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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Robot Hot In Surgery But FDA Taking A New Look

April 9, 2013 10:11 am | by Lindsey Tanner, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

The biggest thing in operating rooms these days is a million-dollar, multi-armed robot named da Vinci, used in nearly 400,000 surgeries nationwide last year — triple the number just four years earlier. But now the high-tech helper is under scrutiny over reports of problems, including several deaths that may be linked with it and the high cost of using the robotic system.

Brazil: Steel Company Must Move 750 People

April 8, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The state environment minister has called on a Brazilian steel company to immediately move around 750 people living near its plant in a Rio de Janeiro suburb. Soil there was found to contain up to 90 times the legal limit of toxic and potentially carcinogenic substances including lead and cadmium. Carlos Minc says the National Steelworks Company could be fined as much as $25 million for what he called "several environmental crimes."

CA DA Says Toyota To Pay $16M Settlement

April 8, 2013 10:11 am | by Shaya Tayefe Mohajer, Associated Press | News | Comments

A $16 million settlement over the safety recall of Toyota vehicles that were at risk for unintended acceleration and braking issues was announced Friday by Orange County prosecutors and Toyota Motor Corp. The suit was one of a flood of cases brought against the automaker after more than 14 million vehicles were recalled in 2009 and 2010 - many of them still waiting to be heard or settled.


7 Workers Die Inside Mexico Brewery Tank

April 8, 2013 10:07 am | by Olga R. Rodriguez, Associated Press | News | Comments

Mexico City authorities say seven workers died while cleaning a tank at a Grupo Modelo brewery in Mexico City. A spokeswoman for city prosecutors says the accident occurred early Sunday and that investigators are looking into whether the workers died from inhaling toxic fumes. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to discuss the case.

Boeing Makes Final Test Flight For 787 Battery Fix

April 8, 2013 10:04 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Boeing put its 787 battery fix through a "final" flight test on Friday and will soon submit the data to regulators, who the aircraft maker hopes will sign off on the new battery system and allow the 787 back in the air. The 787 Dreamliner has been grounded since mid-January because of smoldering batteries that, in one case, caused a serious fire on the tarmac in Boston.

How To Be Heard

April 5, 2013 2:29 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

I was interested to learn a little more about the relationship between listening and hearing at a recent seminar at the Grainger show in Orlando. The focus of this presentation was not on eliminating noise, rather, addressing the ways those affected could greatly reduce or eliminate the resulting damage that came with the prolonged exposure to high volumes.

Race To Build Driverless Cars Is In Full Throttle

April 5, 2013 9:44 am | by Rick Montgomery, The Kansas City Star | News | Comments

To call Tim Sylvester a road builder misses the point. The streets he intends to build are embedded with electronic sensors that may keep cars of the future from speeding, veering and crashing. A few blocks from Sylvester's Integrated Roadways office in Kansas City, doctoral candidate Amol Khedkar is toiling on his own prototype for a software system that would let cars talk to one other.

Hyundai-Kia Recalling Nearly 1.9M Vehicles

April 3, 2013 10:21 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are recalling almost 1.9 million vehicles to fix problems with air bags and brake light switches. The switch recall covers almost 1.7 million vehicles — most of the automakers' model lineups from the 2007 through 2011 model years. In addition, Hyundai is recalling about 194,000 Elantra compacts from 2011 to 2013 to fix an air bag problem.


Halliburton Worker Testifies At Gulf Spill Trial

April 2, 2013 2:20 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A man who worked for BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 testified Tuesday that he didn't believe the oil giant's employees were risking workers' safety when they didn't follow his recommendations.

GM: Buick Encore Steering Wheels Could Come Loose

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

General Motors is recalling a small number of 2013 Buick Encores sold in the United States because of a steering wheel fastener that may not have been properly installed. GM says the problem could cause the steering wheel to come loose or separate from the steering column while driving.

Subaru Recalling Vehicles To Fix Brake Problem

April 2, 2013 10:14 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Subaru is recalling about 200,000 Legacy and Outback all-wheel-drive vehicles because the brake lines can rust and leak fluid. The recall affects cars from the 2005 through 2009 model years sold in 20 states and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to clear roads in the winter.

Feds Probe Hyundai Sonatas For Suspension Rust

April 1, 2013 9:50 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that the rear suspension frames can rust and fail on Hyundai Sonata midsize cars. The probe affects about 393,000 cars from the 2006 through 2008 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say it has received six complaints of suspension failures, with three happening at highway speeds, according to documents posted on its website on Friday.

