Honda commissions fourth assembly line in Karnataka

Honda commissions fourth assembly line in Karnataka

Shinji Aoyama, chief officer, regional operations (Asia & Oceania), Honda Motor Company on Wednesday said Honda could overtake former partner Hero to become the largest two-wheeler maker in India by 2020.

Aoyama said, "2020 could be a possible year for us to become number one."

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) on Wednesday commissioned the fourth assembly line at its manufacturing facility in Narsapura (Karnataka) turning it into the largest plant among Honda's two-wheeler operations globally. The Narsapura plant can produce 2.4 million two-wheelers annually.

With this latest capacity expansion of 600,000 units, HMSI now has totalled annual production capacity of 6.4 million units across four plants in Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka.

[easy_chart chart_id='12565']

India now has become the largest production hub for two-wheelers for Honda globally.

In terms of sales, India overtook Indonesia to emerge as the largest market for Honda's two-wheeler operations last fiscal. India contributed 28% to Honda's global two-wheeler sales in the last financial year.
Aoyama informed, "The growing Indian 2W market is top priority for Honda. To better meet dynamic market demand and to prepare for future opportunities, today Honda has inaugurated the fourth assembly line in Karnataka plant.

Aoyama informed, "The growing Indian 2W market is top priority for Honda. To better meet dynamic market demand and to prepare for future opportunities, today Honda has inaugurated the fourth assembly line in Karnataka plant. With this, the Narsapura plant will now produce 24 lac two-wheelers annually. This makes Narsapura the world's largest two-wheeler plant for Honda and also India the number one production base for Honda globally."

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Honda commissions fourth assembly line in Karnataka

How To Build A Construction Plan

How To Build A Construction Plan

Learn how to market your contractor business professionally. In depth knowledge of attracting clients with online marketing strategies and deep thinking about who you want your clients to be.

The housing industry has proceeded at a red-hot pace for several years running. An all-time record was set in 1998, when 886,000 new-site single family homes were sold. That represented a 10% gain from the robust total of 804,000 homes sold in 1997, and an 8.1% rise from the prior record of 819,000 units in 1977. Single-family housing construction accounted for $48 million of the total $125 million generated in the industry.

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Construction Honored with AGC Builders

Construction Honored with AGC Builders

Last night, Construction was honored to accept a Best Builders Award from the Associated General Contractors of Vermont for the construction of the $31.3 million Vermont Public Health Laboratory. There is so much to celebrate about this project – from both a construction and community perspective – and it was so gratifying to have that impact formally recognized in the contracting community.

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Construction Forklift Buyers Guide

Construction Forklift Buyers Guide

A forklift used at one construction site might not be the best for another. Specific construction tasks vary, as do weight and size needs. Terrain and environmental factors can make a difference when it comes to the effectiveness of your forklift. A forklift buyers guide like this can help you find the right forklift for your needs.

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BMW’s new Z4 convertible is being developed alongside new Toyota Supra.

BMW’s new Z4 convertible is being developed alongside new Toyota Supra.

The new BMW Z4 has been officially teased for the first time, with a single, shadowy image of the new sports car, plus a promised unveiling next month.

The new Audi TT and Mercedes SLC rival will make its debut on 17 August. While that rules out a Frankfurt Motor Show reveal, it matches up nicely with the 2017 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Monterey Car Week.

With BMW choosing Pebble Beach to debut the Z4, it’s likely that we’ll see the car in concept form rather than the finished product – full debuts are few and far between at the Monterey Car Week, though concept vehicles, one-offs and special edition cars often break cover.

Therefore, we could see BMW unfurl the new Z4 in a similar manner to the all-new 8 Series, with a revealing concept vehicle to whet the appetite for the production model.Our exclusive images show how the new two-seat roadster could look when it arrives. It has already been spotted testing on multiple occasions, with the most recent spyshots showing it winter testing with a slightly more revealing disguise compared to earlier mules lapping the Nurburgring.

The new Z4 Roadster will replace the ageing second-generation model, in production since 2009, and be a fresh rival for the likes of the Porsche 718 Boxster, as well as a reborn Toyota Supra currently being developed in parallel and set to use the same platform.

It's likely the new car will ditch the current Z4's heavy metal folding roof for a lighter, more traditional fabric hood. This could mean it's being aimed more towards the Porsche 718 Boxster and away from softer, more refined cars like the Mercedes SLC. The soft-top will gain a rear window for production.

