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Dee DePass

Reporter | Manufacturing
phone: 612-673-7725
Dee DePass covers the manufacturing industry for the Star Tribune with an eye toward new products and technology, job growth and distribution developments in Minnesota.
Recent content from Dee DePass

Fourth-quarter sales and profit for Proto Labs soar

CEO Vicki Holt called it a strong end to a good year for the Maple Plain injection molding firm.
Pentair's fourth-quarter sales and profits slide but beat analysts' expectations

Pentair's fourth-quarter sales and profits slide but beat analysts' expectations

The company warned of a big impairment charge for its Valves and Controls unit.

3M will keep and invest in health information systems unit

The company had said a sale was possible, but has decided to expand the business instead.
State agency touts economic benefits of recycling

State agency touts economic benefits of recycling

60,000 Minnesotans work in jobs shaped by recycling, MPCA reports
U.S., Midwest manufacturers report slight improvement while still in tightening mode

U.S., Midwest manufacturers report slight improvement while still in tightening mode

State factories lead region, but still face pressures.

Hecker moved from Colorado to Illinois for his ninth prison in 5 years

The federal Bureau of Prisons declined to say why he was moved.

Arctic Cat, Polaris each file patent infringement lawsuits

Minnesota's two premier off-road vehicle makers are battling in court once again.
Inventor sues 3M over Post-it notes

Inventor sues 3M over Post-it notes

It's his second lawsuit against the company.
Taconite maker Cliffs Natural Resources lost $58 million in the fourth quarter

Taconite maker Cliffs Natural Resources lost $58 million in the fourth quarter

Company lost about $30 million from idling iron ore plants in Minnesota and Michigan amid industry restructuring.
3M's profit, sales dip at end of 2015 but still beat Wall Street expectations

3M's profit, sales dip at end of 2015 but still beat Wall Street expectations

Stock spikes despite impact of strong dollar.
Fired assistant sues Starkey; company accuses her of theft

Fired assistant sues Starkey; company accuses her of theft

A fired executive assistant sued Starkey Laboratories late Wednesday for allegedly breaching an employment contract, while the company responded with claims that she stole from a secret fund.

3M sells another small unit, this time a pressurized foam adhesives business

Latest deal involves a foam adhesives business.
Accusations of theft, wrongdoing traded by Starkey, fired president

Accusations of theft, wrongdoing traded by Starkey, fired president

Starkey Laboratories' ousted president on Friday sued the company, while the firm's attorney said the former official had stolen millions of dollars.

Fastenal profit falls amid slower energy business, Brazil venture closure

Fastenal Co.’s fourth-quarter profit fell 5.5 percent and came in just below Wall Street expectations, dented by lower demand from oil and gas customers and…

H.B. Fuller profit doubles, executives see gains in 2016

The strong end to 2015 is expected to carry into '16.
Troubled Essar Steel Minnesota lays off workers on the Iron Range

Troubled Essar Steel Minnesota lays off workers on the Iron Range

Layoffs were announced amid financial struggles.

Magnetation taconite plant closure brings total Range layoffs to 2,000

Magnetation's Bovey plant is its second to go idle since April.
Venezuela's currency devaluation prompts Ecolab to take fourth-quarter charge

Venezuela's currency devaluation prompts Ecolab to take fourth-quarter charge

That is on top of the $155 million charge it took against third-quarter earnings for the very same reason.

Roseville-based Hawkins Inc. buys Stauber Performance Ingredients for $157 million

CEO calls $157M deal "transformational" for Roseville chemical firm.

Minnesota and other Midwest manufacturers take it on the chin in December

Strong dollar, other factors thump Minnesota, Midwest manufacturers.
Essar accepts state's final offer on repayment terms of $66M

Essar accepts state's final offer on repayment terms of $66M

Essar must begin payments in February and must pay at least $10 million to the state by March 31. The remaining $56 million of the loan will then be repaid in 16 quarterly installments beginning in 2017.
Starkey Hearing says company is crime victim, but offers few details

Starkey Hearing says company is crime victim, but offers few details

Starkey Hearing Technologies officials say the company is not under federal investigation for criminal wrongdoing but is instead a victim of a possible crime.
3M Co. lowers outlook for 2015, citing slowing global economy

3M Co. lowers outlook for 2015, citing slowing global economy

Company says that 2016 sales should grow 1 to 3 percent.

