Daily US Manufacturing News Digest – the industry stories you should be aware of today – 26 May

Posted on 26 May 2022 by The Manufacturer

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.

Thursday – 05/26/2022

US automated electric truck startup Solo AVT picks battery supplier ABS

Silicon Valley startup Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies (AVT) has partnered with Michigan-based American Battery Solutions (ABS) to develop battery packs for its new driverless electric heavy-duty truck, Solo AVT’s chief executive told Reuters.

Year-old Solo AVT aims to begin testing prototypes of the SD1 in 2024, Doorley said, without specifying a date for full commercial production. A contract manufacturer will probably make the prototypes, he said, but ultimately “we want to build our own vehicles in our own factory.”  Read more via Reuters

US durable goods orders rise on steady business equipment demand

Orders placed with US factories for durable goods rose in April, highlighting firm and sustained demand for equipment and merchandise.

Bookings for durable goods — items meant to last at least three years — increased 0.4% in April after a downwardly revised 0.6% advance a month earlier, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday. The figures aren’t adjusted for inflation.  Read more via Bloomberg

‘Downright scary and untenable’: Commerce secretary warns U.S. needs to secure a future for its chip industry

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Wednesday urged Congress to pass the CHIPS for America Act in order to safeguard national security and the future of the economy.

The bill aims to incentivize investment in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, research and development and supply chain security, providing income tax credit for chip equipment or manufacturing facility investment through 2026.

An ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips has harmed a range of industries, most notably the automotive sector.  Read more via CNBC

Eli Lilly plots $2.1bn manufacturing expansion at America’s crossroads, with 500 new hires

After socking $1bn into a new injectables factory in North Carolina in January, Lilly is dipping back into its pocketbook for another blockbuster manufacturing expansion stateside. And this time, it’s reinvesting in its roots.

Lilly is laying out $2.1bn to build two new manufacturing sites at LEAP Lebanon Innovation and Research District in Boone County, Indiana, the company said Wednesday. Lilly is headquartered in the Hoosier State’s capital of Indianapolis.

The facilities are expected to broaden Lilly’s manufacturing network for active ingredients plus new modalities like genetic medicines, the company said in a release. Specifically, the sites will help Lilly respond to heightened demand for its current and future drugs.  Read more via Fierce Pharma

Volkswagen settles UK dieselgate litigation with £193m settlement

Volkswagen Group has settled a UK dieselgate litigation comprised of over 70,000 claimants with the payment of a £193m out of court settlement.

Therium, a leading provider of investment capital, funded the claim against the German car manufacturing giant behind brands including Audi, Bentley, Cupra, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen and today (May 25) celebrated the conclusion of what it described as the “largest group action in UK legal history”.  Read more via AM Online

Wednesday – 05/25/2022

Foods company brings $42m investment, more than 200 jobs to Gaston County

A food manufacturer will create more than 200 new jobs and invest more than $42.2m to build a manufacturing facility in Gaston County.

Häns Kissle Co., which makes pre-made, ready-to-eat foods, will build the facility at Apple Creek Corporate Center west of Dallas.

The company opened as an in-house commissary for a premium Massachusetts grocery chain in 1984, and it now produces a menu of 700 items for a broad range of retail customers, the county said. Häns Kissle’s facility in Gaston County will be 100,000 square feet and will create 219 new jobs in Gaston County.  Read more via Gaston Gazette

Stellantis and Samsung SDI to invest over $2.5bn in joint venture for lithium-ion battery production plant in United States

Stellantis N.V. and Samsung SDI have announced that they have executed binding, definitive agreements to establish an electric-vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Kokomo, Indiana, US. Targeted to start in 2025, the plant aims to have an initial annual production capacity of 23 gigawatt hours (GWh), with an aim to increase to 33 GWh in the next few years. The total capacity would increase further as demand for Stellantis electric vehicles is expected to rise.

The joint venture company will invest over $2.5bn (€2.3bn) and create 1,400 new jobs in Kokomo and the surrounding areas. The investment could gradually increase up to $3.1bn (€2.9bn). The new facility will supply battery modules for a range of vehicles produced at Stellantis’ North American assembly plants. Plant construction activities are scheduled to begin later this year with production operations planned to launch in the first quarter of 2025.

Tech billionaire running for US Senate launches new ad calling out Elon Musk’s false promises

Dan O’Dowd, founder and CEO of Green Hills Software – a pioneering software company specializing in software reliability and security- launched a new ad in his bid for U.S. Senate.

The campaign will air a new statewide TV ad featuring Dan O’Dowd speaking directly on the many false promises Elon Musk used to sell his Full Self-Driving technology to customers and investors.  Read more via Dan O’Dowd

CNH Industrial acquires aluminum sprayer boom manufacturer

CNH Industrial has acquired Specialty Enterprises, the largest manufacturer of aluminum spray booms for agricultural applications in North America.

Specialty operates one manufacturing facility in Wautoma, Wisconsin, and has been a supplier to Case IH since 2020. This acquisition of spray boom production is part of Case IH’s long-term strategy for its sprayer product lineup, CNH Industrial said in a release.  Read more via Successful Farming

Betacom selected to deliver one of US’ first indoor private 5G networks to accelerate manufacturing innovation at the Digital Manufacturing and Cybersecurity Institute

Wireless pioneer Betacom, an enabler of Industry 4.0 through private 5G wireless networks, is now a partner at MxD, the Digital Manufacturing Institute and the National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing, and will provide the organization’s Chicago headquarters and Factory Floor Lab with a private 5G network. The network, one of the US’s first indoor private 5G deployments, will serve as the foundation to develop and enable technologies that power Industry 4.0.  Read more via Betacom

Tuesday – 05/24/2022

Leonardo opens new Paris helicopter service centre as commercial helicopter fleet grows stronger in Central Europe

Leonardo has announced a further expansion of its helicopter customer support and training services in Europe with the establishment of a new service centre, headquartered at Paris-Le Bourget Airport.

The new service centre, which began its operations in mid-April, will act in strict coordination with Leonardo Belgium Logistics Hub, supporting the growing fleet of Leonardo commercial and public service helicopters in France and Central Europe.  Read more via The Manufacturer

The worldwide IoT in manufacturing industry is expected to reach $200.3bn by 2030

The “IoT in Manufacturing Market Research Report: By Component, Deployment, Application, End-User – Latest Trends and Demand Forecast to 2030” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The IoT in manufacturing market 2021 value stood at an estimated $62.1bn, and it will increase to $200.3bn by 2030, at a 13.9% CAGR between 2021 and 2030. To further enhance the IoT solutions in use, industrialists are deploying artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the data generated by IoT sensors in real time and make sound decisions.  Read more via Cision

Japan and US reaffirm chip partnership, but impact seen as limited

Amid a global chip shortage and heightened geopolitical tensions, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday reaffirmed their intention to strengthen cooperation on the production and development of semiconductors.

In an apparent effort to head off risks stemming from dependency on China, the two leaders are stepping up efforts to reinforce economic security by enhancing the stability of chip supply chains and technological competitiveness.  Read more via The Japan Times

Siemens Gamesa places two US plants into ‘hibernation’

Siemens Gamesa is putting its Fort Madison, Iowa, blade manufacturing plant and Hutchinson, Kansas, nacelle assembly facility in the US into temporary ‘hibernation’, starting in June and July, respectively.

The measures are being taken to address challenges in production demand for the US onshore wind energy market, the manufacturer said.

Employees at both facilities — 171 in Fort Madison and 92 in Hutchinson — will be released from employment during the hibernation.  Read more via reNEWS.biz

Monday – 05/23/2022

The Manufacturer Podcast: Getting a good handle on tech

What better way to start the week than with the latest episode of The Manufacturer Podcast.

In this latest installment, Tom, Joe and Lanna look at tech adoption and the vital need for current and future climate tech innovation.  Read more via The Manufacturer

Hyundai will invest $5bn toward US manufacturing and innovation

Hyundai will allocate an additional $5bn toward investments in the US, the automaker announced on Sunday. The funds will support the company’s work in electric vehicles, robotics, air taxis, self-driving cars and artificial intelligence. The announcement follows the recent news that Hyundai plans to build a $5.54bn electric vehicle plant in Georgia. With that facility included, the automaker intends to invest $10bn in the US by 2025.  Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Large Northeastern North Dakota Manufacturer Shutting Down

One of the largest employers in northeastern North Dakota is closing later this year.

Winnipeg, Manitoba-based New Flyer Industries is shutting down its charter and transit bus manufacturing plant in Pembina, located close to the Canadian border. Pembina Mayor Mike Fitzgerald said company was notified of the decision in a letter.

The company told Fitzgerald that it was having difficulty finding qualified employees, a factor in its conversion to electric vehicles, and the plant’s location has become an issue. New Flyer has a plant in Crookston, Minnesota, which is about 100 miles (161 kilometers) from Pembina.  Read more via US News & World Report

Nextracker to develop tracker manufacturing line in Arizona

US solar tracker manufacturer Nextracker has expanded its output with the addition of a new line in Arizona.

Located in Phoenix, the expanded and reconfigured facility from Atkore will have a production line dedicated to Nextracker and will produce steel tracker components for utility-scale solar projects in a growing solar PV market region such as the Southwest.

Initial production of trackers from the expanded facility in Phoenix will be dedicated to the 150MW Agave solar project from Arizona Public Service (APS), which McCarthy Building Companies and First Solar are also providing services for.  Read more via PVTech

Catalent invests $175m to expand manufacturing capabilities and capacity in US facility

Catalent announced on May 19, 2022 that it has begun a $175m project to expand its manufacturing facility in Winchester, Ky. According to a company press release, the facility, which specializes in large-scale oral dose forms, will have two new buildings and a total of 107,000 ft² added to its manufacturing footprint.  Read more via Biopharm International

US manufacturers double down on ecommerce acceleration

B2B ecommerce also now accounts for a bigger share of all US manufacturing sales. Last year, B2B ecommerce sales totaled 9% of total manufacturing vs. 8.1% in 2020. As a group, US manufacturers are making digital commerce a mainstream channel, according to data and analysis contained in the 2022 Manufacturing Report from Digital Commerce 360.  Read more via Digital Commerce 360

Friday – 05/20/2022

TSMC looks to build multibillion-dollar chip plant in Singapore

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract chip maker, is considering building a semiconductor factory in Singapore to help address a global supply shortage, according to people familiar with the matter.

