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

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

Tuesday – 05/18/2021

Canoo & University of Wisconsin-Madison partner on next-generation electric vehicle technologies

Canoo Inc. , a company developing breakthrough electric vehicles, is partnering with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to accelerate advances in electric vehicle technologies while lowering the overall cost of owning an electric vehicle.

In May 2021, the two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding through which they will collaborate toward the development of a Canoo research center at UW-Madison. The center will advance research in electric propulsion technologies with a goal of increasing electric vehicle utility while reducing burdens on finite natural resources. The partnership intends to create a leading pipeline for propulsion technology as well as on and off-grid operations. — Read more via Canoo

US to increase Covid-19 vaccine exports amid global pressure

The Biden administration moved to sharply ramp up Covid-19 vaccine shipments to other countries, following calls for the US to bolster efforts to curb the coronavirus globally as it rages unchecked in developing nations.

An earlier pledge to export 60m doses of the vaccine from AstraZeneca PLC came with little sacrifice because that vaccine has yet to be authorized for US use. The US now plans to share globally 20m doses of vaccines produced by Moderna Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson , all of which are being used in the U.S. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

GE Renewable Energy and Toshiba team up to develop offshore wind in Japan

GE Renewable Energy and Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corporation have announced a strategic partnership agreement to localize parts of the manufacturing process of GE’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbine and to support its commercialisation in Japan. — Read more via Power Engineering International

US steel sector backs US, EU talks on overcapacity, but wary of impact on trade

US steel groups welcomed an announcement May 17 from US and EU trade officials signaling the beginning of discussions to address global steel and aluminum overcapacity, but they asserted that such talks should not alter any existing trade measures that the US has imposed on the EU to protect the domestic steel industry. — Read more via S&P Global

Emirates could swap Boeing 777X jets for smaller Dreamliners, chairman says

Emirates could swap some of its order for 126 Boeing 777X jets for smaller 787 Dreamliners as part of a sweeping review of its future fleet requirements, its chairman said on Monday.

The airline is currently in talks with the U.S. planemaker over its fleet planes, a review brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated the travel industry. — Read more via Metro

Monday – 05/17/2021

Eyeing US, China wields $33bn subsidies to bolster chips, defense

China spent a record 213.6bn yuan ($33bn) in industry subsidies in 2020, eager to shore up key sectors including semiconductors and defense in its heated technology race with the US.

The figure represents a 14% increase from a year earlier, with payments to 113 businesses in the semiconductor sector totaling 10.6bn yuan, or a 12-fold expansion from a decade ago. The figures were compiled by Nikkei based on listed companies’ earnings data obtained by information firm Wind. — Read more via Nikkei Asia

Auto workers at Virginia Volvo plant reject tentative deal

Union employees at a Volvo plant in Virginia have rejected a tentative labor agreement, the United Auto Workers said Sunday.

The union said members at the assembly operations facility in Dublin “will continue working and go back to the bargaining table shortly.”

About 2,900 of the 3,300 people who work at the New River Valley plant are represented by the union, according to Volvo Trucks North America. — Read more via Associated Press

HEXO to open its first US factory

One of the mainstays of Canada’s marijuana industry, HEXO (NYSE: HEXO) is making an incursion across that country’s southern border. The company announced Friday that, through a fully owned US subsidiary, it has signed agreements to purchase a production facility in Colorado. This is HEXO’s first such property on American soil. — Read more via NASDAQ

Nouryon investing to serve packaging, construction and transportation customers in North America

Nouryon has begun the engineering phase at its Expancel expandable microspheres plant in Wisconsin, US, moving one step closer to better serving its specialty additives customers in North America. Construction on the plant is expected to begin at the end of the year.

The expansion project, announced in 2019, strengthens Nouryon’s position in expandable microspheres. The Green Bay, Wisconsin, location was selected to complement the company’s existing production sites in Sweden, Brazil and China in order to support the growth of the industry. Expandable microspheres are used to make customers’ end products lighter and reduce cost and environmental impact by requiring less raw material.  — Read more via Nouryon

Tesla supplier Hota eyes US expansion as EV demand surges

A leading Taiwanese automotive parts supplier is planning its first US plant as it bets demand for electric vehicles will continue to accelerate.

Hota Industrial Manufacturing — a key supplier to Ford, General Motors and Tesla — has set out an aggressive expansion plan that also includes building three new factories in its home market and more than tripling production capacity by 2025. — Read more via Nikkei Asia

Friday – 05/14/2021

Xplore opens 22,000 sq ft satellite manufacturing facility to advance satellite production

Xplore has announced they are opening a satellite manufacturing facility in Redmond, Washington.

The new, state-of-the-art campus is a key step in the company’s mission to expand mass manufacturing of the XCraft® the company’s highly-capable, ESPA-class satellite, and the LightCraft, Xplore’s highly-maneuverable spacecraft for deep space missions. The company will move into its new headquarters in June 2021. — Read more via Space Newsfeed

Hyundai to invest $7.4bn in US EV production

Hyundai and Kia already have a decently sized manufacturing footprint in the US, but that footprint is about to get much bigger with the investment of $7.4bn in domestic electric vehicle production, Hyundai announced on Thursday.

The first phase of the plan tied to that investment will be the start of EV production in the US by 2022. The investment is meant to be completed by 2025.  — Read more via Roadshow

Fisker, Foxconn firm up plan for sub-$30,000 EV, target US production in 2023

Fisker Inc., the Los Angeles-based electric vehicle startup led by auto designer Henrik Fisker, firmed up plans to produce a mass-market EV with manufacturing giant Foxconn and start building it in the US by late 2023–potentially at Foxconn’s underutilized industrial site in Wisconsin.

The companies signed an agreement for the so-called Project PEAR (an acronym for personal electric automotive revolution) Thursday and said they intend to sell the small, five-passenger vehicle with a starting price below $30,000. The two companies are jointly investing in the project and collaborating to ensure they can deliver a relatively low-cost, easy-to-build vehicle. — Read more via Forbes

Samsung boosts non-memory chip investment to $151bn as S.Korea offers bigger tax breaks

Samsung Electronics on Thursday raised its planned investment in non-memory chips to 171tn won ($151bn) through 2030, joining a rush of firms ramping up investments amid a global semiconductor shortage.

Countries have also been working to bolster chip supply chains as the chip shortage affects production in industries such as autos. South Korea on Thursday said it would offer bigger tax breaks plus 1tn won ($883m) in loans for its local chip industry. — Read more via Reuters

UK armed forces to benefit from 14 new Chinook helicopters worth $1.96bn from the US

A £1.4bn ($1.96bn) contract to modernise the Chinook fleet over the next 10 years has been agreed. The deal will see British forces benefit from 14 of the latest iconic heavy-lift helicopters.

The 14 aircraft will be purchased from the US via a Foreign Military Sales agreement and includes development and manufacture over the next decade. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2026. The new helicopters will be based at RAF Odiham, the home of the Chinook fleet. — Read more via GOV.UK

Thursday – 05/13/2021

Tech giants join call for funding US chip production

SOME of the world’s biggest chip buyers, including Apple, Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet, Inc.’s Google, are joining top chipmakers such as Intel Corp. to create a new lobbying group to press for government chip manufacturing subsidies.

The newly formed Semiconductors in America Coalition, which also includes Amazon.com’s Amazon Web Services, said Tuesday it has asked US lawmakers to provide funding for the CHIPS for America Act, for which President Joe Biden has asked Congress to provide $50bn. — Read more via Business World

Senator Brown pushes bill to model manufacturing hubs after America Makes in Youngstown

Ohio US Senator Sherrod Brown is pushing to expand a national network of manufacturing hubs based on a company centered in Youngstown.

Brown hosted a news conference call Wednesday to discuss bipartisan legislation he is pushing with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) to expand upon their 2014 legislation, which authorized the creation of a national network of manufacturing hubs, modeled after the first manufacturing institute, “America Makes,” in Youngstown. — Read more via WFMJ.com

Tesla will no longer accept Bitcoin car payments over environmental concerns

Electric car maker Tesla will stop accepting Bitcoin as a payment, CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday, citing environmental concerns.

Tesla, he added, won’t be selling any of the Bitcoin it owns. — Read more via CBS News

‘Core’ inflation just jumped the most since 1982 — here’s what that means

Core inflation — a good tool for measuring bottlenecks in the manufacturing sector — jumped at a rate not seen in decades. The gauge soared 0.9% last month, marking the largest one-month climb since 1982, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest inflation report.

