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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

EPA - R.I.P.

August 31, 2009 8:15 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, Chem.Info | Blogs | Comments

One of the more interesting green developments in recent months has been Wal-Mart’s decision to initiate greater sustainability standards in the products they’ll purchase and re-sell. I’ll abstain from sharing the inter-office banter that has pitted my colleagues against me regarding this topic, but instead offer some thoughts on the interesting precedent this could set for processors.

Blocking & Tackling

August 31, 2009 8:00 am | by by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info | Blogs | Comments

What is my worst self-critique as far as work habits are concerned? Time management. I may consider it my arch nemesis, yet it still needs to be blocked and tackled over the course of the day.--> Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info If you hang out with sports lover and editorial director Jeff Reinke for any amount of time, you are bound to stumble across some of his sage advice.

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Racking On The Brain

August 31, 2009 7:40 am | by John T. Phelan, Jr. P.E., COO, TriFactor LLC | Articles | Comments

Before selecting the storage medium for either a new distribution center or an existing facility, the first step is to analyze the products that will be handled. Whether it's 150-pound mattresses, cases of bottled water or 10,000-pound rolls of paper, the product determines the proper storage.

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Mercury Marine No Longer Speaking To Union

August 31, 2009 6:51 am | News | Comments

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — Leaders of the union representing workers at Mercury Marine say they have no new ideas for reviving talks to keep 850 manufacturing jobs in Fond du Lac from moving to Oklahoma. Dan Longsine of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local 1947, said Monday the company is no longer interested in talking.

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Guest Feature: Selecting The Right HMI Vendor

August 31, 2009 4:44 am | by by Gary Labadie, Marketing Manager, Pro-face America | Blogs | Comments

How do you go about choosing the right HMI vendor for your operations? It’s a great question that bares discussion. An HMI vendor is a critical information visualization supplier that greatly impacts and influences a process plant, an OEM, and system integrator operations. An HMI vendor can be one of two things, a supplier or a partner.

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Memphis Could Be Home To $8b 'Bioeconomy'

August 31, 2009 4:38 am | News | Comments

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A study by a Memphis nonprofit group proposes major changes in the way agricultural land in the Delta is used to create a bioeconomy worth $8 billion with more than 25,000 jobs in the next decade. The study commissioned by Memphis Bioworks Foundation was released last week.

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North Dakota Woos Wind Turbine Manufacturers

August 31, 2009 4:33 am | by Dale Wetzel, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's potential for generating wind power should help lure businesses that make equipment for the industry, economic development officials believe, but analysts say the state will face stiff competition. The state Commerce Department has hired a British firm to help drum up business prospects in Europe, where a number of large wind energy companies are based.

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10,000 Steelworkers To Vote On New Goodyear Contract

August 31, 2009 4:27 am | by Thomas J. Sheeran,Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

CLEVELAND (AP) — Thousands of workers at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plants in seven states will vote in the coming days on a tentative national contract agreement. The United Steelworkers of America and the company reached the deal Saturday night about three hours before a midnight deadline for the expiration of the old three-year contract, which had been extended twice.

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Third Case of Mass Lead Poisoning In China, 200 Ill

August 31, 2009 4:22 am | by Gillian Wong, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — Two hundred children are suffering from lead poisoning in southwest China, the country's third such case of mass sickening in the past month, an official newspaper said Monday. Parents in Tongdu, a township in Yunnan province's capital of Kunming, blamed the poisoning on a nearby industrial park while local environmental officials attributed it to vehicle exhaust, the China Daily reported.

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40-Day Strike Of 700 At IN Plant Ends

August 31, 2009 4:16 am | News | Comments

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Union members have approved a new contract that ends a strike by more than 700 workers at a Bemis Co. plant in Terre Haute after 40 days. Workers United Local 1426 went on strike July 21 in a dispute with Neenah, Wis.-based Bemis over the company's use of temporary workers and proposed changes to health insurance benefits.

