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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Glenwood Springs Plastics Company Shutting Down

June 18, 2013 2:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A manufacturer of high-tech plastic parts for everything from skateboards to jet engine components, which was touted in 2011 as one of the Colorado companies to watch by a state agency and investors, has called it quits. Fiberforge co-founder Jon Fox-Rubin said the company based in Glenwood Springs struggled to become profitable with a broad range of offerings, but couldn't make it successful.

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VT, Quebec Announce Electric Car Corridor

June 18, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Starting this fall, people who drive electric vehicles should be able to travel the 138-mile route between Burlington, Vt. and Montreal without worrying they'll run short of a charge thanks to a planned electric vehicle charging corridor, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and Quebec Premier Pauline Marois announced in Montreal.

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Gevo Restarts Isobutanol Production At MN Plant

June 18, 2013 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gevo, which makes fuels and chemicals from plant matter, has restarted commercial production of isobutanol at its plant in Luverne, Minn. Isobutanol is an alternative to ethanol that is blended into fuel. Gevo Inc. CEO Patrick Gruber said that there was some microbial contamination at the plant that the company has since learned how to control and manage.

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Smithfield Foods Lays Off 120 More At VA Plant

June 18, 2013 2:02 pm | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Smithfield Foods Inc. said Tuesday that it is laying off 120 more workers as part of its previously announced closure of a Virginia facility that makes hot dogs and deli meat. The Smithfield, Va.-based pork producer plans to close the Portsmouth plant in the middle of August, said Jeff Gough, Smithfield's senior vice president for human resources.

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GE CEO: China Will Drive Energy Tech

June 18, 2013 12:46 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Fossil fuels are still the number one energy source. Andy Serwer, managing editor for Fortune asks GE what that means for the company today, as well as five years from now. At the Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu, China, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt says that future energy development will be focused in China.

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SDI Intelligrated To Host Students From Brazil

June 18, 2013 10:53 am | by SDI Intelligrated | News | Comments

SDI Intelligrated, a joint venture in São Paulo, Brazil between Intelligrated® and SDI Group USA, announces that it will host three interns from Brazil in the U.S. this summer as part of a scholarship program sponsored by the Brazilian government for the country’s top students. The interns will be hosted in St. Louis and gain experience in engineering.

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Chrysler Expected To Formally Refuse Jeep Recall

June 18, 2013 10:14 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

In one of the biggest-ever showdowns between an automaker and the government, Chrysler on Tuesday is expected to file papers explaining its refusal to recall 2.7 million older Jeep SUVs that are at risk of catching fire in rear-end collisions.

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TX Governor Woos Disgruntled CT Gun Makers

June 18, 2013 10:12 am | by Stephen Singer, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Texas Gov. Rick Perry extolled the tax policies and regulatory climate of his state as he courted gun manufacturers that have threatened to leave Connecticut since the state passed new gun-control laws in response to the Newtown school massacre.

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Lawmakers: Put Dangerous Chemical Site Info Online

June 18, 2013 10:10 am | by Will Weissert, Associated Press | News | Comments

There are 16 fertilizer production sites in Texas like the one that exploded in West, but authorities aren't clear how many of those might be located near schools or other residential centers, top state officials said Monday. Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy testified before the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee.

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Lego To Expand Czech Facility To Meet Demand

June 18, 2013 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Danish toymaker Lego says it will expand a factory in the Czech Republic and create some 800 jobs to meet growing regional demand for its popular building blocks. Carsten Rasmussen of Lego's European packing division did not reveal the size of the investment except to say it was "a large two-digit million euro figure."

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EU Official: Trade Deal With U.S. A 'Game-Changer'

June 18, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The top official with the European Union's executive arm says a free trade deal with the United States would be a "game-changer" for the global economy. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso made the statement Monday ahead of a formal launch of the trade effort at the Group of Eight Summit in Northern Ireland.

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U.S. Official: Solar Plane To Help Ground Energy Use

June 18, 2013 10:06 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The plane parked outside the airport looks more like a giant exotic insect or maybe an outsized toy. When it's in flight, there's no roar of engines. It's strangely quiet. And as it crisscrosses the U.S., the spindly plane doesn't use a drop of fuel. Day, and even night, it flies on the power of the sun.

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Developing A Workforce

June 18, 2013 8:06 am | by Maria Ferrante, Vice President, Education & Workforce Development, PMMI | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers are on the cusp of a major generational shift. Baby Boomers are preparing to retire out of the workforce, and Gen Y is poised to replace them. However, several obstacles are preventing a seamless transition of Gen Y-ers into these soon-to-be vacant roles.

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U.S. Gave Up On Manufacturing For Short Term Profits

June 18, 2013 8:05 am | by PD&D | Articles | Comments

Bio-Chem Fluidics' new Vice President of Operations, Joe Turiello, says that the United States on the whole seems way too willing to give up its manufacturing capabilities for short term profits. PD&D caught up with Turiello to talk to him about his new position, the future of Bio-Chem, and his thoughts on the industry.

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We Need More Vocational Training

June 17, 2013 4:54 pm | by Mike Collins, author of Saving American Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

The concept of “everyone should go to college” is finally being questioned, which I think is long overdue. In fact, the U.S. Labor Department says that most jobs (69 percent in 2010) don’t require a post high school degree.To get an idea of what the economy is going to offer in the next ten years, look for the Labor Department chart titled “Occupations with the largest job growth, 2010 and projected 2020.”

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KPMG: Global Manufacturers Lack Supply Chain Visibility Beyond Tier 1 Suppliers

June 17, 2013 4:51 pm | by KPMG LLP | Articles | Comments

Global manufacturers are putting their supply chains at the center of their business strategies to serve as the foundation for operational efficiency and collaborative innovation, according to KPMG’s 4th annual Global Manufacturing Outlook: Competitive Advantage – Enhancing Supply Chain Networks for Efficiency and Innovation, which surveyed 335 C-level executives globally, including 95 in the U.S.

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An Easy Reach: Industrial Ergonomics

June 17, 2013 4:45 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Ergonomics can be thought of as much like a dinner table setting: Everything should be in easy reach and no one should have to reach too far or stretch into an unnatural position to get at what they need, says Ed Metzger, president of BioFit. “By ensuring that workers have the freedom to move comfortably and naturally, companies can prevent many of the musculoskeletal injuries and fatigue that leads to lost time and productivity.”

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Competitive Edge

June 17, 2013 4:40 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Manufacturing in America isn’t as simple as just setting up shop and producing a product. Nowadays, a globally networking economy means competition has taken on more nuance: labor rates are eroded by low cost countries, which results in lower cost imported goods and an ever-sloping playing field.

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The Latest Numbers

June 17, 2013 4:35 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

U.S. manufacturing lost over 2 million jobs between December 2007 and December 2009 — 17 percent of its workforce. While the U.S. hasn’t yet regained all of those jobs lost from the sector, about 12 million Americans are employed in manufacturing today. “Since the recession, manufacturing has been the driver for recovery and continuous economic growth,” says Douglas K. Woods, AMT president.

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Veterans Get Skills to Work

June 17, 2013 3:44 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

The veteran unemployment problem is a nuanced one. According to DoSomething.org, the country’s largest not-for-profit for young people and social change, the unemployment rate for veterans is three percent higher than that of the general population — with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) cited as the leading cause.

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