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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

At Least 30 Injured In LA Plant Explosion

June 13, 2013 2:20 pm | by Stacey Plaisance Associated Press | News | Comments

Ambulances and helicopters took at least 30 people from a burning chemical plant after an explosion Thursday in Louisiana, officials said. Early tests did not indicate dangerous levels of any chemicals around the plant in Geismar, southeast of Baton Rouge, but area residents were told to remain indoors with doors and windows closed, said Jean Kelly, spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Quality.

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Voice-Operated Dashboard Technology Still Risky

June 13, 2013 2:18 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Dashboard technology that lets drivers text and email with voice commands — marketed as a safer alternative — actually is more distracting than simply talking on a cellphone, a new AAA study found. Automakers have been trying to excite new-car buyers, especially younger ones, with dashboard infotainment systems that let drivers use voice commands to do things like turning on windshield wipers, posting Facebook messages or ordering pizza.

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FEMA Denies Aid For TX Fertilizer Plant Blast

June 13, 2013 2:13 pm | by Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is refusing to provide additional money to help rebuild the small Texas town where a deadly fertilizer plant explosion leveled numerous homes and a school, and killed 15 people. According to a letter obtained by The Associated Press, FEMA said it reviewed the state's appeal to help but decided that the explosion "is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration."

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Cooper CEO Says Buyer Committed To U.S. Operations

June 13, 2013 2:09 pm | by John Seewer, Associated Press | News | Comments

A tire maker whose main market is in India is buying Ohio's Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. for $2.2 billion and making a commitment to maintain the company's three U.S. manufacturing plants and retain its management operation in Ohio, Cooper's chief executive said Wednesday.

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Chrysler Recalling 6,900 Heavy-Duty 2012 Trucks

June 13, 2013 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler Group is recalling 6,900 heavy-duty Ram pickup trucks from the 2012 model year because part of the front axle could fracture and cause them to lose power. The automaker said Wednesday that the front prop shaft, which connects the engine to the axle, can bind or fracture.

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GM's Opel Unit To Start Building Cars In Belarus

June 13, 2013 2:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors Co.'s European Opel unit says it will start assembling cars for Russia and other eastern markets in Belarus next year. Germany-based Opel said GM signed an agreement Thursday to start building its Corsa model at facilities owned by partner Unison in Belarus. The cars will be sold in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

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Renault Seeks Change Of Mood With Electric Car

June 13, 2013 12:33 pm | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

Renault hopes its eye-catching all-electric concept car, Twin'Z, can help persuade drivers who refuse to embrace alternative fuel technology to change their minds. Like other all electric vehicles, the Twin'Z is limited in its power and range so the French auto maker is focusing instead on sheer visual pizzazz to reel in the skeptics.

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Kaeser Opens New Factory-Direct Facility

June 13, 2013 11:53 am | by Kaeser Compressors, Inc. | News | Comments

Kaeser Compressors, Inc., a leading worldwide manufacturer of industrial air compressors, blowers, and related equipment, opened a new factory-direct facility to support Kaeser's industrial and commercial customers in the greater Philadelphia area.

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June 2013: Toshiba, Made In America

June 13, 2013 10:49 am | Digital Editions | Comments

In this issue, check out the 2013 Jobs Report, which feature's American-made Toshiba HEV engines, veterans in today's skilled labor jobs, the latest industry numbers, how manufacturers can take back American-made, and more.

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Firefighting Robot Paints 3D Thermal Images

June 13, 2013 8:04 am | by UCSDRobotics | Videos | Comments

This project integrates infrared and RGB imagery to produce dense 3D environment models reconstructed from multiple views. The resulting 3D map contains both thermal and RGB information which can be used in robotic fire-fighting applications to identify victims and active fire areas.

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Apparel Brands Look To New Asian Frontiers

June 13, 2013 8:03 am | by Reuters TV | Videos | Comments

Attention shoppers: Southeast Asia is the emerging hotspot for apparel manufacturing, with cost and safety concerns driving global brands to shift sourcing from stalwarts China and Bangladesh. Today, countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia are making clothing for some big brands.

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U.S.-China Summit Shows Two Powers 'In The Same Boat'

June 13, 2013 8:02 am | by Reuters TV | Videos | Comments

A successful weekend summit between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping points to the countries boosting cooperation on issues from North Korea to China's alleged cyber theft, says one Chinese academic. U.S. officials now say that China is ready to begin working more closely with the U.S. on these big issues.

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Driverless Car Steering Course To Road-Readiness

June 13, 2013 8:01 am | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

Researchers at Carnegie Melon University are putting the finishing touches on their version of a driverless car that, they say, lays the groundwork for computers to replace humans in the driver seat within a decade and will make roads safer. Reuters' Ben Gruber went for a ride.

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U.S. Chief Executives More Optimistic About Hiring

June 12, 2013 1:41 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Chief executives for the largest U.S. companies are more optimistic about sales over the next six months and plan to add more workers. The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that its April-June quarterly survey found 32 percent of its members expect to expand payrolls in the next six months.

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GM Tells Analysts It's Making Progress On Costs

June 12, 2013 1:39 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors says it's making progress cutting costs to improve profit margins. The company's product development chief, Mary Barra, tells analysts GM is saving money by using the same parts on many vehicles. It also has moved parts suppliers closer to factories to cut shipping costs.

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Fiat: Supplier Delays Will Force Shutdowns

June 12, 2013 1:36 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Italian carmaker Fiat says it will temporarily stop production at some European car plants in the coming days due to insufficient deliveries of plastic parts. Fiat said in a statement Wednesday that more than 5,500 vehicles can't be completed due to missing components from the Italian supplier Selmat, creating an "unmanageable" backlog.

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Fukushima Plant Steps Closer To Fuel-Rod Removal

June 12, 2013 1:33 pm | by Malcolm Foster, Associated Press | News | Comments

Plant chief Takeshi Takahashi told journalists given a tour of the plant Wednesday that workers have cleaned up much of the debris in their work areas, but that the priorities are keeping the plant stable and working toward shutting it down — a process that operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. estimates will take 40 years.

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BP: U.S. Oil Production Surged In 2012

June 12, 2013 1:30 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BP says the United States saw its biggest-ever annual increase in oil production in 2012, while the world's demand for energy grew at a slower pace than the year before. In its annual Statistical Review of World Energy released Wednesday, BP PLC says the U.S. produced 8.9 million barrels a day, up 13.9 percent from 2011.

Glaxo Fires Worker Over Misrepresented Study Data

June 12, 2013 1:27 pm | News | Comments

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC says it dismissed one employee and a second has resigned in the wake of a scandal over misrepresented data in a research paper published in 2010. The company says its investigation of recent allegations of questionable data has established that some information in the paper had been misrepresented.

U.S. Economy Graded A 'B'

June 12, 2013 12:00 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian says uncertainty is keeping the United States economy from growing faster, but we're still doing better than the rest of the world. El-Erain discusses the factors behind economic growth and what's holding it back.

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