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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Police: 1 Dead, 7 Hurt In 2nd LA Plant Blast

June 17, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A second blast in two days has killed a worker at a south Louisiana chemical plant, just miles from the site where two workers were killed a day earlier. The latest explosion also injured seven people, some severely, State Police Trooper Jared Sandifer said late Friday.

GM Recalling 193,652 SUVs For Fire Risk

June 17, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors is recalling more than 193,652 SUVs from the 2006 and 2007 model years because a circuit board in the driver's door could short and cause a fire. The vehicles involved are the Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Ruick Rainier, Saab 9-7x and Isuzu Ascender from the 2006 and 2007 model years. The 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL are also included.

AP: More Bangladesh Factories Dangerous

June 14, 2013 5:23 pm | by Ravi Nessman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Bangladeshi garment factories are routinely built without consulting engineers. Many are located in commercial or residential buildings not designed to withstand the stress of heavy manufacturing. Some add illegal extra floors atop support columns too weak to hold them, according to a survey of scores of factories by an engineering university that was shown to The Associated Press.

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U.S. Prosecutors Want Smartphone 'Kill Switch'

June 14, 2013 5:23 pm | by Meghan Barr, Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. law enforcement officials are demanding the creation of a "kill switch" that would render smartphones inoperable after they are stolen, New York's top prosecutor said in a clear warning to the world's smartphone manufacturers. The New York Attorney General said the formation of a coalition of law enforcement agencies devoted to stamping out what he called an "epidemic" of robberies.

Blast At LA Plant Kills 1, More Than 70 Hurt

June 14, 2013 10:02 am | by Stacey Plaisance, Associated Press | News | Comments

The blast sent workers on a mad scramble to escape the plant, said a worker, some of them by clambering over gates. Outside the plant, witnesses saw towering flames and felt the ground shudder. A body was found by hazardous materials crews moving through the site after the blast, state police Capt. Doug Cain said.

Honda Recalling 104,500 Cars To Fix Brakes

June 14, 2013 9:52 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Honda is recalling 104,500 cars in 49 countries worldwide to fix problems with the brakes. In the U.S., the recall covers more than 18,000 Acura RSX compact cars from 2006 and the Honda S2000 sports car from the 2006 and 2007 model years.

At Least 30 Injured In LA Plant Explosion

June 13, 2013 2:20 pm | by Stacey Plaisance Associated Press | News | Comments

Ambulances and helicopters took at least 30 people from a burning chemical plant after an explosion Thursday in Louisiana, officials said. Early tests did not indicate dangerous levels of any chemicals around the plant in Geismar, southeast of Baton Rouge, but area residents were told to remain indoors with doors and windows closed, said Jean Kelly, spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Voice-Operated Dashboard Technology Still Risky

June 13, 2013 2:18 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Dashboard technology that lets drivers text and email with voice commands — marketed as a safer alternative — actually is more distracting than simply talking on a cellphone, a new AAA study found. Automakers have been trying to excite new-car buyers, especially younger ones, with dashboard infotainment systems that let drivers use voice commands to do things like turning on windshield wipers, posting Facebook messages or ordering pizza.

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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."

Chrysler Recalling 6,900 Heavy-Duty 2012 Trucks

June 13, 2013 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler Group is recalling 6,900 heavy-duty Ram pickup trucks from the 2012 model year because part of the front axle could fracture and cause them to lose power. The automaker said Wednesday that the front prop shaft, which connects the engine to the axle, can bind or fracture.

Firefighting Robot Paints 3D Thermal Images

June 13, 2013 8:04 am | by UCSDRobotics | Videos | Comments

This project integrates infrared and RGB imagery to produce dense 3D environment models reconstructed from multiple views. The resulting 3D map contains both thermal and RGB information which can be used in robotic fire-fighting applications to identify victims and active fire areas.

Apparel Brands Look To New Asian Frontiers

June 13, 2013 8:03 am | by Reuters TV | Videos | Comments

Attention shoppers: Southeast Asia is the emerging hotspot for apparel manufacturing, with cost and safety concerns driving global brands to shift sourcing from stalwarts China and Bangladesh. Today, countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia are making clothing for some big brands.

Driverless Car Steering Course To Road-Readiness

June 13, 2013 8:01 am | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

Researchers at Carnegie Melon University are putting the finishing touches on their version of a driverless car that, they say, lays the groundwork for computers to replace humans in the driver seat within a decade and will make roads safer. Reuters' Ben Gruber went for a ride.

