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 – 10/22/2021

Continuous manufacturing bill clears House

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday night passed a bill, H.R. 4369, that promotes advanced manufacturing through the creation of national centers for excellence in continuous manufacturing at various universities across the country.

The House also passed another bill, H.R. 3635, which would make changes to the management of the Strategic National Stockpile to help the response to the current pandemic and future public health emergencies by allowing transfers of supplies to other federal departments or agencies and by temporarily authorizing the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to states to maintain their own stockpiles during emergencies. — Read more via Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society

US Navy interested in 64 ‘Tactical Surrogate Aircraft’

The US Navy (USN) is researching options for a “Tactical Surrogate Aircraft”.

The aircraft would supplement flight time and training in frontline combat aircraft, provide adversary air support and serve as a flight lead aircraft for Fleet Replacement Squadrons, a unit that trains naval aviators on frontline combat aircraft, such as the Lockheed Martin F-35C and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. — Read more via Flight Global

Amazon opens robotics manufacturing facility

Amazon has opened a first-of-its-kind robotics manufacturing facility in Westborough, Mass.

The new center expands Amazon Robotics’ manufacturing capability in the United States and growth in the region. The company has created more than 200 new manufacturing jobs in Massachusetts. Amazon began introducing robotics into its facilities in 2012 and has since added over a million new jobs worldwide.

The 350,000-sq.-ft. facility will feature corporate offices, research and development labs, and manufacturing space, in addition to Amazon Robotics’ current site in North Reading, Massachusetts. Employees from Amazon’s engineering, manufacturing, support, and test teams will work at the Westborough site. — Read more via Chain Store Age

The largest candy corn manufacturer in the US was hacked by a ransomware gang before Halloween

Candy manufacturer Ferrara Candy was hacked by a ransomeware gang earlier this month.

Ferrara, which produces sweets such as Sweeet Tarts, Nerds, Trolli gummy worms, Brach’s Candy Corn, and much more, was hacked on October 9 and it encrypted some of its systems, Ferrara confirmed to Insider on Thursday.

The Chicago-based confectionary is now working with authorities to resume producing at full capacity, it said.

Ferrara is responsible for 85% of candy corn production in the US for Halloween, according to reporting on the hack by Gizmodo. — Read more via Business Insider

Wisconsin manufacturer closes US$192m deal with Giant Factories

Wisconsin-based water technology company A.O. Smith Corporation has taken over Giant Factories, Inc. under a US$192m asset purchase deal.

A.O. Smith announced Tuesday that it has acquired the Quebec-based water heater manufacturer, Giant Factories, Inc. The purchase price is approximately US$192m, payable in cash. The deal is also subject to customary adjustments which include an expected tax benefit of $6.5m arising out of the asset purchase transaction.

A.O. Smith is a global manufacturer of residential and commercial water heaters and boilers. The company is present in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, China, India, the U.K., the Netherlands and Turkey. It also has sales and distribution operations in more than 60 countries. The acquisition of Giant will expand A.O. Smith’s existing presence in the Canadian water heater market. — Read more via Canadian Lawyer

Thursday – 10/21/2021

Micron to invest $150bn over next decade in memory manufacturing

Micron Technology, the U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturer with a heavy focus on memory processors, announced that it plans to invest more than $150bn worldwide over the next decade “in leading-edge memory manufacturing and research and development, including potential U.S. fab expansion,” according to a company statement.

The announcement comes amid an ongoing global chip shortage and other supply chain disruptions, but also as the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) market segment appears to be fluctuating and heading toward over-supply and potential chip price declines, several published reports have stated. — Read more via Fierce Electronics

Energy efficiency saved US manufacturers and water firms $9.3bn

More than 250 US manufacturers and water utilities in that introduced energy efficiency and decarbonisation measures saved a total of $9.3 billion (£6.8bn) on energy costs.

That’s according to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2021 update to the Better Buildings, Better Plants programme, which aims to decarbonise the industrial sector.

It also helped save around 116 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions during the same period.

The Better Plants initiative partners include every major US industrial sector representing almost 14% of the domestic manufacturing footprint and 3,500 facilities across the country. — Read more via Energy Live News

Red Cat Subsidiary TEAL Drones opens US manufacturing facility

Red Cat Holdings, Inc., a hardware-enabled software provider to the drone industry, announces today that its TEAL Drones subsidiary has opened its new U.S.-based manufacturing facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Teal Drones’ new 13,000+ square foot facility will be substantially focused on quality standards-based processing and manufacturing and will scale the operation to full capacity over the coming months. The facility also enables the expansion of TEAL’s talented team. The factory is currently functional, and Teal is beginning to immediately fulfill orders out of the new facility. The team is also working to advance the factory’s automation capability to ensure world class, scalable quality. — Read more via KEVN

Innovation grants help B.C. manufacturers grow, create jobs

Small and medium-sized manufacturers in B.C. can expand, adapt and enhance their operations through the StrongerBC Accelerating Manufacturing Grants program.

The program has allocated $10 million for 43 new projects designed to strengthen innovation and diversification and create new family-supporting jobs in the province’s manufacturing sector as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. — Read more via BC Gov News

Watson-Marlow announces details of the new US manufacturing facility bringing them closer to customers in the region

Watson-Marlow is pleased to announce that construction will start in October 2021, on a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the United States, with first production due in late 2022. Following an announcement made earlier this year, the Company is pleased to provide further details about the new facility which will be dedicated to its range of industry leading products, including peristaltic pumps, tubing, fluid path solutions and BioPure components.

Part of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc, a FTSE100 Company, Watson-Marlow specializes in high-quality fluid management solutions for the life sciences and process industries. This significant investment in the expansion of its manufacturing capacity will support the Company’s future growth in the Americas. — Read more via KEVN

Wednesday – 10/20/2021

Volcon’s US-built electric UTV gets manufacturing boost ahead of 2022 production

America’s only all-electric offroad powersports company Volcon is preparing to roll out its first side-by-side Stag UTV next year. That prospect is looking even rosier after signing on Martin Technologies, a design firm and automotive industry expert that works with brands like Jeep, Dodge, Ford, GM, Nissan, and Toyota.

The Volcon Stag is the first of two UTVs originally announced by the Austin-based electric powersports company all the way back in 2020.

The company was formed barely a year ago and made a splash during its debut by announcing three upcoming vehicles. Volcon said it had plans for an off-road electric motorcycle as well as two different sizes of electric UTVs. — Read more via elektrek

Meggitt says US takeover will go ahead despite UK government intervention

The British aerospace manufacturer Meggitt said it was confident its £6.3bn takeover by a US rival would go ahead, after the business secretary, Kwarsi Kwarteng, intervened in the deal over national security concerns.

Kwarteng referred the proposed acquisition of Coventry-based Meggitt by Parker-Hannifin to the Competition and Markets Authority on Monday, saying it was in the public interest. “The UK is open for business. However, we will take steps to protect our national security when necessary,” he said.

Meggitt, a FTSE 100 engineering company that operates in the aerospace, defence and energy markets, said in a brief statement on Tuesday that it looked forward to “engaging constructively” with the competition regulator on its review. — Read more via The Guardian

BMW invests in US battery manufacturer Our Next Energy

The US battery start-up Our Next Energy (ONE) has raised around 25 million US dollars (around 21.5 million euros) in a Series A financing round. BMW is one of the investors. ONE is currently working on a so-called dual battery.

Founded last year, ONE is a startup based in the US state of Michigan that is working on a dual battery based on two proprietary technologies. The first – christened Aries – uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry in a cell-to-pack architecture to achieve high system-level energy density. In “cell-to-pack”, the cells are integrated directly into the battery pack without the intermediate step of modules; CATL, among others, is also pursuing this approach. — Read more via electrive.com

Elon Musk could become the world’s first trillionaire with SpaceX

Elon Musk has already become the world’s richest person on the ascendancy of Tesla. But it will be SpaceX, rather than the hyped electric-car maker, that lifts him to trillionaire status, according to a Morgan Stanley analyst.

The private space-exploration company “is challenging any preconceived notion of what was possible and the time frame possible, in terms of rockets, launch vehicles and supporting infrastructure,” Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas wrote on Tuesday in a note titled, “SpaceX escape velocity … who can catch them?”

SpaceX currently makes up less than 17 per cent of Musk’s $US241.4bn net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. And that’s after the company was valued at $US100bn in a secondary share sale earlier this month. — Read more via Sydney Morning Herald

US-based Flex buys Co Louth’s Anord Mardix for $540m

Anord Mardix, the Co Louth based provider of power solutions for the data centre sector, has been bought by US based manufacturer Flex for $540m in cash.

The private equity firm, Bertam Capital, had previously owned Anord Matrix, having bought it in 2018 for $48.6m.

Anord Mardix was formed the same year by the amalgamation of Anord Control Systems, which was based in Dundalk and a UK firm, Mardix.

Flex said the acquisition added to its portfolio of power products and expands its offering in the data centre market.

It is expected to close between now and the end of this year. — Read more via RTÉ

Tuesday – 10/19/2021

Toyota Alabama’s future is electrified, turbocharged

Together with state and community leaders, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama (TMMAL) held an event to celebrate the first of Toyota’s latest engine products for the all-new 2022 Tundra to come off the production line. These new engines, a hybrid electric powered twin-turbo V6 engine and the gas-powered twin-turbo V6 engine, usher in the next era of powertrains being assembled in Huntsville.

Toyota’s new twin-turbo V6 engine line was part of a $288 million investment that also added 450 new jobs. That represented the largest hiring need in Toyota Alabama’s history, boosting the plant’s total employment to 1,800. Completion of this project – originally announced in February 2019 – marked the fifth expansion at Toyota Alabama. Toyota Alabama’s total cumulative investment is $1.2 billion and now boasts an annual engine capacity of 900,000. — Read more via Toyota

Vestas named preferred supplier for 2.1GW offshore wind in US

Danish manufacturer Vestas has been pre-selected to supply its 15MW turbines for the 816MW Empire Wind 1 and 1260MW Empire Wind 2 projects off Long Island, New York state.

The deal, one of the largest preferred supplier agreements for offshore wind power in the US, covers the supply of 138 V236-15.0MW turbines, which, according to Vestas, will become the largest and most powerful turbine model in the world when a prototype is installed off Denmark in the second half of 2022.

Vestas has already been pre-selected by utility-developer EnBW to supply its 15MW turbine to the 900MW He Dreiht project in the German North Sea, where turbine installation is due to begin in the second quarter of 2025. — Read more via Windpower Monthly

First China-built Mustang Mach-E rolls off assembly line

The first Mustang Mach-E made in China for local consumers rolled off the assembly line Monday, Ford Motor Co. announced.

The all-electric SUV already is sold in the United States and other markets. The China-built version is assembled at Changan Ford’s plant in Chongqing and will be available for delivery to customers in China by the end of the year, according to Ford. — Read more via The Bellingham Herald

Foxconn unveils 3 electric vehicle prototypes in push to diversify away from consumer electronics

Taiwan’s Foxconn unveiled its first three electric vehicle prototypes on Monday, underscoring ambitious plans to diversify away from its role of building consumer electronics for Apple and other tech firms.

The vehicles – an SUV, a sedan and a bus – were made by Foxtron, a venture between Foxconn and Taiwanese car maker Yulon Motor.

Foxtron Vice Chairman Tso Chi-sen told reporters that he hoped electric vehicles would be worth a trillion Taiwan dollars to Foxconn in five years time – a figure equivalent to around $35bn. — Read more via CNBC

Hubbell Power Systems to create more than 70 jobs with Rocky Mount expansion project

Hubbell Power Systems, Inc. a global manufacturer of electrical power products for utilities will expand operations in North Carolina with an $8.9m investment in the City of Rocky Mount, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will add 73 new jobs with today’s decision.

Hubbell Power Systems is an operating unit of Hubbell Incorporated, an international manufacturer of quality electrical and electronic products for a broad range of non-residential and residential construction, industrial, and utility applications. The company’s facility in Rocky Mount is home to the PenCell Plastics brand, a line of specialized enclosures for utility infrastructure markets, such as grade level enclosures, ground pedestals, and equipment pads. — Read more via North Carolina Office of the Governor

Check-Cap expands manufacturing capacity ahead of US study

Israeli clinical diagnostics company Check-Cap has expanded its manufacturing capacity as it prepares to launch a U.S. study in 2022.

Check-Cap is the manufacturer of the C-Scan system, an ingestible capsule that detects colorectal polyps before they turn into colorectal cancer.

The company is expanding its production line to support its U.S. study, which will begin at the end of the first quarter next year. — Read more via Becker’s GI and Endoscopy

Monday – 10/18/2021

Waymo self driving cars clog up San Francisco cul-de-sac

Residents of a cul-de-sac in San Francisco say their neighbourhood is regularly playing host to a gathering of Waymo self driving cars and they don’t know why.

