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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

NTSB: Boeing 787 Battery Shows Short-Circuiting

January 25, 2013 12:21 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner battery that caught fire earlier this month in Boston shows evidence of short-circuiting and a chemical reaction known as "thermal runaway," in which an increase in temperature causes progressively hotter temperatures, federal accident investigators said Thursday.

From The Start, Dreamliner Jet Program Was Rushed

January 25, 2013 10:09 am | by Scott Mayerowitz, AP Airlines Writer | News | Comments

The 787 Dreamliner was born in a moment of desperation. But once production started, the gap between vision and reality quickly widened. The jet that was eventually dubbed the Dreamliner became plagued with manufacturing delays, cost overruns and sinking worker morale.

Sony, NEC, Nissan May Merge Battery Business

January 25, 2013 10:01 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A state-backed corporate turnaround fund is encouraging Sony Corp., NEC Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. to merge their lithium-ion battery businesses in the face of intensifying international competition, sources close to the matter said Friday. The Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and the three companies are aiming to reach an agreement on the merger plan within fiscal 2013, they said.

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Manufacturers Cutting White-Collar Jobs Now, Too

January 24, 2013 2:21 pm | by Bernard Condon, Paul Wiseman, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Manufacturers have been using technology to cut blue-collar jobs for years. Now, they're targeting their white-collar workers, too. Factory Automation Systems makes machines that help companies cut, bundle and load products faster and cheaper than humans can. But it didn't realize how much technology could help its own business until the Great Recession hit.

Toyota, BMW Working Together On New Battery Tech

January 24, 2013 2:14 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW Group are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles called "lithium-air" as their collaboration, first announced in late 2011, moves ahead in fuel cells, sports vehicles and other fields.

Is Innovation Booming Or Dead?

January 23, 2013 4:25 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

There's only a handful of things that have truly changed the way the human condition lives, says Time International Editor Jim Frederick. Indoor plumbing and the railway have created life as we know it, but has innovation now reached a wall? At a Time/CNNMoney panel at the World Economic Forum, CEOs talk about the state of innovation in the global economy.

Is Technology A Job Killer?

January 23, 2013 2:17 pm | by Bernard Condon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

To workers being pushed out of jobs by today's technology, history has a message: You're not the first. From textile machines to the horseless carriage to email, technology has upended industries and wiped out jobs for centuries. It also has created millions of jobs, though usually not for the people who lost them.

TN Volkswagen Plant Powers Up Solar Park

January 23, 2013 2:12 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

German automaker Volkswagen on Wednesday flipped the on switch for a new solar park at its Tennessee assembly plant. The 33-acre installation next to the Chattanooga plant has a capacity to produce more than 13 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. That's the equivalent of the amount of energy used by 1,200 area homes each year, according to Volkswagen.

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Ontario Toyota Lexus Plant Gets $34M Seed Money

January 23, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

Toyota's Canadian manufacturing arm will receive nearly $34 million in seed money from Ottawa and Ontario as it builds a new assembly line at its plant in Cambridge, Ont. Ottawa will kick in $16.9 million from the Automotive Innovation Fund, while Ontario will match that with an investment from its Strategic Jobs and Investment Fund.

Are Batteries Holding Energy Tech Back?

January 23, 2013 10:31 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

As 21st century technology strains to become ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. It's why electric cars aren't clogging the roads and why Boeing's new ultra-efficient 787 Dreamliners aren't flying high. And chances are you have this little invention next to you right now and probably have cursed it recently: the infernal battery.

Can Apple Maintain Its Shine?

January 23, 2013 10:29 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

For many investors, Apple's best days are behind it. Competitors are catching up, they believe, and the latest iPhone is stumbling. The company's doubters have backed their conviction with billions of dollars. Last week, the stock fell below $500 for the first time in 11 months.

Aviation Technology Advances, FAA Tries To Keep Up

January 21, 2013 2:34 pm | by David Koenig, AP Airlines Writer | News | Comments

After two separate and serious battery problems aboard Boeing 787s, it wasn't U.S. authorities who acted first to ground the plane. It was Japanese airlines. The unfolding saga of Boeing's highest-profile plane has raised new questions about federal oversight of aircraft makers and airlines.

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Solar Carports: Refueling Stations Of The Future

January 21, 2013 8:08 am | by Seth Cutler, GE Energy’s Industrial Solutions business | Articles | Comments

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has been around for most of the 20th century; however it has only made financial and commercial sense in the last five to 10 years. The growth of the PV industry has been driven by the improving economics associated with a PV install as a result of cost reductions and incentives.

