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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Honda Becomes Net Exporter In The U.S.

January 28, 2014 12:51 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Throughout 2013, the company exported 108,705 U.S.-made Honda and Acura vehicles while importing 88,537. In addition, the company achieved record production levels of 1,309,917 units on American soil — a 7.4 percent increase over the previous record in 2012.

One Solution To Ending Train Derailments

January 22, 2014 4:54 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Amid a few newsworthy derailments of trains carrying crude oil, energy companies and the public alike are concerned about the future of the U.S. rail infrastructure and what can be done in the near future to mitigate potentially serious and deadly incidents.

GM Fairfax Supplier To Open Plant In Mo.

January 22, 2014 8:24 am | News | Comments

A General Motors supplier that manufactures acoustic insulation plans to open a new plant in Warrensburg. Michigan-based Janesville Acoustics announced Tuesday that the plant will supply the Chevrolet Malibu model built at GM's Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kan. The plant is expected to create 164 jobs in the next two years.

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Smalley Receives Back-to-Back GM Excellence Awards

January 16, 2014 11:49 am | News | Comments

For the second consecutive year, Smalley is pleased to have received General Motor’s prestigious GM Suppler Quality Excellence award. The company develops and manufactures retaining rins, constant section rings, snap rings and more, in standard configurations and non-standard sizes at no additional charge.

Most Innovative Companies #3: Starbucks

January 15, 2014 12:17 pm | Articles | Comments

Our #3 choice is a very well-known one: Starbucks. Starbucks recently won the AME’s Manufacturing Excellence Award, and is using unique and innovative managerial techniques in order to streamline production and boost efficiency. Starbucks’ Carson Valley production branch went Lean in 2009, and has tweaked its procedures in company areas like shelving, interaction with partners, company safety and plant improvement.

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

January 14, 2014 9:46 am | 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.

Harnessing Big Data With A Systems Thinking Approach

January 13, 2014 11:46 am | by Tom Kadala, Founder and CEO of Alternative Technology Corporation | Articles | Comments

 With 90 percent of the world’s data created in the last two years, what can we expect our data vaults to hold two or even twenty years from now? Companies who are hiring data scientists with the hopes of harnessing big data and data analytics' mythical promises are potentially making a huge mistake.

How Lean Do You Really Want To Be?

January 9, 2014 1:41 pm | by Tom McNamara and Erika Masillac | Blogs | Comments

A key lean trend is consolidating suppliers and doing away with redundancies. Although this certainly creates cost efficiencies, the main suppliers who are left quite often end up providing needed parts to many companies in the same industry. And if these companies are all depending on the same supplier, or only a few suppliers, unforeseen production problems or sudden shifts in demand can easily send ripples throughout multiple systems.

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Most Innovative Companies #9: DGI Supply

January 8, 2014 12:45 pm | Articles | Comments

Our #9 pick is DGI Supply, which uses consolidation as a long-term business strategy that integrates the needs of the organization with a technique to troubleshoot the challenges of an aging workforce in a still-thriving industry. 

ISS: Icy Conditions Affecting NA Shipping Operations

January 7, 2014 2:33 pm | by Inchcape Shipping Services | News | Comments

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) is advising that due to the extreme cold weather which has settled over the eastern North American continent, there have been heavy delays in shipping operations since 4th January 2014.  

Cheesy Shortage: Kraft Says Velveeta Running Low

January 7, 2014 2:24 pm | News | Comments

Kraft Foods says some customers may not be able to find Velveeta products over the next few weeks but didn't give any reasons for the apparent shortage. A spokeswoman for the company, Jody Moore, says only that such shortages happen from time to time.

Most Innovative Companies #11: Lantech

January 7, 2014 2:10 pm | Articles | Comments

Coming in at #11 is Lantech, based out of Louisville, Kentucky. We selected them because of their impressive growth and domination of a niche market: with over 65,000 machines sold around the world, the company is the world's largest manufacturer of stretch wrapping equipment.