According to local news station KPIX, the self driving cars have been driving up and down the “dead-end” street at all hours of the day “for weeks”, with no rhyme nor reason as to why. Most of the self driving cars arrive at the street on 15th Avenue and then turn around and leave once they realise it’s a dead-end. Residents even say there’s sometimes a queue of the vehicles waiting to perform a three-point turn before leaving. — Read more via The Manufacturer

A big summer 2022: Delta Air Lines’ transatlantic JFK flights

Delta Air Lines is bringing back more flights out of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The carrier will be resuming dormant routes to Prague and Copenhagen and bringing its international premium economy product to more customers as it works on a retrofit of its Airbus A330 and Boeing 767 fleet. Altogether, summer 2022 will be a huge year for Delta’s transatlantic network as it comes out of the crisis. — Read more via Simple Flying

Tesla begins delivery of updated Model X SUV

After a series of delays, Tesla has begun delivery of the updated Model X SUV being manufactured at the Gigafactory in Fremont, California. The updates to the Model X include a landscape-oriented display for the onboard computer’s monitor, a second screen in the back for passengers in the rear seats, and a rectangular steering yoke instead of a steering wheel. — Read more via Red Orbit

Honda unveils omnidirectional “sensing 360” safety tech

Honda yesterday announced the latest updates to its advanced driver assistance technologies that will be facilitated by new hardware installed on its upcoming vehicles. Honda Sensing 360 promises to bring improvements and additions to its vehicles’ active safety system.

Those improvements are achieved thanks to a new sensor array that Honda promises will be able to “see” in every direction. Along with the camera currently used for Honda’s Sensing technology, the automaker is adding five millimeter-wave radar sensors to its vehicles. One will face forward and the others will be placed at the four corners of the vehicle to provide a 360 degree view.

The technology will therefore make the brand’s “Collision Mitigation Braking System” better by expanding its view of the road. The driver aid seeks to prevent collisions with pedestrians at intersections. With more sensors, it can now sense in more directions. — Read more via Car Scoops

German plastic fabricator to expand US manufacturing campus in Claremont with $19.2m investment

Pöppelmann Plastics USA LLC, a plastics manufacturer, will create 133 new jobs in Catawba County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest more than $19.2 million to increase its manufacturing campus in the City of Claremont.

“We are pleased with Pöppelmann’s decision to expand their U.S. production facility here in North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “North Carolina companies know that our infrastructure, quality of life and capable workforce are great advantages in their success.” — Read more via North Carolina Office of the Governor

Friday – 10/15/2021

Rolls-Royce says long-haul aircraft engines will be sustainable by 2023

Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Airbus Group are calling for greater collaboration between the aviation sector and governments to reduce carbon emissions to zero more quickly.

Rolls-Royce yesterday announced a new aim for all its Trent series engines to have been proven compatible with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2023.

If achieved, around 40% of the world’s long-haul aircraft engines would operate in accordance with net zero. — Read more via Rolls-Royce

Cortex launches new innovation center to boost US pharmaceutical supply chain

The Cortex Innovation Community has launched a new initiative to strengthen the U.S. supply chain for pharmaceutical ingredients.

Its Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) Innovation Center @ Cortex will enhance those efforts. The nonprofit API Innovation Center wants to “address health security and foster job growth” and will seek to advance that mission by having businesses, researchers, academics and experts work together to find ways in which the U.S. can boost production of pharmaceutical ingredients. — Read more via St Louis Inno

Samsung Electronics North America CEO joins White House meeting, committing to help resolve supply chain issues

Yesterday, Samsung Electronics North America President and Chief Executive Officer, KS Choi, met with Vice President Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, along with CEOs of other major companies and other officials to discuss solutions to supply chain issues.

During the meeting, Samsung, with cooperation from its supply chain partners, committed to move an additional 5,000 containers (an increase of nearly 60%) out of the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports over the next 90 days. To accomplish this, the company will work with its trucking providers and take advantage of the ports’ increase to 24/7 operation. — Read more via Samsung

ANGUS to expand US manufacturing capacity for TRIS AMINO™ tromethamine buffers

ANGUS Chemical Company, a leading global manufacturer and marketer of speciality ingredients and consumables for biotechnology, pharmaceutical, consumer and industrial applications, yesterday announced plans to expand US production capacity for its complete portfolio of TRIS AMINO™ tromethamine buffers.

ANGUS is the world’s largest and only fully integrated original manufacturer of TRIS AMINO buffers, which are used extensively in bioprocessing and diagnostics manufacturing, as building blocks for synthesis of surface-active agents and pharmaceuticals, and emulsifying agents for cosmetic creams and lotions, among others. — Read more via WRDW

Thursday – 10/14/2021

NAM launches manufacturers retirement & savings plan

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is rolling out the Manufacturers Retirement & Savings Plan—a 401(k) plan designed specifically for manufacturers across the country. — Read more via NAM

Rochester company helping to bring more manufacturing back to the US

Optimation Technology is joining forces with Re:Build Manufacturing to bring more manufacturing capacity back to the United States.

Optimation President and CEO Bill Pollock discussed the partnership Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“Re:Build Manufacturing is a pretty new company,” Pollock said. “It’s the brainchild of a man named Jeff Wilke and several of his friends who go together. Jeff until recently was the CEO of Amazon Commerical — so that included Prime, Whole Foods, Alexa, and some others. He got this idea that if he left there he could start U.S. manufacturing and rebuild some of the manufacturing infrastructure that’s disappeared over the last 20 or 30 years. They raised a lot of equity and they have been buying some high-tech manufacturing firms.” — Read more via Rochester First

Koch Strategic Platforms in JV to develop 50GWh battery cell factory in US

A new joint venture (JV) is evaluating building battery cell gigafactories in the US, based on advanced lithium-ion technologies, formed by investor Koch Strategic Platforms and manufacturer FREYR Battery.

Owned 50:50 by Koch Strategic Platforms (KSP) and FREYR, an initial 50GWh of manufacturing capacity would be developed by the JV by 2030, based on a platform developed by 24M Technologies, called SemiSolid.

Creating thicker electrodes than in other batteries which can enable higher energy density, 24M has claimed manufacturing processes the platform enables can reduce the steps, complexity and cost associated with manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles (EV) and energy storage systems (ESS). — Read more via Energy Storage News

Electrolux Professional to Acquire Manufacturer Unified Brands

Electrolux Professional has entered into an agreement to acquire Unified Brands Inc and related assets, a leading US-based manufacturer of foodservice equipment. The acquisition will significantly strengthen Electrolux Professional’s presence in the US and supports Electrolux Professional’s focus on growth with the food service chains.

Electrolux Professional will acquire Unified Brands for approximately SEK 2,140m (USD 244m), on a cash and debt free basis including certain tax benefits, subject to customary post-closing adjustments, from Dover Corporation, a US-based diversified global manufacturer and solutions provider. — Read more via QSR

New analysis: Mass robot potential for US manufacturing SMEs in next 3 years

A huge range of robot technologies that were considered experimental a few years ago, are now commercially viable for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) in the manufacturing sector, according to new analysis.

The study estimates that robots will be a feasible option for more than 50% of SMEs within the next three years1 due to a global trend towards “proven robotics” which has reduced both the cost and complexity of implementing robots. — Read more via Automation

Wednesday – 10/13/2021

In a first, US FDA okays three e-cigarette products by British American Tobacco

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday authorized e-cigarette products for the first time ever, allowing their sale by a unit of British American Tobacco Plc in the United States.

It cleared the company’s Vuse Solo e-cigarette and the accompanying cartridges to be used for refills.

However, the agency denied marketing authorization for certain flavored products submitted under unit R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co’s Vuse Solo brand for failing to demonstrate they would appropriately protect public health. — Read more via Reuters

US cement manufacturers release their road map to carbon neutrality by 2050

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) yesterrday released its “Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality,” which lays out the US net zero plan across the cement and concrete value chain by 2050. Bohan discussed this in his original Q&A with Electrek below.

PCA is aligned with the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), which represents 40 of the world’s biggest producers and about 80 per cent of the industry outside China. — Read more via elektrek

Apple may cut iPhone 13 production by millions as US warns of Christmas shortages

Apple may slash the number of iPhone 13s it will make this year by up to 10m because of a shortage of computer chips amid a worldwide supply chain crunch that led the White House to warn that “there will be things that people can’t get” at Christmas.

Apple was expected to produce 90m units of the new iPhone models this year but has told its manufacturers that the number would be lower because chip suppliers including Broadcom and Texas Instruments were struggling to deliver components, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Shares in Apple fell 1.2% in after-hours trading on Tuesday, reflecting broader falls in the US stock market and in Asia especially because of fears that the lingering impact of Covid and supply chain problems will spark rampant inflation and hamper growth. — Read more via The Guardian

Honda Aircraft unveils 2600 ‘concept’ jet

Honda Aircraft lifted the curtain and unveiled a “concept” of its next aircraft—a larger light jet with a transcontinental range of 2,625 nm and with a midsize-jet cabin that seats up to 11 occupants—on Tuesday morning at NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas. A mockup of the fuselage with stub wings and engines on pylons is on display this week at Honda Aircraft’s BACE exhibit (Booth 3167).

The configuration of the HondaJet 2600 is similar to the original HondaJet HA-420, with Honda Aircraft’s patented over-the-wing-engine-mount design, in which the two engines are attached to pylons mounted on top of the wings. This allows for additional space in the cabin because many engine systems do not need to be installed inside the aft fuselage, while also lowering vibration and noise for passengers. — Read more via Aviation International News

Private sector investment in US offshore wind will soar to $109bn by 2030

New peer-reviewed projections show private sector investment in the US offshore wind industry will total $109bn within 10 years. That figure represents a 40 per cent increase from the last estimate, calculated just two years ago.

The report was completed by the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW), which provides data and analysis to drive the responsible and sustainable deployment of U.S. offshore wind. Its release comes as the sector is aggressively moving toward a national goal of building 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030. — Read more via SIOW

Tuesday – 10/12/2021

BAE Systems’ 155mm ARCHER successfully completes US Army’s shoot-off evaluation

BAE Systems, Inc.’s 155mm ARCHER wheeled howitzer system successfully completed testing during the U.S. Army’s “shoot off” evaluation, as the service evaluates whether to add a wheeled capability to its arsenal. ARCHER is a fully automated mobile weapon system that provides highly responsive and versatile fire support to troops in combat.

ARCHER can fire at extended ranges and has successfully completed demonstrations for the U.S. Army at the Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz. — Read more via The Bakersfield Californian

Swiss manufacturer Dufour eyes Canadian manufacturing facility for new aircraft

The Canadair CL-84 Dynavert was part helicopter, part airplane and a complete flop.

The aircraft built and tested in the 1950s and 60s had tilting wings so it could hover and land like a helicopter but fly forward like a plane. Canadair killed the CL-84 program after it failed to find a buyer, and the aircraft was forgotten.

But now a Swiss aviation company has revived the design, with a modern spin. Dufour Aerospace’s Aero 3 is based on the CL-84′s aerodynamic shape and concept, but burns fuel and electricity to power an eight-seat aircraft.

Dufour aims to have hybrid gas-electric versions of the plane, a cheaper and more efficient alternative to air ambulances and rescue helicopters, on the market by 2025. — Read more via The Globe and Mail

Reliance Industries acquires REC Group, plans 1 GW US module facility

Reliance New Energy Solar (RNES) is acquiring Norway-based module manufacturer REC Group from China National Bluestar Group for $771 million and will move forward with plans to develop a 1 GW module facility in the U.S.

RNES is an arm of Indian multinational company Reliance Industries Ltd. Earlier this year, it announced plans to invest close to $10 billion to establish a “fully integrated, end-to-end renewable energy ecosystem.” The company also announced it acquired a 40% stake in engineering, procurement, and construction supplier Sterling and Wilson. — Read more via PV Magazine

Ornua buys US cheese business Whitehall Specialties

Dairy cooperative Ornua has completed the acquisition of US cheese ingredients business, Whitehall Specialities for an undisclosed sum from Mason Wells, a private equity firm based in Wisconsin.

Ornua said the acquisition complements its US Ingredients division, Ornua Ingredients North America (OINA).

The deal is central to the co-op’s long-term growth strategy in the US cheese ingredients market, it added.

OINA provides customised functional cheese solutions for US food manufacturing and foodservice customers. — Read more via RTÉ

Rivian eyes overseas factories, Australian assembly possible

Electric ute and SUV start-up Rivian has revealed plans to expand its manufacturing footprint beyond its native United States – and a facility in or near Australia could be one of the countries on the agenda.

In its Initial Public Offering (IPO) filing published by US officials this week, Rivian details its plan to enter new markets outside of North America, with Western Europe first on the expansion list – but instead of building and exporting vehicles from its factory in Normal, Illinois, production will be “localised” in the regions where the brand will be sold, to meet demand. — Read more via Drive

US Navy copies sleek Italian design for its new warships

The US Navy, burned in the past, is stepping back from reinventing — or even redesigning — the wheel.

That’s why the Navy’s new Constellation-class of frigates might bring to mind warships currently deployed on the high seas by European countries. It was based on the Fregata Europea Multi-Missione (FREMM) family of vessels from the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the navies of Italy and France.

When it offered the new contract, the Navy told the bidders to consider adapting an existing design for the program — then known as FFG (X) — and in April 2020, awarded Fincantieri’s US subsidiary, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, a $5.5bn contract for the lead ship and nine additional ships. — Read more via The Washington Times

Monday – 10/11/2021

Steel building manufacturer opening $15m factory, bringing 51 jobs to Pueblo

The Steel City is forging a new bond with a steel building manufacturer that plans to bring 51 new jobs to Pueblo next year.

