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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

China Reduces Solar Power Costs With Large-Scale Manufacturing

January 16, 2014 9:27 am | Videos | Comments

Over the past decade, China has become the world's leading manufacturer of solar energy technologies. China's solar manufacturers have helped drive down the cost of solar panels by using large-scale production practices, spurring the European Union to set a minimum price for Chinese solar panels sold in Europe. 

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Living The Dream: Manufacturing Chocolate

January 16, 2014 9:16 am | by Mondelez International | Videos | Comments

Hear from Mondelez's UK Manufacturing Director of Chocolate, Neil Chapman. Chapman explains why he is passionate about working in manufacturing, and tells the story of manufacturing at Cadbury. Also watch insider footage of how the Cadbury Dairy Milk bar is made. 

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Vt. Manufacturer Wins $21M Military Contract

January 15, 2014 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Revision Military will supply 90,000 Advanced Combat Helmets to the Defense Logistics Agency. The Caledonia Record reports that Revision Military is one of only two qualified and approved suppliers for the helmet.           

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New Hyundai CEO On Quest To Regain Lost Market Share

January 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Tom Krisher, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Under the new Hyundai CEO Dave Zuchowski's predecessor, John Krafcik, Hyundai posted huge sales gains and captured 5.1 percent of the U.S. market in 2011. Then the company's factories couldn't keep up with demand and sales slowed.     

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GM Predicts Modest Pretax Profit Gain This Year

January 15, 2014 1:55 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The No. 1 U.S. automaker joined others in forecasting slower growth in the red-hot U.S. market. Still, GM and industry analysts expect sales to reach or exceed 16 million for the first time since 2007. GM said it plans to use profits from the U.S. and China — now its largest market — to boost weaker parts of its business.

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Review: Site's Groundwater, Soil Cleanup Working

January 15, 2014 1:47 pm | by Betsy Blaney, Associated Press | News | Comments

The effort to clean up soil and groundwater contamination at the nation's only plant for assembling and disassembling nuclear weapons has been effective so far and will continue for years, according to the first five-year review of the site.   

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Auto Parts Maker To Build Facility In Missouri

January 15, 2014 1:42 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Janesville Acoustics plans to build a $13.4 million, 155,000-square-foot facility in Warrensburg to supply parts to a General Motors assembly plant in the Kansas City area. Gov. Jay Nixon says the project could create 164 fulltime jobs in Missouri.

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U.S. Wholesale Costs Rise On Gas Prices

January 15, 2014 1:40 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the producer price index, which measures costs before they reach the consumer, rose 0.4 percent last month from November. That ends three straight months of falling wholesale prices.       

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Prosecutors Join Forces To Investigate Monster

January 15, 2014 1:36 pm | by Terry Collins, Associated Press | News | Comments

Monster and other popular energy drinks have come under increasing scrutiny. The Food and Drug Administration has been investigating reports of deaths linked to energy drinks, but the agency noted that the reports don't prove the drinks caused the deaths.

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Obama To Nominate Calif. Businesswoman To Lead SBA

January 15, 2014 1:33 pm | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press | News | Comments

Rounding out his Cabinet, President Barack Obama intends to nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles and a former California cabinet secretary, to be head of the Small Business Administration.

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Big, Sexy Power Detroit Auto Show

January 15, 2014 1:28 pm | by Conway G. Gittens, Reuters TV | Videos | Comments

American auto companies are choosing brawn over brains at the 25th Detroit Auto Show with a Chevy Corvette and Silverado truck grabbing top honors. The turnaround certainly puts the wind at the back of incoming GM CEO Mary Barra as the industry's first female leader, but the competition is coming on strong and heavy.

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Ford's European Sales Down In 2013

January 15, 2014 10:03 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford's money-losing European business saw sales fall 2.1 percent last year in a tough market where unemployment and a slow recovery are holding back buyers. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker sold 1.08 million cars in 19 European countries, as sales slipped for two of the company's mainstay models, the small Fiesta hatchback and compact Focus.

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Google Builds A 'Nest' For Future Of Smart Homes

January 15, 2014 10:00 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

When our Internet-connected gadgets and home appliances all learn to talk to each other, Google wants to be at the center of the conversation. This imagined future is still a few years away, but Google is already preparing with its $3.2 billion acquisition of high-tech thermostat and smoke-detector maker Nest Labs.

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Obama To Announce Manufacturing Institute In N.C.

January 15, 2014 9:53 am | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press | News | Comments

The White House said Obama will announce Wednesday in Raleigh that a consortium of 18 business and six universities, led by North Carolina State University, has been chosen to lead a manufacturing innovation institute to develop next-generation power electronics. It's the first of three such hubs that Obama called for in his State of the Union address last year.

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Beet Plant Shut For Inspection After Worker Death

January 15, 2014 9:51 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Western Sugar Cooperative has shut down its sugar beet processing plant in Lovell while federal and state regulators inspect the facility following a fatal accident. Twenty-eight-year-old worker Anfesa Galaktionoff died Jan. 4 after she apparently fell into a piece of equipment that carries sugar beets into the factory.

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Alcoa Finishes $300M Expansion At Iowa Plant

January 15, 2014 9:47 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The expansion of the plant in Davenport, Iowa, reflects four years of strong vehicle sales increases — U.S. auto sales rose 8 percent to 15.6 million in 2013 — and growing use of lightweight aluminum for better fuel mileage in some models.

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Head Of Puget Sound's Boeing Machinists Retiring

January 15, 2014 9:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The head of Puget Sound-area Boeing machinists, Tom Wroblewski, announced Tuesday night that he's retiring at the end of January citing health concerns and the recent stress of negotiations over a contract to build the new 777X jet.      

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Accelerating Operational Excellence: Q&A With LNS’s Mark Davidson

January 15, 2014 9:30 am | by Greg Goodwin, Research Associate, LNS Research | Articles | Comments

When you consider some of the challenges that manufacturers face across industries today — they’re unprecedented. The pressures of global supply and demand dynamics, supply chain complexities, disparate production locations and systems, regulations, and other factors have forced manufacturers to reevaluate operations and optimize them everywhere possible in order to remain competitive and profitable.

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Harnessing Big Data With A Systems Thinking Approach

January 15, 2014 9:23 am | by Tom Kadala, Founder and CEO of Alternative Technology Corporation | Articles | Comments

With 90 percent of the world’s data created in the last two years, what can we expect our data vaults to hold two or even twenty years from now? Companies who are hiring data scientists with the hopes of harnessing big data and data analytics' mythical promises are potentially making a huge mistake.

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Easy Cloud-Based Remote Monitoring

January 15, 2014 8:54 am | by Schneider Electric | Product Releases | Comments

Schneider Electric announced the US launch of OptiM2M, a new machine-to-machine application enabling users to remotely monitor machine data. The new application transfers and stores data coming from a group of machines in a high-security web cloud.

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