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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Study: New Gas Development Boom Unlikely In MI

September 6, 2013 2:19 pm | by John Flesher, AP Environmental Writer | News | Comments

Michigan may have large natural gas reserves deep underground, but it will likely be years before they would be developed on a large scale, giving policymakers time to deal with the environmental and public health concerns associated with the extraction method known as fracking, according to a study released Thursday.

$150,000 Car Of The Future: Driver Not Needed

September 6, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

If you had a chance to “drive” to work tomorrow without having to touch the steering wheel or press down a pedal, would you do it? Think of the amount of time commuters everywhere could gain back – without having to actually think about driving, commuters can now safely take a phone call, catch up on the news, or maybe even nap (if you’re the type to put complete trust into driverless technology).

NH's New Law Protecting Auto Dealers Is Challenged

September 3, 2013 10:19 am | by Rik Stevens, Associated Press | News | Comments

Farm and heavy equipment manufacturers including John Deere have sued to block a new law that gives New Hampshire auto dealers new protections in their contracts with them. The companies say the so-called Auto Dealers Bill of Rights, which takes effect Sept. 23, improperly lumps them in with automakers.

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Piracy, Printing, And A New Era Of Manufacturing

September 3, 2013 8:01 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

A topic that doesn’t seem to come up, at least via outlets that are 3D-printer friendly (which are in a powerful majority at this point), is the proliferation of piracy thanks to the quickly emerging 3D-printer market. Much like Napster brought a slapped major record labels across the face, 3D printing is poised to make major manufacturers shake in their boots… maybe.

Labor Rules To Boost Employment For Vets, Disabled

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

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. 

New Water Permitting Requirements Issued For CA

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

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.

Safety Vs. Enforcement: Agencies At Odds Over Probe

August 27, 2013 2:29 pm | by Pete Yost, Associated Press | News | Comments

The federal government is fighting with itself over a massive fire at a Chevron refinery in California that sent 15,000 people to hospitals with respiratory ailments. In one corner is the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. In the other is the EPA.

Lab Owner Sentenced To 40 Months In Waste Case

August 27, 2013 2:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An environmental laboratory owner in Mississippi has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison after being convicted of falsifying records on industrial wastewater samples. U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate in Jackson sentenced Tennie White to 40 months during a hearing Monday. 

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CA Vies For New Space Industry

August 26, 2013 10:11 am | by Mihir Zaveri, Associated Press | News | Comments

As new private ventures to take people on trips to space come closer to becoming reality, California lawmakers are racing other states to woo the new space companies with incentives. They are debating a bill now in Sacramento that would insulate manufacturers of spaceships and parts suppliers from liability should travelers get injured or killed on a voyage, except in cases such as gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing. 

Gov't Seeks New Limits On Silica Dust

August 26, 2013 10:00 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal regulators announced plans to dramatically limit workplace exposure to silica dust, an agent known to cause crippling lung disease and cancer in thousands of workers each year. The proposal from OSHA would cut in half the amount of silica exposure allowed for general industry and maritime workers. 

AK Steel Reaches $1.6M Settlement With Feds

August 23, 2013 1:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

AK Steel Corp. is paying a $1.6 million civil penalty to resolve air pollution violations that occurred at its now-closed coke plant in Ashland. The settlement also calls for AK Steel to spend at least $2 million to improve emissions at its Ashland West Works facility.

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.

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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.

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.”

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.

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.

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