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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Court: Apartheid Suits Vs. Companies In U.S. Barred

August 21, 2013 2:36 pm | by Larry Neumeister, Associated Press | News | Comments

Two automakers and a technology company cannot be held liable in the U.S. for abuses committed by South Africa's government, a federal appeals court said Wednesday in a blow to class-action lawsuits that had tried to hold American, Canadian and European companies liable for the claims of millions of people who say they suffered under apartheid.

Creditors File Objections To Detroit Bankruptcy

August 20, 2013 10:14 am | by Corey Williams, Associated Press | News | Comments

The city's biggest employee union, retirees and even a few dozen residents filed objections Monday to Detroit's request for bankruptcy protection, the largest municipal filing in U.S. history and a move aimed at wiping away billions of dollars in debt.

Ford To Restate Hybrid Gas Mileage

August 15, 2013 3:07 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford will reduce gas mileage estimates for its C-Max hybrid, following a government investigation into consumer complaints that the car's actual mileage was lower, a person familiar with the matter said. Ford will drop the combined city-highway mileage listed on the window sticker from 47 mpg to 43 mpg (20 kpl to 18.3 kpl), according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the change has not been formally announced.

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U.S. To Require Car Makers To Offer Recall Data

August 14, 2013 2:15 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Starting next summer, U.S. consumers will be able to search a giant database to find out if recall repairs have been made to their cars or motorcycles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency that regulates auto safety, says it will require major auto and motorcycle makers to give customers online access to data so it can be searched by vehicle identification number.

Likely Labor Regs Would Aid Vets, Disabled, Unions

August 14, 2013 2:12 pm | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

With Thomas Perez now confirmed as head of the Labor Department, the agency is expected to unleash a flurry of new regulations that have been bottled up for months — a prospect that has business leaders worried and labor advocates cheering. Some long-awaited rules would help boost employment for veterans and the disabled, increase wages for home health care workers and set new limits for workplace exposure to dangerous silica dust.

Republic Steel Faces $1.1M In Fines For Violations

August 14, 2013 10:14 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

Republic Steel is facing more than $1.1 million in federal fines for two dozen safety violations at its manufacturing plant in Canton, Ohio. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday that the Canton-based company failed to provide workers enough protection from falling off runway girders 66 feet above the ground or perched over the plant's slag pit and furnace. 

BMW: Dismiss EEOC Discrimination Complaint

August 13, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BMW is asking a federal judge to dismiss an employment discrimination complaint filed against it by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. BMW Manufacturing Co. said in its response to a commission lawsuit filed in June that the automaker did not engage in illegal employment practices on the basis of race at its Greer plant.

Explosion-Proof Vacuums: An Investment In Safety

August 12, 2013 4:40 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Recent plant explosions should serve as a reminder for industrial users to review their vacuums to ensure they are suitable in explosion-proof applications, such as those relating to combustible dust. In addition to satisfying OSHA requirements, manufacturers must also keep workers safe. As Frank Intrieri Jr., VP of sales with Goodway says, “explosion-proof vacuums are used in hazardous environments, so safety precautions are imperative.”

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Lawyer To Seek $20M In Case Against Toyota

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

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.

NY Firearms Maker Blames Move On New Law

August 8, 2013 2:20 pm | by Jim Fitzgerald, Associated Press | News | Comments

A firearms manufacturer in New York, partially blaming the state's new gun control law, said Wednesday it's moving its corporate offices — and its plans for expansion — to Pennsylvania. Kahr Firearms Group of Pearl River is the first gunmaker to announce it's leaving because of the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, which was put into law after closed-door negotiations in January.

Safety Citations Issued To AL Steel Manufacturer

August 8, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal officials issued safety citations to a steel manufacturing company and proposed more than $117,000 in fines Wednesday. Fifteen safety citations have been issued to the Northport-based Hanna Steel Corp, U.S. Department of Labor officials said. The plant manufactures steel tubing and pre-painted steel.

Top 5 Quality Metrics For The Plant Manager’s Dashboard

August 7, 2013 8:01 am | by Mike Roberts, Research Associate, LNS Research | Articles | Comments

If you are involved in quality and operations decisions for manufacturing or supply-chain management, one of your most important responsibilities is to ensure that the final output of your plant is in compliance with internal and external quality standards.This is not as easy as it sounds.

Obama Administration Overrules Apple Import Ban

August 5, 2013 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

President Obama's trade representative has vetoed a ban on imports of some Apple iPads and older iPhones, dealing a setback to rival South Korean electronics company Samsung. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Saturday overruled a June decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which had banned imports of the iPhone 4 and some variations of the iPad 2.

