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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GE Completes Joint Venture With XD Electric

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

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.

First Solar Sells Projects To Group Led By GE

August 26, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

First Solar Inc. said Monday that it sold a collection of solar projects in Canada totaling 50 megawatts to an investment partnership led by GE Energy's financial services arm. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal marks the first between First Solar and GE since their solar technology and commercial partnership was announced earlier this month.

Contractor Sues Over Failed $700M Plant

August 21, 2013 2:32 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Washington state-based contractor is suing the Chinese parent company of a defunct polysilicon maker over a failed $700 million plant in eastern Idaho that had been expected to supply the solar energy industry but never produced anything.

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Trade Dispute Threatens WA Industry

August 19, 2013 2:48 pm | by Amy Martinez, The Seattle Times | News | Comments

REC Silicon, with 500 workers in this Central Washington town, annually produces enough solar-grade polysilicon to power more than 2 million homes. But a global trade battle over solar panels threatens to plunge REC and its local workforce into financial crisis.

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.

ANA, Japan Airlines Check 787s For Wiring Problem

August 14, 2013 10:05 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines said Wednesday they are checking their Boeing 787 fleets for wiring problems unrelated to battery defects that plagued the aircraft earlier this year. ANA said the departure of a 787 plane was delayed over problem wiring for a system to put out engine fires.

Power To The People

August 12, 2013 4:03 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

It’s not uncommon to find an industrial worker with a power tool in their hands a dozen or more times per day. Power and speed are important – but perhaps most critical is the assurance of knowing the tool is ready to go at a moment’s notice. With reliability being top of mind for most users, power tool manufacturers place continued emphasis on improving the batteries that make a cordless tool go.

Vehicle-Charging Company Warns About Prospects

August 12, 2013 2:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ecotality Inc., which makes charging systems for electric vehicles, said Monday that it could be forced into a sale or bankruptcy filing "in the very near future" after disappointing sales and suspension of payments from the federal government. The company said that it hired a restructuring adviser to evaluate options including new financing or a possible sale.

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

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

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.

Challenge For Wind Power Can Be Reaching Customers

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

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.

Tesla Shares Jump On Narrowed 2Q Loss

August 8, 2013 2:01 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Electric car maker Tesla reported a narrower loss for the second quarter on Wednesday, sparking an after-hours rally in its stock. The Palo Alto, Calif., company reported after the close of trading on Wall Street that it lost $30.5 million, or 26 cents per share, in the April-June period. That compares with a loss of $105.6 million, or $1 per share, a year earlier.

Behind The Wheel Of A 100-Year-Old Steam Car

August 8, 2013 8:02 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

These days, electric cars are making inroads against old-fashioned gasoline models. Well, there was a time when there were three ways to power your car: Gasoline, electric, and steam. This 1913 Stanley Steamer car takes almost 45 minutes to start up but it's quite a treat to drive.

GE Scraps Nation's Largest Solar Panel Plant

August 7, 2013 10:26 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Electric Co. is permanently scrapping plans to build the largest solar factory in the U.S. near Denver. GE blamed the cancellation on a glut of solar panels on the market and falling prices, The Denver Post reported Tuesday. GE put the project on hold last month.

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Denmark Bomb Scare Was Inventor's Experiment

August 7, 2013 10:18 am | by Jan M. Olsen, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Swedish inventor's experiments with a new power source for electric cars caused a bomb scare that paralyzed parts of the Danish capital, Copenhagen, for three hours on Tuesday. Police said unusual wiring, copper pipes and suspicious objects found inside and outside Dan Zethraeus' car led them to believe it contained an explosive device.

Panasonic To Boost Lithium-Ion Battery Production

August 1, 2013 3:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Panasonic Corp. will increase domestic production of lithium-ion battery used for automobiles to meet robust demand in the United States, company sources said Thursday. The struggling electronics maker will resume operation of idled lines at an Osaka factory, which produces batteries for U.S. automaker Tesla Motors Inc.

