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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

Pentair posts mixed second quarter

Sales fell even as adjusted profits rise. Restructuring continues.
3M investors take profits from record stock run after mixed 2Q results

3M investors take profits from record stock run after mixed 2Q results

Divestitures and improved sales helped results

More than $2 million in state grants will help train workers

The state funds help companies design programs with colleges to keep up with technology.

Uponor expands, buying plant in Hutchinson

Old TDK plant will be renovated to make PEX pipe for booming construction.
Former Magnetation owners buy idled Scully ore mine in Canada

Former Magnetation owners buy idled Scully ore mine in Canada

Cargill to buy 100 percent of ore processed at Scully mine.
Polaris Industries beats expectations even as profits fall

Polaris Industries beats expectations even as profits fall

The powersports vehicle company also increased its earnings guidance for rest of year.
Polaris issues recalls for 26,670 more off-road vehicles

Polaris issues recalls for 26,670 more off-road vehicles

Polaris Industries recalled another 26,760 off-road vehicles this week, bringing recall totals over the 400,000 mark in the past two and a half years. The…

Starkey quietly settles two wrongful-termination lawsuits

Settlement confidential, closes two chapters in this long drama
Polaris opens new 4 Wheel Parts truck accessories store in Brooklyn Park

Polaris opens new 4 Wheel Parts truck accessories store in Brooklyn Park

The acquisition of TransAmerican Auto Parts came with 75 "4 Wheel Parts" stores.
More Minnesota factories convincing employees to work past 65

More Minnesota factories convincing employees to work past 65

Worker shortages drive employers to take creative approaches to retirement.
Essar mineral lease rights awarded to Chippewa Capital Partners

Essar mineral lease rights awarded to Chippewa Capital Partners

Tom Clarke's financing group expected to restart construction after Aug. 31.
Starkey Hearing CEO Bill Austin names his stepson as company president

Starkey Hearing CEO Bill Austin names his stepson as company president

Turmoil has surrounded the company since executives were fired nearly two years ago.

Manufacturing soars in June in Minnesota and Midwest

Creighton report shows sales and exports rose in June; job growth slowed.
Stratasys has 3-D printing ready for takeoff in aviation industry

Stratasys has 3-D printing ready for takeoff in aviation industry

Stratasys' new product could transform the aviation industry now that it has FAA's OK
Denny Hecker could move from jail to halfway house as early as next week

Denny Hecker could move from jail to halfway house as early as next week

Imprisoned Minnesota auto mogul Denny Hecker could be released to a residential halfway house as early as July 4th, federal prison officials confirmed this week.

3M safety unit partners with ironworkers

Initiative will train 150,000 ironworkers as the Maplewood manufacturer broadens its safety business.

Glassmaker Apogee beats forecasts with adjusted profit

The full-year profit outlook dimmed slightly, and Apogee shares fell Thursday.

Federal Cartridge makes third cut in Anoka jobs since March

The ammunition maker says demand for its products have fallen sharply since President Trump's election.
Community involvement key to many Top Workplaces

Community involvement key to many Top Workplaces

Several top companies share something in common, and that is "paying it forward" whenever possible.
Michael Roman takes 3M's top operating role, becoming potential successor to CEO

Michael Roman takes 3M's top operating role, becoming potential successor to CEO

At the same time, 3M's board waived the mandatory retirement age for current CEO Inge Thulin.
Ecolab has tool to help companies conserve water, meet environmental goals

Ecolab has tool to help companies conserve water, meet environmental goals

A free tool co-developed by the St. Paul water filtration and sanitizing company helps other companies meet environmental goals.

3M's stock hits new 52-week high

Analysts point to its forecasts, acquisitions and the overall health of the markets this year.
Cirrus Aircraft will outfit Lufthansa training fleet with 25 planes

Cirrus Aircraft will outfit Lufthansa training fleet with 25 planes

Cirrus SR 20 planes headed to Lufthansa in Arizona
Graco's ToughTek CM20 mixing it up for contractors

Graco's ToughTek CM20 mixing it up for contractors

Seeking to diversify income, Graco releases a new mixer that allows contractors to prepare multiple bags of pre-blended stucco or mortar.
Arctic Cat recalls 2,700 snowmobiles due to clutch problem

Arctic Cat recalls 2,700 snowmobiles due to clutch problem

No injuries were reported; owners should contact dealers for free repair.
Pentair, Urban Organics open aquaponics farm in old Schmidt Brewery

Pentair, Urban Organics open aquaponics farm in old Schmidt Brewery

One of the largest commercial aquaponics facilities in the world opened on the St. Paul site of the old Schmidt brewery last week.
3M to sell its prison electronic-monitoring business for $200 million