Armstrong Steel, a Denver-based steel building manufacturer, will be developing a $15 million factory at the Minnequa Industrial Park on Greenhorn Drive just south of Pueblo and just west of Interstate 25 after an incentive deal was reached with Pueblo Economic Development Corp. and the city of Pueblo.

It’s a perfect match for Pueblo, home to the EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel Mill, and Armstrong Steel which is looking to expand. — Read more via The Pueblo Chieftain

NanoPV to open manufacturing facility in Georgia

Thin film module and solar technology manufacturer NanoPV plans to invest over US$36 million in a manufacturing and distribution facility in Georgia, announced by state Governor Brian Kemp as he praised Georgia’s “thriving solar environment”.

Announced yesterday (7 October), the commitment will see NanoPV operate in an existing 56,000 square foot facility in Sumter County that will oversee manufacturing, quality control, operations and maintenance (O&M), research and development and marketing activities. — Read more via PV Tech

BD ramps up manufacturing capacity

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a global medical technology company, has strengthened the U.S. government’s access to safety injection devices through increased manufacturing capacity and domestic supply. The new syringe and needle manufacturing lines, which were completed on an accelerated timeline, represent the public-private partnership between BD and Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

In July 2020, ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) invested approximately $42m into a $70m capital project to further expand BD’s operations and manufacturing lines in Holdrege, Neb. The expansion builds on the company’s deep commitment and legacy in supporting US vaccination efforts through the domestic manufacturing of needles and syringes. — Read more via Contract Pharma

First Berlin Teslas could come next month, Elon Musk tells fans

The first cars to emerge from Tesla’s new Berlin factory should roll off the production line as early as next month, CEO Elon Musk said at the site of the plant on Saturday, but added that volume production would take much longer to achieve.

Musk hopes to get the green light in coming weeks to start production at the site. The latest consultation on public concerns towards the site closes on Oct. 14, after which the Environment Ministry will make a decision. — Read more via CNBC

New China-Korea semiconductor industrial complex starts construction amid Beijing’s push for tech self-reliance

The municipal government of Wuxi, a city in eastern Jiangsu province, has partnered with South Korean memory chip giant SK Hynix to develop the China-Korea Integrated Circuit Industrial Park amid Beijing’s push to develop an advanced and self-sufficient semiconductor supply chain in the country.

Construction has started on the new industrial park with a total investment of 2 billion yuan (US$310m), according to the Wuxi government’s announcement on Thursday. There were no details about the facilities to be built on site and the completion date for this infrastructure.

Following that announcement, the city is expected to become home to 19 new semiconductor-related projects with a combined investment of 30.3 billion yuan, according to a report posted on the Wuxi government’s official WeChat account. — Read more via South China Morning Post

Friday – 10/08/2021

Elon Musk announces Tesla is moving its headquarters from California to Texas

Tesla will move its headquarters from Palo Alto, Calif., to Austin, CEO Elon Musk announced at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.

Musk had hinted for months that a move to Texas could be imminent. He also started residing in the state — the country’s second largest and second most populous — where Tesla has ramped up a factory in Austin and where many of the operations for his aerospace firm, SpaceX, are based. Musk lashed out last year at California’s restrictive shelter-in-place measures during the coronavirus pandemic and their effect on the company’s ability to operate its largest production facility in Fremont, Calif. — Read more via The Washington Post

Chinese tech investment poses ‘real danger’ to US industry: Michael Dell

In a new interview, Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell described the US-China economic relationship as “frosty,” and said he welcomes U.S. support for the tech sector as a way to counteract such subsidies in China.

A global chip shortage caused by the pandemic has drawn attention to US reliance on Chinese manufacturing for critical parts that make up goods from laptops to smartphones to cars. — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Plano-based Frito-Lay invests in its manufacturing sites, hiring nearly 15,000 frontline workers in 2021

The snack company says the hirings are enabling it to meet strong consumer demand—and are filling increased job openings due to Frito-Lay expansions, new go-to-market strategies, and backfilling vacant postings. The average pay for its supply chain employees is $22.48 an hour, with an opportunity in some roles to earn up to $43.32 an hour.

More than 5,000 roles are actively being filled now through the end of the year, the snack company says. — Read more via Dallas Innovates

Toymakers race to get products on shelves amid supply clogs

Running out of time to get its products on store shelves ahead of the holidays, the Basic Fun toy company made an unprecedented decision: It’s leaving one-third of its iconic Tonka Mighty Dump Trucks destined for the U.S. in China.

Why? Given surging prices for shipping containers and clogs in the supply network, transportation costs to get the bulky yellow toy to U.S. soil is now 40% of the retail price, which is roughly $26. That’s dramatically up from 7% a year ago. And it doesn’t even include the cost of getting the product from U.S. ports to retailers. — Read more via Associated Press

BD unveils Nebraska-based manufacturing capacity to support US vaccination agility and preparedness

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, yesterday announced it has strengthened the US government’s access to safety injection devices through increased manufacturing capacity and domestic supply.

The new syringe and needle manufacturing lines, which were completed on an accelerated timeline, represent the public-private partnership between BD and Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Thursday – 10/07/2021

JinkoSolar’s only US factory in growth mode in West Jacksonville

Now more than 2.5 years into operations, China-based solar-panel maker JinkoSolar (U.S.) Inc. is heading into its growth phase at its West Jacksonville manufacturing plant, the company’s only US factory.

JinkoSolar said that as of the end of 2020, it became the world’s largest photovoltaic manufacturer. Its 2020 revenue of $5.38bn was up 18.1% over the year. The 280-employee plant makes more than 100 photovoltaic panels an hour to serve the growing solar-energy market. — Read more via Jacksonville Daily Record

Aquiline Drones becomes first US drone manufacturer to establish airline division to transport human tissue and organs

Aquiline Drones (AD), an American drone manufacturer and cloud technology enterprise, has spent the past two years establishing an airline division dedicated to the timely transport of human tissue, organs, blood and other time-critical cargo. The company yesterday announced the culmination of its extensive effort and official formation of AD Airlines after being awarded its Air Carrier Certificate by the FAA on September 16, 2021, which enables AD to commercialize its lifesaving tissue and organ delivery service. — Read more via Geospatial World

Mattress Safe expands manufacturing in the US

Mattress Safe is expanding its capacity in the United States to meet increasing demands.

The company is transitioning its manufacturing approach to accommodate the changing market conditions. With rising demand and long international lead times, the US-based manufacturer is taking necessary steps to increase production by acquiring machinery to automate fabric spreading and precision cutting.

The company’s goal is to maintain the quality its customers expect after 17 years of experience in the industry, Mattress Safe CEO Will Poston said. — Read more via Pest Management Professional

US to invest another $1bn in rapid COVID-19 tests

The US government is committing to purchase an additional 180 million rapid COVID-19 tests for $1bn, adding to the $2 billion test buying plan it announced in September, a top US health official said on Wednesday.

The combined purchases will help quadruple the United States’ test output by December to around 200 million tests per month, Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said during a press call. — Read more via Reuters

New CAES additive manufacturing facility revolutionizes SWaP for next-generation aerospace and defense system design

CAES, a leading provider of mission critical electronic solutions for aerospace and defense, announced today the construction of its new additive manufacturing (AM) operations in Exeter, New Hampshire. The dedicated 3D printing laboratory supports CAES’ partnership with SWISSto12, the leading provider of 3D printed technology for RF applications in the aerospace and defense industry, to bring additive manufacturing solutions and services to US-based customers. — Read more via Valdosta Daily Times

Wednesday – 10/06/2021

Cambrex to pump $30m into expanding North Carolina manufacturing site

Cambrex plans to spend $30m to expand small batch manufacturing capacity at its High Point, North Carolina, facility as the New Jersey-based CDMO continues the march in the U.S. to assure “onshore” production of key pharmaceuticals.

The company said its most recent expansion will focus on the small-molecule sector that provides drug substance, drug product and analytical services and will create 78 new jobs over the next three years. — Read more via Fierce Pharma

First wind turbine to generate 14 MW begins tests in Rotterdam

The first wind turbine operating at 14 MW has begun testing in Rotterdam. It marks an important incremental step for the industry which envisions even larger wind turbines able to operate at up to 20 MW. GE Renewable Energy, which is manufacturing the turbines noted that the new turbine is an uprated version of its 13 MW turbine, which received its type certification in January 2021.

The new 14 MW turbine has officially started certification measurements making the Haliade-X prototype and GE the first industry player to operate a turbine at this power output. According to the engineers, when the turbine goes into operation. one can generate up to 74 GWh of gross annual energy production based on estimates for typical wind conditions at a German North Sea site. — Read more via The Maritime Executive

US Department of Commerce announces new system for detecting supply chain shortages

The US Department of Commerce Monday unveiled its Microelectronics Early Alert System, a new system for detecting supply chain shortages in the semiconductor industry.

This system is part of President Biden’s program for strengthening supply chains in semiconductor manufacturing, batteries, critical minerals, and pharmaceuticals. Biden signed an executive order on February 24 ordering 100-day supply chain reviews for these four industries. The 100-day report for the semiconductor industry highlighted the globalized and fragile nature of the semiconductor supply chain.

The Department of Commerce’s new alert system will consolidate information from producers and manufacturers. The goal of a centralized information-gathering system is to minimize disruptions to the semiconductor supply chain without companies revealing business confidential information to competitors. — Read more via Jurist

GlaxoSmithKline relocates US operations in Philadelphia, North Carolina as COVID-19 cuts its office space needs

GlaxoSmithKline is downsizing its office footprint in the US by moving to new locations.

GSK is leaving offices in North Carolina and Philadelphia in favor of smaller spaces in the same regions. The new workplaces “reflect the way we work now, giving our people flexibility and new spaces that optimize collaboration,” a GSK spokesperson said.

In North Carolina, GSK will leave its 562,000 square-foot campus in Research Triangle Park (RTP) after nearly 40 years as a resident. The U.K. pharma is downsizing and moving to the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham, North Carolina, with offices of 68,000 square feet. The U.S. headquarters of GSK’s HIV-focused joint venture ViiV Healthcare is also part of this relocation.

At the same time, GSK plans to change its Philadelphia location from the 207,780-square-foot Navy Yard site to about 50,000-square-feet of new offices at the FMC Tower in University City. The region is also home to many biotechs, including gene therapy experts at Roche’s Spark Therapeutics and Excision BioTherapeutics. — Read more via Fierce Pharma

Apple supplier Pegatron teams with Microsoft for 5G network push

Key iPhone supplier Pegatron is teaming up with Microsoft to push into 5G private networks, joining a growing number of companies looking to challenge traditional telecom infrastructure players like Huawei Technologies.

Pegatron, the second-biggest iPhone assembler after Foxconn, has been quietly betting on nascent 5G telecom technologies since late 2019, Nikkei Asia has learned, as it looks beyond Apple amid a slowing smartphone market. — Read more via Nikkei Asia

Tuesday – 10/05/2021

Abu Dhabi-controlled GlobalFoundries files for U.S. IPO amid worldwide chip shortage

GlobalFoundries, the world’s third-largest semiconductor foundry, is headed for a US IPO, as the Abu-Dhabi-owned company bolsters investments in its U.S. manufacturing sites.

GlobalFoundries said Monday in its Securities and Exchange Commission prospectus that Mubadala, a United Arab Emirates state investment fund, will list its shares on the Nasdaq and “continue to have substantial control after this offering.” Mubadala currently owns 100% of the company.

The company is third in the market for semiconductor fabrication, behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) and Samsung. The company has three U.S. plants — two in New York State and one in Burlington, Vermont — as well as a plant in Germany and another in Singapore. One of the New York sites, located in East Fishkill, was purchased by ON Semiconductor in 2019 and will be transferred off GlobalFoundries’ books next year. — Read more via CNBC

New manufacturing operation will bring 2,500 jobs to Wythe County

Gov. Ralph Northam is in Wytheville Monday afternoon for a major announcement regarding economic development.

The governor announced a new manufacturing operation will help to create 2,500 new jobs and produce up to 60 billion medical gloves a year. Virginia has also invested $8.5m in infrastructure upgrades at Progress Park.

The investments will include $3m to expand the Fort Chriswell Wastewater Plant, $1.5m to extend public sewer infrastructure, and $4m to build a water tank serving all of Progress Park. — Read more via WFXR

Mocksville announces a second manufacturing relocation in as many weeks

A maker of sound dampening materials for major automotive manufacturers will move to Mocksville from Mount Airy, nearly quadruple its space and create 23 new jobs.

German-based Dr. Friest Automotive (DFA) US will move from a 28,000-square-foot space in Mount Airy to a 110,000-square-foot leased facility at 300 Bethel Church Road. — Read more via Triad Business Journal

Arkansas fishing boat manufacturer to expand, add 50 jobs

A $4.2m expansion at a northern Arkansas boat manufacturing operation is expected to add 50 jobs, officials announced Monday.