An insider told us that “this car will use the same lightweight body construction as the i3 and i8. And even with that type of construction, you can expect a price around the same as that of the current Z4."

The familiar set-back cabin, pert rear-end and long bonnet remain on the new model and the kidney grille looks to be larger than ever.

Mounted behind the front axle will be a range of BMW’s ‘TwinPower’ turbo petrol engines which will be offered in both four and six-cylinder forms. Expect at least 200bhp from base models, with top-end turbocharged straight-six variants nudging 300bhp. As before, all cars will be rear-wheel drive.

The Z4 will also use the same rear axle design as the M3 and M4, and it’s likely that a full M version will follow within a year, possibly using the M2’s 365bhp 3.0-litre straight-six.The Z4 also provides a base for Toyota’s new super-coupe. Rumours suggest it will bring back the iconic 'Supra' name, though unlike the Z4 Roadster it'll be a hard-top coupe, influenced by the FT-1 concept from 2014.

The Toyota version has potential to receive a plug-in hybrid model, with electric motors boosting output instead of a turbocharger.

Oil prices rise as investors focus on U.S. data

Oil prices rise as investors focus on U.S. data

Oil futures climbed toward the $50 level on Thursday, driven higher by a bullish outlook following weekly U.S. inventory data, but market participants expected the commodity to trade in a narrow range ahead of a OPEC meeting next week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in September CLU7, -0.67% climbed 23 cents, or 0.5%, to $49.84 a barrel, after trading as low as $49.12 earlier in the session.

October Brent crude LCOV7, -0.29% on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose 38 cents, or 0.7%, to $52.74, bouncing back from a loss of as much as 0.9% earlier on Thursday.Oil has experienced fitful trade over the past several weeks, but has managed to drift higher within range of its 200-day moving average at $49.45 a barrel, as investors have grappled with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’s attempts to cap global output, along with other major producers. U.S. shale producers have been the biggest headwind to OPEC’s efforts to stem output. Meanwhile, an agreement led by the cartel and major crude producers is set to expire at the end of the first quarter in 2018.

We are going to be relatively range-bound

“I think we are going to be relatively range-bound unless we see some kind of weather or political event,” said Tariq Zahir, managing member at commodity-trading advisor Tyche Capital Advisors.

Zahir said oil futures would be sensitive to any news, given its recent uptrend. He said U.S. traded oil has the potential to hit $51, if any supply disruptions or bullish news emerges.

Late Wednesday, the EIA reported a 1.5 million barrel drop in crude inventories last week, below analysts’ expectations. However, “a strong increase in demand was enough to appease the bullish investors,” said ANZ Bank. Refiners’ capacity utilization jumped to 95.4% last week, the government also said.

American Petroleum Institute out on Tuesday

“I think we are going to be relatively range-bound unless we see some kind of weather or political event,” said Tariq Zahir, managing member at commodity-trading advisor Tyche Capital Advisors.

Zahir said oil futures would be sensitive to any news, given its recent uptrend. He said U.S. traded oil has the potential to hit $51, if any supply disruptions or bullish news emerges.

Late Wednesday, the EIA reported a 1.5 million barrel drop in crude inventories last week, below analysts’ expectations. However, “a strong increase in demand was enough to appease the bullish investors,” said ANZ Bank. Refiners’ capacity utilization jumped to 95.4% last week, the government also said.

ANZ sees tightness coming in the fourth quarter

Data from the American Petroleum Institute out on Tuesday showed stockpiles unexpectedly increased last week.

The mixed signals on U.S. supply come as market players globally await signs that production caps led by OPEC and Russia are making notable dents into still-historically high global supplies. ANZ sees tightness coming in the fourth quarter, pushing oil prices into the high-$50s.

Among refined products, September gasoline RBU7, -0.79% was up 0.2% at $1.649 a gallon.

Meanwhile, natural gas for September NGU17, -0.18% climbed 0.4% to $2.821 per million British thermal units.
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BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION: Massive scaffolding installed at new Long Beach bridge in California

BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION: Massive scaffolding installed at new Long Beach bridge in California

The 3.1 million-lb scaffolding system is contributing to the replacement of the 50-year-old Gerald Desmond Bridge

Construction crews lifted a massive 3.1 million-lb piece of scaffolding on Tuesday in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the construction of a bridge connecting Long Beach to Terminal Island.

