Daily Manufacturing News Digest Archive (US)

Posted on 7 Nov 2022 by James Devonshire

Tuesday – 10/04/2022

US manufacturing falls to lowest level since May 2020

Despite growing for the 28th consecutive month, US manufacturing activity hit its lowest level since May 2020 in September, new figures reveal.

According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), new orders contracted while interest rates were aggressively hiked to cool demand and tame inflation, leading to the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, or PMI, dropping to 50.9 in last month. — Read more via Institute for Supply Management

BMW produces six millionth vehicle at US manufacturing plant

BMW just hit a significant milestone at its South Carolina facility. The German company has produced its six millionth vehicle in the US since it opened its Greer factory in 1994.

The historic, six millionth vehicle is an aggressively green BMW X6 M, but it won’t be heading to a customer. Instead, it’ll remain at the factory and become the latest member of BMW’s historic collection. — Read more via Jalopnik

Wyoming manufacturing program launches

The University of Wyoming and other partners last week marked the launch of a new program called CONNEX™ Wyoming, an online software platform designed to strengthen the state’s local and domestic manufacturing supply chain.

“The door is opening for manufacturing opportunities here in Wyoming,” Gov. Mark Gordon said during the kickoff event at L&H Industrial in Sheridan.

Through the CONNEX platform, Wyoming manufacturers will be able to better connect with one another, find local suppliers, discover new business opportunities and manage their supply chains. — Read more via University of Wyoming

Apple adds three Taiwan manufacturers to supplier list

U.S.-based consumer electronics giant Apple Inc. added three Taiwanese manufacturers to its supplier list in fiscal year 2021, while many others, such as iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., IC packaging and testing services provider ASE Technology Holding Co., and contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) remained on the list.

On the latest supplier list released for the year ending September 2021, metal powder injection molding device maker Taiwan Powder Technologies Co., membrane touch switches supplier Ko Ja (Cayman) Co. and liquid crystal display (LCD) surface-mount technology production solutions provider Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology Corp. were added. — Read more via Focus Taiwan

Monday – 10/03/2022

Japan grants Micron $320m in deepening US chip alliance

US chipmaker Micron will receive up to $320m in Japanese government subsidies, marking the first of an expected series of deals to fortify supply chains against the disruptive threat from China.

Beijing does not currently compete with Washington and Tokyo in the most advanced segment of semiconductor technology. But Covid-19 disruptions have underscored supply chain fragility, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has intensified fears that China could invade Taiwan, the global centre of cutting-edge chip production.

The Micron deal announced on Friday followed months of negotiations between the US and Japan to expand co-operation in semiconductor production, with the goal of reducing heavy dependence on Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC. — Read more via Financial Times

Arrival produces first production verification van in microfactory

Arrival has announced that it has produced the first production verification vehicle from its Bicester Microfactory.

Arrival produced the first Van in a Microfactory using in-house technologies, including composite materials, autonomous mobile robots, in-house components and a software defined factory.

The milestone is a big stepping stone towards at-scale production and delivering vehicles to its customers. — Read more via Arrival

Rolls-Royce and Water Revolution Foundation driving sustainability in the superyacht industry

Rolls-Royce is stepping up its sustainability strategy by forging a partnership with Water Revolution Foundation (WRF), a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote sustainability through collaborations with the superyacht industry.

The Rolls-Royce Power Systems business unit with its mtu product and solutions brand is the first propulsion system manufacturer to support the Water Revolution Foundation by committing to it at the highest level as an Anchor Partner. During the Monaco Yacht Show, the leading industry event for large-yacht manufacturers and customers, the company agreed for a promising collaboration with the foundation. — Read more via Rolls-Royce

The Royal Mint unveils official coin effigy of His Majesty King Charles III

The Royal Mint has unveiled the official coin effigy of His Majesty King Charles III. The first coins to bear The King’s portrait are a special £5 Crown and 50 pence commemorating the life and legacy of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The King’s effigy has been created by renowned British sculptor Martin Jennings, and has been personally approved by His Majesty. In keeping with tradition, The King’s portrait faces to the left, the opposite direction to Queen Elizabeth II. — Read more via The Royal Mint

BYD sets prices for 3 EV models to be sold in Europe

BYD, seeking to fast establish a foothold in Europe, disclosed tentative prices on Wednesday for three full-electric passenger vehicles to be delivered in six European countries.

The Atto 3, a compact crossover, will be sold for 38,000 euros ($36,480). Two midsize models, the Tang SUV and the Han sedan, have been priced at 72,000 euros, the largest Chinese electrified-vehicle manufacturer said. — Read more via Automotive News Europe

Friday – 09/30/2022

Pepsi begins construction on largest US manufacturing center

PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA) has officially broken ground on its new 1.2 million-square-foot facility. The project initially was announced in July 2022 and is expected to open sometime in 2023.

The new production center in Denver will have three times the manufacturing capacity of its current site and is expected to create roughly 250 new jobs. — Read more via Food Business News

Moment Skis, largest ski manufacturer based in the U.S. settling into new Reno facility

It took years to complete, but Moment Skis’ acquisition of its new headquarters facility on Bible Way in Reno was a crucial step in the company’s ongoing expansion efforts.

Moment Skis Chief Executive Officer Luke Jacobson told NNBW in an interview last week that the company was bursting at the seams in its old 7,500-square-foot location on Marietta Way in Sparks. Moment’s new 20,000-square-foot building, acquired near the end of last year, was gutted and retrofitted to meet the company’s manufacturing needs, Jacobson said. — Read more via Northern Nevada Business Weekly

Electrolux begins exporting the Ferrari of ovens to the US

The Electrolux Home Products factory in Adelaide’s Dudley Park held an event on Thursday attended by premier Peter Malinauskas and others to celebrate the commencement of exports to the United States.

The plant – which was opened in 1939 and has had $30m invested in it in the last three years – employs about 400 and is Australia’s last whitegoods manufacturer. — Read more via AuManufacturing

First electric models roll off Nissan’s UK Sunderland Plant

Electrified versions of two pioneering crossover models are now rolling off the lines at Nissan Sunderland Plant. The Nissan Qashqai, the original crossover, is now offered with Nissan’s unique e-POWER system, a first for the company in Europe. Its B-segment stablemate, the Nissan Juke, is now equipped with an advanced hybrid powertrain.

These new powertrains have been launched as combined production of the two iconic crossover models has passed five million units in Sunderland. Built alongside the Nissan LEAF, these technologies mean every model built by Nissan in the UK now has an electrified version. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Joint UK/EU project to scale-up additive manufacturing

A new UK and European consortium made up of engineering firms, academic leaders and scale-ups has been formed to increase Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) productivity.

The project, known as LAMM, brings together four specialist organisations with the aim of achieving substantial improvements in deposition rates and printing efficiency.

To aid in reaching its goal, LAMM has received €428,000 of funding from EIT Manufacturing (EITM), an organisation formed in 2019 that strives towards making Europe a global manufacturing hub. — Read more via Gas World

Nineteen Group acquires Drives & Controls Show

The award winning Nineteen Group today announces that it has acquired the Drives and Controls Show and its co-located manufacturing events (Plant and Asset Management, Fluid Power systems and Airtech) www.drives-expo.com — Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday – 09/29/2022

XAAR celebrates sustainability roadmap success

Leading inkjet technology business Xaar has made positive progress in driving forward its ESG commitments as set out in its ambitious Sustainability Roadmap to 2030.

Xaar’s Sustainability Roadmap is based on four key pillars – Environment, People, Innovation and Community, and is an important driver, fully integrated into Xaar’s growth strategy, with challenging targets set for all areas of the business. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Astroscale opens Zeus Satellite manufacturing facility in UK

Astroscale has opened a new satellite manufacturing facility and operations facilities at the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. The new facility, dubbed Zeus, covers approximately 20,000 square feet for a manufacturing facility, satellite operations center, and offices.

Astroscale Limited, the U.K. and European subsidiary of Astroscale Holdings, announced the opening on Wednesday. The company said this location in the Harwell Space Cluster alongside the UK Space Agency, European Space Agency (ESA), Satellite Applications Catapult, and others will contribute to the in-orbit servicing supply chain and commercial servicing economy through creating new jobs and national capability. — Read more via Satellite Today

Global manufacturer continues support for future scientists

Leading manufacturer of solid format bases and natural ingredients for the personal care sector, Stephenson, is continuing its support for STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by strengthening its links with further education.

The global business employs over 100 people from its manufacturing site in Leeds and is aiming to boost its links with leading Yorkshire universities over the next 12 months. The manufacturer is working with Leeds University on student placement programmes for the first time this year. It has had a successful partnership with Huddersfield University for 10 years. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Israel’s Rafael acquires UK defence firm Pearson Engineering

Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. has completed the acquisition of the British defense specialist company Pearson Engineering Ltd. The acquisition was executed under a stock purchase agreement (SPA), transferring 100% of the ownership. The acquisition includes Pearson’s metalworks subsidiary company Responsive Engineering Ltd.

According to M.G (ret.) Yoav Har-Even, RAFAEL’S President and CEO, this acquisition is part of RAFAEL’s continued strategic investments to transfer cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technologies, products, and systems into the United Kingdom, addressing UK national security and economic interests. — Read more via Defence Update

Drones – the ‘end’ of Britain’s silent killer

One of the world’s leading experts in drone technology, Robert Garbett, has called on the UK Government to support the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) plea for Britain to “rise up and act to protect the health of our most vulnerable people” by confronting the global threat of air pollution, which “is killing 7 million people per year and shaving over two years off the average life expectancy.”

Robert Garbett, Founder of Drone Major Group Limited, stated: “Lives can be saved, disease in the youngest reduced, the oldest and most vulnerable members of society protected, as well as saving the NHS millions by replacing many of our delivery vans, trucks and heavy goods vehicles with battery-powered drones.” — Read more via The Manufacturer

Wednesday – 09/28/2022

Daejin Advanced Materials USA Inc. to establish operations in Cumberland City

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter and Daejin Advanced Materials USA Inc. officials announced today the company will invest $10.2m to establish its second U.S. manufacturing and processing facility in Cumberland City, Tennessee.

Located in a portion of the Stewart-Houston Industrial Park, a Select Tennessee Certified Site, Daejin Advanced Materials will be located in close proximity to its electric vehicle battery customers and partners in the southeastern U.S.

As a result of the project, the company will create 83 new jobs in Houston and Stewart counties over the next five years. — Read more via Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development

US business equipment orders rise by most since start of year

Orders for business equipment at US factories rose in August by the most since the start of the year, reflecting broad advances across categories, including machinery and computers, even as interest rates rise.

The value of core capital goods orders, a proxy for investment in equipment that excludes aircraft and military hardware, increased 1.3% last month — the most since January — after an upwardly revised 0.7% July advance, Commerce Department figures showed Tuesday. The data aren’t adjusted for inflation. — Read more via Bloomberg

Ipsen doles out €52M to upgrade its Dublin manufacturing site, increase capacity

Aiming to boost its presence in Ireland, Ipsen has spent 52 million euros to upgrade its Dublin manufacturing site.

The expanded site in Blanchardstown will allow Ipsen to boost its production of active pharmaceutical ingredients by 10% this year compared with 2021. The company plans to invest 15 million euros more in the site between 2023 and 2026 as part of its growth strategy for the Irish market. — Read more via Fierce Pharma

GKN Aerospace – Northrop Grumman collabortion achieves additive manufacturing milestone

GKN Aerospace has completed its largest structural titanium additive manufacturing (AM) demonstration to date with the production of a component measuring 8 feet (2.5 meters) and processed from approximately 100 pounds of titanium.

The demonstration, conducted in collaboration with aircraft manufacturer Northrop Grumman, focused on the additive manufacturing process of laser metal deposition with wire (LMD-w), which successfully doubled the scale of previous components produced. The ability to scale additive manufacturing technology–also known as 3D printing—for large aerostructure components has a wide range of aerospace and defense applications. Additionally, the technology enables components to be produced faster than current methods, uses raw materials more efficiently, and may ultimately result in reduced costs. — Read more via GKN Aerospace

UK MOD to flex-up supply chain by 3D printing military spares in £5m Tampa Project

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking to establish a network of suppliers capable of 3D printing military-grade spare parts on-demand.

As part of ‘Project TAMPA,’ the MoD aims to create a multi-supplier framework with the capacity to 3D print lighter, stronger metal parts as and when they’re needed. If this can be achieved, the UK government department anticipates being able to drive down military equipment and weaponry lead times, while improving the availability of difficult-to-source obsolete components. — Read more via 3D Printing Industry

UK trade pact: India weighs offering duty concessions for EVs

India is weighing its options to offer tariff concessions to products such as electric vehicles that receive support under the government’s phased manufacturing programme, as part of the proposed free trade agreement with the UK.

Discussions on the proposed trade pact are now in their final phase and the agreement is likely to be inked by Diwali, officials said. — Read more via The Economic Times

Tuesday – 09/27/2022

Factory Jobs Are Booming Like It’s the 1970s

Ever since American manufacturing entered a long stretch of automation and outsourcing in the late 1970s, every recession has led to the loss of factory jobs that never returned. But the recovery from the pandemic recession has been different: American manufacturers have now added enough jobs to regain all that they shed — and then some. — Read more via The New York Times

China’s 370-acre project near US Air Force base in North Dakota ‘highly concerning’ – General Atomics

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, a US-based leading drone manufacturer, recently stated that it “firmly opposes” a new Chinese agricultural project near Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota.

The business, which built the Predator drone and has a substantial presence near Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, called the US government to stop the Fufeng Group’s plans to build a large-scale corn milling plant on 370 acres in Grand Forks.

The company expresses grave concern about the significant threats to US national security. — Read more via The Eurasian Times

3D printing drones work like bees to build and repair structures while flying

Imperial College London and Empa researchers have created a fleet of bee-inspired flying 3D printers for building and repairing structures in-flight.

The technology could ultimately be used for manufacturing and building in difficult-to-access or dangerous locations such as tall buildings or help with post-disaster relief construction, say the researchers, who publish their work in Nature. — Read more via Imperial College London

UK Manufacturing sector set to lose 1.3 million jobs by 2030

A new report published by Arden University has found that the Manufacturing sector is set to lose 1,387,194 jobs in the hands of automation and technological advances in the workplace.

The 2030 Workforce Report also found that by 2030, 30% of all jobs in the UK could be eradicated due to automation changing the workforce. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Monday – 09/26/2022

UK builds leadership in space debris removal and in-orbit manufacturing with national mission and funding boost

Two UK-based companies are designing missions to clear hazardous space junk alongside the launch of a new programme to back cutting-edge space technology, the UK Space Agency has announced.

ClearSpace and Astroscale have been awarded £4m from the UK Space Agency to design missions to remove existing pieces of space debris, working with a consortium of industry partners. Once the designs are complete, the teams, along with other UK space companies, could receive further funding to see the UK’s first national space debris removal mission launch in 2026.

The projects will directly support the creation of 70 new jobs, with further opportunities to increase growth in the wider UK space sector, which already supports 47,000 jobs and generates an income of £16.5bn each year. — Read more via GOV UK

Nissan electrifies its UK-built models

As Nissan Qashqai and Juke production in Sunderland passes the five million mark, electrified versions of these pioneering crossover models are now rolling off the lines.

The Nissan Qashqai, the record-breaking original crossover, is now offered with Nissan’s unique e-POWER system, a first for the company in Europe. Its B-segment stablemate, the Nissan Juke, is now equipped with an advanced hybrid powertrain.

These new powertrains have been launched as combined production of the two iconic crossover models has passed five million units in Sunderland. Built alongside the Nissan LEAF, these technologies mean every model built by Nissan in the UK now has an electrified version. — Read more via Nissan

Manufacturing SMEs set to target growth and investment

A significant majority of UK manufacturing SMEs are predicted turnover growth in the next 12 months, new research from Paragon Bank has found.

A survey of over 1,000 SMEs, conducted by Opinium on behalf of Paragon found that, despite wider economic challenges, 45% of firms in the sector are expecting turnover to increase, with a further 30% planning for it to stay at its current level.

Optimism within the sector is matched by plans for investment, with 55% of manufacturing SMEs set to increase investment in their businesses in the next 12 months – and a 29% to maintain current investment spending. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Research ties between Scotland and Australia could advance shipbuilding on the Clyde

Scottish and Australian researchers have struck a new agreement to strengthen collaboration on modern manufacturing methods that could be adapted to shipbuilding and marine operations underway in both hemispheres.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow – operator of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland – Flinders University in Adelaide and BAE Systems is key to the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Exchange to foster closer working relationships and facilitate the development of international best practice for shipbuilding manufacturing methods and processes. — Read more via University of Strathclyde

Britishvolt powers a sustainable future with Infor

Infor, the industry cloud company, has announced that battery pioneer, Britishvolt, the UK’s foremost investor in battery cell technologies and research and development, has selected Infor CloudSuite Automotive to manage business operations at its £3.8bn 38GWh Gigaplant in Cambois, Northumberland, UK. — Read more via Intelligent CIO

QTS Group adopts Pathfindr’s Zonr smart worker safety system

Zonr, the smart safety system which creates virtual exclusion zones to protect worker safety in heavy industry, will be adopted by engineering contractor QTS Group across all its UK sites following a successful trial.

QTS collaborated with Zonr’s manufacturer Pathfindr – the asset tracking and Industrial IoT tech specialist – over its initial development and will now implement the system itself to improve health and safety across its rail engineering, infrastructure and electrification operations throughout the UK. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Friday – 09/23/2022

Thriving at 50 – Toyota celebrates North American manufacturing milestone

It all started in 1972 when Toyota announced its first manufacturing investment in North America. Today the automaker’s Long Beach, California, operation, TABC, Inc., celebrated 50 years of paving the way for Toyota to become a gold standard in advanced manufacturing. — Read more via Toyota

Battery manufacturing ramps up in the US

Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has resulted in numerous battery manufacturers announcing plans to begin production in the United States, supporting the transition to clean energy as well as clean transportation. — Read more via pv magazine

Qcells to invest $320m in solar manufacturing in the US and South Korea

Hanwha Solutions, Qcells’ owner, has announced a $320m investment plan for solar manufacturing expansion in the US and South Korea aimed at providing secure, end-to-end energy amid a climate of strained energy security and rising demand for net-zero emissions.

Hanwha Solutions announced that it will spend $170m to build a new 1.4GW solar module facility in the US to complement the existing 1.7GW factory in Dalton, Georgia, bringing Qcells’ production capacity in the US to more than 3GW.

The expansion will boost US domestic solar manufacturing as well as growing the clean energy industry in general, bringing more jobs, security and investor confidence to a recently turbocharged sector after the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). — Read more via PV Tech

Huawei dives into chip production to battle U.S. clampdown

China’s Huawei Technologies is attempting to get its own chips back into production as early as this year by partnering with domestic semiconductor companies to build up “U.S.-free” production lines.

Huawei, once the world’s leading smartphone maker, lost access to key American technologies and global chipmaking partners in 2019, when Washington further tightened export controls on the company. Since then it has been relying on off-the-shelf chips and stockpiled inventory to keep its flagship telecom equipment business on track. — Read more via Nikkei Asia

World-leading Australian building operations solution CIM raises AU$10m

CIM, the creator of a world leading property operations software solution that enables teams to work more collaboratively and accelerates the journey to net zero emissions, has announced that it has raised AU$10m after closing its Series A.

The round was led by Five V Capital alongside Carthona Capital and also included seasoned property executives such as Mark Steinert, former CEO of Stockland. The new capital will be used to expand CIM internationally into Asia and North America, in addition to building out the team with a doubling of headcount expected in the next 12 months. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday – 09/22/2022

Department of Energy announces pledges from 21 organizations to increase the energy efficiency of semiconductors and bolster American manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a commitment from over 20 companies and organizations to increase the energy efficiency of semiconductors by a factor of 1,000 over the next two decades.

The Energy Efficiency Scaling for 2 Decades (EES2) national initiative aims to get the semiconductor industry back on the path of doubling energy efficiency every two years to increase the economic competitiveness of American semiconductor manufacturers and strengthen domestic clean energy supply chains. This initiative builds on the Biden Administration’s commitment to spur domestic semiconductor manufacturing through the historic CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 which includes $54bn in funding for the U.S. semiconductor industry and $67bn for the Department of Energy. — Read more via DOE

SEG Solar to set up TOPCon module manufacturing factory in Texas

SEG Solar plans to set up a solar module manufacturing plant in the US state of Texas with an annual capacity of more than 2GW.

Slated to begin construction by the end of this year and be fully operational by mid-2023, the facility will have three production lines capable of producing n-type TOPCon modules with 182mm or 210mm solar cells.

The development of the factory is the next step in SEG’s product localisation strategy, designed to better serve customers in the US, according to the company. — Read more via pv magazine

Inflation Reduction Act has already transformed energy storage industry thinking

The US’ Inflation Reduction Act legislation is an unexpected “huge shot in the arm” for the energy storage industry and may have doubled the addressable domestic market almost overnight.

Energy-Storage.news spoke with senior figures from battery storage system integrators Fluence and Wartsila Energy at the RE+ 2022 clean energy trade show in Anaheim, California, who discussed the landmark climate legislation and other topics. — Read more via Energy-Storage.news

Wednesday – 09/21/2022

US exports surge by 120% for Yorkshire-based natural paint manufacturer

A Yorkshire-based natural paint manufacturer has seen its US exports surge by more than 100% over the last year.

Leeds-based Brouns & Co, a business that manufactures traditional paints based on linseed oil made from Yorkshire-grown flax, has seen orders from the US for its natural and sustainable products increase by more than 120% in the last 12 months, with the support of the Department for International Trade (DIT) in Yorkshire and the US. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Blackline Safety sets new standard in connected worker safety with launch of G6

Blackline Safety Corp., a global leader in connected safety technology, continues to trailblaze in the industrial worker safety market with the launch of a new connected wearable to transform single-gas detection.

The all-new G6 personal gas detector – unveiled today at the National Safety Council (NSC) Safety Congress & Expo in San Diego – offers fast incident response time and a more efficient way to manage safety and compliance. — Read more via The Manufacturer

US module manufacturer Toledo Solar aims for 2.8GW of production capacity

US thin-film module manufacturer Toledo Solar is planning to expand production in response to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

A manufacturer of cadmium telluride modules based in Ohio, the company said it is planning to ramp up production to 2.8GW of capacity by 2027 in response to “surging demand for solar products”.

Founded in 2019, Toledo Solar began PV panel production last year and supplies products for the US residential and commercial and industrial markets.

The company, which is aiming to create more than 250 additional jobs by 2027, said its supply chain is sourced exclusively from North America. — Read more via pv magazine

Japan’s House Foods expands US plant-based portfolio with Keystone Natural Holdings buy

Japanese tofu firm House Foods has acquired US plant-based food manufacturer Keystone Natural Holdings (KNH).

The deal, announced on 16 September, will expand House Foods’ portfolio of value-added tofu and plant-based food products.

It means House Foods will grow its North America manufacturing facilities from two to eight. — Read more via just-food

GSK puts suppliers on the hook as it amps up sustainability crusade

Starting next year, GSK will require and help suppliers to make sustainability commitments and chart improvements on emissions, energy, heat, transport, waste, water and biodiversity, GSK said Tuesday. The plan, unveiled at Climate Week in New York City, builds on the company’s established mission to achieve net zero climate impact and provide a net positive impact on nature. — Read more via Fierce Pharma

Jankel establishes agreements with key UK defence industry partners to deliver Oshkosh JLTV

Jankel, a British manufacturer in the design, integration, manufacture, and support of high-specification defence systems, announced the establishment of agreements with a number of key UK defence industry partners in order to create a team of experts to deliver the Oshkosh Defense Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to UK. — Read more via Army Recognition

Tuesday – 09/20/2022

Wind(ings) of change – Electrifying innovation in motor manufacturing with Mitsubishi Electric’s robot solutions

Integrating Mitsubishi Electric’s robotic solutions, Horizon Instruments and the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), part of the University of Warwick, have created the first automated solution which combines two key operations in rotor assembly. — Read more via The Manufacturer

OneWeb seeks £3bn for GEN2 satellites that could support navigation

OneWeb is looking to raise around £3bn to expand its constellation with second-generation satellites that could support navigation.

The British firm is part-owned by the UK government and currently has 428 satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) at around 1,200km. By the end of 2023, OneWeb aims to have increased the size of its constellation to 648.

OneWeb is already able to provide speeds exceeding 100Mbps and with sub-100ms latency. While impressive, OneWeb can’t match the coverage and performance delivered by Starlink’s over 2,300-strong constellation. — Read more via Telecoms Tech News

Azure Power signs agreement for 600 MW of First Solar high-performance modules

First Solar, Inc. has announced that it has entered into an agreement to supply 600 megawatts (MW)DC of its high-performance, advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules to Indian renewable power producer Azure Power Global Limited.