The Consumer Price Index posted its largest most month-over-month jump since 2009. Its year-over-year increase was the largest since 2008, and used vehicle prices soared the most on record, dating all the way back to 1953. — Read more via Business Insider

ElectraMeccanica breaks ground on its US car manufacturing plant in Mesa, Arizona

ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp (NASDAQ:SOLO), a Canadian electric vehicle designer and manufacturer, has commemorated the start of construction for its new US Assembly and Engineering Technical Center in Mesa, Arizona.

The 235,000-square foot Mesa manufacturing facility is located on 18 acres of land adjacent to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport in Arizona. — Read more via Proactive Investors

Wednesday – 05/12/2021

US industry group applauds NYSE move to delist three Chinese telecoms companies

A US industry group on Monday applauded the New York Stock Exchange’s move to delist China’s big three telecommunications carriers to comply with a ban introduced last year by the Trump administration.

The Big Board last week rejected the appeals by the trio – China Mobile, China Unicom (Hong Kong), and China Telecom – to remain on the US stock exchange, the companies said in separate filings on Friday. The NYSE applied to the Securities and Exchange Commission on the same day, starting the process to delist the companies’ American depositary receipts in 10 days. — Read more via South China Morning Post

GE, Toshiba Energy forge Haliade-X partnership in Japan

GE Renewable Energy and Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corporation have signed a strategic partnership agreement to localise critical phases of the manufacturing process of GE’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbine in Japan.

The strategic agreement will help GE’s offshore wind technology to be more competitive in upcoming auctions in Japan, the manufacturer said. — Read more via renews.biz

Gamma Aerospace completes $10m in capabilities expansion at two locations

Gamma Aerospace has completed a $10m expansion of service offerings at its Mansfield, Texas operation and its Rapid Anodizing facility, a wholly-owned Company subsidiary, located in Los Angeles, California. Headquartered in Mansfield, Texas, Gamma Aerospace is a specialized, end-to-end provider of engineered airframe and flight components for leading original equipment manufacturers and Tier I suppliers in the aerospace and defense industries.

Gamma centers of operational excellence in North America manufacture a diverse offering of products and services that solve the most complex customer challenges. — Read more via Aviation Pros

IBM announces breakthrough hybrid cloud and AI capabilities to accelerate digital transformation at 2021 Think Conference

IBM has announced advances in artificial intelligence (AI), hybrid cloud, and quantum computing at the company’s Think conference yesterday. The innovations highlight IBM’s role in helping its clients and partners accelerate their digital transformations, return to work smarter, and build strategic ecosystems that can drive better business outcomes.

IBM says it is already helping thousands of clients across every industry transform their businesses with the power of our hybrid cloud and AI platform. The new innovations are designed to equip businesses for the next stage of their digital journeys. — Read more via IBM

C-P Flexible Packaging invests in new poly bag manufacturing capabilities

C-P Flexible Packaging is expanding its pre-made polyethylene bag manufacturing operations with the purchase of three new state-of-the-art converting lines. This new equipment is being installed in C-P’s Buffalo, New York facility and will support growth in a variety of bag formats for food, health care, and industrial applications through traditional retail distribution as well as the rapidly growing e-commerce channels. — Read more via C-P Flexible Packaging

Tuesday – 05/11/2021

Apple awards Corning $45m from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund

Yesterday, Apple awarded $45m from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to Corning Incorporated, a supplier of precision glass for iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad. The funding will expand Corning’s manufacturing capacity in the US and drive research and development into innovative new technologies that support durability and long-lasting product life, building on both Apple and Corning’s deep commitment to protecting the environment. — Read more via Apple

US bill would create White House ‘chief manufacturing officer’

The US Senate has reportedly drafted a compromise bill that would fund $95bn for research into cutting-edge high-tech areas, as well as creating a White House “chief manufacturing officer” to help prioritise the country’s manufacturing base.

The 131-page bill is in part intended to counter rising competition from China and follows disruption to US manufacturing due to the Covid-19 pandemic and worldwide microprocessor shortages. — Read more via Silicon

Tesla awards seal of approval to LA repair shop

Tesla has attracted the wrath of America’s automotive dealerships because of its refusal to play ball. The electric vehicle automaker’s direct sales model conflicts with the long-time status quo of franchised dealers. Automakers don’t own their dealerships unless it’s Tesla (or Rivian or Lucid). These EV brands are changing the rules of the game and the establishment isn’t happy.

So it came as somewhat of a surprise when Unplugged Performance, a Los Angeles-based outfit that specializes in upgrading and customizing Teslas, has just received the automaker’s seal of approval to become an authorized Tesla service and repair shop. — Read more via Carbuzz

Lion Electric to invest $70m in Joliet, build electric vehicle manufacturing facility

Lion Electric Co., a Canadian manufacturer of all-electric buses and trucks, has unveiled plans to build its first-ever U.S. manufacturing facility in Joliet. A minimum of $70m will be invested to build a new facility dedicated to producing electric vehicles.

The 900,000-square-foot project is expected to come online in the second half of 2022. Annual production capacity is estimated at 20,000 zero-emission vehicles per year, creating at least 745 jobs for Illinoisans. Lion is known for its production of electric school buses. — Read more via REBusinessOnline

Ellume establishes flagship US manufacturing facility in Maryland

Digital diagnostics company Ellume today announced it has established its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Frederick, Maryland to support the domestic response to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Once fully operational, the facility will have the capacity to produce 19m Ellume COVID-19 Home Tests per month. — Read more via Ellume

EVs will be cheaper than petrol cars in all segments by 2027

Electric cars and vans will be cheaper to make than fossil-fuel vehicles in every light vehicle segment across Europe from 2027 at the latest, according to a new BloombergNEF study commissioned by Transport & Environment (T&E).

The research found that battery electric vehicles could reach 100% of new sales across the EU by 2035, if lawmakers introduce measures like tighter vehicle CO2 targets and strong support for charging infrastructure. T&E called on the EU to tighten emissions targets in the 2020s and set 2035 as the end date for selling new polluting vehicles. — Read more via Transport & Environment

Monday – 05/10/2021

US pipeline shutdown exposes cyber threat to energy sector

The ransomware attack that forced the closure of the largest US fuel pipeline this weekend showed how cybercriminals pose a far-reaching threat to the aging, vulnerable infrastructure that keeps the nation’s energy moving.

Colonial Pipeline Co. closed its entire 5,500-mile conduit carrying gasoline and other fuels from the Gulf Coast to the New York metro area Friday as it moved to contain an assault that involved ransomware, code that holds computer systems hostage. So far, no evidence has emerged that the attackers penetrated the vital control systems that run the pipeline, according to people familiar with the matter. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

‘There’s just enormous potential here’ | Tech awards offer glimpse of Racine’s renewed innovation aptitude

Young people competing to build the most creative computer apps are being recognized in a first-ever awards program of its kind organized by Visioning a Greater Racine. The group announced its inaugural Tech-Prize winners Saturday during a ceremony that highlighted hopes among organizers for reviving Racine’s image as a center for industrial innovation.

New computer apps that make it easier to donate to charities, take good pictures and find volunteer opportunities are pointing the way to a new era of innovation in Racine, Wisconsin. — Read more via The Journal Times

The breakout cities on the forefront of America’s economic recovery

The pandemic is accelerating growth in midsize cities, positioning them to lead the charge in the nation’s economic rebound.

Even before Covid-19, these rising stars—such as Greenville, Des Moines, Iowa, and Provo, Utah—had been quietly building out vibrant economies in the shadow of bigger metropolises. During the pandemic, they have drawn workers and businesses with large and affordable homes, ample access to outdoor space and less congestion. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

NASA’s On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 mission ready for spacecraft build

NASA and Maxar Technologies successfully completed the On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 (OSAM-1) mission spacecraft accommodation Critical Design Review (CDR). This milestone demonstrates that the maturity of the design for the OSAM-1 spacecraft bus is appropriate to support proceeding with fabrication, assembly, integration, and testing. — Read more via Space Newsfeed

GE cuts costs by 35% in move from casting to 3D printing technology

Sister technology companies GE Aviation and GE Additive have begun 3D printing four new gas turbine engine parts for the very first time.

Citing costs and time to market as primary factors in the decision, GE Aviation is making the switch from investment casting to metal additive manufacturing, despite already having a set of established casting molds for the bleed air adapter caps. The firm’s engineering team says the move to cut manufacturing costs by around 35%. — Read more via 3D Printing Industry

Friday – 05/07/2021

IBM unveils world’s first 2nm chipmaking technology

IBM has said it has developed the world’s first 2nm chipmaking technology that should bring power and speed improvements to future computer chips.

