International Speedway Corporation announced a multi-year partnership with Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., making Toyota the first Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway, part of the $400-million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. DAYTONA Rising is essentially a supercharged facelift for the iconic racetrack. Five entrances, or “injectors,” will be expanded and redesigned and will create three different concourse levels, each with its own social area, or “neighborhoods,” along the nearly one-mile frontstretch. The redevelopment will create 101,000 permanent, wider seats; twice as many restrooms and three times the number of concession stands. The project is expected to be complete in 2016.
espite new taxes on high calorie snack foods and soda in an attempt to stem the nation’s obesity epidemic, PepsiCo is investing $5 billion in Mexico over the next five years. The company plans to build their brand, expand the range and production capacity of food and beverage products, further develop the company’s selling and delivery infrastructure and help grow the country’s agricultural programs. PepsiCo’s investment will add 4,000 new jobs to the nation’s economy.
irbus Helicopters, based in Marignane, France, announced it will add a new production line at its helicopter plant in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. The plant has 235 employees, and the multi-million-dollar expansion will create another 40 high-skilled new jobs. The new line will produce engine cowlings for the EC225, a sturdy, long-range helicopter frequently used in the oil and gas industry to shuttle workers to off-shore oil rigs.
The Fort Erie facility is a recognized Centre of Excellence for composite component manufacturing within Airbus Helicopters. It produces several composite components for a variety of Airbus Helicopters’ leading aircraft models, which are sold internationally in more than 100 markets.
unique wind farm is being developed off the coast of Coos Bay, Ore. Seattle-based Principle Power, Inc. will create a floating wind farm pilot project that will generate 30 megawatts (MW) of electricity, equivalent to what 7,000 to 9,000 homes use each year. The company received a $4-million Department of Energy grant to fund the demonstration project, which is expected to include five WindFloat units, each outfitted with a 6-MW offshore wind turbine. The units are constructed completely on land before they are deployed to their location in the water. Features on the WindFloat reduce wave and turbine-induced motion allowing the units to be placed in more remote locations, further off the coast where water depth exceeds 50 meters and wind resources are greater.
onduit Global is locating a new call center near Memphis, Tenn., investing $8 million in building and infrastructure improvements and creating more than 1,000 new jobs. The company is a global leader in independent, full-integrated business process outsourcing. The new facility is Global Conduit’s sixth US operation and will provide customer support for wireless communications customers. The company has already begun filling positions with a goal of having 350 employees by the end of 2014.
ndustrial robots are on the rise according to statistics from the International Robotics Federation (IFR). The IFR estimated about 168,000 robots were sold in 2013, an all-time high and five percent more than in 2012. Robot sales in the US were particularly strong, thanks to an increase in industrial automation.
“While the automotive industry remains the largest robotics user in North America, we’re very encouraged by the strong growth in shipments to non-automotive markets in 2013,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of the Robotic Industries Association, the North American trade group for the robotics industry. “Overall shipments to non-automotive customers rose 31 percent while automotive-related shipments were flat. The largest gains in non-automotive markets were in Life Sciences/Pharmaceutical/Biomedical [+142 percent], food and consumer goods [+61 percent] and plastics and rubber [+36 percent]. Orders from non-automotive markets were up 22 percent, a very positive sign for the robotics industry moving forward.”