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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Germany Blocks EU Carbon Cap To Protect Automakers

June 28, 2013 2:18 pm | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

Germany has blocked a European Union agreement on capping car carbon emissions because the deal could have cost jobs and harmed its domestic auto industry, officials said Friday. The blunt admission that Europe's biggest economy put business interests before environmental standards is at odds with Germany's image as a champion of green issues.

Chinese Firm Accused Of Stealing U.S. Software

June 28, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's largest wind turbine company and three people are accused of stealing trade secrets from a U.S. software company, the Justice Department announced Thursday. An indictment handed up in Wisconsin alleges Sinovel Wind Group and the three individuals stole proprietary wind turbine software technology from Devens, Mass.-based AMSC, formerly known as American Superconductor Inc., cheating the American company out of more than $800M.

U.S. Set To Suspend Bangladesh Trade Privileges

June 27, 2013 1:53 pm | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press | News | Comments

The United States is expected to suspend trade privileges for Bangladesh because of concerns over labor rights and worker safety that intensified after hundreds died there in the global garment industry's worst accident. Congressional aides said the Obama administration would make its announcement Thursday, the culmination of a yearslong review of labor conditions in the impoverished South Asian nation.

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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.

BP Mounts Offensive In Spill Settlement Dispute

June 26, 2013 2:18 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

With an ad blitz and a tersely worded letter, BP is mounting an increasingly aggressive campaign to challenge what could be billions of dollars in settlement payouts to businesses following its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP warned lawyers for many Gulf Coast businesses that it may seek to recover at least some of their clients' shares of the multibillion-dollar settlement if it successfully appeals a key ruling.

Court Makes It Harder To Sue Businesses

June 26, 2013 10:00 am | by Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press | News | Comments

A divided Supreme Court on Monday decided to make it harder for Americans to sue businesses for retaliation and discrimination, leading a justice to call for Congress to overturn the court's actions. The court's conservatives, in two 5-4 decisions, ruled that a person must be able to hire and fire someone to be considered a supervisor in discrimination lawsuits, making it harder to blame a business for a co-worker's racism or sexism.

CT Gun Maker Celebrates Move To Gun Friendly SC

June 25, 2013 10:03 am | by Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press | News | Comments

The CEO of a Connecticut gun company moving to South Carolina because of the southern state's less restrictive gun laws says he is no longer sad, but angry he felt like he had to leave his home state. PTR Industries CEO Josh Fiorini came to his company's new home in tiny Aynor on Monday for a celebration of the firm's move South.

June 2013: Taking Manufacturing High Tech

June 24, 2013 2:32 pm | Digital Editions | Comments

Check out some of the latest in high tech manufacturing, including the manufacturing software environment and its growing ability to gather and analyze more data, manufacturing automation's march to dominate the plant floor, the importance of reliable material handling information to track the plant of the future, and the cost-saving implications of monitoring and managing facility energy usage.

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TX Town Sues Plant Owner Over Fertilizer Blast

June 24, 2013 1:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials of the small Texas town devastated by an April 17 fertilizer plant blast that killed 15 people has filed suit against the plant owner and supplier. The lawsuit filed Friday seeks unspecified damages from plant owner Adair Grain and CF Industries, which supplied agricultural-grade ammonium nitrate toe the plant.

BP Wants Independent Probe Of Claims Attorney

June 21, 2013 2:17 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

The administrator of a multibillion-dollar settlement arising from the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf pledged Friday to thoroughly investigate allegations of misconduct by one of his staff attorneys, but the London-based oil giant is calling for an independent probe.

Bangladesh Garment Factories Show Effort, Lapses

June 21, 2013 1:57 pm | by Ravi Nessman, Associated Press | News | Comments

The walls of the cavernous AKH clothing factory are covered in red arrows. They point to three wide emergency staircases with evacuation plans posted on every floor. They point to fire extinguishers attached to the walls and pillars throughout the factory. They point to medical kits located near designated workers with "First Aid" stitched onto their shirts.

6 Arrested In LA In Explosives Investigation

June 21, 2013 10:14 am | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The president and at least two other executives of a Louisiana explosives recycling company were among six people arrested Tuesday in the investigation of how the material was stored. The Explo Systems employees were indicted June 10 and allowed to turn themselves in. Each is free on $50,000 bond.

EU-China Solar Panel Dumping Talks Continue

June 21, 2013 10:10 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Union's trade commissioner said Friday that the EU and China are seeking a negotiated settlement to resolve a solar panel dumping dispute as quickly as possible. Karel De Gucht told reporters in Beijing that there had been no breakthroughs so far in talks and warned that such disputes are rarely resolved overnight.