3M to sell its prison electronic-monitoring business for $200 million

A division of Apax Partners will buy the unit
Minnesota manufacturing registers solid growth in May

Minnesota manufacturing registers solid growth in May

Factories in Minnesota, across the Midwest report sixth month of expansion
Minnesota manufacturers are confident about growing economy

Minnesota manufacturers are confident about growing economy

Across industries in Minnesota, optimism is rising with the economy.
Minnesota's biggest employers have a real need for skilled hands and minds

Minnesota's biggest employers have a real need for skilled hands and minds

Minnesota's aging workforce has tightened the current job market. If trends continue, by mid-2018, there will be more jobs than people looking for them.
Contract negotiations back on after AT&T workers strike over the weekend

Contract negotiations back on after AT&T workers strike over the weekend

Workers in Minnesota and across the country went on strike this weekend.
Results mixed for Minnesota's top manufacturers

Results mixed for Minnesota's top manufacturers

Minnesota's largest manufacturers battled a lion's den of challenges last year that shrunk revenue but mostly held onto profits with help from cost-cutting campaigns at nearly half the state's 23 prime producers.
3M wins military hearing protection contract

3M wins military hearing protection contract

The $1.6 million contract will outfit 6,500 U.S. soldiers.
United Taconite opens new iron pellet plant on Iron Range

United Taconite opens new iron pellet plant on Iron Range

The $75 million investment in Forbes signals another economic bump for the region.
Ecolab misses Wall Street's Q1 profit expectations by a penny

Ecolab misses Wall Street's Q1 profit expectations by a penny

Ecolab experienced sales growth across most of its businesses, but had higher product costs than expected for the first quarter. Results barely missed analysts' expectations,…
Manufacturing continues strong growth in Midwest

Manufacturing continues strong growth in Midwest

April report also shows Minnesota continuing to grow steadily.

Donaldson buys Indiana filtration firm Hy-Pro Corp.

No price was disclosed for Hy-Pro deal, which closed Monday.

Apogee buying Pella subsidiary for $195 million.

EFCO Corp. deal expected to add to firm's before-tax earnings this fiscal year.
Iron ore industry recovery help Cliffs Natural Resources first-quarter results

Iron ore industry recovery help Cliffs Natural Resources first-quarter results

However, while sales were up, debt restructuring resulted in a loss for the period.
Virginia billionaire and partners win bankruptcy auction for ex-Essar assets

Virginia billionaire and partners win bankruptcy auction for ex-Essar assets

The group pledged to invest more than $550 million into the failed Iron Range taconite project and complete it.
Polaris' first-quarter results are better than expected

Polaris' first-quarter results are better than expected

The sports vehicle maker's latest results beat expectations after one-time costs.
As the recalls pile up at Polaris, trouble gets deeper and deeper

As the recalls pile up at Polaris, trouble gets deeper and deeper

Polaris' position as an icon of Midwestern manufacturing know-how has suffered with 12 rounds of recall notices affecting 338,800 vehicles.
Polaris sued in vehicle fire that killed two riders in Utah

Polaris sued in vehicle fire that killed two riders in Utah

Company denies claims that design defects contributed to tip-over crash and fire in Utah.

First Starkey defendant pleads guilty to tax evasion

Former executive forfeits $2.3 million, will testify.
Pawn America files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Pawn America files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

The Chapter 11 filing is to reorganize the firm and is not a liquidation, the company said.
Polaris recalls 51,000 more vehicles due to fire risk

Polaris recalls 51,000 more vehicles due to fire risk

Customers reported 13 heat shields fell off causing five fires.
Ecolab selling downtown St. Paul tower that once housed its HQ

Ecolab selling downtown St. Paul tower that once housed its HQ

PAK Properties plans to renovate the downtown St. Paul tower into "modern office space."
Starkey argues 'too many red flags' in bid to group defendants in lawsuit

Starkey argues 'too many red flags' in bid to group defendants in lawsuit

The hearing technologies company moves to link criminal defendants' actions to a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by another former employee.
Valspar to sell industrial wood-coatings assets for $420M to calm feds

Valspar to sell industrial wood-coatings assets for $420M to calm feds

Valspar Corp. will sell the assets of its industrial wood-coatings business to Axalta Coatings System for $420 million, company officials announced Wednesday.
Cliffs, Chippewa Capital Partners make bids for the former Essar Steel Minnesota

Cliffs, Chippewa Capital Partners make bids for the former Essar Steel Minnesota

The offers come as a bankruptcy reorganization deadline nears.
3-D technology is game-changer for recruiting future engineers

3-D technology is game-changer for recruiting future engineers

From dinosaurs to hearts, Stratasys schools students on latest technology.