Vexus Boats said it would add 30% more square footage to its operation in Flippin, about 105 miles north of Little Rock near the Missouri border. — Read more via Associated Press

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. announces strategic investment in new egg products manufacturing company

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. today announced the Company’s Board of Directors has approved a strategic investment that will specialize in high value commercial product solutions targeting specific needs in the food industry.

The initial focus will include hard-cooked and extended shelf-life egg product lines. The new entity, located in Neosho, Missouri, will operate as MeadowCreek Foods, LLC. — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Monday – 10/04/2021

Ford, SK to spend $11.4bn to build two US manufacturing campuses dedicated to EVs and batteries

Ford Motor Company and battery manufacturer SK Innovation plan to spend $11.4bn to build two massive campuses in Tennessee and Kentucky that will produce batteries as well as the next generation of electric F-Series trucks — a project the companies said will create 11,000 new jobs.

Facilities on the two campuses are designed to cover the entire ecosystem of building an electric vehicle from battery cell production and recycling to a supplier park and an assembly plant. Ford is contributing $7bn to the project, the largest single manufacturing investment in its 118-year history. The investment is part of Ford’s previously announced plan to put $30bn toward electric vehicles by 2025.

The automaker also said it will spend $525 m over the next five years on high-tech job training across the United States, starting in Texas. The investment will focus on training auto technicians to support Ford’s coming onslaught of electric and connected vehicles. — Read more via Tech Crunch

US manufacturing expands further in September; shortages, prices rising – ISM

U.S. manufacturing activity picked up further in September, but factories experienced longer delays getting raw materials delivered and paid higher prices for inputs.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Friday its index of national factory activity increased to a reading of 61.1 last month from 59.9 in August.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for 12% of the U.S. economy. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index falling to 59.6.

Some of the surprise rise in the ISM index, however, was due to a jump in the survey’s measure of supplier deliveries to a reading of 73.4 last month from 69.5 in August. — Read more via Reuters

University of Alabama opens new manufacturing program

In a ceremony Thursday, the UA College of Engineering introduced a new bachelor’s degree program in manufacturing systems engineering, which will be available beginning in fall of 2022. Simultaneously, the university opened Alabama Initiative on Manufacturing Development in Education (IMaDE), an educational partnership between the university and the state’s largest manufacturers to facilitate the new degree program. — Read more via US News & World Report

U.S. aerospace firms commit to net zero emissions by 2050 – sources

U.S. aerospace manufacturers are poised to strengthen a climate target by pledging to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, echoing a commitment to be discussed by global airlines on Monday, according to industry sources and a document seen by Reuters.

The U.S. Aerospace Industries Association will commit on Monday to work with airlines and governments to achieve the target, joining a growing aviation industry consensus that also includes airports, according to the sources. — Read more via Reuters

Drug manufacturer adding jobs, investing $30m in NC expansion

Cambrex Corp., a contract manufacturer of small-molecule therapeutics with major facilities in High Point and Durham, plans to invest another $30m and hire 78 more employees to expand the production capabilities of its High Point campus.

The privately held global company, headquartered in East Rutherford, N.J., has just completed a $30m, three-year expansion of the High Point facility that was designed to add 78 new employees, bringing its total headcount there to about 150. That’s nearly triple the number it had in October 2016 when it established its business there by acquiring PharmaCore, also a privately-held clinical contract manufacturer, for $25m. — Read more via WRAL TechWire

Friday – 10/01/2021

Apple supplier Foxconn to acquire its first EV plant in US

Foxconn has struck a deal to acquire its first electric vehicle manufacturing plant in North America, part of $280m in deals with U.S. electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors that also include a share purchase.

The Taiwanese tech giant said on Friday morning it will take a roughly 4% stake in Lordstown for around $50m and also buy the American company’s manufacturing complex in Ohio for $230m. Foxconn will produce Lordtown’s Endurance full-size pickup truck as part of the facility purchase agreement, the two companies said.

The deals are expected to provide much-needed cash for Lordstown.

The 6.2-million-sq.-foot (575,000-sq.-meter) facility in Ohio, which Lordstown previously bought from General Motors, will be Foxconn’s first car manufacturing foothold in North America. — Read more via Nikkei Asia

China’s factory activity in shock slowdown as energy crisis hits home

China’s factory activity has shrunk unexpectedly amid curbs on electricity use and rising prices for commodities and parts, raising more concerns about the state of the world’s second biggest economy.

A closely watched survey released on Thursday showed that China’s factory activity contracted in September for the first time since the pandemic took a grip in February 2020.

The figures showed that output fell thanks to a marked slowdown in high-energy consuming industries, such as plants that process metals and oil products. Sub-indices also highlighted a fall in new orders, employment and new export orders. — Read more via The Guardian

Toyota’s new Corolla SUV goes into production at Alabama plant

Toyota Motor Corp. started production at a new $2.3 billion factory in Huntsville, Alabama, expanding its North American manufacturing footprint with a plant it broke ground on in 2018.

The Japanese carmaker, which shares the facility with affiliate Mazda Motor Corp., expects to ramp up to full production next year, it said Thursday. The plant has the capacity to produce 300,000 vehicles a year, evenly split between the two automakers.

Toyota is building the Corolla Cross, a new crossover version of its most popular compact sedan, at the factory. Mazda hasn’t announced which vehicle it will produce at the site. — Read more via Bloomberg

North America cereal and bar maker snags investment

The Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF) has made a minority growth equity investment in Stephano Group Ltd., a private label manufacturer of hot and cold cereals, nutrition bars, snacks and granola products. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Stephano Group said it plans to use proceeds from the investment to ramp up its sales and marketing efforts, expand its corporate infrastructure and grow its manufacturing capacity. The company currently operates two manufacturing sites across the greater Toronto area and has 10 production lines that produce a range of breakfast and snack products that include organic, Non-GMO, gluten-free, allergen-controlled, and kosher-certified capabilities. — Read more via Food Business News

US auto sales forecast to plummet in third quarter as chip shortage plagues industry

U.S. auto sales are expected to nose-dive in September, driving purchases of new vehicles down in the third quarter by at least 13% as the chip shortage continues to disrupt production, new industry estimates show.

Forecasts from Cox Automotive, Edmunds and J.D. Power/LMC Automotive predict vehicle sales from July through September were less than 3.4 million, down between 13% and 14% from the same time last year when volumes were depressed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The severe decline, including an expected 24% to 26% fall in September, is due to the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips for new vehicles. — Read more via CNBC

Thursday – 09/30/2021

Lucid Motors begins production of electric vehicles in Arizona

Lucid Motors has officially started rolling new electric vehicles off the assembly line, marking a successful launch of its Advanced Manufacturing Plant, dubbed AMP-1.

Lucid says the AMP-1 factory was constructed in less than one year. The 590-acre site claims to be the first “greenfield, dedicated electric vehicle factory” in North America. The company already plans to expand the facility as it works to center its production framework in Arizona. Gov. Doug Ducey attended the factory commissioning ceremony on Tuesday.

Company officials highlighted the vehicle’s use of a proprietary battery technology that allows the “air” to use significantly less energy, thereby extending the official range. — Read more via Arizona’s Family

New Accedian research finds 76% of manufacturers plan to use private 5G by 2024

Accedian, a leader in performance analytics, cybersecurity threat detection and end user experience solutions, today released new analyst research on the future of 5G in manufacturing. Conducted in partnership with Analysys Mason, a leading management consultancy focused on telecoms, media and technology (TMT), the research found that while 76% of manufacturers plan to use private 5G locally by 2024, key barriers to adoption include management complexity, difficulty of deployment and high costs.

Manufacturing holds extreme promise in being transformed through 5G network adoption. As a sector largely reliant on the quality of connections between technologies and machines, 5G can expedite processes, reduce latency, enable automation and the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and augmented reality (AR). Most manufacturers agree that high reliability (82%), security (78%) and support for low-latency applications (75%) make a 5G private network an attractive choice. — Read more via Accedian

Manufacturer presses congress on workforce development

Manufacturers are working hard to create apprenticeship and workforce development programs that can help strengthen our industry, close the skills gap and prepare new workers for exciting, fulfilling careers.

Last week, Leah Curry, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, urged Congress to take up these priorities when she testified to the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workforce Safety. Curry is also an honoree of The Manufacturing Institute’s 2013 STEP Ahead Awards, which recognizes outstanding women leaders in the industry, and a longstanding member of the MI Board of Advisors.

In her remarks, Curry drew on her own experiences to illustrate how apprenticeship programs can help prepare workers to take on a new career. — Read more via National Association of Manufacturers

Indiana boat, pontoon maker plans expansion, 100 new jobs

A boat and pontoon manufacturer is planning a $12 million expansion in northern Indiana that’s expected to create up to 100 new jobs by late 2024.

Smoker Craft Inc. announced Tuesday that it would build and equip a 200,000-square-foot addition to its 600,000-square-foot production campus in the Elkhart County community of New Paris for additional boat manufacturing and shipping.

Officials with the fifth-generation, family-owned business said the expansion will allow the company to serve growing customer demand. Construction has begun, and the new building is expected to be fully operational by April. — Read more via US News & World Report

Delos purchases new equipment to increase its US rug manufacturing

Delos, a US manufacturer and importer of custom hospitality and residential area rugs and private aircraft carpets, has purchased additional tufting machines to prepare for future manufacturing volumes with freight costs on the rise.

Following Mannington Commercial’s recent acquisition of AtlasMasland’s existing commercial product lines, equipment and facilities from The Dixie Group, Delos agreed to purchase AtlasMasland’s U.S. custom area rug department’s equipment. The rug manufacturer’s goal is to be better-positioned to achieve aggressive lead times on larger projects. — Read more via Furniture Today

Wednesday – 09/29/2021

Meyer Burger to open US manufacturing facility

Swiss-based Meyer Burger said it plans to set up a production facility to manufacture high-performance solar modules in the United States.

The facility’s initial production capacity will be 400 MW, with potential to grow to multiple gigawatts of capacity. Startup capacity will include capabilities to manufacture solar modules for residential, commercial/industrial rooftop, and utility-scale applications. Production is expected to begin by the end of 2022, and the facility could create hundreds of jobs.

While a final site has not yet been determined, the company made the expansion decision as part of its commitments to produce modules near its customers and source material from regional suppliers. It also said it aims to improve overall sustainability by reducing transportation emissions and optimizing the carbon footprint of its solar modules. — Read more via pv magazine

Missouri chamber to host virtual Manufacturing Day for students

The Missouri Chamber Manufacturing Alliance will host a statewide virtual Manufacturing Day event Friday to showcase careers in the manufacturing industry to students.

The event will feature detailed video tours inside factories across Missouri. Students can see how products are made in Missouri and learn about manufacturing jobs that are available today, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce said in a release announcing the event. Nearly 6,000 students are already registered.

The event also will include the opportunity for students to interact with manufacturing leaders and ask questions. Featured manufacturers will include Quaker/Pepsico, Nike Air Manufacturing and Innovation, Toyota, Boeing, Orscheln Industries, Brewer Science, Watlow and Hitachi/ABB Power Grid.

Manufacturing Day will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Friday via Zoom and the Missouri chamber’s Facebook page. Registration is free at mochamber.com/mfgday. Teachers are encouraged to register alongside their students and participate with their classes. — Read more via The Joplin Globe

Schott Minifab acquires Applied Microarrays to expand US manufacturing capabilities

Schott Minifab, a subsidiary of Schott focused on microfluidics for point-of-care and life sciences consumables, announced on Tuesday that it is acquiring Applied Microarrays.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is expected to close in early October.

The acquisition will expand Schott Minifab’s biosensor printing capabilities and “further strengthen Schott Minifab’s ability to offer a single-source contract manufacturing solution,” the company said in a statement.

Applied Microarrays, or AMI, will move from Tempe, Arizona, to a larger location in Phoenix, which will increase Australia-based Schott Minifab’s manufacturing footprint in the US. — Read more via 360Dx

German company opening its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Henry County, creating 355 jobs

Gov. Ralph Northam was in Henry County yesterday to help make the announcement that SCHOCK GmbH, the inventor of quartz composite sinks, will invest $85 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Henry County.

SCHOCK will occupy the Lot 8 Shell Building, a 95,500-square-foot facility on 14.7 acres in Patriot Centre Industrial Park.

Virginia beat out Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina for the project, according to the governor’s office.

This new facility will create 355 new jobs. — Read more via WSLS 10

UK government unveils first-ever National Space Strategy

The UK government has published its first-ever National Space Strategy setting out its ambitions for the nation in space and bringing together civil and defence policy for the first time.

The National Space Strategy is designed to help UK’s multibillion-pound space industry grow, boost private investment and capitalise on UK strengths such as satellite manufacturing. It will encourage innovation by UK space businesses by unlocking private finance. It will also help position the UK at the frontier of space research, whether that’s by supporting the first British spaceport satellite launch due in 2022, or leading international space missions that help tackle global challenges such as climate change. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Tuesday – 09/28/2021

Ford and SK Innovation to spend $11bn, create 11,000 jobs on new US EV and battery plants

Ford Motor and battery supplier SK Innovation plan to invest more than $11.4bn in new U.S. facilities that will create nearly 11,000 jobs to produce electric vehicles and batteries.