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The Cockpit Of Your Future Car

January 18, 2013 1:52 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

At the Detroit Auto Show you can see how automakers are working to keep up with the pace and change of consumer electronics, including tablet computer technology that could soon replace many of the controls in your car for both drivers and passengers.

Schools Promote Research As Auto Industry Boost

January 18, 2013 10:15 am | by David Runk, Associated Press | News | Comments

Researchers from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University have been showing how their combined efforts have contributed to some of the technological advances on display at this week's Detroit auto show.

CEO: Sony Is On Track For Comeback

January 18, 2013 10:12 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Sony Corp., the struggling Japanese electronics and entertainment company, is headed in the right direction although its comeback is not yet complete, its chief executive said Thursday. Kazuo Hirai told reporters that Sony is now more nimble and focused under his leadership which began nine months ago.

Bikes Share Space With Cars At Auto Show

January 16, 2013 2:16 pm | by David Runk, Associated Press | News | Comments

Transportation of the two-wheeled variety is sharing the floor at the Detroit auto show with the latest cars, trucks and concept vehicles, a nod to the potential marketing boost that bikes may offer for automakers. Some, such as those at Subaru's display, are shown as accessories on vehicles including the Outback wagon that are aimed at outdoor enthusiasts.

Mitsubishi Invests $770M In German Offshore Wind

January 16, 2013 2:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan's Mitsubishi is investing €576 million ($770 million) in developing German offshore wind farms. Netherlands-based grid operator Tennet said Wednesday that Mitsubishi will take a 49 percent stake in the €2.9 billion high-voltage cables linking four offshore farms to the German grid.

Bling Is The Thing On Cars At Detroit Auto Show

January 16, 2013 10:14 am | by Jeff Karoub, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Headlights, grilles and other doodads are stepping up and popping out on cars: from daytime running lights that go up the hood of the new Cadillac ATS, to a wide, bold grille on the Ford Fusion, to engraving within the lamps of the new Corvette and Ford Transit. They are inexpensive but distinctive, providing automotive eye candy that can even boost gas mileage or improve safety.

Photo Of The Day: Thomas Edison Visits Auto Show

January 15, 2013 10:40 am | by David Runk, Associated Press | News | Comments

Past met present at the auto show Monday when a holographic image of Thomas Edison was used to promote vehicles from electric truck and van maker VIA Motors. Bob Lutz, the retired General Motors executive who led development of the Chevy Volt, took to the stage at the North American International Auto Show to listen as a hologram of a person portraying the inventor gave advice about the potential for electric vehicles.

Chevy Volt Goes Upscale In New Electric Cadillac

January 15, 2013 10:38 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors is trying to find more buyers for the Chevrolet Volt's electric technology. So it's putting it inside a new Cadillac. The company on Tuesday introduced the Cadillac ELR, which has the same battery and gas-powered generator as the Chevy version.

Ford CEO: Luxury Market Has Room For Lincoln

January 14, 2013 2:26 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Ford thinks the luxury car market is missing something. Luxury buyers sobered up during the recession, the company reckons, and they now find German brands to pricey, Cadillac too showy and Japanese brands too boring. Ford hopes its Lincoln brand will fill a hole: premium but moderately-priced, elegant but not ostentatious, sporty but smooth.

Microsoft May Have Exited Gadget Show Prematurely

January 14, 2013 2:24 pm | by Michael Liedtke, Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Microsoft may have relinquished its starring role in America's gaudiest gadget show a year too early. After 13 straight years in the spotlight, Microsoft's decision to scale back its presence at this week's International CES deprived the software maker of a prime opportunity to explain and promote a new generation of redesigned computers running its radically remade Windows operating system.

Grand Cherokee SUV Makes Jump To Diesel Power

January 14, 2013 2:19 pm | by David Runk, Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler's top-selling Grand Cherokee is making the jump to diesel power, an option driven by demand from outdoor enthusiasts, the company says. It marks the first major expansion into diesel power in the U.S. by a mainstream SUV maker, showing the potential for boosting power and fuel economy.

New Corvette: Killer Looks, Big Engine

January 14, 2013 10:26 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

When General Motors engineers and designers started work on the next-generation Corvette, they drew up the usual requirements for the star of American muscle cars. But topping the list back was something at odds with the roar of the car's big V-8: Gas mileage. The new Corvette could not be a gas guzzler. Stricter government rules were forcing a leap in fuel economy.

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