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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

Another Boeing 787 Flight Cut Short

June 24, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The pilots of a Boeing 787 that left Houston bound for Denver circled back to Houston after a mechanical problem. It's the third time in the past week that a flight involving Boeing's newest plane was cut short for a mechanical reason. A United Airlines spokeswoman said Monday that Flight 94 returned to Houston shortly after takeoff on Sunday because of "a brake indicator issue."

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.

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Chemical Plant Fire Burning Southwest Of Peoria

June 24, 2013 1:56 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Authorities have opened a state highway as they make progress in fighting a fire at a chemical plant southwest of Peoria. Peoria County communications supervisor Sandy Klatt said Monday that state Highway 24 has been opened through Mapleton and firefighters now have the fire at the Chemtura Corporation plant under control.

Officials Investigate Deadly Williams Blast

June 24, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

State and federal officials investigating the cause of the deadly blast June 13 at the Williams Companies Inc. plant near Gonzales plan to inspect a key element of the facility this week that one federal investigator said "failed catastrophically." Investigators tell The Advocate they hoped to get a close look at a heat exchanger in the Ascension Parish facility's propylene fractionation unit.

Families Skeptical Of Pratt Cancer Study Findings

June 24, 2013 10:01 am | by Stephen Singer, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

For jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a long-simmering dispute over worker illnesses was settled by a massive 11-year study that found no elevated risk of brain cancer at its plants. But for dead workers' relatives who first raised concerns years ago, the matter is far from closed.

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.

Gov't Delays Requiring Rearview Cameras In Cars

June 21, 2013 10:17 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Obama administration is again delaying regulations on whether new cars and trucks must come equipped with rearview cameras to protect against drivers backing over people in blind spots behind their vehicles, a victory for automakers who say requiring the cameras is too costly.

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Big Explosion At Quebec Fireworks Factory Kills 2

June 21, 2013 10:11 am | by Benjamin Shingler, Associated Press | News | Comments

A massive explosion at a fireworks warehouse killed two workers Thursday, police said, leaving a huge plume of smoke blanketing an area west of Montreal. A series of explosions spread from the charred building after the initial blast at B.E.M. Fireworks near Valleyfield, Quebec. Images from the scene showed a building near a major highway completely destroyed.

FAA: Boeing 787 Diverted Over Low Oil Indicator

June 21, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A United Airlines Boeing 787 flying from London to Houston was diverted to Newark, N.J., on Thursday because of a low engine oil indicator, the second unscheduled landing for Boeing's newest plane this week. The Federal Aviation Administration said that United Flight 125 landed safely at 2:10 p.m. at Newark Liberty International Airport outside New York City. The agency said it would look into the incident.

The Kill Decision Shouldn't Belong To A Robot

June 20, 2013 12:04 pm | by TED | Videos | Comments

As a novelist, Daniel Suarez spins dystopian tales of the future. But on the TEDGlobal stage, he talks us through a real-life scenario we all need to know more about: the rise of autonomous robotic weapons of war. Advanced drones, automated weapons, and AI-powered intelligence-gathering tools, he suggests, could take the decision to make war out of the hands of humans.

Car Quality Dinged By Tech Glitches, Says Survey

June 20, 2013 10:35 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Car buyers increasingly want high-tech features like voice recognition and navigation. But they're not very forgiving of the car company when those systems fail. The top complaints in J.D. Power's closely-watched survey of new vehicle owners, released Wednesday, involved technologies that drivers are clamoring for.

OR House Passes Bill To Track Toxic Chemicals

June 19, 2013 2:24 pm | by Lauren Gambino, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Oregon House passed a bill Tuesday that would set up a public database to track 19 toxic chemicals used in children's toys and products and would require manufactures to remove the chemicals from their products within five years. The bill, which passed 39-21, would require companies with gross sales of more than $5 million per year to report the presence of the chemicals in their products.

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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.

Chrysler Agrees To Recall Of Jeeps At Risk Of Fire

June 19, 2013 10:11 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

After initially defying federal regulators, Chrysler abruptly agreed Tuesday to recall some older-model Jeeps with fuel tanks that could rupture and cause fires in rear-end collisions. But the recall, which came in an 11th-hour deal between the automaker and the NHTSA, covers only 1.56M of the 2.7M Jeeps that the government wanted repaired. The rest are part of a "customer service action" and many may not get fixed.

Fire At PA Titanium Plant Causes $3.5M In Damage

June 19, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Investigators say a fire earlier this week at a titanium-manufacturing plant in eastern Pennsylvania caused $3.5 million in damage and has been ruled accidental. The blaze started in a building at the Timet Corp. facility in Caernarvon Township around 8 p.m. Monday.

Tesla Model S Recalled For Rear Seat Latch Issue

June 19, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tesla is recalling as many as 1,228 of its Model S vehicles, citing a problem with a rear seat latch in the electric sports sedan. The company says no injuries or customer complaints have been reported. Chairman and CEO Elon Musk said in a blog entry Wednesday that the strength of a mounting bracket for the rear, left seat latch may be weaker than intended.

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.

United 787 Heading To Tokyo Diverted To Seattle

June 19, 2013 10:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Boeing 787 flying from Denver to Tokyo diverted to Seattle because of an oil filter issue, a United Airlines spokeswoman said. An airline maintenance team was inspecting the jet after Flight 139 landed normally Tuesday afternoon at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, United spokeswoman Mary Ryan said in an email statement.

Engineering: A Crucial Element Of A Burgeoning Firearms Industry

June 19, 2013 8:00 am | by ATW | Articles | Comments

Firearm sales have increased exponentially over the past few years, and forecasts are continuing to escalate, reflecting an increase in the popularity of hunting, a rise in the desire for personal protection, and a variety of other socio-economic factors. As manufacturers seek to meet demand while decreasing costs, reducing weight, and increasing durability, the spotlight is turning to engineering and design capabilities in the industry.

U.S. Safety Agency Investigating Suzuki SUVs

June 18, 2013 2:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. safety regulators said Tuesday that they are investigating problems with air bag sensors in the seats of some small Suzuki SUVs. The probe covers 205,000 vehicles including Grand Vitaras from the 2006 through 2011 model years and SX4s from 2007 through 2011.

Chrysler Expected To Formally Refuse Jeep Recall

June 18, 2013 10:14 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

In one of the biggest-ever showdowns between an automaker and the government, Chrysler on Tuesday is expected to file papers explaining its refusal to recall 2.7 million older Jeep SUVs that are at risk of catching fire in rear-end collisions.

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.

Lawmakers: Put Dangerous Chemical Site Info Online

June 18, 2013 10:10 am | by Will Weissert, Associated Press | News | Comments

There are 16 fertilizer production sites in Texas like the one that exploded in West, but authorities aren't clear how many of those might be located near schools or other residential centers, top state officials said Monday. Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy testified before the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee.

An Easy Reach: Industrial Ergonomics

June 17, 2013 4:45 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Ergonomics can be thought of as much like a dinner table setting: Everything should be in easy reach and no one should have to reach too far or stretch into an unnatural position to get at what they need, says Ed Metzger, president of BioFit. “By ensuring that workers have the freedom to move comfortably and naturally, companies can prevent many of the musculoskeletal injuries and fatigue that leads to lost time and productivity.”

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