IBM’s breakthrough represents another step on the quest for miniaturisation and it is projected to achieve 45 percent higher performance, or 75 percent lower energy use, than today’s most advanced 7nm node chips. — Read more via Engineering & Technology

Hundreds of US manufacturing companies ask President Biden to terminate Section 232 steel & aluminum tariffs

A group of over 300 businesses manufacturing in the US—from family-owned metalforming shops to nationally branded companies—sent a letter to President Joe Biden today requesting the immediate termination of the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs that were initiated three years ago under the Trump administration.

Together, the companies represent a broad swath of a U.S. manufacturing sector currently struggling to meet demand and stay competitive due to supply shortages, long lead times, and artificially high prices for their key inputs.

The letter was organized by the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users, the National Foreign Trade Council and other groups representing steel and aluminum-using US companies. — Read more via American Journal of Transportation

Is British Airways angling the Airbus A350 as its new flagship?

British Airways today revealed a new advertising campaign targetted at its return to service following months of harsh UK travel restrictions banning all but essential travel. With the Boeing 747 leaving the fleet last year, the position of the airline’s flagship is open, and it seems as though the Airbus A350 may be tipped for that role. — Read more via Simple Flying

US Commerce Dept. presses Taiwan for more chips to automakers

The US Commerce Department is pressing Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (2330.TW) and other Taiwanese firms to prioritise the needs of US automakers to ease chip shortages in the near term, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said.

Raimondo told a Council of the Americas event on Tuesday that longer term, increased investment was needed to produce more semiconductors in the United States and that other critical supply chains needed re-shoring, including to allied countries. — Read more via Reuters

Thursday – 05/06/2021

Manufacturing Innovation Institutes integral to US pandemic response

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the US in early 2020 and overwhelmed the nation’s supply of personal protective equipment, the Defense Department’s Manufacturing Innovation Institutes leveraged their public-private partnerships to enable manufacturers to quickly pivot and ramp up production to respond to frontline health care workers’ PPE needs and protect Americans against COVID-19 exposure. — Read more via US Department of Defense

SpaceX Starship SN15 rocket nails first landing without exploding

SpaceX successfully launched an updated prototype of its next-generation Starship vehicle on Wednesday, and after a handful of attempts that all ended in dramatic explosions during the landing phase, SN15 is the first to finally touch down softly.

The early, three-engine version of a rocket that Elon Musk, SpaceX head honcho, hopes will eventually take humans to Mars flew to an altitude of about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers), did a brief single-engine hover before flipping horizontal for its long coast towards the landing pad. It then lit back up to flip to vertical position and came in for a soft and rather pretty landing powered by a landing burn from just two of its Raptor engines. — Read more via CNET

US manufacturing PMI® at 60.7% in April

Despite slowing by 4 percentage points from March, the US manufacturing industry continued to show resilience in April.

However, the survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released Monday showed record-long lead times, wide-scale shortages of critical basic materials, rising commodity prices and difficulties in transporting products across industries. — Read more via Institute for Supply Management

All-new 2022 Honda Civic sedan begins production in Canada

Arriving at dealerships in North America this summer, Honda has officially commenced production of the all-new, 2022 Honda Civic Sedan at Honda of Canada Mfg. (HCM) in Alliston, Ontario.

Civic has been built in North America for 35 years with nearly 11 million units produced in the U.S. and Canada. HCM has been building the Honda Civic Sedan continuously for 33 years, longer than any other Honda plant in the world currently producing Civic. — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Tesla will be known as an AI company, says Musk

Recently, Elon Musk claimed that Tesla is becoming known more as an Artificial Intelligence and Robotics company. The argument was put forth during Tesla’s Q1 2021 Earnings call on April 26th. Tesla’s name has been resonating as a leader in the electric vehicle and self-driving cars market. Nonetheless, the company was dragged into many controversies due to the car crashes involving Tesla and other growing complaints about the technical quality issues.

The statement from Elon Musk came in the context of Tesla being able to develop a cutting-edge AI team and technology for its self-driving cars. — Read more via Analytics Insight

Wednesday – 05/05/2021

Aviation and travel groups call for reopening of US-UK travel

A coalition of the US and European travel and aviation groups has urged the Governments of the US and the UK to reopen the air travel market ‘as soon as safely possible’ between the two nations.

The travel industry groups of both nations have written a letter to their leaders for a full resumption of the US to the UK air travel sector. — Read more via Airport Technology

US solar industry launches supply chain transparency guidelines

Guidance to assist US solar energy developers and solar panel suppliers in preventing human rights abuses in their supply chains has been published by a leading industry body.

The US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Traceability Protocol is the first dedicated supply chain transparency guidance for the solar energy sector. It sets out a series of recommended policies and procedures designed to identify the source of materials used in solar products, such as polysilicon, and to trace the movement of these materials throughout the supply chain. — Read more via Pinsent Masons

US manufacturing skills gap could leave 2.1m jobs unfilled by 2030

The US manufacturing skills gap could leave 2.1 million jobs unfilled by 2030 and cost the US economy as much as $1 trillion, according to a report by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.

The study is based on two online surveys with participation from more than 800 US-based manufacturing leaders, interviews with manufacturing executives, analysis of data from secondary sources and projections by Deloitte. — Read more via Staffing Industry Analysts

US textile industry calls for post-pandemic support

The US textile industry says it has demonstrated enormous resiliency and value to the economy during the pandemic, but that lessons need to be learned and the government needs to support the sector going forward if it is to exit the current crisis stronger and more agile. — Read more via just-style

Software industry’s impact in 2020: 15.8m jobs and $933bn to the US economy

The software industry provides 15.8m jobs to the U.S. economy and is growing faster than overall GDP, according to a new report from Software.org. The report reveals there are 3.3m people directly employed in the industry and 12.5m jobs supported indirectly.  — Read more via software.org

Tuesday – 05/04/2021

Doosan Bobcat to invest $70m to add jobs, expand manufacturing operations in Statesville

Doosan Bobcat North America, a global leader in the compact equipment industry, announced today plans for a $70m expansion of its Statesville manufacturing facility. The company plans to construct an additional 580,000 square feet for its manufacturing operations, which will create 250 new, full-time jobs over the next five years in Iredell County.

The construction is expected to begin July 2021, with full project completion expected May 2022. — Read more via Statesville Record & Landmark

EPA proposes rules to curb coolant emissions from air conditioners and refrigerators

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing rules to reduce the use of coolants from air conditioners and refrigerators that are potent greenhouse gases, fulfilling new mandates from Congress with regulations favored by large portions of US industry, according to the agency.

The proposal would create a process for reducing the use of hydrofluorocarbons in cooling appliances, the first step toward meeting new mandates to cut their supply by 85% over 15 years, the EPA said. Congress passed that mandate in December in provisions included in a $2tn spending and Covid-19 aid package. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Nyobolt opens office in Boston, US ahead of new battery prototype launch

Nyobolt, the Bradfield Centre-based niobium-based battery start-up, has launched its first US office in Boston, Massachusetts.

Backed by Microsoft investor David Marquardt, the former CEO of DuPont, Marc Doyle, and leading technology investors William and Andy Matthes, the rapid expansion comes just two months after the company closed a £7.5m series A funding round. — Read more via Cambridge Independent

Ford boosts investment in Solid Power, aiming to accelerate solid-state vehicle battery development for customers

Ford Motor Company today announced it is growing its investment in Solid Power, an industry-leading producer of all-solid-state batteries for EVs.

Initially investing in Solid Power in 2019, Ford is making an additional equity investment to help accelerate further development of solid-state vehicle battery technology, contributing to a $130m Series B investment round in which the BMW Group becomes an equal equity owner with Ford. — Read more via Automotive World

Elon Musk, SpaceX aim to launch SN15 Mars rocket prototype Tuesday

Today, Tuesday, is the latest target date for a launch of the newest Starship.

After four successful test flights of SpaceX’s next-generation rocket prototypes all ended in dramatic explosions during the landing phase, Elon’s Musk’s space company is skipping ahead to SN15, a new version of its interplanetary vehicle. — Read more via CNET

Monday – 05/03/2021

Boeing’s new DEFIANT X combat helicopter is a mean son of AM

In 2018, Lockheed Martin’s Technical Fellow Manufacturing Technology Bill Harris gave a talk about how rotorcraft companies were lagging aerospace peers in the use of additive manufacturing to make their products.

Two years later, Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin and Boeing are presenting the DEFIANT X, possibly the most advanced military helicopter ever built. Just a coincidence? — Read more via 3D Printing Media Network

Volkswagen warns on production as global chip shortage hits car firms

Volkswagen (VOW.DE) is the latest company that has warned on the impact of semiconductor chip shortages on the car industry.

