm | by Michelle Faul and Nqobile Ntshangase, Associated Press | News | Comments

South Africa's defense minister apologized Tuesday to angry miners who held up plastic packets of bullet casings, the first government official to beg forgiveness for the police shootings that killed 34 striking miners, wounded another 78 and shocked the nation. It was the most deadly display of state violence since apartheid ended in 1994.

Century Aluminum Ends Electricity, Hints Smelter End

August 21, 2012 1:59 pm | by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press | News | Comments

An aluminum company embroiled in a dispute over its electricity costs said Monday it has given notice to terminate its power contract, a move signaling that the future of its large western Kentucky smelter is in deep jeopardy. Century said it is not obligated to continue operating the plant but was looking at options to keep it open.

Group Praises Apple, HP For 'Conflict Free' Minerals

August 16, 2012 1:31 pm | by Krista Larson, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Enough Project ranked companies based on efforts to ensure their gadgets aren't paying for the weapons used to terrorize Congolese civilians.

S. Africa Police Fire At Striking Mine Workers

August 16, 2012 12:24 pm | by Jon Gambrell, Associated Press | News | Comments

Police moved in on striking workers who gathered near the Lonmin aluminum mine after urging them to give up their weapons and go home.

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