Workers in hard hats looked to the sky as a crew hoisted the $10 million steel piece of equipment designed in Norway and constructed in China, then moved by a super-powered jack. Longer than two football fields, the scaffolding system eliminates less reliable, traditional wooden scaffolding systems that can be more easily knocked out by wind or an earthquake.

Construction crews lifted a massive 3.1 million-lb piece of scaffolding on Tuesday in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the construction of a bridge connecting Long Beach to Terminal Island.

Workers in hard hats looked to the sky as a crew hoisted the $10 million steel piece of equipment designed in Norway and constructed in China, then moved by a super-powered jack. Longer than two football fields, the scaffolding system eliminates less reliable, traditional wooden scaffolding systems that can be more easily knocked out by wind or an earthquake.

Already the equipment has helped build the westbound approach to the bridge, which will replace the 50-year old Gerald Desmond Bridge. The total cost of the project has reached $1.5 billion.

The cable-stayed bridge is touted by city officials and developers as a project that will redefine the Long Beach skyline, with two massive towers where cables will string out alongside the six-lane, 1.5-mile roadway.

Although construction is more than halfway complete, the bridge is one year behind schedule and $500 million over budget. The eastbound lanes and the main span still need to be finished before cars can barrel along the highway. It is scheduled to open in late 2018.

Man or machine?

Man or machine?

Vehicle-makers are introducing more wearable equipment to alleviate stresses and strains, giving assembly workers a somewhat cyborg look. AMS reports on the latest innovations being rolled out by Audi and BMW

As the robots used in automotive manufacturing become more human, able to work collaboratively and intelligently, in one sense human operatives are becoming more machine-like. Wearable technology such as ‘medical’ gloves or scanner gloves, plus exoskeletons for the upper and lower body are starting to give line workers a distinctly cyborg look. Of course, it’s not about aesthetics but ergonomics; the alleviation of stresses and strains plus the fatigue which makes errors more likely, therefore improving production efficiency and quality.

In March this year, BMW announced the “persistent modernisation” of its working environments to “further reduce ergonomically unfavourable and strenuous tasks, giving workers an opportunity to apply their unique cognitive skills to the best effect”.

The OEM already uses exoskeletons in assembly but will boost the number of upper-body supports from 24 to 64 in 2017. This is a response to high demand at the Spartanburg plant, South Carolina, which operates the existing 24 devices and has a history of “innovative value creation”, says Christian Dahmen, specialist for exoskeletons in production, BMW. “We tested the exoskeletons in Spartanburg in a pilot project in 2016 and got them ready for use in series production,” he states. “Following the consistently positive experience in Spartanburg, the next step will be rollout at our German automotive plants.”

He describes the upper-body support as being like a T-shirt, available in different standard sizes but modifiable for specific requirements.

BMW has worked with both major manufacturers and small start-ups to develop the exoskeletons and Dahmen says that weight, wearing comfort and the time it takes to put on or remove them are important considerations, alongside the operational advantages they deliver.

“The material mustn’t chafe, create pressure points or cause excessive sweating, and can’t be too heavy,” he explains.

This is one reason why BMW uses ‘passive’ upper-body exoskeletons which rely on mechanical springs rather than servomotors to support the arms. “This saves weight and makes the exoskeleton more comfortable to wear for longer periods,” states Dahmen. Acceptance among personnel is critical to the effective deployment of the devices, and so BMW is careful to consult its workers from the conceptual design phase through pilot projects to implementation. According to Dahmen, the company is currently exploring other applications for its exoskeletons.

Transocean posts a loss amid string of impairments

Transocean posts a loss amid string of impairments

Swiss drilling contractor Transocean has posted a half year loss in revenues, due to a number of “unfavorable items” bringing down the accounts.

Revenues for up to June 2017 amounted to £1.1billion down compared to the £1.6billion made in the same period last year.

The company made a loss of £1.2billion compared to a pre-tax profit of £343million last year

Second quarter 2017 results included net unfavorable items of £1.3 billion write down including a loss on the divestiture of the jackup fleet, impairment of the midwater floater asset group, the early retirement of debt as well as litigation matters and restructuring charges.

Revenues for up to June 2017 amounted to £1.1billion down compared to the £1.6billion made in the same period last year.

The company made a loss of £1.2billion compared to a pre-tax profit of £343million last year

Second quarter 2017 results included net unfavorable items of £1.3 billion write down including a loss on the divestiture of the jackup fleet, impairment of the midwater floater asset group, the early retirement of debt as well as litigation matters and restructuring charges.

