October 2008 Edition
news & analysis
GM Maryland tranny plant gets solar power system
By Peter Alpern, Associate Editor
General Motors will install more than 8,700 solar panels on the roof of its White Marsh, MD, transmission plant.
General Motors announced plans recently to install
more than 8,700 solar panels this spring on the roof of its White
Marsh, MD, transmission plant through a partnership with SunEdison,
a local solar power firm.
The 300,000-square-foot solar project will be one
of the biggest on the East Coast, generating enough electricity to
power up to 150 households and reducing the plantâ€™s utility bill.
The installation will be capable of generating
about 1.4 million kilowatt-hours of energy annually, enough to
displace about 20 percent of the plantâ€™s power currently bought from
the local utility.
The proposal is part of an effort to lessen the
automakerâ€™s impact on the environment and cut costs amid
hemorrhaging U.S. sales.
In recent months, GM has said it would slash $15
billion in spending through 2009 by laying off workers, cutting
certain retiree health benefits, and for the first time in 86 years,
suspending its dividend.
SunEdison LLC, which is negotiating a state
incentive package, will bear the entire cost of the project and,
during a 20-year contract period, sell the power it generates to GM.
"Maryland is quickly becoming a national leader
in sustainable energy alternatives," said Gov. Martin Oâ€™Malley.
"This is a state thatâ€™s good for this sort of business."
The Maryland installation marks the fourth major
deployment of solar systems on GM facilities. The company is well on
its way toward the largest solar power installation in the world
with its Zaragoza, Spain, factory, with some 85,000 panels covering
nearly 2 million sqft of rooftop. Smaller systems are already
operational on a pair of parts warehouses in Southern Californiaâ€™s
Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga.
The GM Powertrain Baltimore transmission plant
builds the Allison A1000 six-speed automatic gearboxes. These are
featured in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size
pick-ups. The plant built 189,000 units of this gearbox in 2007. It
also builds the Hybrid 2 mode transmission currently used in the
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and GMC Yukon Hybrid.
Last year, the General Motors Powertrain
Baltimore Transmission Plant became the first in the company to
reach "landfill-free status," the point at which it stopped sending
any production waste to local landfills. All waste generated is
recycled or reused.
"GM has the ability to make a significant
positive impact," said GM Powertrainâ€™s vice president of global
manufacturing John R. Buttermore. "This project will help GM reduce
costs while serving as a clean, renewable energy source."
The step is an important one, said Oâ€™Malley, who
drives a GM Tahoe Hybrid. The energy is generated and used in
Maryland, he said. It is "not being pumped out of oil fields in
Missouri takes top spot for manufacturing
Despite recent cutbacks in numerous plants, Missouri has been
ranked the No. 1 state for manufacturing in the country.
Compiled by Ball State University, the 2008 National
Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card ranked all 50 states in 19 categories,
including property taxes, sales taxes, crime and percentage of the population
with college degrees. The report card placed Missouri at the top for low
long-term health-care costs, health-care premiums and property taxes.
Missouri was one of six states to earn an "A" in the Ball State study. Utah, Florida, Alabama, and North Dakota rounded out the five best states in the country for manufacturing and logistics.
"Missouriâ€™s ranking came as a bit of a surprise to me," said
Michael Hicks, Ball State associate professor of economics, who also is director
of the universityâ€™s Bureau of Business Research. "Other business rankings did
not have Missouri near the top, and the state does not currently enjoy a high
proportion of its economy in manufacturing. But after carefully selecting
variables that accounted for the factors associated with manufacturing job
growth, Missouri came out on top."
Missouri was one of six states to earn an "A" in the Ball
Utah, Florida, Alabama and North Dakota rounded out the five
best states in the country for manufacturing and logistics. New York, Kentucky,
New Jersey, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, and West Virginia all received failing
grades, with the latter ranking dead last, according to the report card.
The report found that as the national economy slowed in the
final quarter of 2007, industrial production increased by 2.8 percent.
Additionally, the report found that manufacturing employment
in the United States peaked in the late 1970s with more than 19.5 million
manufacturing workers. As of 2008, that number has declined to about 13.8
Last year was a record year for American manufacturers with
inflation-adjusted values higher than in any previous year,
according to the 2008 State of the Industry Report issued by Ball
State. Nationally, growth in the production of goods continues to be
robust, and even as the U.S. economy began slowing in the final
quarter of 2007, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 2.8
Bureau of Business Research
Wasino Corp. USAis now Amada Wasino America Inc., becoming part of the Amada Group, which
offers a line of machines that simplify the turning and grinding processes â€¦
Methods Machine Tools Inc. will unveil its new technology center Oct. 14-16
in Tempe, Az. The event coincides with Methodsâ€™ 25th year anniversary of
operating in America.
