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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Angry Workers Unite On May Day

May 1, 2013 2:05 pm | by Mehmet Guzel, Suzan Fraser, Associated Press | News | Comments

Workers around the world united in anger during May Day rallies Wednesday — from fury in Europe over years of austerity measures that have cut wages, reduced benefits and eliminated many jobs altogether, to rage in Asia over relentlessly low pay, the rising cost of living and hideous working conditions that have left hundreds dead in recent months alone.

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U.S. Manufacturing Growing At A Slower Pace

May 1, 2013 2:03 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factory activity expanded at a slower pace in April, held back by weaker hiring and less company stockpiling. The report is the latest sign that economic growth may be slowing this spring. The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its index of manufacturing activity slipped to 50.7 last month.

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Amid Low Prices, Alcoa Weighs Production Cutbacks

May 1, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Alcoa Inc. said Wednesday that it might reduce production because of a slump that has cut aluminum prices by more than one-third since they peaked in 2011. The reduction could affect up to 11 percent of Alcoa's aluminum-smelting capacity, a cut of 460,000 tons of capacity. The company has already idled 13 percent of its capacity.

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Carpet Company Planning New GA Plants

May 1, 2013 2:00 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal says a carpet manufacturing company will open two plants in northwest Georgia and create about 2,400 jobs. Deal's spokesman Brian Robison confirmed Wednesday that Engineered Floors will build plants in Whitfield and Murray counties.

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The Next Killer Manufacturing Technology App

May 1, 2013 11:57 am | by IMTSTV | Videos | Comments

Today, there is an extensive amount of data produced relative to the manufacturing process.  However, this data is typically “trapped” in equipment used in the production of products or the operation of the facilities or it is recorded on paper where it cannot be easily analyzed. The purpose of MTConnect is to “unlock” this data and provide it in a format that can be used by software applications. 

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Why Parts Fail Workshop

May 1, 2013 10:40 am | by Reliability Center, Inc. | Events

This training provides an understanding of how it is possible to make order out of chaos when things go wrong. The workshop is designed to teach attendees how to identify failure modes by reading fracture surfaces of parts such as bearings, shafts, fasteners, seals, belts, and other materials to determine physical root causes. This will provide the answer(s) to "what happened."

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Ram Truck Demand Drives Chrysler Sales

May 1, 2013 10:18 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Strong demand for the Ram pickup truck helped drive Chrysler's sales up 11 percent last month as the company posted its best April in six years. The increase is another sign that Americans continue to buy cars and trucks despite high unemployment and mixed economic signals.

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China Automaker To Open CA Electric Bus Plant

May 1, 2013 10:16 am | by John Rogers, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Chinese company whose mantra is Build Your Dreams plans to build all-electric buses in California's Mojave Desert. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and officials of BYD Automotive scheduled a news conference Wednesday to announce plans to open the first Chinese-owned vehicle manufacturing plant in the United States in the wind-swept high-desert city 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

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Mayor: Blast-Damaged Texas Town Will Rebuild

May 1, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The mayor of a Texas town devastated by a deadly fertilizer plant explosion says he expects the community to rebuild and he'll do the same. West Mayor Tommy Muska said Tuesday that his hometown of about 2,700 has received donations from across the country since the April 17 accident.

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Jury Deliberates In IA Worker Abuse Case

May 1, 2013 10:12 am | by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press | News | Comments

A government attorney asked jurors Tuesday to award damages to 32 mentally disabled workers, saying they were subjected to around-the-clock discrimination by a Texas company that profited from their work at an Iowa turkey plant. qual Employment Opportunity Commission attorney Robert Canino said the former workers for Henry's Turkey Services suffered "broken lives" because of the conditions they endured.

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Nissan Cuts Prices On 7 U.S. Models

May 1, 2013 10:09 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Nissan is cutting prices on seven of its 18 models in the U.S., hoping its cars and trucks will show up in more Internet searches by shoppers. The price cuts vary with the amount of equipment on each model and run from 2.7 percent, or $580, on the top-selling Altima midsize car to 10.7 percent, or $4,400, on the Armada big SUV.

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Apple Sells $17B In Bonds In Record Deal

May 1, 2013 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple Inc. sold $17 billion in bonds Tuesday in a record deal spurred by the company's plan to placate its frustrated shareholders. The Cupertino, California-based company sold the bonds in its first debt issue since the 1990s to raise money to pass along to shareholders through dividend payments and stock buybacks.

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The Hidden Cost Of Summer Heat

May 1, 2013 8:05 am | by Megan Browning, Big Ass Fans® | Articles | Comments

Industrial facilities aren’t typically built with the comfort of workers as a top priority. High ceilings, large open spaces, and sizeable mechanical obstructions can make cooling manufacturing and warehousing spaces difficult. Uncomfortable working conditions lead to heat-related illnesses and decreased productivity, which negatively affect the bottom line of the business.

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Plant Maintenance Shutdown

May 1, 2013 8:00 am | by Grady Winston, Blogger & Entrepeneur | Articles | Comments

Think of a scheduled maintenance and plant shutdown project as spring cleaning on a huge scale. Also commonly known as a plant overhaul, the temporary shutdown of a production plant or factory is an enormous undertaking and one that requires careful and systematic planning prior to performing the task.

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Porsche 911, Viper Probed For Safety Problems

April 30, 2013 1:48 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. safety regulators are investigating coolant leaks in Porsche 911 sports cars that could cause roadway spills and send vehicles careening out of control, and complaints that a rear suspension part can fail on the iconic Dodge Viper muscle car.

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Power Company, Smelter Reach Tentative Deal

April 30, 2013 1:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A regional utility has reached a tentative agreement with an aluminum smelter on electric rates that would keep the facility in western Kentucky open. Media report that Henderson-based Big Rivers Electric Corp. and Hawesville-based Century Aluminum announced the agreement on Monday.

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GE Sues Utility As Dredging Restarts On Hudson

April 30, 2013 1:44 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Electric Co. said it sued a utility for a share of costs associated with the $1 billion-plus Superfund cleanup of the upper Hudson River on Monday, the day the fourth season of dredging began to remove contaminated sediment from the river.

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NE Lawmakers Debate Approaches To Wind Energy

April 30, 2013 1:42 pm | by Grant Schulte, Associated Press | News | Comments

Lawmakers have advanced a bill intended to attract more wind-energy companies to Nebraska as long as residents receive some of the benefits. The measure would make it easier for renewable energy firms to qualify for sales-tax exemptions under an existing state program — the Rural Community-Based Energy Development Act — that was created to encourage wind-energy projects.

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Heat, Air Conditioning Maker Expanding Dayton

April 30, 2013 1:41 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Goodman Manufacturing will expand its plant in Dayton, creating 200 new jobs. State and company officials announced Tuesday that Goodman is investing $2 million in the plant in Rhea County, which makes commercial and light commercial heating and air conditioning equipment.

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Brazil's Embraer Inks 30-Jet Deal With United

April 30, 2013 1:39 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Brazilian plane maker Embraer says it's signed a firm order with United Airlines for 30 regional jets. With the option for United to buy an additional 40 jets, Embraer says the deal could eventually be worth nearly $4 billion. The first planes are to be delivered in the first quarter of 2014.

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