3M sues K2 Concepts and Phoenix Automotive for patent violation

Action alleges China-based manufacturer violated patents on paint-spraying products.
New filings allege bizarre behavior by Starkey owner Bill Austin

New filings allege bizarre behavior by Starkey owner Bill Austin

Starkey officials say that the new allegations are "scurrilous, unfounded or false" and a distraction from federal embezzlement charges against fired president Jerry Ruzicka.
3M schools Trudeau on its innovations

3M schools Trudeau on its innovations

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to 3M's Canadian headquarters comes on the heels of pledging a $600 million "innovation budget," to improve Canada's technology sector.
Pentair launches 5-year, $5 million clean-water project in Honduras

Pentair launches 5-year, $5 million clean-water project in Honduras

Pentair joins effort to reduce waterborne illnesses in mountainous western Honduras.

Former workers sue GlassBridge for withholding severance

The three allege they were denied payments by the firm's successor, GlassBridge.
Polaris corrects RZR recall numbers

Polaris corrects RZR recall numbers

Polaris Industries now says it has recalled 145,000 of its RZR all-terrain vehicles in 2016. The number was incorrectly reported as 901,000 in an official…
Federal Cartridge in Anoka has cut more workers

Federal Cartridge in Anoka has cut more workers

In all, 172 workers downsized through layoffs and buyouts since about March 1. The Anoka facility cites slow market as the cause.
JavaCycle turns coffee-bean waste into sweet-smelling fertilizer

JavaCycle turns coffee-bean waste into sweet-smelling fertilizer

The parent company of Hill Bros. Coffee and Chock Full O'Nuts has partnered with the tiny, Minnesota-based operation to convert millions of pounds of roasted coffee-bean waste into commercial fertilizer.
Polaris paid out $132 million in 2016 related to recalls

Polaris paid out $132 million in 2016 related to recalls

Costs piled high for Polaris Industries last year as it tackled recall after recall of its recreational vehicles due to fire hazards.The $4.5 billion Medina-based…

Sherwin-Williams postpones Valspar purchase until June

The merger was supposed to close by the end of April.
Polaris Industries recalls 19,200 more ATVs

Polaris Industries recalls 19,200 more ATVs

ATV heat shield woes prompt 47 fires, four minor injuries
3M becoming major player in worker safety sector

3M becoming major player in worker safety sector

The Maplewood-based company's safety-education efforts have caught the eye of regulators as well as customers.
Stratasys and VA hospitals create first hospital 3-D printing network

Stratasys and VA hospitals create first hospital 3-D printing network

Five VA hospitals will produce prostheses and other customized devices.
3M to buy Scott Safety for $2B, its second-largest acquisition

3M to buy Scott Safety for $2B, its second-largest acquisition

Scott Safety will add new breathing protection products and $570 million in sales to 3M's portfolio.
Gummy vitamins for dogs? Yes, and they will be made in Winona

Gummy vitamins for dogs? Yes, and they will be made in Winona

The Ferrara gummy bear factory that shut in Winona a year ago, displacing 125 workers, will soon reopen as a maker of gummy vitamins for cats and dogs.
Higher expenses, severance packages eat into Valspar profit

Higher expenses, severance packages eat into Valspar profit

In its waning days as an independent company, Valspar Corp. reported quarterly earnings reflecting the challenges that partly led to a merger agreement with rival…
Stratasys loses less money in fourth quarter

Stratasys loses less money in fourth quarter

The 3-D printing company expects to still lose money in fiscal 2017, but sales are improving.
Digi-Key considers $200 million expansion in Thief River Falls

Digi-Key considers $200 million expansion in Thief River Falls

Company is giving state, Thief River Falls the first chance to make a pitch.

Minnesota sees stable exports in fourth quarter

Medical equipment and machinery remained top sellers, with dairy products seeing the biggest uptick in demand.

Federal Cartridge lays off 110 workers in Anoka

Downturn in ammunition market spurs the layoffs.

Government recalls 13,500 Polaris off-road vehicles over fire concern

Latest notice covers 13,500 off-road recreational vehicles.
Proto Labs Chairman and founder Larry Lukis will retire after 18 years

Proto Labs Chairman and founder Larry Lukis will retire after 18 years

Larry Lukis' vision led to $298M annual revenue, 1,700 workers.

Former Starkey executive Jeffrey Longtain charged with felony tax evasion

The government's case mentions improper payments and unreported income including more than $100,000 for personal golf membership fees.

Midwest manufacturers seeing uptick in business

Minnesota growth challenged by ongoing ag sector weakness.
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