BorgWarnerreported record second quarter results driven
by strong demand for its fuel-efficient powertrain technologies in Europe and
Asia, which offset declines in North America. The company maintained its 2008
full-year sales growth expectation of 8-10 percent â€¦ Industrial manufacturer
Eaton Corp. has acquired the engine valves business of Kirloskar Oil
Engines Ltd. Kirloskar employs 500 people in India and had 2007 sales of
about $5 million.
New vehicle programs will get a $1.8 billion shot
in the arm from Chrysler LLC. Among the improvements are a
significant expansion of its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in
Detroit â€¦ General Motors will invest $445 million to build an
engine plant and upgrade an existing assembly plant in Thailand. The
plant will build four-cylinder diesel engines for use by Chevrolet
in Thailand and other global markets and brands.
Flowserve, a provider of fluid motion and
control products and services, reported a record second quarter
performance. Earnings per share were up 92 percent â€¦ TRW
Automotive Holdings Corp. reported an improved second quarter
over last year, with sales of $4.4 billion, an 18.4 percent
Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer reached a
record high backlog on June 30 of $20.7 billion, including sales to
the executive aviation market, which were about $6 billion â€¦
Federal-Mogul Corp. will build a new facility in Chennai,
India, to manufacture friction components for OEM and aftermarket
segments. The plant is expected to start producing components by
Kitamura Machineryis expanding its manufacturing facility in Takaoka City, Japan, and plans to
have it open in time for the companyâ€™s 75th anniversary in November
... Exact Metrology has opened a new Training and Technology
Center in Cincinnati, OH, to support its measurement services and
metrology equipment sales.
New at the top
German auto parts maker Continental AG has
appointed Karl-Thomas Neumann as CEO, replacing
Manfred Wennemer. CFO Alan Hippe has
been named to the
newly created position of deputy CEO â€¦ Polaris Industries
has named Scott W.
Wine CEO, succeeding Thomas C. Tiller. Polaris manufactures snowmobiles and ATVs, as well as Victory motorcycles.
Timothy D. Leuliette has been named president
and CEO of Dura Automotive Systems. He succeeds Larry
Denton, who elected to leave the company after successfully
leading the automotive parts maker through a 20-month reorganization
and emergence from Chapter 11 â€¦ Lenox, power tool
manufacturer of East Longmeadow, MA, has named David Pirkle
president of industrial products and services. He will report to
Bill Burke, group president of tools and hardware, Newell
LNS North Americahas named Frank Sraj Jr.
its CEO of the North American Business Unit. LNS provides products and services such as
bar feeders and unloading equipment. to manufacturers â€¦ Parker
Corp. has promoted Dana A. Dennis
to senior vice president, finance; and Jon P. Marten
to vice president and corporate controller, following their
appointment to the companyâ€™s board of directors. Lee C.
Banks, Robert P. Barker, and Thomas L.
Williams have each been named executive vice president and
Larry Resnickhas been appointed CEO of Taurus Aerospace Group, a provider of integrated
specialist solutions to aircraft OEMs and fleet customers â€¦ John
T. Nesser III has been named executive vice
president and COO of McDermott International Inc. He will be
responsible for the oversight of all McDermottâ€™s Offshore Oil & Gas
Construction segmentâ€™s global operations.
Murray R. McClean has been elected
chairman of the board of Commercial Metals Co. in addition to
his responsibilities as president and CEO. Commercial Metals
manufactures and recycles steel and metal products â€¦ Smart Energy
Solutions has appointed Edward Braniff as acting CEO. He
has been CFO since 2005. Smart Energy owns the Battery Brain line of
vehicle accessory products.
provider of machined parts for optics, photonics, and precision
instrumentation, has launched a new portal on its website for
customer access to tracking orders and managing releases. Itâ€™s at
www.wordingham.com â€¦ Cimcool has redesigned
its website to improve access. Customers may still sign up for free
product trials from the provider of metalworking fluids at
A new more user-friendly site has been launched by Star CNC Machine Tool
Corp. Itâ€™s at www.starcnc.com .
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