The agreement is the first for production from First Solar’s new manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India, which is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2023. Under the agreement, Azure is expected to take delivery of First Solar’s Series 7 photovoltaic (PV) solar modules from the fourth quarter of 2023 to 2025. — Read more via Renewable Energy Magazine

UK-based EV-tire-maker ENSO in talks to supply multiple global OEMS

London-based EV tire manufacturer ENSO said it is in discussions with multiple international car makers and has begun trials with major fleet operators. Multiple EV manufacturers have expressed interest in fitting ENSO’s range-extending, emissions-reducing tires. Fleet operators, meanwhile, are investigating fitting ENSO’s tyres to their electric vehicles to help lower operating costs and reduce their carbon footprint. — Read more via Green Car Congress

Red Bull Powertrains partner with tool manufacturer Snap-on

Red Bull Powertrains announced earlier this week that they are to partner with American tool manufacturer Snap-on, as it continues to develop capability at its state of the art Formula 1 powertrain facility, which is housed at the Red Bull Technology Campus in Milton Keynes, UK. — Read more via The Checkered Flag

What technologies make up a smart factory?

There’s no question that smart factories are at the heart of the future of manufacturing. But what exactly is a smart factory, what technologies make it tick, and what makes it ‘smart’? — Read more via The Manufacturer

Friday – 09/16/2022

US manufacturing output ekes out small gain in August

Production at US factories edged up in August amid a decline at motor vehicle assembly plants, but gains in the output of machinery as well as computer and electronic products pointed to underlying strength in manufacturing.

Manufacturing output gained 0.1% last month after increasing 0.6% in July, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast factory production would be unchanged. Output increased 3.3% compared to August 2021. — Read more via Reuters

Low Earth orbit satellite cluster to provide secure digital military intelligence from 2024

BAE Systems is set to launch its first multi-sensor satellite cluster into low Earth orbit in 2024 to deliver high-quality information and intelligence in real time from space to military customers.

Known as AzaleaTM, the group of satellites will use a range of sensors to collect visual, radar and radio frequency (RF) data, which will be analysed by on board machine learning on edge processors to deliver the resulting intelligence securely, anywhere in the world while still in orbit. — Read more via The Manufacturer

UK probes Microsoft’s $69bn bid for gaming giant

Britain on Thursday announced an “in-depth investigation” into Microsoft’s planned $69bn takeover of US gaming giant Activision Blizzard, citing UK competition concerns.

US technology giant Microsoft in January announced a bid to create the world’s third biggest gaming company by revenue, behind China’s Tencent and Japan’s Sony, by purchasing the owner of hit games “Candy Crush” and “Call Of Duty”.

The proposed deal, already controversial owing to allegations of sexual harassment against women at Activision, now faces a probe by Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority. — Read more via Barron’s

Friday – 09/15/2022

A new factory in South Carolina will make up to 10,000 EV chargers a year

Global EV charging infrastructure company ABB E-mobility today announced that it will spend $4 million to open an EV charger factory in Columbia, South Carolina.

The new South Carolina facility will be capable of producing up to 10,000 EV chargers per year. The chargers, which will range from 20 kW to 180 kW in power, are intended for public use, school buses, and fleets.

The Columbia-made chargers could be ready to go to market as early as next year. — Read more via electrek

Fujifilm to Invest $20m in 24M SemiSolid Manufacturing Platform

24M Technologies, Inc. (24M) announced today that it has licensed its SemiSolid manufacturing platform to FUJIFILM Corporation (Fujifilm). As part of the partnership, Fujifilm will invest $20m in 24M.

By reinventing the way lithium-ion cells are made, the chemistry agnostic 24M SemiSolid manufacturing platform enables higher energy densities, lower costs, unmatched recyclability and increased safety for next-generation batteries. This new agreement builds on previous investments from Fujifilm in 2020. — Read more via Silicon

Volvo Trucks, IKEA and Raben Group join forces to accelerate zero emission transport

Volvo Trucks, IKEA Industry and the Raben Group have signed a collaboration agreement on zero-emission heavy transport. IKEA will introduce heavy electric Volvo trucks for internal transport flows at two of its factories in Zbąszynek in Poland, which will be operated by the Raben Group. Lessons from the pilot will be used for the electrification of transport operations at scale in a larger transport network. — Read more via Automotive World

Canada’s MOBILTEX acquires UK manufacturer GCRTech

MOBILTEX Data Ltd. has announced the acquisition of GCR Tech Limited.

The company says the acquisition will bring together Mobiltex’s IIoT technologies with GCRTech’s experience in pressure management and product quality.

The newly appointed VP of value stream, Alain Lalonde will lead the Mobiltex GCRTech Product Group.

Dr. Gurch Chana, who founded GCRTech and now serves as its managing director, expressed that the partnership will allow the company to accelerate its product development roadmap, grow its position in existing markets and expand into new ones. — Read more via Canadian Manufacturing

Wednesday – 09/14/2022

Cummins to reveal zero-carbon H2-ICE concept truck powered by the B6.7H hydrogen engine

Cummins Inc. will reveal a medium-duty concept truck powered by the B6.7H hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2-ICE) at the IAA Transportation exhibition (Sept. 20-25, Hanover, Germany).

The proof-of-concept installation is rated 290 hp (216 kW) and features a 700-bar pressure high-capacity hydrogen storage system. The H2-ICE conversion highlights the opportunity for truck applications across the 10-to-26T gross vehicle weight (GVW) range to operate on zero-carbon hydrogen fuel with a potential operating range of up to 500-kilometres. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Manufacturers call for quick resolution to rail negotiations

Following news that White House aides and Cabinet officials spent Tuesday reviewing contingency plans for a work stoppage, including outreach to shippers, truckers and air-freight lines to keep goods moving, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons has released a statement on the ongoing negotiations between Class I railroads and labor unions representing the freight rail workforce. — Read more via NAM

IMTS 2022: US manufacturing exhibition is back with a strong 3D printing presence

Following a four-year COVID-imposed absence, the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) has returned, with a much more 3D printing-heavy line-up than before.

Usually held every two years, IMTS isn’t just about 3D printing, it sees manufacturers that specialize in processes ranging from CNC machining to injection molding meet to share best practice, unveil new products and identify cross-industry trends. — Read more via 3D Printing Industry

UK’s £50bn aftermarket sector to seek trade opportunities at Automechanika Frankfurt 2022

Automechanika Frankfurt 2022 today plays host to the largest UK aftermarket overseas trade mission since pre-pandemic 2019, with a dedicated UK Pavilion organised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Twenty-two leading companies will represent the breadth and quality that the British sector has to offer, from engine remanufacturing and suspension system design services to specialist components, lubricants and tyre sealants. — Read more via SMMT

Ex-Newport Wafer Fab owner close to buying it back

Drew Nelson, the former owner of Newport Wafer Fab, is reportedly close to a deal with a private equity firm to buy back Britain’s biggest semiconductor manufacturer, if the government decides to unwind its purchase by the Chinese-owned business Nexperia.

The investor, Palladian Investment Partners, also considered teaming up with Nelson to rescue the business last year but this was rejected by Nexperia, a key customer, shareholder and board member, because it said the terms were too punitive. — Read more via The Times

Tuesday – 09/13/2022

Biden spurs US biotechnology with new order

The Biden administration announced the launch of a new national program dedicated to fortifying America’s biotechnology manufacturing industry in the latest executive effort to keep U.S. supply chains competitive.

Introduced Sunday via executive order, the Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative focuses on a specific biomanufacturing process that uses microorganisms to create chemicals and compounds that contribute to make medicines, fuels and other input materials. — Read more via Nextgov

Micron breaks ground on US$15bn US chip plant, says more to come soon

Micron Technology, the biggest US memory chip company, on Monday (Sep 12) will break ground for a US$15 billion factory in Boise, Idaho, and its chief executive told Reuters an announcement of another new US plant will be coming soon.

“We are in final stages of another high volume manufacturing site that is going to be announced in the coming weeks,” CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said.

Both plants will produce Dram chips that are widely used in data centres, personal computers and other devices. Once operational, US plants will account for 40 per cent of Micron’s DRAM production volume globally, up from 10 per cent today, Mehrotra said. The Boise factory will be operational in 2025, he said. — Read more via The Business Times

America’s only ironing board manufacturer reopens southern Indiana plant

The United States’ only manufacturer of ironing boards reopened its plant earlier this month in Seymour.

Seymour Home Products, under various names, has spent decades making thousands of ironing boards per day and and exporting them internationally. Back in March, the owner, Home Products International, said it would close the plant. Production stopped May 27, and about 130 workers initially lost their jobs.

Thomas Day, chief operation officer for Seymour Home Products, said the COVID-19 pandemic and rising steel costs made the future of the company uncertain. — Read more via WDRB.com

Festo expands US-based automation system manufacturing, R&D to mark 50th anniversary

To celebrate its 50th anniversary year, Festo U.S. announced expansion plans for its 47-acre campus in Mason, Ohio. A new production facility and the expanded research and development (R&D) center will be dedicated to U.S.-centric automation components, systems and solutions.

The campus, 30 miles north of Cincinnati, will be the site of a new Festo Global Production Center (GPC), the designation for the company’s advanced automated manufacturing facilities. The GPC will focus on flexible automation in a direct response to provide automation industry customers with custom solutions that are designed to maximize performance and differentiate their machines and systems from the competition. — Read more via Control

Monday – 09/12/2022

Almost 5,000 drone patents granted last year – a 39% increase

Patents granted for drones worldwide have increased by 39% to 4,876 in the past year*, shows new research by leading intellectual property law firm Mathys & Squire. The figure is up from 3,511 in the previous year and up three-fold from just 446 patents five years ago.

Mathys & Squire says the global drone market is dominated by China. Of the patents granted in 2021, 3,262 (67%) belong to Chinese companies and research institutions. The US trails in second place, with 751 drone-related patents granted in 2021 – 15% of the global total. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Chip maker Wolfspeed to build new US factory to meet surging EV demand

US power chip maker Wolfspeed Inc (WOLF.N) on Friday said it will build a new multi-billion dollar factory in Chatham County, North Carolina to make the raw materials used for chips that power things like electric vehicles as demand surges.

While traditional power management chips have been made with silicon, which is also used for microchips that run computers and phones, Wolfspeed uses a relatively newer material called silicon carbide to make chips. Wolfspeed is considered a leader in this technology and says it produces more than 60% of the world’s silicon carbide. — Read more via Reuters

Biden touts manufacturing, stumps for Democrats in Ohio

President Joe Biden traveled Friday to the competitive battleground state of Ohio, where he touted the impact of the bipartisan Chips and Science Act that is set to boost domestic chipmaking and scientific research aimed at restoring America as the world’s leader in manufacturing.

[ READ: Biden Leans on Pennsylvania as Campaign Season Goes Full Throttle ]
“It’s fitting to break ground for America’s future here in Ohio,” he said, speaking from New Albany, where computer chipmaker Intel broke ground on a new multibillion-dollar semiconductor facility. “Think about it. There’s kind of a tradition here: the Wright brothers, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn. They defined America’s spirit – a spirit of daring and innovation.”

Intel will build on that legacy, he said. — Read more via US News & World Report

Carel to buy US sensor manufacturer Senva

Italian refrigeration controls and humidification company Carel is to acquire the US sensor manufacturer Senva Inc.

Founded in 2007 and based in Beaverton, Oregon, Senva specialises in the design and production of a wide range of sensors, chiefly in the air conditioning and ventilation sectors, and with a specific line dedicated to indoor air quality launched in 2021.

The company has a production facility of about 2,500m2 and is in the process of expanding to a new 3,250m2 facility with a new research laboratory. — Read more via Cooling Post

Friday – 09/09/2022

Biden to talk up US manufacturing at groundbreaking for Intel plant in Ohio

President Joe Biden looks poised to talk up his efforts to boost domestic manufacturing on Friday, as he delivers remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony in Ohio for Intel’s new $20bn semiconductor plant.

The chip company committed funding for the facility “in anticipation of the passage of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday, referring to a $280bn bill that Biden pushed for and then signed into law last month. — Read more via Market Watch

Magna mulls US plant – could Fisker Ocean and Jaguar I-Pace soon qualify for federal tax credits?

Magna Steyr – an Austrian-based contract manufacturer owned by Magna International – recently shared aspirations to enter the US market and produce vehicles in a climate-friendly facility in North America. The facility overseas currently manufactures the Jaguar I-Pace and will begin production of the Fisker Ocean in November. Based on revised terms for US federal tax credits, could a move by Magna happen?

Canadian company Magna International is the largest contract manufacturer in North America and the fourth largest on the planet. The company has produced nearly four million vehicles for ten different OEM customers, including Ford, Rivian, and GM. This fall, Magna’s Steyr plant is scheduled to begin production of Fisker Inc.’s flagship EV, the Ocean. — Read more via electrek

Samsung begins operation of mega chip manufacturing line in South Korea

Samsung Electronics has begun operation of a new advanced, massive chip manufacturing line in South Korea.

The new production line (P3) in Pyeongtaek, the largest chip manufacturing facility ever built to date by Samsung, has started production of state-of-the art NAND flash since July. — Read more via Business Standard

Orca Bio, hunting cell therapy’s production white whale, tees up new commercial plant

With manufacturing a major hang-up for cell therapies, late-stage player Orca Bio is also looking beyond the clinic.

Orca, focused on development of precision cell therapies for cancer, genetic blood disorders and autoimmune diseases, has drafted plans to build a new, 100,000-square-foot commercial facility in Sacramento, California.

The plant will be used to tackle late-stage development of Orca’s pod of cell therapy prospects including Orca-T, the company’s most advanced allogeneic candidate, which is in phase 3 testing in a trio of blood cancers. — Read more via Fierce Pharma

NSF announces $10m partnership with Intel to train semiconductor manufacturing workforce

The US National Science Foundation yesterday announced a new program with Intel Corporation to educate and train the nation’s semiconductor manufacturing workforce and advance opportunities for equitable science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. Following the historic passage of the “CHIPS and Science Act,” Intel and NSF will invest $10 million to provide funding to support the development of a high-quality manufacturing workforce at all levels of production and innovation as described in a new Dear Colleague Letter, or DCL. — Read more via HPC



Thursday – 09/08/2022

Magna to manufacture thousands of Cartken’s fully autonomous delivery robots in the US

Global contract manufacturer Magna International has agreed to produce and scale a fleet of autonomous delivery robots for silicon valley-based robotics company Cartken. The robots are being built at a Magna facility in Michigan and will soon offer autonomous last-mile deliveries to businesses around the world. — Read more via electrek

US bars ‘advanced tech’ firms from building China factories for 10 years

US tech companies that receive federal funding will be barred from building “advanced technology” facilities in China for 10 years, the Biden administration has said.

The guidelines were unveiled as part of a $50bn (£43bn) plan aimed at building up the local semiconductor industry.

It comes as business groups have pushed for more government support in an effort to reduce reliance on China. — Read more via BBC News

The Limestone Boat Company to expand its US manufacturing footprint

The Limestone Boat Company – owner of TN Composites and builder of Aquasport Boats, Limestone® Boats and Boca Bay Boats – has announced expansion plans for its Tennessee manufacturing facility that will significantly increase the Company’s production capacity and create more than 130 new full-time jobs. — Read more via Edmonton Journal

Wednesday – 09/07/2022

Biden Administration Releases Plan for $50bn Investment in Chips

The Department of Commerce on Tuesday unveiled its plan for dispensing $50 billion aimed at building up the domestic semiconductor industry and countering China, in what is expected to be the biggest U.S. government effort in decades to shape a strategic industry.

About $28bn of the so-called CHIPS for America Fund is expected to go toward grants and loans to help build facilities for making, assembling and packaging some of the world’s more advanced chips.

Another $10bn will be devoted to expanding manufacturing for older generations of technology used in cars and communications technology, as well as specialty technologies and other industry suppliers, while $11bn will go toward research and development initiatives related to the industry. — Read more via The New York Times

KeyPlants sets up operation in the US and chooses former Merck Director to lead

KeyPlants, a supplier of modular solutions for the life science industry, has now expanded its global footprint.

The company has made the addition of a US-based KeyPlants organisation and a strategic partner to manufacture KeyPlants PODs and modular facilities for the US and Canadian markets. It will be headed by former Merck Director Andrew Dell. — Read more via Cleanroom Technology

Bridgestone expands plant to meet demand for smart truck tires

In order to keep up with the demand for more intelligent tires in the trucking industry, Bridgestone Americas is making a substantial investment to expand its plant in Morrison, Tenn.

On Aug. 25, the tire manufacturer announced plans for a $550m, 850,000-square-foot expansion and modernization of its Warren County, Tenn., truck and bus radial tire plant. Bridgestone said a news release the expansion was needed “to support increased capacity and to accelerate the use of advanced technologies that support cleaner, safer and more efficient commercial truck and bus fleets.” — Read more via Land Line

Delta places huge order for sustainable aviation fuel made with 839MW of green hydrogen

American airline Delta is to buy 385 million gallons of green hydrogen-derived sustainable aviation fuel (SAFs), the largest deal of its kind made by a US airline and a major step forward for producers looking to make green biofuels with renewable H2.

Fuel for the deal will be made using a version of the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process, which chemically pairs carbon monoxide and hydrogen to produce synthetic hydrocarbons.

Supply will come from a new FT plant planned by US producer DG Fuels in Louisiana, furnished with an 839MW electrolyser to supply the hydrogen. Construction on the plant is due to begin in 2023, with first SAF production in the second half of 2026. — Read more via Recharge

Tuesday – 09/06/2022

Zinc8 to manufacture its first zinc-air batteries in US market

Canadian battery developer Zinc8 Energy Solutions has announced plans to begin battery production in the United States, incentivized by manufacturing production credits in the US Inflation Reduction Act.

Zinc8 Energy Solutions has announced that its inaugural commercial production facility will be built in Ulster County, New York. Based upon comprehensive analysis done by the company, the recently announced US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) manufacturing production credits provide distinct and direct benefits to Zinc8, influencing its production plans in the United States. — Read more via pv magazine

Kordsa adding tire cord capacity at US plant

Turkish reinforcement materials supplier Kordsa Inc is progressing its growth with a $20 million (€20 million) investment at its production facility in the US.

In a statement 2 Sept, Kordsa said the project will boost its tire cord production capacity in North America as demand continues to the region.

As part of the investment, the manufacturer will add a new dipping line at its facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with the capacity to produce 19 kilotonnes per annum of tire cord fabric. — Read more via European Rubber Journal

More people now use iPhones than Android phones in the US

Many consider the iPhone series the only true rival to the best Android phones, and for the first time, Android has lost a big title in the US market. Data reveals that exactly half of all the smartphones in use in the US are iPhones now. It may be a reason for Android OEMs to worry, but the solution could be straightforward. — Read more via Android Police

BYD said to have 700,000 vehicle order backlog

Despite increasing production capacities, the waiting time for BYD customers has not shortened due to the continuously rising order backlog. Currently, the Chinese manufacturer is said to have an unfilled order backlog of 700,000 vehicles.

This was announced by company CEO Wang Chuanfu to local media. The current waiting time for customers who would place an order now is said to be four to five months. — Read more via electrive.com

Monday – 09/05/2022

Current state of IT & OT convergence among manufacturers revealed in new report

Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) are two fundamental areas of manufacturing. Yet, traditionally, they haven’t always functioned as a unified entity. As a result, a gap often existed between the enterprise and the shop floor.

But as manufacturers further accelerate their digital transformation aspirations, converging IT & OT is a pivotal piece of the puzzle. After all, smarter shop floor machines
produce better data. And better data helps to make machines operate more efficiently. The mutual benefits for enterprise and the shop floor of IT and OT convergence are substantial.

Now, a new report reveals where manufacturers are on their IT & OT convergence journeys. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Hydratech opens facility in the US

Hydratech, a leading UK formulator and manufacturer of glycols, heat transfer fluids and water treatment chemicals, has opened a US production facility in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

The new factory and offices will enable Hydratech to introduce its products and services to the American RAC, HVAC and renewables markets, as well as developing the company’s existing relationships with the likes of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Papa John’s and Haribo. — Read more via Cooling Post

With $40m grant, ‘American manufacturing will be reborn in El Paso’

The federal government is awarding a $40m prize to the University of Texas at El Paso and its partners to revitalize the area’s manufacturing sector and strengthen U.S. aerospace and defense industries.

The award, part of the Biden administration’s $1bn Build Back Better Regional Challenge, was announced Friday by President Joe Biden. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan, an economic recovery and pandemic relief bill passed by Congress in 2021 without Republican support. — Read more via El Paso Matters

Nextracker aims to harness Brazil’s knowledge of utility-scale solar with new R&D facility

Since starting operations in Brazil in 2015, Nextracker’s presence in the country has never stopped increasing, with its latest step being the inauguration of the Brazil Center for Solar Excellence in August.

This is the first research and development (R&D) facility outside North America for the tracker manufacturer and a commitment to the utility-scale industry in the largest Latin American country for solar PV. — Read more via pv magazine

Montgomery to be home of Hyundai’s first U.S. based electric car manufacturing operation

For the very first time, Hyundai will make electric cars in the United States. Montgomery’s Hyundai plant is actually ahead of schedule.

The facility originally planned to begin production next month but Hyundai now says assembly lines will begin manufacturing hybrid models in a matter of days.

And it is happening sooner than expected. Hyundai originally planned to start production of its Hybrid Santa Fe model in October, but now production is expected this month, shifting production from Korea to North America. — Read more via NBC 15

The Manufacturer Podcast: People and products

In episode three of our Leadership Series, we speak to Brompton Bicycle CEO, Will Butler-Adams. He speaks of his time as a leader, the passion that he and the business share for making city living and travel more sustainable and the shake-up needed to promote the “unbelievably cool” careers in manufacturing. Much of this is mentioned in his recent book – The Brompton: Engineering for Change by Will Butler-Adams and Dan Davies (Profile Books)

And on a trip down to Poole, where the editorial team met three manufacturers, we get the thoughts of Jason Muller – Global Manufacturing Director at Lush. Lush has a completely manual manufacturing process to making its various products – Jason explains why in his interview. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Friday – 09/02/2022

Micron to invest $15bn in new US manufacturing unit

Micron Technology Inc (MU.O) will invest about $15bn over the next 10 years in a new memory-chip manufacturing facility in Boise, Idaho, where it is based, the company said on Thursday.

The investment takes into account anticipated federal grants and credits under the CHIPS and Science Act and will create 17,000 jobs by the end of the decade. — Read more via Reuters

Job growth, investments in manufacturing sector tied to White House economic plan, Biden says

President Joe Biden Thursday praised progress made in the manufacturing sector weeks after the passage of the Chips and Science Act, which invested billions of dollars in domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

The president’s remarks came after Idaho-based microchip manufacturer Micron announced plans Thursday to invest approximately $15 billion over the next decade in a new memory manufacturing facility in Boise.

The lab, which is the first of its kind built in America in over 20 years, is projected to create 17,000 new American jobs by the end of 2032, according to the company. — Read more via CNBC

US manufacturing sector holds steady in August

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in August, with the overall economy achieving a 27th consecutive month of growth, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®. — Read more via ISM

Philips subsidiary to pay over $24m for alleged false claims caused by Respironics for respiratory-related medical equipment

Philips RS North America LLC, formerly known as Respironics Inc., a manufacturer of durable medical equipment (DME) based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay over $24m to resolve False Claims Act allegations that it misled federal health care programs by paying kickbacks to DME suppliers. The affected programs were Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE, which is the health care program for active military and their families.

The settlement resolves allegations that Respironics caused DME suppliers to submit claims for ventilators, oxygen concentrators, CPAP and BiPAP machines, and other respiratory-related medical equipment that were false because Respironics provided illegal inducements to the DME suppliers. Respironics allegedly gave the DME suppliers physician prescribing data free of charge that could assist their marketing efforts to physicians. — Read more via Department of Justice

Thursday – 09/01/2022

Asia’s factory activity slumps on China’s COVID curbs, US slowdown

Asia’s factory activity slumped in August as China’s zero COVID curbs and cost pressures continued to hurt businesses, surveys showed on Thursday, darkening the outlook for the region’s fragile economic recovery.

Manufacturing activity was weak in countries ranging from Japan, China, South Korea to Taiwan in a sign sluggish demand was adding to headaches for companies already suffering from lingering supply constraints. — Read more via Reuters

Sungrow mulling new inverter factory in North America

Ada Li, head of Latin America at Sungrow, told pv magazine that the Chinese inverter manufacturer is “seriously” considering the possibility of opening a new factory in North America.