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Japanese Carrier's Boeing 787 Has Engine Problem

June 12, 2013 9:42 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Japanese carrier's Dreamliner had engine trouble before takeoff Wednesday, a day after a rival airline had a problem on another 787 plane. Neither problem was with the lithium-ion batteries that were overheating and resulted in the Boeing Co. aircraft being grounded for four months.

Chevron CEO: Responding To Safety Concerns

June 11, 2013 12:25 pm | by Wall Street Journal | Videos | Comments

Chevron CEO John Watson discusses energy production in the wake of BP's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Watson says energy companies are taking a more proactive approach to safety, securing their systems, and operations before government regulators come knocking.

Officials Wait To Judge Apple 'Kill Switch'

June 11, 2013 10:09 am | by Terry Collins, Associated Press | News | Comments

The top prosecutors in San Francisco and New York, seeking ways to curb thefts of mobile devices, said Monday they will reserve judgment of Apple's new security feature designed to make it harder to reactivate a stolen iPhone. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have been asking the leading wireless device makers to create a "kill switch" that would render stolen phones useless.

Brazil Gov't To Perform Crash Tests After AP Report

June 11, 2013 10:04 am | by Bradley Brooks, Associated Press | News | Comments

After a decade of spiking fatalities from passenger car wrecks, the Brazilian government said Monday it plans to build its first auto crash test facility in an effort to improve the poor safety record of vehicles built and sold in the world's fourth-largest automobile market.

Chrysler Recalls 15,000 Darts, Engines Can Stall

June 10, 2013 2:28 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler says it's recalling about 15,000 Dodge Dart compact cars worldwide because they could stall in cold temperatures. The recall affects 2013 model year cars with 1.4-liter four-cylinder engines and dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

U.S. Investigates Honda Minivans For Air Bag Trouble

June 10, 2013 10:09 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

U.S. safety regulators have added about 320,000 older model Honda Odyssey minivans to a widening probe of faulty air bags that affects at least three automakers and more than 2 million vehicles. Front air bags on the Honda Motor Co. minivans from the 2003 and 2004 model years can inflate without a crash, possibly injuring drivers and passengers.

Bangladesh: 7 Failed To Check Doomed Factories

June 10, 2013 10:06 am | by Farid Hossain, Associated Press | News | Comments

Bangladesh has suspended seven inspectors it accuses of negligence for renewing the licenses of garment factories in a building that collapsed in April, killing more than 1,100 people, a top Labor Ministry official said Monday. The official, Mikail Shipar, said a ministry investigation found that the inspectors never even visited the five factories housed in the shabbily built eight-story Rana Plaza building.

IN Pushes Ahead With Fertilizer Plant

June 7, 2013 11:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Pakistan-based developers of a fertilizer plant have won a southwestern Indiana county's initial approval for the project, weeks after the state pulled its support. Posey County's Board of Commissioners and Council voted last week to give preliminary approval to Midwest Fertilizer Corp. for its proposed plant, including a $1.3 billion bond issue to help finance the project in the county just west of Evansville.

Safety At Deadly China Plant 'Extremely Chaotic'

June 7, 2013 11:02 am | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press | News | Comments

China's workplace safety agency said negligence among factory managers and government inspectors caused "extremely chaotic" work-safety conditions at a poultry plant where a deadly fire killed 120 workers this week. Safety exits were blocked at the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Co. plant and managers neglected to hold required safety drills or worker education, State Administration of Work Safety head Yang Dongliang said.

Chrysler To Recall 630,000 SUVs Worldwide

June 6, 2013 2:09 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Just two days after refusing a government request to recall 2.7 million older-model Jeeps, Chrysler has decided to do two other recalls totaling 630,000 vehicles worldwide. The automaker will recall more than 409,000 Jeep Patriot and Compass small SUVs across the globe from the 2010 and 2012 model years to fix air bag and seat-belt problems.

Toyota Recalls 242K Prius, Lexus Hybrid Cars

June 5, 2013 9:58 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it is recalling about 242,000 of its Prius and Lexus hybrid vehicles due to problems with their braking systems. The recall applies to about 233,000 Prius vehicles made between March and October 2009 and about 9,000 Lexus HS250h models made between June and October 2009.

Driving Manufacturing Success By Backing Up

June 5, 2013 8:00 am | by Michael Krutikov, Senior Global Marketing Manager, SMB Data Protection, at Symantec | Articles | Comments

Today’s smaller manufacturers are creating enormous amounts of data — everything from new product designs to top-secret intellectual property, as well as a constant flow of customer and sales information that must be managed and protected every day. To say that this data is vital would be understating the value of its constant use, and any loss of information could be devastating.

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