Entries in Manufacturing (3)


Japanese Automakers Shift Work Week to Save Power

Comstock/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- Japan's auto industry is the latest in that country to make changes to its work week in hopes of conserving energy. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association announced carmakers would take Thursday and Friday off -- and shift to a Saturday to Wednesday work week, so they can make cars during off-peak hours.

The new schedule begins in July, and comes days after the government asked major companies to reduce electricity by 15 percent this summer. The country's nuclear power plants were shut down immediately after the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck the northern part of Japan. Seventy-five percent of those plants still remain idle, creating a huge strain on Japan's power supply.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


China on Verge of Unseating U.S. as World's Largest Manufacturer

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BEIJING) – China is on the verge of taking a title the United States has held for 110 years: the world's largest manufacturer.

When China surpasses the U.S. in manufacturing later this year, it will be the latest sector in which China has challenged U.S. dominance, fueling its increasingly assertive attitude in dealing with the U.S.

An example of China's determination to be taken as an equal, it brazenly tested its first known stealth fighter while Defense Secretary Robert Gates was visiting last week, and China's generals have said they want to double the military budget.

"I think we're going to see a China that's going to spread its wings more, a China that is not going to be contained or pushed around," Beijing-based analyst and professor Russell Leigh Moses told ABC News.

China's President Hu struck a more diplomatic tone after arriving in the United States Tuesday to meet with President Obama.

The delegation announced $45 billion worth' of deals to purchase U.S. exports, including a $19-billion deal with Boeing to purchase 200 planes. The other deals are in a wide variety of export sectors and include everything from agricultural products and telecommunication equipment to engineering machinery and auto parts. The White House said the deals will support 235,000 U.S. jobs.
Despite those potentially lucrative deals for U.S. companies, the booming Chinese economy continues to expand into frontiers dominated by the United States. It is designing civilian aircrafts, building its own space station and trying to match U.S. nuclear technology with 25 new nuclear plants.

While state and municipal governments in the U.S. struggle with massive deficits, China is designing vast infrastructure upgrades. It will begin construction this year on more than 50 airports, 23,000 miles of highway and 19,000 miles of railway lines.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


U.S. Safety Chair Pushes China to Raise Toy Manufacturing Standards

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum is on her way to China and has a message for Chinese toy makers. 

U.S. regulators are preparing to issue more recalls until China improves efforts to reduce safety defects, according the the Wall Street Journal.

In an effort to get Chinese manufacturers to raise minimum design standards and build safer toys, Tenenbaum plans to tell these companies that toy manufacturing should  be in accordance with U.S. requirements for children's products.

Due to the lack of administrative authority overseas, the Wall Street Journal reports that the "CPSC will have to rely on Chinese regulators," particularly since Chinese toy makers are responsible for 80 percent of the toys sold in the U.S.

Last year at the Third Bienniel Consumer Product Safety Summit in China, Tenenbaum warned Chinese suppliers and U.S. importers that it would be a "mistake to depend on good intentions and a few final inspections to ensure compliance with safety requirements."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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