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U.S. Manufacturing Picks Up in January
2/1/2013 Industry Week U.S. manufacturing activity expanded for a second straight month in January as new orders and inventories picked up, the ISM monthly survey showed Monday.
The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing sector index rose to 53.1 from 50.2 in December. Until January the index had hovered around the 50 break-even line between growth and contraction for about six months. The overall economy shrank by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to official data, underpinned by little change in the manufacturing sector. Click to continue reading…
Chrysler Sales Up 68% in 2012
2/1/2013 Industry Week Chrysler turned in another solid quarter at the end of 2012, with net income surging 68% mainly on U.S. sales and more strong growth predicted in 2013, the company said Wednesday.
Total profits for the fourth quarter were $378 million on revenues of $17.2 billion, up from $15.1 billion in the year-earlier quarter, the company reported.
The quarter capped a strong year for the number three U.S. auto maker, in which net income was up more than nine-fold to $1.67 billion on a 19.6 percent gain in revenues, to $65.8 billion.
It forecast global shipments in 2013 of 2.6-2.7 million vehicles, compared to 2.4 million last year, and revenues in a range of $72 billion to $75 billion. Click to continue reading…
U.S. Industrial Output Rises in December
1/16/2013 Industry Week U.S. industrial production rose for the second consecutive month in December, continuing the recovery from Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, central bank data released Wednesday showed.
“As the distortions from Hurricane Sandy abate, it becomes increasingly clear that a still weak and uncertain global economic picture and a contentious U.S. policy climate have not entirely stopped the U.S. manufacturing recovery in its tracks,” said Cliff Waldman, senior economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).
Industrial output rose 0.3% in December following a revised 1% increase in November as industries affected by the power storm that struck the Northeast in October rebounded.
The December increase was slightly above the 0.2% consensus estimate of analysts. Click to continue reading…
Precision Castparts Buys Timet for $2.9 Billion
12/1/2012 Forging Magazine Precision Castparts Corporation is continuing its aggressive expansion strategy with an estimated $2.9-billion purchase of Titanium Metals Corporation. Timet is a Dallas-based producer of primary titanium products – forged ingots, slabs, and billets, and mill forms – as well as titanium sponge (a stabilized reduction of titanium ore), and mill products (sheet, strip, tubing, pipes, and fittings.)
“Timet will provide us with the titanium capability that has always been a key missing piece of our overall product portfolio,” stated PCC chairman and CEO Mark Donegan. “As our 2006 acquisition of Special Metals did for us with nickel alloys, acquiring Timet will enable us to streamline our supply chain and better manage our input costs in our core operations. As we continue to grow in the aerostructure market, this supply linkage will present even more of an opportunity. Click to continue reading…
Accuride’s Restructuring Rewarded with New Orders
1/24/2013 Forging Magazine Accuride Corporation reports a series of capital investments over the past two years have been rewarded by new, long-term contracts to supply steel and aluminum wheels to OEMs. The company indicated it has logged orders totaling $30 million for aluminum commercial vehicle wheels. Details of the contracts were not released, but Accuride said new long-term agreements with several customers represent over 70% of core wheel business.
Accuride manufactures commercial vehicle wheels, wheel-end components and assemblies, truck body and chassis parts, and other components for North American commercial vehicle manufacturers. Click to continue reading…
Boeing Increases 737 Production Rate
1/29/2013 American Machinist Boeing Commercial Airplanes reported it has started production of its Next-Generation 737 jet at the rate of 38 airplanes per month. Over the past two years, production rates for 737s have risen by over 20%, from 31.5 to 38 airplanes/month, and according to Boeing the rate will rise again to 42 airplanes/month next year.
The first Next-Generation 737s built at the new rate are scheduled to be delivered to customers during Q2 of this year. Click to continue reading…
Measure of U.S. Manufacturing Jumps
2/1/2013 Manufacturing.net U.S. manufacturing activity grew at a faster pace in January behind an increase in new orders and more hiring at factories.
The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its index of manufacturing activity jumped to 53.1 in January from 50.2 in December, the trade group said Friday. It was the highest reading since April, when the index hit 54.1.
Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The second straight monthly increase in the index showed manufacturing is starting to grow again after struggling through most of 2012. Increased uncertainty about tax increases and government spending cuts led many companies to cut orders for machinery and equipment earlier this year. And a weaker global economy dampened demand for U.S. exports.
The January growth in manufacturing was also encouraging because it showed that factories saw greater demand even as consumers started to pay higher Social Security taxes. That left them with less take-home pay, which could hurt consumer spending.
And the survey came hours after the Labor Department reported that the job market held steady at the end of last year even as economic growth stalled. The Labor Department Friday said employers added 157,000 jobs in January and job growth was stronger than previously thought in December and November. Click to continue reading…
Kiswire Inc. Opening Second Facility In Newberry County, S.C.
1/10/2013 Manufacturing.net Kiswire Inc., a maker of steel cord for the tire industry, will expand its manufacturing operations in Newberry County. The first phase will involve a $15 million investment that is expected to generate 30 new jobs.
“We are excited about this opportunity to expand our manufacturing operations in Newberry County. South Carolina has provided a great home for our company for more than a decade, giving us an excellent business environment and a talented workforce. We look forward to continuing to grow in South Carolina and appreciate all the support we’ve received from state and local officials,” said Dave Minnick, president of Kiswire Inc.
Kiswire is located in Newberry County and will add a new manufacturing facility that will be located on U.S. Hwy 76. The company expects to begin construction on the building this quarter and begin production at the facility by the end of 2013.
“We celebrate Kiswire’s decision to invest $15 million and create more than 30 jobs in Newberry. Existing businesses like Kiswire continue to choose to increase their footprint in South Carolina, and that shows the strength of our business-friendly climate and strong workforce. Announcements like today’s indicate we’re on the right track with our economic development efforts,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. Click to continue reading…
Arkansas Governer Announces $1.1B Steel Mill Plan
1/30/2013 Manufacturing.net The wraps came off Arkansas’ largest ever economic development project Tuesday as Gov. Mike Beebe unveiled plans for a $1.1 billion steel mill along the Mississippi River that private investors are poised to build — so long as legislators approve millions in startup funding.
Big River Steel, LLC, would employ 525 people at a new plant near Osceola if legislators approve $125 million in bond financing to be repaid over 20 years. If the Legislature rejects the pact, another state is poised to step in, Arkansas’ economic development chief said, without specifying the state.
Mississippi County was hit hard after an Air Force base closed in the 1990s, and about one-third of its residents currently live in poverty. The mill’s average salary would be $75,000 — about double the state average — and it would turn Mississippi County into the second-largest steel producing county in the country, Beebe said. Click to continue reading…