There were no sprinklers. No firewalls. No water deluge systems. Safety inspections were rare at the fertilizer company in West, Texas, that exploded and killed at least 14 people this week. This is not unusual. Small fertilizer plants nationwide fall under the purview of several government agencies, each with a specific concern and none required to coordinate with others on what they have found.
Kobe Steel Ltd. said Monday it has begun mass production at its aluminum forging plant in Jiangsu Province, China, after completing expansions to double its output capacity and add melting and casting processes. Kobe Steel said the 4.5 billion yen expansion was driven by a growing demand for aluminum automotive suspensions due to rapid growth in the Chinese automobile manufacture industry and a trend toward lighter vehicles.
A cement manufacturer in Lyons has agreed to pay a $1 million fine and to install controls to decrease its emissions of the pollutant nitrogen oxide, the U.S. Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday. The EPA had accused Cemex, Inc., which operates the Portland cement facility, of illegally modifying its Lyons plant in a way that increased the amount of nitrogen oxide the facility released.
A slowdown in the mining business is digging a hole in Caterpillar's profits. First-quarter profit shrank 45 percent. Caterpillar lowered its expectations for full year sales and profits because its mining business is slowing. Sales of Caterpillar-branded mining machines will drop by half this year, the company said on Monday.
Fiat Chairman John Elkann says the Italian carmaker's shift to premium models remains a valid strategy as European sales continue to plummet. Elkann said Friday that Fiat, which owns Chrysler, is proceeding with its plan to launch 17 higher-margin premium models for export by 2016 to revive stagnant Italian production lines.
A dozen investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board are inspecting the site of this week's fertilizer plant explosion in the Central Texas town of West. A spokeswoman for the federal agency that's charged with investigating chemical accidents says the group arrived in the small farming town on Thursday and was "inspecting the areas of impact" midday Friday.
Boeing says it will slow down production of its superjumbo 747-8 because of weak demand. Boeing builds two of the planes every month. It's slowing that rate to one and three-quarters per month. Boeing had warned that a slowdown was possible if demand didn't improve. Boeing has orders for 64 of the planes still to be built, including freighter and passenger versions.
Nissan is recalling more than 19,000 Nissan and Infiniti SUVs because a brake part can fail and make it harder for the driver to stop the car. The recall affects Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti JX SUVs from the 2013 model year. The automaker says an iron brake caliper part wasn't made properly and can crack or fail.
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is giving an auto parts maker $4.4 million in tax breaks and other incentives after the company agreed to add 300 jobs at its plant in eastern Illinois. The department said Thursday that North American Lighting Inc. will add the jobs at its plant in Paris as part of a $50 million expansion.
KB Home is teaming up with Ford Motor Co. in hopes of making energy efficiency a more compelling proposition to would-be homeowners who also drive hybrid and plug-in vehicles. The homebuilder-automaker partnership announced Friday doesn't involve any financial considerations, the companies said.
The Hydraulic Institute (HI), the global authority on pumps and pumping systems, announced the 2013 Board of Directors and Officers during its Annual Meeting recently held in Fort Myers, Florida. The new Board will be primarily responsible for providing organizational oversight to the Institute and guiding the direction of its strategic plan.
Penn Stainless Products has been certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard by National Quality Assurance, U.S.A. ISO 9001 is a family of standards for quality management systems maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The standard is recognized world-wide, identifying those that employ best practices and continuous improvement.
For the first time, a Lexus vehicle will be produced in the United States. The Lexus ES 350 will be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky in 2015, Toyota announced today. The move will generate 750 new jobs. To support the new dedicated assembly line, Toyota will invest $360 million in the Georgetown plant.
A Maine company that's developed high-tech tanks for the military and Hollywood has a new contraption — a ballistic police shield that sits atop a miniature, remote-controlled tank-like vehicle made to protect first responders. Brothers Mike and Geoff Howe said the "SWAT robot" keeps SWAT teams and other first responders safe.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration most recently inspected the Texas fertilizer plant that exploded Wednesday night in 1985. Records reviewed by The Associated Press show that OSHA issued the West Chemical & Fertilizer Co., as the plant was called at the time, a $30 fine for a serious violation for storage of anhydrous ammonia.