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BÉCANCOUR, QC, April 18, 2018 /CNW/ - First-quarter results released today by aluminum giant Alcoa feature a major blemish – losses of $150 million to date from its decision to lock out workers at its ABI smelter in Quebec in January.

"Just how much is Alcoa willing to lose before getting back to the bargaining table?" asked Clément Masse, President of United Steelworkers (Syndicat des Métallos) Local 9700, representing the 1,030 locked-out ABI employees.

"The lockout has been a terrible financial decision from the beginning, considering that shutting down and eventually re-starting the smelter's potlines will cost $100 million alone," Masse said.

In addition to the $100-million cost associated with the production shutdown and eventual restart, lost profits from the ABI lockout amount to at least US$16 million a month – approximately $50 million since the lockout began, the Steelworkers union says.

The estimate of lost profits is very conservative and is based on data from the Commodities Research Unit (CRU), the union says.

Given Alcoa's 74.9% stake in the ABI smelter, its share of the estimated $150-million cost of the ABI lockout amounts to about $112 million, compared to about $38 million for co-owner Rio Tinto.

"The hole is getting deeper by the day," Masse said. "It's at least $16 million a month and probably much more, given that the smelter has stopped producing value-added products such as aluminum billets and slabs."

The Steelworkers say the estimated losses from the ABI lockout are conservative because they are based on prices and production costs for the smelter's aluminum ingots only. The estimates don't take into account the fact that three-quarters of ABI's normal production consists of value-added billets and slabs, which generate greater profits than ingot production.

Furthermore, the company's balance sheet is taking a significant hit from fixed operating costs that remain even though the smelter is operating at only one-third capacity during the lockout, the union notes.

Prior to the lockout at ABI, the union's bargaining committee had agreed to consider the creation of a new pension plan for all employees – in direct response to the employer's concerns. Rather than continue negotiations to reach a settlement on the remaining two outstanding issues, the company broke off talks and forced a vote on a final offer that was predictably rejected by workers. The company then locked out its employees on Jan. 11.

"This charade has gone on long enough. The 1,030 workers and their families have given up a lot, an entire regional economy is suffering, Hydro-Québec has lost $60 million and counting," Masse said. "Even ABI is losing US$16 million a month. It's time for Alcoa and Rio Tinto to end their ideological inflexibility and take a new approach to rational negotiation."

 
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Mississauga, ON – Sandvik Coromant and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) recently extended their contract until 2022. The partnership renewal ceremony will be on April 19, 2018 at the NAIT Sandvik Coromant Centre for Machinist Technology in Edmonton.

 

Congregating for the renewal announcement, Sandvik Coromant and NAIT will celebrate their decade-long partnership with a new contract extension that will be in effect until December 31, 2022. The ceremony takes place at the NAIT Sandvik Coromant Centre for Machinist Technology in Edmonton on April 19 th , 2018 from 1pm to 3pm. Present from Sandvik Coromant will be Thomas Henry, Americas Partner Marketing Manager, and Canada Country Manager, Randy Bossie.

 

Per Dr. Glenn Feltham, President and CEO of NAIT, “I want to thank Sandvik Coromant for their incredible support of our Machinist program – they are both a friend and partner of NAIT! Through their gift, they are ensuring our students are learning on the very latest equipment and they have the support needed to pursue their education by establishing scholarships.”

 

The three-part gift to the polytechnic from Sandvik Coromant includes a Gift in Kind for equipment, funds to support capital and operating needs for the NAIT Machinist Program and a scholarship program. A total of 12 scholarships are available to students each year for the five-year period. Eleven awards per year are available to first through fourth year students awarded based on academic achievement. The 12th award is the Sandvik Coromant Leadership award which is granted to the top student who demonstrates initiative, creativity, leadership with their fellow students and enthusiasm in conjunction with academic achievement.

 

The NAIT Sandvik Coromant Centre for Machinist Technology is a state-of-the-art facility used for all Machinist programs for hands-on training, machine time and course-work. The Centre includes four CNC machinist labs, a metrology lab and a centralized tool crib, as well as smart classrooms, computer labs and office for instructors and support staff.