It is considering the continent as a potential production location due to the attractive tax credits for solar in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, as well as physical proximity to its medium-voltage (MV) power stations. Such a factory would assemble inverters, with parts imported from China. — Read more via pv magazine

US government provides funds to boost continuous bioprocessing

Despite continuous bioprocessing being talked about as the future of manufacturing in biologics for years, this has not become reality. However, in recent years, the US government has begun to dedicate funds to intensify the production of biologics. — Read more via BioPharma-Reporter.com

US battery manufacturer enters Australia through 1.7 GWh deal with BlackRock’s Akaysha

US battery company Powin has agreed to deploy 1.7 GWh of energy storage systems in Australia over the next two years after entering a partnership with Victorian developer Akaysha Energy. The news tops a big month for Akaysha which was acquired by US giant BlackRock two weeks ago. — Read more via pv magazine Australia

Wednesday – 08/31/2022

Corning building new factory in response to broadband internet boom

Corning said Tuesday it will build a new manufacturing facility outside Phoenix in response to a spike in demand for fiber-optic cable as the US government ramps up a $42.5bn internet funding program.

Corning said the new facility brings investments in fiber and cable manufacturing to more than $500m since 2020 and will help to double its capacity to serve the North American market. — Read more via Axios

US Chief of Space Operations visits British rocket company Skyrora to strengthen UK-US space relations

Last week, the first Chief of Space Operations for the United States, General John W. “Jay” Raymond, toured the facilities of Skyrora as US interest grows in the British rocket company.

The landmark visit will bolster the key space relationship between the UK and US ahead of Skyrora’s plans to be the first UK company to complete a vertical launch from home soil in 2023. — Read more via The Manufacturer

First Solar will build its fourth US solar panel factory in the Southeast

First Solar is expanding its manufacturing operations in the United States outside of Ohio. The thin-film solar panel manufacturer today announced it will invest up to $1.2 billion for its fourth domestic factory in the Southeast. A specific location has not yet been announced, but First Solar said the site will have an annual capacity of 3.5 GW and should open by end of 2025. — Read more via Solar Power World

Innovative packer and logging tools win US DOE Geothermal Manufacturing Prize

Two teams from Houston, Texas were selected as the winners of the Geothermal Manufacturing Prize by the USDepartment of Energy (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO). Each winning team was awarded USD 500,000 in cash and up to USD 200,000 for field testing of their innovations. — Read more via Think Geoenergy

Tuesday – 08/30/2022

Honda Motor, LG Energy to build $4.4bn US EV battery plant

Japan’s Honda Motor Co will build a new $4.4bn lithium-ion battery plant for electric vehicles in the United States with Korean battery supplier LG Energy Solution Ltd, the two companies said on Monday.

Battery makers are looking to increase production in the U.S. where a shift toward electric vehicles (EV) could increase as the country implements stricter regulation and tightens tax credit eligibility. — Read more via Reuters

Hankook Tire & Technology Co., Ltd to expand manufacturing operations in Montgomery County

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter and Hankook Tire & Technology Co., Ltd officials announced today the company will invest $612m in its third major manufacturing expansion since breaking ground on the company’s state-of-the-art Clarksville facility in 2014.

Located off International Boulevard, Hankook Tire will create 397 new jobs in Montgomery County over the next five years. — Read more via TN Department of Economic & Community Development

Accenture completes acquisition of Eclipse Automation

Accenture has completed its acquisition of Eclipse Automation, a provider of customized manufacturing automation and robotics solutions headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

Terms of the transaction, which Accenture announced on July 21, 2022, were not disclosed. — Read more via Silicon

A brighter future for Made in America

US manufacturing may be poised for an overhaul and a rebound, with a potentially significant impact on the nation’s overall economy. In the United States, manufacturing accounts for $2.3tn in GDP, employs 12 million people, and supports hundreds of local economies.

Although that represents just 11 percent of US GDP and 8 percent of direct employment, the sector makes a disproportionate economic contribution, including 20 percent of the nation’s capital investment, 35 percent of productivity growth, 60 percent of exports, and 70 percent of business R&D spending. — Read more via McKinsey

Defense Department launches innovative manufacturing pilot program

The Department of Defense’s Industrial Base Policy Office has launched a pioneering manufacturing pilot program, through the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III Program, with the Austin Center for Manufacturing and Innovation (ACMI) in Austin, Texas. The first-of-its-kind pilot program will focus on advanced manufacturing technology for commercial and military applications that can be rapidly scaled to production. The methodology can then be replicated in other critical technology areas. — Read more via Department of Defense

Friday – 08/26/2022

Korean EV battery supplier to bring 93 high-wage jobs to Elizabethtown

A South Korea-based technology firm is the third battery industry supplier to announce plans to set up shop in Kentucky near two major electric vehicle battery plants.

Advanced Nano Products’ U.S. subsidiary, ANP USA Inc., will spend nearly $50 million on a 50,000-square-foot facility on 22.6 acres on North Black Branch Road in Elizabethtown, Gov. Andy Beshear’s office said Thursday.

Beshear said it’s an example of many future economic spinoff effects from the two major battery factories planned by Ford-SK Innovation and by Envision AESC. — Read more via wdrb.com

SPI Energy to start manufacturing solar wafers in the US

PV project developer and EPC firm SPI Energy has signed a letter of intent to secure 1.5GW of solar wafer manufacturing equipment for a US production facility.

The company targets the production and delivery of solar wafers in the US by 2023, while it has planned to further increase its solar wafer capacity to 3GW by 2024.

The announcement comes days after US President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law which will include solar manufacturing tax credits for wafers, with manufacturers receiving US$12 per square metre. — Read more via PV Tech

With plans to grow US manufacturing, university institute to offer free machine training

The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) of Marshall University revealed plans to grow U.S. manufacturing by offering free training for individuals in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Residents who are high school-age and older in the tri-state region will receive complimentary training in computerized machining and machine tool training. Experience is not required. Similar training locations are based at Texas A&M University, the University of Tennessee, and North Carolina AT&T State University. The service features online instruction and optional hands-on machine training delivered by RCBI-trained instructors at an RCBI Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center.

Additionally, RCBI said it would buy CNC machining equipment for its training centers in South Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia. — Read more via Thomasnet

Intelbras earmarks around US$60m for plant expansion, 5G investments

Brazilian electronics equipment manufacturer Intelbras is investing close to 300mn reais (US$59m) in the expansion of its manufacturing park and in a new line of equipment for indoor 5G usage, Amilcar Scheffer, Intelbras’ head of networks, told BNamericas.

Of the total, 200mn reais are going to the expansion of existing plants and to the opening of a new factory, Scheffer said. This amount comprises investments for the 2021-22 period.

Intelbras’ current production units are in Santa Rita do Sapucaí, Minas Gerais state, which is focused on alarms and intrusion systems; in São José, Santa Catarina, focused on networks and communications; and in Manaus, Amazonas, focused on audio and video equipment. — Read more via BNamericas

Maersk container manufacturing sale to CIMC abandoned on US objections

AP Moller – Maersk has abandoned its sale of reefer container manufacturing unit MCI to China International Marine Container (CIMC) after objections from US regulators.

In September last year the Danish company agreed to sell Maersk Container Industry (MCI) to Chinese manufacturer CIMC for $987.3m. The deal was subject to regulatory approvals in a number of jurisdictions including the US.

The US Department of Justice said the proposed sale would have combined two of the world’s four largest manufacturers of insulated and reefer containers and put over 90% of the production of these type of boxes in the hands of Chinese manufacturers. — Read more via Seatrade Maritime News

Thursday – 08/25/2022

Rise in US business equipment spending allays recession fears

New orders for U.S.-manufactured capital goods increased in July, but the pace slowed from the prior month, suggesting a moderate rebound in business spending this quarter.

The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday also showed solid gains in shipments of these goods. While part of the rise was because businesses are spending more due to higher prices, the data was another sign that the economy continues to grow at a slow pace and was not in recession. — Read more via Reuters

Tritium completes US EV charger factory in record time

Tritium, the Australian manufacturer of DC fast charging equipment, held a press conference with President Biden last February to announce the start of construction for a new factory in Tennessee. On August 23, it announced the opening of that factory, which will have 6 production lines and employ 500 people. The facility will be able to manufacture up to 30,000 DC fast chargers a year when it reaches full production. — Read more via Clean Technica

EV manufacturer BYD to drive in maiden e-SUV in India by end of year

The Warren Buffet-backed Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD will be unveiling a Born Electric SUV for the Indian market by the fourth quarter of the current calendar year.

The deliveries of the same would begin in January, the company’s top official said. This will be the first Born Electric SUV in the mass market. The Born Electric models from Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra would be launched from 2024. — Read more via Business Standard

Boeing and Northrop Grumman have AM Forward with other industry leaders

The AM Forward initiative was announced just in May but already a number of leading players in the American manufacturing sector have pledged to it. Most recently, Boeing and Northrop Grumman have announced that they will also be taking part, joining GE Aviation, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies and Siemens Energy. These seven leading American manufacturers, and early adopters of additive manufacturing, have committed themselves to helping smaller U.S. based suppliers to increase their use of AM. The goal is to help American manufacturing not only make a comeback but also to improve global competitiveness, transform shop floors across the country and bolster supply chains. — Read more via 3D Natives

Fluence’s new Utah manufacturing facility part of regionalisation drive; Europe site planned for 2024

Fluence’s new Utah facility is part of a wider move by the company to regionalise its manufacturing closer to customer markets across the globe, the company has told Energy-Storage.news.

Peter Silveira, senior director of manufacturing for Fluence, explained that its new contracted manufacturing facility in Utah, US, will be a ‘value-add’ facility for BESS modules en route to US customers.

That means that its existing contracted manufacturing facility in Vietnam will continue to produce the base, modular 6th generation Cube units – the building block of all Fluence’s energy storage solutions – which will then be sent to the US site for customisation and configuration in line with the customer’s needs. — Read more via Energy Storage News

Wednesday – 08/24/2022

Hyundai to accelerate schedule for US plant

Hyundai is apparently considering accelerating the construction of its electric car plant in the US state of Georgia – instead of 2023, the first excavators are to roll this year. The background to the considerations is the new electric car subsidy in the USA.

The new regulations signed by US President Joe Biden stipulate that electric cars built outside North America are excluded from tax incentives. Hyundai currently only builds its E-GMP models such as the Ioniq 5 or the Ioniq 6 in South Korea – so buyers of these vehicles would miss out in the US.

Construction of the US plant in Georgia, announced in May, with an annual capacity of 300,000 electric cars, was originally scheduled to begin in early 2023, with a view to starting production in the first half of 2025. — Read more via electrive.com

Apple to manufacture iPhone 14 in India: Report

Apple Inc. plans to begin manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India about two months after the product’s initial release out of China, narrowing the gap between the two countries but not closing it completely as some had anticipated.

The company has been working with suppliers to ramp up manufacturing in India and shorten the lag in production of the new iPhone from the typical six to nine months for previous launches, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple, which long made most of its iPhones in China, is seeking alternatives as Xi Jinping’s administration clashes with the US government and imposes lockdowns across the country that have disrupted economic activity. — Read more via Al Jazeera

Tritium (DCFC) cuts ribbon on its first DC Fast Charger manufacturing facility in the United States

Direct current fast charger manufacturer Tritium has officially opened the doors of its new EV charger manufacturing facility in Lebanon, Tennessee – its first production footprint in the United States. With it, Tritium intends to bring over 500 new jobs to the state.

Tritium ($DCFC) is a global manufacturer of hardware and software for DC fast chargers (DCFCs) founded in 2001, operating out of offices in the US and Europe. — Read more via electrek

US private sector activity contracts again in August, survey shows

US private-sector business activity contracted for a second straight month in August to its weakest in 27 months with particular softness registered in the services sector as demand weakened in the face of inflation and tighter financial conditions.

The S&P Global flash composite purchasing managers index (PMI) for August dropped to 45 this month – the lowest since May 2020 – from a final reading of 47.7 in July. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction in activity. — Read more via Reuters

VW and Mercedes-Benz ink agreements with Canada for raw materials vital to US battery manufacturing

Following last week’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act in the US, German legacy automakers Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz have sealed agreements with the Canadian government to acquire raw materials for EV battery manufacturing at their US facilities. This move could help EVs from both automakers qualify for US tax credits under the revised terms of the recently signed bill. — Read more via electrek

Tuesday – 08/23/2022

Ford cuts 3,000 jobs as it pivots to EVs, software

Ford Motor Co(F.N) said it will cut a total of 3,000 salaried and contract jobs, mostly in North America and India, as it restructures to catch up with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) in the race to develop software-driven electric vehicles.

Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley has been saying for months that he believed the Dearborn, Mich. automaker had too many people, and that not enough of its workforce had the skills required as the auto industry shifts to electric vehicles and digital services. — Read more via Reuters

Thermo Fisher kicks off production at giant plant in Tennessee, where it plans to hire more than 1,000

As part of its recent expansion surge, Thermo Fisher has identified single-use technology (SUT) manufacturing as an important area of focus.

On Monday, when the Massachusetts-based manufacturer opened a $105m plant in Lebanon, Tennessee, it became the company’s largest SUT site in its growing network. Employing SUT allows a manufacturer to move away from equipment that must be sterilized or consumables that are recycled or pose a risk with their transfer into cleanrooms. Thermo Fisher also has a new SUT site in Singapore. — Read more via Fierce Pharma

Dow to become first manufacturer to use SMRs in US

As Europe re-evaluates nuclear power in the face of a looming energy crisis, new nuclear technologies like small modular reactors (SMRs) may prove an option for generating low-carbon energy in the manufacturing sector. That vision is taking hold in the United States, where chemical giant Dow has announced plans to deploy SMR units to power one of its Gulf Coast facilities by 2030.

Dow will partner with X-energy, based in Rockville, Maryland, to install its Xe-100 systems at the site. The Xe-100 is a high-temperature gas reactor designed to work as a single 80-megawatt (MW) electric unit, but also in a configuration of four units to build a “power plant” that delivers 320 MW of electricity. In the industrial setting, each unit delivers 200 MW in thermal output for high-pressure steam generation. — Read more via Sustainability Times

Congressman William Timmons tours Spartanburg County steel manufacturer

US Rep. William Timmons was in Spartanburg County Monday.

He met with area business leaders in the morning and toured Spartanburg Steel Products in the afternoon.

Timmons is running for re-election this November.

A little more than a week ago, the State Election Commission ruled he will not face a Democrat on the ballot.

Spartanburg Steel Products employs about 400 people. Timmons said he is committed to doing what he can to help the business and others like it succeed. — Read more via WYFF4

Monday – 08/22/2022

Fisker considers US ocean production amid shakeup in EV tax credit

Fisker Inc., a Los Angeles-based electric vehicle startup planning to deliver European-built SUVs late this year, is looking into adding a U.S. production site for its Ocean model now that changes to federal EV tax credits given to carbuyers favor those assembled at domestic plants.

Fisker’s Ocean SUV is expected to go into production in November at a plant in Graz, Austria, operated by auto parts and engineering giant Magna that can supply 50,000 of the units annually. But with reservations for the model now exceeding 58,000 units before deliveries have begun Fisker says it may also need a U.S. production base for future demand. — Read more via Forbes

The Manufacturer Podcast – How do the leaders see things?

In the latest episode of The Manufacturer Podcast, join the editorial team for a panel discussion of leaders, a European site visit and a new category at our TMMX Awards. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Wockhardt shuts down Illinois plant, to sell in the US through manufacturing partners

Drugmaker Wockhardt is closing its manufacturing facility in Illinois and will continue its business in the United States through contract manufacturing alliances for its products sold in North America, the drugmaker said.

The management has initiated various cost optimisation measures, including restructuring its US business model, and closing the facility, the company said in a regulatory filing. All staff directly engaged by the subsidiary at the manufacturing plant are being relieved in a phased manner and in full compliance with the applicable local laws, it added. — Read more via The Hindu Business Line

Southeast Mich. important in plane manufacturing, US defense, state leaders say

Defense and state leaders stressed the importance of southeast Michigan manufacturing companies at an event Friday in Macomb County highlighting the region’s role in manufacturing F-35 fighter planes.

Michigan has about 600 aerospace-related companies and employs more industrial designers than any other state, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. — Read more via The Detroit News

A Manitoba company manufactures most of North America’s electric buses — but why is it making them in the US?

Manitoba’s New Flyer Industries is a leading North American zero-emission bus manufacturer, but are Canadian government policies and Buy America rules pushing much of their business and jobs to the American market? — Read more via The Narwhal

Friday – 08/19/2022

DARPA seeks proposals to forge the future of US microelectronics manufacturing

Amid ongoing shortages in integral semiconductor chips, new US initiatives are necessary to fortify access and restore the supply chains underpinning modern communications, travel, national security, and manufacturing. However, longer-term solutions require research, development, and innovative breakthroughs that will transform future technological performance and scalability.

That next major wave in microelectronics manufacturing will require the heterogeneous integration of disparate materials and components, enabled by advanced packaging that leverages all three dimensions.

DARPA’s Next-Generation Microelectronics Manufacturing (NGMM) aims to create a novel, US-based center for R&D and manufacturing 3DHI microsystems. Currently the United States lacks the financial backing, physical facilities, and organizational support for a national hub for public-private research, development, and engagement in 3DHI. Aligning these critical pieces through a centralized, open-access capability is essential to the next major wave of microelectronics innovation. — Read more via DARPA

UK Business Secretary blocks takeover of Pulsic by Hong Kong rival over security concerns

The UK has blocked the takeover of an electronic design company by a Hong Kong rival over national security concerns, in the latest sign of growing British anxiety about Chinese investment.

The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, took the decision to prevent Super Orange HK from acquiring Bristol-based Pulsic, saying it was “necessary and proportionate to mitigate the risk to national security”.

It comes under the new National Security and Investment Act, which was introduced at the start of the year. — Read more via The Guardian

Swiss solar panel maker eyes 5GW US bonanza as new climate law offers ‘significant support’

Swiss solar equipment maker and panel manufacturer Meyer Burger has signed a binding agreement with developer D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) to supply at least 3.75GW of solar modules for large-scale solar projects in the US.

The panels are planned to be manufactured at the company’s factory in Goodyear, Arizona, with delivery foreseen between 2024 and 2029.

DESRI has the right to increase the volume to 5GW, as well as to extend the contract beyond the 5-year period. — Read more via Recharge

South America on a path towards sustainable denim manufacturing

Denim manufacturers in South America — the largest supplier of denim items to the Americas — are investing insustainable technologies. Peru-based company Nuevo Mundo is leading the way. The denim manufacturer will be the first South America-based manufacturer to abandon the chemical production of liquid indigo as it turns itself toward a sustainable technology. — Read more via Textile World

Thursday – 08/18/2022

Boeing, Northrop to join White House-backed advanced manufacturing program

Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman (NOC.N) are joining a White House-backed compact to help smaller U.S.-based suppliers increase the use of 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing technologies.

The voluntary program, unveiled by President Joe Biden in May, seeks to boost suppliers’ use of additive manufacturing (AM).

Driven by 3D printing, the technology allows complex shapes to be built in layers from particles of plastic or metal. The Biden administration views it as an innovation that will enable U.S. manufacturers to flourish and create jobs. — Read more via Reuters

Four Louisiana manufacturing projects create $268m+ in investment

The state of Louisiana is set to benefit from over $268m of investment from four separate manufacturing companies: Cargill, CF Industries, BASF and Calucem.

The projects will create, retain more than 350 jobs throughout the state. — Read more via Business Facilities

Inflation Reduction Act prompts Turkish company to increase US gigafactory output to 3GWh

Turkish group Kontrolmatik Technologies has increased the output of its planned energy storage-focused gigafactory in the US by 50%, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which Joe Biden signed into law yesterday.

The company announced plans earlier in 2022 to build a lithium-ion battery factory in the US specifically for the utility and industrial-scale stationary energy storage sectors, with 280-305 Ah range lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

It expects to pick a site within a month and for the facility to start production in 2024, according to an announcement authored by Kontrolmatic’s USA CEO Bahadir Yekti who cited the passing of the IRA yesterday as a major factor in the decision to increase its planned capacity from 2GWh to 3GWh. — Read more via Energy Storage News

The USA approves virtually all tech sales to China

The Department of Commerce approved almost all tech sales to China in 2021.
Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China are deteriorating. The U.S. has also stated that China’s rising technological competition is a top security threat. Despite those views, however, the U.S. has just approved almost all tech sales to China.

On the other side, the U.S. imports numerous consumer electronics sold over the Pacific.

The biggest point of contention is the sale of semiconductors, including semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The list also includes A.I. technology and aerospace components, which can advance the unallied country’s military sector. — Read more via TechGenix

Opioid manufacturer agrees to $450m settlement

Endo International has agreed to provide up to $450m to states participating in a lawsuit against the opioid maker for its role in the opioid crisis.

The agreement, which has yet to be approved by the court, also includes banning the promotion of Endo’s opioids and requires Endo to release millions of documents detailing its role in the opioid crisis. Those documents will be published in a public online archive.

A multi-state lawsuit, including all six New England states, alleged that Endo boosted opioid sales by downplaying the risk of addiction and overplaying the benefits. — Read more via CBS News

Wednesday – 08/17/2022

US manufacturing production accelerates in July

Production at US factories increased more than expected in July as output rose at motor vehicle plants and elsewhere, pointing to underlying strength in manufacturing despite ebbing business confidence.

Manufacturing output rebounded 0.7% last month after declining 0.4% in June, the Federal Reserve said on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast factory production would rise 0.2%. Output increased 3.2% compared to July 2021. — Read more via Reuters

The Manufacturer MX Awards 2022 finalists announced

Over 40 of Britain’s top manufacturing companies have made it through to the finals of the UK’s largest and most rigorous industry awards programme. Delivered by The Manufacturer in partnership with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), The Manufacturer MX Awards (TMMX Awards) exist to encourage, benchmark, and celebrate manufacturing excellence, with every stage of the programme providing value for participants, whatever their excellence maturity. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Skilcraft expands US operations, invests $8.4m

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear last week announced Skilcraft’s expansion in Hebron. The $8.4m investment will create 14 news jobs.

The project will see Skilcraft’s current operation in Boone County expand by more than 22,000 square feet, bringing the plant to more than 54,000 square feet.

The additional space will help increase production capacity and make room for new equipment that will support production of fabricated parts and metal components for the aerospace industry. — Read more via manufacturing.net

Canadian hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer to open new UK facility

Canadian engineering firm Loop Energy will open its first UK facility later this month to supply hydrogen fuel cells to the commercial vehicle sector, beginning with FCEV lorry manufacturer Tevva Motors.

The new facility in Grays, Essex, will initially hire a small number of people in roles including customer service, inventory management and production support. The team will eventually number in the tens, scaling to meet customer demand. — Read more via Autocar

UK set to host rare earths processing hub in push for cleantech security

The UK is set to host a new $195m rare earth processing hub that Pensana is building at the Saltend chemicals park on Humberside. It will become one of only three such facilities operating outside of China and comes as the UK has launched a new strategy to shore up supplies of the critical materials needed for the energy transition.

The facility is set to begin operations in 2023, and when it reaches full capacity in 2024 will produce 12,500 t/y of separated rare earths including around 5,000 t of neodymium and praseodymium oxides. These are essential components of the magnets used in electric vehicle motors and wind turbine generators. — Read more via The Chemical Engineer


Tuesday – 08/16/2022

US announces export ban on advanced semiconductor manufacturing tech

The United States has banned the export of four key semiconductor manufacturing technologies that it says are “vital to national security.”

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security said Friday that the new rule, enacted today, bans the export of two “ultrawide bandgap” semiconductor materials, plus some types of electronic computer-aided design and pressure gain combustion technology.

More specifically, BIS said the export of semiconductor materials gallium oxide and diamond will be subject to renewed controls, as they can operate under more extreme temperature ranges and voltage conditions. These capabilities make it more likely the materials could be used in the design of weapons systems. — Read more via Silicon Angle

US House of Representatives passes $369bn Inflation Reduction Act, Biden expected to sign into law imminently

The US House of Representatives on Friday passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The largest climate package in US history will now move to the desk of President Joe Biden, where it is expected to be signed into law as early as today.

Containing $369bn in energy security and climate change programmes over the next 10 years, the IRA passed in a party-line vote of 220 to 207 in the Democrat controlled House. — Read more via PV Tech

Uncle Sam picks 3D printing to boost US manufacturing

Uncle Sam has had it with sending American innovation overseas, and he’s erecting a blockade of 3D printers.

With his recently introduced Additive Manufacturing Forward program, President Joe Biden wants to make it possible for more small and medium-size enterprises, otherwise known as machine shops, to adopt the high-tech AM method. Some of the country’s most prominent OEMs have signed on to the plan, which also leverages existing federal programs. — Read more via sme

Solar giant Hanwha weighs US expansion with massive new facility

Hanwha Q Cells — one of the few solar-panel makers with US production — is considering sites for a massive new facility as the country prepares to incentivize cleantech manufacturing.

The company is evaluating sites in Georgia, South Carolina and Texas, according to documents filed in Texas. The potential project in Dallas County, Texas, would feature a suite of manufacturing — panels, ingots, wafers and cells. Korea-based Hanwha Solutions is the manufacturer’s parent company. — Read more via Bloomberg

Monday – 08/15/2022

EV startup Fisker explores higher production in 2023, US manufacturing

Electric-vehicle startup Fisker Inc (FSR.N) said on Friday it was exploring options to manufacture in the United States in 2024 and was considering ramping up production of its first vehicle, the Ocean SUV, in the second half of 2023.