A final decision hasn’t been made yet and details of the plan are still under discussion, but preliminary talks involve a major plant whose cost would run into the billions of dollars, one of the people said. The government in Singapore, a major chip-making hub, might help fund the plant and negotiations are under way with the government’s Economic Development Board, some of the people said.  Read more via The Wall Street Journal

EV maker Lucid to accelerate plans with its Saudi Arabia factory, its first outside the US

US electric vehicle maker Lucid Group will set up its first overseas factory in Saudi Arabia, the company has announced.

The manufacturing facility will be able to produce 155,000 vehicles a year, and will initially serve the local market, the luxury car maker said in a press release Wednesday. The vehicles will later be exported to global markets.

Lucid’s factory in Arizona can produce 350,000 units a year.  Read more via CNBC

iPhone maker Foxconn enters US electric vehicle manufacturing industry

Foxconn’s entry into the American electric vehicle space opens the door for one of the world’s biggest contract manufacturers to grab a foothold in a growing global business.

Taiwan-based Foxconn, known officially as Hon Hai Technology Group, reached a deal last week with Lordstown Motors to acquire the EV startup’s sprawling plant in northeast Ohio, where Foxconn has agreed to produce Lordstown’s Endurance pickup.  Read more via Axios

Manufacturing supply disruptions could last into 2023

Supply chain disruption could continue for more than another year, according to the newest Resilient M4.0 Supply Chain survey conducted by the NAM’s Manufacturing Leadership Council. The MLC is the digital transformation arm of the NAM.  Read more via NAM

Thursday – 05/19/2022

Biden invokes Defense Production Act to boost baby formula manufacturing to ease shortage

President Joe Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act to increase baby formula manufacturing to ease a nationwide shortage caused by the closure of a key plant in Michigan.

Biden is requiring suppliers to direct ingredients to baby formula manufacturers before any other companies who may have placed orders for those same goods. It wasn’t immediately clear which major suppliers are subject to the order.

The Defense Production Act gives the president broad authority to require companies to prioritize the manufacture and allocation of goods in response to a crisis. The law was passed in 1950 during the Korean War.  Read more via CNBC

Nissan poised to name new US battery supplier

Nissan Motor Co. will announce a US battery supplier for its next-generation electric vehicles “in a few weeks,” the automaker’s Americas chief Jeremie Papin said at the Automotive News Congress here Wednesday.

This year, Nissan said it would invest $500m to turn its Canton, Miss., assembly plant into a “center for EV manufacturing and technology.” Under that overhaul, Canton will produce two new EVs, one for the Nissan brand, the other for Infiniti, starting in 2025.  Read more via Automotive News

Aerobotix marks 40th robot installation for US missile manufacturing as contractors ‘tech up’ to meet MDA demand

Aerobotix, an AS9100-certified FANUC robotics integrator and metrology company, today marked the installation of its 40th robotic system for the U.S. missile manufacturing industry. Defense contractors are using Aerobotix automated systems to enhance capabilities and efficiencies as they ramp up production of advanced missiles for the U.S. Government.

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is seeking $9.6bn in FY23 to expand regional and homeland defenses against increasingly complex and capable missile threats. The MDA requested $8.9bn in FY22, but received an additional $1.5bn from Congress for a total of $10.4 billion. Congress has increased funding to the MDA for two years in a row, arguing that the agency hasn’t requested sufficient funds for it to meet the requirements of the National Defense Strategy.  Read more via Business Wire

Maryland Governor announces Greenland Technologies selects Baltimore County for manufacturing expansion

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Greenland Technologies Holding Corporation, a technology developer and manufacturer of electric industrial vehicles and drivetrain systems for material handling machineries and vehicles, has selected Baltimore County for the next phase of the company’s major U.S. expansion. Greenland conducted a comprehensive national selection process before selecting Maryland earlier this year, and Baltimore County was selected after a review of multiple criteria including location, workforce, incentives, and logistics.

With the formal selection, Greenland plans to move forward with an approximately 50,000 square-foot manufacturing facility located at 5301 Nottingham Drive in White Marsh, where it plans to steadily create new full-time jobs. The facility, which is expected to formally open this July, is central to the company’s strategy of supporting the increased customer demand for its expanding line of electrical industrial vehicles.  Read more via Maryland Governor’s Office

Wednesday – 05/18/2022

Nestle flies baby formula supplies to US from Europe

Nestle SA is flying baby formula supplies to the United States from the Netherlands and Switzerland to alleviate the shortage in U.S. supermarkets, the company said on Tuesday.

Nestle is moving Gerber baby food formula to the United States from the Netherlands and Alfamino baby formula from Switzerland to the US, it said in an emailed statement to Reuters.  Read more via Reuters

US gun production triples since 2000, fueled by handgun purchases

The United States is in the middle of a great gun-buying boom that shows no sign of letting up as the annual number of firearms manufactured has nearly tripled since 2000 and spiked sharply in the past three years, according to the first comprehensive federal tally of gun commerce in two decades.

The report, released by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Tuesday — three days after a mass shooting in Buffalo left 10 dead — painted a vivid statistical portrait of a nation arming itself to the teeth. Buyers capitalized on the loosening of gun restrictions by the Supreme Court, Congress and Republican-controlled state legislatures.  Read more via The New York Times

US manufacturing output rises more than expected in April

Production at US factories increased more than expected in April amid continued strong demand for motor vehicles and other goods, which should help to underpin manufacturing activity.

Manufacturing output increased 0.8% last month after a similar gain in March, the Federal Reserve said on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast factory production would gain 0.4%. Output jumped 5.8% compared to April 2021.  Read more via Reuters

Big manufacturing and industrial center is eyed at San Jose, CA site

A big manufacturing and industrial complex could sprout on a San Jose, California site that a development venture has just bought, newly filed city plans show.

Rockpoint Group purchased the 10.2-acre property in south San Jose for $15.7m on March 31, according to documents filed the same day with the Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office.  Read more via The Mercury News

HP delivers enhanced platform capabilities to further accelerate additive manufacturing production at scale

This week at RAPID+TCT, North America’s largest additive manufacturing event, HP Inc. (Booth 2021) will join partners and customers to showcase innovative applications and production parts for industries including automotive, consumer, health and wellness, and industrial. The company continues to innovate, invest, and create momentum as customers look to scale Additive Manufacturing (AM) parts production.  Read more via HP

Guardian Bikes building an automated bike factory in Indiana

Earlier this year, Guardian Bikes announced it would build a highly automated factory to move production of its safety-focused kids’ bikes to the U.S. Guardian has selected a site at the Freeman Field Industrial Park in Seymour, IN, where the company expects to invest nearly $7 million and employ 100 workers by 2026.

Guardian Bikes makes children’s bikes with a patented Sure Stop brake system that prevents head-over-handlebar accidents, and was featured on Season 8 of Shark Tank. According to the company, approximately 11 million kids’ bikes are purchased in the U.S. annually, and 10.5 million of them (96%) are imported from China.  Read more via Business Facilities

Tuesday – 05/17/2022

Baby formula maker Abbott to restart production amid US shortage

The baby formula maker Abbott has reached an agreement with US health regulators to restart production at its largest domestic factory amid a nationwide formula shortage that has left shelves bare and parents scrambling.

Monday’s agreement with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amounts to a legally binding agreement between regulators and the company on steps needed to reopen the plant in Sturgis, Michigan, which had been under investigation for safety concerns.

However, it will be well over a month before any new products ship from the site to help alleviate the situation. After production resumes, Abbott said it will take between six and eight weeks before the formula will begin arriving in stores.  Read more via The Guardian

US manufacturing giant Parker hit by Conti Ransomware gang

US manufacturing company Parker-Hannifin Corporation has announced a data breach exposing employees’ personal identifiable information (PII) after Conti ransomware actors published reportedly stolen data last month.

The firm, one of the largest companies in the world in motion control technologies, revealed in a press release that an unauthorized third party gained access to its IT systems between the dates of March 11 and March 14 2022.  Read more via Info Security Magazine

Prusa buys 3D-printer seller Printed Solid to expand US footprint

Prague-based Prusa Research is acquiring Printed Solid Inc., a Delaware-based 3D-printer reseller.

Founded in 2011, Prusa shares some DNA with MakerBot and Ultimaker, as an outgrowth of the open source RepRap project. The company’s i3 system has become one of the leading FDM-based desktop 3D printers, owing to its low cost, small footprint and easy mod/repairability.  Read more via Tech Crunch

Inside look at piano manufacturer in Massachusetts, one of 2 remaining in entire country

Inside an old shoe factory in Haverhill, Massachusetts, a piano manufacturer is turning back the hands of time and stringing life into an iconic, centuries-old company.

Kirk Burgett and his brother bought Mason & Hamlin Piano Co. out of bankruptcy court back in 1996.

When that purchase was made, there was practically nothing left of the company that was first started in the 1900s by Henry Mason and Emmons Hamlin.  Read more via WCVB

Monday – 05/16/2022

The Manufacturer Podcast: The power of cloud-based manufacturing

The latest installment of The Manufacturer Podcast is out and, as always, it’s a cracker!

Tom, Joe and Lanna from The Manufacturer’s editorial team return to bring you the third episode in this Technology Series. How is a cloud-based manufacturing solution driving the future production of EVs?  Read more via The Manufacturer

Apple’s iPhone supplier Pegatron cuts production in Shanghai factory as city’s strict Covid-19 lockdown limits output

A major supplier of certain iPhone models has said its production of communications devices and consumer electronics at its factory in Shanghai will decrease this quarter because of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Pegatron’s production cutback in Shanghai raises the stakes for Apple to make further adjustments to its supply chain strategy in mainland China. New iPhone models are likely to see a drop in overall volume this quarter because of manufacturing disruptions at factories on the mainland.  Read more via South China Morning Post

US agricultural machinery manufacturer hit with ransomware attack

This week, AGCO, a U.S. agricultural machinery manufacturer, suffered a ransomware attack that affected its business operations and shut down its systems.

