WASHINGTON (AP) — Two workers injured when an oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico told Congress that the companies in charge of the doomed drilling operation cut corners and neglected maintenance in a race toward higher profits. Oil has been spewing since the Deepwater Horizon blew up off the coast of Louisiana April 20, killing 11 workers.
OAKLAND, California (AP) — Local governments in California and other Western states have tried to clamp down on medical marijuana, but Oakland has taken a different approach. If you can't beat 'em, tax 'em. After becoming the first U.S. city to impose a special tax on medical marijuana dispensaries, Oakland soon could become the first to sanction and tax commercial pot growing operations.
With half of all men in some developing countries already hooked on cigarettes, the tobacco industry is now courting lucrative new customers — young women, a report said. About 80 percent of the world's estimated 1 billion smokers are men, but more women are picking up the habit in some countries as flavored products and glossy feminine packaging cater to them.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Comedian Drew Carey, wearing a loud black-and-white checkered blazer, marched into City Hall in his hometown on Thursday and told council members what they're doing wrong. Respectfully, of course. "I don't envy anybody at this table," Carey said during the three-hour-long discussion.
DETROIT (AP) — Mercury could soon be the latest Detroit car brand to disappear. Ford Motor Co. is assessing the future of Mercury, although a final decision on whether to kill the brand hasn't yet been made, a person familiar with the company's deliberations said Thursday. The person asked not to be named because the process is ongoing.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The Taiwanese electronics company buffeted by a spate of suicides at its China factories said Friday it will raise the pay of workers by an average of 20 percent. The pay raises at Foxconn Technology Group have been in the works for months to cope with a labor shortage following China's recovery from the global recession, said a company official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.
TOKYO (AP) — Honda Motor Co. said Friday that production at three of its four plants in China remains suspended because of a lack of transmissions and engine parts caused by a strike at a parts maker, but will resume partially next week at the fourth. Workers demanding better wages went on strike at Honda Auto Parts Manufacturing Co.
RIPLEY, Miss. (AP) — Furniture manufacturer Albany Industries is expanding its operation in Ripley in northeast Mississippi and could hire up to 200 more workers. The company, based in New Albany, Miss., tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that it has acquired the former Agracel facility in the North Ripley Industrial Park.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government would provide grants to help cities build the infrastructure needed to support electric vehicles and to offer new tax credits for buyers of those cars under legislation introduced Thursday in Congress. The bills in the House and Senate are designed to smooth the way for the electric vehicles that are expected to start showing up at car dealerships in large numbers this fall.
DEARBORN, Mich. — The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and University of Phoenix have reached an agreement that will provide holders of SME certifications with articulation credits toward their college degree. This will enable them to expedite their time towards a degree through a prior learning assessment, potentially saving them as much as an entire semester in courses.
Innovative manufacturers have the opportunity to pave a greener path for the industry. As consumer attention turns more toward environmental stewardship, LEED certification is emerging as a growing trend in building design and engineering. At the close of 2009, there were 4,286 LEED certified projects — and only 39 of them were in manufacturing facilities.
Increased foreign competition continues to drive much of the U.S. manufacturing sector overseas to take advantage of cheap labor. However, there are still many ways to improve performance and become more competitive while keeping operations in the United States.
It started as a modest dream among three friends. Recently, the vision became reality with the opening of Green Planet Farms — a $40 million, 195,000 square-foot soy protein isolate (SPI) manufacturing facility in South Sioux City, Neb. As an ingredient manufacturer, Green Planet Farms’ main focus is to serve organic and non-genetically modified protein isolates to food and beverage producers worldwide.
Degree Controls, Inc. (Milford, NH) has developed the AccuSense F333 air velocity sensor for embedded applications. The sensor is manufactured with a RoHS-compliant, rugged construction, and is aimed at ducting applications, fume hoods, and more. The F333 provides air velocity measurements within the range of 0.
Custom-engineered plastic components that can be machined and drilled to customer specification are now available from Interstate Specialty Products, Inc. (Sutton, MA). The components can be made from a wide range of materials, including rubber and virtually all thermoplastics, between 0.
General Equipment Company (Owatonna, MN) introduces the EP20ACP Downforce Convection Blower intended for a variety of applications, such as drying damp environments, keeping personnel cool, or diluting contaminated air. The multi-bladed propeller draws warm, dry air from above and forces it downward at a high velocity, drying wet surfaces along the way.
Elma Electronic (Fremont, CA) now offers standing light guides for the transportation of light from a PCB to the front of a panel. The light guides are typically used in applications where the PCB stands parallel to the light emitters and front panel, such as indication systems that transmit the operating status for a device.
Desperately in need of new jobs to help sustain our economy, the U.S. government has been pushing for advancement in the clean energy sector — and with good reason. Most renewable energy analysts predict the clean-tech sector will grow in worldwide revenue from $116 billion to $325 billion over the next decade, making it the largest single industrial sector in the world.
The redesigned Bag Dump Station from VAC-U-MAX (Belleville, NJ) features a 5 cubic foot capacity hopper, complete with an integral Dust Collector. Overall, there is 130 sq ft of filter area, and a 300 ft/min face velocity across the door of the bag dump station. A square-to-round transition in the hopper section ensures constant flow of most powders without use of flow promotion devices.
Flow Ezy Filters (Ann Arbor, MI) has announced an agreement to become a major distributor for Eclipse Tools of North America and to market their line of magnetic filtration and separation products. The Eclipse products hope to reach a variety of applications, such as commercial air filtration, fluid power, hydraulics, food processing, and machine tools.