US manufacturing would make certain vehicle models eligible for a tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act, a $430 billion bill focused on lowering healthcare costs, promoting clean energy and increasing corporate taxes. — Read more via Reuters

Why Biden’s plan to boost semiconductor chip manufacturing in the US is so critical

If you take stock of all the high-tech gadgets around you right now, including the device you’re currently using to read this article, you’ll find that they all need semiconductor chips to function.

And most of these chips are not made in the US

The Biden administration wants to change that, with the president signing the CHIPS and Science Act into law this week. It will allocate more than $50bn to bring semiconductor chip manufacturing to the US and away from its current production hub in East Asia. — Read more via NPR

Automakers scramble to decode new US EV tax credits

US automakers and dealers are scrambling to figure out if they can still offer $7,500 tax credits to would-be buyers of electric vehicles (EVs), as Congress prepares for final votes today on a bill that includes a top-to-bottom overhaul of Washington’s clean vehicle policies.

Under the $430bn climate, health care and tax bill that the House of Representatives is set to vote on Friday, rules governing the current $7,500 EV tax credit aimed at persuading consumers to buy the vehicles would be replaced by incentives designed to bring more battery and EV manufacturing into the United States. — Read more via Reuters

Vergent Products signs deal with Indian manufacturer to share potential clients

Vergent Products Inc. of Loveland has signed a global strategic partnership with a large contract manufacturer in India.

Vergent and Napino Digital Solutions, based in Gurgaon, Haryana, India but with production facilities across India, have agreed to share customers as clients’ needs require. — Read more via Loveland Reporter-Herald

Friday – 08/12/2022

Less than 2 years after Charlotte expansion, UK manufacturer details US layoff plans

UK Electric vehicle maker Arrival is laying off several dozen workers in Charlotte, North Carolina. The layoffs are part of company-wide restructuring, Arrival spokeswoman Rana Khatun told The Charlotte Observer in a statement Thursday.

Layoffs are for 35 people, Khatun said, bringing the total number of Arrival employees in the city down to 60. Khatun did not specify when the layoffs would take effect in Charlotte. — Read more via aem.org

AEM advocates for historic investment US manufacturing competitiveness

After a months-long bipartisan, bicameral negotiation process, Congress took the first step to enhance U.S. innovation leadership and global competitiveness by passing the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. This bipartisan bill includes $54.2 billion in total appropriations for domestic semiconductor fabrication, assembly, research and development, and includes funds specifically designated for public wireless improvements and workforce development.

As a top priority for the U.S. equipment manufacturing industry, AEM, in coordination with the White House and a small group of selected industry groups, enacted a comprehensive advocacy campaign to obtain strong bicameral and bipartisan support for this critical investment, helping end long term semiconductor shortages and supply chain disruptions impacting domestic equipment manufacturing.

Nel to double electrolyser manufacturing capacity to 1GW on green hydrogen tailwinds in US and Europe

Electrolyser manufacturer Nel is to spend €35m ($36.2m) to double the capacity of its alkaline electrolyser factory in Herøya, Norway, to 1GW, on the back of rising demand for green hydrogen production equipment and favourable political winds that extend beyond Europe to the US, Nel’s CEO Håkon Volldal told investors this morning.

In fact, the North American market will be increasingly important to Nel in the wake of the US Inflation Reduction Act and its hydrogen tax credits, and the company is now looking to expand its operations there, Volldal said. — Read more via Recharge News

Female-led clothing manufacturer celebrates “truly incredible” milestone

Female-led clothing manufacturer and sourcing company, Aspirado Trading, is celebrating a milestone accomplishment this summer as it marks its 23rd year in the fashion industry.

Founded in Delhi in 1999 by fashion industry veteran Anshuman Gupta, Aspirado Trading has since expanded from India first to the fashion hub of New York and then later to London.

Today, the womenswear and menswear wholesalers has carved out a space as a “premium” wholesale supplier, trusted by a wealth of high street and high-end brands including ASOS, Max Mara, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, JCPenney, Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor. — Read more via Bdaily News

Doncasters invests further in aviation future

As the commercial aircraft market takes off once again, Doncasters has invested $12.9m in two of its facilities, one in the US and one in the UK.

With post-covid orders from commercial airlines higher than predicted, Doncasters is doubling the capacity of its US operations in Connecticut, and more than doubling production in the shell lines at its UK site in Droitwich. This closely follows the announcement of the company’s acquisition of Uni-Pol, which increased its annual revenue to over $500m. — Read more via The Manufacturer

New legislation to increase solar manufacturing in the US

The Senate recently passed Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff’s legislation to boost solar manufacturing in America.

The Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act is aimed at strengthening American energy independence and reducing dependence of overseas imports, as well as creating more jobs, lowering energy costs, and more. — Read more via Local 3 News

Thursday – 08/11/2022

Bentley to take 103 cars to Monterey, one for each year of its history

Crewe-headquartered Bentley Motors is returning to Monterey Car Week in America with a programme of features across the event that together define the brand’s greatest ever presence on the Monterey peninsula. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Destination IAA = Destination Zero for Cummins

Cummins Inc. will showcase its commitment to decarbonization at the industry’s largest tradeshow in Hannover, Germany this September. Destination Zero™ is the company’s strategy to go further, faster to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) and air quality impacts of its products and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. — Read more via Cummins

New $26m center will assert American leadership in advanced manufacturing

A large multi-institutional collaboration, including Northwestern University, has received $26m from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch a new advanced manufacturing research center.

The NSF grant will fund the new center across five years, with the ability to renew for another $26m for an additional five years. — Read more via Northwestern Now

EV battery plant projects get US Energy Dept. financial boost

Seeking to stimulate domestic electric vehicle production, the U.S. Dept. of Energy is providing hundreds of millions in new loans for US advanced battery component manufacturing plants now being built.

DOE announced in July a $2.5bn conditional loan to a General Motors Corp. joint venture with South Korea’s LG Solutions that now has three large battery cell plants under construction, each about 2.8 million sq. ft. in size and costing from $2.3bn to $2.6bn. DOE said its loan, which could close in two months, would be the first for a battery cell manufacturing project under the agency’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program.

The first plant, in Lordstown, Ohio, is set to begin battery production this month to supply electric vehicles being made at two GM Michigan plants, said the JV, called Ultium Cells LLC. Another facility, in Spring Hill, Tenn., is set to oomplete construction in late 2023 and will serve nearby GM vehicle production. Gresham Smith is the plants’ design firm, with Barton Malow serving as contractor for the Spring Hill facility. — Read more via Engineering News-Record

Wednesday – 08/10/2022

Micron to invest $40bn in US chip manufacturing

Micron announced Tuesday it will invest $40bn between now and 2030 to manufacture chips in the US. The investment is supported by grants and credits from the CHIPS and Science Act, a bipartisan bill that President Joe Biden signed into law Tuesday.

Micron said it will create up to 40,000 jobs in the U.S., including 5,000 highly paid technical and operational roles. The company said the additional capacity will bring the U.S. market share of memory chip production from 2% to 10%. Micron expects to begin production in the second half of the decade. — Read more via CNBC

US accuses China’s largest cable manufacturer of violating export controls

The US on Tuesday brought administrative charges against China’s largest wire and cable manufacturer, saying it had violated US export controls by helping telecommunication company ZTE Corp. deliver restricted technology to Iran.

Far East Cable Co., a company based in China’s Jiangsu province, signed a contract with ZTE in an effort to conceal the telecommunication company’s business with Iran, which relied on US-origin routers and microprocessors, according to a charging letter by a bureau of the US Commerce Department. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Cox Marine charts US growth with key appointments

Cox Marine announced two sales appointments in North America as it builds its regional team to drive business growth. Doug Ross was confirmed as Regional Sales Director, North America, to lead Cox Marine’s sales strategy, overseeing all business channels in the country and working closely with the U.S. distributors to stimulate growth.

Based in South Florida, Ross will build and support the strengthened regional sales team, which includes the second new appointment, Regional Sales Manager Chuck Gould. Current Cox Marine sales manager Bruce Woodfin has been confirmed as the new Aftersales Manager, North America, with the final team incorporating both Regional Sales Managers, Aftersales Managers, North America-based Technical / Warranty Manager, and Marketing Manager. — Read more via Marine Link

FreightCar America sees benefit in tight rail car supply, better rail service

Although macroeconomic uncertainties loom and higher inflation could be keeping some would-be customers at bay, rail car manufacturer FreightCar America is bullish on the second half of 2022.

“I would like to emphasize just how optimistic we are about the future,” President and CEO Jim Meyer said in prepared remarks during FreightCar America’s second-quarter earnings call Tuesday morning. “At the same time, I would like to emphasize that we are also realistic about the potential temporary impacts of a slowdown in the economy and continuing supply chain disruptions.” — Read more via Freight Waves

Tuesday – 08/09/2022

Emerging tech critical to manufacturers embracing the Circular Economy whilst facing big industry challenges – Sage study

A new study by Sage, the leader in accounting, financial, HR and payroll technology for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), has revealed the significant hurdles faced by manufacturers and distributors shifting to a sustainable Circular Economy business strategy, despite widespread acknowledgement of the many benefits it will deliver.

“The State of the Circular Economy” report shows the industry is paying greater attention to the need for, and benefits of, the Circular Economy (CE). It comes in response to the growing importance of sustainable business practices to over 60% of employees, customers, shareholders, and supply chain partners alike. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Slowing demand in the US, Europe and China could hurt Asian exporters, HSBC says

Asian exporters will face significant challenges as demand from major markets like the U.S., Europe and China slow down in the coming months, according to the chief Asia economist of HSBC.

Manufacturers in Europe are already pulling back quite significantly, namely in Germany, Frederic Neumann told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday. — Read more via CNBC

Iowa metal manufacturer settles US Government complaint

A southwest Iowa company that makes metal castings used by military contractors in helicopters and other equipment has reached a settlement in a lawsuit alleging the company failed to test the castings and falsely certified test results over seven years.

Wellman Dynamics, a Creston company that manufactures large metal castings used by military contractors including Bell Helicopter, Sikorsky Aircraft and Boeing Co. will pay $500,000 in restitution to the US government to settle the allegations, court documents indicate. — Read more via US News & World Report

Fluence opening new contract manufacturing facility in Utah to serve US market

Global battery energy storage system (BESS) integrator Fluence is setting up a new contract manufacturing facility in Utah to serve the US market.

The facility will start shipping Fluence Cubes from September 2022. The Cube is the building block of its Gridstack, Sunstack, and Edgestack energy storage products and uses LFP-280LC (lithium iron phosphate) battery modules from supplier CATL, according to a datasheet.

Capacity of the facility will start at 75 Cubes per week with plans to rise to 150 per week. The company said the launch will expand its production beyond Asia, better serve delivery to the US market and address ongoing supply chain constraints. — Read more via Energy Storage News

Boeing to resume 787 Dreamliner aircraft deliveries, says US’ FAA

US-based airplane manufacturer Boeing can resume deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft, the country’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on Monday.

“Boeing has made the necessary changes to ensure that the 787 Dreamliner meets all certification standards,” the American aviation regulator said in a statement.

“The FAA will inspect each aircraft before an airworthiness certificate is issued and cleared for delivery. We expect deliveries to resume in the coming days,” it added. — Read more via aa.com

Monday – 08/08/2022

Tata Motors to buy Ford India’s manufacturing plant for $91m

Tata Motors Ltd signed an agreement on Sunday to buy Ford Motor’s manufacturing plant in the western state of Gujarat for 7.26bn rupees ($91.5m).

The agreement between the Indian automaker’s subsidiary Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd (TPEML) and Ford India Pvt Ltd (FIPL) covers land, assets and all eligible employees. — Read more via Reuters

Tesla urged to build gigafactory in Teesside as Elon Musk plots new plants around the world

Elon Musk has been urged to bring a Tesla plant to the North East of England after the electric car company revealed its ambition to build a dozen “gigafactories” across the world.

Ben Houchen, the Conservative Mayor for Tees Valley, wrote to Mr Musk on Friday calling on the Tesla billionaire to bring an electric car plant to the North East.

In a letter seen by The Telegraph, Mr Houchen wrote: “In the UK, where we have an £82bn automobile industry which leads the world in production of high end vehicles, it would surely make sense for Tesla to develop a serious presence, with Teesside being the best possible location to do this.” — Read more via The Telegraph

Biden set to sign semiconductor bill, a boost for US manufacturing

Fresh off a major legislative victory with the Senate passing a sweeping climate and health care bill, President Joe Biden is expected to sign another major bill on Tuesday.

The CHIPS and Science Act is a measure to boost domestic production of semiconductor computer chips and a major priority for the Biden administration.

The back story of how the legislation reached Biden’s desk after more than 18 months reveals the complexities of bipartisanship, even when all sides agree on the need to act. — Read more via News Nation

Micron aims to bring memory manufacturing to U.S.

With the recent passing of the ‘chips and science’ legislation in the US, global memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc. has announced its intent to take “a big step” towards securing the future of semiconductor manufacturing in the United States and advancing American innovation and competitiveness for years to come. — Read more via Electronic Products & Technology

Hyundai to produce own automotive chips

As the global shortage of semiconductors continues, South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group has decided to produce its own automotive chips.

The automaker is now stepping up its plans on making their own chips through its auto parts affiliate, Hyundai Mobis.

The move is seen as part of a strategy to cope with semiconductor supply shortage risks, which has made the internal production of semiconductors more important than ever before, especially with the transition to electric vehicles (EV). — Read more via New Straits Times

Friday – 08/05/2022

Festo marks 50 years in the US with major expansions in US-based manufacturing and R&D

Festo U.S., celebrating its 50th anniversary year, announces expansion plans for its 47-acre campus in Mason, Ohio. A new production facility and a research and development center will be dedicated to U.S.-centric automation components, systems, and solutions. Festo, a $3bn family-owned company, is a global innovation leader in pneumatic and electric automation systems.

The campus, 30 miles north of Cincinnati, will be the site of a new Festo Global Production Center (GPC), the designation for the company’s most advanced automated manufacturing facilities. This new production center will focus on flexible automation in a direct response to Festo customers who want custom solutions that serve to maximize performance and differentiate their machines and systems from the competition. — Read more via automation.com

Thermo Fisher completes $76m cell culture manufacturing site near Buffalo, NY

Thermo Fisher has completed the expansion of one of its manufacturing facilities in New York, taking another step forward in its broader investment plan for sites in the US and globally.

The $76m expansion of its dry powder media manufacturing facility in Grand Island, New York, just north of Buffalo, will allow more capacity to support Thermo Fisher’s global supply and extend its capabilities for materials used in vaccines and biologic therapy development and manufacturing. — Read more via Endpoints News

Kennedy introduces bill to boost US manufacturing, support American companies

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced the Returning American Manufacturing Potential (RAMP) Act to bolster domestic manufacturing and support American companies.

The legislation expands on The Buy American Act of 1993, which requires the federal government to prefer domestic articles, materials and supplies in its purchases.

The RAMP Act requires that at least 60 percent of the value of the components of products that the federal government purchases be made in the US The current requirement is that only 55 percent of the components’ value come from American-made resources. — Read more via John Kennedy

GameChange Solar to add 6 GW to its US manufacturing capacity

GameChange Solar announced that a new, 6 GW tracker tube line will begin operations in the Midwest in February 2023, supporting the rapid growth of solar power plants in the United States. With the addition of the highly automated facility GameChange will bring its US tracker tube capacity to 14 GW. The exact location in the Midwest had not been disclosed at press time. — Read more via pv magazine

Thursday – 08/04/2022

Assure Infusions to build pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Central Florida

Assure Infusions, Inc., a new company that launched earlier this year to produce IV fluid products, is building a manufacturing plant in Bartow, Florida. The 60,000-square-foot-facility – scheduled to open in 2023 – will be fully automated with advanced robotics to make IV fluids that are in high demand in the U.S. healthcare system. — Read more via Silicon

US factory orders rise solidly in June, beat expectations

New orders for US-manufactured goods increased solidly in June and business spending on equipment was stronger than initially thought, pointing to underlying strength in manufacturing despite rising interest rates.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that factory orders rose 2.0% in June after advancing 1.8% in May. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast factory orders would increase 1.1%. Orders increased 13.5% on a year-on-year basis. — Read more via Reuters

Arizona snap poll shows manufacturing voters strongly oppose Reconciliation Tax

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry released a new snap poll yesterday showing that an overwhelming majority of manufacturing voters in Arizona disapprove of the U.S. Senate’s plan to raise taxes on manufacturers.

More than 90% of manufacturing voters opposed the tax, while 91% agreed that the tax would harm manufacturers’ ability to invest in their business, buy new machinery and upgrade facilities and put manufacturing jobs and economic recovery at risk. — Read more via NAM

Alfa Romeo to develop large car in the United States

Itay’s Alfa Romeo will work on a new large-size car in the United States to be launched in 2027, the brand’s head Jean-Philippe Imparato said on Friday, adding however the group had not yet decided where to manufacture it.

Imparato said the step was key to tailoring the design for overseas markets, helping Alfa Romeo to strengthen its position as the international premium brand of carmaker Stellantis. — Read more via Reuters

American Rescue Plan money to fund Ohio manufacturing training

The US Economic Development Administration is awarding several million dollars to the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association to expand manufacturing workforce training throughout Ohio.

According to Congresswoman Kaptur’s office, OMA is receiving a $23.5m grant as part of the American Rescue Plan.

Congresswoman Kaptur’s Office says EDA’s Good Jobs Challenge grant, funded by the American Rescue Plan, will fund a workforce training program led by OMA’s Educational and Industrial Development Institute. — Read more via 13abc.com

Wednesday – 08/03/2022

Tax reform bought a manufacturer new equipment and a brighter future

The oldest forging machine at Phoenix manufacturer Valley Forge & Bolt dates all the way back to 1930. Plenty of other forging equipment was bought used and then refurbished to help the business keep down costs and maintain its generous benefits for employees. In fact, this type of equipment is the most expensive outlay of capital for the company, according to CEO Michele Clarke.

Thanks to the 2017 tax reform law, however, Valley Forge was able to buy new forging equipment for the very first time. It is “a huge game changer,” said Clarke, “when you can buy state of the art equipment.” — Read more via National Association of Manufacturers

Pelosi to meet with Taiwan’s biggest semiconductor manufacturer

TSMC is building a chip factory in Arizona — and considering constructing several on the site — in a project seen as key to US national security

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will meet with the chairman of Taiwan’s biggest semiconductor manufacturer during her visit to the island, in a sign of how vital computer chips are to the US economy and national security.

Pelosi and the chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Mark Liu, will discuss implementation of the recently passed Chips and Science Act, which provides $52bn of federal subsidies for domestic chip factories, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Pelosi’s sensitive schedule. — Read more via The Washington Post

Michigan working to attract chip manufacturers under new US bill -governor

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the state is well positioned to attract new investment in semiconductor chips manufacturing after Congress passed $52bn in new subsidies.

“The state of Michigan is uniquely positioned,” Whitmer told Reuters in an interview. “We want to make sure that our potential partners in this chips manufacturing moment are ready to move as fast as we are because we are going to have to move together.” — Read more via Reuters

Major US metal manufacturer announces significant round of layoffs

A major metal manufacturer in the U.S. announced Tuesday a new round of layoffs set to begin next month

In a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Neenah Foundry said that it is planning to lay off at least 115 employees, starting on September 27 or within 13 days after.

According to the letter, the layoffs account for “less than 20% of employees at the Company’s manufacturing facilities located on Aylward Street in Neenah, Wisconsin and the contiguous corporate headquarters located on Brooks Avenue in Neenah, Wisconsin.” — Read more via Newsweek

Tuesday – 08/02/2022

US manufacturing slows modestly; excess inventories a major concern

US manufacturing activity slowed less than expected in July and there were signs that supply constraints are easing, with a measure of prices paid for inputs by factories falling to a two-year low, suggesting inflation has probably peaked. — Read more via Reuters

US Department of Labor proposes $480k in additional fines to Ohio vehicle parts manufacturer for continuing to expose workers to multiple hazards

Federal safety investigators found workers at General Aluminum Mfg. Co.’s Wapakoneta site exposed to machine hazards, just 36 days after they found similar violations at the aluminum vehicle parts manufacturer’s facility in Conneaut.

The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected the Wapakoneta facility in February and found a band saw and quench tank lacked adequate machine guarding. The agency also found the company failed to train workers performing service and maintenance tasks on industrial machinery on energy control procedures – commonly known as lockout/tagout – which exposed them to amputation, caught-in and struck-by hazards. OSHA inspectors also issued citations for these violations at the Conneaut and Ravenna facilities. — Read more via US Department of Labor

Bentley debuts collaborative passion project to benefit blood cancer research

Bentley and the SagerStrong Foundation have collaborated to create a bespoke tribute to the late Hall of Fame Sportscaster Craig Sager’s passion and vitality.

Bentley Americas and The SagerStrong Foundation, founded by the late Craig Sager and his wife Stacy, recently debuted a collaborative passion project dedicated to bringing Craig’s iconic, overwhelmingly positive, and exuberant energy to life. All in an effort to benefit blood cancer research, the vibrant design by the Bentley Mulliner team, who drew direct inspiration from Craig’s famous on-screen wardrobe, creates a one-off vehicle worthy of collectability and auction bidding early next year. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Saudi Aramco buys US automotive oil manufacturer Valvoline for $2.65bn

Saudi oil giant Aramco has acquired US-based Valvoline Inc global products business for $2.69bn, as the automotive oil manufacturer focuses on its retail services business, it announced on Monday.

The transaction is subject to certain customary adjustments set forth in the equity purchase agreement, the statement said.

Kentucky-based Valvoline is a producer and distributor of premium branded automotive, commercial and industrial lubricants and automotive chemicals. — Read more via Arabian Business

Calibre Scientific acquires Agar Scientific, a UK-based manufacturer and distributor of microscopy consumables and equipment

Calibre Scientific is pleased to announce the acquisition of Agar Scientific, a global manufacturer and distributor of microscopy consumables and equipment with headquarters in Stansted, United Kingdom. Agar Scientific further enhances Calibre Scientific’s growing presence in the field of microscopy. — Read more via BioSpace

Monday – 08/01/2022

Registration open for Digital Manufacturing Week 2022 – including Smart Factory Expo

Registration is now open for Digital Manufacturing Week, the UK’s festival of advanced manufacturing, which is taking place in Liverpool from 14-18 November, 2022.

Researched and produced by The Manufacturer magazine, Digital Manufacturing Week is made up of three core daytime events (Smart Factory Expo, Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit, and SME Growth Summit) and also includes The Manufacturer Top 100, The Manufacturer MX Awards, and a range of fringe events including networking dinners and factory tours. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Japan, US to boost economic cooperation

The Japanese and U.S. governments have clarified their intent to strengthen economic security through close cooperation to counter China’s rising military and economic power, and prepare for a possible emergency in Taiwan.

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda stressed the importance of next-generation semiconductors in particular at a press conference following the meeting of the Japan-U.S. Economic Policy Consultative Committee in Washington on Friday. — Read more via Inquirer.net

Toyota to leave UK if government bans hybrids

Toyota has threatened to stop manufacturing in the UK if the government goes ahead with its plans to ban the sale of hybrid cars from 2030.

The marquee told government officials the ban would constrain “manufacturing, retail and other business activities” as well as “future investment.”

According to the document, Toyota also pushed back against ministers’ plan to have manufacturers increase the percentage of EV sold until 2035.

Car makers are set to incur hefty fines if they don’t comply. — Read more via City AM

The Manufacturer Podcast – Leaders of industry

The editorial team – Tom, Joe and Lanna return with another episode of The Manufacturer Podcast. What are some of the current rudiments, trends and challenges for leaders in the sector?

Our Leadership Series kicks off with two excellent interviews. Firstly, we have an exclusive with John Pearce, CEO of Made in Britain, that celebrated its 10th birthday this year. John has been at the helm for the last seven years, and discusses what has changed in this time as well as what he believes the next 10 years could hold. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Friday – 07/29/2022

First Solar will consider US factory expansion if Democrat spending bill passes-CEO

First Solar Inc will consider expanding its US manufacturing operations if proposed climate change legislation that would subsidize solar equipment production is signed into law, its chief executive said on Thursday.

The comments by the top US solar panel maker marked a reversal for CEO Mark Widmar, who had said in recent weeks that his company was unlikely to build its next factory in the United States due to a lack of federal incentives for solar manufacturing. — Read more via Reuters

Bristol manufacturer to shut components plant as car manufacturers shift from gas-powered cars

Barnes Group Inc. said Thursday it’s shutting its Engineered Components plant in Bristol, employing 95 workers, in response to declining production of gasoline-powered cars, inflation and supply chain problems.

