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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

Big-box janitors win three-year labor contract and $4.5 million in wage hikes

New agreement with SEIU Local 26 covers 500 Twin Cities janitors
Ecolab misses 4Q expectations but posts strong 2017 forecast

Ecolab misses 4Q expectations but posts strong 2017 forecast

Oil sector is improving while institutional business strong

Janna Marlene Wood, who helped Shakopee police reach out, dies at age 28

Janna Marlene Wood was with the Shakopee Police Department just six months when Halloween rolled around in 2013. Shakopee Police Chief Jeff Tate walked into…
$3.3 billion in nonfuel minerals produced in Minnesota

$3.3 billion in nonfuel minerals produced in Minnesota

State ranks fifth in mining of iron, sand and gravel.

Wage pressures starting to hit Minnesota companies

Minnesota is a hotbed for the trend, which comes after years of stagnation.
Proto Labs beats expectations during challenging fourth quarter

Proto Labs beats expectations during challenging fourth quarter

3-D printing sales up at the Maple Plain-based manufacturer.

Honeywell, Teamsters reach agreement for Twin Cities workers

Contract adds sick days, modest pay raises, but ends retiree health care.
Minnesota companies put safety as a top priority

Minnesota companies put safety as a top priority

Accidents on the job are down in Minnesota but are still costly to employers
New managers of former Essar Steel Minnesota ask bankruptcy court for mineral rights

New managers of former Essar Steel Minnesota ask bankruptcy court for mineral rights

New entity, Mesabi Metallic, hopes to restart and finish construction in Nashwauk in two years.

Andersen Corp. employees will split $17M in profit-sharing

Housing rebound trickles down to door and window maker.
Minnesota, Midwest manufacturing conditions improve

Minnesota, Midwest manufacturing conditions improve

Creighton University survey also shows the highest business confidence level in six years.

Pentair buys carbon dioxide filtration firm based in Denmark

Filtration company also reported fourth quarter profits that were down but beat expectations.
Catalyst honoring 3M Co. for promoting women to leadership

Catalyst honoring 3M Co. for promoting women to leadership

The national women's leadership program also is BMO Financial and Rockwell Automation.

Weak oil and gas markets lead to fourth-quarter loss for Graco

But overall sales rose 7 percent for the quarter.

State sues Roseville trucking company for fraud and wage theft

Lawsuit claims trucking company, along its sister firms, wrongly withheld workers' wages after pretending to shut down.
New charges filed against Jerry Ruzicka, Scott Nelson in Starkey case

New charges filed against Jerry Ruzicka, Scott Nelson in Starkey case

The latest allegations involve filing false tax returns.
Divestiture required before Valspar and Sherwin-Williams finish merger

Divestiture required before Valspar and Sherwin-Williams finish merger

Valspar acquisition should finalize in 90 days, officials said.
Analysts: Textron might have the deep pockets Arctic Cat needs

Analysts: Textron might have the deep pockets Arctic Cat needs

Bringing Arctic Cat under golf cart maker Textron Inc.’s umbrella might be just the deep-pocketed shove needed to push a determined but struggling underdog into…
Minnesota snowmobile maker Arctic Cat sold for $247 million

Minnesota snowmobile maker Arctic Cat sold for $247 million

Textron says company facilities in Minnesota will stay largely intact
CEO: Polaris forging ahead after 'difficult and challenging' year

CEO: Polaris forging ahead after 'difficult and challenging' year

Profits fall 43.5 percent in fourth quarter after recall costs and other issues.
3M's Q4 profits beat Wall Street expectations despite flat sales growth

3M's Q4 profits beat Wall Street expectations despite flat sales growth

Earnings rose 11 percent in Q4, and company executives see better global conditions ahead.

