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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Obama To Announce Manufacturing Institute In N.C.

January 15, 2014 9:53 am | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press

The White House said Obama will announce Wednesday in Raleigh that a consortium of 18 business and six universities, led by North Carolina State University, has been chosen to lead a manufacturing innovation institute to develop next-generation power electronics. It's the first of three such hubs that Obama called for in his State of the Union address last year.

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Beet Plant Shut For Inspection After Worker Death

January 15, 2014 9:51 am | by The Associated Press

The Western Sugar Cooperative has shut down its sugar beet processing plant in Lovell while federal and state regulators inspect the facility following a fatal accident. Twenty-eight-year-old worker Anfesa Galaktionoff died Jan. 4 after she apparently fell into a piece of equipment that carries sugar beets into the factory.

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Alcoa Finishes $300M Expansion At Iowa Plant

January 15, 2014 9:47 am | by The Associated Press

The expansion of the plant in Davenport, Iowa, reflects four years of strong vehicle sales increases — U.S. auto sales rose 8 percent to 15.6 million in 2013 — and growing use of lightweight aluminum for better fuel mileage in some models.

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Head Of Puget Sound's Boeing Machinists Retiring

January 15, 2014 9:40 am | by The Associated Press

The head of Puget Sound-area Boeing machinists, Tom Wroblewski, announced Tuesday night that he's retiring at the end of January citing health concerns and the recent stress of negotiations over a contract to build the new 777X jet.      

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U.S. Import Prices Drop, Export Prices Rise In December

January 14, 2014 2:02 pm | by Bureau of Labor Statistics

U.S. import prices recorded no change in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, following declines of 0.9 percent in November and 0.6 percent in October. In December, higher fuel prices offset declining nonfuel prices. U.S. export prices advanced 0.4 percent in December, after edging up 0.1 percent the previous month.

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Durango Added To Jeep Grand Cherokee Fire Probe

January 14, 2014 1:58 pm | by The Associated Press

U.S. safety regulators are adding the Dodge Durango to an investigation of ceiling fires in Jeep Grand Cherokees. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the probe now covers more than 593,000 SUVs from the 2011 through 2013 model years.

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GM Global Sales Hit 9.7M Last Year, Beats VW

January 14, 2014 1:54 pm | by The Associated Press

General Motors sold 9.71 million cars and trucks last year, probably not enough to beat out Toyota for the global sales crown, but about 2 million better than Volkswagen. Toyota, the sales champion in 2012, will report its sales next week. It only needs to show a little growth to beat GM again.

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Governor: Auto Production Rebounding In Michigan

January 14, 2014 1:51 pm | by The Associated Press

The Republican governor told reporters Tuesday at the North American International Auto Show that the improving numbers reflect both a resurgent industry and improving state economy. He says auto suppliers are "reconsolidating" operations in Michigan and the automakers themselves are bringing production back from places such as Mexico.

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Boehner: Need Better Enforcement Of Safety Rules

January 14, 2014 1:49 pm | by The Associated Press

House Speaker John Boehner is suggesting that the Obama administration needs to do a better job of enforcing safety regulations designed to protect the public against disasters like the chemical spill into West Virginia's drinking water supply.  

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Google Invests $75M In Texas Wind

January 14, 2014 1:46 pm | by Industrial Maintenance and Plant Operation

Google today announced that it has finalized an agreement to invest $75 million in the Panhandle 2 wind farm, which will be located outside of Amarillo, Texas. Pattern Energy Group LP will develop the 182MW facility, which generates enough electricity to power 56,000 U.S. homes.

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Boeing Confirms New 787 Battery Incident

January 14, 2014 1:43 pm | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

Boeing is confirming an incident with a battery on a Japan Airlines 787, in a reminder of the problems that grounded the plane for three months last year. Boeing says it appears that a single battery cell "vented," or released gas. It was discovered during scheduled maintenance on the ground at Tokyo's Narita airport on Tuesday. 

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'Ghost Gun' Regulations Pushed In California Bill

January 14, 2014 10:06 am | by Don Thompson, Associated Press

A state lawmaker proposed legislation Monday to make background checks and gun registrations requirements for anyone who builds plastic firearms on a 3D printer at home. The bill by state Sen. Kevin de Leon also would apply to anyone who buys parts that can be assembled into a gun.

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Chinese Shoe Factory Fire Kills At Least 16

January 14, 2014 10:02 am | by The Associated Press

A fire at a shoe factory in eastern China on Tuesday killed at least 16 people, state media reported. The blaze broke out at the Dadong factory in the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province, state broadcaster CCTV said. Firefighters put it out about three hours later and rescued more than 20 people, it said.

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U.S. Challenges China Over High-Tech Steel Imports

January 14, 2014 9:56 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

The U.S. is accusing China of failing to comply with a World Trade Organization ruling against China's imposition of duties on high-tech American steel. Washington says the duties caused a $250 million annual drop in exports. The ruling concerns grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel that is used primarily by the power generating industry.

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Test Votes Postponed On Unemployment Bill

January 14, 2014 9:53 am | by David Espo, AP Special Correspondent

The Senate postponed a pair of test votes on stalled unemployment legislation on Monday as Republicans and Democrats sought a compromise to restore benefits to 1.3 million long-term jobless workers who lost them abruptly late last year.    

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Calif. Company Recalls 40,000 Lbs. Of Meat

January 14, 2014 9:51 am | by The Associated Press

A Northern California company has recalled more than 40,000 pounds of meat products because it was produced without a full federal inspection. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Monday that Rancho Feeding Corporation of Petaluma, Calif., recalled 41,683 pounds of meat products.

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Bourbon Truly American, Despite Foreign Ties

January 14, 2014 9:47 am | by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press

The planned $13.62 billion acquisition of the owner of Jim Beam and Maker's Mark by a Japanese company adds two more classic brands to the lineup of bourbon staples tied to foreign-based parent companies. Wild Turkey and Four Roses are other historic brands with foreign ownership connections.

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Gadget Time At CMU's Build 18 Engineering Fest

January 13, 2014 2:03 pm | by Adrian McCoy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Carnegie Mellon University's Electrical and Computer Engineering department ushers in the spring semester with the annual Build 18 engineering fest — a fast-paced challenge where students have seven days to build an imaginative and innovative product under tight deadlines and with limited funding — real-world lessons that most startups learn the hard way.

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Airbus Logs Record 2013, But Still Behind Boeing

January 13, 2014 1:59 pm | by Jamey Keaten, Associated Press

After tallying a record number of airplane orders and deliveries last year, Airbus is admittedly facing a high bar in 2014. The European aerospace conglomerate said Monday it delivered 626 planes last year, a company record but still 22 fewer than U.S. rival Boeing Co.

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Fisker Bankruptcy Bidding Heats Up Quickly

January 13, 2014 1:54 pm | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer

A group led by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li is offering $55 million at auction for Fisker Automotive, just days after a judge rejected a private sale of the failed electric-vehicle manufacturer. Hybrid Technology's conditional offer includes $30 million cash and $25 million in credit for what it's owed as Fisker's senior secured lender.

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