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Revenues for up to June 2017 amounted to £1.1billion down compared to the £1.6billion made in the same period last year.

The company made a loss of £1.2billion compared to a pre-tax profit of £343million last year

Second quarter 2017 results included net unfavorable items of £1.3 billion write down including a loss on the divestiture of the jackup fleet, impairment of the midwater floater asset group, the early retirement of debt as well as litigation matters and restructuring charges.

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Renovated Detroit News building boasts snappy design

Renovated Detroit News building boasts snappy design

Since Bedrock Real Estate purchased The Detroit News building in 2014, the company has gutted the structure and created a modern workspace with custom-designed furniture by local craftsmen

Who isn't interested in seeing what the new owners do to your house after the sale?

A visit last week to the old Detroit News building on West Lafayette led to one simple conclusion: Wow — they’ve done a lot, from custom-made furniture to a historically restored lobby and fun newspaper allusions throughout the building design.

“We’ve had a blast designing the space,” said furniture designer Chrissy Fehan of dPop, the outfit that does interiors on all buildings renovated by Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock real-estate empire.It’s great to have a client who lets us do these things.”

Specially designed banquettes? A conference table with seats on swings? Floors completely cleared of all walls and barriers?

Old George G. Booth’s head must be spinning.

News Publisher Booth hired his friend Albert Kahn in 1916 to design the blocklong building, which the newspaper occupied until several years ago when the landmark was sold to Bedrock.

In 2014, The News and the Detroit Free Press, which moved into the bottom floors in 1998, relocated to Minoru Yamasaki’s elegant, modernist annex attached to the 1927 Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago building a block off Campus Martius.

The first shock to anyone who worked in The News building is the impressive, historically accurate restoration of the lobby. Drop-ceilings that obscured its beauty for decades have been ripped out to reveal arched ceilings that give the space unexpected airiness and height.

“For the lobby lamps,” said dPop Lead Designer Kristin Kostrzewski, “we used reproductions and creatively adapted fixtures. So the original glass globe lamp,” the chandelier that once hung at the entrance with its colored map of the world, “is now a hand-hammered metal globe.”

(The original chandelier disappeared in some ill-advised renovation years ago. The lobby, by the way, is accessible to the public. By all means, step inside and take a gander if you’re walking past 615 W. Lafayette. It’s worth the detour.)

Snappy furniture greets you as you walk in the main entrance, while Detroit artist Leon Dickey’s “Love Letters,” a large wall sculpture that looks a bit like randomly rolled sheets of blank newsprint, dominates the lobby’s east wall.

Upstairs on the third floor, old News editors and reporters will find the former newsroom utterly transformed, though the wood paneling that covered part of it has been mostly preserved.

Utterly unlike anything ever seen in the old newsroom is the Swing Table designed by Duffy London, a British firm that creates amusing, esoteric furniture.

Much like a swing set, the five seats on either side of the large conference table hang from an overhead bar and, well, swing like mad. (The table, happily, is stationary.)

said Fehan. And really — who could be surprised?

On a floor where dozens of entry-level mortgage bankers do their training, the table adds a little zip to that most-tedious of office obligations, the staff meeting.

Housing about 1,000 Quicken Loans employees and some 375 at Molina Healthcare of Michigan, “The building,” said Kostrzewski, “is active seven days a week. And people are here from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.”

Many of the design touches throughout were created by local artisans.

For example, the large, snazzy-looking black banquettes on several floors — including one huge one that incorporates red metal into the design — were created by Virtuoso Design + Build on Detroit’s east side.

The banquettes, like the Swing Table, are reportedly popular. Trainee bankers study on them, according to Robert McDonald, Quicken Loans facilities site leader, and on occasion, when necessary, catch a nap.

A large conference table with a historic picture of old newspaper carriers printed right on the wood was created by Detroit furniture designer Brian DuBois.

All signage, like on conference rooms named for other U.S. newspapers around in 1916, was crafted by Livonia’s Jiffy Signs.

The aim in the entire redesign,said Kostrzewski, “was to create a comfortable living room atmosphere” for today’s unstructured, adaptable workplaces.

“We wanted to transform work spaces to create more collaborative and open environments that encourage productivity and encourage people to want to come to work,” said Jennifer Janus, dPop chief operating officer.

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