Teamsters fear lockout at Honeywell

About 1,000 Twin Cities workers could be affected after contract expires Jan. 31.
Maplewood-based 3M launches 'smart'-hearing protection for hunters, civilian shooters

Maplewood-based 3M launches 'smart'-hearing protection for hunters, civilian shooters

3M offers phone-compatible products that automatically adjust to background noises

3M wins early injunction in patent lawsuit in Spain

A court in Spain ruled in 3M’s favor this week when it ordered a preliminary injunction against a company 3M accused of violating its patented…
Essar Steel Minnesota accuses parent firm of siphoning funds meant for Iron Range project

Essar Steel Minnesota accuses parent firm of siphoning funds meant for Iron Range project

Suit says mismanagement of money caused bankruptcy and $1 billion in unpaid bills

Ecolab buys Abednego, a water recycling expert

The deal will give the firm $40M in new annual revenue.

Fed report finds Minnesota manufacturers upbeat

Investments in factories, employment will stay the same or rise, survey says.
Polaris says it's end of the line for Victory motorcycles

Polaris says it's end of the line for Victory motorcycles

Polaris will abandon its Victory Motorcycle brand as market share dwindles.
Obituary: Celia "Mama" Garcia, who cooked with love

Obituary: Celia "Mama" Garcia, who cooked with love

When counselors at the teen recovery center in Blaine instructed cook Celia Garcia to give each child just one helping of soup, she waited until…
Former Polaris chief takes CEO role at CliqStudios

Former Polaris chief takes CEO role at CliqStudios

Tom Tiller takes over for the upscale kitchen cabinetmaker's founder.

Minnesota manufacturing improves in December as jobs, exports, orders rise

Expansion returned in the Midwest after a long period of weakness, Creighton University's index shows.
Wrongful termination suits again Starkey moved back to state court

Wrongful termination suits again Starkey moved back to state court

Federal judge says U.S. attorney was wrong to move them to federal court.
Training programs on the rise for Minnesota's changing manufacturing jobs

Training programs on the rise for Minnesota's changing manufacturing jobs

An expected surge in factory job openings means huge opportunities for job hunters, provided they know what manufacturing skills are in hot demand and where to get training.

Teamsters' drivers vote to strike O'Reilly Auto Parts in Minn.

Delivery drivers from Teamsters Local 120 voted unanimously to strike O’Reilly Auto Parts in Minnesota unless the company agrees to a renewed labor contract that…
Polaris Industries issues yet another recall, this time on Indian Motorcycles

Polaris Industries issues yet another recall, this time on Indian Motorcycles

The vehicles' fuel rails may reposition, causing a fire hazard, officials said.
Good news for Iron Range: Keetac iron ore plant will reopen in March

Good news for Iron Range: Keetac iron ore plant will reopen in March

The U.S. Steel-owned plant is the latest to reopen after a huge slump in the iron ore industry on the Range.
Cirrus Aircraft delivers first single-engine Vision Jet to customer

Cirrus Aircraft delivers first single-engine Vision Jet to customer

After a decade of work, the first Vision aircraft is delivered in Duluth.
Manufacturers in Minnesota, Midwest expect 2017 to trump 2016

Manufacturers in Minnesota, Midwest expect 2017 to trump 2016

Early surveys of industry leaders are optimistic after a tough year

Schweitzer-Mauduit International buying Conwed for $295 million.

The plastic netting maker was founded in Minneapolis in 1966.
3M expands family leave policy to 20 weeks of paid and unpaid leave

3M expands family leave policy to 20 weeks of paid and unpaid leave

Employees who become new parents will get 10 weeks paid and 10 weeks unpaid leave
Apogee buys curtain wall maker for $135 million

Apogee buys curtain wall maker for $135 million

Apogee Enterprises Inc. has acquired the assets of the Canadian curtain wall maker Sotawall Inc. for $135 million, officials announced Wednesday.Officials said the purchase should…
3M forecasts a stronger 2017, though analysts expected more

3M forecasts a stronger 2017, though analysts expected more

Executives told investors that company revenue would grow 1 to 3 percent in 2017 as the auto, aerospace, robotics and other industrial sectors improve.
3M to sell identity management unit for $850 million

3M to sell identity management unit for $850 million

Gemalto will buy unit and absorb about 450 3M employees.

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
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