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Contractor Killed At KY Paper Mill

August 31, 2009 4:11 am | News | Comments

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) — International Paper Co. says a contractor at its Henderson mill has been killed. The Courier & Press of Evansville, Ind., says the victim's identity and details of Friday morning's incident weren't immediately available. International Paper spokeswoman Jessica Morris says the company is investigating, but feels it was an isolated incident and that there is no danger to other workers.

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Mustachioed Deer Hunters

August 31, 2009 4:09 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Being from Wisconsin, I often have to turn a blind eye to how my native people are portrayed in the media: the obese, beer-guzzling, cheese and brat shoveling mustachioed deer hunter. But what you bring to the table—whether it be your knowledge of Harleys or your interest in seeing cars destroyed from a lawn chair vantage point—can almost always translate into other tasks, ideas, product development, or process improvement.

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2 Execs Indicted In 2007 Tunnel Deaths

August 28, 2009 12:19 pm | by P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DENVER (AP) — Two companies and two executives have been indicted on federal charges in the deaths of five workers in a 2007 fire inside a tunnel at a Colorado hydroelectric plant. Xcel Energy, RPI Coating Inc. and two RPI executives face criminal charges in the deaths in a federal indictment that alleges they knew about the danger and did nothing about it.

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Union-Goodyear Talks 'Intense'

August 28, 2009 7:06 am | News | Comments

CLEVELAND (AP) — The union says national contract talks with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. have reached an intense stage. The Steelworkers union says the talks are focused on job security, keeping plants open and health-care costs. The Akron-based tire maker says it remains confident an agreement can be reached in the talks that have been ongoing in Cincinnati since June.

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Whirlpool To Cut 1,100 Jobs, Close IN Factory

August 28, 2009 7:02 am | News | Comments

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Whirlpool Corp. said Friday it will cut 1,100 jobs and close a refrigerator factory in Evansville, Ind., to cut excess production capacity. The jobs will be eliminated in mid-2010. The Benton Harbor, Mich.-based appliance maker has aggressively cut costs as demand for big-ticket items has shrunk in the recession.

WMEP Helps Create 800 WI Jobs, $160m Impact

August 28, 2009 4:59 am | News | Comments

MADISON, Wis. — Despite the recession, many Wisconsin manufacturers are benefiting from efforts to modernize and improve their operations. The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) said today that projects it completed with state manufacturers generated an economic impact of $164 million – most of it from increased and retained sales.

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Toyota Closing CA Plant After GM Cancels Joint Venture

August 28, 2009 4:46 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is shutting the California factory it ran with General Motors for 25 years — the first time the Japanese automaker is closing a major auto assembly plant ever. The decision from Toyota Motor Corp., announced Friday, drew fire from U.S. unions, even as company officials and analysts defended it as unavoidable for money-losing Toyota, following General Motors Corp.

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Harley To Expand Into Indian Motorcycle Marketplace

August 28, 2009 4:39 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc. said Thursday it will begin selling motorcycles next year in India, the world's second-largest motorcycle market, where the company hopes its iconic, heavyweight bikes will find a niche among the country's rising middle class. The Milwaukee-based company said it has established a subsidiary near Delhi and has begun scouting the country for dealers.

No Charges For Ohio Plant Immigration Raid

August 28, 2009 4:31 am | News | Comments

FAIRFIELD, Ohio (AP) — Federal authorities say there will be no charges against a Chicago food company whose southwest Ohio plant was the site of a major immigration raid in 2007. Spokesman Fred Alverson says the U.S. Attorney's office has concluded its probe. Two years ago this month, federal and local authorities rounded up 161 workers at the Koch Foods poultry processing plant in Fairfield.

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Jet Fuel Fire At Detroit Plant Forces Evacuations

August 28, 2009 4:23 am | News | Comments

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (AP) — A fire that started Thursday near a rail tanker car at a chemical plant spread quickly to silos holding gasoline, causing an inferno that sent huge plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky above Detroit and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people. The fire at the Sterling Services Ltd.

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