AGCO, headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, designs, produces, and sells tractors, combines, foragers, hay tools, self-propelled sprayers, smart farming technologies, seeding and tillage equipment. AGCO first discovered this attack through its subsidiary, Massey-Ferguson, when its websites in France, Germany, and China were targeted. At that time, more than 1,000 employees were sent home from production facilities in France. Operations across the globe have been affected.

In order to mitigate and remediate the attack, AGCO shut down portions of its IT systems, but it will likely take several days to fully repair them. It is currently unknown when business operations will fully resume.  Read more via JD Supra

US manufacturer invests in two ViLS for EV and AV development

Test and measurement company Toyo Corporation has announced that a major US automotive manufacturer recently selected its vehicle-in-the-loop simulator (ViLS) to test and validate its next generation of electric and autonomous vehicles.

The ViLS allows automotive engineers to perform a wide variety of vehicle, environmental and road testing under real-world conditions but in a more cost-effective and safer lab-controlled setting. Toyo notes that the ViLS supports the CASE paradigm: ‘Connected’ cars, ‘Autonomous/Automated’ driving, ‘Shared’ and ‘Electric’.

The ViLS incorporates Rototest Energy chassis dynamometers, in addition to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and True Sim, a professional-grade driving simulator co-developed by Toyo and Iwane that features augmented reality functionality.  Read more via Automotive Testing Technology International


Wacker opens new US headquarters, silicones lab in Michigan

German chemicals company Wacker Chemie AG has opened a new regional innovation centre and administrative headquarter based in Ann Arbor.

Dedicated to developing “high-margin” biotech and silicone specialities, the facility will develop solutions for high-tech applications in key industries, said Wacker in an 11 May statement.

The new site also houses the administrative headquarters of Wacker Chemical Corp., the US subsidiary of the Munich-based group, which aims to accelerate growth in the North and Central America region.  Read more via European Rubber Journal

Friday – 05/13/2022

Research reveals UK manufacturing productivity falling behind US due to lack of digital maturity

94% of UK manufacturers believe the industry has fallen behind the US due to a lack of digital investment, new research shows.

According to the the Manufacturing Digital Productivity Report from iBASEt, supported by the MTC (The Manufacturing Technology Centre), more than half (56%) of UK manufacturers are losing sales as a result, and more than nine in 10 (93%) say underinvestment will lead to many UK manufacturers going out of business in the next decade.  Read more via The Manufacturer

For hype-wary IBM, quantum-computing sales are close, but not too close

IBM has set a new goal for propelling the legacy technology company ahead of its rivals: a quantum computer ready for commercial use, three years from now.

In an interview earlier this week ahead of the company’s Think conference, Chief Executive Arvind Krishna said International Business Machines Corp would have a more-than-4,000 qubit quantum computer ready by 2025, a jump from its hardware with 127 qubits today.  Read more via Reuters

Hanwha Q Cells to build US solar module factory, expand cell capacity in South Korea

Hanwha Q Cells plans to build a 1.4 GW solar panel factory at an undisclosed location in the United States. It has also announced plans to expand its cell capacity to 5.4 GW in South Korea. CEO Justin Lee spoke to reporters at the Smarter E event about the company’s plans and current supply chain issues.  Read more via PV Magazine

RussKap announces new US manufacturing facility

The CEO of RussKap Holdings, Edward Russo, and President, Yehuda Kaploun, have announced the opening of a new US manufacturing facility in North Carolina as they continue to expand operations. The company’s breakthrough Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG) technology creates clean drinking water from the air and has revolutionized drinking water sourcing on all levels.  Read more via newswires

US to boost baby formula imports to ease nationwide shortage after Abbott Nutrition recall

The US will increase baby formula imports as part of an effort to ease a nationwide shortage, senior Biden administration officials said on Thursday.

The scarcity of formula was triggered in part by the closure of a Michigan manufacturing plant after two infants who consumed its products caught bacterial infections and died.

The Food and Drug Administration will announce specific actions to boost formula imports in the coming days, the officials said. The U.S. produces 98% of the infant formula its consumes. Chile, Ireland, Mexico and the Netherlands are potential sources for additional imports, according to the officials.  Read more via CNBC

Automotive supplier switches to the cloud following on-premise cyberattack

An automotive supplier in Germany has moved its systems to the cloud following a cyberattack which impacted its on-premise infrastructure.

Rülzheim-based DBK David + Baader GmbH (DBK) partnered with Infor, the industry cloud company, to move to the cloud after the former fell victim to a cyberattack that abruptly knocked out the company’s existing on-premises systems last year. The switch came with a go-live using Infor CloudSuite Automotive just three weeks after the attack.  Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday – 05/12/2022

GE Appliances opens $70m high-tech water heater manufacturing plant in Camden, South Carolina

GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, today officially opened its $70m state-of-the-art water heating manufacturing plant in Camden, South Carolina. The site will serve as the company’s Center of Excellence for water heater manufacturing and was built for future expansion. Since 2016, GE Appliances has invested $2bn in its U.S. manufacturing and distribution operations, adding more than 3,000 new employees and creating an additional 88,000 jobs in the nation’s economy.  Read more via GE Appliances

Fractory boosts cooperation between UK and US manufacturing

Manchester-based Fractory, a cloud manufacturing company connecting UK engineers to production capacity online, has expanded to the US market and opened an office in Chicago, Illinois. The company has automated the manufacturing procurement process from quoting to manufacturing and delivery, taking full responsibility for every step.

Expanding to the US manufacturing market has been the company’s goal since the very beginning as the problems in the manufacturing procurement process that Fractory’s product helps to solve are universal, and globally present.  Read more via The Manufacturer

How Anuvia aims to spend $66m advancing biofertilizer for large-scale agriculture

US biofertilizer company Anuvia Plant Nutrients has packed a lot of milestones into a short period of time, its latest being a $65.5 million Series D fundraise co-led by Riverstone Holdings and Piva Capital.

Morgan Stanley Investment Management and LK Advisers, the family office of the Mittal steel magnate dynasty, participated along with existing investor Pontifax AgTech.

The round follows Anuvia’s $103m Series C raise from last year.  Read more via AgFunderNews

China opposes semiconductor bill because it will give US advantage -US commerce chief

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Wednesday the Chinese government opposes an effort in Congress to ramp up US semiconductor manufacturing because it will give the United States more of a competitive punch.

On Thursday, U.S. lawmakers will open formal negotiations on a compromise measure that would fund $52bn in semiconductor manufacturing subsidies and boost U.S. competitiveness with Chinese technology. It could still take months to reach a final deal.  Read more via Reuters

Cummins, Daimler Truck to manufacture line of fuel cell heavy-duty trucks by 2024

The global engine manufacturer Cummins has forged an agreement with the North American heavy-duty truck manufacturer Daimler Truck North America to produce a new line of fuel cell trucks using Cummins’ latest fuel cell technology, the companies said May 11.

Register Now According to the agreement, Daimler will add Cummin’s fourth-generation fuel cell power train to its Freightliner Cascadia trucks, a Class 8 heavy duty vehicle. Initial units will be available to select North American customers beginning in 2024.  Read more via S&P Global


Wednesday – 05/11/2022

US Air Force flies into the AMRC in Sheffield

The United States Air Force (USAF) has visited the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to see how the facility’s world-leading technologies and techniques could reshape their day-to-day operations.

A delegation from RAF Lakenheath, home to the 48th Fighter Wing, visited the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) facilities in Rotherham and Sheffield to understand how digital technologies, composite materials and advanced machining could be integrated into the USAF’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) processes.  Read more via The Manufacturer

Why it’s so hard to find baby formula in the US right now

Parents across the US have been scouring social media or crossing states to get hold of baby formula amid a national shortage driven by ongoing pressure on supply chains.

The crisis has worsened in the past few weeks as 40% of popular baby formula brands were sold out at US retailers in the week beginning April 24, according to an analysis by Datasembly of more than 11,000 stores. That’s up from 31% less than two weeks earlier, and 11% in November 2021.  Read more via Time

US producers undo years of efficiency gains in fight for supplies

U.S. manufacturers are finding that their main weapon to fight supply chain snarls is greater inefficiency.

Industrial companies reporting earnings over the past few weeks have described steps they’ve taken – from acquiring trucks to move their own goods to building products that sit around on factory floors waiting for missing semiconductors – to deal with delays and shortages that have dogged them over the past year.  Read more via Reuters

Manufacturing technology orders in 2022 had strongest Q1 in over two decades

Monthly orders of manufacturing technology surpassed half a billion dollars for the first time in 2022, totaling $552.3m in March, according to the latest US Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.

March 2022 orders were 15.2% higher than February 2022 orders and 20.4% higher than March 2021. The first quarter of 2022 had orders totaling $1.47bn, 26.5% higher than the first quarter of 2021 and the highest Q1 of any year since 1998.  Read more via the Association for Manufacturing Technology

Pico MES is creating smarter, smaller factories

Pico MES, a manufacturing execution system (MES) software company focused on small and midsize manufacturers, has raised $6.75m in seed funding. The funds will enable Pico to improve its tools and expands its sales, marketing and development teams. The company has 22 employees currently and is expected to increase by another 30-50% by the year’s end.  Read more via the Venture Beat

OMCO Solar shores up manufacturing with $5m investment

OMCO Solar, an OEM manufacturer of solar tracker and mounting solutions for the community, commercial, and utility-scale markets, announced that it has invested an additional $5m into its solar manufacturing capabilities, bringing its total investment in equipment and tooling to $75m.

