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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Automotive Insights 2: Re-Shoring And The Southeast

December 9, 2013 10:27 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Videos | Comments

In the second part of Automotive Insights, sponsored by Omni-ID, we’re talking how re-shoring and the Southeast’s rise is changing American automaking. Over the last few years, the automotive industry has seen more foreign manufacturers, like Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen, establishing manufacturing operations here in the U.S. What has been game-changing for many is their decision of where in the U.S. to manufacture.

Incorporating Sustainability Across The Supply Chain

December 6, 2013 9:58 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 6, 2013 9:58 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.


5 Quick Questions: Globalization And The Supply Chain

December 5, 2013 9:41 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

Globalization has created both the opportunity and challenge of creating and balancing global, regional and local demand. The resulting demand volatility of that complex mix has pushed forecasting accuracy to its effective limits; and, therefore, is forcing greater execution agility to make up for planning’s shortcomings.

ISM: A Good Solid Month For Manufacturing

December 4, 2013 9:39 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the sixth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 54th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

SE Mich. PMI: Economy Grows At Slower Rate In November

December 3, 2013 1:52 pm | by The Institute for Supply Management - Southeast Michigan | News | Comments

The Southeast Michigan Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for November is 58.3, down from 63.1 in October. Despite a slow-down in the rate of growth, the three-month average for the economy registered a robust 60.4.  A PMI value above 50 generally suggests economic growth.

Tracking The Future Of Conflict Minerals

December 3, 2013 12:58 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Articles | Comments

These conflict minerals — cassiterite, wolframite, coltan and gold — are mined in the DRC by various rebel groups and those who, generally speaking, do not bind themselves to any threshold of human rights. Because minerals mined in these countries go through a complex network of middlemen in the region and in East Asian processing plant, the exact source of a particular batch of gold can be difficult, if not impossible, to find.

Automotive Insights 1: The Poster-Child Of American Manufacturing

December 2, 2013 11:21 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Videos | Comments

In this inaugural episode of Automotive Insights, sponsored by Omni-ID, we're talking about the growing complexity within the American automotive landscape, from changes within the Big 3, to the revolution of battery-powered cars like the Tesla Model S, and the fact that an increasing amount of American-made cars are now emerging from the Southeastern states, like Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.


SKorea To Start Talks On Joining US-Led Trade Pact

November 29, 2013 9:11 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The finance ministry said in a statement that officials will explore the possibility of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership through the preliminary negotiations. The move is a first step and doesn't commit South Korea to becoming part of the agreement but the trade ministry has been talking up its benefits for the economy.

Feds: Company To Pay Fine For Parts Price-Fixing

November 27, 2013 1:17 pm | News | Comments

The Justice Department says a Japanese auto parts maker has agreed to pay a $120 million fine as part of a plea agreement to settle a pair of price fixing schemes. The plea agreement and indictment filed in Toledo, Ohio, were finalized Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S.: 3 Agree To Plead Guilty In Parts Price Fixing

November 22, 2013 7:56 am | News | Comments

Three executives in Japan's automotive parts industry have agreed to plead guilty to a price-fixing conspiracy and two more have been indicted in the U.S. investigation, the government said Thursday. The plea agreements filed in Detroit and the indictment filed in Toledo were announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Tyson To Drop Hog Supplier After Abuse Video

November 21, 2013 8:11 am | News | Comments

Mercy For Animals distributed images of farm workers striking pigs and slamming piglets onto a concrete floor. In one portion of the tape, a worker is shown throwing a bowling ball at a pig, striking it in the head. The animal rights group and Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods identified the farm as West Coast Farms in Henryetta, Okla.

Survey: Manufacturers Struggle To Respond To Real-Time Peak Demands

November 20, 2013 10:32 am | by Capgemini | News | Comments

Despite growing consumer expectations for perfect order delivery and always-available inventory, the majority (83 percent) of U.S. supply chain managers say it is challenging to adequately plan for supply chain capacity to address peak requirements or timely fluctuations in demand, including during the holiday season.


Q&A: Addressing Traceability Challenges With ERP

November 20, 2013 10:03 am | by Lindsey Jahn, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Food safety is seen as the single most important issue among manufacturers, and the demands to document information relating to food sourcing, material flow, traceability and more present an ongoing challenge. These complex demands have a real cost, one very critical to bottom-line profitability as major food retailers take on a larger role in controlling.

