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 – 27/11/2020

Apple may move iPad and MacBook manufacturing from China to Vietnam

Apple has asked Foxconn to move some iPad and MacBook manufacturing capacity to Vietnam. The assembly lines are set to start production in the first half of next year at Foxconn’s Bac Giang province, according to a Reuters’ source, who notes that Apple wants to diversify its supply chain due to the ongoing trade disputes between the US and China. — Read more via Reuters

MIT releases three new reports related to robotics and manufacturing

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has released three new research briefs from MIT professors and members of the Work of the Future Task Force focused on tech adoption in manufacturing and subsequent workforce impacts.

The briefs break down the adoption of new technologies by US manufacturers, as well as the development of new transformative manufacturing technologies: additive manufacturing and industrial robotics. — Read more via Robotics & Automation News

Biden unveils economic plan; emphasis on job creation and new technology

President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled his economic plan to help the US recover from the after-effects of the Covid-10 pandemic, laying great emphasis on clean energy, job creation and investment in new technologies.

The President-elect made the announcement on Monday after a video meeting with a select group of nine business and labour leaders, including Indian-Americans Satya Nadella (Microsoft) and Sonia Syngal (GAP Inc). — Read more via National Herald

Renault to transform Flins site into ‘re-factory’ circular automaotive production line

Multinational car manufacturer Groupe Renault has announced that it’s creating an ‘Re-Factory’ that’s dedicated entirely to sustainable automotive production.

The facility, which is being built near Paris in the French town of Flins, will focus on reducing waste by recycling and retrofitting vehicles, as well as offering a 3D printed spare parts service. Through the initiative, Renault aims to achieve a negative carbon balance by 2030, and create an industrial ecosystem that encourages circular innovation. — Read more via 3D Printing Industry

Elon Musk says Mars-bound spacecraft Starship will attempt first proper flight next week

Elon Musk has said SpaceX will perform the first proper flight of Starship next week after a successful test firing of the Mars-bound spacecraft.

The billionaire entrepreneur has promised to live stream the launch “warts and all,” claiming there is only a one in three chance of Starship landing in one piece. — Read more via The Independent

Thursday – 26/11/2020

BAE Systems to modernize USS Wasp again

For the second time in four years, USS Wasp is undergoing work to sustain its warfighting capability.

BAE Systems has received a $197.4m contract from the USN for drydock, maintenance and modernisation of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (pictured) at its shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia. — Read more via Shephard

Tesla shows first 4860 cells and pack video

Tesla has released a new visualization of how its new 4680 cylindrical battery cells, with the shingle spiral approach, will be arranged inside the pack, without the use of modules inside.

The images and videos from the pilot production line in California are available at the Join the Cell Team website, where Tesla is looking for literally hundreds or maybe even thousands of talented workers to support its battery business expansion to uncharted areas of technology – where “Tera is the New Giga”. — Read more via InsideEVs

Boeing seeks to throw out Norwegian’s 737 MAX lawsuit

This summer, Norwegian Air filed a $1bn lawsuit against Boeing due to losses incurred from the grounding of the 737 MAX. The airline, which just last week entered protection from creditors under Irish law, said that the manufacturer’s presentation of the aircraft had been based on “a pack of lies.” Boeing is now seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, which is up for hearing next month. — Read more via Simple Flying

Firehawk Aerospace raises $2m for its 3D printed rocket propulsion tech

Veteran-owned rocket engine manufacturer Firehawk Aerospace has raised $3m for its 3D printed rocket propulsion technology.

The Florida firm will use the funds to test Firehawk’s engine at an operational scale, grow its partnerships with leading government and commercial entities around the world, and expand its research and manufacturing facilities to Texas and Oklahoma. — Read more via 3D Printing Media Network

UK-based DST Innovations partners with Blue Rock Manufacturing in Morgantown, West Virginia

Wales-headquartered technology company DST Innovations will locate its new American manufacturing base in Morgantown, West Virginia. The company has agreed on a contract with West Virginia-based company Blue Rock Manufacturing to establish a new facility for the development of its new energy cells.

The new facility will be the forefront of green technology, using existing organic material, such as coal, to create new clean energy storage solutions. The development is expected to create up to 1,000 new jobs in the manufacturing and technology sectors. The manufacturing base will be located in Morgantown, with a Phase 2 expansion planned for the Southern Coalfields region of the state. — Read more via Area Development

Wednesday – 25/11/2020

Rolls-Royce opens new Savannah customer support centre in Georgia

Aerospace engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has opened its new customer support centre in Savannah, Georgia. Named after local aviation pioneer Hazel Jane Raines, the new 62,000 sq. ft. Rolls-Royce Raines Building is located adjacent to the new Gulfstream Service Centre East.

The facility is slated to be fully operational by end of this year and will feature an on-site customer support office and an on-wing services repair facility. — Read more via Aerospace Technology

Tesla to build ‘world’s largest’ battery plant near Berlin

Tesla boss Elon Musk said Tuesday that he plans to build the world’s largest battery-cell factory at the group’s electric car plant near Berlin.

Tesla has already started construction on a huge “gigafactory” in a forested area in Gruenheide, south of the German capital, due to open next year. — Read more via Tech Xplore

BWX Technologies develops new nuclear reactor tech

Virginia-headquartered BWX Technologies has developed new additive manufacturing technologies for the design and manufacture of nuclear reactor components made from high-temperature alloys and refractory metals. BWX developed this technology in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is an American government technology development site located in Tennessee.