According to the company, the investment will be used to enable the manufacturing of its OMCO Origin Tracker Torque Tubes at OMCO’s Indiana and Arizona locations. In total, the company has 7 GW of true U.S. manufacturing capacity across four locations: Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Ohio. OMCO manufactures its own torque tubes in order to maintain domestic control of the supply chain and reduce distribution costs. Since torque tubes can be among of the most expensive pieces of a tracker system, OMCO said that its tubes have saved up to 25% of the tracker cost in some cases.  Read more via the PV Magazine

Tuesday – 05/10/2022

Exclusive: Hyundai plans U.S. EV plant, in talks with Georgia

Hyundai Motor Co plans to build a new electric-vehicle manufacturing plant in the United States and has held discussions with officials in Georgia, near existing plants for the Hyundai and Kia brands, people with knowledge of its plans told Reuters.

Hyundai Motor confirmed an imminent plan for a new EV plant but declined to comment on any details, including site negotiations.

“We are excited to announce a new EV plant plan in the United States soon, but we do not have details to share at this stage,” Hyundai said in a statement to Reuters when asked about its investment plans.  Read more via Reuters

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon back US effort to boost 3D printing

Several major companies, including Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies, have joined the Biden administration’s new Additive Manufacturing (AM) Forward initiative, which aims to strengthen US supply chains by expanding the use of 3D-printed parts.

Under the initiative, or “voluntary compact”, which the White House unveiled on 6 May, Lockheed Martin has agreed to help its small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) suppliers improve their AM techniques, and will increase its participation in university and technical college programmes that develop AM skills.  Read more via Janes

Apple’s China engineers keep products flowing as Covid shuts out US staff

Before the pandemic, Apple sent hundreds of US engineers each month to China to oversee the contract manufacturers that build most of its products. Now, in a shift, the global technology giant relies more on local engineers.  Read more via The Wall Street Journal

European plastics manufacturer picks NC for first US factory, will create jobs

A European manufacturer of plastics has selected Gaston County as the location of its first facility in the United States, and has been awarded a $79.9m contract by the US Department of Defense to do so.

The company, Premix Group, announced it had received the contract on Monday, following the announcement on Friday that the company had selected a facility in Gaston County’s Apple Creek Corporate Center.  Read more via WRAL TechWire

Monday – 05/09/2022

Biden plugs manufacturing initiative at Ohio metal company

President Joe Biden pledged Friday that 3D printing technology would help return factory jobs to the U.S. and reduce inflationary pressures as he traveled to an industrial Midwestern state with a Senate seat in play to make his case for the future of manufacturing.

Biden went to United Performance Metals in Hamilton to highlight commitments by five leading U.S. manufacturers to boost their reliance on small and medium American firms for 3D printing. GE Aviation, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Siemens Energy have agreed to take part in the program. The president toured the factory with executives.  Read more via US News & World Report

Construction to start on first US offshore wind tower manufacturing plant

US-based CDMG Metal Buildings has been awarded a USD 42.7 million contract by the Port of Albany to supply four metal buildings for the nation’s first offshore wind tower manufacturing plant.

The contract was signed during a meeting of the port district commission to allow a joint venture to begin manufacturing wind towers and other parts by the end of 2023.

Under the contract, CDMG is scheduled to ship the first pre-engineered wind turbine metal building to the port by late September or early October, with the remaining three buildings to be completed in the fall.  Read more via Offshore Wind

Manufacturing drives strong U.S. hiring; wage growth cools

US job growth increased more than expected in April as manufacturers boosted hiring, underscoring the economy’s strong fundamentals despite a decline in output in the first quarter.

Though the Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday showed a moderation in wage gains last month, wage price pressures are likely to continue to build amid record job openings. About 363,000 people left the labor force in April, pulling down the participation rate from a two-year high and potentially worsening worker shortages.  Read more via Reuters

Datwyler in €600m deal to acquire US silicone seals manufacturer

Datwyler Group is acquiring QSR, a US-based manufacturer of silicone seals and components for electrical connectors, from Q Holding and its private equity owner, 3i.

The transaction, valued at $625m (€595m), is expected complete in the second quarter of the year and will expand Datwayler’s existing portfolio and geographical footprint, the Swiss polymer group said in a statement.  Read more via European Rubber Journal

US Army reaches out to industry for powered knee exoskeleton

The US Army is looking for a potential manufacturer of a powered robotic exoskeleton capable of protecting the knees of warfighters.

Researchers explained that the exoskeleton is similar to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair knee brace, except that it would be powered at the knee joint to provide kinetic assistance in the movement.

The army said that the wearable tech must enhance soldier performance and speed recovery from knee injuries.  Read more via The Defense Post

Friday – 05/06/2022

US government announces $3.1bn of funding for battery manufacturing, processing, recycling

US battery manufacturing got a boost this week with the announcement of $3.1bn in funding from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The infrastructure investment is intended to increase American-made batteries and components, bolster domestic supply chains, create good-paying jobs, and lower costs. The plan is to support the creation of new, retrofitted, and expanded commercial facilities as well as manufacturing demonstrations, and battery recycling. According to a recent PV Intel report, California is an example of a burgeoning US battery market with a big increase in solar-plus-battery installations just in the past year.  Read more via PV Magazine

New battery factory to bring hundreds of new jobs to US

A battery materials company has purchased a 600,000-square foot facility in Moses Lake, Washington, to be used to manufacture lithium-ion anode battery materials for the automotive and cell phone industries.

Sila, based in Alameda, California, said Wednesday the facility will bring hundreds of new jobs to the central Washington town. The company said it was drawn by the region’s abundant hydropower.

Sila is making an initial investment to deliver silicon-based anode production sufficient to power batteries in 100,000 to 500,000 electric vehicles and 500 million mobile phones annually.  Read more via Manufacturing Business Technology

Volta Trucks confirms it’s bringing its electric trucks to the US beginning in mid-2023

Commercial EV manufacturer Volta Trucks has shared a roadmap outlining plans to bring its all-electric Zero trucks to the United States next year. Its strategy will include the 16-ton Volta Zero truck to begin, followed by Class 5 and 6 variants. Additionally, Volta Trucks is searching for a manufacturing partner on US soil to begin building the Zero trucks before year’s end.  Read more via electrek

SOMIC Packaging completes first U.S. factory acceptance test

SOMIC Packaging completes first US factory acceptance testHistory was made recently at SOMIC Packaging, Inc. in Eagan, Minnesota, when company representatives conducted the first Factory Acceptance Test of a retail-ready packaging machine in North America, the company announced today. This process validates the equipment is ready for installation at a customer’s property and ensures a smooth transition for immediate production capability. Previously, SOMIC only did such tests in Germany.

Officials from GOYA Foods were on hand to witness the test procedure. The nation’s largest Hispanic-owned food company is deploying a SOMIC 424 T2+ case packaging system designed to handle the wraparound case packaging needs of stand-up pouches and cartons. The machine will be installed at GOYA’s Seacaucus, New Jersey, manufacturing facility and is expected to be online by July.  Read more via Modern Materials Handling

Thursday – 05/05/2022

US and Japan Cooperate on 2nm Chip Development

Japan and the United States have agreed to close cooperation to advance 2nm semiconductor process development and mass production. A report published by the Nikkei financial newspaper says that Japan’s Koichi Hagiuda, Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, arrived in the United States on Monday for talks regarding this collaborative effort.

The idea of the two governments is to build a state-of-the-art semiconductor supply chain that is very secure against leaks to China and leverage the respective technological strengths of the two nations involved.  Read more via tom’s Hardware

Leading US manufacturer expands new location

Peabody Engineering, in their 70th year in business, has expanded its products and services to America’s East Coast in the midst of booming success in the West. Peabody Engineering’s new east coast manufacturing facility in Liberty, South Carolina is Completed and in production. The 50,000 square foot facility will have the capacity to produce all the company’s molded products you know and love from their west coast facility, as well as their engineered tank and equipment fabrication division with the same state-of-the-art technology and equipment in their new east coast location.

This project is a clear commitment to the client base, city of Liberty and the county of Pickens as a production location. It is also the next logical step to strengthen the company’s position to meet the increasing customer and production demands, offering two great locations for Peabody Products with shortened lead times and regional availability.  Read more via Benzinga

Battery tech company Group14 raises $400m in funding led by Porsche, plans 2nd US plant

Group14 Technologies, a manufacturer of silicon-carbon tech for lithium-silicon batteries, announced it has raised $400m in a Series C funding round led by Porsche AG. Group14’s technology can help deliver better-performing cells compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries and will use the funds to begin building a second manufacturing facility on US soil to expedite tech to Porsche.

Group14 Technologies was founded in 2015 in Washington state as a spinout of enerG2 based in Seattle. Since then, the company has seen breakthroughs in battery materials, particularly silicon-carbon, which can deliver higher levels of energy density to lithium-ion-powered vehicles. 50% more compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries, according to Group14.  Read more via electrek

Toyota puts invisible AI eyes in North American factories

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) is partnering with Invisible AI to use artificial intelligence to help it make more intelligent decisions in its factories regarding quality, safety and productivity.

The automaker and Austin, Texas-based startup said Wednesday Invisible AI’s computer vision platform will be installed in all 14 TMNA manufacturing locations in North America.

The system essentially puts electronic eyes on every corner of the operation with AI technology to analyze any possible issues.  Read more via Forbes

GE given contract to upgrade 14GW hydropower plant in Brazil

GE Renewable Energy has received a contract for technological upgrade works at the 14GW Itaipu hydropower plant in Brazil.

Located on the Paraná River between Brazil and Paraguay, the Itaipu plant was commissioned in 1984 and is said to be the world’s second-largest hydropower plant.

A consortium led by GE Renewable Energy’s hydropower business will upgrade the power plant, with its primary focus being on updating the plant’s technology.

The scope of work includes upgrading equipment and systems of all 20 power generating units at the power facility.  Read more via Power Technology

VW wants to step up investment in US manufacturing

Volkswagen AG said it is accelerating its push into key U.S. auto markets where it expects little impact on growth from the Ukraine war or China’s Covid-19 lockdowns.

