AUBURN HILLS, MI—ABB will begin manufacturing robots in the United States, making it the first global industrial robotics company to do so. The company made the announcement at the opening of a new robotics factory here. Approximately 300 new jobs will be added to the facility by 2017.
CHARLESTON, SC—Twenty Chinese companies have put down $669 million in capital investment in South Carolina since 2000, according to that state's Department of Commerce. Together, they employ 3,253 workers.
RIDGEVILLE, SC—Volvo will build its first U.S. car factory in Berkeley County, SC. Volvo’s $500 million investment in the assembly plant could create as many as 2,000 jobs over the next decade and up to 4,000 jobs by 2030.
SOUTH BEND, IN—It’s 20 feet tall, weighs about 400,000 pounds and is now making its way from South Bend to Connecticut: It's the world's largest friction welding machine. Pratt & Whitney will use the machine, made by Manufacturing Technology Inc., to weld large-diameter jet engine components.
SEATTLE—Employees at one of Boeing’s Washington assembly plants are using an odd looking tablet PC with a dozen or more 0.63-millimeter silver balls attached to it. This is Boeing’s vision of the future of augmented reality integrated on the assembly line.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy added 223,000 new jobs in April, a return to solid growth likely to ease fears of a significant spring slowdown. The jobless rate dropped to 5.4 percent, the lowest level since May 2008.
WASHINGTON—U.S. factory orders increased in March after seven consecutive months of declines, according to the Commerce Department. The rebound was boosted by demand for computers and transportation equipment.
ANN ARBOR, MI—A total of 6,895 robots valued at approximately $435.1 million were ordered from North American companies during the first quarter of 2015. That’s an increase of 16 percent in units and 29 percent in dollars compared with the same period in 2014. Both orders and shipments in the opening quarter beat the previous record for the first quarter last set in 2013.
CHICAGO—Ford has replaced all the top managers at its Chicago Assembly Plant and had temporarily suspended a top union leader in the wake of a second sexual harassment lawsuit that was filed in November.