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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

IN Withdraws Support For Fertilizer Plant

May 20, 2013 9:57 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Indiana officials withdrew state backing Friday for a fertilizer plant over concerns about whether its Pakistan-based owners are doing enough at its overseas operations to keep the potentially explosive material from being used against U.S. troops.

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Manufacturing Gangnam Style

May 20, 2013 8:05 am | by Stacey Wagner, Manager, Workforce Systems Development, NIST MEP | Blogs | Comments

Baxter’s ability to work side by side with human counterparts has many people worried.  What if he and his robotic buddies stop dancing and take over all the manufacturing jobs?  What if people – and the wonderful human qualities they bring to manufacturing – become passé?

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Labor Productivity And Global Competiveness

May 20, 2013 8:00 am | by Simon Macpherson, Senior Director Operations, Kronos EMEA | Articles | Comments

When it comes to managing the workforce, very few industries are under more pressure than manufacturing. With tremendous price competition from developing countries and a world where products can be replicated across the globe and transported with ease, manufactures need to look at every aspect of their operations for competitive advantage and productivity improvements.

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Flying Car Prototypes Grounded After Crash

May 17, 2013 12:47 pm | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

The Transportation Safety Board says the U.S. manufacturer of flying cars has grounded all five of its prototypes until it can determine a cause for a recent crash in B.C. One of the Maverick flying cars crashed near a Vernon elementary school last week, leaving a pilot and a passenger with minor injuries.

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FL Gov. Signs Manufacturing Tax Break Into Law

May 17, 2013 12:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill that creates a tax break for the state's manufacturers. The governor made it official during a stop at a Tampa manufacturing firm. The measure (HB 7007) exempts manufacturers from having to pay sales taxes on equipment purchases for three years.

Cadillac Recalls SUVs In China

May 17, 2013 12:44 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's product safety agency says General Motors Co.'s main Chinese joint venture is recalling Cadillac SUVs to correct a problem with nuts that hold their wheels in place. The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said Friday that Shanghai GM will recall 2,653 imported Cadillac SRXs.

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CAT Purchase In China Gets Huge Price Cut

May 17, 2013 12:42 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Caterpillar will pay $135 million less for a Chinese mining equipment company after uncovering dodgy accounting practices that inflated its value. Caterpillar announced a non-cash $580 million charge earlier this year related to the sale after uncovering "accounting misconduct" during an internal investigation of ERA Mining Machinery Ltd. and its subsidiary Zhengzhou Siwei Mechanical & Electrical Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

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Problems Surface Over AZ's 2007 Immigration Law

May 17, 2013 12:41 pm | by Jacques Billeaud, Associated Press | News | Comments

The immigration debate in Arizona reached a boiling point in 2007 when the state passed a groundbreaking law targeting those often blamed with fueling the nation's border woes: Employers who hire immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

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Is It Possible to Bring Manufacturing Back to the U.S.?

May 17, 2013 12:33 pm | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, PD&D | News | Comments

In the press, “reshoring” is defined as the repatriation of manufacturing operations from a low-cost country, back to the home country. In Washington, it stands as the repatriation of manufacturing operations from China, back to the U.S. But in reality, according to Young, it is the transfer of “some manufacturing production from a low-cost country back to the home country or to another country, low-cost or not.”

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Small SUVs Struggle In Crash Test

May 17, 2013 12:30 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Five SUVs including the Hyundai Tuscon, Ford Escape, Kia Sportage, Buick Encore and Jeep Patriot earned poor ratings in a tough new crash test. Only two of 13 small SUVs performed well in front-end crash tests done by an insurance industry group, with several popular models faring poorly in the evaluations.

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Roof Recoating Enhances Workplace Safety

May 17, 2013 11:19 am | by Del Williams, technical writer | Articles | Comments

Many industrial facilities such as petrochemical plants must remain safely, efficiently operational with virtually no downtime, unplanned maintenance, or replacement for decades. To protect equipment from corrosion, traditionally three separate coatings are used, often in a zinc, epoxy, urethane combination. While this is common, it is far from optimal.

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Building U.S. Manufacturing Strength

May 17, 2013 11:19 am | Articles | Comments

Douglas K. Woods, President of The Association For Manufacturing Technology, discusses the state of U.S. manufacturing, job development, and what the industry can expect going forward. While today’s manufacturing industry is more sophisticated and high tech than ever before, he says, the industry still needs to address some critical issues to be successful in the future.

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Kentucky Plant To Add 100 Full-Time Jobs

May 17, 2013 11:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An auto parts maker is adding a new building and 100 full-time jobs to its operation in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC broke ground Wednesday on its second expansion since November. Gov. Steve Beshear's office said the company plans to add an 87,000-square-foot building with a capital investment of up to $66 million.

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Prosecutors Want Closer Monitoring Of Ex-Mamtek CEO

May 17, 2013 11:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Missouri prosecutors want a judge to let them keep closer tabs on the former head of a failed artificial sweetener plant in Moberly. Attorney General Chris Koster's office said Thursday it has filed a motion in St. Charles County Circuit Court seeking to monitor ex-Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole with a wearable GPS device.

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Alcoa To Cut 500 Canadian Jobs

May 17, 2013 11:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Aluminum smelter and parts-maker Alcoa said on Thursday that it will close down two production lines at a plant in Canada and cut about 500 jobs there because of lower aluminum prices. A major portion of a planned upgrade for the facility in Quebec is being pushed back by three years, to 2019, the company said.

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Labor Group: Apple Making Progress At Foxconn

May 17, 2013 11:18 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A labor group Apple Inc. joined to assess working conditions at three manufacturing plants in China, where its products are made, says conditions are improving. But employees are still working more hours than the country's legal limit. The Fair Labor Association said Thursday that Apple's largest supplier, Foxconn, has made all recommended improvements to working conditions that were due by the end of December.

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4-Month Strike At Peugeot Plant Ends

May 17, 2013 11:18 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A four-month strike at a car factory north of Paris has come to an end, although the workers say they will still fight a plan to close the plant. PSA Peugeot Citroen said Friday that it had signed an agreement with the CGT union to end the strike, which started in January. The CGT called the strike "suspended."

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Authorities: Crime Not Ruled Out In TX Blast

May 17, 2013 11:18 am | by Nomaan Merchant, Associated Press | News | Comments

Investigators working in the remnants of an exploded Texas fertilizer plant sifted by hand through untold kernels of corn, moved tons of debris and conducted more than 400 interviews, while searching for the missing piece to solve what many officials compared to an extraordinary puzzle. One month after a fire triggered a massive blast killing 15 people, officials on Thursday had to declare the cause of the blaze as "undetermined."

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Technical Support Competency

May 17, 2013 11:17 am | by Atlas Copco Compressors | Product Releases | Comments

The new central Technical Support Competency Group can provide support for in-depth technical inquiries from customers, distributors, and employees across the United States.

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LT-10 Lamp Tester

May 17, 2013 11:15 am | by Amprobe® | Product Releases | Comments

The one-button LT-10 can verify in seconds whether fluorescent bulbs are operational prior to installation or removal making it ideal for facility and property maintenance teams with a large number of fixtures to maintain.

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