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Obama Orders Review Of Chemical Plant Rules

August 1, 2013 12:58 pm | by Julie Pace, AP White House Correspondent | News | Comments

President Barack Obama is ordering federal agencies to review safety rules at chemical facilities in response to the deadly April explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant. In an executive order announced Thursday, Obama tasks agencies with identifying new ways to safely store and secure ammonium nitrate, the explosive chemical investigators say caused the blast.

Halliburton Has Incentive To Cut Deal In Oil Spill

July 29, 2013 2:27 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Halliburton has resolved a U.S. Justice Department criminal probe of its role in the 2010 Gulf oil spill by agreeing to pay a $200,000 fine and admitting it destroyed evidence, but the company still has a powerful incentive to cut another deal with businesses and residents.

Deadline Looms For SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule

July 29, 2013 8:02 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

With reporting requirements for the SEC’s Dodd-Frank mandated Conflict Minerals Rule coming due on May 31, 2014, companies are scrambling to determine their next steps in providing transparency required under the new rule, according to PwC. A survey found that almost half of the nearly 900 executives surveyed are still in the initial stages of their compliance efforts, while 32 percent are determining if the rule applies to them.

Senate Ready To Approve Labor Dept. Chief

July 18, 2013 4:52 pm | by Alan Fram, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Senate was poised Thursday to approve President Barack Obama's choice to head the Labor Department after lawmakers, by the thinnest of margins, voted to remove obstacles blocking the confirmation while honoring a bipartisan pact for approving top nominations.

General Electric CEO Calls For More Innovation

July 12, 2013 2:03 pm | by Scott Bauer, Associated Press | News | Comments

The United States needs more startup companies and innovation to compete with the rest of the world, General Electric Co. chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt told the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents on Friday. Immelt said the U.S. needs more risk capital to help fuel startups, less government regulation, a greater emphasis on research and development and more cooperation with higher education.

U.S. Companies Detail Bangladesh Safety Pact

July 10, 2013 2:21 pm | by Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer | News | Comments

A group of 17 North American retailers and clothing makers has agreed to a five-year safety pact aimed at improving conditions at Bangladesh factories that calls for inspecting all factories that supply their garments within a year. They also agreed to set up basic safety standards within three months and are requiring that the inspection results of the factories be made public.

Vermont Joins Push For Cleaner Vehicles

July 9, 2013 1:48 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Vermont is joining 14 other states and cities in calling for the federal Environmental Protection Agency to adopt proposed new rules calling for big cuts in pollution from vehicles by 2017. The standards would cut smog-producing emissions from vehicles by 80 percent and soot by 70 percent.

Industry Panning Obama's Climate Change Push

July 8, 2013 2:04 pm | by Steve Peoples, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama's push to fight global warming has triggered condemnation from the coal industry across the industrial Midwest, where state and local economies depend on the health of an energy sector facing strict new pollution limits. But such concerns stretch even to New England, an environmentally focused region that long has felt the effects of drifting emissions from Rust Belt states.

NC Auto Dealers Say They'll Keep Fighting Tesla

June 28, 2013 2:16 pm | by Chris Kardish, Associated Press | News | Comments

North Carolina auto dealers say they're moving ahead with a bill updating franchise laws without a provision that effectively bans the business model of electric car manufacturer Tesla. But Bob Glaser of the NC Automobile Dealers Association said Thursday that the group hasn't given up on a separate bill targeting the automaker that already passed the Senate last month.

Federal Agency Finds Lax Regulation Of Chemicals

June 27, 2013 1:50 pm | by Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal agency investigating a deadly explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant will tell a Senate committee Thursday that regulation of the dangerous chemicals used in the industry fall under a "patchwork" of standards that are decades old and are far weaker than rules used by other countries.

Gov't Delays Requiring Rearview Cameras In Cars

June 21, 2013 10:17 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Obama administration is again delaying regulations on whether new cars and trucks must come equipped with rearview cameras to protect against drivers backing over people in blind spots behind their vehicles, a victory for automakers who say requiring the cameras is too costly.

OR House Passes Bill To Track Toxic Chemicals

June 19, 2013 2:24 pm | by Lauren Gambino, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Oregon House passed a bill Tuesday that would set up a public database to track 19 toxic chemicals used in children's toys and products and would require manufactures to remove the chemicals from their products within five years. The bill, which passed 39-21, would require companies with gross sales of more than $5 million per year to report the presence of the chemicals in their products.

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