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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

Testo Launches Member Benefit Program

January 15, 2014 8:38 am | by Testo Inc. IMPO Product Releases | Comments

 The Team Testo Program is a member benefit program that offers distinct professional privileges such as important industry related news, best practices to help grow your business, special offers on Testo products, as well as product training and application support through a knowledged-base network of articles and how-to videos.

U.S. Import Prices Drop, Export Prices Rise In December

January 14, 2014 2:02 pm | by Bureau of Labor Statistics | News | Comments

U.S. import prices recorded no change in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, following declines of 0.9 percent in November and 0.6 percent in October. In December, higher fuel prices offset declining nonfuel prices. U.S. export prices advanced 0.4 percent in December, after edging up 0.1 percent the previous month.

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Durango Added To Jeep Grand Cherokee Fire Probe

January 14, 2014 1:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. safety regulators are adding the Dodge Durango to an investigation of ceiling fires in Jeep Grand Cherokees. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the probe now covers more than 593,000 SUVs from the 2011 through 2013 model years.

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GM Global Sales Hit 9.7M Last Year, Beats VW

January 14, 2014 1:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors sold 9.71 million cars and trucks last year, probably not enough to beat out Toyota for the global sales crown, but about 2 million better than Volkswagen. Toyota, the sales champion in 2012, will report its sales next week. It only needs to show a little growth to beat GM again.

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Governor: Auto Production Rebounding In Michigan

January 14, 2014 1:51 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Republican governor told reporters Tuesday at the North American International Auto Show that the improving numbers reflect both a resurgent industry and improving state economy. He says auto suppliers are "reconsolidating" operations in Michigan and the automakers themselves are bringing production back from places such as Mexico.

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Boehner: Need Better Enforcement Of Safety Rules

January 14, 2014 1:49 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

House Speaker John Boehner is suggesting that the Obama administration needs to do a better job of enforcing safety regulations designed to protect the public against disasters like the chemical spill into West Virginia's drinking water supply.  

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Google Invests $75M In Texas Wind

January 14, 2014 1:46 pm | by Industrial Maintenance and Plant Operation | News | Comments

Google today announced that it has finalized an agreement to invest $75 million in the Panhandle 2 wind farm, which will be located outside of Amarillo, Texas. Pattern Energy Group LP will develop the 182MW facility, which generates enough electricity to power 56,000 U.S. homes.

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Boeing Confirms New 787 Battery Incident

January 14, 2014 1:43 pm | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Boeing is confirming an incident with a battery on a Japan Airlines 787, in a reminder of the problems that grounded the plane for three months last year. Boeing says it appears that a single battery cell "vented," or released gas. It was discovered during scheduled maintenance on the ground at Tokyo's Narita airport on Tuesday. 

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