The plant serves the U.S. automotive industry and focuses on manufacturing, stamping and assembly of legacy transmission springs and washers. Barnes cited a decline in U.S. powertrain automotive production “as manufacturers increase their electric vehicle models.”

It said it decided to close the Bristol operations “to make Engineered Components more efficient and cost competitive.” — Read more via Hartford Courant

Pennsylvania governor announces Phoenix Tube expanding, creating 30 new manufacturing jobs in Bethlehem

Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf announced yesterday that Phoenix Tube Company, Inc., a leading manufacturer of stainless-steel products, is expanding its operation in Bethlehem, Northampton County. This expansion will allow the company to create and retain at least 165 total jobs.

Phoenix Tube is adding a new production line to manufacture small diameter stainless steel, titanium, and nickel alloy pressure tubing by constructing a 52,000-square-foot facility. The new facility will be located on a 2-acre company-owned parcel at 1085 Win Drive, adjacent to its existing facility. — Read more via Governor Tom Wolf

Chinese solar firms ramping up investment in Southeast Asia to evade US, European trade tensions

Chinese solar companies are increasingly establishing manufacturing bases in Southeast Asia and beyond in the face of rising geopolitical tension and in the pursuit of more competitive locations.

Southeast Asia has become one of the major offshoring destinations for Chinese solar companies since 2011, when the United States and Europe instigated anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probes against China, leading to hefty tariffs on solar imports from the country.

US trade actions since then, including bans on Xinjiang solar products linked to alleged forced labour, have increased pressure on Chinese firms and driven more to establish factories abroad. — Read more via South China Morning Post

Thursday – 07/28/2022

US Senate passes bill to boost chip manufacturing, compete with China

The US Senate on Wednesday passed sweeping legislation to subsidize the domestic semiconductor industry, hoping to boost companies as they compete with China and alleviate a persistent shortage that has affected everything from cars, weapons, washing machines and video games.

The House of Representatives plans to vote on Thursday on the long-awaited bill after the Senate passed it on a 64 to 33 bipartisan vote. If approved as expected, President Joe Biden plans to sign it into law early next week. — Read more via Reuters

DOE announces first Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan in more than a decade

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO) yesterday announced it closed a $102.1m loan to Syrah Technologies LLC for the expansion of its Syrah Vidalia Facility—a processingfacility that produces graphite-based active anode material (AAM), a critical material used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and other clean energy technologies. This marks the first loan from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program since 2011, and the first ATVM loan exclusively for a supply chain manufacturing project.

The project is expected to create approximately 150 construction jobs and 98 good-paying, highly skilled operations jobs. This investment demonstrates DOE’s commitment to building a strong domestic supply chain for zero-emission transportation solutions and supports the Biden Administration’s commitment to growing the U.S. workforce to support domestic battery manufacturing for EVs. — Read more via DOE

Universal Solar to open 600 MW solar module factory in Panama

Arizona-based solar module provider Universal Solar announced it will build a 600 MW PV panel manufacturing facility at the Colón Logistics Park located in the Colón Container Terminal CCT in Colón, Panama.

The factory has a surface of around 18,500 m2 and will rely on production equipment that Universal Solar is currently purchasing from undisclosed industry-leading original equipment manufacturers. — Read more via PV Magazine

VinFast to manufacture and sell its Vespa-style electric scooters in the US

VinFast, a Vietnam-based electric vehicle manufacturer rapidly expanding its US and European operations, is set to bring its electric scooters to US riders.

Those electric scooters are of the Vespa variety, not the standing kickscooter style that has also gained popularity in the US over the last few years.

Not only is VinFast planning to bring its electric scooters to the US, but they won’t have to travel far, either. — Read more via electrek

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association wins inaugural COSMA Leadership Award

For their work to attract and maintain the manufacturing workforce, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association won the 2022 Leadership Award from the Conference of State Manufacturers Associations. COSMA members also serve as the NAM’s official state partners and drive manufacturers’ priorities on state issues, mobilize local communities and help move federal policy from the ground up in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. — Read more via NAM

Wednesday – 07/27/2022

Volkswagen starts US assembly of all-electric ID.4 flagship in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Volkswagen of America (VWoA) yesterday marked the start of production of its all-electric ID.4 compact SUV in Chattanooga, Tenn., the company’s first electric vehicle assembled in the United States.

The ID.4 is Volkswagen Group’s most popular all-electric model, with 190,000 units delivered to customers globally since its launch in 2021.Volkswagen aims to ramp up ID.4 assembly in Chattanooga to 7,000 vehicles per month later this year, with the goal to further increase output through 2023. Consumers can expect vehicles to be delivered as early as October 2022. Initially, the American-assembled ID.4 will be available in either rear-wheel- or all-wheel-drive 82kWh battery form. In addition, a rear-wheel-drive version with a 62kWh battery will go into production later in 2022, with a lower MSRP. — Read more via Volkswagen

Whitmer announces 500 new jobs as high-tech auto electronics manufacturer Gentex expands in Zeeland

Yesterday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce that Gentex, a manufacturer of high-tech electronics for the auto, aerospace, and fire safety industries, is investing $300m to expand in Zeeland with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, creating 500 good-paying jobs. — Read more via Michigan.gov

Bill to boost US chip production and competition with China clears key Senate hurdle

A bipartisan bill to bolster domestic semiconductor manufacturing and boost U.S. competitiveness with China has cleared a key Senate vote, setting it up for final passage in the chamber in the coming days.

The so-called cloture vote to break the legislative filibuster was originally set for Monday evening, but had been postponed until Tuesday morning after severe thunderstorms on the East Coast disrupted some senators’ travel plans.

The vote passed 64-32. — Read more via CNBC

Tuesday – 07/26/2022

Intel’s turnaround and US chipmaking get a boost with MediaTek deal

Intel has signed up Taiwanese smartphone chip designer MediaTek as a major ally in its effort to reclaim its chipmaking leadership and ultimately restore the United States’ processor manufacturing prowess.

The partnership, revealed Monday, is important for the establishment of Intel Foundry Services, an effort to dramatically expand and transform Intel’s chipmaking business by making chips for other companies. Intel lost its lead with years of manufacturing problems that stalled it during the ascent of two Asian foundries, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Samsung. — Read more via CNET

Manufacturer Agribusiness to invest over $94m in South Carolina expansions

In response to the growing market demand for its autoinjector product portfolio, SHL Medical will invest $90m to build a new manufacturing site in North Charleston, SC. The decision stems from SHL’s strategic assessments in extending its production to North America. — Read more via Business Facilities

Sock manufacturer expands factory footprint from China into US

FutureStitch officially opened a Southern California factory after years of operating exclusively in China.

The sock maker that built its name on a 280,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art vertical knitwear factory in China’s Zhejiang province opened its first U.S. factory in Oceanside near its Orange County headquarters. Co-founding CEO Taylor Shupe said the 8,000-square-foot location represents a significant opportunity for the business, which serves Stance, Everlane, Crocs and Toms. — Read more via Sourcing Journal

Tesla cofounder is building a $3.5bn plant to make EV battery parts in the US

Redwood Materials, a battery recycling and materials company started by Tesla cofounder JB Straubel, will spend $3.5 billion through the end of the decade on a plant in Nevada making cathodes and other essential components for electric vehicle batteries. It will be the first such facility in the U.S. and initially have the capacity to supply material for 1 million EVs annually. — Read more via Forbes

US Energy Department set to loan GM battery joint venture $2.5bn

The U.S. Energy Department on Monday announced it intends to loan a joint venture of General Motors Co (GM.N) and LG Energy Solution (373220.KS) $2.5 billion to help finance construction of new lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities.

The conditional commitment for the loan to Ultium Cells LLC for facilities in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan is expected to close in the coming months and comes from the government’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program, which has not funded a new loan since 2010. — Read more via Reuters

Monday – 07/25/2022

Chips funding bill faces a final vote in Senate this week

A long-running push to provide $52bn in subsidies to domestic semiconductor manufacturers faces a final vote in the Senate this week via a bill that also includes tens of billions of dollars for the National Science Foundation and regional tech start-ups.

Semiconductor companies and universities are already jockeying for slices of the funding, in an early sign of what’s likely to be a heated competition, should the bill become law.

After months of debate and setbacks, the legislation resembles the United States Innovation and Competition Act, the original form of the bill intended to boost U.S. competitiveness against China, which cleared the Senate last year but ran aground in the House. — Read more via The Washington Post

Manufacturer survey details impact of robotics integration on facilities and Workers

Manufacturers must continue to automate to remain competitive, but the introduction of robotics systems will impact their facilities and human workers. The results of a recent survey by Veo Robotics of 500 manufacturers the US, UK, and Japan provides insights into the optimal path forward when introducing robotics systems, and challenges conventional thinking. — Read more via Robotics Business Review

Allen Edmonds celebrates 100 years Of US shoemaker craft

Allen Edmonds, the fine menswear shoe brand, is celebrating its centennial, having been founded in 1922 in Belgium, WI. It’s honoring its past by dipping into its archive to release limited editions of collectible styles, like the classic Mora Double Monk model, and looking to its future by offering the Mora in a sneaker version.

Now headquartered about ten miles down the road in Port Washington, Allen Edmonds has a storied past. It gained a generation of lifelong followers after supplying footwear to the U.S. Army and Navy during World War II. And it’s been the choice for every president on inauguration day from Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush until Barack Obama broke the tradition. To date, it’s sold over 12 million pairs of shoes. — Read more via Forbes

Qcells to secure solar glass from Canada for its US manufacturing operation

Hanwha, parent corporation of Qcells, is establishing a domestic, low-carbon solar supply chain to support its solar energy growth strategy in North America, where it is constructing a manufacturing facility in Georgia to nearly double its total US production capacity to over 3 GW. In keeping with its intent to source low-carbon products domestically, the company has signed an agreement to source solar glass from Canadian Premium Sand (CPS). — Read more via PV Magazine

Friday – 07/22/2022

China’s top chipmaker achieves breakthrough despite US curbs

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. has likely advanced its production technology by two generations, defying US sanctions intended to halt the rise of China’s largest chipmaker.

The Shanghai-based manufacturer is shipping Bitcoin-mining semiconductors built using 7-nanometer technology, industry watcher TechInsights wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. That’s well ahead of SMIC’s established 14nm technology, a measure of fabrication complexity in which narrower transistor widths help produce faster and more efficient chips. Since late 2020, the US has barred the unlicensed sale to the Chinese firm of equipment that can be used to fabricate semiconductors of 10nm and beyond, infuriating Beijing. — Read more via Bloomberg

SHL Medical to build $90m assembly plant in Carolina

SHL Medical is investing $90m to build a new assembly plant here to make autoinjector products. The 270,000-square-foot facility is expected to create some 165 jobs. Operations are expected to launch by 2024.

The vertically integrated factory will include injection molding and fully automated assembly capabilities. The factory will also have a flexible supply chain.

The factory will be the company’s second new factory in the next few years. The company is also building a new assembly plant in Switzerland. — Read more via Assembly

Nature’s Sunshine’s US manufacturing facility now powered by 100% solar energy

Nature’s Sunshine Products has officially converted its Spanish Fork manufacturing facility, which manufactures the majority of the company’s herbal supplements, to an infrastructure that is powered by 100% solar energy.

With this announcement, the company made significant strides to meet its ESG goal to transition its owned manufacturing facilities to 100% renewable energy sources by 2023. The switch to solar energy is also a move toward achieving other ESG goals, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2025, zero waste to landfill by 2025 at U.S. distribution centers, and a 33% waste reduction at manufacturing facilities by 2025. — Read more via Direct Selling News

Turkish-style shoemaker Sabah opens its first US footwear factory in El Paso

The company, founded by Dallas native Mickey Ashmore, opted to bring its first US workshop to the “Boot Capital of the World.”

Sabah, the shoemaking company founded by Dallas native Mickey Ashmore, has made its name by hawking handmade, Turkish-style slippers. And yet, the worldly business now finds itself a little closer to home. — Read more via The Dallas Morning News

Thursday – 07/21/2022

Senate advances more than $50bn bill to boost US semiconductor production

The Senate voted to advance a slimmed-down version of its bill designed to boost US semiconductor competition with China.

The bill cleared a key procedural hurdle Tuesday evening in a 64-34 vote even as lawmakers worked to finish various sections of the legislation.

The bill, which would provide about $50bn in subsidies to bolster US computer chip manufacturing, is a multifaceted bipartisan effort that combines the interests of several committees, ranging from national security to economics. — Read more via CNBC

US microchip supplier says it will build $1.8bn plant in Indiana

U.S. semiconductor manufacturer SkyWater Technology Inc. on Wednesday said it plans to invest $1.8bn for a chip research and production facility in Indiana, in partnership with the state and Purdue University.

The announcement comes a day after the US Senate voted to move ahead with a slimmed-down version of a legislation, known as the CHIPS Act, to give billions of dollars in subsidies and tax credits for the semiconductor industry. — Read more via Automotive News

UK signs second state-level agreement with North Carolina

The UK yesterday (20 July) marked another milestone in its US state level strategy as it signs its second trade and economic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a US state – North Carolina.

Like the MoU signed with Indiana in May, the agreement with North Carolina will look to tackle unnecessary barriers to trade, cut costs and slash paperwork so British and North Carolinian businesses can work together more efficiently. — Read more via GOV UK

America officially open for business at Farnborough

After a break of four years, the US presence at the Farnborough International Airshow, organised by Kallman Worldwide in the form of the USA Partnership Pavilion, has returned in full throttle.

In Farnborough, at the birthplace of British aviation, there are 200+ US companies exhibiting in the USA Partnership Pavilion, covering at total of 3,300m2 across Halls 2, 3 and 4.

The Pavilion forms the centrepiece of the American national presence at the show and was organised in co-ordination with numerous government agencies, including the US Department of Commerce & US Department of Defense. The increased American presence at the show this year demonstrates the country’s overall commitment to increased trade, economic growth, prosperity, and global security. — Read more via Aerospace Manufacturing

UK government blocks Chinese tech deal on national security grounds

The government has blocked the acquisition of intellectual property (IP) by a foreign company for the first time under new national security powers.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced on Wednesday evening that he had issued an order to prevent Beijing Infinite Vision Technology (BIVT) from buying the vision sensing technology from the University of Manchester.

A deal would have allowed the China-based firm to develop, test, manufacture, use and sell licenced products. — Read more via Sky News

Amy’s Kitchen to close US factory

US food manufacturer Amy’s Kitchen is to shut a manufacturing facility in California.

Privately-owned Amy’s Kitchen leased the factory in San Jose last year to meet the rising demand for its pizza products, which had been boosted by changes in consumer habits during the pandemic.

However, the company said supply-chain disruption and “abrupt” cost increases mean the site is losing money. — Read more via Just Food

Leonardo signs contract with European Space Agency to produce robotic arm for use on Mars

The mission to return samples of the Martian surface back to Earth for the first time will see a 2.5-metre-long robotic arm land on the red planet by the end of the decade.

This week, at the Farnborough International Airshow, Leonardo signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to design, manufacture, integrate and test that arm, called the Sample Transfer Arm, for the Mars Sample Return programme. NASA leads the mission in collaboration with ESA. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Wednesday – 07/20/2022

BASF invests $780m in US chemical plant expansion

BASF announced a final investment decision on a $780m project to double production capacity at its chemical manufacturing complex in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. The move marks the launch of the third and final phase of an expansion plan announced in 2018.

Counting all three expansion phases and other site investments, BASF will retain more than 1,000 existing jobs and add 37 new direct jobs with average annual salaries from $86,600 to $105,600 per year, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates that the total project plan will result in 147 new indirect jobs, for a total of 184 new jobs in the region. — Read more via Manufacturing Business Technology

GE Appliances launches appliance manufacturing in Connecticut

GE Appliances President & CEO Kevin Nolan and local workforce development leaders celebrated the opening of the company’s newest manufacturing operation in Stamford, CT yesterday. As part of the celebration, the first appliance rolled off the production line at the new microfactory, dubbed CoCREATE Stamford. — Read more via Business Facilities

US solar company GAF Energy to open Texas manufacturing plant

US solar company GAF Energy will open a new factory in Texas to produce its residential solar roof shingles domestically rather than in Asia, it said on Tuesday.

The announcement comes amid growing US concerns about the reliance on Chinese-made solar products of an industry considered critical to meeting the nation’s climate change goals. — Read more via Reuters

Jobs in renewable energy are growing in the US – here are the highlights

The transition to renewables is boosting employment opportunities in the US, a new report finds. In its United States Energy & Employment Report 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy reveals green job rises in every energy sector.

More than 3 million of the 7.8 million jobs in the US energy sector are in areas aligned to America’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. This means renewable energy jobs in 2021 accounted for around 40% of total energy jobs. — Read more via World Economic Forum

Manufacturer marketing new-look Humvees to US allies

AM General is pitching its latest Humvee variant to U.S. allies as the middle ground between the joint light tactical vehicle and the company’s classic Humvee.

The Humvee Saber is a light tactical vehicle developed by AM General independent of any program requirements. Rather, the company designed and built the 11,000- to 15,000-pound vehicle to fill a capability gap it saw in the tactical market between heavy JLTVs and the lighter Humvees, AM General CEO Jim Cannon said in an interview during the Eurosatory exposition in Paris. — Read more via National Defense

Tuesday – 07/19/2022

Joby Aviation applies for UK certification of its eVTOL aircraft

Aiming to enter the vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft market in the United Kingdom, Aviation has formally applied to the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for approval of its five-seat piloted all-electric aircraft.

Joby Aviation has already applied for type certification from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and expects the US to become its first operating market.

According to a statement from the California-based manufacturer released on July 17, 2022, Joby Aviation hopes that applying for foreign validation of its pending FAA type certificate will speed up its entry into the UK market. — Read more via Aerotime Hub

Tech bill aims to block US aid for companies that build advanced chips in China

A bill providing roughly $52bn to boost US semiconductor manufacturing would impose so-called guardrails aimed at ensuring adversarial countries such as China don’t benefit too, according to the draft legislation.

The chip legislation has been narrowed from a broader bill to help the US better compete in advanced technology, and details are still being hashed out ahead of expected procedural votes in the Senate as soon as Tuesday. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

US chip industry split over CHIPS act benefits to Intel

Several U.S. semiconductor firms are deliberating whether to oppose a package of chip industry subsidies if the final language of the legislation awaiting a vote in the Senate disproportionately benefits manufacturers like Intel, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has told lawmakers that a vote could come as early as Tuesday on a slimmed-down set of bills to bolster the U.S. computer chip industry, after Democratic lawmakers cleaved them from a larger, more contentious bill. — Read more via CNBC

BC’s green construction unicorn Nexii raises $35m, opens U.S. manufacturing site

Nexii — a Vancouver, B.C. startup with the distinction of being Canada’s fastest company to ascend from launch to unicorn status — has raised a new $35m round. The company said that its current valuation is nearly $1.6bn.

The funding round was led by Horizon Technology Finance and Trinity Capital. The company previously raised $45m in September 2021. — Read more via Geek Wire

Delta buys 100 Boeing Max planes, its first major order with the manufacturer in more than a decade

Delta Air Lines is buying 100 Boeing 737 Max 10 planes, its first major order for new aircraft from the U.S. manufacturer in more than a decade.

The deal has options for 30 more of the planes. Deliveries are slated to begin in 2025.

The new order is good news for Boeing as Airbus recently won high-profile sales, including to several of China’s state-owned airlines. Boeing lamented trade tensions when that order was announced. — Read more via CNBC

Monday – 07/18/2022

GAF to invest $80m in Illinois manufacturing facility

In Illinois, GAF will invest $80m to build a 450,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in North Peru. A Standard Industries company, New Jersey-based GAF is North America’s largest roofing and waterproofing manufacturer. The facility, located just north of I-80 and west of Plank Road on the OmniTRAX rail line, will manufacture the company’s EnergyGuard™ line of products. Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of this year with production beginning on the site in 2024. — Read more via Business Facilities

Fisker poaches BMW US plant executive to lead global manufacturing

Fisker has hired longtime BMW executive Alpay Uguz to lead its global manufacturing efforts as the startup plans to begin production of its first electric vehicle later this year.

Uguz joins Fisker as senior vice president of global manufacturing after spending nearly a decade helping run BMW Group’s joint venture with China’s Brilliance Group. Most recently, he served as general manager at BMW’s SUV plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. — Read more via Inside EVs

Kyndryl to modernize IT Infrastructure for Honda’s US subsidiary

IT infrastructure services provider Kyndryl has struck a multi-year agreement with American Honda Motor Company (AHM) to support the manufacturer’s infrastructure transformation.

Building on the pair’s existing relationship, Kyndryl will help modernize AHM’s operations across its US manufacturing plants, as well as research and development, captive finance, and sales operations.

In an announcement, the services provider said the collaboration will support the car giant’s efforts to harness its data and “bring more innovation to its customers.” — Read more via IT Pro

Modular home manufacturer chooses Greensboro as launching pad for US market

The manufacturing revival in the Triad is set for another Back to the Future moment with the pending arrival of an international modular home manufacturer.

Privately held Vantem Global Inc. has chosen Greensboro as the launching pad for a U.S. rollout of up to 15 plants by 2030.

Vantem recently established an office at 806 Green Valley Road, Suite 200, with co-founder and chief executive Chris Anderson already in place. — Read more via Winston-Salem Journal

Friday – 07/15/2022

California is still the largest contributor to the US manufacturing industry

Despite California’s famously high cost of living, the state remains the largest contributor to the U.S. manufacturing industry in terms of both employment and output. A comprehensive new analysis examines the manufacturing industry in California and reveals some surprising findings that contradict the popular perception that the industry and its workers have been priced out of the state.

The report, produced by Beacon Economics LLC and commissioned by California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), found that the state’s manufacturing output has exceeded the national rate by 83% since the late 1990s. And contrary to widespread belief, California’s share of manufacturing jobs in the United States has ticked up slightly since 2000, currently standing at 11%. — Read more via The Globe and Mail

PepsiCo plans its largest US beverage plant

PepsiCo Beverages North America on Wednesday acquired nearly 152 acres of land at the Denver High Point development area, where it will build a state-of-the-art, 1.2 million-square-foot manufacturing facility.

Set to open in 2023, the new facility is PBNA’s latest project as part of its nearly 75-year investment in the Denver community, including the company’s River North Art District location that has been in operation since the 1950s. The new development, located near the intersection of 72nd Avenue and Argonne Street, holds three times the capacity of the current facility and will be PBNA’s largest U.S. plant location. — Read more via Manufacturing Business Technology

US commits $56m in new funding for domestic solar manufacturing

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) led solar stocks (NYSEARCA:TAN) higher Thursday after the Biden administration said it would contribute $56M to programs aimed at boosting U.S. manufacturing of solar energy products, Reuters reports.

The new funding from the Department of Energy will support technologies that are alternatives to the silicon-based products that dominate the market and are primarily made in Asia. — Read more via Seeking Alpha

Thailand trailer manufacturer Panus enters U.S. market

Panus has entered the U.S. market with its first delivery of 150 container chassis semi-trailers, the Thailand-based trailer manufacturer reported.

Panus Assembly Co. Ltd. has signed an exclusive distribution agreement to supply intermodal equipment to the newly established Panus USA LLC. Under the new agreement, Panus will supply more than 3,000 semi-trailers to the North American market in 2022, 7,000 trailers in 2023, and 12,000 in 2024, according to the company statement. — Read more via Fleet Owner

Industrial sensor group completes acquisition of battery PCS manufacturer Dynapower

The sale of Dynapower by private equity firm Pfingsten to industrial sensor manufacturer Sensata Technologies has been completed.

The US power electronics company manufactures power conversion systems (PCS) and other equipment widely used in battery energy storage systems, including the DC-to-DC converters that drive Powin Energy’s grid-scale DC-coupled solutions for solar-plus-storage projects. Dynapower began selling DC converters in 2017, far earlier than most of its competitors.

Other products made by the company since its founding in the 1960s include power transformers, AC-DC inverters, hydrogen electrolysers and fuel cells, specialist equipment for industries, defence and more. — Read more via Energy Storage News

Thursday – 07/14/2022

Panasonic to build $4bn EV battery plant for Tesla in US

Panasonic Holdings will invest $4 billion in a second U.S. electric vehicle battery factory in Kansas, its subsidiary Panasonic Energy announced on Thursday, confirming an earlier Nikkei report. The factory is expected to hire as many as 4,000 employees and supply a new high-capacity battery for Tesla. — Read more via Nikkei Asia

Vietnam’s VinFast to raise $4bn for US manufacturing facility via banks

Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast said Wednesday it has signed international financing agreements with Credit Suisse and Citigroup in order to raise $4bn capital for the development of its planned manufacturing facility in North Carolina and its business activities in the United States (US) market.