The German automaker expects the global chip shortage to reduce production of vehicles in its main car brand in the coming months, but output at its electric car division is not expected to be affected. — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Intel CEO stresses more U.S. chip production, fewer stock buybacks

Intel Corp. plans to spend more money on building semiconductors and less on stock buybacks, the chip giant’s CEO said Sunday.

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday night, Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger put some of the blame for the current global chip shortage on the fact that 75% of the world’s semiconductor manufacturing takes place in Asia. — Read more via Market Watch

From Apple to Domino’s Pizza, US Companies Scramble to Meet Surge in Demand

Consumers are splurging on cars and furniture—and facing extended waits for delivery. Restaurants and gyms are reopening—and struggling to find workers. Factories and home builders are trying to ramp up—but are short on semiconductors or raw materials.

Federal Reserve officials and most economists largely play down supply and cost problems as transitory, saying they aren’t widespread enough to threaten corporate profits or the broader US economy for long, especially amid strong sales. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Majid Al Futtaim and Unilever ink partnership with free recycling app in Abu Dhabi

RECAPP has signed a new partnership with Borouge, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Majid Al Futtaim and Unilever to support the launch of the application and gain widespread attention and participation from across Abu Dhabi’s communities.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) endorses the initiative as part of its Sustainable Ramadan campaign. Aiming to showcase their commitment to driving a circular economy in the UAE, participating industry members strive to close the loop for various materials by partnering in an innovative recyclable collection scheme that enables segregation at source and diversion away from landfills. — Read more via Hotel & Catering

Friday – 04/30/2021

Toyota will build two new EVs in Indiana

Toyota announced yesterday that its Princeton, Indiana plant will build two new eight-passenger EV crossovers. One will wear a Lexus badge, the other will be a Toyota. This new car will be the first Lexus vehicle produced at the plant.

The plant currently builds the Sienna Hybrid, Highlander/Highlander Hybrid, and Sequoia. To build the new EVs, $803m will be been invested to retool the plant. Toyota says the change will bring 1,400 jobs to the city. — Read more via Jalopnik

IBM is acquiring cloud app and network management firm Turbonomic for up to $2bn

IBM yesterday made another acquisition to deepen its reach into providing enterprises with AI-based services to manage their networks and workloads. It announced that it is acquiring Turbonomic, a company that provides tools to manage application performance (specifically resource management), along with Kubernetes and network performance — part of its bigger strategy to bring more AI into IT ops, or as it calls it, AIOps. — Read more via Tech Crunch

GM to invest $1bn in Mexico to build electric vehicles

General Motors Co said on Thursday it will invest $1bn in a manufacturing complex in Mexico, drawing immediate criticism from the union for US autoworkers as it prepares to build electric vehicles in 2023 in the border state of Coahuila.

GM said it is building a new high-tech paint shop that will start operations from June at the Ramos Arizpe site, which currently assembles conventional internal-combustion vehicles, including the Chevrolet Equinox and Blazer models, along with engines and transmissions. — Read more via Reuters

GE adds Verizon 5G to Testbed to explore Energy, Health Care and Aviation use cases

Signaling the dawn of a new era for smart industrial machines and systems, GE Research, the technology development arm of the General Electric Company (GE), is collaborating with Verizon Business to create a cross industry testbed powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband.

GE researchers are eyeing a broad array of applications, including remote patient monitoring, wireless, real-time control of wind farms and predictive maintenance of connected aircraft engines. — Read more via Verizon

Moderna to boost Covid-19 vaccine production to meet rising global demand

Moderna Inc. plans to spend billions of dollars to boost production of Covid-19 vaccines and potentially triple its yearly output of doses in 2022, as the company seeks to meet rising global demand.

The Cambridge, Mass., biotech company said Thursday it could produce up to three billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines in 2022, compared with a projected output of up to one billion this year.

Moderna also said it would make no less than 800m doses this year, up from a minimum 700m it had forecast previously. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Thursday – 04/29/2021

Toyota making massive investment, adding 1,400 jobs

Another major investment is coming to the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana plant in Gibson County. The automaker says it will invest more than $800 million to add two electric vehicles to its production line at the Princeton facility, and create 1,400 jobs by the end of 2023.

The new, three-row SUVs to be produced include models from Toyota and Lexus, and the company says the investment will also support employee training, as well as re-tooling at supplier facilities. — Read more via Inside Indiana Business

Governor Pritzker announces investment to create Manufacturing Training Academy at Heartland

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), joined by Heartland Community College and Rivian, today announced an investment to build two advanced manufacturing training academies to expand training for high-demand manufacturing jobs of the future.

A $15m capital investment through the Governor’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan will establish two downstate manufacturing training academies that will provide hundreds of Illinois residents the opportunity to develop specialized skills for a career in advanced manufacturing. — Read more via Heartland Community College

FAA orders Boeing to fix 737 Max electrical issue

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday ordered Boeing to fix an electrical issue in a group of 737 Max airliners before the planes can enter service. The Immediately Adopted Rule requires airlines to “modify the electrical bonding of the support panels in the flight deck to provide sufficient electrical grounding,” the agency said.

The order concerns a problem Boeing first reported to the FAA on April 7. Two days later, the company notified 16 airline customers that they address a potential electrical problem that could interfere with the operation of a backup power control unit. — Read more via CNET

With goals met, NASA to push envelope with Ingenuity Mars helicopter

Now that NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has accomplished the goal of achieving powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on the Red Planet, and with data from its most recent flight test, on April 25, the technology demonstration project has met or surpassed all of its technical objectives. The Ingenuity team now will push its performance envelope on Mars. — Read more via NASA Mars Exploration Program

The top 25 companies to work for in America of 2021, according to LinkedIn

With the coronavirus pandemic changing the way we live and work, LinkedIn has released its annual top companies list to showcase which businesses will provide employees with the best opportunities for growth.

Using its own data, the social networking site ranked each of the 50 companies based on seven pillars: ability to advance; skills growth; company stability; external opportunity; company affinity; gender diversity; and educational background needed. — Read more via CNBC

Wednesday – 04/28/2021

Ford accelerates battery R&D with dedicated team, new global battery center of excellence named Ford Ion Park

Ford yesterday announced a new global battery center of excellence – called Ford Ion Park – to accelerate research and development of battery and battery cell technology – including future battery manufacturing.

Building on nearly two decades of battery expertise, Ion Park, in southeast Michigan will have a cross-functional team in place to drive high-volume battery cell delivery, better range and lower costs for customers. — Read more via Ford

Rolls-Royce reaches agreement to design, manufacture propellers for US Navy’s Constellation (FFG-62) frigates

Rolls-Royce has reached agreement with Fincantieri Marinette Marine to design and manufacture up to 40 fixed-pitch propellers for the U.S. Navy’s Constellation-class (FFG-62) guided missile frigate program.

Fincantieri was awarded the shipbuilding contract from the US Department of Defense (DoD) in April 2020, to design and build the first FFG-62 class frigate. The program of record is for a total of 20 ships, with the first to be delivered to the US Navy in 2026. — Read more via Rolls-Royce

Elon Musk, SpaceX aim to launch SN15 Mars rocket prototype this week

After four successful test flights of SpaceX’s next-generation Starship prototypes all ended in dramatic explosions during the landing phase, Elon’s Musk’s space company is skipping ahead to SN15, a new version of its interplanetary rocket.

SpaceX has conducted high-altitude test flights of prototypes SN8 through SN11 and has long planned to integrate what Musk has called “major upgrades” into SN15. Now the company is skipping SN12, SN13 and SN14, which were never fully assembled, and working toward a flight of SN15 as soon as this week. — Read more via CNET

Honeywell and GKN sign deal for F-35 jet’s wheels and brakes

Honeywell has entered a ten-year licence and parts supply agreement with GKN Aerospace’s Fokker Landing Gear business in the Netherlands.

The agreement covers Honeywell’s wheels and brakes on the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft.

Fokker Landing Gear was chosen by the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) in 2016 to maintain and service landing gear components for the F-35 fleet in the European market. — Read more via Airforce Technology

London on the horizon: JetBlue’s first Airbus A321LR due tomorrow

American low cost airline, JetBlue, announced on Tuesday that it expects its first Airbus A321LR to arrive at the carrier on Wednesday, April 28th. As the airline gears up for a summer London launch, having the aircraft to run the flights is an exciting development that foretells a launch announcement. The long-range narrowbody will come equipped with a large business class cabin featuring the airline’s latest Mint suite product. — Read more via Simple Flying

Tuesday – 04/27/2021

Apple commits $430bn in US investments over five years

Apple yesterday announced an acceleration of its US investments, with plans to make new contributions of more than $430bn and add 20,000 new jobs across the country over the next five years.