Win Big by Maximizing Your Supply Chain

November 19, 2013 2:00 pm | Webinars

As products are rapidly changing in today’s high-tech world, the need to have revision control for product data in one place is more critical than ever. Not just to ensure that internal teams are fully aware of the latest changes, but to ensure that critical suppliers, who may be on the outside of the four walls, are also immediately aware of what changes may impact them.

Supply Chain Cyber Security: What Are The Risks And How Can Companies Address Them?

November 18, 2013 3:14 pm | by Tim Garcia, CEO of Apptricity | Articles | Comments

As the CEO of a supply chain management, e-procurement, and financial productivity solutions company, Tim Garcia draws on real-life experiences to provide four tips for incorporating web security into companies’ overall risk management strategies. Lax procedures that fail to protect critical data leave businesses vulnerable to attacks that threaten customers and damage brands.

What The Food & Beverage Industry Can Learn From Retailers

November 13, 2013 11:50 am | by Eric Tobias, vice president of web products, ExactTarget | Articles | Comments

Recently, smart marketers from other industries such as restaurants, suppliers and consumer brands have started embracing personalizing interactions for their customers. These marketers are incorporating the fundamentals used in retail today to increase engagement and revenue.

DeWalt Ramps Up U.S. Cordless Tool Production

November 12, 2013 10:06 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | News | Comments

DeWalt, the manufacturer of industrial power tools, has announced its intention to build more than 600 different cordless power tools, hand tools and accessories in the U.S., using globally-sourced materials. The company says its 75,000-square-foot facility near Charlotte, N.C., has been producing tools since early October.

USMTO: Manufacturing Technology Orders Up In September

November 11, 2013 4:04 pm | News | Comments

September U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $397.57 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was up 5.8 percent from August but down 31.1 percent when compared with the total of $577.17 million reported for September 2012.

Reducing Current Product Costs — Challenges And Opportunities

November 11, 2013 10:39 am | by Julie Driscoll, VP of Strategic Marketing & Product Management, aPriori | Articles | Comments

Different manufacturing businesses face different business challenges depending on product sets, competitive dynamics, supply chains and customer trends in a given market. But when it comes to reducing the costs of existing products, they share some very similar challenges.

Six Tips To Avoid Inventory Nightmares

November 8, 2013 10:00 am | by Brian Sutter, Director of Marketing, Wasp Barcode Technologies | Articles | Comments

If you’ve been in business long enough, you face the problem of legacy computer systems, procedures, and equipment that are no longer up to the task. Unless your business is tiny, it’s hard to justify paper-based systems and manual counting. These are notoriously slow, inefficient, and prone to error.

Mich. PMI Shows Sharp Upswing, Continued Growth

November 6, 2013 11:59 am | News | Comments

The Southeast Michigan Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for Oct. is 63.1, up from 59.9 in Sept., raising the three-month average for the economy to a robust 61.1. A PMI value above 50 generally suggests economic growth. Just over 75 percent of respondents report their expectations are for the economy to remain the same or become more stable.

GT Advanced Technologies Strikes Deal With Apple

November 5, 2013 11:51 am | News | Comments

GT Advanced Technologies Inc. shares soared in extended trading Monday after it struck a multi-year supply agreement with Apple Inc. for sapphire material. GT will also own and operate the equipment to produce the material at an Apple facility in Arizona. It expects the Apple deal will add to its earnings per share in 2014.

Southeast Manufacturing Activity Climbs In October

November 5, 2013 9:37 am | by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center | News | Comments

Manufacturing activity in the Southeast climbed in October, pushing the monthly index to 50.4 and narrowing the gap with the National PMI, according to the Southeast’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report released today by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business.

5 Quick Questions: Pushing The Distribution Envelope

November 4, 2013 11:13 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, | Articles | Comments

Thief River Falls, MN-based Digi-Key Corporation is a global distributor of electronic components, with over $1.5 billion in annual sales. We recently sat down Mark Larson, the company’s president, to get his thoughts on globalization, inventory management and steps that established distributors can take in helping to set themselves apart from the crowd.

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