In Cold Snap, Recipe For Roads Goes Beyond Salt

January 7, 2014 1:10 pm | by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press | News | Comments

A splash of beet juice, a dollop of molasses, a squeeze of cheese brine. In the coldest weather, the recipe for safer roads often goes beyond the usual sprinkling of salt. Plain salt is largely ineffective below 16 degrees. Additives can keep it working in temperatures as low as minus 25.

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U.S. Trade Deficit Declines On Plane, Auto Exports

January 7, 2014 12:16 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The trade gap dropped 12.9 percent in November to $34.3 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That's the smallest monthly trade deficit since October 2009. Exports rose 0.9 percent to a record $194.9 billion, aided by a 5.6 percent rise in petroleum exports.

Best Logistics Advice For 2014: Dump Tribal Knowledge

January 7, 2014 9:42 am | by Tim Garcia, Apptricity Founder and CEO | Articles | Comments

I’d like to offer 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. While this may seem contrarian, it is actually essential.

Intel Says Its Processors Are Now 'Conflict-Free'

January 7, 2014 8:55 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.

Wal-Mart Eyes Legal Action Over Fox In Donkey Meat

January 3, 2014 9:45 am | News | Comments

Wal-Mart had recalled the donkey meat — which it said was considered a popular delicacy in parts of China — after DNA testing by a government agency. The company said Thursday that it withdrew all products from the supplier, Dezhou Fujude Food Company, and that affected customers were offered compensation.

ISM: A Well-Balanced, Solid End To The Year

January 3, 2014 9:40 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the seventh consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 55th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

China Manufacturing Indicator Weakens

January 2, 2014 9:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An industry group, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, said Wednesday its purchasing managers index for December declined to 51 from the previous month's 51.4. The measure is a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate increasing activity. "There still is downward pressure on economic growth," said economist Zhang Lijun in a statement that accompanied the report.

Wash. Governor Met With Airbus Executive

December 24, 2013 8:54 am | by Mike Baker, Associated Press | News | Comments

The private gathering occurred in October during an aerospace conference in Seattle, Inslee spokesman David Postman said on Monday after The Associated Press identified the meeting in records obtained under public records law. Postman said the governor talked with Barry Eccleston, the president and CEO of Airbus Americas, for about 20 minutes.

Busting Slime For More Sustainable Ships

December 23, 2013 11:37 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Videos | Comments

AkzoNobel has released this rather fascinating video about how it has worked with Newcastle University to improve the sustainability and fuel economy of the world’s largest ships. Professor Mehmet Atlar, Professor of Ship Hydrodynamics at Newcastle University, says that he “hates the slime” that builds up on the hulls of these cargo shifts, because it increases the frictional drag as they move from one port to the next.

Setting the Table For Successful Supply Chain Management

December 20, 2013 11:02 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.

FDA Says It Will Delay Proposed Food Safety Rules

December 20, 2013 8:00 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Food and Drug Administration will delay sweeping food safety rules proposed earlier this year and revise them to better accommodate farmers and businesses who would be affected. The FDA says it wants to make sure the rules are practical for farmers who have to abide by them.

Hayes To Expand La. Fabrication Plant, Hire 75

December 19, 2013 12:34 pm | News | Comments

The Hayes Cos. will invest $3 million to expand its metal fabrication plant. Hayes will hire another 75 workers in Pineville, La., paying them $45,000 a year, on average. The company says it's selling more to large clients, including Union Tank Car Co., General Electric Co. and OneSubsea.

Mercedes-Benz Opening Logistics Center In Ala.

December 18, 2013 8:55 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Mercedes-Benz is opening a new section at its plant in Tuscaloosa County. The German automaker is cutting the ribbon on a $70 million logistics center at its automotive factory in Vance on Wednesday afternoon. Gov. Robert Bentley is among the officials planning to attend the event.

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