Ford is building twin lithium-ion battery plants in central Kentucky through a joint venture with South Korea-based SK called BlueOvalSK as well as a massive 3,600-acre campus in west Tennessee, the automaker said Monday night. The campus will include another battery plant built with SK along with a supplier park, recycling center and a new assembly plant for electric F-Series trucks, Ford CEO Jim Farley told CNBC. — Read more via CNBC

AMD CEO sees chip shortage easing in 2022

The semiconductor shortage will begin to ease in 2022, Advanced Micro Devices CEO Lisa Su said at a session Monday at the Code Conference in Beverly Hills.

In an on-stage interview with Code Conference producer Kara Swisher and CNBC tech reporter Jon Fortt, the AMD (ticker: AMD) chief said that the semiconductor industry is investing aggressively in new capacity, with 20 new factories coming online this year and a similar number expected to come online in 2022.

But Su also noted that the pandemic has “taken demand to a new level,” with every industry seeking more components. “Nobody expected this much demand,” she says. — Read more via Barron’s

Toronto-based Indian food company sets up US operation in Springfield

A Toronto-based manufacturer of Indian snack foods is setting up shop in Clark County, with the promise of some serious economic benefits for the Springfield area.

Surati Sweet Mart is a family-owned company with its headquarters in Toronto. Their new $16m facility on Upper Valley Pike will be their first distribution and manufacturing center in the United States.

Horton Hobbs is the Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Springfield Partnership. He says the economic impact for the region will go beyond the 108 new positions the company expects to hire. — Read more via WYSO

Sikorsky celebrates the delivery of its first Connecticut-made high-tech heavy lift helicopter to the US Marines

Sikorsky Aircraft gave a send-off Friday to its first Connecticut-built CH-53K heavy lift helicopter to the U.S. Marine Corps in a ceremony suitable for the massive high-tech aircraft.

Nearly 100 executives and employees of the Lockheed Martin Corp. helicopter manufacturer and others celebrated in an aircraft hangar at Sikorsky’s Stratford headquarters, with the helicopter — 99 feet long and 18 feet high — put on display for the event.

The delivery to the Marines comes nearly five years to the day after then-Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced a $220m state aid package for Sikorsky intended to keep helicopter manufacturing in Connecticut and expand the network of suppliers. — Read more via Hartford Courant

Ethan Allen Plans to expand manufacturing production in Vermont, announces new job openings and increases wages

Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. yesterday reaffirmed its commitment to maintain and grow its North American workshops where customization helps create relevant and quality products.

To further this commitment, Ethan Allen is actively recruiting new employees for its manufacturing operations in both Beecher Falls and Orleans, Vermont despite escalating manufacturing costs. — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Monday – 09/27/2021

Intel breaks ground on $20 bln Arizona plants as US chip factory race heats up

Intel Corp on Friday broke ground on two new factories in Arizona as part of its turnaround plan to become a major manufacturer of chips for outside customers.

The $20bn plants – dubbed Fab 52 and Fab 62 – will bring the total number of Intel factories at its campus in Chandler, Arizona, to six. They will house Intel’s most advanced chipmaking technology and play a central role in the Santa Clara, California-based company’s effort to regain its lead in making the smallest, fastest chips by 2025, after having fallen behind rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd.

The new Arizona plants will also be the first Intel has built from the ground up with space reserved for outside customers. Intel has long made its own chips, but its turnaround plan calls for taking on work for outsiders such as Qualcomm Inc Amazon.com’s cloud unit, as well as deepening its manufacturing relationship with the US military. — Read more via Reuters

US DoE puts $18m into long-duration energy storage manufacturing R&D

Four flow battery manufacturing research and development (R&D) projects will each receive a share of $17.9m funding from the US Department of Energy (DoE).

The Department announced its investment into the projects yesterday, aimed at helping to commercialise and scale-up cost-effective long-duration energy storage technologies.

At the same time, the DOE said it is offering US$9 million of financial support to provide fairer access to energy storage for low-income communities.

Through the Energy Storage for Social Equity Initiative, communities will be able to apply for expert assistance to assess whether energy storage can help them make their homes and infrastructure more resilient while lowering their energy costs. — Read more via Energy Storage News

Battery manufacturer to build factory complex in Rapid City

A Missouri-based battery manufacturer has selected Rapid City for a factory complex that it says could eventually employ up to 1,500 people.

AEsir Technologies plans to construct four buildings. The first building will be a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center capable of producing 1.2 million batteries annually.

The company initially plans to hire 400 employees and expand to 1,200 to 1,500 employees. The first phase will cost around $90m with a total price tag of $300m when all four phases of the development are finished, according to CEO Randy Moore. — Read more via US News & World Report

DAF awards Rolls-Royce B-52H engine contract

The Department of the Air Force has awarded a $2.6m contract to Rolls-Royce Corporation, Indianapolis, Indiana, for B-52H Stratofortress military derivative commercial engines.

The competitive single award contract provides for 608 military derivative commercial engines, plus spare engines, associated support equipment and commercial engineering data, to include sustainment activities, to be used on the B-52H bomber fleet.

The Rolls-Royce F130 engine will replace the TF33-PW-103, which has powered the B-52 since the 1960s, and is projected to no longer be supportable beyond 2030. The B-52 original equipment manufacturer, Boeing, is responsible for integrating the engines onto the aircraft. The Air Force plans to finalize integration activities and deliver the first lot of B-52H modified aircraft by the end of 2028. — Read more via US Air Force

Friday – 09/24/2021

Bristow orders 50 eVTOL aircraft from British manufacturer Vertical

Houston-headquartered Bristow Group Inc., the world’s leading global provider of vertical flight solutions to government and civil organizations, and Vertical Aerospace Group Ltd, a British engineering and aeronautical business pioneering zero-emissions aviation, announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which the two firms will cooperate on the certification, operational planning and potential purchase of up to 50 eVTOL aircraft.

Bristow’s pre-order of 25 aircraft, along with the option for an additional 25, builds on Vertical’s world-leading pre-order book of up to 1,000 aircraft.

Along with conditional pre-orders from American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Avolon, this announcement illustrates the sector-wide confidence in Vertical as a leading designer and manufacturer of eVTOL aircraft: the VA-X4. Vertical’s four-passenger, one pilot VA-X4 is expected to have speeds of up to 200 mph (174 knots), a range of more than 100 miles (161+ kilometres), near-silent when in flight with zero emissions and low cost per passenger mile. — Read more via HeliHub

Semiconductor firms can’t find enough workers, worsening chip shortage

The semiconductor chip shortage that has so vexed the auto industry looks set to continue for quite some time, according to a new industry survey. More than half of the companies that were surveyed by IPC said they expected the shortage to last until at least the second half of 2022. And right now, the chip shortage is being exacerbated by rising costs and a shortage of workers.

According to the survey, 80 percent of chip makers say that it’s become hard to find workers who have to be specially trained to handle the highly toxic compounds used in semiconductor manufacturing. The problem is worse in North America and in Asia, where more companies are reporting rising labor costs compared to those in Europe. — Read more via Ars Technica

Canadian firm to set up US manufacturing operations at former IBM Huron building in Endicott

Canadian firm Ubiquity Solar Inc. will establish its U.S. solar photovoltaic manufacturing operations in a roughly $61 million investment at the former IBM site in the village of Endicott in Broome County.

Ubiquity Solar expects to create up to 150 highly skilled jobs in the region, the office of Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday. With the site redevelopment already underway, the company expects to be fully operational at the Endicott campus by the end of 2022.

For the initial phase of the project, the company expects to repurpose 800,000 square-feet of space at the former campus. The approximately $61m investment will include site renovations, equipment, and installation.

Empire State Development will assist the project with up to $3m through the Excelsior Jobs tax-credit program, which ESD will base on “actual job creation,” per Hochul’s office. — Read more via The Central New York Business Journal

EY and MxD partner to transform US manufacturing innovation

MxD announced that Ernst & Young US LLP (EY) has joined as a Tier 1 member to advance digital manufacturing by leveraging the latest in software, equipment and leading practices to further innovation.

MxD’s 22,000-square-foot, future factory floor in downtown Chicago features some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment and software available, they note. As part of this collaboration with MxD and key organizational relationships, EY will provide hands-on demonstrations, showcasing how cutting-edge technology can solve today’s most pressing manufacturing challenges. — Read more via Smart Industry

Mack Defense delivers heavy dump trucks to US Army

Mack Defense officially delivered to the US Army and the US Army Reserve the first M917A3 heavy dump trucks during a tented ceremony Sept. 23.

The new production line for the dump truck model will be at the Mack Experience Center. It’s the first, new heavy-tactical wheeled vehicle the Army has added to its portfolio in 12 years.

Production began in the first quarter, after an investment of $6.5m to create a dedicated heavy dump trucks (HDT) line at the facility.

The new production line helps fulfill the HDT contract with the US Army and allows the production of other vehicle variants. — Read more via Transport Topics

Thursday – 09/23/2021

New Boeing factory to produce carrier-based drone for US Navy

A new Boeing factory in Illinois will build the US Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft, the MQ-25.

The 300,000ft2 facility at MidAmerica St Louis Airport will bring digital aircraft design and production to the service and up to 300 advanced manufacturing jobs.

Scheduled for completion in 2024, the new factory will initially employ approximately 150 mechanics, engineers and support staff who will build the MQ-15 Stingray. — Read more via Aerospace Manufacturing

Airbus will start delivering all aircraft from its U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama with Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Airbus will start delivering all aircraft from its US Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on board later this year. The initiative is a further step toward fulfilling Airbus’ commitment to carbon-neutral growth in the aviation sector.

Airbus has reached an agreement with Signature Flight Support to supply SAF to its Mobile facility. No later than November 2021, all aircraft delivered to customers will be powered by a blend of SAF and conventional jet fuel. Signature Flight Support is working in partnership with World Energy to provide the U.S.-sourced SAF to Airbus. — Read more via Air101

Ford partners with Redwood Materials on EV battery recycling, local manufacturing

One of the biggest challenges that the electric car industry faces is what to do with battery packs that are no longer suitable for use in vehicles. Some companies have turned them into megabatteries to back up power grids; some are just letting them sit around until a suitable solution comes along. Ford, according to an announcement made on Wednesday, is doing something different.

That something different involves partnering with a company called Redwood Materials to go all-in on battery pack recycling as a means of localizing production and reducing both costs and waste.

Redwood Materials claims that its recycling technologies can reclaim upward of 95% of the nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper from a battery cell for reuse and remanufacturing. — Read more via Road Show

Start of construction of Muncie beverage can factory celebrated by Holcomb, local officials

“This is big,” Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour told a collected group of local and state officials who gathered in the rain Wednesday to witness a ceremonial groundbreaking for the CANPACK aluminum beverage can plant.

“Big,” in this instance, was perhaps a more literal statement than usual. The factory will cover 862,000 square feet at Fuson and Cowan roads. It is expected to employ 340 people and pay them a wage, the company promises, that is at least 125% of the average wage paid in Muncie, though no specific dollar amount has yet been provided. When finished by the end of 2022, the plant will be able to produce 3.6 billion aluminum beverage cans annually. — Read more via Star Press

Lithium prices are soaring thanks to EVs and this California start-up has a more sustainable way to extract it

Lilac Solutions, a start-up in Oakland, California, is in the process of closing a $150m funding round to develop technology that dramatically lowers the amount of land and freshwater needed to extract lithium from continental brines.

Lilac CEO and founder Dave Snydacker said his company has demonstrated the ability to extract as much lithium from a one-acre sized system as the traditional method would get from a 10,000-acre facility with an evaporation pond. — Read more via CNBC

Wednesday – 09/22/2021

Nucor to build new $2.7bn sheet mill in US

US steelmaker Nucor plans to build a new 3mn short tons/yr electric arc furnace (EAF) flat-rolled steel mill, the second such mill announcement in as many weeks as US steel producers capitalize on record high steel prices.

The $2.7bn mill will be built in Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia to supply the Midwest and northeast regions, with production expected to begin in 2024, the company said today. Nucor will target the automotive industry, in part by including an advanced high-end automotive galvanizing line with full inspection capabilities.

The new mill is envisioned as part of the company’s growth strategy and will not replace existing older sheet production, Nucor chief executive Leon Topalian said. — Read more via Argus Media

Foxconn says Thailand EV factory will begin producing 50,000 units by 2023

Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturing giant Foxconn and national Thailand oil supplier PTT PLC are moving forward with an agreement to start an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Thailand. The facility is expected to begin rolling out vehicles by 2023. Foxconn had previously reported plans to begin building factories in both Thailand and the U.S. next year.

Foxconn and PTT signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on EV production in June, with PTT owning 60% of the joint venture and Foxconn owning the remaining 40%. The initial production capacity of the Thailand facility will be around 50,000 units, which Foxconn says will increase three-fold by 2030. The Thailand plant officially marks Foxconn as an automaker in its own right, but the company is also working with EV maker Fisker on a U.S. manufacturing plant, which should also start production in 2023. — Read more via Tech Crunch

Dayton-area manufacturer to more than double footprint with multimillion-dollar move

A manufacturer that has operated in the Dayton region for over 60 years will more than double its local footprint as part of a multimillion-dollar relocation and expansion project.

