Staff Directory 10644746

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

ERP Iron Ore may buy bankrupt Magnetation and reopen its closed Iron Range facilities

Bankruptcy court must approve ERP Iron Ore's offer.

Minnesota exports fall 2 percent in third quarter

Orders to Canada, Mexico and Europe are slow, but shipments to China rise.

No trade laws violated in Select Comfort patent case, judge rules

The ruling closes a 13-month patent disagreement against one of it its key competitors.
Midwest, Minnesota manufacturers struggle for a fifth month

Midwest, Minnesota manufacturers struggle for a fifth month

Regional employment index drops as Midwest loses more manufacturing positions.

MTS Systems investigating possible ethics violations by employees in China

The ethics violation probe will delay the company's fourth quarter and year-end financial results, but it is not expected to affect them greatly.
Wolves, Lynx name 'founding partners' for $130M in Target Center upgrades

Wolves, Lynx name 'founding partners' for $130M in Target Center upgrades

In exchange for its sponsorship, each founding partner will receive a customized package offering a yet-to-be disclosed "physical presence" inside the arena, plus outdoor and indoor digital signage and category exclusivity.
Honeywell launches app that gives workers access into the office building

Honeywell launches app that gives workers access into the office building

Honeywell app allows employees to regulate temperatures in the office and gives them building access if they forget ID.
Lakeville Motor Express padlocks door, shutting out 95 workers

Lakeville Motor Express padlocks door, shutting out 95 workers

Lakeville Motor Express in Roseville abruptly padlocked its doors this week, locking out 95 truck drivers and dock workers. Workers said they did not receive their paychecks on Wednesday.
Mall of America has a busier Black Friday than usual, shoppers say

Mall of America has a busier Black Friday than usual, shoppers say

After closing on the holidays, lines formed to get the specials of the day.

2012 Minnesota Cup winner Envirolastech building plant in St. Charles

The 18,000-square-foot facility would add 26 jobs, state says.
Minnesota's boat industry sees a tidal shift

Minnesota's boat industry sees a tidal shift

While basic fishing boats sell well, boat makers face challenge of attracting younger buyers.
Larson Boat closing Little Falls plant, moving work to Wis.; 114 jobs at stake

Larson Boat closing Little Falls plant, moving work to Wis.; 114 jobs at stake

Another company is looking at the Minnesota plant, but a deal is not yet inked.
Nilfisk hopes to introduce industrial-sized Roomba-like floor scrubber

Nilfisk hopes to introduce industrial-sized Roomba-like floor scrubber

Nilfisk is tapping into the expected push to grow robotic floor-cleaning supplies.

Structure of Starkey subsidiary Northland at center of embezzlement case

Northland chain started small, eventually grew to 270 stores.

Federal Cartridge to expand with help from $900,000 loan from Minnesota

Federal Cartridge in Anoka was assisted in its $33.9M expansion project with a loan and a grant.
Arctic Cat posts loss as demand for power-sports vehicles sags

Arctic Cat posts loss as demand for power-sports vehicles sags

The company also absorbed a one-time payment to settle a product liability case.
Minnesota program recycles 1M gallons of old paint in first year

Minnesota program recycles 1M gallons of old paint in first year

The 1 million gallons collected greatly exceeded expectations.
3M signals tough 2016 and 2017, but sticks to five-year growth plan

3M signals tough 2016 and 2017, but sticks to five-year growth plan

Sales are still expected to grow 2 to 5 percent by 2020.

Connexus will upgrade meter-reading capabilities with Honeywell technology

The project should help energy cooperative better manage consumption.
Midwest manufacturing slump continues for fourth month

Midwest manufacturing slump continues for fourth month

Minnesota's factory employment numbers grew in October, but the state is still in negative-growth territory while the region lags the nation.
Ecolab sales and profits slip, but third quarter meets Wall Street profit expectations

Ecolab sales and profits slip, but third quarter meets Wall Street profit expectations

Company misses Wall Street sales expectations as slumping energy sales, currencies hurt quarter

Proto Labs beats third-quarter expectations

With help from 3-D printing acquisitions, Proto Labs reported third-quarter results Thursday that handily beat Wall Street expectations. Still officials predicted economic headwinds for the…
Cliffs Natural Resources records another loss in third quarter

Cliffs Natural Resources records another loss in third quarter

CEO says restructuring of iron ore giant is nearly complete.

Ecolab sells Swisher bathroom-cleaning unit to Enviro-Master

Ecolab Inc. has sold the U.S. bathroom-cleaning business it recently bought from Swisher Hygiene.The bathroom division, which generated about $28 million a year in sales,…

Pentair's profit increases 22 percent in the third quarter

Foreign currency exchanges and recent acquisitions helped Pentair PLC report a robust third quarter with sales growth of 9 percent. The pump-and-filtration giant, which is…
3M profits beat expectations, but company lowers 2016 forecast

3M profits beat expectations, but company lowers 2016 forecast

CEO Inge Thulin noted a 'challenging macro environment' and said the company was positioned to do well as economy improves.