VW CEO Herbert Diess told reporters during an earnings call on Wednesday that the company wants to boost electric-vehicle investment in North America in particular as the fallout from the war and the pandemic continue to weigh on growth in other regions.  Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Wednesday – 05/04/2022

Rise in US factory orders beats expectations in March

New orders for U.S.-made goods increased more than expected in March and shipments rose solidly, but supply constraints following new COVID-19 lockdowns in China could slow manufacturing activity in the months ahead.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that factory orders rose 2.2% in March after edging up 0.1% in February. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast factory orders would rise 1.1%.  Read more via Reuters

Rivian to Receive $1.5bn in Incentives for Georgia Manufacturing Plant

Electric vehicle company Rivian Automotive Inc will receive $1.5bn in state and local incentives for a plant near Atlanta, it was revealed Monday.

According to documents posted on Monday by the state’s Department of Economic Development, Rivian will invest $5bn in a carbon-conscious campus in Georgia, near the I-20 corridor east of Atlanta.

The incentive package is reportedly the largest in Georgia history and includes tax credits, discounts, and subsidies such as site preparation and job training support.  Read more via investing.com

UK customer Osprey more than triples orders for Tritium EV fast chargers

Global electric vehicle (EV) fast charger developer and manufacturer Tritium is on a roll in the UK after a customer upped the ante on its orders, reaching a deal to buy 250 additional rapid chargers from the Brisbane-based company.

The latest agreement with Osprey Charging Network, one of the fastest growing in the sector in the UK, comes within five months of an initial announcement to buy 110 rapid chargers from Tritium.

Just over two weeks ago Tritium also entered into a multi-year contract with BP to supply its network with an initial order of just under 1,000 chargers for the UK, Australian and New Zealand markets.  Read more via Business News Australia

Barry Callebaut to scale up its North American production with new factory in Ontario

The Barry Callebaut Group has announced plans to expand its North American presence by building a new specialty chocolate factory in Ontario, Canada.

One of the world’s leading chocolate and cocoa suppliers, Barry Callebaut said the new state-of-the-art factory is planned to have an initial annual production capacity of over 50,000 tonnes.  Read more via Confectionary News

Proposed bill aims to encourage US pharmaceutical manufacturing

Introduced by two Republican Congressmen, the American Made Medicine Act is intended to boost domestic drug manufacturing and create jobs in the sector.

Congressmen Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Drew Ferguson (R-Georgia) have introduced the American Made Medicine Act. The legislation is intended to secure the country’s medical supply chains, reduce reliance on China and India for pharma products, and create jobs in the pharmaceutical sector. Wenstrup said the country is put at a disadvantage by an overreliance on China and other countries in purchasing pharmaceuticals, medical devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other essential products.  Read more via outsourcing-pharma.com

Tuesday – 05/03/2022

Industrial Data Summit 2022

Researched and produced by The Manufacturer, the 5th annual Industrial Data Summit took place yesterday at Villa Park, Birmingham, home of Aston Villa Football Club, and saw over 100 delegates, speakers and sponsors sell out the conference venue and gather together to discuss all things data in relation to manufacturing, from governance and how to monetise your data, to its impact on an organisation’s sustainability strategy.  Read more via The Manufacturer

US manufacturing activity slowest in more than 1-1/2 years as workers quit

US factory activity grew at its slowest pace in more than 1-1/2 years in April amid a rise in workers quitting their jobs, and manufacturers are becoming more anxious about supply over the summer because of China’s zero tolerance COVID-19 policy.

The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee Chair Timothy Fiore said on Monday that coronavirus outbreaks overseas were “creating a near-term headwind for the U.S. manufacturing community,” noting that some manufacturers worried “about their Asian partners’ ability to deliver reliably in the summer months.”  Read more via Reuters

First Solar records Q1 loss of $43m as sales collapse, ‘challenging’ 2022 guidance unchanged

US thin-film manufacturer First Solar recorded a $43.3m loss in its Q1 2022 mostly caused by a drop in sales, with the company expecting a “challenging 2022 from an earning standpoint” given ongoing supply chain constraints.

According to its Q1 2022 financial results, First Solar’s net sales were $367m, down US$540 million from the previous quarter. This was largely due to a decrease in module volume sold, the module average selling price (ASP) and lower project revenue in Japan, where it is trying to sell businesses. The company lost $0.41 per share.  Read more via PV Tech

Kenda celebrates 60 years highlighting technical prowess in US

Over the past seven years, Kenda Tire has established its tech center in North America, introduced its next generation of its PLT tire lines in the US and added tire testing equipment and technology that has helped the Taiwanese tiremaker become known for its tagline of “premium performance at a valuable price.” And according to Jimmy Yang, the company’s global president and CEO, it’s just getting started in solidifying its presence in North America.  Read more via Tire Review

Cortes Campers receives $1.5m purchase order from Outback RV of Texas

US Lighting Group, Inc. has announced that Cortes Campers, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary, received an initial purchase order worth $1.5m from Outback RV, its new dealer in Denton, Texas. Camper deliveries to Texas are expected to start during the second half of 2022; additional terms were not disclosed.  Read more via Cision PR Newswire

Industry leading the charge in green revolution to Net Zero target

Britain’s manufacturers are leading the charge towards Net Zero as the sector makes a huge leap forward from just 18 months ago when very few companies had a specific Net Zero strategy in place.

The positive influences of COP26 and increased practical help in implementing positive green strategies in the workplace has turbocharged industry in the Race to Zero.  Read more via The Manufacturer

Friday – 04/29/2022

Manufacturer sues JPMorgan after cyber criminals stole $272m

Essilor Manufacturing has sued JP Morgan, alleging the bank ignored suspicious activity which culminated in cyber criminals stealing $272m.

According to reports, the French manufacturer of Ray-Ban sunglasses claimed the bank failed to notify it of suspicious activity in its New York bank account.

In papers filed at a federal court in Manhattan, the manufacturer said there was a huge increase in the volume of money transacted, as well as money being sent to shell companies in countries seen as high-risk.  Read more via Computer Weekly

Robot boom in US manufacturing is fueled by strong supplier base

A recent robot boom within US manufacturing is fueled by a strong supplier base, a new report from HowToRobot, Gain & Co, and The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) shows. Robotics and automation are picking up fast among manufacturers in North America, with 2021 bringing about record sales of 39,708 robots – a dramatic increase of 28% over 2020.

A strong robot supplier and integrator presence in the U.S. is fueling the growth, showing an outstanding ability for implementation, the report shows.  Read more via Digital Journal

Nevada Industry Excellence receives grant to support manufacturing industry development and success

A National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) grant of $950,000 has been awarded to continue the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center at the Nevada Industry Excellence (NVIE) hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno.

NVIE is a statewide program, that serves as Nevada’s approved NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center and the industrial extension program of the Nevada System of Higher Education. It is a resource for small- and medium-sized manufacturers in Nevada, providing services to a rapidly growing sector of the state economy.  Read more via Nevada Today

Marel agrees to buy US-based Wenger Manufacturing for $540m

Icelandic food processing equipment manufacturer Marel hf. said late Wednesday that it has agreed to buy U.S.-based Wenger Manufacturing LLC for $540m.

Wenger Manufacturing makes processing equipment for producing pet food, plant-based proteins, and aqua feed and Marel said the acquisition offers a new, complementary growth market and will form the fourth business segment alongside poultry, meat and fish.

Wenger has 500 employees and revenues in 2022 are expected to be $190m, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $32m-$35m and an earnings before interest and tax margin of 14%-15%. The deal is expected to contribute around 10% of Marel’s total revenues and 12% of Ebitda, it said.  Read more via Market Watch

Utz Brands to add new manufacturing facility in Kings Mountain, NC

Utz Brands, Inc., a leading US manufacturer of branded salty snacks, has announced that its subsidiary Utz Quality Foods, LLC has purchased a brand new, recently completed snack food manufacturing facility in Kings Mountain, North Carolina from Evans Food Group Ltd., Benestar Brands and related affiliates. The purchase includes the existing building, land and pork-rind production equipment. Utz will convert the space into a fully operational snack food manufacturing facility starting in 2022. The current 125,000 square foot facility can be expanded to 200,000 square feet and is expected to add over 115 local jobs.  Read more via Bakersfield.com

Doosan to begin forging components for NuScale’s SMRs

US-based NuScale Power and South Korea’s Doosan Enerbility Co. on 25 April announced through a signed agreement that Doosan will begin production of forging materials for NuScale’s Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) this year, with expectations for full-scale equipment manufacturing by the latter half of 2023. Specifically, Doosan, a Korean industrials and energy company, will begin production of forging dies for NuScale’s Upper Reactor Pressure Vessel, marking the start of NuScale Power Module (NPM) production.  Read more via Nuclear Engineering International

Thursday – 04/28/2022

Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems sign MRO contract for 737 MAX

Boeing and the aerostructures company Spirit AeroSystems have reached an agreement to support maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of the global fleet of Boeing 737 MAX.

The deal particularly concerns the repair of the nacelles and flight controls and aims “to expand Boeing’s parts services options in response to customer needs”.

“With this agreement, Boeing Global Services is strategically positioned to assist all 737 MAX operators by providing lease and exchange programs to respond quickly to unforeseen events,” said Mini Desai, vice president of Commercial Spares and Managed Parts, Boeing Global Services. “Our business serves our customer base beyond the sale of aircraft, and now we can expand lease and exchange support for aerostructures with Spirit AeroSystems.”  Read more via Aerotime Hub

Consortium to create next-generation of innovation and talent for the electric vehicle industry

The unprecedented need to develop a workforce that can build and service electric and autonomous vehicles and develop the cybersecurity to protect them is the driving force behind a new consortium based in South Carolina.

The consortium, named “Collaborative Research: REVVED,” short for Revolutionizing Electric Vehicle Education, is receiving $2.83m from the National Science Foundation to fund the project.

Trident Technical College is working in partnership with Greenville Technical College, Spartanburg Community College and Clemson University as part of the consortium. Several workforce development centers and industry partners are also involved.  Read more via Clemson News

“Find Your Future”: Creators Wanted Arrives in Freeport, TX

If you want to make a good living, help change the world for the better and have a good time doing it, modern manufacturing has a job for you. That was the message relayed to local high school students this Tuesday at the premier event of the Creators Wanted Tour Live’s seventh stop, in the Freeport, Texas, area.