Polaris Industries recalls 6,930 snowmobiles and off-road vehicles

Steering issues, fires and oil leaks were a concern in its second recall of 2015.
Essar still owes Iron Range contractors millions

Essar still owes Iron Range contractors millions

More than a half-dozen Minnesota vendors still owed more than $18M

Donaldson Co. hires former Imation CFO Scott Robinson

Donaldson Co. hired Imation's former CFO as its own chief financial officer.Scott Robinson, 49, will start in his new position Tuesday, the company said.The Bloomington-based…
Essar Steel makes payments to vendors, averting showdown with Dayton

Essar Steel makes payments to vendors, averting showdown with Dayton

The company is now current on $20 million in payments to state vendors.
Boss acquisition boosts Toro Co. fourth-quarter earnings

Boss acquisition boosts Toro Co. fourth-quarter earnings

Snowplow acquisition gives Bloomington firm big earnings jump
Dayton hopes to announce Thursday if he'll order Essar Steel to repay state

Dayton hopes to announce Thursday if he'll order Essar Steel to repay state

Gov. Mark Dayton hopes to announce Thursday whether he will order Essar Steel Minnesota to pay back $66 million in state incentives toward a $1.9…
Manufacturing conditions in Midwest, including Minnesota, worst in three years

Manufacturing conditions in Midwest, including Minnesota, worst in three years

Closely watched survey of Midwest firms shows strong dollar, sagging energy sector were factors
Dayton threatens to call Essar Steel's $66 million loan

Dayton threatens to call Essar Steel's $66 million loan

Gov. Mark Dayton has delivered an ultimatum to Essar Steel Minnesota: If the company fails to pay its vendors immediately, he’ll call the company’s $66…

Donaldson Co. lowers fiscal forecast for 2016

Industrial demand for filters continues to slow.

Minnesota exports fall 10 percent in third quarter

Sales to Canada fell 27 percent; dollar still strong.

Patterson Co. misses expectations despite 26 percent growth in operating profits

The quarter was first to include both a major acquisition and divestiture.

Valspar beats Wall Street's fourth-quarter expectations

Exchange rates have effect on fourth-quarter results.

Select Comfort files trade complaint, alleges three companies are importing copycat beds

The Plymouth-based maker of Sleep Number beds alleges patents have been violated.
Labor shortage has companies working OT to find employees

Labor shortage has companies working OT to find employees

A tight labor market leaves short-staffed businesses scrambling to recruit, retain and even transport workers.
Starkey could be acquisition target after turmoil

Starkey could be acquisition target after turmoil

Turmoil and firings have left hearing company with no leaders and little choice.

Magnetation might idle Bovey taconite plant, affecting 163 employees

Magnetation already has idled its Keewatin plant and filed for bankruptcy protection.
Obituary: Alice M. Evans was a mother to 12, but 'Madear' to many more

Obituary: Alice M. Evans was a mother to 12, but 'Madear' to many more

The generous spirit of Alice Mae Evans will live for generations. Evans fed, bathed, loved and reared neglected children throughout her 87-year life, even as…

Cliffs Natural Resources laying off 540 workers at Northshore Mining taconite operation

Cliffs Natural Resources is halting work at its Northshore Mining taconite site, renewing regional economic fears.
Toro offers two machines in one

Toro offers two machines in one

A new Toro hybrid mower/snowplow is aimed at the professional landscaping market.
Polaris signs 10-year deal as 'founding sponsor' for new Vikings stadium

Polaris signs 10-year deal as 'founding sponsor' for new Vikings stadium

Company is one of 8 initial sponsors under new marketing deal
Companies scramble to offset manufacturing downturn

Companies scramble to offset manufacturing downturn

Weakness in important export markets is taking a toll on manufacturers throughout the Midwest
FBI and IRS raid homes of two fired Starkey Hearing executives

FBI and IRS raid homes of two fired Starkey Hearing executives

Federal agents executed search warrants on the homes of two former Starkey executives, the latest turn in action that started with firings of the company's top management in September.
Manufacturing in Midwest, including Minnesota, slumps in October

Manufacturing in Midwest, including Minnesota, slumps in October

The industry slowed in Minnesota and the Midwest, which raises bigger concerns about the overall economy's health.

Ecolab adjusted 3Q profit meets expectations, amid pressure in energy business

The company lowers 2015 earnings expectations.

Essar Steel Minnesota is behind on payments to contractors

Complaints have been made to state officials about the situation, and companies have considered pulling employees.

Sweetwater Energy proposes $52.8 million plant for Iron Range

The $52.8M biochemical plant would be in Mountain Iron.