Polaris' Q3 significantly affected by product recalls

Sales were down 20 percent in third quarter, despite promotions that cut into bottom line.
Honeywell ends telecommuting option

Honeywell ends telecommuting option

New policy only allows work from home approved from the top, angering some employees.

Graco posts solid third-quarter earnings

Contractor sales led the quarter, which beat profit expectations.

Steelworkers at 3M Cottage Grove plant vote to approve labor contract

After weeks of picketing, United Steelworkers at 3M’s Cottage Grove chemicals plant voted to approve a four-year labor contract that will lower some weekend wages…
Polaris Industries to buy Transamerican Auto Parts for $665 million

Polaris Industries to buy Transamerican Auto Parts for $665 million

The deal to buy Transamerican, which should close by year's end, puts Polaris in retail business for first time.
3M, Google company team up to develop health information tools

3M, Google company team up to develop health information tools

Companies envision the development of information tools
Polaris Industries co-founder David Johnson dies at 93

Polaris Industries co-founder David Johnson dies at 93

Polaris co-founder designed and made its first snowmobile in 1955.
Steelworkers picket 3M Cottage Grove chemical plant

Steelworkers picket 3M Cottage Grove chemical plant

Union members balk at 3M proposal to cut weekend pay and 401(k) contributions

Court approves final shutdown of bankrupt Magnetation LLC

Plants on Minnesota's Iron Range region and in Indiana now set to close.

Midwest manufacturers see conditions fall for third month

Midwest manufacturing conditions in September contracted for a third month amid ongoing weakness in energy and agriculture, according to a closely watched economic report from…
Starkey probe, $20M embezzlement case began with small betrayal

Starkey probe, $20M embezzlement case began with small betrayal

The controversy has been a major distraction for Starkey, which is now also embroiled in several related lawsuits.
Polaris doubling down to keep customer loyalty despite recall problems

Polaris doubling down to keep customer loyalty despite recall problems

After recalls on ATVs, experts wonder if the effort is enough.
Iron Range steelworkers ratify three-year labor contract with Cliffs

Iron Range steelworkers ratify three-year labor contract with Cliffs

Contract signals another step in company's turnaround.
Proto Labs launches new automated overmolding service

Proto Labs launches new automated overmolding service

New automated technology greatly trims manufacturing time and costs — and that should ultimately add millions in new revenue.
Three ex-Starkey execs are charged with scheme to embezzle $20M

Three ex-Starkey execs are charged with scheme to embezzle $20M

Fired president Jerry Ruzicka and executives Scott Nelson and Larry Miller are accused of conspiring with two others to embezzle from the hearing aid maker.
Somali medical transportation firms accuse Blue Cross of bait and switch

Somali medical transportation firms accuse Blue Cross of bait and switch

They say Blue Cross lured them into contracts to drive Somali patients, then dumped them.

Steelworkers OK strike authorization at 3M Cottage Grove plant

Talks continue with steelworkers at Cottage Grove chemicals plant.
Polaris Industries reduced earnings forecast 43 percent because of latest recall

Polaris Industries reduced earnings forecast 43 percent because of latest recall

The company lowered its earnings forecast by 43 percent due to costs related to fixing recalled vehicles.
Inventor sues 3M over Post-it notes

Inventor sues 3M over Post-it notes

It's his second lawsuit against the company.
Donaldson Co. jumps into beverage filtration with heavyweight customers

Donaldson Co. jumps into beverage filtration with heavyweight customers

Donaldson worked with food-industry clients like Coca-Cola, Dannon to produce LifeTec

Tennant buys Mexican distributor, gets exposure at U.S. Open

The Mexican deal gives Tennant a bigger presence in key regions of the country.
Minnesota and Midwest factory conditions contract in August

Minnesota and Midwest factory conditions contract in August

Even with bright spots in other industries, firms tied to ag and oil industries affect regional growth and jobs.
Polaris issues another ATV recall because of fire hazards

Polaris issues another ATV recall because of fire hazards

Federal report says there were 19 reports of fire, including six that resulted in injuries.

Magnetation could close its final Minnesota plant in Grand Rapids

About 160 workers could be affected, company said in government filing.
Obituary: Kathleen Ann DoBrava was a one-woman care package

Obituary: Kathleen Ann DoBrava was a one-woman care package

Kathleen Ann Hering DoBrava was a dynamo packed in a 5-foot-1-inch frame. She raised six of seven siblings and her eight children and cooked for…
Cliffs and United Steelworkers reach tentative three-year labor agreement

Cliffs and United Steelworkers reach tentative three-year labor agreement

The tentative agreement, which comes a year after the old one expired, still needs ratification.