The CW tour, a joint project of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and its workforce development and education partner, The Manufacturing Institute, aims to inspire, educate and empower tomorrow’s workforce.  Read more via NAM

PCS manufacturer Dynapower to be acquired for $580m

Dynapower, a US manufacturer of energy storage and power conversion system (PCS) equipment, will be acquired by Sensata, a maker of industrial sensors.

In a deal announced yesterday, Sensata has agreed to buy Dynapower for $580m from the current owner, private equity group Pfingstein Partners. The cash deal is expected to complete in Q3 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.  Read more via Energy Storage News

MoboTrex relocation bringing 110 jobs to Pflugerville

MoboTrex, Inc. will invest $13m to expand into a 130,000-square-foot facility in Pflugerville, TX. The Davenport, IA-based manufacturer of traffic control systems will employ a total of 110 full-time workers at the facility within five years.

MoboTrex will relocate its operations from Austin to the One Thirty Business Park in Pflugerville. The project will expand the capacity for MoboTrex’s manufacturing and distribution of signalized intersection systems.  Read more via Business Facilities

Wednesday – 04/27/2022

Asheboro manufacturer plans 220-job expansion

Technimark LLC, a manufacturing solutions provider for the healthcare and consumer packaging markets, said Thursday it is expanding its Asheboro operations by 220 jobs as part of a $62 million capital investment.

Technimark, headquartered in Asheboro, specializes in precision injection molding, value-added assembly, and full supply chain services. The company has facilities in the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and China,

The average annual salary for new positions will be $44,290, while the current average wage in Randolph County is $40,552.

The manufacturer has been made eligible for up to $1.1 million over 12 years in performance-based incentives from the state’s Job Development Investment Grant.  Read more via Winston-Salem Journal

NuScale Power signs collaboration agreement with US Reactor Forging Consortium

US-based NuScale Power and the US Reactor Forging Consortium (RFC) have announced that they have signed a Collaboration Agreement. The deal is set to leverage the existing US forging supply chain to prepare NuScale to deploy its small modular reactor (SMR) technology to customers worldwide and to support US manufacturing jobs.

RFC comprises North American Forgemasters (NAF), Scot Forge, and ATI Forged Products. The three companies combined act as the only fully integrated manufacturer of large alloy and stainless steel open die, seamless rolled ring, and large uniquely-shaped forgings (heads with integral nozzles) in the Western Hemisphere with as-forged piece weights exceeding 160 tons, NuScale said.

Under the Collaboration Agreement, the RFC and NuScale will cooperate in design for manufacturability reviews for forged geometries to reduce welding, chemical composition tailoring and optimised configuration for fabrication. The collaboration will support US supply chain planning as NuScale approaches near-term commercialisation of the NuScale Power Modules (NPM).  Read more via Nuclear Engineering International

Nestlé Professional USA expands in Trenton, investing $7.5m and creating more than 30 jobs

Nestlé Professional USA announced today it is investing $7.5m to expand its facility in Trenton, with plans to add more than 30 jobs. The expansion of the factory will enable the company to meet growing demand for products for the out-of-home market.

“Nestlé’s expansion is great news for Trenton and will positively impact the community now and in the future,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Here in Missouri, businesses are growing, creating more good-paying jobs, and further strengthening our economy. Our unwavering focus on workforce development and infrastructure has gotten results, and we’re proud to see world-class companies like Nestlé continuing to choose our state.”  Read more via Missouri Department of Economic Development

Copycats Media introduces vinyl record manufacturing

Copycats Media, a division of The ADS Group, will be the first modern-day vinyl record pressing plant in Minnesota. Construction is underway within the newly dedicated 65,000 sq.-ft. building that will initially house five record presses with existing infrastructure to support future growth.

ADS has also introduced an electroforming department that is fully operational. Electroforming is a process used to create data stampers which is then pressed onto PVC in the record creation. Greg Schoener, VP of Quality and Technology, started his career with ADS 33 years ago, when the CD was considered new technology. “I would have never thought that in 2022, I would be focusing on electroforming for vinyl records. I anticipate our first record to be pressed sometime during the second quarter of 2022,” Schoener states.  Read more via Globe News Wire

Robots in manufacturing help Cheer Pack meet labor needs

While many people fret that robots and automation in manufacturing will lead to the loss of jobs, one company found that robots have saved the day in a tight labor market.

Cheer Pack, one of the largest producers of spouted pouches, implemented a team of robots to move materials around in its warehouse operations. To maximize the efficiency of movement, Cheer Pack tied the robots into its IFS ERP system, which acts as the scheduler and dispatcher for the robots.  Read more via TechTarget

Intel partners cheer new chip foundries in US

Intel partners are cheering the chip giant’s charge to build more foundries in the United States even as a former Taiwan semiconductor CEO refers to it as an exercise in futility.

“It is exciting to see all the investment that Intel is doing particularly in the US,” said Kent Tibbils, Vice President of Marketing for Fremont, Calif.-based ASI Corp., a longtime distributor of Intel chips. “They are a semiconductor company, they know how to do leading edge manufacturing, leading edge packaging, advanced engineering, and they know how to do it all at scale. They bring a tremendous amount of resources, capabilities, and history to the table.”

Tibbils sees more chip foundries in the US whether from Intel or overseas manufacturers like TSMC or Samsung as “significant” to improving the supply chain crises that has plagued the industry.  Read more via CRN

Tuesday – 04/26/2022

Perovskite solar company Tandem PV raises US$6m to build Californian manufacturing facility

US perovskite company Tandem PV has closed on the first half of a US$12 million Series A raise after raising US$6 million for building a pilot manufacturing facility in its headquarters of San Jose, California.

US-focused Tandem PV will use this investment to manufacture its first commercial grade tandem solar panels intended to equip customers with more efficient and affordable solar energy.

The company specialises in ‘ultra-high-efficiency’ tandem metal-halide perovskite solar panels. It changes silicon solar panels into high-efficiency tandems by leveraging perovskite-coated front glass via a drop-in manufacturing replacement.  Read more via PV Tech

Stanley Black & Decker awards $25m to workforce partnerships

Stanley Black & Decker named The Manufacturing Institute, the nonprofit workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, as a 2022 Makers Grant Recipient.

As evinced by its facilities like The Manufactory, that pioneers and tests new manufacturing technologies leading to innovations such as its new flexible automation cells, SB&D has a long-standing interest in advancing the construction and manufacturing sectors through providing new tools and the education to use them.  Read more via Industry Week

Teardown of China budget smartphone Honor reveals rise in US parts

A teardown of Honor’s latest smartphone model has revealed that parts made by U.S. companies account for 40% of the product’s manufacturing cost, as the former budget brand of embattled Chinese tech group Huawei Technologies has turned to American suppliers since the former parent was targeted by Washington’s sanctions.

Nikkei took apart the handset with the help of Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, a Tokyo-based research specialist. The estimated prices of components inside were tallied to calculate the relative share different countries had in producing the device.  Read more via Nikkei Asia

Kari-Out investing over $10m in sustainable paper manufacturing

Kari-Out Company, a leading manufacturer, importer and nationwide distributor of paper, aluminum, and recyclable packaging products in the restaurant takeout industry, today announced a significant move to bolster its innovative line of sustainable packaging solutions.

The company’s largest investment to date will expand manufacturing capabilities in its Specialty Quality Packaging (SQP) facility in New York, where Kari-Out’s popular Food Trays, Eco Box™ and Eco Earth™ paper food containers are produced. SQP, founded in 1981, has been a Kari-Out company for over 15 years and has helped Kari-Out drive innovation with a highly experienced manufacturing team.  Read more via Packaging Strategies

Leeward Renewable Energy signs 1-GW module supply agreement with First Solar

Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) signed a multi-year supply agreement through First Solar to provide 1 GW of thin-film PV solar modules to be used across the developer’s pipeline of solar projects in 2023 and 2024.

This latest supply agreement expands LRE’s order book with First Solar to over 3 GW and will result in 18 new solar sites. First Solar developed these thin-film modules at its research and development centers in California and Ohio with a manufacturing process the company says has a carbon and water footprint significantly lower than the average silicon solar panel made with cells produced in China.  Read more via Solar Power World

Monday – 04/25/2022

Amazon launches $1bn industrial innovation fund

Amazon is investing $1bn into the industrial sector to “spur supply chain, fulfillment, and logistics innovation and further improve the customer and employee experience”.

The $1bn venture investment program is called the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund (AIIF).

As customers increasingly shop online and look for even faster delivery, Amazon says it is continuing to invent new ways to raise the bar on customer and employee experience while working with other companies focused on those fields.  Read more via Robotics & Automation

Honda: 800,000 EVs built in North America by 2030

Honda Motor Co., in the midst of a massive corporate makeover, is planning a radical ramp-up of electric vehicles in North America, from barely any sales today to enough factory firepower to sell 800,000 in 2030 as the Japanese automaker piles on local capacity to build battery-powered cars.

Part of that surge will come from a production-sharing plan with partner General Motors. But from the 2026 model year, Honda will introduce its own EVs and start making them in North America, sometime between the latter half of 2025 and early 2026, said Shinji Aoyama, senior managing executive officer in charge of Honda’s electrification strategy.  Read more via Automotive News

GE Aviation, BAE Systems partner on hybrid electric flight demo programme

GE Aviation has selected BAE Systems to design, test and supply energy management components for GE’s recently announced megawatt (MW) class hybrid electric propulsion system in development. For this demonstration program, BAE Systems will provide the battery and related cabling used to store electricity and drive the motor/generator GE Aviation is building, controlled by GE’s power electronics.

