Topic Category: Manufacturing

American manufacturers are a significant factor in the rebounding U.S. economy, thanks in part to a ready supply of natural gas. Technologies that leverage lower natural gas prices are leading to increased production at better price points for North American manufacturers. Even the recently depressed steel industry is making noise on the global front by converting to natural gas technologies that make products manufactured in the U.S. more competitive in the export market.

Topic: Manufacturing
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Recent developments in U.S.-Chinese relations again have crossed into the technological world, as the U.S. has become increasingly concerned over Chinese cyber attacks. In turn, the Chinese government has vehemently denied any participation, stating any actions taken were by independent hackers. Nevertheless, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan recently met to try to smooth over some of the rising tension.

Topic: Manufacturing
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Someone tell Nestlé that Europe's economy is on the ropes. In the past 18 months, the Vevey, Switzerland-based nutrition and food services giant has invested in new facilities in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland — and three in the UK (not to mention China, Jamaica, the UAE, Malaysia and Argentina, among other places). It's also expanding a Purina pet food factory in Bük, Hungary, adding 150 jobs to that site.

Topic: Manufacturing
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In a series of lawsuits spanning 10 countries over three plus years, technology giants Apple Inc. and Samsung Group have been fighting a high stakes international patent war. The heart of this and other patent wars revolves primarily around the infringement of technology patents used in both smart phones and tablet devices.

Topic: Manufacturing
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Some folks may be wondering why Michigan, Ohio and Indiana are winning a disproportionate share of automotive assembly plant investments these days. If so, they need look no further than a new study of U.S. motor vehicle parts suppliers released in January by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) in collaboration with IHS Inc.

Topic: Manufacturing
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Economics too often makes outsourcing the manufacturing of goods a necessity, especially when a major hand assembly component is involved. And when horrific calamities strike in faraway places, such as the building collapse on April 24th in Savar, a suburb of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, American companies whose goods come from these factories often wring their hands and say they are doing everything they can. That is simply untrue.

Topic: Manufacturing
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After years of building what they hoped would boost profits by enhancing overseas operations, many U.S. manufacturers have become disillusioned by the lack of return on investment they had anticipated. Instead of finding cost-saving benefits overseas through outsourcing, they are finding headaches, which have spurred a growing number of American companies to head home and build upon the sturdy and sure bedrock of American stability and predictability.

Topic: Manufacturing
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Everybody loves exports, and for good reason. The ability of U.S. companies to sell into global markets can boost profits by raising revenue and efficiency through greater economies of scale. But U.S. companies also benefit from the ability to import inputs, including components, commodities and materials, from those same global markets—a point confirmed by a recent study from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank.

Topic: Manufacturing
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For U.S. companies seeking to penetrate global markets, the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones program is proving to be a huge asset. In 2011, exports from companies operating in an FTZ surged by 56 percent compared to Fiscal Year 2010, according to a new report from the FTZ Board in Washington, D.C. That export growth compares to a 21 percent increase in total U.S. goods exports during the same period.

Topic: Manufacturing
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In August 2012, a new set of federal regulations was issued that could affect all companies involved in the manufacturing of everyday consumer products, including cell phones, computers, canned goods, electrical equipment, solder, and jewelry. The regulations address the use of “conflict minerals” in these products, and will have far reaching consequences on all companies—large and small, public and private—involved in these industries.

Topic: Manufacturing
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