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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Opening The Doors To Innovation

September 16, 2011 5:02 am | by Louise Rainone, Vice President of Marketing, PCDworks | Articles | Comments

Picture it. It was a rare but perfect sunny, 80-degree day in the city of Chicago and a 100 or so people gathered to talk about the future of innovation. Hailing from Texas -- where the temperature has exceeded the 100-degree mark for 60 days and counting -- what better way could I spend three days in August? I recently attended the 3rd Annual Open Innovation Summit at the Knickerbocker Hotel in the heart of Chicago’s Miracle Mile.

Manufacturing Technology Orders Up 102.9 Percent

September 16, 2011 5:01 am | Articles | Comments

July U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $506.97 million according to AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association, and AMT, The Association For Manufacturing Technology.  This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was up 7.3 percent from June and up 92.

Honeywell Boosts Copper, Tin Refining Capacity

September 15, 2011 9:21 am | News | Comments

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Honeywell International Inc. said Thursday that its electronic materials division will more than double its refining and casting capacity for high-purity copper and tin at one of its plants to meet rising demand from the semiconductor industry. Demand for high-purity copper for advanced chip designs continues to increase, the Morristown, N.

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House Passes Bill Targeting Boeing Labor Case

September 15, 2011 9:07 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-dominated House approved a bill Thursday that would undercut the government's labor dispute with Boeing Co., wading into a case that has angered business groups and become a major political issue in the GOP presidential primary. The measure, approved on a 238 to 186 vote, would ban the National Labor Relations Board from ordering any employer to shut down plants or relocate work, even if a company violates labor laws.

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August Consumer Prices Rose On Higher Food, Energy Costs

September 15, 2011 8:57 am | News | Comments

Consumer Prices Rose 0.4 Percent in August on Higher Food and Energy Costs The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4 percent in August, building on last month’s 0.5 percent increase . Once again, higher energy costs led the way, up 1.2 percent for the month.

Michigan Jobless Rate Up 0.3 Points To 11.2 Percent

September 15, 2011 8:51 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 11.2 percent in the latest monthly figures, the state announced Wednesday. The state's unemployment rate in August continued to exceed the nationwide rate, which was 9.1 percent in August, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

Detroit Three Extends Contract With UAW, Talks Continue

September 15, 2011 8:45 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Negotiations between General Motors, Chrysler and the United Auto Workers union continued Thursday even though bargainers missed a key deadline to agree on a new contract. The union, which represents 111,000 workers at Detroit's carmakers, agreed to keep working under the old GM and Chrysler contracts, which expired Wednesday at 11:59 p.

Nissan To Launch Reality TV Show

September 15, 2011 8:35 am | News | Comments

FRANKLIN, Tenn., Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA), in collaboration with Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) and Polyphony Digital Inc., today announced the premiere of GT Academy USA, a reality show that takes 16 Gran Turismo 5 gamers and gives them a chance to become a professional race car driver.

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GE Offers To Buy Back Shares From Berkshire Hathaway

September 14, 2011 9:37 am | News | Comments

General Electric Co. says it is offering to pay $3.3 billion to buy back preferred shares bought by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. during the depths of the financial crisis. GE said in a regulatory filing Tuesday that it has mailed its offer to Berkshire, which is based in Omaha, Nebraska.

Johnson Controls Invests In Batteries, China

September 14, 2011 9:24 am | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Johnson Controls Inc. said Wednesday that it will invest $100 million to build a plant in China that will produce vehicle batteries with start-stop technology. The plant will supply global and local automakers in Asia and is expected to begin production in early 2013.

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GE Says Gas Turbine Sales Returning

September 14, 2011 9:20 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. has received $1 billion in orders this year for turbines that burn natural gas to make electricity from customers in North America eager to take advantage of low natural gas prices. Natural gas prices in North America have been low and steady in recent years as drillers have learned to unlock vast amounts of natural gas once thought inaccessible in shale formations throughout the U.

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OH Regulators Hear Testimony On Controversial Utility "Tariffs"

September 14, 2011 9:16 am | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio utility regulators are preparing to hear testimony on a plan that would offer utility-bill breaks to businesses that create jobs. The idea of these "economic development tariffs" was pitched by the staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in July as a unique way to attract growing businesses to the struggling state.

Transportation Dept. Proposes Ban On E-Cigs For Airlines

September 14, 2011 9:03 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration Wednesday proposed banning the use of electronic cigarettes on airline flights, saying there is concern the smokeless cigarettes may be harmful. "Airline passengers have rights, and this new rule would enhance passenger comfort and reduce any confusion surrounding the use of electronic cigarettes in flight," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

Aircraft Supply Plant To Mean Hundreds Of SC Jobs

September 14, 2011 8:59 am | News | Comments

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — An aerospace supply firm is locating in South Carolina near the state's new Boeing 787 assembly plant and could eventually create as many as 350 jobs for the area. The InterTech Group said Wednesday its aerospace subsidiary, TIGHITCO (T-I-G-hit-co), will build a new plant in North Charleston.

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Feds Prepare To Release BP Oil Spill Report

September 14, 2011 4:52 am | News | Comments

A key federal report into what caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history was being readied for release as early as Wednesday amid revelations that BP made critical mistakes on the well and failed to tell its partners and the U.S. government when it realized it. An investigation team of the U.

Union, Automakers Continue Talks As Deadline Nears

September 14, 2011 4:42 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — United Auto Workers negotiators say they made progress with General Motors Co. during contract talks Tuesday night, but both sides are quickly approaching a deadline to reach new deals with GM and Chrysler Group LLC. The current four-year contracts expire at 11:59 p.

Bostik Explosion Results In Nearly $1M Fine

September 14, 2011 4:35 am | News | Comments

BOSTON (AP) -- The federal workplace safety agency has recommended $917,000 in fines for a Massachusetts adhesives manufacturer after an explosion there injured four workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday announced it had cited Bostik Inc. for what it alleged were 50 violations of workplace safety standards at its plant in Middleton.

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Beer Consumption Continues 4-Year Decline

September 14, 2011 4:30 am | News | Comments

NORWALK, Conn., Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For the fourth year in a row, the beer industry has continued its declines and lost 1.9% to total 2.8 billion cases. According to the Beverage Information Group's recently released 2011 Beer Handbook, continued declines in the Light segment continue to contribute to the overall losses in the industry.

Infiniti Could Share Mercedes Small-Car Platform

September 14, 2011 4:19 am | News | Comments

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The CEOs of Daimler and Renault-Nissan say their 18-month old partnership has avoided the mistakes that sank earlier industry tie-ups and could be expanded, including the likely use of Daimler vehicle architecture in a compact car from Nissan luxury brand Infiniti.

Dehumidifiers Recalled For Fire Risk

September 14, 2011 4:14 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Thousands of dehumidifiers are being recalled for a second time after being blamed for more house fires. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co. is again announcing a recall of Goldstar and Comfort-Aire dehumidifiers because they can pose a fire and burn hazard.

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