Previously, NASA and GE Aviation announced the launch of a new research partnership to demonstrate flight readiness of an integrated hybrid electric propulsion system for single-aisle commercial aircraft. Plans are to conduct ground and flight tests in the mid-2020s. Through NASA’s Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) project, GE will test hybrid electric configurations on a modified Saab 340B to help prove out the technology.  Read more via Asian Aviation

Tesla is working with Manor ISD to give high school graduates jobs at Giga Texas

Tesla is working with Manor Independent School District to give high school graduates an opportunity to work full-time at Giga Texas while completing courses in Advanced Manufacturing Programming at Austin Community College.

According to the school’s calendar, Tesla conducted interviews for seniors from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Manor ISD noted that Tesla’s Manufacturing Development Program (MDP) is providing graduates the opportunity to launch their careers at Tesla through its Tesla Start program, which we covered last year when Tesla initially launched it.  Read more via CleanTechnica

Rise of the robots: Lincoln Electric adds to its manufacturing skills

In Just three years, Lincoln Electric Co. has built in Euclid what may be the largest 3D printing factory of its kind anywhere. The operation, Lincoln Electric Additive Solutions (LAS), mates Lincoln’s core arc welding capability with robotics to give the 125-year-old company entry into additive manufacturing, a rapidly growing sector of the manufacturing industry.  Read more via Crain’s Cleveland Business

Friday – 04/22/2022

New factory going up to supply GM with materials for upcoming EVs

General Motors has inked a deal with rare earth mining and manufacturer MP Materials Corp. to produce alloy and magnets for the automaker’s upcoming electric vehicles.

On Thursday, GM said it has signed a long-term agreement which solidifies the terms of a binding agreement announced by MP Materials and the automaker in December. MP Materials, which is based in Las Vegas, broke ground Thursday on the construction of an alloy and magnet manufacturing plant in Fort Worth, Texas, that will supply GM EV materials.

MP Materials will supply rare earth materials, mined and manufactured in the U.S., such as alloy and finished magnets. They will be used in the electric motors on “more than a dozen” of GM’s EVs using GM’s Ultium platform, the battery system that will power GM’s EVs.  Read more via Detroit Free Press

Most companies still new to smart manufacturing and struggling with adoption, ISG survey finds

Most companies are still new to smart manufacturing and are making slow progress with adoption, but interest in the concept is high, according to a new survey by Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2022 ISG Global Smart Manufacturing Pulse Survey found nearly three-quarters of respondents (73 percent) have less than two years of ongoing smart manufacturing experience. And 70 percent say they are making slow to minimal progress on their smart manufacturing roadmap.  Read more via The Manufacturer

Building materials manufacturer expanding, adding 100 jobs

A building materials supplier and manufacturer is expanding its operation in western Kentucky and adding 100 jobs, officials said.

Legacy Metals LLC plans a $1.2 million project in Hopkinsville that will include a new facility with two manufacturing lines to develop and trim roofing and siding panels, a statement from Gov. Andy Beshear’s office said. It will also include a warehouse to provide room for inventory and further expansion.

The family-owned company specializes in custom-length metal siding and roofing. It launched in 2017 with two employees and currently employs 26.  Read more via US News & World Report

North Carolina Governor announces packaging manufacturer will create 220 jobs in Randolph County

Technimark, LLC, a manufacturing solutions provider for the healthcare and consumer packaging markets, will expand its healthcare production operations in Randolph County, creating 220 jobs, Governor Roy Cooper has announced. The company will invest $62m to support growth in its healthcare and consumer packaging markets.

“It’s always great to see a North Carolina company expand in our state,” said Governor Cooper. “Manufacturers like Technimark know firsthand how well we support them, from our skilled workforce to a transportation network that makes it easy to reach customers quickly and efficiently.”  Read more via North Carolina Governor’s Office

These 12 manufacturers can help investors capitalize on the U.S. ‘industrial renaissance,’ Cramer says

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday named 12 American manufacturers investors should keep an eye on to take advantage of what he calls the country’s “industrial renaissance.”

“The United States has been reclaiming its industrial preeminence in sector after sector after sector. It just was obscured by Wall Street’s now-defunct love affair with high-growth tech stocks. Now that we’ve fallen out of love with tech, the industrial renaissance has become the key to picking winners in this market,” the “Mad Money” host said.

Find out which 12 manufacturers Jim believes investors should keep an eye on.  Read more via CNBC

Italvolt signs MoU for Italian Gigafactory

Italian battery manufacturer Italvolt has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for its planned 45 GWh Gigafactory in Scarmagno, Italy.

The purpose of the MoU is to coordinate the actions and procedures of the signatories – the Piedmont Region, the Metropolitan City of Turin and the municipalities of Scarmagno, Romano Canavese and Ivrea – for the most efficient administrative action concerning the construction of the Gigafactory, which will be built on the former Olivetti site in Scarmagno and Romano Canavese.  Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday – 04/21/2022

America’s mask manufacturers take it on the chin

A US judge’s ruling this week that the Biden administration’s mask mandate for public transportation was unlawful dealt another blow to an industry that built dozens of small US mask factories during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just a year ago, 26 of these upstart producers signed a letter to the administration, urging a crackdown on an influx of low-priced Chinese masks that was undermining their new operations, all of which were opened in response to a health crisis that highlighted US dependence on foreign producers of all types of medical safety gear.  Read more via Reuters

Nextracker opens manufacturing line in Texas to counter supply chain disruptions

US tracker manufacturer Nextracker has responded to global supply chain disruptions by inaugurating a new production line in Texas within a campus from steel producer Steel Dynamics.

Located near Corpus Christi, the line will manufacture tracker components for use in solar projects across the south of the US and will have a multi-gigawatt annual tracker capacity when fully operational.

Nextracker is migrating to domestic production to stabilise pricing and achieve on-time delivery, said the company’s CEO and founder Dan Shugar.  Read more via PV Tech

US solar industry prepares for solar panel supply issues

It is difficult to separate the hyperbole from the truth as the U.S. solar industry feels the effects of multiple trade issues that will determine its future.

Reporting from Wood Mackenzie suggests that just the Dept. of Commerce’s investigation (not a final ruling) into alleged tariff circumvention by Southeast Asian solar panel manufacturers will eliminate 16 GW of solar panels from the U.S. supply chain — an amount equal to almost the entire volume of utility-scale solar installed across the country in 2021. Advocacy group SEIA is also estimating that the solar industry will lose 70,000 of its 231,000 jobs because of the DOC investigation. Add in continued supply interruptions from a U.S. Customs withhold release order, COVID shutdowns and now a war in Ukraine, and optimism falls further into the background.  Read more via Solar Power World

Sun Pacific to develop a US solar panel manufacturing facility

Manalapan-based Sun Pacific Power Corp. and PT.IDN Solar Tech announced an agreement to develop a 1 gigawatt-per-year solar manufacturing plant in the US, utilizing revolutionary technology currently being used by IST.

The project is currently in discussions with various states for both location and installation. According to the agreement, the state-of-the-art processing will be done with local labor under the supervision and training from IST and will create cost-effective panels to boost the economy and job creation.  Read more via roi-nj.com

US Army selects SIG Sauer to produce Next Generation Squad Weapon

Following a rigorous 27-month selection process, US-based firearms manufacturer SIG Sauer has beaten General Dynamics and Textron Systems to secure a $20.4m contract to produce two new weapons systems built around the 6.8mm Common Cartridge Family of Ammunition. The US Army will now conduct additional testing of the new XM5 rifle and XM250 automatic rifle to assess whether the platforms can viably replace current standard Army weapons, namely the Colt M4/M4A1 pattern rifles and the FN Herstal M249 Squad Automatic Weapons.  Read more via Army Technology

Wednesday – 04/20/2022

Toyota to invest $383m in US production

Advancing the company’s commitment to vehicle electrification, Toyota will invest $383m in four of its US manufacturing plants that build the heart of new Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

The new investment supports the production of four-cylinder engines, including options for hybrid electric vehicles, at its Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee plants.  Read more via Toyota

Volkswagen is coming for Tesla

Tesla is still king, with over 936,000 electric vehicles sold in 2021 and a share of about 14% of the global electric car market. But Volkswagen isn’t far behind. having grabbed about 11% of the market last year and doubled its EV sales compared with 2020.

Now, the company is making a push to take the top spot. Volkswagen will say goodbye to the internal combustion engine and phase out all gasoline-powered vehicles from its US line-up within the next decade. From then on, it will sell only electric cars.

The company plans to spend more than $7bn over the next five years to boost its research and development and manufacturing capabilities in North America. Its new Battery Engineering Lab in Chattanooga, Tennessee, starts operations in May.  Read more via CNN Business

Germany to end subsidies for plug-in hybrids earlier than planned

The German government is set to cut subsidies for plug-in hybrid vehicles earlier than originally planned, public broadcaster ARD reports.

The economy and climate ministry (BMWK) is now planning to cancel state subsidies at the end of 2022 – earlier than what the government had initially agreed to in its coalition agreement.

At the same time, financial support for pure electric cars is to be gradually reduced. “We want to sharpen the focus in the future promotion of e-cars and focus more on climate protection,” Green Party minister Robert Habeck told newspaper publisher Funke Mediengruppe.  Read more via The Driven

ATC breaks ground on new manufacturing plant

ATC, an industry-leading manufacturer of aluminum RVs and trailers, announced today during a groundbreaking ceremony that it has procured a 35-acre lot on which an additional manufacturing plant will be built. The planned 221,000 square-foot facility, scheduled for completion in early 2023 and located on the eastside of Nappanee, Ind., will primarily be used for ATC’s RV product operations.

ATC’s current headquarters will relocate to the new facility upon completion, and the expansion will create an estimated 150-200 additional jobs. The new space will allow for increased production and inventory for RV units and parts, while also accommodating RV and trailer shipping logistics.  Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Tuesday – 04/19/2022

Autos rebound fuels US manufacturing output gain in March

A sharp rebound in automotive output in March spurred a third straight monthly gain in US factory activity, perhaps signaling the worst of the production woes that have dogged the motor vehicle industry over the last year may have passed.

