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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

10 Years After Blackout, U.S. Grid Faces New Threats

August 12, 2013 1:59 pm | by Jonathan Fahey, Kantele Franko, Associated Press

The U.S. electrical grid is better managed and more flexible a decade after its largest blackout but remains vulnerable to increasingly extreme weather, cybersecurity threats, and stress caused by shifts in where and how power is produced. Many worry the grid isn't fully prepared for the new and emerging challenges.

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Honda Supplier Plans New Plant In Pell City

August 12, 2013 1:56 pm | by Honda, supplier, reusable, containers, Alabama, Pell, City, AL, build, plant, Trinity Design Group

A company that provides reusable containers for parts at Honda's factory in Alabama says it has plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Pell City. AL.com reported Friday that Trinity Design Group LLC's nearly $1 million facility will initially employ 35 people with plans to increase to more than 70. The company focuses on sustainable packaging and the new facility will cover 32,000 square feet.

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Car Company's Big Plans Haven't Come To Fruition

August 12, 2013 10:21 am | by Holbrook Mohr, Mitch Weiss, Associated Press

It seemed like a win for everyone when a startup car company, backed by political heavyweights, wooed investors with plans to build a massive auto plant in Mississippi. GreenTech Automotive announced in 2009 production would start in three years and foreign investors who plunked down at least $500,000 for the venture would get the opportunity to live in the U.S. while an impoverished area of Mississippi would get jobs and tax revenues.

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BlackBerry Weighs Putting Itself Up For Sale

August 12, 2013 10:18 am | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press

Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry will consider selling itself. The company said Monday that its board has formed a special committee to explore "strategic alternatives" in hopes of boosting the adoption of its BlackBerry 10 smartphone. The company said its options could also include joint ventures, partnerships, or other moves.

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Drilling Water Recycling Plant Proposed In WV

August 12, 2013 10:16 am | by The Associated Press

Wheeling planners are considering a company's proposal to open a plant that would recycle wastewater from natural gas drilling. The Wheeling Planning Commission is expected to make a decision on GreenHunter Water's application at a meeting on Monday. Commissioners had declined to consider the project at their June and July meetings, saying they needed additional information about the project.

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U.S. Issues Import Ban On Some Samsung Products

August 12, 2013 10:14 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer

Apple won a partial victory in its long-running patent dispute with Samsung on Friday when a U.S. administrative panel found Samsung in violation of two Apple patents and blocked imports of some Samsung devices. But the U.S. International Trade Commission cleared Samsung on four other patents in dispute.

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Pace Of Layoffs At Paducah Plant Increasing

August 12, 2013 10:12 am | by The Associated Press

About 100 employees at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant have been sent layoff notices as the facility moves toward a shutdown. The United States Enrichment Corp., issued the notices Friday. The latest round of notices are separate from the roughly 160 employees whose jobs will be cut Aug. 16. Workers notified on Friday were told their jobs would end between Oct. 14 and Oct. 25.

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Panel Delays Incentives On LA Fuel Plant

August 12, 2013 10:10 am | by Kevin McGill, Associated Press

A legislative committee delayed approval of an incentive agreement for a huge fuel plant planned for southwestern Louisiana, with some members complaining they don't have enough information about the cost of tax incentives used to attract the facility. The Joint Committee on the Budget's decision to delay approval until its next meeting was a setback for Stephen Moret, economic development chief for Gov. Bobby Jindal. 

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Suit Blames Boeing For San Francisco Airport Crash

August 9, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press

Three San Francisco Bay Area families are suing Boeing over the deadly crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214. The San Jose Mercury News says the suits filed Thursday allege that the maker of the Boeing 777 provided inadequate training to pilots in South Korea.

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U.S. Jobless Claims At 6-Year Low

August 9, 2013 2:14 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writers

Americans who have a job may take comfort in knowing that companies are laying off fewer people than at any time since before the Great Recession. The government said Thursday that weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits have averaged 335,500 over the past month. That's the lowest level since November 2007, which was one month before the recession began.

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China Indicators Suggest Slowdown Is Leveling Out

August 9, 2013 2:12 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

China's factory output and auto sales accelerated in July, adding to signs a slump in the world's second-largest economy might be stabilizing. A decline in wholesale prices slowed, suggesting weak demand might be strengthening, according to figures released Friday. That added to earlier data showing July imports rebounded from the previous month's contraction.

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U.S. Wholesale Stockpiles Fell In June

August 9, 2013 2:10 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

U.S. wholesalers cut their stockpiles in June for a third straight month even as their sales rose again. Businesses may need to speed up restocking if demand continues to increase, a trend that could boost economic growth in the second half of the year.

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Honda To Build Second Factory In Brazil

August 9, 2013 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press

Honda Motor Co. says it will invest 1 billion reals ($435 million) to build its second factory in Latin America's biggest country. In a statement emailed Thursday, the Japanese automaker says the new plant is expected to begin operating in 2015 and will have an annual production capacity of 120,000 compact cars.

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UT Looks To Industry For Pollution Cuts

August 9, 2013 2:06 pm | by Paul Foy, Associated Press

State regulators struggling to comply with federal clean-air standards said they were likely to require major polluters to upgrade emissions controls, but that the effort may not be enough to deal with Utah's most serious episodes of air pollution.

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Challenge For Wind Power Can Be Reaching Customers

August 9, 2013 10:05 am | by David Sharp, Wilson Ring, Associated Press

During the height of last month's heat wave, millions of people in northern New England were urged to conserve energy, and some utilities fired up expensive, dirty sources of power to meet demand. But at the same time, at least two wind farms in Maine and Vermont were ordered to reduce the amount of electricity they provided.

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Lawyer To Seek $20M In Case Against Toyota

August 9, 2013 10:01 am | by Linda Deutsch, AP Special Correspondent

A lawyer for plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corp. told a jury on Thursday he will ask for $20 million in damages for the family of a woman who died when her Camry suddenly accelerated and crashed despite her efforts to stop. The case involving the 2009 death of Noriko Uno is the first involving the issue to go to trial in state court.

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Even As Sales Rise, Ford Says New Plants Unlikely

August 9, 2013 10:00 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

Even though U.S. auto sales are close to returning to pre-recession levels, don't expect to see a new Ford factory anytime soon. Jim Tetreault, Ford's North American manufacturing chief, says his mandate is to squeeze more production out of existing plants to avoid the high cost of new bricks and mortar. Some plants are operating near capacity.

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Remington Breaks Ground On AR Plant Expansion

August 9, 2013 9:58 am | by Andrew DeMillo, Associated Press

Remington Arms Company broke ground Thursday on an expansion to its ammunition plant in Arkansas, adding between 50 and 100 jobs in a project that the company says will help meet a growing demand by gun owners around the country. Officials with the North Carolina-based firm said they expected to complete work by June 2014 on the 35,000-square-foot building adjacent to its existing plant in Lonoke.

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Great Falls Refinery Hit With OSHA Fine

August 9, 2013 9:55 am | by The Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Labor is fining a petroleum refinery in Great Falls for unsafe working conditions. The agency's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday it is proposing a $77,000 fine for Calumet Montana Refining.

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U.S. Says Differences Remain After Japan Trade Talks

August 9, 2013 9:54 am | by The Associated Press

U.S. and Japanese officials wrapped up a round of talks aimed at reducing trade barriers Friday, but differences remained over autos, insurance and other industries. "These concerns remain," Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler told reporters at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. "The negotiations got off to a good start this week."

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