Esterline & Sons Manufacturing, a precision components manufacturer, is moving to a 57,000-square-foot building that will be constructed at Airpark Ohio in Springfield. The new facility is significantly larger than the company’s current building at 6508 Old Clifton Road in Springfield.

Esterline Principal John Mauer said the project represents a $4m to $5m investment on behalf of the company. Despite the cost, he said it will be worth it in the long run because the new building will be more efficient, and provide room for future growth. — Read more via Dayton 247 Now

Gates raises $1bn as corporate CEOs join race to scale clean tech

Bill Gates raised more than $1bn in corporate funding for Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, drawing on BlackRock Inc.’s Larry Fink and Microsoft Corp.’s Satya Nadella to rally support for some of the world’s most demanding clean-energy projects.

BlackRock is making a five-year, $100m grant from its charitable foundation. Microsoft also is donating $100m. The other backers — General Motors Co., Bank of America Corp., American Airlines Group Inc., Boston Consulting Group and ArcelorMittal SA — are providing a mix of equity capital and so-called offtakes, or purchase agreements tied to the projects. — Read more via Bloomberg Green

Meggitt shareholders vote to back $8.7bn Parker takeover

Meggitt Plc’s owners voted in favor of a £6.3bn ($8.7bn) buyout by US aerospace firm Parker-Hannifin Corp., leaving the UK government to decide whether to intervene in the latest foreign takeover of a defense supplier.

Almost all shareholders who cast a ballot backed the takeover at the general meeting, Meggitt said in a filing Tuesday. The company will now convene a court hearing to approve the 800-pence-a-share deal. — Read more via Bloomberg

Tuesday – 09/21/2021

US to ease travel restrictions for foreign visitors who are vaccinated against Covid

The U.S. will ease travel restrictions for international visitors who are vaccinated against Covid-19 in November, including those from the U.K. and EU, the White House said Monday.

Noncitizens visiting the United States will have to show proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test taken within three days of departure, said Jeff Zients, who is leading the nation’s Covid response efforts for the White House.

The changes will take effect in early November, which the airline industry expects will spur holiday bookings. — Read more via CNBC

Reshoring on track to hit record highs in 2021

The US is on track to add a total of 224,213 jobs from abroad in 2021, 38% more than the 161,000 added in 2020, due to reshoring and foreign direct investment (FDI), according to the latest report from the Reshoring Initiative.

The Initiative, which publishes semiannual reports on manufacturing jobs returning to the United States from other countries, also predicted that 2021 would see more jobs created due to reshoring than federal direct investment for a second year in a row.

According to the data, reshoring is on track to make up 62% of such jobs this year—a smaller percentage than last year, when 7 out of 10 such jobs were reshored, but a sizeable increase in absolute terms. — Read more via Reshoring Initiative

US has five next-gen B-21 Raider bombers in production

Five test B-21 Raiders are currently in final production at manufacturer Northrop Grumman’s plant in Palmdale, California, the Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall announced Sept. 20.

Prior to the announcement, it was thought that only two of the stealth planes were in production. Designed to replace aging fleets of B-1 and B-2 bombers, the B-21 Raider will become “the backbone of the Air Force bomber fleet,” Kendall said in a keynote speech at the Air Force Association’s Sea-Air-Space conference in National Harbor, Maryland. — Read more via National Defense

AMCA to audit US manufacturers with questionable ISO ‘certificates’

Due to the rise in fake ISO certifications, AMCA announced today it is hiring auditors as independent contractors to implement ‘virtual audits’ on manufacturers advertising to be ISO certified. According to AMCA, the auditors will focus on ISO 9001:2015 as well as more critical based standards for aerospace, medical, and environmental markets, including AS9100, AS9120, ISO 13485, and ISO 14001.

AMCA’s auditors will seek to verify the company’s registrar, accreditation body, on-site audit report and other documentation. The auditors will also attempt to confirm the name and impartiality of the consultant (if applicable) and/or the auditor involved in the process. AMCA said all information collected from the audits will be assessed accordingly with findings being reported back to the company’s leadership for valuation. — Read more via KTVN

L’Oréal USA achieves carbon neutrality across all US sites

In advance of Climate Week NYC, L’Oréal USA—the largest subsidiary of the L’Oréal Groupe, and the conference’s Opening Ceremony Sponsor—today announced that it has reached carbon neutrality for scopes 1 and 2 emissions for all 25 U.S. sites, across 12 states, including its manufacturing and distribution facilities, administrative sites, and research and innovation sites.

Since 2005, L’Oréal USA has been advancing its renewable energy ambition through a multi-pronged approach aimed at improving energy efficiency and transitioning to 100% renewable energy. — Read more via Beauty Packaging

Monday – 09/20/2021

Boeing to build Navy aircraft at in Metro East, invest $200m

Chicago-based aerospace giant Boeing Co. will invest $200m to begin manufacturing the U.S. Navy’s latest unmanned aircraft at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in a project that could add at least 150 jobs on the company’s southwest Illinois campus, officials said Friday.

Boeing will build the MQ-25 Stingray, the Navy’s first carrier-based unmanned aircraft in a state-of-the-art plant of about 300,000 square feet. The company has been under contract developing and testing the craft since 2018.

Gathered at the airport in Mascoutah, about 29 miles southeast of St. Louis, company representatives and politicians celebrated not only Boeing’s expansion of operations which currently employ 70.

With a promise of $57m in state-funded improvements, they say it also represents a milestone for MidAmerica, which began civilian operations next to Scott Air Force Base in 1997 to critics’ derision about its viability. — Read more via The Pantagraph

Robotics manufacturer debuts new unmanned vehicle concept

Milrem Robotics and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace are teaming up to build a new robotic combat vehicle that the companies intend to offer to the United States.

Called the Nordic Robotic Wingman, the platform will be based on Milrem’s Type-X robotic combat vehicle and Kongsberg’s Protector remote turrets.

The companies are considering offering it to the US Army as an alternative for its Robotic Combat Vehicle-medium — or RCV-M — platform as well as other countries in Europe, said Sverker Svardby, industrial partnership director at Milrem. — Read more via National Defense

SpaceX’s Elon Musk donates $50m to Inspiration4 spaceflight fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk will donate $50m to benefit childhood cancer research by the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, launching an ambitious fundraiser by the private Inspiration4 space mission beyond its $200m goal.

Musk made the pledge late Saturday (Sept. 18) after the four private astronauts of the Inspiration4 mission returned safely to Earth with a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the Florida coast. The mission was financed by billionaire tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, who bought the flight with SpaceX and served as its commander, to raise awareness and support for St. Jude. As of splashdown, the mission had raised about $160 million for the hospital. — Read more via Space

Brompton sees dramatic growth in US market amid omnichannel strategy

Brompton, the London-based manufacturer of the iconic Brompton folding bike, is expanding its footprint within North America including the hire of Juliet Scott-Croxford, President, North America. Fueled by incredible demand across its New York City store and regional retailers including REI as well as the launch of an e-commerce storefront, the bike manufacturer has experienced a greater than 50 percent increase in total units sold in the US over the past 12 months, a 76 percent increase over 2019. The manufacturer now sells over 70,000 bikes globally each year.

US Consumer demand for Brompton bikes has been increasing exponentially over the past two years and there’s no sign of stopping. Year-over-year sales grew 44% for April through August 2021, having already grown 41% for the same time period in 2020, proving the “bike boom” impact of Covid-19 to be a durable trend. Inventory in the US has yet to recover since selling out in June 2020, even as twice-monthly product imports are up more than 50 percent year-over-year. — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Clean energy has a diversity problem – report

Despite its broad range of businesses, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, professional services, and repair and maintenance, the clean energy sector is dominated by white men. Given the incredible job growth of the energy sector over the past decade, this lack of diversity threatens to cause women, Hispanic and Latino workers, and Black workers in particular to miss out on one of America’s great economic expansions.

About 61 percent of clean energy workers across America are white non-Hispanics. Black and Hispanic/Latino workers are more poorly represented in clean energy than they are across the rest of the economy, with Black people composing 8 percent of the clean energy workforce (compared with 13 percent economy-wide) and Hispanic/Latinos making up 16.5 percent (versus 18 percent economy-wide). Women represent less than 30 percent of all workers in the sector despite accounting for nearly half (48 percent) of the U.S. labor force as a whole. — Read more via E2

Friday – 09/17/2021

Silfab Solar secures investment to support US module manufacturing expansion

North American module manufacturer Silfab Solar has received investment led by private equity firm ARC Financial Corp to help scale up its US PV production footprint.

Led by ARC’s Energy Fund 9 and including co-investment from utility Ontario Power Generation and BDC Capital, the investment arm of the Business Development Bank of Canada, the funding – the amount of which has not been dislcosed – will support Silfab’s expansion as it responds to increased demand for American-made modules, the manufacturer said.

With operations in Toronto, Canada, and the US state of Washington, Silfab manufactures PERC modules for the North American residential and commercial markets. — Read more via PV Tech

Rolls-Royce’s all-electric aircraft completes maiden flight in UK

Rolls-Royce’s first all-electric aircraft has completed its maiden flight in the skies above the UK ahead of a world record attempt later this year.

The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ soared for around 15 minutes, having taken off from the MOD’s Boscombe Down airfield in Wiltshire on Wednesday.

With its powerful 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain and the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft, the Spirit of Innovation represents a significant step towards all-electric aircraft becoming a regular feature of our skies and on the aviation industry’s journey towards decarbonisation.

Rolls-Royce is looking to build on the Spirit of Innovation’s success and attempt to set a new world record for electric flight speed later this year. The current record stands at 210mph, but Rolls-Royce believes it will be able to surpass 300mph. — Read more via The Manufacturer

US Steel plans new US mill as prices surge

United States Steel Corp. said it plans to begin construction of a new steel mill in the U.S. next year, as the company chases rising demand from a rebounding manufacturing sector.

The Pittsburgh-based company said Thursday the new mill will have the capacity to produce three million tons of sheet steel annually, boosting its sheet-steel capacity by about 20% and helping to alleviate tight supplies of steel in the domestic market. The US Steel mill would increase new production capacity under construction or planned in the US to about 12 million tons annually, or almost 21% of sheet-steel consumption in 2019. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Chip shortage causes production dip at Johnston electronics manufacturer

The global shortage of computer chips is not only delaying delivery of new cars, appliances and electronic gadgets, it’s also affecting the manufacturing industry in North Carolina.

Production at Carolina Electronic Assemblers, in Smithfield, which makes a range of components that go into electronic devices, can grind to a halt if it’s missing a chip or two.

“There are 62 different parts. If I don’t have one, the product doesn’t work. I can’t build it,” owner Steve Yauch said. “They all have to be here.” — Read more via WRAL.com

American lighting manufacturer Hammerton introduces ‘Raindrop’

Hammerton Lighting, a leading U.S. manufacturer of artisan crafted decorative lighting, has introduced Raindrop, its newest collection under the Hammerton Studio brand. Available in pendant, sconce and multiport chandelier styles, the new collection seamlessly fuses sculptural metalwork with thick artisan blown glass. Each ‘Raindrop’ incorporates up to seven pounds of handblown glass.

This lighting collection elevates an iconic look by integrating all functional components – namely the lamping and the electrical housing – into the aesthetic design. “We intentionally designed the electrical housing to accentuate the silhouette of each Raindrop pendant,” explains Rome Srey, Director of Product Design for the Hammerton Studio brand. “And each glass shade is illuminated with 93+ CRI integrated LED, eliminating the visual distraction of a filament bulb. With these innovations, we’ve captured the ethereal beauty of a perfect raindrop in this new design.” — Read more via KPVI

Thursday – 09/16/2021

US manufacturing output slows sharply in August

Production at U.S. factories slowed more than expected in August amid disruptions from Hurricane Ida and lingering shortages of raw materials and labor as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.

Manufacturing output increased 0.2% last month, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday. Data for July was revised to show production surging 1.6% instead of 1.4% as previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing production would gain 0.4%.

The raw materials crunch has been worsened by the latest wave of infections driven by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, primarily in Southeast Asia, as well as by congestion at ports in China. — Read more via Reuters

Battery manufacturer e.battery systems founds US branch

e.battery systems, based in Vorarlberg, Austria, has founded its own branch in Silicon Valley. Just a few weeks ago, the Austrian company announced an order for at least 10,000 batteries for electric motorcycles from the Swedish manufacturer RGNT.

According to e.battery systems, the team in Silicon Valley should quickly comprise a double-digit number of employees and in the medium term become at least as large as the headquarters in Dornbirn, Austria. There are currently 30 people employed there, with plans to double the workforce in the coming months, according to a company statement. In a further step, e.battery systems also wants to set up production for its battery systems in the USA. — Read more via electrive.com

US manufacturer Nikola showcases German plant nearing first production of electric trucks

Nikola Corp. offered the public a look at the production line the company is counting on to start delivering trucks to customers in the wake of its founder being charged with securities fraud.