 

According to Randy Bossie, “The instructors at NAIT are highly qualified and do a great job preparing students for careers in manufacturing. NAIT’s modern facilities show students the high-tech and contemporary side of machining that they may not associate with manufacturing.” He adds, “We see first-hand the benefit of the training the students receive at NAIT as one of our Technical Sales Engineers out of Edmonton, Mike Oostenbrink, is a graduate of NAIT’s Machinist Apprentice program with a Red Seal Journeyman Certification. Mike’s education makes him an invaluable employee and a vital technical resource for our customers.”

 

Tom Henry concurs, “We see the intrinsic value of the education and solid foundation the students receive from NAIT. They are prepared to start working on day one when entering the workforce and we are pleased that our support provides an immediate impact to the program. Programs like NAIT’s Machinist Apprenticeship go a long way to refute the future skills gap that we are all anticipating and Sandvik Coromant is proud to be a part of that.”

Photo Link:www.publitekcrc.com/PR_PICTURES/Sandvik/SC044

 
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April 17, 2018

Cutting tool and tooling system specialist Sandvik Coromant has launched a new thread forming tap optimized for ISO P steel machining which is designed to boost productivity, particularly in the automotive industry. The CoroTap™ 400 offers chip-free tapping as well as faster machining times and stronger threads through reduced torque and an optimized geometry.

 

The automotive industry has extremely high requirements when it comes to safeguarding quality and has implemented robust and rigorous processes for this reason. The new tap has been created to meet those exacting demands by ensuring superior thread quality, improved process security and longer tool life, resulting in a combination of greater efficiency and reduced costs. In comparison tests, the CoroTap™ 400 delivered a significantly more secure and stable tap than its competitors while achieving cutting speeds up to 50 percent faster.

 

Among the main features of the new tap is an optimized lobe profile designed specifically for ISO P applications. By increasing the number of lobes on the tap and giving it a shorter thread length, Sandvik Coromant has reduced torque at the machine tool spindle which facilitates increased cutting speeds and, in turn, improves productivity. As a result, the CoroTap™ 400 offers the customer key benefits such as greater process security, fewer machine stoppages, reduced cost per hole and improved tool life for better process planning.

 

Made with a new grade of substrate and coating, the new thread forming tap provides machine tool operators peace of mind through its high-level reliability and adaptability for use with lower torque spindle machines. For senior managers in the automotive industry, the tap satisfies their green light machining demands while extremely high levels of repeatability and predictability afford them extra confidence in relation to maintaining the highest possible production standards.

 

Offering a more consistent and reliable threading process, the CoroTap™ 400 has been designed with a geometry that can reduce the force required for machining a steel component by up to 30 percent. At the same time, the working life of the tap can be up to twice as long as similar thread forming tools.

 

Designed to be used on steels up to 330 HB in conjunction with such drills as Sandvik Coromant’s CoroDrill® 860, the new tap is ideal for machining automotive components such as connecting rods, wheel hubs, crank shafts, axles, gears and transmissions. Not restricted to the automotive industry, however, the CoroTap™ 400 is also perfectly suited to rail or general engineering applications, where it can improve productivity and cut costs when forming threads in rail wheels, flanges, rivets, housings, boom cylinders, tubes and a wide range of other components.

 

For more information please visit www.sandvik.coromant.com/en-us/products/corotap_400

 

Photo Link:www.publitekcrc.com/PR_PICTURES/Sandvik/SC031

 

Photo Caption:The new CoroTap 400 is designed to meet the exacting standards of the automotive industry.

 

Video Link:www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug8MVbKZoYQ

 
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MARKHAM, ON, April 12, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Owing to its growing success in Canada, Kubota Canada Ltd. (KCL) will be moving its operations to a new facility located in Pickering, Ontario, by the end of 2019. As part of KCL's ongoing commitment to deliver high-quality products and top-tier customer service, the new facility will be designed to house its Head Office and Warehouse operations. KCL has continuously operated in Canada from Markham, Ontario, since 1975, and this project marks a new opportunity for the brand.