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CT Gun Maker Moving To SC On New Laws

June 20, 2013 10:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Connecticut gun manufacturer is leaving in response to the state's new gun law, passed following the killings of 20 children and six educators in Newtown. John McNamara, vice president of sales at PTR Industries, said Wednesday that the Bristol company will move to Aynor, S.C., as quickly as possible without interrupting production. He says most of the 41 workers will move.

EPA Levies $2.5M Penalty Against U.S. Cement Maker

June 20, 2013 10:26 am | by John Miller, Associated Press | News | Comments

The EPA levied a $2.5M penalty against a big cement maker and required the company to invest $30M in pollution controls at plants in nine states alleged to have violated the federal Clean Air Act. Ash Grove Cement Co.'s penalty was announced Wednesday by the EPA and U.S. Department of Justice, part of a deal in which the Overland Park, Kan.-based company also will spend $750K to mitigate effects of past excess emissions.

United Tech Sees Impact From Fraud Charge

June 19, 2013 2:15 pm | by Stephen Singer, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A federal court order that United Technologies Corp. pay $473 million plus interest to compensate for alleged fraud in its sale of fighter jet engines could cut into revenue and profit, the aerospace giant said in a regulatory filing. Judge Thomas M. Rose of the U.S. Southern District Court of Ohio issued the order on Monday.

After The AR Spill: The Future Of The Oil Industry

June 19, 2013 1:14 pm | by Al Jazeera | Videos | Comments

In the wake of a ruptured pipeline that coated an Arkansas town in oil over two months ago, residents are complaining about illnesses that could be related to the spill. Al Jazeera take a look at the environmental controls being placed on the U.S. oil industry and what their possible impact on public health could be.

IN County Allowed To Develop Fertilizer Plant

June 19, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The state won't stand in the way of a fertilizer plant that a Pakistan-based group is developing in southwestern Indiana despite reservations expressed by Gov. Mike Pence, his office said Tuesday. Pence directed the Indiana Finance Authority not to block Posey County from backing the Midwest Fertilizer Corp. plant.

TX Governor Woos Disgruntled CT Gun Makers

June 18, 2013 10:12 am | by Stephen Singer, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Texas Gov. Rick Perry extolled the tax policies and regulatory climate of his state as he courted gun manufacturers that have threatened to leave Connecticut since the state passed new gun-control laws in response to the Newtown school massacre.

Unsuccessful Job Applicants Seek Hiring Records

June 17, 2013 2:18 pm | by Kate Brumback, Associated Press | News | Comments

Documents having to do with a state agency's involvement in recruiting and hiring workers for a private company should be available to the public, a lawyer for four unsuccessful applicants for jobs at a Georgia auto plant argued Monday.

Nuclear Weapons Plant To Improve Fire Safety

June 17, 2013 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Pantex, the country's only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly plant, has completed main construction on a $35M project that is designed to improve fire protection at the facility. The new construction comes after the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board raised safety concerns earlier this year.

IN City Sues Over Failed Pharmaceutical Facility

June 14, 2013 9:50 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A suburban Indianapolis city has filed a foreclosure lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company that failed to open after receiving $8.4 million in loans and other assistance from the city. Greenwood officials had tried for months to help with talks involving possible investors in hopes of saving Elona Biotechnologies before deciding to file the lawsuit, Mayor Mark Myers said.

FEMA Denies Aid For TX Fertilizer Plant Blast

June 13, 2013 2:13 pm | by Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is refusing to provide additional money to help rebuild the small Texas town where a deadly fertilizer plant explosion leveled numerous homes and a school, and killed 15 people. According to a letter obtained by The Associated Press, FEMA said it reviewed the state's appeal to help but decided that the explosion "is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration."

Judge Sides With GM, Dismisses Spyker Lawsuit

June 11, 2013 10:03 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a $3 billion lawsuit filed by Dutch car maker Spyker against General Motors Co. Spyker sued GM last August, accusing it of unfairly blocking a deal to let a Chinese buyer take over Swedish carmaker Saab. GM sold Saab to Spyker in 2010. Saab filed for bankruptcy protection less than a year later after GM blocked its sale to a Chinese automaker.

Exxon Mobil Seeks Dismissal Of Lawsuit Over Spill

June 7, 2013 12:37 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Attorneys for Exxon Mobil Corp. and Exxon Pipeline Co. have filed a motion asking for dismissal of a lawsuit by Mayflower residents over a recent oil spill. ExxonMobil Pipeline's Pegasus pipeline ruptured March 29 and spilled thousands of barrels of oil in the town about 25 miles northwest of Little Rock and forced the evacuation of about 20 homes.

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