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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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.

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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.

Engineering: A Crucial Element Of A Burgeoning Firearms Industry

June 19, 2013 8:00 am | by ATW | Articles | Comments

Firearm sales have increased exponentially over the past few years, and forecasts are continuing to escalate, reflecting an increase in the popularity of hunting, a rise in the desire for personal protection, and a variety of other socio-economic factors. As manufacturers seek to meet demand while decreasing costs, reducing weight, and increasing durability, the spotlight is turning to engineering and design capabilities in the industry.

Chrysler Expected To Formally Refuse Jeep Recall

June 18, 2013 10:14 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

In one of the biggest-ever showdowns between an automaker and the government, Chrysler on Tuesday is expected to file papers explaining its refusal to recall 2.7 million older Jeep SUVs that are at risk of catching fire in rear-end collisions.

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AP: More Bangladesh Factories Dangerous

June 14, 2013 5:23 pm | by Ravi Nessman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Bangladeshi garment factories are routinely built without consulting engineers. Many are located in commercial or residential buildings not designed to withstand the stress of heavy manufacturing. Some add illegal extra floors atop support columns too weak to hold them, according to a survey of scores of factories by an engineering university that was shown to The Associated Press.

South Bend Settles Environmental Claims

May 31, 2013 2:41 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A more than decade-long legal battle over environmental claims involving South Bend's former Studebaker Corp. auto plant and another shuttered manufacturer has been settled under an agreement calling for an insurer to pay the city several million dollars.

China, Switzerland To Seal Free Trade Deal

May 24, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is in Switzerland to seal a free trade pact with the Alpine nation — the first comprehensive agreement his country has reached with a major western economy. Li met with Swiss officials in Zurich on Friday to conclude three years of negotiations.

France Won't Force Companies To Cap Executive Pay

May 24, 2013 2:12 pm | by Sarah DiLorenzo, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The French government is trying to woo executives and entrepreneurs, amid concerns that it has antagonized the businesses needed to reinvigorate the economy. Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici announced Friday that the government no longer plans to push for a law to cap executive salaries in the private sector.

EU Leaders Discuss Fight Against Tax Evasion

May 22, 2013 2:15 pm | by Juergen Baetz, Raf Casert, Associated Press | News | Comments

European Union leaders on Wednesday sought to advance their fight against tax fraud and close the loopholes for large corporations' tax avoidance schemes. European officials say tax fraud costs the 27-nation bloc an estimated 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) a year at a time when much of the region is in recession and governments are forced to tighten their budgets.

Tesla Shows Model S To Influence NC Auto Bill

May 22, 2013 2:11 pm | by Chris Kardish, Associated Press | News | Comments

North Carolina lawmakers and passersby stopped to take in a display of Tesla Motors' award-winning electric cars Wednesday as the company presses against a bill in the General Assembly that effectively outlaws Tesla's Internet-based sales model.

Comparing Low Harmonic Drives In Light Of IEEE 519

May 21, 2013 8:05 am | by Wolfgang Hilmer, Project Manager, Siemens Industry | Articles | Comments

The most commonly used standard in the electric industry for limiting the harmonics in supply systems is IEEE 519. IEEE 519 limits the demand distortion (THDD) and voltage distortion (THVD) at the point of common coupling (PCC). The VFD input current distortion (THID) does not necessarily need to be less than five percent to meet IEEE 519 at the PCC.

Trade Group Slams Safety Pact For Bangladesh

May 16, 2013 2:21 pm | by Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer | News | Comments

The largest U.S. retail-industry group on Wednesday criticized an international pact aimed at improving factory conditions in Bangladesh's garment industry, saying it was a "one-size-fits-all" approach promoted by special interests. The five-year, legally binding contract requires them to help pay for fire safety and building improvements in Bangladesh.

France Approves Major Labor Reform Package

May 14, 2013 2:26 pm | by Sarah DiLorenzo, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

France's parliament has passed a package of significant labor reforms Tuesday that the government hopes will help halt rising unemployment and jumpstart the country's stagnant economy. The bill is one of President Francois Hollande's signature pieces of legislation designed to overhaul the country's notoriously hidebound labor market.

Pressure On Bangladesh, Retailers To Fix Factories

May 6, 2013 2:14 pm | by Farid Hossain, Stephen Wright, Associated Press | News | Comments

In the aftermath of a building collapse that killed more than 530 people, Bangladesh's garment manufacturers may face a choice of reform or perish. The shoddily constructed building's collapse has put a focus on the high human price paid when Bangladeshi government ineptitude, Western consumer apathy and global retailing's drive for the lowest cost of production intersect.

Challenging Lighting Environments

May 3, 2013 8:00 am | by Rob Bresnahan, Larson Electronics LLC | Articles | Comments

Not all operating environments are the same and the differences in a location's environmental characteristics can have a significant impact on how lighting equipment performs. Differences in humidity, wetness, and temperature ranges, the presence of corrosives, and the presence of flammable or explosive gases and vapors can pose a serious challenge for electrical lighting.

NE Lawmakers Debate Approaches To Wind Energy

April 30, 2013 1:42 pm | by Grant Schulte, Associated Press | News | Comments

Lawmakers have advanced a bill intended to attract more wind-energy companies to Nebraska as long as residents receive some of the benefits. The measure would make it easier for renewable energy firms to qualify for sales-tax exemptions under an existing state program — the Rural Community-Based Energy Development Act — that was created to encourage wind-energy projects.

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