Daily US Manufacturing News Digest – the industry stories you should be aware of today

Each day The Manufacturer compiles a roundup of the top US manufacturing news stories from around the web. To make your life a little easier, we trawl through all the major trade publications, broadsheets and business magazines to find you the most important manufacturing news each morning. Don't forget to bookmark this page and check back daily.

Friday – 25/09/2020

Impresa, parts maker for Boeing 737 MAX, files for bankruptcy

Impresa Aerospace LLC, has filed for bankruptcy protection after losing revenue from its biggest customer, Boeing. The Gardena, California-based company makes parts used in the manufacture of Boeing’s 737 MAX airliners, which have been out of service following two fatal crashes. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Evergreen Theragnostics breaks ground on Springfield manufacturing facility

Evergreen Theragnostics, a radiopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), has broken ground on new manufacturing facility in Springfield, New Jersey.

The 14,000-square-foot site will feature four fully equipped production suites and three additional customizable ones, research space, multiple sterility lines, quality control, material storage and packaging space. — Read more via Evergreen Theragnostics

Catalent acquires new biologics facility to create North American clinical manufacturing center of excellence

Catalent, a leading global provider of advanced delivery technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, and consumer health products, has announced that it will create a clinical manufacturing center of excellence in Bloomington, Indiana.

The center will specialize in early-phase clinical biologics formulation development and drug product fill/finish services. The $14 million investment includes the acquisition, build-out, and qualification of the facility to begin supporting customer programs starting January 2021. — Read more via Catalent

Rolls-Royce finishes ground testing for all-electric plane

Rolls-Royce has completed ground testing of the powertrain technology that will power its all-electric aeroplane.

All the testing was completed on a full-scale replica of the plane’s core, called an ‘ionBird’, including a 500hp electric powertrain powerful enough to set world speed records and a battery with enough energy to supply 250 homes. — Read more via Aerospace Manufacturing

Pfizer leans into gene therapy manufacturing with ‘build-buy-partner’ strategy

Pfizer has invested big money in production capacity, and it’s willing to use it not just for its in-house candidates, but for partners, too.

In a joint announcement on Wednesday with gene therapy maker Vivet Therapeutics, Pfizer said the two firms are partnering on a manufacturing deal for a Wilson’s disease candidate that will be produced at Pfizer’s Chapel Hill, North Carolina plant.

Manufacturing is often a major hurdle for drugmakers hoping to bring 10 to 20 new products to market each year, which is why the Pfizer-Vivet partnership could be pivotal for the industry. — Read more via FiercePharma

Thursday – 24/09/2020

Final Airbus A380 rolls off the production line

The final Airbus A380 fuselage has been assembled and rolled out of Hangar 40 at the aerospace giant’s Toulouse facility.

The assembly marks the end of an era as the A380 program draws to a close just 15 years after the aircraft’s first flight. — Read more via Simple Flying

GE signs first contract for the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine in operation

Dogger Bank Wind Farm and GE Renewable Energy have agreed on provisional contracts for the first two phases of the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm off the Yorkshire coast, England.

GE will supply 190 Haliade-X 13-MW offshore wind turbines, comprising 95 turbines for each of the first two phases of the project, Dogger Bank A and B. According to Equinor, which will operate the wind farm after completion, it will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm to date. — Read more via REVE

US Army flies CH-47 Chinook with more powerful GE Aviation T408 for first time

The US Army has flown a Boeing CH-47 Chinook with a more powerful GE Aviation T408 turboshaft for the first time.

The initial test flight is the product of a cooperative research and development agreement between the US Army, Boeing and GE to evaluate the feasibility and technical risks involved with adding a more powerful engine to the cargo helicopter. — Read more via Flight Global

SKF invests in North American manufacturing footprint

Swedish bearings manufacturer SKF has said it will pour $39.3m into expanding and automating processes at the group’s factory in Sumter, South Carolina. The investment, SKF says, is designed to strengthen the firm’s manufacturing footprint and competitiveness in North America. — Read more via Modern Distribution Management

VW unveils new global ID.4 electric SUV; U.S. production starts in 2022

Volkswagen has unveiled its new all-electric SUV called the ID.4. The vehicle will be targeted at mainstream buyers, starting at $39,995 when it arrives in US showrooms early next year.

The ID.4 will be imported to the U.S. from Germany until local production begins at a VW plant in Tennessee in 2022, the company said. — Read more via CNBC

Wednesday – 23/09/2020

These are the main takeaways from Tesla Battery Day: $25k EV, cobalt-free batteries & more

Tesla Battery Day is over and there was a number of important announcements, all of which promise to reduce the cost of batteries and, in turn, EV vehicles. Find out the main takeaways via The Manufacturer

Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron to invest $1bn in Vietnamese plant

Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron hopes to invest money in Vietnam in three phases that target computing, communication, and consumer electronics production facilities by 2027.

