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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Renault's COO Steps Down Unexpectedly

August 29, 2013 12:49 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

French carmaker Renault has announced that its chief operating officer, Carlos Tavares, is unexpectedly stepping down to pursue personal projects. Spokeswoman Raluca Barb said Thursday that Tavares is not leaving the company, but she would not give any more details.

IEPA OKs Work At Fire-Damaged Plant

August 29, 2013 12:47 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency says limited manufacturing may resume at a fire-damaged northern Illinois chemical plant. Agency officials and attorney general's office gave the approval Wednesday for the Nova-Kem plant in the town of Seward, about 18 miles west of Rockford.

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Decision On Site For Big Fertilizer Plant Delayed

August 29, 2013 12:45 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The company planning to build a new $1.2 billion fertilizer plant in either Iowa or Illinois is delaying a decision on the location. David Lundy is a spokesman for Cronus Chemical LLC. He told The Associated Press Thursday that the company has pushed its decision back "several weeks" over engineering issues and how those issues affect building costs.

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TN Cheesemaker MDS Foods Plans New Plant

August 29, 2013 12:43 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Cheesemaker MDS Foods Inc. plans to build an expanded production facility in Manchester. The Tullahoma News reports that a 58,000-square-foot facility will be constructed over two phases. Coffee County industrial board executive director Ted Hackney says employment is expected to grow from 41 to about 70 in the next few years.

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Walmart's Plan Sells 'American Made'

August 29, 2013 12:33 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Walmart SVP Michelle Gloeckler explains her company's $50 billion effort to sell more American made goods over the next ten years. Even if Walmart is successful in getting key retailers and suppliers on board, experts say it won't rejuvenate the U.S. manufacturing industry. But the movement could help stem the tide of jobs flowing to China and elsewhere that has been occurring in the last two decades.

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Ford Fusion Now Made In U.S.

August 29, 2013 12:28 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

For the first time, Ford Fusion vehicles are being built just outside Detroit, a positive sign that the automotive industry is bringing production back to the United States. The company's Flat Rock, Mich., plant near Detroit will start making the Fusion Thursday. Ford hired a second shift of 1,400 new workers to make the Fusion at the plant, which also makes the Mustang sports car.

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Cheetah Robot Hits The Ground Running

August 29, 2013 8:04 am | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

'Cheetah Cub' is a robot being developed by scientists in Switzerland, to one day assist in search and rescue missions. The machine does not yet have a head, but otherwise looks and runs like a cat, to go into places inaccessible or too dangerous for humans. Reuters' Jim Drury has more.

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Mini Cooper Paceman: Roomy, Nimble, Fun

August 29, 2013 8:03 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The new Mini Cooper Paceman is a two-door crossover SUV that features a turbo-charged engine, four-wheel drive, and a spacious interior. While it could be considered a "less practical, SUV," losing two doors completely changes the character of the vehicle, says CNN's Peter Valdes-Dapena.

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Train Shines Light On Self-Contained Solar Power

August 29, 2013 8:02 am | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

A nature reserve in central Hungary has become a testing ground for self-contained, solar-powered train travel. Engineers say the narrow gauge train is the first of its kind and could become a template for larger train transport systems. Reuters' Matthew Stock reports.

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Nissan EVP Talks Self-Driving Cars

August 29, 2013 8:01 am | by NissanNewsroom | Videos | Comments

Nissan announced that the company's engineers have been carrying out intensive research on the technology for years, alongside teams from the world's top universities, including MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Tokyo. Executive Vice President Andy Palmer gives all the details on Nissan's 20-20 vision.

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Nissan Announces Autonomous Drive Plan By 2020

August 28, 2013 3:45 pm | by NissanNewsroom | Videos | Comments

Nissan announces a 2020 autonomous drive timetable for bringing the high-technology cars to global markets. Nissan announced that the company's engineers have been carrying out intensive research on the technology for years, alongside teams from the world's top universities, including MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Tokyo.

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Nissan Pledges To Make Self-Driving Cars By 2020

August 28, 2013 2:28 pm | by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co. says it will make cars that drive themselves by 2020. The Japanese automaker made the pledge Tuesday at an event in California. CEO Carlos Ghosn has said before that he wants Nissan to be the first to sell self-driving cars. But Tuesday's announcement was more specific.

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Advice For Small Biz: Take Stock, Take Risks

August 28, 2013 2:26 pm | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The economy is showing signs of life and that makes it a good time for small business owners to re-evaluate how they are running their companies. Now that crisis mode has passed, owners need to make sure they're ready to take advantage of growth opportunities on the horizon. Experts say it's time for owners to think about taking some risks and to make sure that they are taking care of employees.

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$1.5B Fertilizer Plant In ND On Course

August 28, 2013 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A group planning a $1.5 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant in northeastern North Dakota has secured a supply of natural gas and is in the process of buying a site. Northern Plains Nitrogen Chairman Darin Anderson said the company is buying land next to Grand Forks' municipal sewage lagoons north of the city and east of Interstate 29, the Grand Forks Herald reported.

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Sheen Seen On River Near Delaware City Refinery

August 28, 2013 2:21 pm | by Randall Chase, Associated Press | News | Comments

State environmental officials on Wednesday were investigating an oil spill at a refinery that left a sheen floating on the Delaware River. The refinery in Delaware City, operated by PBF Energy, reported the release about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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Expanding IL Tire Plant Gets New Rail Spur

August 28, 2013 2:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

One of southern Illinois' biggest employers now has a new railroad spur as it presses ahead with a $129-million expansion it says will add 100 jobs by mid-2015. The $1.1 million spur paid for by Illinois taxpayers was unveiled Tuesday at the 3,000-worker Continental Tire the Americas site that produces more than 14 million tires a year in Mount Vernon.

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Bombardier In Talks With Russia On Aircraft Deal

August 28, 2013 2:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Canada's Bombardier has signed a preliminary agreement with a Russian state corporation for the purchase of as many as 100 Q400 NextGen aircraft in a deal that could be worth up to $3.39 billion. The Montreal-based plane and train manufacturer said the deal with Rostekhnologii also includes the possibility of setting up a Q400 NextGen final assembly line in Russia to complement its Toronto operations.

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Signs Of Life In China's Factories, But For How Long?

August 28, 2013 2:11 pm | by Reuters TV | Videos | Comments

A leading indicator shows a fresh spike in manufacturing activity, but with debt pressures lingering and the country on a slower growth track, economists remain cautious on China's outlook. China's manufacturing slowdown stabilized in August in another possible sign the world's second-largest economy is improving, a survey showed.

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Labor Rules To Boost Employment For Vets, Disabled

August 28, 2013 10:09 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

Veterans and disabled workers who often struggle to find work could have an easier time landing a job under new federal regulations. The rules will require most government contractors to set a goal of having disabled workers make up 7 percent of their employees. 

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U.S. Buying F-35 Engines From Pratt & Whitney

August 28, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

United Technologies Corp. said Tuesday that its Pratt & Whitney unit will deliver 38 jet engines to the Defense Department for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Besides the engines, Pratt & Whitney will also provide engineering support, spare parts and other services.

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