VinFast said in a statement each agreement has a minimum financing value of approximately $2 billion which could include debt or private placements of equity. — Read more via Tech Node

Fabral opens new manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City

Fabral Metal Wall and Roof Systems has opened a new manufacturing plant in Salt Lake City. The facility replaces the manufacturer’s existing plant in Cedar City, Utah, providing more space, enhanced features, and easier access to its core customer base and a deeper labor pool. The new plant, one of eight the company operates around the US, will primarily manufacture Fabral’s post-frame product lines, including Grandrib panels, 7/8” and 2½” corrugated panels, Mighti-Rib ® panels, and accessories such as flashing and trim. — Read more via Valdosta Daily Times

NIAR receives $3m grant for advanced manufacturing

The National Institute of Aviation Research received a $3m grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. U.S Senator Jerry Moran was in Wichita Wednesday morning to announce the grant for advanced manufacturing, specifically additive manufacturing technology to NIAR’s portfolio. The additive technology is 3-D printing and grant money will go toward a large 3-D printer. — Read more via kwch.com

Wednesday – 07/13/2022

Peloton to stop making its own bikes, treadmills

Peloton will stop making its own interactive stationary bikes and treadmills, outsourcing those duties to a Taiwanese manufacturer as it attempts to revive sales that surged during the pandemic.

The New York City company, which recorded its only profitable quarters during the pandemic, is seeking to lower costs after sales slid when gyms began to reopen and cheaper knockoffs entered the market.

It will suspend manufacturing operations at the Tonic Fitness Technology plant in Taiwan for the rest of the year. — Read more via US News & World Report

GE Renewable Energy abandons plan for Teesside, UK blade factory

GE Renewable Energy has cancelled plans for the construction of an offshore wind blade manufacturing plant on Teesside, northeastern England, The Northern Echo reports.

The US manufacturer has told local authorities it has decided not to move forward with the plan due to a lack of volume. Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, meanwhile, was quoted as saying that the plan has been scrapped as the General Electric unit has failed to secure enough orders with potential clients. — Read more via Renewables Now

Manufacturer completes $20m investment in Richmond

An insulation and commercial roofing company has completed a $20m investment in its Richmond facility. Johns Manville says the effort supported new equipment for its blowing wool insulation manufacturing process and helped retain more than 100 jobs.

The Denver-based company manufactures insulation and commercial roofing as well as glass fibers and nonwovens for commercial, industrial, and residential applications.

The company shut down the facility in late April in order to rebuild a glass melter and fiberglass collection chambers. Crews also upgraded electrical and controls equipment and installed new robotics. — Read more via Inside Indiana Business

Pepsi Bottling Ventures invests $35m in US factory expansion

Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC (PBV) is making a $35m investment to install a new state-of-the-art bottling line at its production facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The line will improve efficiencies in the company’s manufacturing operations by optimizing production capacity for some of the bottler’s largest growing brands, including Aquafina and Lipton Tea, and PBV-owned brand Nature’s Twist. — Read more via Beverage Daily

IBM is giving its enterprise server line-up a huge new addition

IBM is expanding its Power10 line of enterprise servers, introducing new mid-range and scale-out systems.

The tech giant said the new launches were engineered for data-intensive workloads such as SAP S/4HANA, and offers additional ways to implement dynamic capacity, including metering across operating environments such as IBM i, AIX, Linux, and OpenShift.

IBM owns the popular Linux distro Red Hat, which is widely adopted by enterprise servers, and says its Power10 line is optimized specifically for it. — Read more via Tech Radar

Tuesday – 07/12/2022

Continental acquiring US belting manufacturer WCCO

Fairlawn, Ohio – Continental AG has agreed to acquire US-based family-owned belting manufacturer WCCO Belting in a bid to strengthen its conveying solutions business in the agricultural industry.

Headquartered in Wahpeton, North Dakota, WCCO Belting was established in 1954 and currently employs more than 300 people.

It manufactures and distributes farm machinery applications such as draper belts, baler belts, pickup belts, tube conveyor belts, merger belts, as well as industrial belt applications for material and package handling, recycling, forestry, and aggregates. — Read more via European Rubber Journal

SD Biosensor acquires US diagnostic manufacturer for 2tn won

SD Biosensor said on July 8 that it will acquire Meridian Bioscience, the US diagnostic manufacturer, for about 2tn won along with SJL Partners, a Korean private equity fund (PEF).

This is the largest merger and acquisition (M&A), in which a domestic pharmaceutical company acquires a foreign company, SD Biosensor said. — Read more via ANI

Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing Market Size to reach USD 78,744 Million by 2030 Exclusive Report by Acumen Research and Consulting

The Global Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing Market size accounted for USD 2,963 Million in 2021 and is estimated to reach USD 78,744 Million by 2030.

The rising volume of complex data sets is the leading factor boosting the global artificial intelligence in manufacturing market revenue. Our worldwide artificial intelligence in manufacturing industry analysis suggests that the manufacturers require artificial intelligence (AI) in their facilities due to the surging need for enhanced productivity and automation. — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Intel hits another speed bump with delayed Mobileye IPO

Intel’s ambitious plan to become the leading chip manufacturer again has hit another speed bump as the planned initial public offering for its Mobileye business has been postponed.

The semiconductor giant announced in December it planned to take its automotive tech business public via IPO by mid-2022. But according to a Sunday report by Israeli technology news outlet Calcalist, that plan has been delayed as deteriorating market conditions have prompted Intel and Mobileye to hit the brakes, at least for now, over fears that a public listing would subject it to high volatility in the stock market. — Read more via The Register

Monday – 07/11/2022

Manufacturers open doors for inaugural National Manufacturing Day

Manufacturers across the UK opened their doors to local communities for Make UK’s inaugural National Manufacturing Day on Thursday 7 July , providing an insight into the amazing careers, technologies and skills the manufacturing sector boasts. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Boeing delivers 150th P-8 maritime patrol aircraft

The newest Boeing P-8 maritime patrol, reconnaissance aircraft has taken to the skies, bringing the total number of P-8s delivered to 150.

The 150th multi-mission P-8 will be operated by the US Navy’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) One, based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. — Read more via Aerospace Manufacturing

President Biden must support US manufacturing through trade

Jennifer Safavian, CEO of Autos Drive America, says the president must pursue policies that strengthen U.S. manufacturing and enhance trading partnerships with allies without picking who gets to benefit here at home. — Read more via Automotive News

The Manufacturer Podcast: National Manufacturing Day Special

The editorial team are back with a special episode of The Manufacturer Podcast – how are industry influencers trying to help out businesses and present a true reflection of the diverse nature of manufacturing? — Read more via The Manufacturer

Deloitte: The end of the semiconductor shortage is near

Semiconductor chips have been in short supply for the past couple of years, as the supply chain has been whipsawed by the pandemic.

The shortage has impacted the entire electronics food chain of products, as chips are the basic building blocks of all things electronic.

The shortage was complicated because complex devices such as game consoles can require thousands of components. If a single $1 chip isn’t available, it could hold up the shipment and sale of a device, appliance, or vehicle worth much more, Deloitte said. — Read more via Venture Beat


Friday – 07/08/2022

Ravago acquires Aurora & Venture to strengthen its presence in the UK’s post-use recycled plastics market

Ravago has announced it has aquired Aurora Manufacturing Ltd and Venture Polymers (UK) Ltd, both market leaders in recycling post-consumer waste plastics in the UK. This acquisition will extend Ravago’s Ravapura™ product portfolio, hereby increasing opportunities to use PCR-based compounds in a variety of markets and applications. — Read more via Ravago

There’s a huge problem for the clean energy shift and it comes from China, unprecedented IEA report says

On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published a new, unprecedented report on the global solar transition as the world experiences another energy crisis due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. There’s good news and bad news.

While solar power has become the cheapest source of green energy worldwide because of China’s “instrumental” role in solar manufacturing, according to Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, reliance on the Far East also represents a considerable vulnerability. — Read more via Fortune

Comau and Seabery unveil cutting-edge robotic welding training to expand opportunities and promote an increasingly skilled workforce

Comau and Seabery have joined forces to create an innovative educational training program for students and workers that allows them to practice the skills needed to become proficient and certified robotic welders. The comprehensive and scalable solution is designed to help fulfill the global demand for expert welding professionals. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Tenaris to buy US steel pipe producer for $460m

Tenaris SA said on Thursday it would acquire U.S. seamless steel pipe producer Benteler Steel & Tube Manufacturing Corp for $460m as the Luxembourg-based company seeks to expand its manufacturing capabilities in the country.

Tenaris, a global manufacturer of steel pipes, will acquire 100% of Benteler Steel on a cash-free, debt-free basis, which includes $52m of working capital, it said in a statement. — Read more via Reuters

Volkswagen takes on US, China rivals with battery factory

Volkswagen celebrated Thursday the beginning of work on its first in-house battery factory, as the German auto giant looks to head off competition from US and Chinese electric vehicle upstarts.

The firm plans to “steer the worldwide battery offensive” from the new plant in Salzgitter in central Germany, CEO Herbert Diess told a ceremony attended by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Volkswagen has set itself the ambitious aim of becoming the world’s biggest electric car manufacturer by 2025, pouring a total of 46bn euros ($46.8bn) over the next five years into the drive. — Read more via Barron’s

Gensol Engineering set to acquire majority stake in US based EV manufacturing startup

Gensol Engineering has today 07 July 2022 signed a term sheet to pick up majority stake in a US based electric vehicle manufacturing startup which is subject to the terms and conditions of the term sheet, approval of Board of Directors of the Company and subject to due diligence clearance including FEMA Act.

The majority stake acquisition of this startup will allow Gensol to have an in-house manufacturing facility for capturing the highly explosive growth of the EV market, keeping in mind that the case for immediate electrification of consumer transport is undeniable. — Read more via Business Standard

Thursday – 07/07/2022

UK Government gives green light to acquisition of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc by Cobham Ultra Acquisitions Limited

Following advice from the Ministry of Defence and after careful consideration of responses to a consultation, the Business Secretary yesterday cleared the acquisition of Ultra by Cobham to proceed.

The announcement follows the Business Secretary consulting on steps to address the national security concerns raised by the proposed acquisition of Ultra, a UK defence company, by Cobham, a defence, aerospace, and communications company that was acquired by US private equity firm Advent International. The government consultation on the undertakings offered by the companies to address the concerns identified ran until 3 July 2022. — Read more via Gov.UK

VinFast is investing tens of millions in solid-state battery manufacturer ProLogium

Vietnamese EV automaker VinFast is continuing its lightning-fast growth and expansion by announcing a long-term, strategic partnership with solid-state battery manufacturer ProLogium. Following a signed Memorandum on Understanding, ProLologium will provide solid-state battery cells to VinFast vehicles beginning in 2024.

VinFast is an automotive manufacturing subsidiary of VinGroup, a multifaceted Vietnamese conglomerate dabbling in everything from healthcare to five-star resorts and even theme parks. At the LA Auto Show last fall, Electrek got a first glimpse of the automaker’s first two EVs – the VF 8 and VF 9. — Read more via electrek

Minnesota company poised to purchase Dayton manufacturer

Bovey, Minn.-based Highland Holdings II LLC signed a purchase agreement to acquire Dayton’s Precision Manufacturing Co. Inc., the purchasing company said Wednesday.

Terms of the acquisition were not released. Highland intends to keep Precision’s Valley Street plant open while retaining the Precision name, it said.

A closing is expected in the third quarter this year.

Nearly two years ago, Highland took over Minnesota-based MNSTAR, and the business says sales have increased100 percent. — Read more via Dayton Daily News

Foley white paper examines top legal issues facing the manufacturing sector in 2022

Foley & Lardner LLP has published its inaugural Manufacturing White Paper examining the business and legal trends that will influence manufacturing industry business decisions.

As the global economy faces the third year of the pandemic, manufacturers are no longer focused on figuring out when things will return to “normal.” Instead, they are applying lessons learned from the past few years to become even more agile and resilient as they evolve their operations to succeed in this “new normal.” — Read more via Foley & Lardner LLP

Wednesday – 07/06/2022

American factories are making stuff again as CEOs take production out of China

There has been a sense in financial circles that the fever among American executives to shorten supply lines and bring production back home would prove short-lived. As soon as the pandemic started to fade, so too would the fad, the thinking went.

And yet, two years in, not only is the trend still alive, it appears to be rapidly accelerating.  Read more via Bloomberg

Tech talent shortage slows reshoring of chip manufacturing in US

As Intel, Samsung, TSMC, and others move ahead with plans for new computer chip development and manufacturing plants in the US, those efforts are running into a new headwind: there aren’t enough people with the skills needed to run the facilities.

The skills gap is exacerbating a chip supply shortage that predated disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic — but the pandemic made matters worse.  Read more via Computer World

US exempts tariffs on Vietnamese solar panels for 2 Years

The US government recently approved a 24-month tariff exemption for solar panels from four Southeast Asian countries: Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand to meet national renewable electricity demand. Vietnam Briefing looks at the opportunities and how Vietnam’s solar panel manufacturing is likely to benefit in the long term.  Read more via Vietnam Briefing

US company, L&T arm to develop electric air taxi jointly

A subsidiary of Indian engineering giant L&T will develop an eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) air taxi jointly with Texas-based aerospace company, Air Mobility. L&T Technology Services Ltd (LTTS) says it has won a multi-year $100m plus electric air mobility deal from Jaunt that has its design and manufacturing centre in Montreal, Canada.

As part of the contract, LTTS says it will open an engineering and R&D Centre in Canada “for the next-gen electric aircraft manufacturer to provide engineering services for the eVTOL air taxi.”  Read more via Times of India

Biotech manufacturer Meddux doubles Boulder footprint with new plant

Meddux Development Corp. LLC, a contract manufacturer for the life-sciences industry, has opened a new, nearly 22,000-square-foot facility at 6165 Lookout Road in Boulder’s Gunbarrel neighborhood, doubling its footprint compared to its prior operation on Sterling Drive.

Boulder County real estate records show that Meddux, through holding company 6165 Lookout LLC, bought the building last year from Neidecker LLC for just a tad less than $4m.  Read more via Daily Camera

Tuesday – 07/05/2022

Chip makers are refusing to build new semiconductor plants in the US

GlobalWafers, a Taiwan- based semiconductor manufacturing firm that is positioned to be the third biggest manufacturer of chips across the world has declared its proposal to set up a manufacturing industry worth $5bn in the United States. It further said that it would set up the factory only if the ministry of the U.S. agrees to assist in paying for the factory.

On June 4 when the firm declared its proposal the Secretary of Commerce of the United States said that the chief executive of the firm told her that the financing that the firm would be doing in the U.S. is dependent on Congress approving the CHIPS bill.

The council has already approved the bill that issued an amount of $52bn in financing for provincial investors to fund the local semiconductor manufacturing market earlier in January last year. However, it has not yet officially set aside any allocation to fund the CHIPS Act.  Read more via Tech Story

Digital transformation helps fuel American manufacturing activities, reshoring initiative finds

The pandemic’s impact on the supply chain stirred much debate about the role of overseas suppliers in critical product categories, and at the time many companies asserted their intention to reshore certain operations.

Fast forward to today… did these pledges from U.S. companies pan out? According to the Reshoring Initiative, the Harry Moser-led organization designed to help bring American jobs back, the answer is yes.

Recently published data contends that, in 2021, reshoring and foreign direct investment (or FDI) job announcements were propelled to a record 261,000 for the year. The group says the additions helped the total reshoring job gains reach a monumental 1.3 million since 2010.  Read more via Thomas Insights

Inari to increase production ahead of US smartphone launch

Chip assembly and testing firm, Inari Amertron Bhd is preparing to ramp up its radio frequency (RF) business for a smartphone launch in the United States in September.

Following Kenanga Research’s recent visit to Inari’s production facility, the research house said the group’s utilisation rate is expected to gradually increase to around 90% closer to the launch date, compared with the current 75%.  Read more via The Star

Volvo builds new EV manufacturing plant in Slovakia

Volvo Cars is positioned to meet the ongoing customer demand for electric vehicles and to seize possible future growth with the recent announcement that it will build a third production facility in Europe.

The company’s goal to produce only electric cars and achieve climate neutrality by 2040 will be supported by the new state-of-the-art facility. Volvo Cars also aims to keep expanding its global production capacity to meet its growth goals.

By choosing Slovakia as the location for its new facility, Volvo Cars creates a European manufacturing triangle that covers its largest sales region, complementing the Torslanda plant in Sweden and the Ghent plant in Belgium.  Read more via Zig Wheels

Monday – 07/04/2022

US factory activity slows to two-year low as clouds gather over economy

US manufacturing activity slowed more than expected in June, with a measure of new orders contracting for the first time in two years, signs that the economy was cooling amid aggressive monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve.

The survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Friday also showed a gauge of factory employment contracting for a second straight month, though an “overwhelming majority” of companies indicated they were hiring.  Read more via Reuters

Daher becomes Boeing supplier with purchase of Florida site from Triumph

French aircraft manufacturer Daher has completed the purchase from Triumph Group of an aerostructures business in Florida, becoming a direct supplier to major aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and Gulfstream.

Daher, which manufactures TBM 940 and Kodiak 100 turboprops, completed the purchase on 1 July. It had in February revealed its plan to acquire the Florida site but has not disclosed the purchase price.

The deal marks further US expansion by Daher and continues Triumph’s divestitures of various aerostructures businesses.  Read more via Flight Global

Toray supplies HiCAM project with thermoset, thermoplastic prepreg technologies

Toray (Tokyo, Japan), a global company offering innovative technologies and advanced high-performance materials, is among the list of composite material suppliers that are members of the NASA Advanced Composites Consortium (ACC) and are supporting NASA’s (Washington, D.C., U.S.) Hi-Rate Composite Aircraft Manufacturing (HiCAM) project. The ACC is a public-private partnership which includes NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), select aerospace and materials companies, and academia that supports the HiCAM project. The project seeks to dramatically improve the manufacturing rates of composite airframe structures for future single-aisle commercial aircraft manufactured in the U.S. Its approach includes the use of high-rate composite technologies to improve production rates and cost without sacrificing weight and performance attributes.  Read more via Composites World

Boeing pain from US-China trade war seen in Airbus bonanza

After Boeing Co.’s European archrival revealed a major deal to provide aircraft to Chinese carriers, the US-based planemaker bemoaned its home country’s trade war with China for bruising its business prospects.

“As a top US exporter with a 50-year relationship with China’s aviation industry, it is disappointing that geopolitical differences continue to constrain US aircraft exports,” a Boeing spokesperson said Friday in a statement.

The agreement for Airbus SE to provide 292 planes to Chinese airlines in a deal worth $37bn is a stark reminder of Boeing’s uncertain standing in one of the world’s largest travel markets. Both Airbus and Boeing have held long-running talks for large narrow-body aircraft orders that would help China replenish and grow its domestic fleet this decade, said a person familiar with the matter.  Read more via Bloomberg

Friday – 07/01/2022

Salmonella halts production at ‘world’s biggest’ chocolate factory

Salmonella has halted production at the ‘world’s biggest’ chocolate factory, the Barry Callebaut plant in Wieze, Belgium.

Barry Callebaut announced that it had suspended production at the Wieze site until further notice and blocked all products manufactured since the time of testing (June 25).  Read more via Food Manufacture

Asia stocks mixed after Wall St down, China manufacturing up

Asian stock markets were mixed Thursday after the U.S. economy contracted and China reported stronger factory activity.

Shanghai and Hong Kong gained, while Tokyo and Seoul declined. Oil prices advanced.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index edged down 0.1% on Wednesday after data showed the U.S. economy shrank in the first quarter amid high inflation and weakening consumer confidence.  Read more via US News & World Report

Most US solar importers should be able to meet UFLPA requirements, SEIA says

US authorities’ move to require documentation showing the source of quartzite in solar module imports should come as no surprise, experts have said, amid suggestions most companies will be able to overcome the latest hurdle that threatens to delay shipments.

Under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), solar panel importers are now required to trace their supply chains and prove that key inputs, including quartzite, are not coming from China’s Xinjiang region, according to Dan Whitten, vice president of public affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).  Read more via PV Tech

US Department of Labor proposes $315kmore in fines for Ohio vehicle parts manufacturer that continues to expose workers to dangerous machine hazards

An Ohio aluminum vehicle parts manufacturer cited for safety and health violations after a worker in Ravenna suffered fatal injuries in March 2021, continues to put workers at risk.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found General Aluminum Mfg. Co.’s facility in Conneaut exposing workers to similar machine hazards when the agency served warrants on Jan. 3, 2022, and opened an inspection under its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Inspectors found tilt mold devices, sand core machines, and indexing tables at the plant lacked adequate machine guarding and workers performed service and maintenance tasks on industrial machinery without using energy control procedures – commonly known as lockout/tagout – exposing workers to amputation and caught-in hazards. OSHA cited the company for the same violations at the Ravenna facility.  Read more via US Department of Labor

Novartis brings radiotherapy production back online, touts expansion plans

Novartis has put an end to a radiotherapy production hiccup, and expansions are already underway.

The drugmaker fixed the quality issues that led to voluntary production halts at its radioligand therapy sites in Ivrea, Italy, and Millburn, New Jersey, Novartis said Thursday. Back in May, the manufacturing freeze abruptly stopped U.S. supply of two of the company’s marketed cancer drugs, Lutathera and Pluvicto.

The company resumed production at the facilities in early June and has since been delivering doses of the products to patients in a phased approach. At this point, Novartis has yet to reach full capacity, and it expects supply to be limited for some time.  Read more via Fierce Pharma

Thursday – 06/30/2022

First Solar rejects US site for new factory, eyes Europe or India instead

First Solar Inc. has decided against building a new factory in the US, citing uncertainties regarding trade policy and tax incentives.

The biggest US solar manufacturer is still planning a manufacturing facility in either Europe or India, and Chief Executive Officer Mark Widmar expects to make a final decision within 90 days. That would come after the company completes a third US plant early next year in Ohio and its first factory in India in the second half of 2023.  Read more via Bloomberg

Fujifilm plots $1.6bn expansion at CDMO sites in Denmark and Texas, adding 450 jobs

Fujifilm isn’t slowing down on its expansion roll. Just a few months after it bought Shenandoah Biotechnology for an undisclosed sum, the Japanese conglomerate has unveiled a $1.6 billion investment to expand the cell culture manufacturing services of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, a CDMO subsidiary.

The investment will benefit its sites in Hillerød, Denmark, and Texas, and create approximately 450 jobs.  Read more via Fierce Pharma

UK government ‘minded to accept’ takeover of Meggitt by US buyer

The UK government has signalled it is likely to accept the £6.3bn takeover of the British defence manufacturer Meggitt, the second deal by a US buyer to receive a green light in a week.

The American industrial conglomerate Parker Hannifin said on Wednesday that it expected to complete the takeover within the next two months after receiving assent from the UK business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng.

Meggitt, based near Coventry, makes wheels, materials and electronics for the F-35 fighter jet and the A400M transporter, both used by the UK military, as well as civilian aircraft made by Airbus and Boeing. Meggitt employs about 2,300 workers in the UK and 9,000 globally.  Read more via The Guardian

Samsung starts mass production of chips using advanced 3nm process node

Samsung said on Thursday that it has started mass production of chips using its 3-nanometer (nm) process node, its most advanced technology yet for contract chip production.

The South Korean tech giant said its 3nm process, compared to its 5nm process, reduced power usage by 45% and improved performance by 23% with surface area reduced by 16%.

Samsung’s 3nm process node uses its gate-all-around (GAA) transistor architecture, called Multi-Bridge-Channel FET (MBCFET) by the company, which packs wider channels in gates for electricity to flow threw while reducing the voltage level compared to the previous FinFET transistor architecture.  Read more via ZD Net

Southeast Asia manufacturers sweat as US mulls tougher tariff rules

Proposed reforms to America’s largest and longest-running trade preference program threaten to freeze out some of the Southeast Asian countries that rely on it for duty-free access to the U.S. market.

The General System of Preferences (GSP) was established in the 1970s to help developing countries by reducing tariffs on up to 5,000 products, ranging from bags and jewelry to mattresses and car parts. It plays an important role in regional manufacturing — its top five beneficiaries include Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines.

However, the scheme, which covered about $16bn in imports in 2020, has been inactive since the end of that year, when its most recent extension expired.  Read more via Nikkei Asia

Toyo Tire names new bosses for US manufacturing business

As of 1 July 2022, new faces will join the management team at Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing, Inc. Shinji Tanabe will become chairman and chief executive officer of the company responsible for Toyo’s tyre plant in Georgia, whilst Patrick Matthew Lenz takes on the roles of president and chief operating officer. — via Tyre Press

Wednesday – 06/29/2022

White House says companies investing $700m to boost EV charger production

The White House said on Tuesday that companies are planning to invest more than $700m to boost U.S. manufacturing capacity for electric vehicle (EV) chargers – actions set to add at least 2,000 jobs and make charging more accessible and affordable.