Redundancy In Manufacturing Control Systems

April 1, 2013 8:05 am | by Greg Lynch | Articles | Comments

Reliability in process control systems has a different meaning in each industry. Depending on the type of interruption and the severity of the consequences, some manufacturing systems require PLC redundancy to keep people and equipment safe.


Top Five Reasons For Self-Driving Cars

March 28, 2013 9:08 am | by CNETTV | Videos | Comments

Self-driving cars are inevitable. They eliminate the most commonly defective component in cars today: people. Brian Cooley reports for CNET on the top 5 reasons for self-driving cars based on the ills they cure like drunk-driving and accidents.

Mitsubishi Reports Lithium-Ion Battery Problems

March 27, 2013 1:59 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Mitsubishi Motors says a battery in a plug-in hybrid Outlander vehicle heated up and melted. No one was injured. Separately, the Japanese automaker said Wednesday a battery for i-MiEV electric cars caught fire at an auto-assembly plant, but that no one was injured.

Boeing 787 Makes Test Flight To Check Battery

March 26, 2013 9:45 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Boeing 787 with a redesigned battery system made a 2-hour test flight on Monday, and the company said the event "went according to plan." The test flight was an important step in Boeing Co.'s plan to convince safety regulators to let airlines resume using the plane, which the company calls the Dreamliner.

Honda Accord, Now With Blind-Spot Camera

March 22, 2013 5:11 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

These days, lot of cars have cameras all around to use while you're driving but on the 2013 Accord, Honda has finally produced a camera you can use while you're driving down the highway. Honda has introduced the new Accord with the first-of-its-kind camera that allows drivers to check blind spots.

Acura Recalling TSX Sedans For Corrosion

March 22, 2013 5:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Honda Motor Co.'s luxury Acura brand is recalling 76,000 TSX sedans in 22 cold-weather states because corrosion could cause them to stall. TSX sedans from the 2004 through 2008 model years are included in the recall. Acura says that in places where road salt is heavily used, salt and water can saturate the carpet under the dashboard that covers the vehicle's electrical control unit.

Claims Against BP Contractors Dismissed At Trial

March 21, 2013 1:54 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal judge conducting a trial to assign fault for the nation's worst offshore oil spill dismissed claims Wednesday against a BP contractor and the company that made a key safety device on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, triggering the disaster.

VW Announces China Recall For Gearbox Problem

March 20, 2013 1:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Volkswagen AG announced a recall Wednesday of more than 384,000 vehicles in China to fix gearboxes following a report last week by state TV that criticized the quality of the German automaker's cars. Volkswagen said that problems with direct-shift gearboxes might cause a power interruption, but it said drivers could remain in control and maneuver to a stop.

Nearly 250 Laid Off At WA Hanford Nuclear Site

March 20, 2013 1:52 pm | by Shannon Dininny, Associated Press | News | Comments

State and federal officials are still analyzing the impact of layoffs and furloughs at south-central Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation, but outsiders say they are sure to slow cleanup at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site.

March 2013 iPurchase

March 20, 2013 11:44 am | Digital Editions | Comments

Walk through the latest trends in safety equipment and compliance issues relating to the manufacturing environment, including an analysis on investment requirements for meeting regulations, a look at how new PPE design elements translate to better adoption on the plant floor, a review of recent safety disasters, and an outline of resources that can help manufacturers continuously improve their safety programs.

GM Recalls 34K Vehicles To Fix Transmissions

March 20, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors is recalling nearly 34,000 Buicks and Cadillacs in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere to fix a problem with the automatic transmissions. The recall affects Buick LaCrosse full-size cars and Cadillac SRX crossover SUVs from the 2013 model year.

Transocean CEO: Rig Workers Should Have Done More

March 20, 2013 10:05 am | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Transocean employees should have done more to detect signs of trouble before the company's drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 workers and triggering the nation's worst offshore oil spill, Transocean's chief executive testified Tuesday.

Congress Silent On Dreamliner Woes

March 19, 2013 1:53 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

As Boeing, its airline customers and federal safety regulators struggled over the past two months to solve problems with the new 787 Dreamliner's fire-plagued batteries, one player has been strangely silent: Congress. Despite the plane's grounding and the safety issues raised by its cutting-edge technology, there have been no congressional hearings or news conferences focusing on the problems.

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