Over the past three years, Apple’s contributions in the US have significantly outpaced the company’s original five-year goal of $350bn set in 2018. Apple is now raising its level of commitment by 20% over the next five years, supporting American innovation and driving economic benefits in every state. This includes tens of billions of dollars for next-generation silicon development and 5G innovation across nine US states. — Read more via Apple

Bye Aerospace reveals all-electric eFlyer 800

Bye Aerospace has announced the development of the eFlyer 800, an eight-seat all-electric twin turboprop aeroplane.

The Denver-based aircraft manufacturer revealed that performance estimates for the airplane will include up to 320 knot cruise speed, 35,000ft ceiling and 500NM range with 45-minute IFR reserves at normal cruise speed of 280 knots. — Read more via The Engineer

New Canadian reshoring group to advocate for supply chain modernization

A group of former parliamentarians has announced that they are forming a new organization called Reshoring Canada. This non-partisan advocacy organization is designed to promote a modern, secure, and less risky supply chain.

Reshoring Canada will analyze and offer solutions to key stakeholders that can make changes to support Canadian industries and secure jobs. Its first order of business is to move from anecdotal evidence of risk to hard data. — Read more via Canadian Metalworking

North American RV shipments reach all-time high in first quarter of 2021

The US recreational vehicle industry continued to buck pandemic trends and continue with its boom in the first quarter of 2021.

Wholesale shipments of RVs in North America, which surged as people sought ways to safely travel during the COVID-19 crisis, reached a record 148,507 units in the first quarter, nearly 10% above the previous record set in the first quarter of 2018, according to the RV Industry Association. — Read more via RV Industry Association

President Xi stresses reform, innovation in manufacturing industry

Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored reform and innovation in the manufacturing industry and distinctive local businesses when visiting a company in the city of Liuzhou in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Monday.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, is on an inspection tour in Guangxi. He visited the city of Guilin on Sunday where he called for greater efforts in rural vitalization as well as in ecological protection. — Read more via CGTN

Monday – 04/26/2021

Amazon, Unilever, and Nestlé join the UK, US and Norway in New $1bn initiative to preserve tropical rainforests

Last week, during the international Climate Summit, three governments and nine giant corporations announced a groundbreaking coalition, called LEAF, which is mobilizing to raise at least $1bn this year, alone, for large-scale forest protection and sustainable development. — Read more via Good News Network

US to give India raw materials for vaccines, medical supplies to help fight Covid surge

The Biden administration said that it will immediately make raw materials needed for India’s coronavirus vaccine production available as the country works to counter the surge of Covid-19 infections.

In recent weeks, India has grappled with a staggering rise in new coronavirus infections. Over the weekend, India set another global record for daily cases, bringing the nation’s cumulative total to 16,960,172 cases, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins. — Read more via CNBC

UK replaces France as Europe’s second largest electric car market

The UK overtook France to become Europe’s second largest electric car market in the first quarter of the year, amid rising demand for cars with zero exhaust emissions.

About 31,800 battery electric cars were sold in the UK in the first three months of the year, compared with 30,500 in France, according to analysis by Matthias Schmidt, an independent automotive analyst. — Read more via The Guardian

Nvidia’s $40bn deal for Arm faces UK national security probe

The UK Government is starting a national-security review of Nvidia Corp.’s $40bn deal to buy British chip designer Arm from SoftBank Group Corp. , raising a new hurdle for an industry-reshaping proposal facing significant regulatory scrutiny around the world.

UK Digital Secretary, Oliver Dowden, has invoked a little-used power to order the country’s antitrust agency to investigate the merger’s national-security implications and deliver a report by July 30. The secretary can eventually clear the deal, with or without conditions, or nix it. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Sypris wins contract for deep space program

Sypris Electronics, a subsidiary of Sypris Solutions,, announced today that it has recently received a follow-on award from a US DoD prime contractor to manufacture and test electronic assemblies for a Government spacecraft program.

Production is expected to begin in 2021. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. — Read more via Space Newsfeed

Friday – 04/23/2021

BDO Zone Investment Coalition earmarks $1 billion of capital for bio-based projects

The Bioeconomy Development Opportunity (BDO) Zone Investment Coalition has announced $1 billion in capital to be deployed for bio-based infrastructure and manufacturing plants situated in BDO zones.

BDO zones in the US and Canada have sustainable surpluses of biomass feedstock, strong capability, and an appetite for bio-based development and solid infrastructure to support new manufacturing plants. The US-based BDO zones are economically distressed regions where new investment is eligible for significant federal tax incentives, including the New Market and Opportunity Zone tax credits. — Read more via Canadian Biomass

Renault warns over car industry’s worsening global chip shortage

The chip shortage crisis facing the car industry deepened on Thursday, with Renault warning of months of disruption and Jaguar Land Rover and Ford announcing temporary plant closures.

JLR will shut its Halewood and Castle Bromwich plants in England from Monday for at least a week, the first idling of its UK sites, while Ford announced or extended shutdowns at 10 sites across North America and Europe.

Ford’s shutdown includes taking its Turkish plant offline until June, and idling one of its US facilities that makes the flagship F-150 pick-up truck. The company’s UK component factories are likely to be affected.

This week, Daimler cut the hours of 18,500 staff in Germany because of lower production. — Read more via Financial Times

Recycling industry contributes $116bn to US economy

The U.S. recycling industry contributes $116bn in economic output to the national economy, according to preliminary data released today by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) during its annual convention. — Read more via Recycling Magazine

Growth of manufacturing activity in Central US soars in April to record-high — Kansas City Fed

Manufacturing activity in the central part of the U.S. accelerated its expansion pace in April from already solid levels the previous month, data from a survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City showed Thursday.

The Tenth District Manufacturing Survey’s composite index came in at 31 in April, up from 26 in March and the highest monthly reading in the survey’s history. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected the indicator to increase to 27. — Read more via Hellenic Shipping News

Etihad Airways to stop operating Boeing 777-300ER jets this year

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways will no longer operate Boeing 777-300ER jets after this year, its chief executive said on Wednesday, as it accelerates planes to become a smaller airline.

State-owned Etihad is targeting to return profit in 2023 as part of a five-year restructuring plan that it has accelerated during the pandemic that has crippled the air travel industry. — Read more via Reuters

Thursday – 04/22/2021

HAAH Motors’ US Manufacturing Plant Delayed Due to COVID

Lake Forest automaker HAAH Motors Holdings said the first of its SUVs under the Vantas brand will be made in China with COVID delaying the company’s plans to find a US manufacturing plant.

HAAH currently has the automotive brands Vantas and T-Go, with the Vantas VX SUV and Vantas TXL, a mid-size SUV, slated for release by the end of 2022. These would be the first vehicles released by HAAH. — Read more via Orange County Business Journal

Foxconn significantly scaling back $10bn Wisconsin project plans

Taiwan electronics manufacturer Foxconn is drastically scaling back a planned $10bn factory in Wisconsin.

Under a deal with the state of Wisconsin announced on Tuesday, Foxconn will reduce its planned investment to $672m and cut the number of new jobs to 1,454 from 13,000. — Read more via Reuters

Construction begins on largest US offshore wind manufacturing facility

Ocean Wind, a joint venture between Ørsted and PSEG, and EEW, a steel pipe manufacturer, have broken ground at the EEW monopile manufacturing facility in Gloucester County, N.J.

In December 2020, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced a $250m investment into a new monopile manufacturing facility located at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal. The start of construction marks a significant milestone in delivering the largest industrial offshore wind manufacturing facility in the US to date. — Read more via North American Windpower

Northrop Grumman secures $2.3bn contract for Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles

The US Air Force has awarded the contract for sustaining engineering support and program management support services for the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) propulsion subsystem, according to the US Department of Defense contract announcements.

The contract, from Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and announced on Tuesday, is valued at more than $2.3bn.

The deal with an ordering period of 18.5 years is provided for assistance to the government in maintaining the Minuteman III weapon system. — Read more via Defence Blog

Biden offers tax credits for COVID-19 vaccination paid time off

President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced tax credits for certain businesses that pay employees who take time off to get COVID-19 shots, a new effort to involve corporate America in his vaccination campaign.

“I’m calling on every employer, large and small, in every state to give employees the time off they need with pay to get vaccinated,” the president said. — Read more via Reuters

Wednesday – 04/21/2021

US at inflection point on manufacturing, proponents of new national strategy say

The U.S. manufacturing sector is at a crossroads: Proponents of President Biden’s Build Back Better initiative argue that if focus was to be retrained on it, the sector could provide improved and sustainable economic growth after decades of shedding jobs and scale to other countries. — Read more via Yahoo! News

UK to buy 14 Chinook helicopters from Boeing for £1.4bn

Britain will buy 14 Chinook helicopters from US aerospace giant Boeing in a deal worth $2bn (£1.4bn), it was reported today.