The investments include $450m earmarked by Volkswagen unit Electrify America and more than $250 million by Siemens (SIEGn.DE) to expand its Grand Prairie, Texas and Ponoma, California EV charger plants.  Read more via Reuters

PPG to increase US aerospace products manufacturing output to meet rising demand

PPG will increase manufacturing output to meet rising demand for its commercial aerospace aftermarket products. The company expects to increase employment levels at its Huntsville, Alabama and Sylmar, California manufacturing facilities by up to 20% to fulfill higher demand from new and existing customers.

PPG is also investing in increased factory automation to enhance delivery times for aerospace coatings and sealants. For example, the company’s Shildon, U.K. aerospace plant is commissioning an automatic Semkit filling machine to increase production of these ready-to-use cartridge-based systems that store, mix and ease application of aerospace sealants.  Read more via Coatings World

Nextracker opens third US factory this year as part of PV reshoring commitment

US solar tracker manufacturer Nextracker and steel producer BCI Steel have reopened the Bethlehem steel manufacturing factory in Leetsdale, Pittsburgh that will process steel and produce solar tracker equipment for utility-scale solar projects.

This is Nextracker’s third new factory, adding to its Texas and Arizona factories announced in April and May, respectively. The company aims to establish 10GW of annual solar tracker capacity in the US amid growing calls for reshoring of the country’s PV supply chain.  Read more via PV Tech

Nine in 10 manufacturers struggle to close labor gaps, up 38% over prior year

According to a newly released survey of manufacturing HR leaders by The Workforce Institute at UKG, 4 in 5 U.S. manufacturers are having difficulty keeping up with production demands due to increased supply constraints and ongoing labor shortages amplified by today’s competitive job market. Although a skilled-labor gap has plagued the sector for decades, 87% of the 300 manufacturing HR leaders surveyed feel its impact “more than ever.”  Read more via Workforce Institute @ UKG

Tuesday – 06/28/2022

BAE wins $12bn ballistic missile support recompete

BAE Systems’ U.S. subsidiary has won a new potential 18-year, $12bn contract to continue its role as lead systems integrator and engineering services provider supporting the US’ fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Air Force received five bids including that of BAE Systems Inc. for the Integration Support Contract contract that covers systems engineering and broad professional services, according to the Pentagon’s Friday awards digest.  Read more via Washington Technology

US may lose silicon wafer factory if Congress can’t fund CHIPS Act, commerce secretary says

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday that she believes GlobalWafers will follow through on its plan to build a silicon wafer factory in Texas — but only if Congress passes funding for the CHIPS for America Act by the time the August recess begins.

“This investment that they’re making is contingent upon Congress passing the CHIPS Act [funding]. The CEO told me that herself, and they reiterated that today,” Raimondo said in an interview on “Mad Money.”  Read more via CNBC

Taiwan company plans Texas chip wafer factory—if congress approves incentives

A Taiwan-based company said it plans to build a $5bn factory in Texas to make silicon wafers used in semiconductors, but the deal hinges on financial incentives bogged down in Congress.

GlobalWafers on Monday said its planned factory in Sherman, Texas, would be the first US silicon wafer-facility in more than two decades and create as many as 1,500 jobs, as well as helping fuel the expansion of the US chip-making industry.  Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Albemarle plans major US lithium processing plant

Albemarle Corp plans to build a lithium processing plant in the United States that would produce as much of the electric vehicle battery metal as the entire company produces today, a bullish bet on America’s all-electric future,an executive said on Monday.

The plan reflects Albemarle’s emerging strategy to lead the US lithium renaissance, from mine development to processing to manufacturing types of the metal used to make high-end EV batteries.  Read more via Reuters

Monday – 06/27/2022

Allied Motion buys US linear motor manufacturer Airex

Allied Motion Technologies has acquired the US linear and rotary motor manufacturer Airex for an undisclosed sum. Airex, based in New Hampshire, has more than 70 years of history supplying precision wound components and systems for industrial, semiconductor, life science and aerospace/defence applications.

Airex uses a patented winding technology, combined with robotic manufacturing, to produce ironless and iron-core linear motors, rotary motors, voice coils, magnetic bearings, wound electromagnetic components and sub-components.  Read more via Drives & Controls

Former BMW CFO plans rapid expansion in electric van sector including U.S. plant

Last-mile transportation provider B-On, led by former BMW board member Stefan Krause, plans to build on its acquisition of electric delivery van maker StreetScooter Engineering.

Krause told Automotive News Europe his next aims are to add an electric three-wheel van maker and to develop an “urban mobility” passenger vehicle.

Krause, who was BMW’s chief financial officer and then head of global sales between 2002 and 2008, has also held top-level jobs at Deutsche Post, Deutsche Bank and U.S. EV startups Canoo, Faraday Future and Fisker.  Read more via Automotive News Europe

Cargill acquires plant-based feed additive manufacturer

With demand for plant-based feed additives increasing, Cargill announced on June 23 that it has signed a binding agreement to acquire Austrian-based Delacon, a global leader in plant-based phytogenic additives.

The acquisition combines Cargill’s global network and deep expertise in animal nutrition technologies with Delacon’s pioneering knowledge and market experience in phytogenic feed additives, a category that uses a broad range of herbs, plants and their extracts, such as essential oils, to improve livestock and aquaculture performance and promote animal health.  Read more via World-Grain.com

Samsung US sharply discounts Galaxy S22 Ultra, foldables

Samsung US is currently running some tempting promos in its official webstore. These will be active through today and tomorrow, so you have to be fairly quick if something catches your eye.  Read more via GSM Arena

Friday – 06/24/2022

US economy slows sharply in June amid renewed downturn in demand, but inflationary pressures cool

Latest ‘flash’ PMI™ data from S&P Global signalled the weakest upturn in US private sector output since January’s Omicron-induced slowdown in June. The rise in activity
was the second-softest since July 2020, with slower service sector output growth accompanied by the first contraction in manufacturing production in two years.  Read more via S&P Global

Intel warns Ohio factory could be delayed because Congress is dragging its feet on funding

A large chip factory currently in the early stages of being built outside of Columbus, Ohio, could see its scope scaled back or construction delayed depending on what Congress does with the CHIPS Act, Intel said in a statement on Thursday.

The facility was announced in January and would be the most significant expansion of U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturing in years. Intel estimated the plant could cost as much as $100bn and committed an initial investment of $20bn.  Read more via CNBC

Takeover of UK defence supplier Ultra Electronics set to be approved

The UK government is set to wave through a £2.6bn takeover of a British defence manufacturer in a deal that will move a US private equity investor a step closer to controlling a significant supplier of nuclear submarine equipment.

Cobham has received the green light to take over Ultra Electronics, a FTSE 250 maker of systems such as sonar and radio communications used by navies and air forces, as well as civilian aircraft. Cobham was itself controversially taken over and broken up by US private equity investor Advent over the course of 2019 and 2020.

The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced on Thursday that he is “minded to accept undertakings offered” by a Cobham/Advent investment vehicle to address national security concerns.  Read more via The Guardian

Engine maker MTU hopes for maintenance deal in German fleet overhaul

Military aircraft engine maker MTU (MTXGn.DE) said on Thursday it hopes for “at least a maintenance deal” as Germany replaces its ageing Tornado fighter jet fleet with F-35 steel bombers from Lockheed Martin (LMT.N). read more

MTU, which is working with the F-35 engine supplier Pratt & Whitney (RTX.N), is also prepared to supply spare parts, Chief Program Officer Michael Schreyoegg told journalists at the ILA Berlin Air Show trade fair.  Read more via Reuters

Thursday – 06/23/2022

Manufacturers warn gas tax suspension is a step backward

Following the decision by President Biden to instruct Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Our nation achieved historic progress with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, but this move is likely to derail its implementation by suddenly disrupting its funding, delaying critical projects that Americans desperately need and that are vital to manufacturers’ competitiveness. Our focus should be on increasing energy production here at home—to make manufacturers more competitive, to bring energy and gasoline prices down and to provide lasting relief for American families. We need the same smart, long-term approach that inspired the infrastructure bill to solve today’s energy challenges.”  Read more via NAM

DOD addresses supply chain resiliency with lone star state industry

Even before COVID-19, the Defense Department had identified supply chain vulnerabilities for things like microelectronics. There, the onset of the pandemic exacerbated a problem the department was already aware of. But the pandemic also highlighted other areas of supply chain vulnerability in the U.S., some of which affect national security.

Deborah Rosenblum, who performs the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for industrial base policy, met June 16 with stakeholders from across the industrial base in Texas to discuss the department’s efforts to strengthen supply chain resiliency. The event, held near Fort Worth, was in partnership with the National Economic Council and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.  Read more via Department of Defense

Tongwei signs US$7.6bn silicon supply agreement with wafer manufacturer Qinghai Gaojing Solar

Tongwei has announced that its subsidiaries have signed a RMB50.9 billion (US$7.58 billion) silicon material sales contract for 216,100 tons with Qinghai Gaojing Solar Energy Technology Co., Ltd.

The announcement on 17 June said that from 2022 to 2026, Qinghai Gaojing will purchase no less than 216,100 tons of silicon from Tongwei’s subsidiaries. Ordering details will be negotiated monthly and the total amount of contract trading volume will be subject to the final transaction amount.

Based on the average transaction price of mono dense poly announced by Silicon Branch of China Non-ferrous Metals Industry Association on 15 June, the total sales volume is estimated to be more than US$7.58bn.  Read more via PV Tech

Emirates weighs new Airbus order as Boeing deliveries drag out

Gulf carrier Emirates is weighing more Airbus SE A350 jetliner orders to help fill gaps in its fleet in coming years as Boeing Co. struggles to bring its wide-body models to market.

Following strong freight demand during the pandemic, Emirates converted 10 Boeing 777s into cargo planes, depleting its passenger capacity, and a still-robust market might prompt it to switch another 10, President Tim Clark said.  Read more via Bloomberg

American Colors to expand Sandusky manufacturing facility

American Colors Inc. (Sandusky, Ohio, U.S.), a supplier of colorants and outsource manufacturer for the CASE, composites, vinyl and agricultural markets, has announced plans to expand its facility in Sandusky, with a 12,500-square-foot manufacturing addition. Construction will commence in summer 2022 with completion in the fall of 2022.

This addition is the first phase in a long-term plan to enable the company to purchase and install larger mixers and material handling equipment, greatly expanding overall capacity of the location as well as reorganizing the existing footprint to increase capacity and improve efficiency. The company is also planning to build a cleanroom within the new building which will reportedly aid in American Colors’ expansion into new markets.  Read more via Composites World

Wednesday – 06/22/2022

US factories pop up to make medical gloves, spurred by pandemic

Rising from a muddy field on the outskirts of the small town of Fayette, Alabama is a bricks-and-mortar symbol of the global COVID pandemic: A new glove factory.

When completed in 2024 the complex, owned by Japan’s SHOWA Glove Co will be able to produce about 3 billion medical-grade nitrile gloves a year from its dozen massive new, five-stories-tall, automated assembly lines.

That may seem like a lot but is only a small slice of the over 100 billion consumed in the United States annually.  Read more via Reuters

Farm, construction equipment manufacturer plans $140m Georgia factory

A manufacturer of agricultural and construction equipment plans to produce front-end loaders at a new factory in Georgia, officials announced. Kubota Corp. is expected to invest $140 million in the Gainesville facility, the Associated Press reports. Construction is slated to begin this year, and the plant is scheduled to open in 2024.

The Japanese company already operates numerous facilities in North Georgia, including an existing mower and tractor plant in Gainesville and a loader and backhoe facility in nearby Jefferson. Company officials indicated that the new Gainesville facility would allow the Jefferson plant to make more attachments and implements for tractors and construction equipment.  Read more via Thomas Insights

Solar developers pledge $6bn to boost US manufacturing

A consortium of large US solar developers have committed to spend more than $6 billion on domestically produced panels in a move aimed at boosting the small American manufacturing sector.

The group, which includes AES Corp. and Clearway Energy Group, is seeking manufacturers that will be able to supply as much as 7 gigawatts of solar modules annually starting in 2024, according to a statement Tuesday.

The new initiative is a sign that longstanding market trends may shift. The vast majority of solar panels installed in the US are imported from Asia, but several trade disputes have roiled the industry, complicating development plans for many installers.  Read more via Financial Post

Chinese manufacturing orders decline by 20-30%, according to shippers, as consumers pull back on buying goods

Chinese manufacturing orders are reportedly down by as much as 20-30%, according to logistics sources responsible for moving the finished products from Chinese manufacturing plants to the Chinese ports.

“As consumers move from purchasing stuff to buying services, importers continue to work on balancing order flow with sales expectations,” said Alan Baer, CEO of OL USA. “Some industries are forecasting purchase order reductions of 20 to 30 percent, while others see no interruptions in their order flow. Overall, the risk appears to be to the downside. The decrease appears tied to economic uncertainty and not the migration of operations out of China.”  Read more via CNBC

Minnesota solar manufacturer says importing parts is still risky despite tariff pause

The federal government’s decision to pause tariffs on solar panels from four Asian countries amid a trade dispute investigation has not resolved uncertainty for Minnesota’s only solar manufacturer.

The Ontario-based solar module manufacturer Heliene operates a plant in the northern Minnesota city of Mountain Iron. Like almost all US solar manufacturers, it relies on components imported from southeast Asia. Heliene receives solar cells from Malaysia, one of the countries under scrutiny.  Read more via Minnesota Reformer

Tuesday – 06/21/2022

LEGO to build a (real) solar power plant on its new factory site in Virginia

The LEGO Group has announced plans to build a $1 billion dollar factory in Chesterfield County, Virginia, complete with a solar facility to power the factory. The company’s goal is for its first U.S. factory in over 16 years to be completely carbon neutral.

While the solar park plans for the factory site are impressive, the solar array will not be providing all of the energy the factory needs to operate. Instead, as a carbon-neutral facility, it will still run in part by fossil fuels, as Clean Technica explains. The plan is for the factory to minimize energy needs in order to match the output of clean energy provided by the solar park.  Read more via Eco Watch

Eric Schmidt Urges US to Lean on TSMC, Samsung for Chip Security

The US should do more to attract overseas chipmakers to build plants on its territory as a matter of national security, former Google chief Eric Schmidt wrote in an opinion piece published Monday.

Pointing to China’s accelerating investment in chip fabrication technology and capacity, Schmidt urged the US to reduce its dependence on Taiwan and South Korea for the most advanced semiconductors powering everything from smartphones to ballistic missiles and build out its own capabilities. Instead, it should be incentivizing national champions Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. to partner with US chip designers and build more on US soil, he said.  Read more via Bloomberg

Doosan Robotics to open US headquarters for cobot pipeline

Doosan Robotics, a South Korean manufacturer of collaborative robots, or cobots, has announced a new U.S. business unit, Doosan Robotics Americas with headquarters in Plano, Texas which will combine the company’s North and South America operations.

The expansion plan is intended to boost the group’s presence in the American market and accelerate uptake of its manufacturing assistant bots in the area, with a particular focus on the automotive and manufacturing sectors.  Read more via IoT World Today

M2 Optics Inc. launches new 3D printing design and manufacturing service

M2 Optics Inc., a US manufacturer of customized fiber optic solutions for communications testing and networking applications, has launched a new 3D design and printing service business. The services will help companies solve critical and timely challenges that require customized, or non-standard, parts not readily available in the marketplace.

M2 Optics has been leveraging its 3D printing expertise and capabilities within its Raleigh NC facility – manufacturing customized fiber optic solutions for leading entities, across multiple sectors, around the world.  Read more via 3D Printing Media Network

Monday – 06/20/2022

Manufacturers remain resilient as recession concerns rise

The National Association of Manufacturers released its Q2 2022 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, which shows manufacturers’ significant concerns around recession, inflation, hiring and China competition legislation. The NAM conducted the survey May 17–31, 2022.

“Through multiple crises, manufacturers have proven remarkably resilient, but there’s no mistaking there are darker clouds on the horizon. A majority of our surveyed members believe inflationary pressures are making a recession more likely within the next year,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.  Read more via NAM

US manufacturing output softens; leading indicator extends decline

Production at U.S. factories unexpectedly fell in May, the latest sign of cooling economic activity as the Federal Reserve aggressively tightens monetary policy to tame inflation.

Slowing growth was indicated in other data showing a gauge of future economic activity declining in May for a third straight month. Other data this week showed a drop in retail sales last month as well as steep declines in homebuilding and permits. Weakness in manufacturing output also reflects a shift in spending from goods to services.  Read more via Reuters

eMagin awarded $2.5m US Army contract for OLED microdisplay prototype project

eMagin Corporation announced it has been awarded a $2.5m contract from the US Army for a high-brightness, full-color OLED microdisplay prototype project, including manufacturing process technologies. The prototype will be used in AR systems that provide both sensor and tactical data to soldiers, thereby enhancing situational awareness and mobility in a range of military applications.  Read more via Printed Electronics Now

SLG breaks ground on $14m Houston manufacturing center, creates american production jobs

Construction is underway for a new manufacturing facility near SLG’s American headquarters in the Houston, TX metropolitan area. This 80,000 square foot building will enable SLG to manufacture its growing portfolio of durable luminaires in the United States. Over 100 jobs will be created to support these domestic capabilities.

As an OEM with over 25 years of manufacturing experience, the new investment allows SLG to produce their line of proprietary line of products in the US and alleviate potential supply chain challenges. Known for functional durable lighting products, SLG is able to redesign and launch new items on a monthly basis.

Establishing manufacturing roots on American soil provides the advantage of an 80% reduction in lead times for its customers.  Read more via Cision

Friday – 06/17/2022

DOE awards $57.9m to reduce industrial emissions and manufacture clean energy technologies

The US Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded $57.9m to 30 projects — housed within industry, universities and the National labs — that will help decarbonize the American industrial sector, advance the science of clean energy manufacturing, and strengthen America’s economic competitiveness. These projects will yield technological innovations that can accelerate progress toward the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.  Read more via Department of Energy

REC Silicon to restart US polysilicon plant

EC Silicon plans to restart its polysilicon plant in Moses Lake, Washington, next year in an effort to create a US-based supply chain for solar panels, stretching from raw materials to finished solar cells. REC is negotiating with a long-standing supplier, Ferroglobe, to secure a US-based source of silicon metal, the raw material used to make polysilicon. REC plans to sell its polysilicon to the solar panel manufacturer Q Cells, which has a factory in Georgia.

REC shut down the Moses Lake plant in 2019, when tariffs made it uneconomical to sell into China’s large solar market. The company decided to reopen its facility after an investment of over $200 million from Q Cells’ parent company, South Korea’s Hanwha Solutions.  Read more via Chemical & Engineering News

US cell manufacturer KORE Power wins 20MWh UK battery storage project supply deal

Battery cell manufacturer KORE Power is to provide the batteries for a 10MW/20MWh battery storage project under development between ABB and green energy supplier Ecotricity in the UK.

The battery energy storage system (BESS) will be installed at Ecotricity’s existing 6.9MW wind farm in Gloucestershire, England, in 2023, with KORE to supply its Mark 1 energy storage modules equipped with its high energy density NMC pouch technology. The Mark 1 system is fully certified under UN 38.3, UL 1973 and IEC 62619 and achieved UL 9540A.

KORE said the project represents a key step for the company in the “rapidly growing UK market”. KORE itself is headquartered in the US, where it’s currently building a battery cell gigafactory with a 12GWh annual production capacity. Located in Arizona, the gigafactory will add to a ramp up of KORE’s existing factory in China from 2GWh to 6GWh.  Read more via Energy Storage News

VW US chief warns of industry challenges with EV battery shift

Volkswagen AG’s (VOWG_p.DE) top U.S. executive said on Thursday the United States faces major challenges in ramping up battery production to facilitate a shift to electric vehicles including attracting skilled workers, mining for key metals and supply chain issues.

Scott Keogh, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America, told an Automotive News forum in Washington that the move to EVs is the single biggest “industrial transformation in America.”  Read more via Reuters

Key US baby formula plant closes again as ‘torrential storms’ cause flooding

Severe weather sweeping through the US midwest has forced the plant that produces much of America’s baby formula to shut down again, once again putting a chokehold on the country’s struggling baby formula supply chain.

Abbott Laboratories, the US’s largest baby formula manufacturer, closed down production in its main plant in Sturgis, Michigan, on Thursday, because of flooding caused by “torrential storms”.  Read more via The Guardian

Thursday – 06/16/2022

Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey: Second Quarter 2022

Manufacturers are concerned about recession, inflation, hiring and China competition legislation, according to the National Association of Manufacturers Q2 2022 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, conducted May 17–31, 2022.  Read more via National Association of Manufacturers

First Lego manufacturing facility in U.S. is coming to Virginia

The Lego Group said Wednesday it plans to build a $1bn precision-manufacturing facility in Chesterfield County, south of Richmond, to crank out its famous tiny plastic bricks.

The 1.7 million-square-foot factory is expected to create more than 1,760 jobs over 10 years, according to a news release from Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), who joined company officials to announce the project at the Science Museum of Virginia.  Read more via The Washington Post

Caterpillar relocation to Texas extends US manufacturing’s southern shift

Caterpillar Inc.’s planned relocation of its global headquarters to Texas from Illinois comes as the equipment maker and other companies expand their manufacturing bases south.

Manufacturing employment has been on the rise in many Southern and Southwestern U.S. states in recent years, according to federal data, as companies target the regions for new factories, plant expansions and corporate bases, seeking what some executives have said is a growing available workforce and cheaper real estate.  Read more via The Wall Street Journal

More than 100 CEOs urge US Congress to pass China competition bill

Chief executives from Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) on Wednesday called on Congress to pass legislation aimed at boosting U.S. economic competitiveness against China, including in chip manufacturing.

Those executives and more than 100 others signed a letter urging the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, which each have passed different versions of the legislation, to reach an agreement and send a bill to President Joe Biden for his signature. Legislators will break for a summer recess in August, after which most observers expect lawmakers to shift their attention to this fall’s midterm elections.  Read more via Reuters

139 jobs coming to Duplin County as cabinetry manufacturer selects Warsaw for new facility

The residential cabinet manufacturer Design Mode Cabinetry has selected Duplin County for a $13m manufacturing facility located in the Town of Warsaw.

The 245,000 square foot building that the company will occupy is currently vacant and will be upfit to construct a manufacturing and distribution operation, according to a statement from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

Governor Cooper called the move “another great win for eastern North Carolina,” in the statement.  Read more via WRAL Tech Wire

GreenPower Hosts Educational Display and Demonstration of All-Electric School Buses and Commercial Vehicles at the U.S. Capitol

GreenPower Motor Company Inc., a leading manufacturer and distributor of zero-emission, electric-powered, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, today hosted an event at the US Capitol demonstrating its lineup of electric school buses including GreenPower’s Type D BEAST and Type A Nano BEAST and flagship commercial electric transit vehicle, the EV Star.

GreenPower hosted members of Congress, West Virginia state delegates, school district personnel and the general public to review the health benefits of electric vehicles for our children and communities, the safety and reliability of zero-emission school buses, and various funding programs available to school districts. Participants were able to learn about the BEAST, Nano BEAST and EV Star, as well as the opportunity to speak with lawmakers on investing in advanced mobility, U.S. manufacturing and healthier communities.  Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Crypto Mining Chip Manufacturer Nano Labs Applies for US IPO

Nano Labs, a Chinese crypto mining chip manufacturer, recently submitted an application to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq to raise $50 million.

Nano Labs was founded by Kong Jianping, former co-chairman of Canaan, and its main income is derived from mining machine sales. According to the company’s prospectus, AMTD Global Markets, Maxim Group and UP Fintech Holding are its joint underwriters.  Read more via Pandaily

Wednesday – 06/15/2022

Elon Musk says SpaceX will have Starship ‘ready to fly’ in July, amid FAA work

SpaceX is closing in on the next major milestone in its Starship rocket development, as the company works to complete environmental impact requirements outlined this week by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Elon Musk on Tuesday said the company will have a Starship prototype rocket “ready to fly” by July, with his space venture aiming to reach orbit with the vehicle for the first time.  Read more via CNBC

White House meets with solar firms in bid to boost manufacturing

White House officials huddled with solar manufacturers Tuesday on the Biden administration’s plan to kick-start domestic panel-making and wean US clean energy projects off foreign imports.

The roughly one-hour meeting with more than 20 industry representatives was designed to shed light on President Joe Biden’s move last week to bolster domestic solar manufacturing under the Defense Production Act, said several people familiar with the session. They asked for anonymity because the virtual meeting was not public.  Read more via Bloomberg

Microsoft to acquire Miburo to boost threat intelligence research into new foreign cyber threats

Yesterday, Microsoft is announcing that we have entered into an agreement to acquire Miburo, a cyber threat analysis and research company specializing in the detection of and response to foreign information operations.

Microsoft detects and helps customers defend against cyber threats from nation-states as part of our commitment to keep customers safe online. These efforts are underpinned by the threat intelligence we gather, publish, and use to fuel disruptions of malicious nation-state activity across a range of cyber-attack vectors.  Read more via Microsoft

Ferrero adding 200 jobs in Illinois with first-ever US Kinder Bueno plant

Ferrero North America, part of the global confectionery company Ferrero Group, will invest up to $214.4 million to expand its chocolate processing and product manufacturing plant in Bloomington, IL. The 169,000-square-foot addition will be dedicated to producing Kinder Bueno, a popular Ferrero premium chocolate bar in Europe that launched in the US in 2019.