Bike Of The Future Travels The East Coast

August 1, 2013 12:32 pm | by The Associated Press | Videos | Comments

The ELF bike runs on both man power and solar power. It has been turning heads along the east coast as Mark Stewart rides it from North Carolina to Massachusetts. The ELF, or "Organic Transit Vehicle," can go for 1,800 miles on the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline.

Take A Ride On A Real Tron Bike

August 1, 2013 8:04 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The first questions always ask if the bike is in fact real, and if it can actually be ridden. The answer is yes. Parker Brothers Concepts in Melbourne, Fla., have developed a futuristic, street-legal motorcycle that reaches speeds of 100 mph and can travel up to 80 miles on its 100 percent electric engine. 

Photo Of The Day: An Organic Transit Vehicle

July 31, 2013 2:17 pm | by Valerie Bonk, Associated Press | News | Comments

Mark Stewart turns quite a few heads as he zips through the streets on his neon green ELF bike. With each pedal, his feet take turns sticking out from the bottom while a gentle motor hums in the background. What he's driving looks like a cross between a bicycle and a car, the closest thing yet to Fred Flintstone's footmobile, only with solar panels and a futuristic shape.

Volkswagon Gags Academics From Revealing Car Flaws

July 30, 2013 10:43 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A British university says it is delaying the publication of an academic paper on electronic vulnerabilities in high-end Volkswagen cars following legal action from the German automaker. The academics had hoped to publish the paper at the USENIX Security Conference in Washington next month.

Boeing Requests Wider Scrutiny Of Locator Beacons

July 29, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing Co. has expanded inspections of emergency locator beacons made by Honeywell International to include five more aircraft types after problems were discovered with the transmitters on 787 jets. Boeing's marketing vice president Randy Tinseth says in a blog dated Sunday that the aircraft manufacturer is asking operators to inspect the battery-operated beacons which activate in a crash to help rescuers find a plane.

Probe Links Lithium Battery To Dubai UPS Crash

July 24, 2013 10:20 am | by Brian Murphy, Associated Press | News | Comments

A fast-moving fire that began in cargo containing lithium batteries turned the inside of a United Parcel Service plane into a "catastrophic" chain reaction of flames and smoke before a crash three years ago in the desert outside Dubai, according to a report released Wednesday.

Renault-Nissan Alliance Sells 100,000 EVs Worldwide

July 23, 2013 10:14 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co. and its French alliance partner Renault SA said Tuesday they have sold a combined 100,000 electric vehicles globally. However, the companies' sales of zero-emission cars have not been as strong as expected due to higher price tags than equivalent gasoline-powered vehicles as well as scarce charging facilities.

Product Update: Lighting Retrofits At Pro Weld Inc.

July 22, 2013 3:11 pm | Articles | Comments

Pro Weld Inc., a Michigan manufacturer of material handling containers, set goals to improve the quality of their product, eliminate re-work, and reduce energy costs in their welding and painting operation that runs three shifts per day. A key improvement in the final painting and inspection portion of the building was increasing the levels and quality of light so the employees could clearly see their work.

Product Update: Lighting Retrofits At Southeast Packaging

July 22, 2013 3:05 pm | Articles | Comments

Southeast Packaging has been on the fast track to lead its industry in energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly, “green” programs. So when management began investigating ways to improve the efficiency of lighting at its packaging facility in Concord, NC, they turned to OEO’s “BIG LIGHT.”

Product Update: Lighting Retrofits At Saint-Gobain

July 22, 2013 3:01 pm | Articles | Comments

With more than 15,000 people working at 58 manufacturing sites worldwide, the Saint-Gobain brand Verallia is a worldwide leader, specializing in high quality glass containers. When the time came to renovate a quality control and packing hall at its Neuburg  glass packaging plant in Germany, Verallia was looking for a more efficient lighting solution to replace its 250W HPS high bays that were actually drawing 300W.

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