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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Minn. Sherco 3 Plant Back In Service After Repairs

October 22, 2013 1:06 pm | by AP | News | Comments

The failure happened Nov. 19, 2011, as the 884-megawatt coal-fired plant near Becker was being returned to service following a maintenance outage. The malfunction caused extensive damage to the unit's steam turbine and generator.    

Modernizing Machine-to-Machine With Predix

October 17, 2013 1:56 pm | by GE Software | Videos | Comments

The Industrial Internet is creating a new generation of intelligent devices that are self-aware, able to adapt their behavior, and can be managed and reprogrammed to meet rapidly changing requirements.         

Bangladesh Garment Factory Fire Kills 10

October 9, 2013 9:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A fire killed 10 people at a garment factory in Bangladesh about six months after a factory building collapse that killed 1,100 people exposed the harsh and often unsafe conditions in an industry that is the world's third-largest.    

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Why Everyone Should Understand Process Improvement

October 8, 2013 9:56 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

Let’s face it. Sometimes the biggest roadblocks to process improvement are people and their attitudes. Likewise, as much as we politely don’t discuss it, sometimes the biggest sources of waste, especially in office environments, are not processes, but people and their expectations and demands and decisions.

Water Injection Pump For Damaged Fukushima Reactor Halts

October 7, 2013 1:53 pm | by AP | News | Comments

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said that a pump to inject water into one of the severely damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant halted Monday, possibly due to a problem at a power switchboard.       

Turning Air Compressors Into An Energy Source

October 7, 2013 8:01 am | by Werner Rauer, Compressors Product Manager, Kaeser Compressors, Inc. | Articles | Comments

The rise in energy prices is an unwelcome reality in today’s manufacturing and business environment. While the rate of price increases for natural gas, heating oil, and other sources may vary from year to year, the upward trajectory is clear. Energy cost reduction strategies are vital to staying competitive.

Safeguarding The ‘Cool Side’ Of Direct-Chill Billet Casting

October 7, 2013 8:01 am | by Proprietary Systems, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers of aluminum extrusions are highly dependent on the availability of high-quality billet, which can sometimes be difficult to procure either in cut lengths or logs. Without billet, extrusions do not get run and on-time deliveries do not occur, particularly with custom products. This situation can put customers at risk.

A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned

October 4, 2013 1:06 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Energy costs are a significant portion of any compressed air system's total lifetime cost. In fact, the amount of energy required to run an air compressor for just one year can exceed the compressor purchase price. Over a period of 10 years, energy normally totals 70 percent of the overall costs.

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The Importance Of Metal Fabrication Management

October 2, 2013 8:02 am | by Mike Bowlby, Owner, Mack Hils Metal Fabrication | Blogs | Comments

Successful metal fabrication companies are always on a mission to improve their lead times to cut down on operating costs and to increase customer satisfaction. Many managers may try to analyze what the company does or doesn’t need, or which of the available suppliers might be cheaper and/or faster, yet provide them with their company’s specific needs without sacrificing quality in their products. 

OSHA Cites Manufacturer After Fatal Forklift Accident

October 1, 2013 2:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal officials have cited an upstate New York manufacturer for 16 safety violations after a fatal forklift accident. National Pipe and Plastics, Inc. of Vestal has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for serious violations of workplace health and safety standards.

Workmanship Blamed For 2011 Tear In 737's Roof

September 30, 2013 10:32 am | by Gene Johnson, Associated Press | News | Comments

A National Transportation Safety Board report blames shoddy workmanship for an in-flight tear in the roof of a Southwest Airlines plane in 2011. The Boeing 737-300 was en route from Phoenix to Sacramento, Calif., on April 1, 2011, when a 5-foot-long gash opened in the fuselage.

Texas Lockheed Plant Awarded $3.4B Contract

September 30, 2013 10:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Department of Defense has awarded a $3.4 billion contract to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in North Texas to build fighter planes for the U.S. military and also foreign services. Under the terms of the contract, the Lockheed plant in Fort Worth will expand its manufacturing of various models of the F-35 fighter plane.

