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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

PMMI Gives Workforce A JumPPstart

August 29, 2013 1:12 pm | by PMMI

By working together, PMMI members hope to spark a new generation of manufacturing workers. They say it takes a village to raise a child. PMMI members in Milwaukee and Minneapolis would put it another way: “It takes an industry to raise a workforce.” 

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Toyota Says New Prius, Fuel Cell Car Due In 2015

August 29, 2013 12:52 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

Toyota has two important vehicles coming in 2015: the next-generation Prius hybrid and the company's first hydrogen fuel cell car. Satoshi Ogiso, a top Toyota engineer who helped develop the original Prius 20 years ago, said Wednesday that the new Prius will get significantly better fuel economy than its current 50 miles per gallon (4.7 liters per 100 kilometers).

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Nobody Hurt In TX Drilling Rig Fire

August 29, 2013 12:51 pm | by The Associated Press

Nobody has been hurt in a fiery drilling rig accident in rural South Texas and efforts continue to put out the blaze. The Lavaca County Sheriff's Office says the accident happened Wednesday night between Shiner and Yoakum. The area is about 80 miles east of San Antonio.

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Renault's COO Steps Down Unexpectedly

August 29, 2013 12:49 pm | by The Associated Press

French carmaker Renault has announced that its chief operating officer, Carlos Tavares, is unexpectedly stepping down to pursue personal projects. Spokeswoman Raluca Barb said Thursday that Tavares is not leaving the company, but she would not give any more details.

IEPA OKs Work At Fire-Damaged Plant

August 29, 2013 12:47 pm | by The Associated Press

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency says limited manufacturing may resume at a fire-damaged northern Illinois chemical plant. Agency officials and attorney general's office gave the approval Wednesday for the Nova-Kem plant in the town of Seward, about 18 miles west of Rockford.

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Decision On Site For Big Fertilizer Plant Delayed

August 29, 2013 12:45 pm | by The Associated Press

The company planning to build a new $1.2 billion fertilizer plant in either Iowa or Illinois is delaying a decision on the location. David Lundy is a spokesman for Cronus Chemical LLC. He told The Associated Press Thursday that the company has pushed its decision back "several weeks" over engineering issues and how those issues affect building costs.

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TN Cheesemaker MDS Foods Plans New Plant

August 29, 2013 12:43 pm | by The Associated Press

Cheesemaker MDS Foods Inc. plans to build an expanded production facility in Manchester. The Tullahoma News reports that a 58,000-square-foot facility will be constructed over two phases. Coffee County industrial board executive director Ted Hackney says employment is expected to grow from 41 to about 70 in the next few years.

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Nissan Pledges To Make Self-Driving Cars By 2020

August 28, 2013 2:28 pm | by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Nissan Motor Co. says it will make cars that drive themselves by 2020. The Japanese automaker made the pledge Tuesday at an event in California. CEO Carlos Ghosn has said before that he wants Nissan to be the first to sell self-driving cars. But Tuesday's announcement was more specific.

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Advice For Small Biz: Take Stock, Take Risks

August 28, 2013 2:26 pm | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP Business Writer

The economy is showing signs of life and that makes it a good time for small business owners to re-evaluate how they are running their companies. Now that crisis mode has passed, owners need to make sure they're ready to take advantage of growth opportunities on the horizon. Experts say it's time for owners to think about taking some risks and to make sure that they are taking care of employees.

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$1.5B Fertilizer Plant In ND On Course

August 28, 2013 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press

A group planning a $1.5 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant in northeastern North Dakota has secured a supply of natural gas and is in the process of buying a site. Northern Plains Nitrogen Chairman Darin Anderson said the company is buying land next to Grand Forks' municipal sewage lagoons north of the city and east of Interstate 29, the Grand Forks Herald reported.

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Sheen Seen On River Near Delaware City Refinery

August 28, 2013 2:21 pm | by Randall Chase, Associated Press

State environmental officials on Wednesday were investigating an oil spill at a refinery that left a sheen floating on the Delaware River. The refinery in Delaware City, operated by PBF Energy, reported the release about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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Expanding IL Tire Plant Gets New Rail Spur

August 28, 2013 2:19 pm | by The Associated Press

One of southern Illinois' biggest employers now has a new railroad spur as it presses ahead with a $129-million expansion it says will add 100 jobs by mid-2015. The $1.1 million spur paid for by Illinois taxpayers was unveiled Tuesday at the 3,000-worker Continental Tire the Americas site that produces more than 14 million tires a year in Mount Vernon.

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Bombardier In Talks With Russia On Aircraft Deal

August 28, 2013 2:17 pm | by The Associated Press

Canada's Bombardier has signed a preliminary agreement with a Russian state corporation for the purchase of as many as 100 Q400 NextGen aircraft in a deal that could be worth up to $3.39 billion. The Montreal-based plane and train manufacturer said the deal with Rostekhnologii also includes the possibility of setting up a Q400 NextGen final assembly line in Russia to complement its Toronto operations.

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Labor Rules To Boost Employment For Vets, Disabled

August 28, 2013 10:09 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

Veterans and disabled workers who often struggle to find work could have an easier time landing a job under new federal regulations. The rules will require most government contractors to set a goal of having disabled workers make up 7 percent of their employees. 

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U.S. Buying F-35 Engines From Pratt & Whitney

August 28, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press

United Technologies Corp. said Tuesday that its Pratt & Whitney unit will deliver 38 jet engines to the Defense Department for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Besides the engines, Pratt & Whitney will also provide engineering support, spare parts and other services.

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Dow Plans $1B Investment In Plaquemine

August 28, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press

Dow Chemical Co. says it will invest $1.06 billion to build two new polyolefins plants and upgrade its ethylene capacity at the company's 3,300-acre site in Plaquemine. The company says the move will create 71 new jobs at the facility and an additional 470 indirect jobs.

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GE Completes Joint Venture With XD Electric

August 28, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press

General Electric Co. said Tuesday that it has finally launched a joint venture with XD Electric Group, a partnership originally announced over a year ago. GE and XD Electric, a Chinese company that makes electricity transmission and distribution equipment, will sell equipment and services for upgrading electrical grids through their joint venture.

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Shell Seeks Ethane For Proposed PA Plant

August 28, 2013 10:02 am | by The Associated Press

Shell Oil Co. is seeking ethane suppliers for its proposed petrochemical complex in western Pennsylvania. The company says in a statement Tuesday that it will accept bids from August 27 to October 4, 2013. Shell is still a year or more away from making a final decision on whether to build the multi-billion dollar plant at an industrial site about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

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New Water Permitting Requirements Issued For CA

August 27, 2013 3:23 pm | by David Metres, Associate with Barg Coffin

California water regulators recently published a new draft of permitting requirements applicable to many businesses – including many businesses never before subject to water quality regulation.  After 16 years of settled practice, businesses will face a significant change to storm water regulation in California if the draft requirements become the law.

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Toyota Raises New Corolla Base Price

August 27, 2013 2:32 pm | by The Associated Press

Toyota is raising the base price of its reworked Corolla compact car by 3.5 percent. Toyota is giving the Corolla a sportier look and more gadgets, a recognition by the world's biggest automaker that the under-50 crowd wants more than just reliability in a compact car. 

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