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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Safety Rules Limited For Small Fertilizer Plants

April 22, 2013 10:11 am | by Jack Gillum, Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press | News | Comments

There were no sprinklers. No firewalls. No water deluge systems. Safety inspections were rare at the fertilizer company in West, Texas, that exploded and killed at least 14 people this week. This is not unusual. Small fertilizer plants nationwide fall under the purview of several government agencies, each with a specific concern and none required to coordinate with others on what they have found.

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Kobe Begins Mass Production At Expanded Plant

April 22, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Kobe Steel Ltd. said Monday it has begun mass production at its aluminum forging plant in Jiangsu Province, China, after completing expansions to double its output capacity and add melting and casting processes. Kobe Steel said the 4.5 billion yen expansion was driven by a growing demand for aluminum automotive suspensions due to rapid growth in the Chinese automobile manufacture industry and a trend toward lighter vehicles.

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Cement Maker Fined, To Cut Emissions At CO Plant

April 22, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A cement manufacturer in Lyons has agreed to pay a $1 million fine and to install controls to decrease its emissions of the pollutant nitrogen oxide, the U.S. Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday. The EPA had accused Cemex, Inc., which operates the Portland cement facility, of illegally modifying its Lyons plant in a way that increased the amount of nitrogen oxide the facility released.

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CAT 1Q Profit Shrank; Cuts 2013 Outlook

April 22, 2013 10:05 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A slowdown in the mining business is digging a hole in Caterpillar's profits. First-quarter profit shrank 45 percent. Caterpillar lowered its expectations for full year sales and profits because its mining business is slowing. Sales of Caterpillar-branded mining machines will drop by half this year, the company said on Monday.

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Silicon Valley Has Nothing On Manufacturing

April 22, 2013 8:05 am | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, Product Design & Development | Blogs | Comments

Manufacturing floors don’t have Lego stations and pool tables – and yes, OSHA may take issue with throwing empty cans from the mini bar into the same bin as the scrap metal from the lathe, but that doesn’t mean that the industry has any fewer engineers flocking to it.

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Five Common Chemical Irritants In The Workplace

April 22, 2013 8:00 am | by Grady Winston, Blogger & Entrepeneur | Blogs | Comments

Industrial work environments requiring physical labor pose a variety of risk. Injuries can occur from lifting, straining or moving, but also from contact with irritants and chemicals in the warehouse or distribution center. The safety and security of employees should be the number one priority of any business.

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Fiat Sticks To Focus On Premium Models

April 19, 2013 4:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Fiat Chairman John Elkann says the Italian carmaker's shift to premium models remains a valid strategy as European sales continue to plummet. Elkann said Friday that Fiat, which owns Chrysler, is proceeding with its plan to launch 17 higher-margin premium models for export by 2016 to revive stagnant Italian production lines.

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Federal Inspectors At Scene Of Texas Blast

April 19, 2013 4:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A dozen investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board are inspecting the site of this week's fertilizer plant explosion in the Central Texas town of West. A spokeswoman for the federal agency that's charged with investigating chemical accidents says the group arrived in the small farming town on Thursday and was "inspecting the areas of impact" midday Friday.

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Boeing Slows 747 Production On Weak Demand

April 19, 2013 4:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing says it will slow down production of its superjumbo 747-8 because of weak demand. Boeing builds two of the planes every month. It's slowing that rate to one and three-quarters per month. Boeing had warned that a slowdown was possible if demand didn't improve. Boeing has orders for 64 of the planes still to be built, including freighter and passenger versions.

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Nissan Recalls SUVs To Fix Brake Problem

April 19, 2013 4:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nissan is recalling more than 19,000 Nissan and Infiniti SUVs because a brake part can fail and make it harder for the driver to stop the car. The recall affects Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti JX SUVs from the 2013 model year. The automaker says an iron brake caliper part wasn't made properly and can crack or fail.

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IL Auto Parts Maker Gets State Help To Expand

April 19, 2013 4:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is giving an auto parts maker $4.4 million in tax breaks and other incentives after the company agreed to add 300 jobs at its plant in eastern Illinois. The department said Thursday that North American Lighting Inc. will add the jobs at its plant in Paris as part of a $50 million expansion.

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KB Home, Ford Team Up On Energy Efficiency

April 19, 2013 4:02 pm | by Alex Veiga, AP Real Estate Writer | News | Comments

KB Home is teaming up with Ford Motor Co. in hopes of making energy efficiency a more compelling proposition to would-be homeowners who also drive hybrid and plug-in vehicles. The homebuilder-automaker partnership announced Friday doesn't involve any financial considerations, the companies said.

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Chinese Cars Still In The Slow Lane To Global Market

April 19, 2013 4:02 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

China's auto market is the biggest and most important in the world today says Reuters' Jane Lanhee Lee. The world's largest auto market is their playground, and now China's carmakers have set their sights overseas. The president of market research group J.D. Power discusses their prospects.

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Hydraulic Institute Announces 2013 Board Of Directors, Officers

April 19, 2013 4:02 pm | News | Comments

The Hydraulic Institute (HI), the global authority on pumps and pumping systems, announced the 2013 Board of Directors and Officers during its Annual Meeting recently held in Fort Myers, Florida. The new Board will be primarily responsible for providing organizational oversight to the Institute and guiding the direction of its strategic plan.

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Penn Stainless Products Certified To ISO 9001:2008

April 19, 2013 4:01 pm | by Penn Stainless Products | News | Comments

Penn Stainless Products has been certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard by National Quality Assurance, U.S.A.  ISO 9001 is a family of standards for quality management systems maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).  The standard is recognized world-wide, identifying those that employ best practices and continuous improvement.

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Ergonic Screwdrivers

April 19, 2013 3:58 pm | by Bondhus Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

Ergonic screwdrivers feature a space-age handle that conforms to the tool user’s hand.

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SmartView Upgrade

April 19, 2013 3:51 pm | by Fluke | Product Releases | Comments

For customers who currently own or will purchase a Ti1XX Series Thermal Imager and CNX modules, there is a free, user-installable firmware upgrade within SmartView® software that enables the thermal imager to capture and display electrical measurements wirelessly.

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Mobile Tracking

April 19, 2013 3:47 pm | by Parker Hannifin | Product Releases | Comments

Parker says it is bringing the convenience and accessibility of its Parker Tracking System to end users with the launch of PTS Mobile.

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Self-Powered Combination Lock

April 19, 2013 3:46 pm | by Kaba Mas | Product Releases | Comments

The X-10 is a self-powered combination lock using Kaba's PowerStar™ technology and is impervious to external manipulation and environmental attack, says the company.

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Portable Cooling

April 19, 2013 3:41 pm | by Schaefer | Product Releases | Comments

With up to a 20 degree temperature reduction, the portable unit can be strategically placed where it matters most.

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