However, it has agreed to defer receipt of the aircraft for a number of years due to concerns over budgetary requirements.

A letter of acceptance from the UK’s embassy in Washington blamed the need to reduce spending on the Covid-19 pandemic. — Read more via City AM

Tesla nabs three brand loyalty awards, revealing EV maker’s growing influence

IHT Markit gave Tesla three manufacturer awards in its 2020 Automotive Loyalty Awards. Tesla received awards for Asian Market Loyalty to Make, Highest Conquest Percentage, and Highest Alternative Powertrain Loyalty to Make.

Tesla won the Highest Conquest Percentage award for the second consecutive year. The award relates to a brand’s ability to capture non-loyal sales and convert them to loyal customers. Tesla was able to capture 16% of eligible volume in the segments it entered.  — Read more via Teslarati

US Navy reveals more on plans for sixth generation fighter jet

The US Navy has revealed more information on its plans for a sixth generation fighter jet, commonly referred to as F/A-XX.

The service branch is leading a development programme, called Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD), to replace its F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Gregory Harris, who leads the chief of naval operation’s air warfare directorate, has said the aircraft following the Super Hornets will “most likely be manned,” but the NGAD programme will include a mix of both manned and unmanned platforms. — Read more via Aerospace Manufacturing

China-linked hackers used VPN flaw to target US defense industry -researchers

At least two groups of China-linked hackers have spent months using a previously undisclosed vulnerability in American virtual private networking devices to spy on the US defense industry, researchers and the devices’ manufacturer said Tuesday.

Utah-based IT company Ivanti said in a statement the hackers took advantage of the flaw in its Pulse Connect Secure suite to break into the systems of “a very limited number of customers.” — Read more via Reuters

Tuesday – 04/20/2021

Morf3D opens new 90,000 sq. ft. Applied Digital Manufacturing Center

On the heels of the recent acquisition by Nikon, metal AM service provider Morf3D has secured a new headquarters in Long Beach, California. Located at 3550 Carson Street, Long Beach, CA. The 90,000 sq. ft. space will house both the company’s business operations and an unprecedented advanced manufacturing facility. These new headquarters have been designed with a vision toward innovation and growth, marking the strategic launch of Morf3D’s Applied Digital Manufacturing Center.

Morf3D’s premiere Applied Digital Manufacturing Center will harness applied research, advanced engineering and application development, serial production and most significantly, new industry partnerships with global leaders to drive the industrialization of digital manufacturing in high growth markets. — Read more via 3D Printing Media Network

Wallbox scouting US manufacturing location

Wallbox, the Barcelona-based electric vehicle (EV) charging solution provider, announced today that it is actively searching for a location to establish a US manufacturing facility.

“The rapid growth we’re experiencing in the United States will require us to shortly increase capacity, and we believe by adding a factory in the US will allow us to serve the U.S. market even better with local production and jobs,” said Wallbox Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Enric Asunción. — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Uni of Central Florida and US Army partner to advance magnesium 3D printing

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has partnered with researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) to 3D print lighter weight weapons components for soldiers.

Specifically, the joint team optimized the process parameters for the 3D printing of a high-strength magnesium alloy called WE43. The lightweight alloy was used to fabricate 24 micro-lattice structures via laser powder bed fusion, which enabled the scientists to characterize its compressive strength and failure modes. The hopes are that WE43 will eventually go on to be used in future Army parts. — Read more via 3D Printing Industry

IBM Q1 better than expected, projects revenue growth in 2021

IBM reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings and showed revenue growth after posting declines throughout 2020.

The company reported first quarter sales of $17.7bn, up 1% from a year ago. Earnings were $1.06 a share and non-GAAP earnings per share were $1.77.

Wall Street was expecting IBM to deliver first quarter revenue of $17.34bn with non-GAAP earnings of $1.63 a share. — Read more via ZDNet

Six subsectors account for nearly 90% of manufacturing energy consumption

In 2018, the U.S. manufacturing sector consumed 19.4 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy, according to EIA’s latest Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS). In 2018, six energy-intensive subsectors—chemicals, petroleum and coal products, paper, primary metals, food, and nonmetallic mineral products—consumed 16.9 quadrillion Btu, or 87% of the total energy consumed in the manufacturing sector. — Read more via Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

Monday – 04/19/2021

GM, LG Energy Solution to build second US plant

General Motors Co and South Korean joint-venture partner LG Energy Solution on Friday said they will build a second US battery cell manufacturing plant, revealing plans for a US$2.3b factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

The planned 2.8 million sq ft plant, scheduled to open in late 2023, will employ 1,300 people and will have production capacity of about 35 gigawatt-hours, similar to the companies’ ultium cells joint-venture plant in Lordstown, Ohio, as they move to respond to the growing demand in the electric vehicle market. — Read more via The Star

Western Europe is now the world’s largest investor in batteries

In 2020, Fitch Solutions analysts recorded 37 manufacturing projects for EV batteries and related components and materials worth $21.04bn, for those projects disclosing financial details.

Western Europe claimed both the biggest number of projects with 17, and the biggest combined value with $9.1bn. This gave the region a 43.5% share of the total global investment into battery manufacturing projects, Fitch reports. — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Elon Musk assures affordable internet via SpaceX Starlink to be fully mobile by end of this year

The Starlink internet service by SpaceX, a company founded by Elon Musk, might soon complete its setup. The internet service is expected to provide internet to different parts of the globe, especially for people in remote areas. The internet service will also be introduced in India and is expected to start operations by next year.

Elon Musk in a recent tweet has shared a few updates regarding the new and upcoming service that is expected to be affordable. Musk has said that the Starlink internet service should be fully mobile later this year. — Read more via Mint

Roadmap for US’ clean transportation future unveiled

A new report by researchers at the University of California Berkeley lays out what the US needs to do to achieve a clean transportation future.

Global carbon emissions must be halved by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5°C and avoid catastrophic climate impacts. The US transportation sector is the country’s largest carbon emitter and a challenging piece of the decarbonization puzzle, according to the report. — Read more via University of California Berkeley

US, China agree to tackle climate crisis with urgency

China and the United States, the world’s two biggest carbon polluters, have agreed to cooperate with other countries to fight climate change.

The joint statement on Sunday followed two days of talks between Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua and his US counterpart, John Kerry, in Shanghai. — Read more via Al Jazeera

Dodge boss clarifies what’s really happening with SRT

We found out a few months ago that among the many internal changes Stellantis was making at the automaker formerly known as FCA, the Street & Racing Technology division (SRT) would no longer be its own brand. Bear in mind it never produced its own separate models but rather modified existing ones, like the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, Charger Hellcat, Ram 1500 TRX, and Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392.

As we reported then, SRT was not completely shutting down but rather being reorganized. Still, some SRT death rumors persisted so Autoweek reached out to Dodge brand chief Tim Kuniskis to set the record straight once and for all. — Read more via Car Buzz

Friday – 04/16/2021

GM expected to announce Tennessee battery plant on Friday

General Motors is expected to announce today that one of its joint ventures will build a second US electric vehicle battery factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

The Detroit automaker has scheduled a news conference this morning in Nashville with CEO Mary Barra, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and senior leaders from LG Energy Solutions. — Read more via Mail Online

Tesla’s sales nearly quadruple in S. Korea last year

US electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc.’s sales in South Korea nearly quadrupled last year from a year earlier on rising popularity of its vehicles, its financial statement showed Thursday.

Tesla Korea said in a regulatory filing that it logged 716.2bn won ($640m) in sales in the Korean market in 2020, up 295% from a year earlier. — Read more via The Korea Herald

IBM acquires Italy’s myInvenio to integrate process mining directly into its suite of automation tools

IBM has announced it has acquired myInvenio, an Italian startup that builds and operates process mining software, as it hopes to take on a bigger role in providing those automation services. — Read more via Yahoo! Finance

Sweden-based Polykemi AB plans Gaston County, North Carolina, US manufacturing complex

Polykemi AB, a Swedish manufacturer of plastic compounds, will invest $11.8m to locate its first US production facility at Gastonia Technology Park in Gaston County, North Carolina. The project will create roughly 22 jobs in the first five years.