"In Canada, the construction, agriculture, commercial and residential sectors are all highly competitive markets, which gives us the motivation to strengthen our leadership among Canadian customers and dealers. It had become obvious that we needed a new state-of-the-art facility to ensure we could live up to our commitments to meet the increasing needs of our growing customer base," said Bob Hickey, President of KCL. "We are very thankful for the trust our dealers and customers place in our products and services."

The new Pickering facility in numbers

  • Surface area: 565,500 square feet (sf), with the possibility of increasing to 1,000,000 sf in the future
  • Financial investment: approximatively 67 million CAD for the land and building
  • Employment: KCL plans to grow employment from 190 current employees to 250 employees by 2027
  • Timeline:
    • Fall 2018: Construction expected to begin
    • End of 2019: KCL starts moving its offices to its new location in 2 phases
      • Phase 1: Head Office and Wholegoods
      • Phase 2: Parts
  • Facility features: enhanced testing, training and increased warehousing areas with room for future expansion

"Pickering was selected as our future Head Office location because it provides a great sense of community and lends itself perfectly to our growing technological advancements," continued KCL's president. "Our new location will enable us to have easy access to highways, affordable housing for our employees, as well as to equipment testing and training areas".

"We would also like to express our sincere thanks to Mayor Ryan as well as to other City of Pickering officials for welcoming KCL and making this project possible. Lastly, we wish to thank the City of Markham for helping to bring KCL to where it is today," concluded Mr. Hickey.

 
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TORONTO, April 10, 2018 /CNW/ - Optimism about the Canadian economy is down significantly amid views the country is becoming less competitive, according to a survey of professional accountants in leadership positions by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

Among the findings of the Q1 2018 CPA Canada Business Monitor:

  • Optimism in the opening quarter of the year dipped to 34 per cent from 48 per cent in Q4 2017, falling to its lowest level since 2016.
  • More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents report Canada is now a less competitive place to invest and do business in versus the United States compared to one year ago.

Top three challenges to the Canadian economy cited are U.S. trade protectionism (30 per cent), uncertainty in the Canadian economy (16 per cent) and U.S. tax reforms (7 per cent).

"Uncertainty is dominating, especially with growing protectionist trade sentiments and tax changes in the U.S.," says Joy Thomas, president and CEO, CPA Canada. "Canadian business leaders are looking for assurance from the federal government that the situation is being properly monitored to allow a course of action to be developed that will keep Canada competitive."

A majority of Canadian business leaders (84 per cent) agree a detailed analysis of U.S. tax reforms to assess the potential impact on Canada is urgently needed and 93 per cent say the results should be made public shortly after the analysis is completed.

More than eight in ten (82 per cent) report being disappointed the government did not set a date for a return to balanced budget.

Company Specific Findings:

Top three factors impacting business planning over the next year: Uncertainty surrounding the Canadian economy (32 percent), employee retention, acquisition and development (30 per cent) and lack of skilled workers (24 per cent).

Other findings include:

  • Company optimism continues to hover around the 60 per cent mark.
  • Over two thirds (69 per cent) of respondents are projecting revenue growth for their companies over the next 12 months and 63 per cent anticipate an increase in profits, both similar to last quarter.
  • With respect to employee numbers, 44 per cent predict growth at their company. Roughly four in ten (38 per cent) anticipate no change in employee numbers while 18 per cent expect a drop.

Methodology

The CPA Canada Business Monitor is issued quarterly, based on a survey commissioned by CPA Canada and conducted by Nielson. The report draws upon business insights of professional accountants in leadership positions in privately and publicly held companies.

For the Q1 2018 study, emailed surveys were completed by 408 of 4,943 identified by CPA Canada as holding senior positions in industry (CFOs, CEOs, COOs and other leadership roles). The response rate was 10.8 per cent, with a margin of error associated with this type of study ±4.8 per cent, with a confidence level of 95 per cent. Further information regarding response rate calculations can be found in the survey's background document. The survey was conducted from March 13 to March 29, 2018.

A background document is available online at cpacanada.ca/businessmonitor.

 

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