Aura Fabricators to open $3.8 million expansion in Fergus Falls

The metal products maker received $190,000 in state money for the project, which is expected to result in 14 new jobs.

Patterson Cos. posts growth and meets first-quarter expectations

Patterson said growth in its animal health business offset sales declines in its dental division.
Stratasys partners with Boeing, Siemens and Ford on new 3-D printing technologies

Stratasys partners with Boeing, Siemens and Ford on new 3-D printing technologies

Stratasys teams with Boeing, Siemens and Ford to produce new 3-D systems.
A towering Paul Bunyan is dressed for success with duds from donated items

A towering Paul Bunyan is dressed for success with duds from donated items

State Fair exhibit displays Paul Bunyan in recycled clothing to make a point about reducing waste.
3M sticks to its playbook in 'tough economical environment'

3M sticks to its playbook in 'tough economical environment'

CEO Inge Thulin's vision includes belt-tightening, but the company isn't afraid to invest with an eye to 2020.
Polaris' 'Ride Command' infuses motorcycles, ATVs with high-tech infotainment product

Polaris' 'Ride Command' infuses motorcycles, ATVs with high-tech infotainment product

New "Ride Command" builds phones, GPS displays, cameras and rider connectivity into motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles
Pentair selling valves and controls unit to Emerson for $3.15 billion

Pentair selling valves and controls unit to Emerson for $3.15 billion

The company's CEO called the deal with Emerson a "win, win" amid energy sector downturn.
Arctic Cat CEO hope s new HQ, new products ignite turnaround

Arctic Cat CEO hope s new HQ, new products ignite turnaround

The new North Loop headquarters is renovated and ready for employees.
101 exotic cars start Crown Rally at 3M headquarters in Maplewood

101 exotic cars start Crown Rally at 3M headquarters in Maplewood

The "navigational adventure" generates money for the Epilepsy Foundation and excitement for car enthusiasts.
3M is building on success in appealing to millennial workers

3M is building on success in appealing to millennial workers

Employers increasingly are focused on attracting and keeping employees born in the last two decades of the 20th century. Few have been as effective as 3M.
New plant, revived United Taconite bring good news to Iron Range

New plant, revived United Taconite bring good news to Iron Range

A new United Taconite plant promises jobs to many who were laid off.

Microbiologics Inc. in St. Cloud announces $7.24 million expansion

Microbiologics Inc. is adding a $7.24 million addition to it headquarters in St. Cloud. The company, which supplies microorganisms and lab-testing products worldwide, is adding…
Former 3M CEO Lewis Lehr, a driving force in the 1980s, dies at 95

Former 3M CEO Lewis Lehr, a driving force in the 1980s, dies at 95

With a lighthearted approach, he expanded the company's operations into health care and China in the 1980s.
Stratasys loss narrows in latest quarter, stock drops

Stratasys loss narrows in latest quarter, stock drops

Stock price slips 4 percent to $19.95 per share.
Sagging oil results hurt Ecolab's quarterly profit

Sagging oil results hurt Ecolab's quarterly profit

The cleaning products company took a special charge in its energy business, while other units performed well.
Midwest manufacturing contracts amid low crop prices and equipment orders

Midwest manufacturing contracts amid low crop prices and equipment orders

Jobs and inventories declined, though Minnesota is better off.
Arctic Cat stock sheds $10.6 million in second quarter

Arctic Cat stock sheds $10.6 million in second quarter

Weaker overall sales and a shift in snowmobile shipments hurt results for the Plymouth dealer.
Pentair PLC beats 2Q expectations but narrows guidance for year

Pentair PLC beats 2Q expectations but narrows guidance for year

Energy business becoming more predictable, but ag sector is still a problem.

Proto Labs stock plunges 13 percent on second-quarter profit miss

Slow U.S. industrial growth and higher expenses hurt quarter.
3M beats profit expectations for 2Q but misses on revenue

3M beats profit expectations for 2Q but misses on revenue

Earnings per share hit record, while sales sag in electronics/energy and industrial.

Wagner SprayTech Corp. to expand in Plymouth

Wagner SprayTech Corp. is undertaking an $8.4 million expansion of its Plymouth headquarters and factory that is expected to create 66 new jobs, state officials…
Minneapolis-based Graco stock plunges after double-digit profit drop in second quarter

Minneapolis-based Graco stock plunges after double-digit profit drop in second quarter

Pump and sprayer maker said profits were hurt by lower oil sales and new expenses.
Polaris profit falls 29.4 percent but it beats analysts' expectations

Polaris profit falls 29.4 percent but it beats analysts' expectations

Product recall costs hurt profits, but sales rose slightly.
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