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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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.

NC Official Urged Alcoa OK Before State's Lawsuit

August 6, 2013 2:07 pm | by Emery P. Dalesio, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Days before the state Administration Department sued to challenge Alcoa Inc.'s property rights for four hydropower dams built on the Yadkin River, a North Carolina environmental official recommended that the company win a crucial state approval needed for a new 50-year license to operate them.

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NY Manufacturer To Make Fuel From Crayola Castoffs

August 5, 2013 2:27 pm | by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press | News | Comments

All those markers being bought up for the new school year will eventually run dry, but that doesn't have to be the end of their usefulness. Niagara Falls manufacturer JBI Inc. this week announced an agreement with Crayola to take in castoffs from schools and the crayon-maker and convert them to fuel.

August 2013: Bang for the Buck

August 5, 2013 10:58 am | Digital Editions | Comments

In this issue, Accenture's managing director explains how to radically improve the performance of your legacy spares planning system without buying a new one, Houston-based Blackwell Plastics helps people do what they love and love what they do, HVLS and HVAC are together at last to improve employee comfort and save money, and more.

Chevron Fined $284K For Pollution Law Violations

August 1, 2013 2:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chevron has agreed to pay a $284,000 fine and help buy four clean-running school buses after inspectors found pollution law violations at a Salt Lake City refinery. The Environmental Protection Agency announced the settlement with the company Wednesday.

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.

Explosion Fuels Protests Of China Chemical Plants

July 31, 2013 2:12 pm | by Louise Watt, Associated Press | News | Comments

An explosion at a plant that produces the toxic chemical paraxylene has added to the growing opposition to such plants in China, on the same day a state-run newspaper prominently urged the public to accept the industry as safe. Tuesday's blast at the plant caused no chemical leaks, officials said, but environmental activists seized on the accident as a warning of potential problems at factories.

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EPA Chief: Climate Controls Will Help Economy

July 30, 2013 2:39 pm | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press | News | Comments

In her first speech as the head of EPA, Gina McCarthy told an audience gathered at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., that curbing climate-altering pollution will spark business innovation, grow jobs and strengthen the economy. The message was classic Obama, who has long said that the environment and the economy aren't in conflict and has sold ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gases as a means to jumpstart a clean energy economy.

China Plans To Spend $275B To Cut Air Pollution

July 26, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China will spend $275 billion to tackle air pollution over the next five years, highlighting how the issue has become a priority for the leadership. The amount is more than the total economic output of Hong Kong last year and underlines how the government is eager to bring about a visible improvement in China's bad air, which has caused discontent among its citizens and tarnished the country's image abroad.

New Toyota "Winglet" Ready For Testing

July 26, 2013 12:38 pm | by Toyota | Videos | Comments

The Winglet, created with the aim of contributing to the development of a society where mobility is safe, freely accessible, and fun, is a next-generation mobility robot that offers users outstanding operability and performance that expands the user's world, with a compact size and ease of use suited to modern living environments.

Xcel Energy Awards Kaeser Energy Efficiency Partner Award

July 25, 2013 9:17 am | by Kaeser Compressors, Inc. | News | Comments

In 2012, Colorado businesses benefited from over $157,000 in rebates from Xcel Energy thanks to Kaeser Compressors, Inc. Kaeser has been named an Energy Efficiency Partner of Xcel Energy. This exclusive award is based on number of annual projects, kW/h savings, and rebates paid to mutual customers. By conducting numerous Air Demand Analysis (ADA) system audits in 2012, Kaeser helped customers save 1.1 million kWh.

U.S. Sets Date For VA Offshore Wind Auction

July 23, 2013 10:12 am | by Steve Szkotak, Associated Press | News | Comments

Eight energy companies will bid Sept. 4 on a lease for a vast expanse of ocean off Virginia's coast set aside for the development of wind farms. The Bureau of Ocean Management on Monday announced the scheduled auction of 112,800 acres on the Outer Continental Shelf, 23.5 miles east of Virginia Beach.

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Energy Intelligence Report: An Eye On Efficiency

July 22, 2013 4:03 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Our fourth annual Energy Intelligence Report has been designed to spark some ideas for cost savings measures, as manufacturers continue to face tightening budgets and competitive pressures. We hope you can find something of value as you look at your own plant floor and try to determine where to start.

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.

Convenient, Efficient, Green Maintenance Chemicals

July 22, 2013 2:55 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Industrial manufacturers across the world need to stay efficient, productive, and safe in an ever-increasing competitive global market. They turn to industrial cleaners and degreasers to quickly and effectively sanitize and disinfect, improve the appearance of their facility, prepare surfaces for plating or adhesive bonding, eliminate the potential for contamination, and more.

Food and Energy: Parallel Pyramids?

July 22, 2013 2:34 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Much like improving your health is a series of small steps, improving the health of your organization can be similar. This year’s series on energy efficiency kicks off with the same survey we’ve sent out to our readers for the past four years. In this survey, we ask them what they’ve been up to. Have they been investing in new equipment? If so, what kinds — and how much was the decision based on the energy efficiency of this product?

China Hikes Tariff On U.S., Korean Solar Polysilicon

July 22, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China has fired a new salvo in a global trade battle over solar panels by raising import duties on U.S.- and Korean-made polysilicon used to manufacture them. The Ministry of Commerce said the duties of up to 57 percent are in response to dumping, or selling at improperly low prices.

WY Governor Lambasts EPA Over Haze Plan

July 19, 2013 9:38 am | by Bob Moen, Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Matt Mead sharply criticized a plan by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce regional haze, saying it did more to kill the coal industry than clear Wyoming's air. The EPA plan seeks to reduce haze in national parks and wilderness areas by further limiting air pollution from coal-fired power plants in Wyoming. The state has offered its own proposal, but EPA has rejected parts of it as inadequate and has proposed changes.

EU Official: China Can Curb Pollution, Still Grow

July 18, 2013 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Union's environment commissioner says China can curb pollution without sacrificing economic growth. Janez Potocnik also says China's serious pollution problems are an opportunity for European businesses that have developed technology to clean up water and air pollution.

NM Reaches $920K Settlement With Gas Processor

July 17, 2013 9:52 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

State environment officials have reached a settlement with the operator of a natural gas processing plant in southeastern New Mexico over alleged pollution violations. The Environment Department says the settlement with Occidental Permian Limited Partnership is worth more than $920,000. Most of the money will go toward installing pollution controls at the company's plant near Hobbs.

For Obama's Climate Plan, Devil Is In The Details

July 15, 2013 2:07 pm | by Josh Lederman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Frustrated by a recalcitrant Congress, President Barack Obama has vowed to take climate change into his own hands. Now he has to deliver. Three weeks after giving an ambitious speech to outline his proposal, the president begins the arduous task of executing it. Obama's plan is a complicated mix of rule-making and federal permitting that's tough to encapsulate in a neat sales pitch — and may be even tougher to put into action.

China Scraps Uranium Processing Plan After Protest

July 15, 2013 9:52 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Authorities in a southern Chinese city on Saturday scrapped a plan to build a uranium-processing plant, one day after hundreds of local residents protested against it because of safety concerns. The city government of Heshan in Guangdong province said in an online statement that it would halt the 37 billion yuan ($6 billion) project by China National Nuclear Corp.

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