Special charges lead to 3Q loss at Tennant

Company said currency pressure is hurting its overall sales growth.
3-D printer company Stratasys expects another big quarterly loss

3-D printer company Stratasys expects another big quarterly loss

The financial buckings of 3-D printer Stratasys Ltd. reared again this week with news that the company will post yet another loss, this time $150 million to $190 million for its third quarter.
Marvin Windows and Doors in Warroad announces next president

Marvin Windows and Doors in Warroad announces next president

Fourth-generation family member tapped to succeed 20-year president Susan Marvin.
3M to lay off 1,500 workers worldwide

3M to lay off 1,500 workers worldwide

The company faces challenges abroad in the wake of a high U.S. dollar, slumping oil prices, and woes in several key business sectors.
Polaris posts double digit growth in 3Q

Polaris posts double digit growth in 3Q

Company revealed new products in third quarter.
Graco's 3Q profits down 15 percent

Graco's 3Q profits down 15 percent

Company still beat Wall Street expectations.
Pentair reports tough third quarter but beats expectations

Pentair reports tough third quarter but beats expectations

Slumping oil and industrial sectors nip sales and profits, prompting a narrowed forecast for the year.
Starkey Laboratories asks court to dismiss executive's wrongful termination lawsuit

Starkey Laboratories asks court to dismiss executive's wrongful termination lawsuit

Former executive alleges wrongful termination.

Deluxe Corp. buys Datamyx for $160 million

Company said the deal enhances its small-business services niche.

OSHA fines Ashley Furniture for third time this year

$431,000 fine involving Whitehall, Wis., plant followed two others. Firm denied the allegations.

Competitor Cliffs Natural Resources goes after Essar Steel Minnesota

Iron Range mill project that got $72 million in subsidies has fallen short, competitor said.

NYSE extends time for Donaldson to file annual report

Bloomington company gets six months to sort out an accounting problem in Europe.
Jarden buying Jostens in $1.5 billion deal

Jarden buying Jostens in $1.5 billion deal

The transaction ends a decade of ownership of the Bloomington school products firm by private equity investors.

Imation names interim CEO

Robert Fernander joined the company's board in May after a proxy battle.
Fastenal taps new CEO from within, reports small jump in profit

Fastenal taps new CEO from within, reports small jump in profit

The company's CFO will move to the top post.

Fastenal settles federal hiring discrimination case

It will offer $1.25 million in back pay and 171 jobs to people in Atlanta and Indianapolis.
3M sells its $100 million library systems business to One Equity

3M sells its $100 million library systems business to One Equity

The company, focusing on core businesses, also selling French sign and license plate fabricator.

Polaris recalls 53,000 2015 ATV models due to fire risk

RZR 900 and RZR 1000 models because of fire risk in vent lines.
Former Black and Decker exec Chris Metz throws Arctic Cat turnaround plan into high gear

Former Black and Decker exec Chris Metz throws Arctic Cat turnaround plan into high gear

New Arctic Cat CEO Chris Metz is working to raise the company's profile with product launches, new ads and more visibility in the industry.
Lawsuit alleges Starkey execs were fired in battle with CEO's stepson

Lawsuit alleges Starkey execs were fired in battle with CEO's stepson

A lawsuit filed Friday alleges that Starkey Laboratories CEO Bill Austin fired President Jerry Ruzicka and seven other employees earlier this month in retaliation for Ruzicka's refusal to promote Austin's stepson

Imation lays off 124 workers in Oakdale

Company notified city Friday of the downsizing.
Iron Range project advances as Essar Steel, state negotiate

Iron Range project advances as Essar Steel, state negotiate

As debt repayment talks continue with the state, Essar Steel Minnesota this week is touting the better-than-predicted progress made in Nashwauk, the site of a…
Imation terminating four executives as part of restructuring plan

Imation terminating four executives as part of restructuring plan

The struggling company will take up to $160 million in charges for major restructuring plan

United Steelworkers, Cliffs Natural Resources extend contract

The United Steelworkers union and Cliffs Natural Resources agreed to extend their labor contract for 30 days so bargaining talks can continue. The original contract,…
State must figure out how to deal with Essar Steel's deadline miss

State must figure out how to deal with Essar Steel's deadline miss

Negotiations continue after the company's deadline miss.
Imation announces turnaround plan to move it to data storage and security focus

Imation announces turnaround plan to move it to data storage and security focus

Changes include exiting its non-European tape business and ends its TDK agreement.
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