The investment is expected to create nearly 23,000 jobs and contribute 100bn dong ($4.31m) to the state budget per year. — Read more via Appleinsider

La Brea Bakery investing in bakery operations to meet increased customer demand

La Brea Bakery, North America’s #1 artisan bread brand, is investing in automation as part of a ‘long-term investment’ by its parent company, ARYZTA.

The investment in automation will help the firm support its brand growth and expansion. — Read more via Business Wire

Bang Energy plans southeast US manufacturing campus in Lithia Springs, Georgia

Energy and sports beverage company Bang Energy will invest $145m to open its first Southeastern manufacturing and distribution facility in Lithia Springs, Georgia. The project is expected to create at least 600 new jobs in Douglas County. — Read more via Area Development

US production for all-new 2021 Nissan Rogue starts in Tennessee

Despite the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, production of the 2021 Nissan Rogue launched Tuesday at the Nissan North America vehicle assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee — right on schedule.

Nissan North America’s Smyrna plant is Nissan’s highest-volume assembly plant in North America with an annual production capacity of about 640,000 vehicles. The plant employs about 7,000 people and produces the Nissan Altima, Maxima, LEAF, Pathfinder and INFINITI QX60 in addition to the Rogue. — Read more via Tennessean

Tuesday – 22/09/2020

NASA publishes Artemis plan to land first woman, next Man on moon in 2024

NASA has shared an update on its Artemis program, including the latest Phase 1 plans to land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the Moon in 2024. The $28bn, nearly five-year plan hinges on congress approving $3.2bn in the next few months to kick-start development of new human-rated lunar landers. — Read more via NASA

Amazon details its low-bandwidth Sidewalk neighborhood network, coming to Echo and Tile devices soon

Amazon is preparing to launch an ambitious networking and location system later this year. Known as Sidewalk, the technology will link smart home devices and other Amazon products using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), connecting beyond the range of a standard Wi-Fi network.

With the right amount of access points, Sidewalk could easily cover a whole neighborhood, allowing smart devices to remain connected outside of their home. — Read more via Amazon

GE will stop building coal-fired power plants

US industrial giant General Electric has said it will no longer build any more coal-fired power plants, as it focuses on prioritizing its renewable energy and power generation businesses.

The announcement is a dramatic reversal for GE, one of the world’s biggest makers of coal-fired power plants, and highlights how the company continues to transform itself under new CEO Larry Culp. — Read more via General Electric

Frugal innovation: Manufacturers’ new imperative

Manufacturers ‘must strive to create products and services that score high on seven seemingly contradictory and irreconcilable attributes that are increasingly appreciated by value—and values—conscious US customers,’ writes Navi Radjou for Forbes. — Read more via Forbes

GE Aviation delivers first F110 engines for US Air Force F-15EX advanced Eagle

GE Aviation has delivered the first F110-GE-129 engines for the USAF’s F-15EX advanced Eagle fighter.

In June, the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCM) awarded GE Aviation a Lot 1 contract to produce 19 F110-GE-129 engines, including installs and spares and modernized engine monitoring system computers for the first eight F-15EX. Each F-15EX will have two engines. — Read more via GE Aviation

Monday – 21/09/2020

Tesla Battery Day is happening tomorrow: Three things to expect & how to watch live

Despite being in the works for over a year and encountering its fair share of delays, Tesla Battery Day is finally happening tomorrow, September 22.

There’s been a lot of speculation ahead of the event and Elon Musk has said the event will be “big.” The Manufacturer looks at three things to expect from Tesla Battery Day and how to watch live. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Ford launches creative highlighting manufacturing

Ford Motor Co. is launching a creative highlighting the automaker’s commitment to building in America and strengthening the country’s manufacturing base.

The automaker last week touted its American jobs and recent investments of about $1.5bn as it launched the new “Built for America” brand campaign ahead of production beginning later this month of its next-generation Ford F-150 pickup at a plant in metro Detroit. — Read more via CNBC

New PPE manufacturer starts operations in Cape Girardeau

A new manufacturer of personal protective equipment has started operations in Cape Girardeau, MO, and has already landed a contract with the State of Missouri.

Patriot Medical Devices began its operations in late August and is currently manufacturing 3-ply disposable face masks with American made materials. The firm opened with 12 employees. — Read more via KRCU

HP unveils tooling solution for molded fiber manufacturers

US-based technology company Hewlett Packard (HP) has unveiled a new environmentally friendly packaging and production solution for molded fiber manufacturers.

The solution comprises new HP molded fiber advanced tooling technology, which helps to provide fast, advanced design and fabrication of high-performance molded fiber tooling within two weeks compared to four to six weeks by traditional methods. — Read more via HP