Additive manufacturing technologies have the potential to transform the nuclear industry because AM processes can create hitherto-unheard-of shapes. — Read more via 3D Printing Media Network

IBM to acquire Instana to expand hybrid cloud services

IBM has announced its intention to buy Instana, an applications performance management startup with a cloud native approach. The acquisition fits firmly within IBM’s strategy to transition from software and services to a company fully focussed on hybrid cloud management.

With Instana, IBM can build on its internal management tools, giving it a way to monitor containerized environments running Kubernetes. It hopes by adding the startup to the fold it can give customers a way to manage complex hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

A purchase price has not been revealed. — Read more via TechCrunch

10 companies win joint US, UK Space Pitch Day contracts

Ten companies from four countries won seed money for innovative projects to improve military space technology at the first International Space Pitch Day, hosted online by the United States and United Kingdom, the United States Space Force said Nov. 23.

It is the first time two nations awarded joint defense contracts to foreign companies for technology development, the Space Force said. The service’s Space and Missile Systems Center partnered with the UK Defense and Security Accelerator and the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory’s space program, with input from players like UK Strategic Command and NATO. — Read more via Air Force Magazine

Tuesday – 24/11/2020

Relativity Space closes $500m series D funding

Relativity Space, a Los Angeles, CA-based company 3D printing an entire rocket and building large metal 3D printers, has successfully closed a $500m Series D equity funding round.

Led by Tim Ellis, the company intends to use the funds to to accelerate its planned initiatives, including its factory of the future, launch vehicle development, and 3D printing technologies. — Read more via FinSMEs

America Makes awards $2.3m funding for project calls

America Makes has awarded $2.3m in funding across three project calls seeking to accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing and address supply chain needs. A total of 10 teams have been selected to participate in the project calls, which were initially announced in July.

The successful project teams will receive the funding from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)‘s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Technology Division, and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering OUSD(R&E). — Read more via 3D Printing Industry

Resilience raises over $800m to transform pharmaceutical manufacturing in response to COVID-19

Resilience, a new biopharmaceutical company backed by $800m in financing from investors including ARCH Venture Partners and 8VC, has emerged from stealth to transform the way that drugs and therapies are manufactured in the United States.

According to a statement, the company will invest heavily in developing new manufacturing technologies across cell and gene therapies, viral vectors, vaccines and proteins. — Read more via TechCrunch

Spirit cuts buyout price for Bombardier aerostructures unit as COVID-19 hits industry

US aircraft parts maker Spirit AeroSystems has said it has reached a deal with Bombardier Inc. to cut the purchase price of the Canadian planemaker’s aerostructures unit by 45% to $275m as COVID-19 weighed on the aerospace sector.

But under the revised deal, Spirit would assume liabilities valued at $824m, the company’s statement said, compared with $700m in the original 2019 agreement. — Read more via Nasdaq

Intel CEO Bob Swan urges Biden to invest in US manufacturing

In an open letter published on Intel’s website Monday, Intel CEO Bob Swan congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and urged the country’s incoming leaders to invest in manufacturing and digital infrastructure as well as technology-related measures “to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19, racial strife, a growing skills gap and increasing global competition.” — Read more via CRN

Monday – 23/11/2020

Rivian to deliver $75,000 electric truck in June, complete with 300-mile range and vegan leather seats

Norman, Il.-based electric truck startup Rivian will begin taking orders on its inaugural models this month, with deliveries starting in June on a special Launch Edition version.

There are three vehicle packages for both the R1T truck and R1S SUV, offered in nine adventurous-sounding colors such as Red Canyon, El Cap Granite and Glacier White. All models have 300-plus miles of range, go from zero to 60 mph in 3 seconds and have vegan leather seats.

The launch package starts at $75,000 for the truck and $77,500 for the SUV, offset by a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles. — Read more via The Day

Apple Supplier Pegatron prepares $150m investment into production in India

Apple assembly partner Pegatron’s board may have given the all-clear to invest $150m into its first production facilities in India, an operation that could be used for iPhone production in late 2021.

Pegatron has yet to set up shop properly in India, a major emerging market for Apple, and has so far registered a subsidiary in the country as a prelude to starting operations. Now, it seems the company is preparing funds to get the subsidiary up and running. — Read more via AppleInsider

Beyond automotive: Why Michigan is eying Israeli industry 4.0 innovation

COVID-19 has become a powerful accelerator for the adoption of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 technologies, as manufacturers around the world realize the need for more remote accessibility, monitoring and management capabilities for production plants, as well as more visible and ‘closer to home’ supply chains.

The pandemic has also accelerated digitization and automation, as global manufacturing hubs, such as Michigan, are adopting Industry 4.0 solutions to keep their competitive edge in the new coronavirus era and beyond. — Read more via CTech

GE signs agreement to develop Vietnam LNG power plant

General Electric and a Vietnamese company have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop an LNG (liquified natural gas) power plant near Ho Chi Minh City.

The signing between GE and EVN Genco3 took place during an event in Hanoi attended by Robert O’Brien, U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, who was on a three-day visit to Vietnam. — Read more via The Business Times

Why innovation is so important to America’s global leadership

To finish today, we’ve got an opinion piece on why innovation is so important to America’s global leadership. It seems rather apt considering the US is about to welcome a new leader in Joe Biden. — Read more via TheHill