The new manufacturing plant will be the company’s first North American operation and represents Polykemi’s single largest investment to date. — Read more via Area Development

With new CH-47 variant back in flight tests, Boeing hopes for production contract

The U.S. Army has yet to schedule a limited-user test for the latest variant of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter, instead ordering its return to flight testing to gather more data. But despite issues cropping up in previous testing, Boeing is confident it will win a first production contract in fiscal 2021. — Read more via Defence News

Thursday – 04/15/2021

US Navy completes airworthiness test of RFCM prototype for P-8A

US Navy has announced that an Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) successfully completed an ‘airworthiness test of a pod-mounted radio frequency countermeasure (RFCM) prototype’.

The airworthiness test was completed at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Atlantic Test Ranges on 12 March. — Read more via Naval Technology

Elon Musk’s SpaceX raises $1.16bn in equity financing

Billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX has raised about $1.16bn in equity financing over the last two months, the private rocket company said in an amended regulatory filing on Wednesday.

The filing comes after SpaceX, whose investors include Alphabet Inc and Fidelity Investments, in February disclosed that it raised about $850m, which had reportedly lifted its valuation to about $74bn. — Read more via Mint

Santander and IBM to award 1,000 Digital Experience scholarships in AI and cybersecurity

Banco Santander has launched a new scholarship programme with IBM to boost the employability of job seekers and those looking to make a career change.

The 1,000 Santander Technology Scholarships | Digital Experience IBM participants will receive training that bolsters digital capabilities and knowledge of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, which are in high demand with organizations ramping up their AI investments in 2021. — Read more via Finextra

US manufacturing technology orders totaled $377.6m in February

U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders totaled $377.6m in February 2021, a 17.8% increase from January 2021 and a 34.2% increase over February 2020, according to the latest US Manufacturing Technology Orders report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.

The year-to-date total was $698.2m, representing a 22.4% increase over the first two months of 2020. — Read more via AMT

US Factories Desperate for Workers

US manufacturers have long grumbled about labor shortages, but the past year has proven particularly frustrating.

As the pandemic pushed millions out of work, most from service industries such as hotels and restaurants, many factories were pushed into overdrive by surging demand for everything from pickup trucks to plastic bags. And yet high jobless rates have not translated into workers flocking to open positions on assembly lines. — Read more via Assembly

Prepare to apply for fiscal aid, US transport dept. tells aviation industry

The U.S. Transportation Department said on Wednesday businesses eligible for funding under the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection program should begin preparing for the application process.

Businesses that are engaged in aircraft manufacturing, maintenance and repair can avail funding under the program to pay for up to half the compensation costs for certain categories of employees for up to six months, the department said. — Read more via Reuters

Wednesday – 04/14/2021

US Army finalizes requirements for future attack reconnaissance aircraft

The US Army’s Requirements Oversight Council has approved the requirements for its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft.

The council met April 9 and greenlighted the requirements in the form of an Abbreviated Capabilities Development Document (A-CDD) that validates the designs developed by two companies competing to build the aircraft. — Read more via Defence News

Collaboration to encourage US adoption of continuous manufacturing

The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and Phlow Corp. have collaboratively built a new laboratory that will develop test methods and standards for continuous manufacturing.

The aim of the project is to encourage the wider adoption of continuous manufacturing by US generic and other pharmaceutical producers. — Read more via European Pharmaceutical Review

Tough road ahead for US firms trying to cut reliance on Taiwan chipmakers

Taiwanese chipmakers are ahead of their international rivals and it will be tough for U.S. tech companies to reduce their reliance on Taiwan, said Sebastian Hou from CLSA.

Tech firms like Apple, Amazon, Google as well as Qualcomm, NVIDIA and AMD rely heavily on Taiwanese contract manufacturers to produce up to 90% of their chips, according to Hou, who is managing director and head of tech research at the brokerage firm. — Read more via CNBC

Airbus Begins Using Sustainable Fuels To Power The Beluga Fleet

Airbus has operated one of its Beluga cargo planes with 35% sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) from its Broughton plant for the first time. The A300-600ST took off from Hawarden Airport, where the manufacturer’s Broughton factory is located, as it looks to accelerate the decarbonization of its industrial operations. — Read more via Simple Flying

Antonov Airlines delivers automotive parts from Asia to the USA

Antonov Airlines has safely transported 80 tonnes of automotive parts on a route from Indonesia and Vietnam to Ohio, USA to support increasing demand from vehicle manufacturers as plants across the States reopen.

The Open Skies Agreement between Ukraine and the USA, which promotes an increase in travel, trade, productivity, and economic growth between the two nations, meant Antonov Airlines was able to rapidly provide one of its AN-124-100’s to carry the cargo. — Read more via Air Cargo Week

Tuesday – 04/13/2021

Chip shortage means US vehicle makers face 1.2m production shortfall

The semiconductor chip shortage could cause a shortfall in US vehicle production by as many as 1.27m vehicles in 2021, according to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.

The prediction falls in line with earlier predictions by other sources. Earlier this year, IHS Markit predicted the chip shortage would cut annual production by 1m to 1.3m vehicles; Alix Partners anticipated the shortage would result in between 1.5 to 5m fewer vehicles produced. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Biden jobs plan includes $50bn for chips research, manufacturing

President Joe Biden’s $2tn infrastructure investment package includes $300bn to boost the struggling US manufacturing sector, including $50bn for semiconductor production and research, the White House said on Monday. — Read more via Reuters

Intel CEO hopes US can reclaim one-third of chip manufacturing industry

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said Monday that he hopes that American companies will manufacture a third of semiconductor microchips in the US, up from about 12% today.

“I believe our moonshot should be that a third of the supply of semiconductors should be back on American soil by American companies,” Gelsinger said on CNBC’s “TechCheck.“ — Read more via CNBC

Huawei blames US for global chip supply crunch

Huawei Technologies on Monday blamed the US for the chip crunch rocking the global tech industry, saying Washington’s sanctions against Chinese companies have spurred panic buying of semiconductors and other supplies.

“Because of the U.S. sanctions against Huawei, we have seen panic stockpiling among global companies, especially the Chinese ones. In the past, companies were barely stockpiling, but now they are building up three or six months’ worth of inventory… and that has disrupted the whole system,” Rotating Chairman Eric Xu said at the company’s 18th Huawei Analyst Summit. — Read more via Nikkei Asia

Microsoft acquires Nuance Communications for $19.7bn

Microsoft has announced the acquisition of cloud and AI software provider Nuance Communications to accelerate its industry cloud strategy.

In a deal that will see Microsoft acquire Nuance for $56 per share, with the transaction expected to close this calendar year, solutions and expertise from both parties are set to be combined, with the aim to deliver new cloud and AI capabilities across healthcare and other sectors. — Read more via Information Age

Monday – 04/12/2021

Biden sees `win’ for US in electric vehicle battery deal

Two big South Korean electric vehicle battery makers have settled a long-running trade dispute that will allow one of them to move ahead with plans to manufacture batteries in Georgia a person briefed on the matter said. President Joe Biden called it “a win for American workers and the American auto industry.”

LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation reached the settlement, ending the need for Biden to intervene in the dispute, the person said Saturday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the companies had not announced the settlement. No details were available. — Read more via The Independent

How Asia came to dominate chipmaking and what the US wants to do about it

Two companies usually spring to mind when talking about chipmaking — Taiwan’s TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics. The two Asian firms combined control more than 70% of the semiconductor manufacturing market.

The United States, which was once a leader, lags behind in this space after monumental shifts in the business models in the semiconductor industry.

But a global semiconductor shortage and geopolitical tensions with China have bolstered Washington’s scrutiny of the supply chain, which is concentrated in the hands of a small number of players, and has created a drive to bring manufacturing back to American soil to regain leadership. — Read more via CNBC

US faces uphill climb to rival China’s rare-earth magnet industry

Businesses and governments across the West are gearing up to counter China’s dominance in a key component of modern technology: the magnet.

But the dozens of companies jostling for government support will struggle to establish a supply chain to rival China’s rare-earth magnet industry, which has a decades-long head start and steadfast state support, analysts and executives say. — Read more via The Wall Street Journal

Tesla’s biggest competitor is ditching nickel and cobalt

hina’s BYD confirmed that it is going all-in on LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) batteries, scrapping NCM (nickel, cobalt, manganese) technology from its model line-up entirely.

BYD, which is backed by legendary US investor Warren Buffet through a 21% stake, is the second-largest electric vehicle brand by volume behind Tesla and also supplies other carmakers with its battery technology.

The Shenzen-based company is not only touting its ‘Blade’ technology as a significantly cheaper option but is making much of the safety of LFP versus ternary chemistries, particularly those with high nickel and low cobalt content, which carry a greater risk of fire. — Read more via Oil Price

Philip helped design modified Land Rover which will carry his coffin

The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin will be transported in a ceremonial procession to his funeral on a Land Rover he helped to design.