The US manufacturer hosted an event Wednesday in Ulm, Germany, where its partner Iveco — the commercial-vehicle unit of CNH Industrial NV — is preparing to start series production of Nikola Tre heavy-duty trucks by year-end. The first battery-electric models will be delivered to customers in the U.S. early next year, with a fuel cell version slated to follow by the end of 2023. — Read more via Bloomberg

US chipmaker GlobalFoundries to double auto chip output for 2021

Top U.S. contract chipmaker GlobalFoundries said it is on track to at least double its automotive chip output this year in response to an unprecedented global supply crunch and will spend a further $6bn to expand overall production capacity.

The company warned, however, that its expansion plans will only start to bear fruit from 2023 and that the car industry will continue to face chip shortages “well into next year.”

“We’ve been making great strides in creating more automotive capacity in 2021, and we will ship more than double the [chip] wafers into automotive than we did in 2020, and we expect to expand that capacity in 2022 and beyond,” Mike Hogan, a senior vice president in charge of the automotive business at GlobalFoundries, said on Wednesday.

The company is investing “more than $6bn” globally to increase capacity, he added, with $4bn earmarked for expanding its site in Singapore and $1bn each for expansions in the US and Germany. “All of these wafers can be used for automotive applications,” he said. — Read more via Nikkei Asia

Nissan further strengthens manufacturing operations with new leadership appointments in North America

Nissan is announcing senior leadership changes within its North America manufacturing team, effective October 1.

David Johnson, currently vice president, Production Engineering and New Model Quality, is appointed vice president, Manufacturing, Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant. Jeff Younginer, currently vice president, Manufacturing, Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant, is appointed vice president, Production Engineering and New Model Quality.

Most recently, Johnson and Younginer have worked hand-in-hand to launch the all-new Nissan Rogue, all-new Nissan Pathfinder, and all-new INFINITI QX60, which will be available this fall. — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Wednesday – 09/15/2021

UK program to improve bourbon barrel manufacturing

Bourbon wouldn’t have its distinct taste without aging in white oak barrels. To assist sustainable use of white oak, Chad Niman, primary forest products specialist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is leading a team of industry collaborators on a project to provide the industry with information to improve the efficiency of barrel production.

His research focuses on staves, the vertical pieces of wood which create liquid-tight barrels. Staves are carefully sawn from logs, placed in stacks and seasoned outdoors for several months to years. This outdoor drying of the stave wood produces the mellow taste of bourbon that is imparted over the aging process. While good for bourbon flavor, outdoor drying can also create problems. Checks and larger cracks in the staves can increase the barrels’ potential to leak and increase the amount of bourbon lost in evaporation during aging, also known as “angels’ share.” The aim of Niman’s project is to provide specific information on the outdoor drying process to improve the efficiency of white oak use by helping to reduce stave degradation.

The research will measure the rate and evenness of drying that directly influences stave degradation. Specifically, the project will provide detailed data on how faster drying contributes to checks and crack degrade development. This will include looking at the season in which staves are cut and dried, their position in the outdoor drying stack, as well as evaluating the use of a treatment that coats and seals the ends of the staves to prevent rapid moisture loss that leads to checks and cracks. — Read more via University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

A Tesla co-founder aims to build an entire US battery industry

Redwood Materials Inc., the battery recycling company created by Tesla Inc. co-founder J.B. Straubel, has been keeping a big secret: It isn’t really a recycling company.

Sure, Redwood has risen quickly to become the biggest lithium-ion battery recycler in the U.S.. But Straubel didn’t leave Tesla in 2019 just to clean out America’s junk drawers. His broader goal, described to Bloomberg for the first time, is to move a huge chunk of the battery-component industry from Asia to the US. — Read more via Bloomberg

Boeing says air travel to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024

The plane maker Boeing says it expects that it will take another two and a half years for global aviation to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Its vice president of commercial marketing, Darren Hulst, said: “The industry recovers to 2019 levels of traffic by the end of 2023, early 2024” and domestic flying would be at the forefront of any recovery.

Long-haul international routes would take the longest to recover, according to Boeing’s forecast, partly because of government restrictions.

Boeing says these will need to be eased to enable “the recovery of the pent up demand that exists already in the marketplace”.

Last year, passenger numbers fell 60% to 1.8 billion and the industry lost $126bn, according to the airline body IATA, which said it was the worst year on record. — Read more via BBC News

Hawk Ridge Systems invests in Midwest manufacturing sector with new acquisitions

Hawk Ridge Systems, a leading global provider of 3D design, manufacturing, and 3D printing solutions, has acquired two new companies as part of its strategic initiative to expand services and solutions to customers in the Midwest.

CAMS (Columbus Advanced Manufacturing Software) and the additive manufacturing business of Adaptive Corporation are joining Hawk Ridge Systems. Customers will gain access to a network of digital manufacturing labs in the US and Canada, an expanded set of additive manufacturing solutions from partners such as HP, Hexagon and Creaform, vetted engineering services partners who provide 3D printing outsourcing, and a fulfillment center for restocking materials and parts. — Read more via Valdosta Daily Times

Italian manufacturer expanding operations in Jefferson County, West Virginia

A Jefferson County manufacturer is investing $7mn to expand its operations.

Technologies and Materials — the Italian company known as Te-Ma — will immediately add 15 new jobs for production of residential and commercial building materials and a line of soil erosion control systems for structures at Te-Ma’s 42,000 square-foot facility. Plans call for expansion of the warehouse too for raw materials storage and additional inventory.

Te-Ma anticipates future investment growth in Jefferson County. West Virginia is the company’s first location in the US. It broke ground there in 2018. — Read more via WDVM

Tuesday – 09/14/2021

US will give aircraft companies $482m for pandemic

The Biden administration is making $482m available to aviation industry manufacturers to help them avert job or pay cuts in the pandemic.

The taxpayer-funded relief will cover up to half of the payroll costs at 313 companies, according to the Transportation Department, which said Thursday will help save up to 22,500 jobs.

The largest recipient the fund funds announced Monday is Spirit Aerosystems, a Boeing supplier based in Kansas, which stands to get $75.5m that the government says will help protect 3,214 jobs. Parker-Hannifin Corp. of Ohio, which makes hydraulic systems for planes, will get $39.7m. The avionics unit of Japan’s Panasonic, based in California, will get $25.8m, and several US subsidiaries of France’s Safran S.A. will get a total of $24.8m. — Read more via Associated Press

Auto supplier invests $40m in first US factory in Tennessee

A manufacturer of metal stamped automotive components will establish its first U.S. factory in Northeast Tennessee, state and company officials announced.

Sungwoo Hitech America Corp. will invest about $40 million to renovate and equip a facility in Telford that formerly housed farming equipment manufacturer Alo Tennessee. The company plans to produce bumpers, rear components, and side framing for automakers including BMW, General Motors, Hyundia, Kia, and Volkswagen.

Sungwoo Hitech expects to create 117 jobs at the new facility, which is slated to open early next year. Company officials attributed the expansion to “significant growth” experienced in recent years and suggested that the announcement marked only the first step of its entry into the U.S. auto sector.

The company employs nearly 18,000 people at 26 facilities worldwide. — Read more via Thomas

US medtech manufacturer buys Israeli sleep device firm Itamar Medical for $538m

Zoll Medical announced today that it will acquire Itamar Medical (NSDQ:ITMR) for a total value of approximately $538 million.

Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based Zoll will acquire all outstanding shares of Itamar, a developer of non-invasive devices and solutions for the diagnosis of respiratory sleep disorders, at $31 per American Deposiory Share (ADS), a premium of 50.2% over the price of Itamar’s ADS on the Nasdaq market on Sept. 10.

According to a news release, both companies’ boards approved the deal, which remains subject to approval by shareholders of Itamar, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The companies expect the transaction to close by the end of 2021 and, once completed, they expect that Itamar’s principal operations will continue at its current location in Caesarea, Israel. — Read more via Mass Device

Pactiv Evergreen buys packaging manufacturer for $380m

A subsidiary of North American fresh food and beverage packaging maker Pactiv Evergreen Inc. recently entered into an agreement to buy foodservice and consumer brand packaging manufacturer Fabri-Kal, a company release announced.

Under the terms of the deal, Pactiv Evergreen Group Holdings Inc. will pay $380 million for the business. The transaction price is subject to adjustments for cash, working capital, and debt.

The sale is projected to close in the third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2021. — Read more via Powder & Bulk Solids

GE secures permit for UK blade factory

GE Renewable Energy has secured planning approval for its Teesside offshore wind blade manufacturing plant in north-east England.

The decision by local planning authorities paves the way for construction at the South Bank of Teesworks to begin later this year once final contractual documents are completed, the US manufacturer said.

GE business LM Wind Power will operate the facility which will be dedicated to the production of its 107-meter- long offshore wind turbine blades, a key component of GE’s Haliade-X.

Recruitment for the plant is scheduled to begin in mid-2022, with an estimated 750 direct positions to be filled. An additional 1500 indirect jobs would be created to support the entire supply chain around the factory, according to GE. — Read more via Renews.biz

Monday – 09/13/2021

German manufacturer to open first US plant in Indy

A Germany-based manufacturer of trays used in automation has announced plans to open its first U.S. production plant in Indiana, investing $2.2m to upgrade and equip a facility on the northeast side of Indianapolis. Variotech says the move will create 22 jobs over two years.

The company established its US headquarters in Atlanta in 2019, but all of the production still occurs in Germany. According to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. some of those workers will move to Indiana to establish the manufacturing facility. — Read more via Inside Indiana Business

GM extends Chevy Bolt EV production shutdown another two weeks

GM has extended a shutdown at its Orion Assembly Plant another two weeks due to a battery pack shortage related to the widespread Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV safety recall.

GM said the extended downtime at the Orion plant will last through September 20. Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan has been shut down since August 23.

The recall, which now includes all Chevy Bolt EV and EUV models made since 2017, was issued after the automaker discovered two manufacturing defects in the battery cell that could increase the risk of fire. The possible fire risk prompted GM to recommend Bolt owners set the vehicle to a 90% state of charge limitation and avoid depleting the battery below 70 miles of range. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration recommends Bolt drivers park their vehicles away from their homes to reduce fire risk.

The automaker said it is working with its supplier LG Chem to “update manufacturing processes.” — Read more via Tech Crunch

Pittsburgh manufacturing company Wabtec unveils first battery-electric train

The Pittsburgh-based freight train manufacturer Wabtec unveiled its first battery-electric locomotive on Friday. The company said it could help significantly reduce carbon emissions in the future.

When paired with traditional diesel engines, the battery-powered train reduced fuel consumption by more than 11% and led to an 11% reduction in carbon emissions.

The battery-electric train is a step towards creating a zero-emission, hydrogen-hybrid locomotive, which Wabtec estimates could cut emissions by 30%. Though the company is still working on that technology, Wabtec chief technology officer Eric Gebhardt said the company wants to make it cleaner and safer to transport goods by rail. — Read more via 90.5 WESA

Aerospace firms warn of snags over US engine rule delays

Aerospace companies are urging the United States to speed up a review of rule changes for airplane engines, warning delays in implementing planned global emissions standards could trigger industrial delays.

The warning from the U.S. Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) comes as aerospace firms are more exposed to unexpected regulatory or economic hiccups following the COVID-19 crisis.

The standards would curb the flow of potentially damaging soot particles and do not take effect until the start of 2023. — Read more via Reuters

Construction begins on first US port dedicated to offshore wind

Construction is beginning on the U.S.’s first purpose-built wind port designed to support the development of the offshore wind industry. To be located along the Delaware River in southern New Jersey, the New Jersey Wind Port will provide a location for staging, assembly, and manufacturing activities related to offshore wind projects on the East Coast.

The port will be located on an artificial island on the eastern shores of the Delaware River, southwest of the City of Salem. The site was selected in June 2020 after a 22-month assessment process that included involvement from the wind industry as well as government, and environmental stakeholders. — Read more via The Maritime Executive

Friday – 09/10/2021

Ford to stop making cars in India

Ford in India today announced it will restructure its operations with plans to significantly expand its Chennai-based Ford Business Solutions team and bring to market some of Ford’s iconic global vehicles and electrified SUVs while ceasing vehicle manufacturing in India.

Ford will continue to provide customers in India with ongoing parts, service, and warranty support. As part of the plan, Ford India will wind down vehicle assembly in Sanand by the fourth quarter of 2021 and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai by the second quarter of 2022.

Following accumulated operating losses of more than $2bn over the past 10 years and a $0.8bn non-operating write-down of assets in 2019, the restructuring is expected to create a sustainably profitable business in India. — Read more via Ford

Sault solar panel manufacturer expands US facility

Solar panel manufacturer Heliene, which is headquartered in Sault Ste. Marie, has announced a $21m expansion of its Minnesota facility.

Construction is expected to get underway this month on a brand-new building in Iron Mountain, Minn., which will increase the company’s manufacturing capacity to 900 megawatts. Production is expected to begin in 2022.

The expansion will bring Heliene’s Minnesota footprint to 95,000 square feet, and the company is expected to hire 60 people to work there. — Read more via Northern Ontario Business

Italian vehicle wash manufacturer to open US HQ in Russell County

An Italian manufacturer will open a $1.75 million U.S. headquarters in Russell County, creating 50 jobs over the next three to five years, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority announced Thursday.