Stand Out With Excellent On-Site Safety

September 30, 2013 8:01 am | by Konecranes | Articles | Comments

Though the foregoing examples focus primarily on how a strong safety culture can impress and reassure customers, the chief impetus behind building a strong safety culture is to protect a company’s most valuable asset: its employees.      

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Vestas Gets Major Order

September 27, 2013 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press, Vestas | News | Comments

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems has announced its biggest order in three years. The company has a contract for a Texas wind energy project that will mean more work for Vestas' Colorado plants, including its wind tower plant south of Pueblo. Vestas said Duke Energy Renewables has placed an order for two projects in southern Texas.

OH Plant Making New Cherokee Brings Workers Back

September 27, 2013 10:10 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler is bringing back about 500 idled workers faster than expected after temporary layoffs from a northwest Ohio plant that produces the new Jeep Cherokee. Transmission reprogramming and extra test-driving delayed shipment of the vehicles, and inventory from the Toledo facility had accumulated, so some second-shift workers were idled earlier this week.

Shell Abandons Western Slope Oil-Shale Project

September 26, 2013 2:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has become the latest company to abandon efforts to turn Western Slope oil-shale into oil, joining a long line of companies in a boom and bust cycle in the region. The company said energy markets have changed since the project started in 1982, and the company no longer wants to continue efforts to turn oily shale rock into liquid by heating the rock and pumping out the oil.

Electrical Machinery Diagnostics Workshop

September 26, 2013 10:12 am | by ALL-TEST Pro, LLC | Events

The accredited 2-part Electrical Machinery Diagnostics Workshop (EMDW) focuses on the electrical machinery theory and operation, practical concepts and analysis skills needed to efficiently address the issues that plague electrical reliability programs. EMDW discusses electrical and operational theories and evaluates common electrical machinery diagnostic techniques, providing insight into the strengths, weaknesses and appropriate application of each technique.

Hastings Plant Cited For Several Safety Violations

September 25, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal agency is proposing nearly $133,000 in fines for a Hastings cold storage plant, alleging more than a dozen safety violations. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says in a news release that workers were exposed to anhydrous ammonia at the Nebraska Cold Storage Inc. plant.

The Rise Of Remanufacturing

September 25, 2013 8:01 am | by Rajesh Krishnan, Director, Manufacturing and Hi-tech SBU, Wipro Technologies | Articles | Comments

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about the new and emerging technologies in manufacturing that are likely to produce major industry changes in the coming months and years. One such area of technology, as identified by the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) group, is remanufacturing.

Violence Continues Over Pay Hikes In Bangladesh

September 23, 2013 9:56 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press | News | Comments

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas Monday in the third day of clashes with thousands of garment workers demanding better minimum wages amid escalating tension over the country's main export business. Police said the violence mainly took place in the Gazipur and Savar Industrial zones, just outside the capital of Dhaka. 

Administration Announces $474M For Skills Training

September 18, 2013 12:47 pm | by U.S. Department of Labor | News | Comments

Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced $474.5 million in grants to community colleges and universities around the country for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers. The grants are part of a multiyear, nearly $2 billion initiative to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade.

Feet On The Floor

September 17, 2013 4:20 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

The risk of slips and falls is one every business must face, but industrial environments contend with the added challenge of preventing significantly more dangerous incidents. With heavy machinery, rotating equipment, sharp corners, and other various dangers around every corner, it’s critical manufacturers stress safety… and what better place to start than the floors.

Faster, Stronger, And More Precise

September 17, 2013 4:05 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

When people look to chemical threadlockers, they are almost always looking to secure a troublesome fastener from vibrating loose. However, a key advantage of anaerobic threadlockers often overlooked is their ability to seal the threaded joint from leaks.

Selection To Avoid Downtime

September 17, 2013 3:54 pm | by Jack Gayara, Product Manager, Lapp USA | Articles | Comments

A typical manufacturing plant today will have thousands, or even many thousands, of electrical connections on both fixed equipment and moving machines. And it’s just a matter of time before some of those connections fail or wear out, bringing production machines to a dead stop.

Built Ford Tough

September 17, 2013 3:45 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive industry leader, manufacturing or distributing vehicles across six continents. With 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company has leveraged the dedication of its employees and UAW partnership to become more efficient, improve its product cadence, and be a more effective automotive industry competitor than ever before.

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