It is a fitting tribute to Philip – the nation’s longest consort – who was known for his practical skills and his enduring interest in design and engineering.

The purpose-built Land Rover was specially modified to carry a coffin – in a project that the duke helped with many years ago. — Read more via Jersey Evening Post

Friday – 04/09/2021

US bans business with 7 Chinese supercomputing firms

Seven Chinese supercomputing firms were added to the list of entities restricted from buying U.S.-made technologies without a waiver, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security confirmed Thursday.

BIS pointed to the production of systems that do not align with American national security or foreign policy interests as reasoning for the new Entity List inclusions. — Read more via Nextgov

Veteran-owned company chooses Radford for its manufacturing plant, creating 101 new jobs

On Tuesday, Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, announced that Oransi, a veteran-owned air purification company, will invest $5.6m to establish its first manufacturing facility in the Plymouth Building in Radford.

The facility will be located at 113 Corporate Drive, create 101 new jobs and focus on developing and manufacturing the company’s air purifiers for consumers, businesses, and professionals in the health, dental, and medical fields.

Virginia beat out North Carolina for the project. — Read more via WSLS 10

The US is facing a lithium-ion battery shortage as electric vehicle production ramps up

As automakers continue to grapple with a semiconductor shortage, some experts say the next supply chain crisis for the US could involve lithium-ion batteries.

With companies like GM, Ford and a slew of start-ups ramping up their electric vehicle ambitions, current battery production in the US won’t be able to keep up with demand. — Read more via CNBC

US video gaming industry in 2021: Gaming devices & gaming video content viewership trends

It’s no surprise that gaming usage and viewership of gaming video content (GVC) spiked in 2020, as consumers spent more time at home and the video game industry provided a means to stay entertained and connected with friends.

But will this trend continue into 2021? Insider intelligence predicts that some of the gaming market growth will taper off in the coming year. — Read more via Business Insider

Boeing sues Air Force One supplier for delays, ends contract

Boeing Co. sued a Texas-based company that it says failed to fulfill a contract to design the interiors of replacement planes for Air Force One jets that transport US presidents.

Chicago-based Boeing, which was hired by the US Air Force in 2018 to build two 747-8 aircraft to replace the existing Air Force One models, said it had no choice but to cancel its contracts with GDC Technics LLC for work on current and future government executive aircraft “due to their insolvency and failure to meet our contractual obligations.” — Read more via BNN Bloomberg

Thursday – 04/08/2021

The US Navy is about to buy a whole lot of frigates — It matters who builds them

The U.S. Navy is on track to acquire a bunch of new missile frigates. Over the long term, who builds the ships is nearly as important as the ships themselves.

The $20bn program, which should equip the U.S. Navy with at least 20 new Constellation-class frigates in the next 15 years, not only could help the fleet grow—it might also help shore up the country’s sagging naval industrial base. — Read more via Forbes

Exciting space tech on show at joint UK/US held demo-day

In November 2020, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) hosted the world’s first International Space Pitch Day (ISPD) – a joint UK and US initiative to find and fast-track innovations that enhance space domain capabilities. The competition culminated in ten tech start-ups securing contracts each worth up to £53,000, after pitching exciting space technologies directly to UK, US and NATO military leaders.

Four months later, on 30-31 March 2021, we saw the results of that funding during two-days of technology demonstrations, witnessing ideas emerge from concept to reality in an incredible display of innovation. — Read more via GOV.UK

50 new air routes starting in April 2021

No fewer than 50 new air routes are set to start around the world in April 2021.

Included in those beginning this month are US carrier Frontier Airlines launching international flights from Miami (MIA) to Guatemala City (GUA) and San Salvador (SAL), and Lufthansa beginning service from Frankfurt (FRA) to Lviv (LWO) in Ukraine. — Read more via Routesonline

The incredible rise of Transatlantic A321LR narrowbody flights

As the Boeing 757 declines, the A321LR rises. Six airlines will use the A321 between Europe and North America this year, with JetBlue coming. Aer Lingus is top, but it’s Air Transat that has the most routes. The shortest route is from Terceira to Boston, while the longest – Stockholm to Chicago – has a block time of over nine hours. — Read more via Simple Flying

EV-battery rivals prod Biden with rare trade veto in balance

Two of the world’s largest electric-vehicle battery-makers have hired top Washington insiders to hold near-daily meetings with the Biden administration in a battle that could affect the electrification plans of Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG.

SK Innovation Co., Ford’s battery supplier for its upcoming electric F-150 pickup truck, faces a 10-year U.S. import ban on its Korean-made batteries and components after April 11. SK Innovation has engaged such well-connected advocates as former EPA chief Carol Browner and one-time Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to convince the administration to intervene. — Read more via Transport Topics

Wednesday – 04/07/2021

Mobile’s commerical traffic to move to Airbus manufacturing site

At the moment, flying into the city of Mobile, Alabama, in the United States will see passengers arriving at Mobile Regional Airport.

However, this will soon change with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) April 6th approval to relocate commercial passenger traffic to Mobile Downtown Airport – the airport used by Airbus’ operations in the city. — Read more via Simple Flying

ASTRO America selected to manage US Army’s effort to build world’s largest metal 3D printer for ground vehicle production

The Applied Science & Technology Research Organization, or ASTRO America, today announced it has been selected to manage a new U.S. Army initiative to develop and deliver a hull-scale tool using metal additive manufacturing technology.

Known as the ‘Jointless Hull Project’ the effort aims to provide improved production speeds, reduced production costs, reduced vehicle weight, greater vehicle performance and increased survivability. — Read more via ASTRO America

US factory orders decline in February

New orders for U.S.-made goods fell in February, likely weighed down by unseasonably cold weather, though manufacturing remains strong as the economic recovery regains steam amid an improving public health situation and massive fiscal stimulus. — Read more via Reuters

Rapid raises $12m for its manufacturing robots

Bay Area-based Rapid Robotics today announced a $12m Series A. The new round, led by NEA, brings the company’s total funding up to $17.5m.

It joins a recently closed seed round, announced way back in November of last year. Existing investors Greycroft, Bee Partners and 468 Capital also took part in the round. — Read more via Tech Crunch

Wind energy powers Boehringer Ingelheim’s largest US manufacturing site

Boehringer Ingelheim has transitioned to renewable energy to power its largest U.S. manufacturing site, in St. Joseph, Mo., as part of a broader company commitment to environmental sustainability in the United States and around the world.

Wind energy now provides all electricity used at the site, where Boehringer Ingelheim employs nearly 1,000 people who manufacture vaccines for horses, pigs, cattle and other animals. Boehringer Ingelheim and its predecessor companies have manufactured animal health products in St. Joseph for more than a century. — Read more via WFMZ

Tuesday – 04/06/2021

Apple to build new battery facility in California

Apple has announced that it will build a big battery storage facility in central California to store energy from a nearby solar farm.

Apple also said that as many as 110 of its global manufacturing partners will switch to 100% renewable energy going forward. — Read more via Apple

Elon Musk reveals what made SpaceX’s Starship SN11 prototype explode

SpaceX’s latest Starship prototype, called SN11, met an explosive end last week like its three predecessors. But the conditions around the big boom were uniquely mysterious, as dense fog and malfunctioning cameras obscured the details of its ultimate fate.

Now company founder and CEO Elon Musk has some details on what happened in SN11’s final moments. On Twitter Monday morning, Musk attributed the explosion to a fuel leak. — Read more via CNET

General Motors reports 4% rise in first-quarter US auto sales

General Motors Co. announced last week it sold 642,250 vehicles in the US in the first quarter of 2021, with retail deliveries up 19% and fleet sales down 35% year over year. Total sales were up 4% compared to a year ago. All four GM U.S. brands had double-digit year-over-year increases in retail sales. — Read more via General Motors

Biden team to help AstraZeneca find US plant to produce vaccine

President Joe Biden’s administration is working with AstraZeneca Plc to find new manufacturing capacity in the US after the company agreed to abandon a Baltimore Covid-19 vaccine plant that will focus exclusively on making doses for Johnson & Johnson.

The talks are the latest development after an error at the Emergent BioSolutions Inc. facility — in which ingredients for the two companies’ vaccines were mixed up — led to a batch of 15m doses worth of drug substance being spoiled. — Read more via Aljazeera

Intel CEO to attend White House meeting on chip supply chain

Intel Corp Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger will virtually attend a meeting being put together by President Joe Biden’s administration for April 12 to discuss the semiconductor supply chain issues disrupting U.S. automotive factories, according to a person familiar with the matter. — Read more via Reuters