Two workers were injured Monday when highly flammable gas used in welding exploded at a West Virginia industrial site, officials said. Fire crews were sent at about 3:20 p.m. to Airgas, a distributor of specialty gases in Poca, outside of Charleston. Putnam County emergency management director Frank Chapman said the explosion involved about 50 tanks of acetylene that were at Airgas waiting to be refilled.
A unit of Beechcraft Corp. says production will begin this month in Wichita on 35 training aircraft for the military. Beechcraft Defense Co. on Monday announced the signing of a $210 million contract with the Air Force, under the government's Joint Primary Aircraft Training System procurement contract.
Bangladesh offers the global garment industry something unique: Millions of workers who quickly churn out huge amounts of well-made underwear, jeans and T-shirts for the lowest wages in the world. But since a building collapse April 24 killed at least 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh in one of the deadliest industrial tragedies in history, the country has gone from one of the industry's greatest assets to one of its biggest liabilities.
The culprits are the cars themselves, produced with weaker welds, scant safety features and inferior materials compared to similar models manufactured for U.S. and European consumers, say experts and engineers inside the industry. Four of Brazil's five bestselling cars failed their independent crash tests.
Bangladesh's government plans to raise the minimum wage for garment workers after the deaths of more than 1,100 people in the collapse of a factory building focused attention on the textile industry's dismal pay and hazardous working conditions.
Texas law enforcement officials on Friday launched a criminal investigation into the massive fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people last month, after weeks of largely treating the blast as an industrial accident. The announcement came the same day a paramedic who helped to evacuate residents the night of the explosion was arrested on a charge of possessing a destructive device.
Today, many popular manufacturing applications are certified for virtualization and with good reason. The benefits of virtualization, including cost control, higher productivity, and better long-term planning, are indisputable. Yet, some manufacturing engineers and plant IT departments are missing out on these benefits because they think virtualization involves too much risk — a point of view that is not entirely without merit.
A Michigan company that received a $50 million federal loan to make vans for the disabled has stopped production and laid off its 100 workers. Vehicle Production Group, or VPG, suspended operations in February after its finances dipped below a minimum level required as a condition of the federal loan.
Honeywell plans to close a plant in eastern Pennsylvania by the first quarter of next year, idling more than 100 workers. The Honeywell Process Solutions plant in York makes products used in the natural gas industry. The company specializes in energy efficiency products.
General Motors Co. confirms that it's building a new Cadillac factory in China. GM will start building the $1.3 billion plant next month in Shanghai's Jinqiao zone. It will produce 150,000 vehicles per year. The auto maker recently received regulatory approval for the new plant.
Subaru said Wednesday it is investing $400 million to expand its Indiana factory and will add 900 workers to build the Impreza small car there in 2016. The plant now employs about 3,600 people and builds the Legacy and Outback cars and the Tribeca SUV. It also builds the Camry midsize car under contract with Toyota Motor Corp., the top shareholder in Subaru with a 16.5 percent stake.
Word on the street is that substantial portions of previously offshored manufacturing operations are due to return to the United States. A number of macroeconomic factors seem to have tipped the balance in favor of domestic manufacturing.
Seventy-nine gallons of "very slightly radioactive water" from a leaky tank at Entergy Corp.'s troubled Palisades Nuclear Power Plant spilled into Lake Michigan, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman said Monday. There is no risk to human health because the radioactive material was further diluted when it entered a storage basin before flowing into the lake, NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng told The Associated Press.
Over the last few years, there has been an increasing amount of buzz around the concept of “re-shoring,” in which an American company decides it’s more financially viable to bring manufacturing operations back to the U.S. from a foreign land. Generally speaking, company leaders are finding that the “total cost” of producing overseas actually makes outsourcing the worse financial picture.
Heavy equipment giant Caterpillar Inc. says it is closing a tunnel-boring machine factory in Toronto by mid-2014, throwing 330 workers out of a job. Caterpillar acquired the facility in 2008 when it bought Lovat Inc. and got into the tunnelling business, but now says the plant is no longer a "strategic growth opportunity" and will be shut down.
The city of Moberly and its industrial development agency have been dismissed from a civil lawsuit filed by spurned investors in the failed Mamtek artificial sweetener factory. The Columbia Daily Tribune reported that a Cole County judge on April 25 dismissed the city and the Moberly Industrial Development Authority from a 2012 suit filed by Shelter Insurance Cos. and the Waddell & Reed investment brokerage.
A fire at a South Texas petrochemical plant has left 16 workers hurt — including two critically — and the ethylene purification area shut down. A spokesman for Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A. said Friday that the cause of the fire at the Port Comfort plant remains under investigation.
Investigators working to figure out what caused a massive, deadly fertilizer plant explosion in Texas have talked to more than 370 people and received more than 200 tips as they continue to search for a breakthrough. Two weeks after the April 17 blast that killed at least 14 people, agents compare their work to solving a puzzle or completing an archaeological dig.
Gov. Robert Bentley joined Honda officials in Lincoln on Thursday to celebrate the start of production for the 2014 Acura MDX sports utility vehicle. About 1,500 employees attended the ceremony Thursday. Honda officials said the automaker invested $400 million and hired more than 400 people to support the production of the MDX. The Honda plant now employs more than 4,000 people.
Ford Motor Co. said Thursday that it's adding 2,000 workers to the Missouri plant that makes the F-150 pickup because of surging U.S. truck demand. The company plans to add a shift with 900 workers in the third quarter of this year to make pickups. That's in addition to the 1,100 workers Ford will hire to make the new Transit van. Those workers will start in the fourth quarter.
An Iowa jury on Wednesday awarded a total of $240 million to 32 mentally disabled Iowa turkey processing plant workers for what government lawyers described as years of around-the-clock abuse and discrimination by the Texas company that oversaw their care, work and lodging.
Alcoa Inc. said Wednesday that it might reduce production because of a slump that has cut aluminum prices by more than one-third since they peaked in 2011. The reduction could affect up to 11 percent of Alcoa's aluminum-smelting capacity, a cut of 460,000 tons of capacity. The company has already idled 13 percent of its capacity.
Industrial facilities aren’t typically built with the comfort of workers as a top priority. High ceilings, large open spaces, and sizeable mechanical obstructions can make cooling manufacturing and warehousing spaces difficult. Uncomfortable working conditions lead to heat-related illnesses and decreased productivity, which negatively affect the bottom line of the business.
Think of a scheduled maintenance and plant shutdown project as spring cleaning on a huge scale. Also commonly known as a plant overhaul, the temporary shutdown of a production plant or factory is an enormous undertaking and one that requires careful and systematic planning prior to performing the task.
A regional utility has reached a tentative agreement with an aluminum smelter on electric rates that would keep the facility in western Kentucky open. Media report that Henderson-based Big Rivers Electric Corp. and Hawesville-based Century Aluminum announced the agreement on Monday.