Ceccato S.p.A. will open its U.S. subsidiary at the Russell Place building at 122 Haber Drive in Lebanon. It has a presence in more than 60 countries and subsidiaries in Germany and Brazil.

Lebanon competed against locations in North Carolina, West Virginia, and other Virginia localities for the project. — Read more via Virginia Business

Briggs & Stratton to acquire California-based energy storage company

California-headquartered distributed battery energy storage provider SimpliPhi Power has been bought by Briggs & Stratton, a company best known for its gasoline engines and portable generators.

Briggs & Stratton said the acquisition will accelerate its expansion into the energy storage market. SimpliPhi has been making and selling battery storage systems for the portable, residential and commercial & industrial (C&I) markets for over 10 years.

Evolving from a business which started out providing mobile and portable power solutions to movie sets, its products are based solely on lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry batteries, controlled using the company’s own energy management system (EMS) technology. — Read more via Energy Storage News

Chevron strikes two hydrogen agreements in US

US oil group Chevron Corp will join the Advanced Clean Energy Storage project, which will produce, store and transport green hydrogen at utility scale, and take part in a hydrogen-as-fuel demonstration under a separate partnership.

Chevron USA Inc said today that through Chevron New Energies it has agreed on a framework to acquire a stake in the joint venture between Mitsubishi Power Americas Inc and Magnum Development LLC that owns the project. Definitive documentation is being negotiated.

The project is intended to provide green hydrogen for power generation, transportation and industrial applications in the western US. The joint venture, called ACES Delta LLC, is located in Delta, Utah, next to the Intermountain Power Plant, which will use green hydrogen to generate electricity. — Read more via Renewables Now

Thursday – 09/09/2021

Unspun raises $7.5m for US-based robotic manufacturing

Unspun just added more fuel to its fire. On Wednesday, the robotics and digital apparel company announced that it raised $7.5m in seed funding to further its mission of eliminating waste in jeans production.

The company made headlines when it debuted in 2015 with a proprietary algorithm and fit technology to generate custom-fit jeans. Just hours after launching its iOS app that uses a 10-second body scan to collect precise measurements, it racked up a 1,500-customer waitlist. It has also partnered with H&M on a line of denim and welcomed former Levi’s head of design Jonathan Cheung, who joined the Unspun’s advisory board in September 2020.

The funding round was led by entrepreneur Josh Buckley, owner of investment firms Buckley Ventures and Hyper, and included participation from angel investors, technology companies and venture capital firms such as Lachy Groom, Signia, Fifty Years, Rarebreed, Apex Black, AVG, 8 Sleep, SOSV and Superhuman. — Read more via Sourcing Journal

Fluidra acquires U.S. pool deck equipment manufacturer S.R. Smith for $240m

Fluidra, a Spanish company offering pool and wellness equipment and solutions, has acquired S.R. Smith, a US-based manufacturer of commercial and residential pool deck equipment and accessories.

Founded in 1932, S.R. Smith is a global manufacturer specializing in commercial and residential pool deck equipment and accessories. Its product portfolio includes starting blocks, rails, ladders, slides, diving boards, lifts, swimwall systems, thermal cover systems, and in-pool furniture.

Headquartered in Canby, Oregon, S.R. Smith operates manufacturing facilities from multiple locations in the United States and Australia. Their products are supported by distributors around the world, with focus in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Europe. — Read more via Pool & Spa Marketing

France’s Sanofi to buy US biopharma firm Kadmon in $1.9bn deal

French drugmaker Sanofi said on Wednesday it would buy US biopharmaceutical company Kadmon Holdings (KDMN.O) for 1.9 billion dollars, one month after announcing the purchase of another US biotech, Translate Bio, for $3.2bn.

Sanofi said it has offered $9.50 per share in cash for Kadmon, representing a total equity value of approximately $1.9bn on a fully diluted basis, and that both companies’ boards unanimously approved the transaction.

Sanofi’s price tag represents a 79% premium on Kadmon’s $5.30 closing price on Tuesday. — Read more via Reuters

American Nitrile launches US-based nitrile glove manufacturing business in Columbus, Ohio

A Grove City warehouse is being converted into a factory meant to bring back to the United States production of a key item in the fight against COVID-19: nitrile gloves.

A Columbus native is behind the more than $100m project that will create 400 jobs and initially produce 4.6bn medical and nonmedical, latex-free nitrile gloves a year. Production at the 527,000-square-foot plant at 3500 Southwest Blvd. is expected to begin early next year.

“What we feel we’re doing has such purpose in it,” said Jacob Block, the 29-year-old founder and CEO of the startup, called American Nitrile, which has a motto of “Bringing Manufacturing Back Home.”

Block, who grew up in Bexley and went to Ohio State University before moving to New York City, got the idea for American Nitrile during the pandemic. — Read more via The Columbus Dispatch

US job openings hit record high as employers struggle to find workers

US job openings raced to a new record high in July while layoffs rose moderately, suggesting last month’s sharp slowdown in hiring was due to employers being unable to find workers rather than weak demand for labor.

The Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS report, on Wednesday also showed a steady increase in the number of workers voluntarily quitting their jobs, a sign of confidence in the labor market. — Read more via Reuters

Wednesday – 09/08/2021

US firm nears takeover of UK aerospace supplier Meggitt after rival pulls out

The British aerospace manufacturer Meggitt is a step closer to a takeover by US company Parker-Hannifin after rival suitor TransDigm said it would not make an offer.

Ohio-based TransDigm said on Tuesday it was pulling out of the race because it was unclear it would be able to secure a high enough return on its investment.

Meggitt’s board has already recommended that shareholders vote for a £6.3bn takeover offer made at the start of August by Parker.

Parker offered 800p a share, but TransDigm quickly signalled it was considering a 900p a share offer that would have valued Meggitt at £7.1bn.

Meggitt makes parts including wheels, brakes and engine sensors for civilian aeroplanes as well as parts for fighter jets such as the US F-35. — Read more via The Guardian

Compressor manufacturer opens first US site

ABC Compressors, a Spanish air and gas compressor manufacturer, has opened its first North American location in Miami, Florida.

The company has installed systems across the US and Canada since entering the North American market in 2017, but is opening a facility in order to stock parts and optimise maintenance cycles.

Although ABC Compressors has a presence in a number of sectors including natural gas and petrochemical, the Miami location is designed to service the beverage and packaging industries.

ABC Compressors manufactures the Horizon high- and low-pressure PET compressor ranges, designed to supply 100 per cent oil-free air flow to PET blowing lines in the packaging industry. — Read more via Plastics in Packaging

Intel to invest up to $95bn in European chip-making amid US expansion

Intel Corp. plans to build new chip-making facilities in Europe valued at up to $95bn, responding to a cross-border race to add manufacturing capacity at a time of a global chip-supply crunch.

Intel Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger on Tuesday said the company was planning two chip factories at a new site in Europe and could potentially expand it further, with the increases raising the total investment over about a decade to the equivalent of as much as €80 billion. The facilities would cater to meteoric demand for semiconductors as computers, cars and gadgets become more chip-hungry. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Lockheed Martin unveils prototype of its promising supersonic plane

US arms maker Lockheed Martin Corp has released a photo of the first prototype of its supersonic X-plane, the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST), during ​the beginning of the final assembly process.

The company says the aircraft is developing by the legendary Lockheed Martin Skunk Works advanced projects bureau in partnership with NASA. — Read more via Defence Blog

Honda and GM to share EV platform for lower-cost North American models

Honda Motor will start selling electric vehicles in the North American market made with over 50% of the same parts as General Motors cars, Nikkei has learned, the latest shift in an auto industry forced to realign by environmental and other pressures.

The Japanese automaker plans to provide GM with design information on its EV platform — the base structure on which the body and key components are built.

Since a car’s platform to a large extent determines its engineering, the automakers will be building very similar EVs under this partnership. — Read more via Nikkei Asia

Tuesday – 09/07/2021

Record year expected for northern Indiana’s RV industry

Industry leaders believe growth in recreational-vehicle production won’t ease up in northern Indiana in 2022.

A forecast released by the RV Industry Association projects a record shipment of about 580,000 vehicles this year, an increase of 34% from 2020 and 14% more than the previous highest mark in 2017.

The forecast anticipates 4% growth next year to about 600,000 units.

Production figures show how more people have turned to outdoor activities since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, said RV Industry Association President Craig Kirby. — Read more via Associated Press

Thermo Fisher announces $192m government contract with plans for new facility

Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced a $192.5m contract award from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to ensure reliable domestic production of pipette tips, which are used within research and diagnostic labs to dispense precise amounts of liquid.

In mid-2020, the company announced its own investments to increase pipette tip production capacity to support COVID-19 testing.

With the DoD award, issued on behalf of and in coordination with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Thermo Fisher will co-invest with the US government in building a new, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient manufacturing facility for pipette tips, which are used in vital disease research and in high volumes for processing of diagnostic tests nationally, including COVID-19, during the pandemic. — Read more via Cleanroom Technology

Northrop Grumman AARGM-ER missile to enter production for US Navy

Northrop Grumman can enter low rate initial production of its AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) developed for the US Navy.

This follows the achievement of Milestone C decision, which authorises the company as the programme’s prime contractor to enter the next phase of the missile. Production contract awards are expected in the next quarter. — Read more via Aerospace Manufacturing

US cracks down on imported goods made by Uyghurs and other victims of forced labor

With the closing of an old loophole, the US is blocking the import of millions of dollars worth of clothing and other goods made with “slave” labor.

The government had not issued a forced labor order in 15 years when the loophole, which exempted any goods for which domestic production did not meet demand, was closed in 2016. The U.S. began cracking down slowly, with just four orders that year and two more in 2018. This year, enforcement actions have skyrocketed. This fiscal year, which ends this month, Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, has detained at least 967 shipments worth more than $367m, according to the agency. Detention of goods does not mean the companies affected were necessarily aware of forced labor in the supply chain. — Read more via NBC News

Ryanair calls off negotiations on major order of Boeing 737 Max 10s

Irish low-cost air carrier Ryanair said Monday it has ended negotiations with U.S. aircraft maker Boeing on a proposed major order of its 737 Max 10 aircraft.

The two sides were unable to agree on a price for a “large order” of the aircraft after about 10 months of negotiations, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said. — Read more via UPI

Monday – 09/06/2021

Hiab to Create 80 Additional Jobs in Ohio

Load handling equipment provider Hiab announced the establishment of a second production facility in Streetsboro, Ohio, for its Moffett and Princeton truck mounted forklifts, where the company currently makes tail lifts, sold under the Waltco brand. Hiab also announced the recruitment of an additional 80 new roles to add to the current workforce of 100 at its Streetsboro facility to provide additional capacity for Hiab’s truck mounted forklift production in Dundalk, Ireland.

The company will also develop a new Factory of the Future in Dundalk, County Louth, for its truck mounted forklift manufacturing operations. When operational in 2023, the new facility will replace Hiab’s existing Dundalk facility. — Read more via Construction Equipment

Apple supplier Murata buys US maker of power-saving tech

Murata Manufacturing said Friday it has acquired a U.S. developer of power-saving technology for smartphones, boosting its capabilities in a key field for devices with steadily growing energy needs.

The Kyoto-based manufacturer, which supplies parts for Apple iPhones, will purchase Eta Wireless for roughly 16 billion yen ($145 million).

Murata plans to bring efficient communications components featuring Eta’s technology on the market within the next few years, as well as develop technology for the eventual advent of sixth-generation wireless.

Massachusetts-based Eta’s technology reduces power consumption by wireless communication components — one of the most energy-hungry parts of a mobile device after the display and CPU — improving battery life for smartphones, tablets and other devices. — Read more via Nikkei Asia

US manufacturer 3M is closing its Swansea factory with the loss of nearly 100 jobs

US manufacturer 3M has confirmed the closure of its Swansea factory.

Following a consultation with employees it said the closure of what is s oldest plant outside the US, will result in the loss of 89 jobs.

Discussions began on July 8, when the company announced it had opened a 45-day consultation with employees over the potential closure of the factory.

3M said the Gorseinon site has experienced ongoing underutilisation and has been impacted by changes in the sector it serves, namely the personal care industry, the collision aftermarket and vehicle repair centres. — Read more via Business Live

Brown announces grant for Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership

US Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded $5,976,983 to the Ohio Department of Development for the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). This grant will provide manufacturing extension services to primarily small and medium-sized manufacturers in the state of Ohio with a focus on operational excellence, advanced manufacturing technologies, cybersecurity, and workforce engagement such as apprenticeships. — Read more via Daily Advocate

Stratasys gains $20m US Navy contract in ‘largest government project to-date’

3D printer manufacturer Stratasys has been awarded a $20m US Navy contract, the largest of its kind that the company has ever received.

Set to be fulfilled over the next five years, the deal will see Stratasys supply up to 25 F900 3D printers to the U.S. Navy, in addition to the materials, support and training needed to run them. According to Mark Menninger, Director of Stratasys’ U.S. Government Business division, the move could serve to shorten U.S. Military supply chains, while providing its Navy with enhanced aircraft repair capabilities. — Read more via 3D Printing Industry