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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Official: Nothing Criminal In Propane Explosion

August 1, 2013 12:55 pm | by Mike Schneider, Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal and state investigators trying to determine what caused a series of explosions at a central Florida propane plant said they've uncovered nothing that indicates a crime was committed. Investigators inspected the Blue Rhino plant's 5-acre property and also interviewed some workers who were at the plant when a fireball erupted in a lot outside the plant's two warehouses, said Maj. Brandon Ball of the Division of State Fire Marshal.

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Halliburton To Plead Guilty In Gulf Oil Spill

August 1, 2013 12:53 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing on Sept. 19 for Halliburton Energy Services to plead guilty to destroying evidence after BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The company was arraigned Wednesday in New Orleans on a misdemeanor charge.

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Gun Maker Sturm Ruger Reports Soaring Sales

August 1, 2013 12:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. said Wednesday that second-quarter profit soared 79 percent on higher sales. The company's shares, which had already nearly doubled this year, climbed again in after-hours trading. The gun maker credited the "current political environment" for creating strong demand for guns.

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Bike Of The Future Travels The East Coast

August 1, 2013 12:32 pm | by The Associated Press | Videos | Comments

The ELF bike runs on both man power and solar power. It has been turning heads along the east coast as Mark Stewart rides it from North Carolina to Massachusetts. The ELF, or "Organic Transit Vehicle," can go for 1,800 miles on the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline.

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Battery Ventures Portfolio Company IST To Acquire Oldham

August 1, 2013 11:22 am | by Detcon | News | Comments

Battery Ventures portfolio company Industrial Safety Technologies (IST) has reached an agreement with Industrial Scientific Corporation for the proposed purchase of its Oldham fixed-point gas detection business.  Oldham provides a comprehensive portfolio of fixed system gas detection monitors and controllers and will be the fifth acquisition for IST since its inception in 2011. 

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Xantrex™ Matrix Inverters Replacement

August 1, 2013 11:12 am | by PSI Repair Services, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

PSI Repair Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries, introduced a new, cost-effective replacement today for obsolete Xantrex™ Matrix Inverters found in GE 1.5 MW S Series wind turbines. PSI’s replacement inverter is a form, fit and function solution with advanced fault detection and higher efficiency parts than the OEM design.

Take A Ride On A Real Tron Bike

August 1, 2013 8:04 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The first questions always ask if the bike is in fact real, and if it can actually be ridden. The answer is yes. Parker Brothers Concepts in Melbourne, Fla., have developed a futuristic, street-legal motorcycle that reaches speeds of 100 mph and can travel up to 80 miles on its 100 percent electric engine. 

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Driving An Ultra-Rare Classic Bugatti

August 1, 2013 8:03 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

French cars from the 1920s and 1930s are considered some of the most beautiful cars ever made. Worth more than a million dollars, this rare 1939 Bugatti may only have 170 horsepower but driving one is like driving a work of art.                 

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Inside Budweiser's Largest Brewery

August 1, 2013 8:02 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Take a look at how Anheuser-Busch Inbev brews and bottles dozens of brands of beer at its massive St. Louis brewery, in operation for over a century. The beer is still brewed how it was 100 years ago, but today's technology enables the company it to produce today's brews "very consistently and very well."

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Ford's Simulated Factory

August 1, 2013 8:01 am | by fordvideo1 | Videos | Comments

In preparation to build the Ford Fusion in Q3 2013, Flat Rock Assembly Plant is training its 1,400 new hires using a simulated factory to teach them vehicle assembly before the first U.S.-built Fusion rolls off the line. Ford announced last fall it will build the all-new Fusion in the U.S. and hire 1,400 new employees to meet surging demand for the award-winning vehicle.

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A Small Business Star To Be Born This Super Bowl

July 31, 2013 2:23 pm | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A small business star will be born during a commercial break in Super Bowl XLVIII. A company yet to be selected will have its own 30-second ad during the game, giving it the kind of exposure usually reserved for mega-brands like Budweiser and Chevrolet.

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Chrysler's 2Q Net Income Up Despite Growing Pains

July 31, 2013 2:20 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

America's third-largest automaker said Tuesday that its sales picked up in the second quarter thanks to strong U.S. demand for trucks and SUVs. But the company cut its target for full-year sales and profit, blaming persistent problems as it adds more shifts and ramps up production of vehicles like the Ram pickup and the Jeep Cherokee small SUV.

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Photo Of The Day: An Organic Transit Vehicle

July 31, 2013 2:17 pm | by Valerie Bonk, Associated Press | News | Comments

Mark Stewart turns quite a few heads as he zips through the streets on his neon green ELF bike. With each pedal, his feet take turns sticking out from the bottom while a gentle motor hums in the background. What he's driving looks like a cross between a bicycle and a car, the closest thing yet to Fred Flintstone's footmobile, only with solar panels and a futuristic shape.

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Blowout May Tip Regulator Focus To Shallow-Water

July 31, 2013 2:14 pm | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Last week's blowout on a natural gas rig off the Louisiana coast could shift regulators' focus to shallow-water drilling and make an overhaul of safety equipment regulations more likely. The rig, owned by Hercules Offshore and operated under contract to Walter Gas & Oil, spewed gas July 23 that eventually ignited. The fire damaged the Hercules 265, which was within days of wrapping up its drilling contract.

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Explosion Fuels Protests Of China Chemical Plants

July 31, 2013 2:12 pm | by Louise Watt, Associated Press | News | Comments

An explosion at a plant that produces the toxic chemical paraxylene has added to the growing opposition to such plants in China, on the same day a state-run newspaper prominently urged the public to accept the industry as safe. Tuesday's blast at the plant caused no chemical leaks, officials said, but environmental activists seized on the accident as a warning of potential problems at factories.

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Auto Supplier To Expand, Create Jobs In NC

July 31, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A worldwide supplier of automotive parts says it's expanding its manufacturing facility in Henderson County. Continental Automotive Systems said Wednesday it plans to create 40 jobs and invest more than $35 million over the next five years in Fletcher.

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Chain Of Explosions At Propane Gas Plant

July 31, 2013 11:57 am | by ABC News | Videos | Comments

At least eight people were injured in a blast at a Blue Rhino plant with 53,000 propane tanks on site. Tavares Fire Chief Richard Keith identified the possible causes Tuesday, but said sabotage was not suspected. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation into the Monday night incident at the Blue Rhino propane plant, as did the Florida State Fire Marshal's office.

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Klein Tools Doubles Its Pledged Donation to Operation Homefront

July 31, 2013 11:16 am | by Klein Tools | News | Comments

Operation Homefront has accepted a generous $50,000 donation from Klein Tools to support ongoing efforts to provide emergency financial aid and other assistance to military members and their families.Klein Tools, a leading U.S. hand tool manufacturer, originally pledged to donate $25,000 to Operation Homefront this year in conjunction with the company’s Limited Edition Camouflage Pliers Promotion.

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Explosions Rock FL Gas Plant

July 31, 2013 10:16 am | by Mike Schneider, Tamara Lush, Associated Press | News | Comments

Equipment malfunction and human error are among the possible causes of a series of explosions that spawned a 20-by-20 foot fireball at a central Florida propane plant and left eight injured, authorities said. Tavares Fire Chief Richard Keith identified the possible causes Tuesday, but said sabotage was not suspected.

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Report: U.S. Economic Growth Stronger In 2012

July 31, 2013 10:14 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The government says the U.S. economy grew at a much faster pace last year than previously estimated. The revised growth figures signal a more sustainable economic recovery and help explain why job growth has accelerated this year. The economy expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate in 2012, up from a previous estimate of 2.2 percent.

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