Overall industrial production increased 0.9% last month, keeping pace with February’s upwardly revised pace, the Federal Reserve said on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast factory production accelerating 0.4%. Output jumped 5.5% from a year earlier.  Read more via Reuters

Rivian CEO warns of looming electric-vehicle battery shortage

Rivian Automotive Inc. Chief Executive RJ Scaringe is warning that the auto industry could soon face a shortage of battery supplies for electric vehicles—a challenge that he says could surpass the current computer-chip shortage.

Car companies are trying to lock up limited supplies of raw materials such as cobalt, lithium and nickel that are key to battery making, and many are constructing their own battery plants to put more battery-powered models in showrooms.  Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Biden to require US-made steel, iron for infrastructure

The Biden administration is taking a key step toward ensuring that federal dollars will support U.S. manufacturing — issuing requirements for how projects funded by the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package source their construction material.

New guidance issued Monday requires that the material purchased — whether it’s for a bridge, a highway, a water pipe or broadband internet — be produced in the U.S. However, the rules also set up a process to waive those requirements in case there are not enough domestic producers or the material costs too much, with the goal of issuing fewer waivers over time as US manufacturing capacity increases.  Read more via ABC News

Oklahoma governor seeks tax breaks in exchange for largest manufacturing investment in state history

Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt is calling on lawmakers to help bring what’s expected to be one of the largest manufacturing plants in the country to Northeast Oklahoma.
It’s a move he said at a press conference Monday that will impact generations to come.

Stitt said he is under a non-disclosure agreement and cannot say who the company is, although it’s widely believed to be Japan based Panasonic.  Read more via News 9

From a shuttered plant to Dickson’s largest private employer. Tennsco celebrates 60 years.

Tennsco, which is the largest private employer in Dickson County, makes steel shelving, cabinets, and lockers, shop equipment, library bookstacks, filing solutions, and more. The operation has grown from a single facility to nine manufacturing plants and distribution facilities spanning over 1.8 million square feet with 715 employees.

This year, Tennsco is celebrating its 60th anniversary.  Read more via Tennessean

Thursday – 04/14/2022

Hyundai Motor to begin electric vehicles production in US

Hyundai Motor Co plans to add electric vehicles (EV) in its Montgomery assembly line in the United States, marking the South Korean automaker’s first EV production in the country, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama said on Tuesday.

Hyundai said it plans to invest $300m to build the Electrified Genesis GV 70 and hybrid version of the Santa Fe at its U.S. manufacturing center. Via Reuters

US warns that hackers are trying to disrupt energy sector technology

The Biden administration is warning that hackers are attempting to access and disrupt industrial control systems, using custom-built malicious software to target organizations in the energy sector.

A bulletin released Wednesday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security and the Energy Department said so-called advanced persistent threat actors, a phrase often used to describe state-backed hackers, are able to breach industrial networks and then exploit weaknesses in devices that control those facilities. The government specifically warned about devices made by companies such as Omron Corp. and Schneider Electric, a major manufacturer of industrial control equipment, including electric utilities.  Read more via Bloomberg

US expansion for manufacturer of data centre cooling products

A manufacturer of data centre cooling products is set to double its production and boost its international sales after securing a seven-figure deal.

Bromsgrove-based Excool will use the £4m trade finance facility from Lloyds Bank, which is backed by an 80 per cent guarantee from UK Export Finance (UKEF), to invest in its new state-of-the-art facility in the USA, located in Greer, South Carolina.

The expansion will help to facilitate Excool’s future growth ambitions and allow it to increase the size and complexity of customer orders in North America. It also provides the business with funding to invest in and hold more stock ‘on the ground’; which is a key factor to increasing the firm’s sales in the US market.  Read more via The Business Desk

Nevada Gold Mines is using US-made panels to build a 200 MW solar farm

First Solar, the largest US-owned solar panel manufacturer, today announced that it’s going to provide 260 megawatts (MW)DC of Ohio-made solar modules to Nevada Gold Mines, the single largest gold-producing complex in the world.

Nevada Gold Mines is operated by Barrick Gold Corporation and is a joint venture between Barrick (61.5%) and Newmont (38.5%) that combined their significant assets across Nevada in 2019.

The company will invest in building a 200 MW solar farm, which will be deployed in the second quarter of 2023, as part of a broader effort to reduce its emissions. The completed solar farm will be able to power 17% of the gold-producing operation.  Read more via electrek

Manufacturer with ties to Pryor lands NASA moon landing contract

An electric vehicle manufacturer with a facility in Pryor announced it was selected by NASA to provide vehicles for the first crewed moon landing in 50 years.

Canoo will provide the vehicles for the Artemis mission, which will carry astronauts, flight support staff and equipment to their launch site. Canoo will deliver several customized all-electric models to NASA by June 2023.

Canoo won the contract in a bidding process on March 31. This is its first federal contract, and makes the company eligible for other government contracts.

Canoo will manufacture the vehicles in the U.S. The company named its Pryor facility as the site of its mega micro factory in 2021. Its headquarters and advanced manufacturing site is located in Bentonville, Ark.  Read more via Fox 23 News

Wednesday – 04/13/2022

Global smart factory manufacturer to partner with cybersecurity experts on IIoT defense

Global sheet metal processing leader Bystronic and NanoLock Security have announced a partnership to co-develop Zero Trust industrial machinery.

Bystronic and NanoLock Security will jointly develop software solutions and protect systems against cyber attacks. This is a key building block for Bystronic’s smart factory vision and demonstrates the group’s dedication to pioneering new solutions for the sheet metal processing industry.  Read more via The Manufacturer

North America is seeing a hiring boom in power industry data analytics roles

North America extended its dominance for data analytics hiring among power industry companies in the three months ending February.

The number of roles in North America made up 63% of total data analytics jobs – up from 50.3% in the same quarter last year. That was followed by Asia-Pacific, which saw a -1 year-on-year percentage point change in data analytics roles.  Read more via Power Technology

US manufacturer and General Motors to break ground on Texas magnet factory

A U.S. manufacturer behind some of the high-tech materials needed to power electric vehicles, drones and other electronics plans to begin construction on a first-of-its-kind plant in Fort Worth, Texas, as the federal government focuses on reshoring the American supply chain.  Read more via CoStar

Georgia-based packaging manufacturer plans huge new Cedar Hill plant

Cedar Hill has landed a major new business.

Georgia-based packaging manufacturer Pratt Industries Inc. is locating a huge new plant and shipping center in the Southwest Dallas County community.

Pratt Industries has leased 1 million square feet of industrial space in a new business park on US Highway 67.

The High Point 67 industrial campus is being built by developer Hillwood.

Pratt Industries plans to create 150 jobs at its new Cedar Hill regional manufacturing and innovation center.  Read more via The Dallas Morning News

Ammunition manufacturer relocates its US operations to Georgia

Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced that Norma Precision Ammunition, a subsidiary of the leading European ammunition manufacturer RUAG Ammotec, has established its U.S. headquarters, manufacturing site, and warehousing and distribution operations in Chatham County. The company is currently hiring.

With operations in 12 different countries, Swiss-based RUAG Ammotec develops and produces high-end ammunition for sports shooters, special operations forces, and peace officers worldwide, serving key markets in the military, law enforcement, hunting, and sporting goods sectors.  Read more via Valdosta Today

Tuesday – 04/12/2022

Strix Drones eyes manufacturing, innovation in Dayton area

Strix Drones intends to establish manufacturing of its autonomous docking stations in the Dayton region.

The company’s new facility in Washington Twp. off Yankee Street in the RAM Precision complex will house U.S. production of the docking stations that Montgomery County officials say will extend the reach of drone technology.  Read more via Dayton Daily News

Wallbox enters first phase of build-out for its US EV charger manufacturing facility

Wallbox, a leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging and energy management solutions worldwide, today announced the commencement of construction at its Arlington manufacturing facility, the company’s first US-based EV charger manufacturing facility. The 130,000 square-foot high-tech plant is expected to have enough capacity to fully support Wallbox’s expansion plans in North America over the next decade. This announcement comes on the heels of the start of production at Wallbox’s new state-of-the-art factory in Barcelona, which began in December 2021 and will be inaugurated later this month.

Investing approximately $11m into initial construction, Wallbox is expecting to begin production within the facility by early Fall 2022. Initial construction is planned to allow the EV charger and energy management company to manufacture over 250,000 units in 2022, and over 500,000 in 2025.  Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Apple starts manufacturing IPhone 13 in India

Apple Inc has started making the iPhone 13 in India, the company said on Monday, as the U.S tech giant tries to reduce reliance on its Chinese supply chain.

The phone is being produced at a local plant of Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn, situated in the town of Sriperumbudur in Southern Tamil Nadu state, according to a source.

Apple has been shifting some areas of iPhone production from China to other markets including India, the world’s second biggest smartphone market, and is also planning to assemble iPad tablets there.

India and countries such as Mexico and Vietnam are becoming increasingly important to contract manufacturers supplying American brands as they try to diversify production away from China.  Read more via US News & World Report

Tesla delivers impressive output from Gigafactory Shanghai in March despite factory shutdown

Tesla has managed to deliver over 65,000 vehicles produced at Gigafactory Shanghai in March, an impressive output representing 100% year-over-year growth, despite the factory shutdown.

The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) announced today results for car registration in China in March.

They confirmed that Tesla China had an output of 65,814 vehicles with only 60 of them for exports.

That’s generally the case for the last month of the quarter as Tesla focuses on local deliveries.  Read more via electrek

GE hopes to upgrade F-35 and power NGAD using this super material

The key building block of GE Aviation’s next-generation jet engine, which is intended to upgrade the F-35 and power future fighter jet programmes, is ceramic matrix composites (CMCs).

GE engineers see CMC parts flying in commercial engines all over the world. GE has the industry’s first and only integrated CMC supply chain and has already churned out hundreds of thousands of these parts to beat the heat in the hottest areas of today’s engines.

The next-generation fighter jet engine, XA100, is sized and optimised for the Lockheed Martin F-35, but the propulsion technology also forms the basis for the system that will power the US Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD), its sixth generation fighter programme.

CMCs benefit engine performance in three areas in comparison to their traditional metal counterparts: Heat resistance, weight and durability.  Read more via Aerospace Manufacturing