Construction of the expansion is projected to start by Fall 2022 and is anticipated to create up to 200 new jobs over a four-year period. The new expansion will be one of the largest production lines built by Ferrero outside of Europe. The new facility is set to open in 2024.  Read more via Business Facilities

Life science firm is laying off 76 workers at North Carolina manufacturing plant

North Carolina’s booming life science sectors isn’t immune to layoffs as more companies continue to locate or expand operations across the state. Proof is Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. which lay off 76 workers from a facility in Monroe, according to a required notice the company filed with the North Carolina Department of Commerce earlier this month.

In fact, it’s just the second life science workforce reduction this year following the news in March that BASF would be laying off more than 100 workers in Wake County.

So far in 2022 layoffs have been few across North Carolina’s economy despite rising inflation and other issues, according to reports made to the N.C. Department of Commerce: Some 18 actions involving just over 1,500 workers.  Read more via WRAL Tech Wire

Monday – 06/13/2022

Oklahoma lands nation’s first rare earth metal and manufacturing facility

A newly-announced rare earth metal and manufacturing facility will create more than 100 new jobs and increase Oklahoma’s domestic energy production, officials said.

USA Rare Earth LLC selected Stillwater to locate the first rare earth metal and manufacturing facility in the nation, Gov. Kevin Stitt said. The company plans to invest more than $100m in developing the manufacturing facility and expects to generate over $6.6m in wages once operational, according to Stitt’s office.

The company already operates the Round Top Heavy Rare Earth, Lithium and Critical Minerals Project in Texas. Company officials say their goal is to create a US-based critical mineral supply chain that does not depend on China.  Read more via The Center Square

Gift to Purdue University establishes Institute for Advanced Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals

A generous donation from a pioneer in pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturing will establish the William D. Young Institute for Advanced Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals at Purdue University. The university institute, approved by the Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (June 10) and launched with a gift from William D. Young, will unite faculty in overhauling pharmaceutical manufacturing with a goal of reducing costs and expanding access to innovative drugs emerging from biotechnology research.

The institute is the latest fruit from a $250m investment in life sciences as part of the Purdue Moves strategic plan, which included investments in research that improves lives and supports Indiana’s critical life sciences business sector.  Read more via The Center Square

US solar manufacturer says importing parts is still risky despite tariff pause

The federal government’s decision to pause tariffs on solar panels from four Asian countries amid a trade dispute investigation has not resolved uncertainty for Minnesota’s only solar manufacturer.

The Ontario-based solar module manufacturer Heliene operates a plant in the northern Minnesota city of Mountain Iron. Like almost all US solar manufacturers, it relies on components imported from southeast Asia. Heliene receives solar cells from Malaysia, one of the countries under scrutiny.  Read more via Energy News Network

Siemens and ORNL announce new R&D partnership to boost US manufacturing innovation

Industrial manufacturing firm Siemens has announced a new research and development (R&D) partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to enhance the adoption of additive manufacturing, workforce training, and decarbonization efforts within the US manufacturing sector.

In particular, Siemens and the US Department of Energy’s (DoE) Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at ORNL will build on the success of several previous DoE-funded projects to investigate new methods of advanced manufacturing and materials innovation.  Read more via 3D Printing Industry

Astellas opens new US-based large-scale gene therapy manufacturing facility

Astellas Pharma has announced that it has opened its new late-stage clinical and commercial manufacturing facility in Sanford, NC. The new 135,000-ft2 facility is a standalone facility that is good manufacturing practices compliant. It is designed to provide clinical- and commercial-scale manufacturing capabilities for the company’s pipeline of adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapies.

The company’s $100m investment in the site will support global supply chain needs and in-house quality control testing. The investment will also create more than 200 jobs through 2026.  Read more via Biophraminternational.com

Friday – 06/10/2022

Rare earth manufacturing facility to open in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and the president of USA Rare Earth on Thursday announced plans for a $100 million metal and manufacturing facility in Stillwater that’s expected to create more than 100 jobs.

Rare earth elements are 17 raw elements used in electric vehicles, wind turbines, mobile electronic devices and military hardware and considered difficult to mine, Smith said.  Read more via AP News

Atlas Copco to acquire National Vacuum Equipment; expands US footprint

Atlas Copco is expanding its US footprint, having today (9th June) unveiled plans to acquire National Vacuum Equipment.

Headquartered in Michigan, Nation Vacuum Equipment is a manufacturer of industrial vacuum pumps and packages for mobile use on tanker trucks.  Read more via Gas World

Meet the ‘faces of manufacturing’ from I Make America

Every single day in America, the 2.8 million men and women of the equipment manufacturing industry go to work to make the equipment that builds, powers and feeds the world. These are the Americans who help move the United States’ $288 billion equipment manufacturing economy forward, but they cannot do it alone.

I Make America, AEM’s national grassroots advocacy campaign, provides a platform for every supporter to raise their voice and make a difference. Today, I Make America unveiled its “Faces of Manufacturing” initiative, which spotlights the men and women behind the equipment and serves as a rallying cry for pro-manufacturing policies.  Read more via Association of Equipment Manufacturers

US bans exports by firms that leaked sensitive technology to Chinese 3D printing manufacturers

The US Department of Commerce has suspended the export licenses of three firms after they allegedly leaked confidential defense data to 3D printing service providers in China.

Rapid Cut, Quicksilver Manufacturing and US Prototype are believed to have asked Chinese manufacturers to 3D print satellite, rocket and other defense-related prototypes. However, in the process of placing these orders, the firms shared sensitive technical drawings and blueprints without authorization, hence they’ve now been banned from exporting for 180 days.  Read more via 3D Printing Industry

The billionaires behind a push to reinvigorate US chip-making

Over the past several months, without attracting much notice, Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive of Google and a longtime Democratic donor, has joined Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and a vocal Trump supporter, to back an unusual nonprofit venture capital fund to invest in chip-making across the country. The group also includes a cadre of former government officials, including Ashton B. Carter, former secretary of defense, and H.R. McMaster, former national security adviser.

The billionaires aren’t simply funding the effort themselves: The group has met with lawmakers in Congress hoping that U.S. taxpayers will help foot the bill.

The ask: $1bn.  Read more via The New York Times

Thursday – 06/09/2022

US-based bike manufacturer Allied Cycle Works partners with Classified

Arkansas-based bicycle manufacturer Allied Cycle Works has established an OEM partnership with Classified.

Allied is now offering the Able gravel bike with an option to include the Powershift hub.  Read more via bike biz

UT hosts bootcamp event to train workers on machine tooling, meant to improve US industry

The University of Tennessee hosted an event Wednesday meant to help workers learn the skills they need to jumpstart careers in machine tooling. Organizers said the program is meant to help boost the US machine tooling industry, making it more competitive in international markets.

It’s called America’s Cutting Edge and is funded by the US Department of Defense, in partnership with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Knoxville’s Composites Institute. The BootCamp started at 10:45 a.m. and provided participants with hands-on training with advanced machine tools.

Participants and future trainers traveled from as far away as Chicago and New Mexico. Organizers said they expected the event to help boost Knoxville’s prominence in the US manufacturing industry.  Read more via 10 News

Canadian manufacturer of electric vehicle chargers comes to Michigan

State officials are announcing a $3m investment from Canada-based company FLO into a facility in Auburn Hills. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer describes it as a “victory” for the state’s mobility future.

The Auburn Hills plant aims to build 250,000 EV chargers by 2028. It will be FLO’s first US-based manufacturing facility.  Read more via wemu.org

Introducing Mullen: The entirely US-based electric vehicle manufacturer rivaling Tesla

David Michery, CEO of Mullen Automotive Inc., was a guest speaker at Benzinga’s All Access on June 3rd, 2022.

Mullen Automotive is an American electric vehicle manufacturer and automotive company based out of Southern California. Mullen owns and partners with several businesses within the clean energy and electric vehicle space.  Read more via Benzinga

Toyota Mississippi opens experience center

Toyota Mississippi held a news conference on Tuesday to announce the grand opening of its workforce training and experience center.

The 15,000-square-foot facility, which sits adjacent to the Blue Springs plant, was built in partnership with the Mississippi Development Authority.

According to Toyota Mississippi, the interactive museum gives visitors the opportunity to be immersed in the world of Toyota manufacturing.

Some features include a motion timeline showcasing the company’s 125-year history, simulators and collaborative robots.   Read more via wtva.com

Wednesday – 06/08/2022

New partnership announced to help organisations better handle supply chain issues

A new partnership between an industry cloud provider and a global supply chain insights and risk analytics specialist will help organisations better prepare for and deal with supply chain issues.

Infor has announced that it has entered into a technology partnership with Everstream Analytics to help organisations better anticipate and navigate supply chain risks and disruptions. Through the partnership, Infor will integrate Everstream’s end-to-end supply chain risk assessment and monitoring data with its Infor Nexus multienterprise business network platform.  Read more via The Manufacturer

Doosan Robotics launches full product line and opens office in USA

Doosan Robotics Inc., has announced a new business unit, Doosan Robotics Americas, establishing its US headquarters in Plano, Texas. Doosan Robotics has appointed Alex Lee North and South America General Manager, who will oversee the US business.

Established by Doosan Group in 2015, its growth into the US market will increase customer service in this territory, accelerating business development and awareness of Doosan Robotics’ and specific vertical industry product support.  Read more via The Robot Report

US Solar Companies Weigh Challenge to Biden Pause on Tariffs

US solar manufacturers say they are considering legal challenges after President Joe Biden declared a two-year pause for tariffs on solar imports from Southeast Asia.

Biden also invoked the Defense Production Act on Monday as the White House moved to jumpstart solar installations that have been slowed or abandoned amid a Commerce Department inquiry into possible trade violations involving Chinese products.

The White House said Biden’s actions would boost an industry crucial to his climate change-fighting goals while not interfering with or shutting down the Commerce investigation.  Read more via US News & World Report

Fruehauf returns to US, manufacturing trailers in Kentucky

Fruehauf North America recently held a grand opening for the company’s $15 million plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, signifying the iconic semi-trailer manufacturer’s return to production in the United States.

The 125,000-square-foot facility will house dry van manufacturing and assembly operations, with a goal of building 5,000 trailers annually, said Eugenio Clariond, chairman of Fruehauf North America.

The plant, which aims to hire up to 290 workers, currently employs 75 people.  Read more via Freight Waves

Australian nutraceutical firm Star Combo Pharma prepares to open new facility in $7.5m bid to double output

Australian nutraceutical outfit Star Combo Pharma is expected to open its new manufacturing facility in early July and could possibly more than double its output from 2m to 5m capsules daily.

The 7,000 square metre facility will provide a total manufacturing floor space of around 30,000 square meters for the New South Wales (NSW) firm. The plan is part of its AUD$10.7m (USD$7.5m) site upgrade featured in its recent quarterly business update. — Read more via NutraIngredients-Asia

Tuesday – 06/07/2022

Pfizer to spend $120m to boost US COVID pill manufacturing

Pfizer Inc said on Monday it would spend $120m to expand manufacturing of its COVID-19 antiviral treatment at its Michigan plant, as demand ramps up.

Use of the pill, Paxlovid, authorized to treat newly infected, at-risk people to prevent severe illness, has soared recently as infections rise.

Biden administration officials have pushed for the wider use of Paxlovid, which the government distributes for free.  Read more via Reuters

Nissan exec: Turnaround plan working, US factories to grow

Two years ago, struggling Nissan Motor Co. announced a restructuring plan to cut costs and revamp its aging model lineup in an effort to rebuild sales as the coronavirus pandemic eased.

Jérémie Papin, the company’s chairman for the Americas, says the turnaround is happening. In May, Nissan reported its first fiscal-year profit in three years, and Papin says North America is a big contributor.  Read more via Manufacturing Business Technology

Snack maker Lotus Bakeries invests $84m in expansion

Biscoff cookies maker Lotus Bakeries is preparing to launch an $84m project to add a new manufacturing facility to its existing site in Mebane, NC, according to a release issued Monday by the office of NC Gov. Roy Cooper.

The firm’s headquarters in Belgium and the North Carolina facilities are the firm’s only production locations for Biscoff cookies. Opened in 2019, the Mebane site is Lotus Bakeries’ sole US manufacturing plant.  Read more via Powder & Bulk Solids

Health Supply US to build $150m nitrile glove production facility in Greenville County

North Carolina-based Health Supply US, a medical supply manufacturer founded in 2020, is bringing a $150m nitrile glove production facility to Greenville County that will create 600 new jobs and bring the manufacture of critical medical gear back to American shores.

The announcement came at the Greenville Area Development Corporation’s annual meeting June 6 before a packed ballroom at the Westin Poinsett, which included remarks from S.C. Governor Henry McMaster, US Sen. Lindsay Graham, company leaders and state and local economic development officials.

The new operation is being spearheaded by Health Supply US subsidiary Glove One and will produce an estimated 4.3 billion nitrile gloves annually.  Read more via UBJ

Haribo strikes major deal with ODW logistics supporting first US manufacturing facilities

Haribo of America has confirmed it is to form a partnership with ODW Logistics in a deal to provide warehousing and logistics services for the company’s first North American manufacturing facility in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, reports Neill Barston.

As the business, which this year marks its centenary of its core Goldbears range explained to Confectionery Production at Sweets & Snacks Expo, the development of its new site is set to have a gamechanging impact on its operations in the US.

The event proved highly memorable for the business, which launched several new individual flavoured varieties of its century-celebrating brand, which continues to gain an increasing market share of the American market for gummies.  Read more via Confectionary Production

Monday – 06/06/2022

Ford to invest $3.7bn in US factories, add 6,200 union jobs in push to build more EVs

Ford said Thursday it will invest $3.7 billion and add more than 6,200 union manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri as part of the automaker’s plan to sell 2 million EVs a year globally by the end of 2026.

The new investment will be used to hire union workers at factories in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri, provide healthcare to new hourly employees as well improve working conditions at these facilities. Notably, Ford said it made the hiring investment a year ahead of 2023 contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.  Read more via Tech Crunch

Global factory output falls for second month in May amid China lockdowns

The JPMorgan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™), compiled by S&P Global, inched up from 52.3 in April to 52.4 in May, though remained at the second-lowest level recorded over the past 20 months. The subdued performance of the goods-producing sector was led by a slight decline in production for a second successive month, thanks principally to a further marked drop in output in mainland China amid ongoing lockdown measures.  Read more via IHS Markit

Biden to waive tariffs for 24 months on solar panels hit by probe

President Joe Biden will declare a 24-month tariff exemption on Monday for solar panels from four Southeast Asian nations after an investigation froze imports and stalled projects in the United States, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The move comes amid concern about the impact of the Commerce Department’s months-long investigation into whether imports of solar panels from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are circumventing tariffs on goods made in China.

Biden’s action would allay companies’ concerns about having to hold billions of dollars in reserves to pay potential tariffs, one source familiar with the White House’s plans said.  Read more via Reuters

Malvern-based chipmaker Vishay hosts U.S. Commerce Secretary and Rep. Houlahan, pushing Congress to help semiconductor firms

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo visited a semiconductor manufacturer in the Philadelphia suburbs Wednesday, as she and local officials expressed support for proposed legislation in Washington that seeks to boost the key sector and bring manufacturing back to America.

Vishay Intertechnology, of Malvern, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of semiconductors and electronic components. It’s also one of several U.S. chipmakers facing supply chain issues brought on by the economic tumult of the pandemic. Geopolitical tensions between China and Taiwan, a main chip supplier to large U.S. tech companies, also threaten to further strain the sector.  Read more via The Philadelphia Inquirer

Wednesday – 06/01/2022

Manufacturing skills shortage to be tackled by new partnership between The Manufacturer and Michael Page

Today, The Manufacturer announces a new strategic partnership with global recruitment specialists Michael Page to address the chronic skills issues faced by the UK manufacturing sector.

The multi-channel partnership will bolster the premier industry publication’s market leading news, features, insights and events programmes, while continuing to promote best practice for manufacturing boardrooms and senior management in the manufacturing industry.  Read more via The Manufacturer

US investigates Chinese companies over export sanction issues

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Tuesday the Biden administration is actively considering adding new Chinese companies to the government’s economic blacklist as it investigates what it calls efforts by China to evade U.S. sanctions.

The Commerce Department’s Entity List restricts access to US exports.

Raimondo told reporters the administration was working to “get information around bad actors in China and adding those companies to the Entity List … We are in the middle of a number of investigations.”  Read more via Reuters

How Microsoft is equipping manufacturing workers with the tools of the future

Emma Williams, Corporate Vice President, Modern Work Transformation at Microsoft, announced yesterday that Microsoft is introducing several new cross-cloud product features and capabilities designed to optimize, connect, and upskill the manufacturing workforce—helping frontline workers perform at their best today and harness the opportunities of tomorrow.  Read more via Microsoft

Lilly to build two new US manufacturing sites

Eli Lilly and Company intends to invest $2.1 billion into two new manufacturing sites at Indiana’s LEAP Lebanon Innovation and Research District in Boone County, US.

The new facilities will expand Lilly’s manufacturing network for active ingredients and new therapeutic modalities, such as genetic medicines. According to the enterprise, they “represent the company’s dedication to strengthening its portfolio of potentially life-changing treatments.”  Read more via European Pharmaceutical Review

Jubilant HollisterStier nets US government contract to increase activity at its growing facility

A pharmaceutical contract manufacturer that has been growing its presence in the US has secured itself a sizable contract from the US government.

Jubilant HollisterStier, a subsidiary of Singapore-based Jubilant Pharma Limited, has entered into a cooperative agreement for $149.6m with the Army Contracting Command. The deal is also in coordination with the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) on behalf of BARDA.

The effort, which was funded under the American Rescue Plan, will enable Jubilant HollisterStier to double its injectable filling production capacity at its Spokane, WA manufacturing facility for a total cost of $193m. The project is slated for completion in 2025, according to the company.  Read more via Endpoints News

Tuesday – 05/31/2022

Tesla’s Shanghai factory adds back second shift, restoring manufacturing capacity to level before citywide lockdown: sources

Tesla has put two shifts back into operation at its factory in Shanghai, restoring manufacturing capacity to the level before local authorities imposed a citywide lockdown on April 1 to combat an outbreak of Covid-19.

The Gigafactory 3, also known as Giga Shanghai, is once again able to assemble about 2,600 electric vehicles a day, according to two industry officials with knowledge of the plant’s status who declined to be named as they are not authorised to talk with the media.

This follows weeks of single shift “closed loop” operations at the factory, whereby workers had to sleep on site to avoid contact with outsiders and be tested daily for possible Covid-19 infection.  Read more via South China Morning Post

Robots pick up more work at busy US factories

Robots are turning up on more factory floors and assembly lines as companies struggle to hire enough workers to fill rising orders.

Orders for workplace robots in the U.S. increased by a record 40% during the first quarter compared with the same period in 2021, according to the Association for Advancing Automation, the robotics industry’s trade group.

Robot orders, worth $1.6bn, climbed 22% in 2021, following years of stagnant or declining order volumes, the group said.  Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Norwegian Air Shuttle to buy 50 Boeing 737 MAX, ending dispute

Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle said yesterday it would buy 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, ending a dispute between the companies and helping revive the US-made aircraft after two deadly crashes.

The jets will be delivered between 2025 and 2028, or around the same time that Norwegian’s aircraft leasing deals come to an end, and the contract includes an option for 30 more, the company said in a statement.

The order is welcome news for the US manufacturer’s flagship Boeing 737 MAX 8, which was grounded for 20 months following two fatal accidents and has been gradually returning to service since late 2020.  Read more via The Sun Daily

$1.5m set to boost Michigan’s semiconductor workforce

Amidst rising demands in the US semiconductor market, and great strains being felt within the supply chain, $1.5m in funding has been announced to bolster the semiconductor industry talent pipeline in Michigan, US.

SEMI, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on Thursday (26th May) announced the funding for SEMI Foundation that will see the development of the SEMI Career and Apprenticeship Network (SCAN) in the US state.  Read more via Gas World

Monday – 05/30/2022

DOE’s Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute releases first public roadmap

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII) recently released its first Public Roadmap, which details a five-year plan for the Institute’s activities, priorities, and initiatives. Housed at the University of Texas at San Antonio, CyManII supports early-stage research and development (R&D) to improve the competitiveness of American manufacturing, secure supply chains, and bolster cybersecurity in energy-efficient manufacturing.  Read more via DOE

Firm to move to GE warehouse site, bringing 45 jobs, $2.25m in new payroll to Ravenna

The former GE Distribution Plant in Ravenna will soon become Boston Retail Products, bringing 45 jobs to the Ravenna site.

The business, based in Medford, Mass. received a 1.232 percent, six-year Job Creation Tax Credit from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority for the project. The business expects to open by fall, said Brad Ehrhart, president of the Portage County Development Board.  Read more via Record-Courier

The Manufacturer Podcast: The tech that will make us sustainable

The penultimate episode of series three of The Manufacturer Podcast will look at modern manufacturing technology that could enable a huge push towards a sustainable future.

We welcome our podcast sponsors Accenture on to talk about the latest manufacturing technology, and how it’s being applied in the manufacturing world. Dan Farrell at Accenture, along with Séverine Trouillet from Dassault Systèmes, discuss how this new and exciting tech can enable sustainable growth within the industry.  Read more via The Manufacturer

Tesla rival NIO reportedly recruiting positions to build a US manufacturing plant

According to a report out of China, EV automaker NIO is hiring a number of positions related to manufacturing vehicles in the US. The recruitment descriptions suggest the Chinese automaker intends to begin planning and erecting EV production facilities on US soil that may begin with either complete knock down (CKD) or semi-knock down (SKD) assembly methods.

NIO is an EV automaker originally founded in China in 2014 that has established itself as one of the leading electrified brands, originally beginning with a line of electric SUVs. Following the addition of two EV sedans, NIO has begun expanding to other global markets the past year, starting in Europe.  Read more via electrek

T. Hasegawa USA opens new California food and beverage flavor manufacturing facility

T. Hasegawa USA officially opened a new 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., which augments the company’s manufacturing resources in the U.S. market by 50 percent and expands capabilities in sweet flavor production and technology.

The new facility was opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by T. Hasegawa USA CEO Tom Damiano and the company’s U.S. leadership team, who toured the new plant to observe the extensive manufacturing workspace, technical equipment and industry-leading safety equipment.  Read more via Food Enginerring

Friday – 05/27/2022

UK signs first US state-level agreement with Indiana

The UK today (May 27 2022) marks a milestone in trade relations with the US by signing its first state-level trade and economic development Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indiana.

The MoU creates a framework to remove barriers to trade and investment, paving the way for UK and Indianan businesses to invest, export, expand and create jobs.

Indiana is an entrepreneurial powerhouse, offering UK firms significant opportunities in areas like renewable energy, advanced manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.  Read more via GOV UK

Go up SpaceX’s Starship-catching robotic launch tower with Elon Musk

Wanna tour of SpaceX’s Orbital Launch Tower? Today is your lucky day and who better to give you that tour than Mr SpaceX himself, Elon Musk.

Let Elon walk you around the bottom, explain how they plan to catch the booster with the chopsticks and then go up the elevator stopping at the quick disconnect and on to the upper deck.  Watch now via YouTube

Georgia gives US solar panel manufacturing a big boost with a new factory

Seoul-headquartered PV solar-cell manufacturing giant Q Cells today announced that it’s opening a new solar panel manufacturing facility in Dalton, Georgia.

It’s a $171m expansion of Q Cells’ existing solar module manufacturing plant in Dalton, and that will create 470 additional jobs. Total local Q Cells employees will exceed 1,000 when the expansion is complete.

Groundbreaking is planned for fall 2022 and operation is expected to commence within the first half of 2023.  Watch now via electrek

T. Hasegawa opens new manufacturing plant

T. Hasegawa USA has opened a new 60,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. According to the company, the new facility augments its manufacturing resources in the US market by 50% and expands capabilities in sweet flavor production and technology.

The Rancho Cucamonga facility will primarily service the production of sweet food and beverage flavors, and features large capacity equipment for liquid blending, spray dry technology for powdered flavors, and extraction equipment for flavor extractions, the company said. Additionally, the facility features high-tech tooling used for development and manufacturing of T. Hasegawa’s recent product innovations, including Boostract and EmulsiTract kokumi-enriching products and developing proprietary technologies.  Watch now via Baking Business

Kendal baby formula producer to supply US amid shortage

Baby formula produced in Cumbria is being sent to the US to help amid severe shortages.

Kendal Nutricare has been approved by the US’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to fast-track about two million cans of its Kendamil product.

A combination of US supply chain issues and a manufacturer shutting a factory due to contamination have led to the worst shortages there in decades.  Read more via BBC News