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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

CA Refinery Unit Experienced Problems Before Blast

February 19, 2015 7:12 pm | by Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press | News | Comments

A California oil refinery unit that was damaged by an explosion was already offline for unplanned maintenance when the fire occurred, industry analysts said Thursday. The so-called fluid catalytic cracker unit refines gasoline and is critical to producing California-grade fuel. The unit had been offline for two days because of problems when a different piece...

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Is Your State Considering Changes In Chemical Regulations?

February 19, 2015 5:28 pm | by Andrew Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

An environmental health coalition expects a majority of U.S. states to consider legislation to alter their chemical regulations this year. A recent analysis by Safer States said lawmakers in 28 states will propose such changes, headlined by efforts to identify, disclose or — in some cases — phase out chemicals identified...

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Caterpillar Says U.S. Is Investigating Its Movement Of Cash

February 19, 2015 3:43 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. government is investigating how Caterpillar has been moving cash between its business units in the U.S. and overseas, the construction equipment company said Wednesday. Caterpillar said it received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois on Jan. 8 that asked for...

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Report: Manufacturers Will Largely Benefit From Low Oil Prices

February 19, 2015 3:37 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

The American oil industry, which had exploded in recent years due to dramatic increases in fracking, has borne the brunt of thousands of layoffs in the wake of sliding crude prices. The country, however, remains a net importer of oil despite increased domestic production. That, says economist Dan Meckstroth, means the U.S. as...

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Skills Gap Solutions: Q&A With Jeff Owens

February 19, 2015 3:36 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Last year ended with some bad news: U.S. average hourly earnings shrank in December. The lack of competitive wages in the manufacturing industry contributes to the skills gap, or the shortage of qualified workers applying to available jobs. I had the opportunity to sit down with Advanced Technology Services...

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Thought Leaders: Making e-Commerce Work For Manufacturers

February 19, 2015 3:30 pm | by Manufacturing.net | Videos | Comments

In the last five to ten years, the use of online ordering — via a desk top or mobile device — has skyrocketed in the industrial MRO space. But it’s not always as easy as simply hopping on a website and tracking down a very specific product. Speed, compliance, and spend management are all significant factors in this...

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Industry Lashes Out At Apple Car Report

February 19, 2015 3:27 pm | by Jon Minnick, Manufacturing Business Technology, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

This week’s big Apple news comes from a Wall Street Journal report that indicates that the tech giant is working on a vehicle, but not everyone is pleased to hear that — including a battery manufacturer and a former CEO. As reported earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal states that Apple has...

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Wal-Mart To Raise Pay For 500,000 Employees

February 19, 2015 3:18 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Wal-Mart has announced it will give raises to 500,000 employees this year, representing about 40 percent of the 1.3 million workers at the country's largest private employer. The company said hourly workers would earn at least $9 per hour beginning in April, and that all current employees would earn at...

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Brazil Disconnects Nuclear Power Plant

February 19, 2015 3:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

One of Brazil's two nuclear reactors has been disconnected because of a flaw in a condenser that cools the steam used by the plant's electric power generator. Eletronuclear that operates the Angra Nuclear I power plant in the coastal city of Angra dos Reis in the state of Rio de Janeiro says on...

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Factory Activity Improves At A Slower Rate In Philadelphia Region

February 19, 2015 11:12 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Manufacturers in the Philadelphia area expanded at a slower rate in February compared with the previous month. New orders have slipped, although shipments and hiring have improved. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said Thursday that its index of regional factory activity fell to 5.2 this...

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U.S. Economy Gauge Posts Slight Gain In January

February 19, 2015 10:43 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

An index designed to predict the future health of the U.S. economy rose in January by the smallest amount in five months, indicating the economy's momentum may have slowed a bit. The New York-based Conference Board says its index of leading indicators increased 0.2 percent in January, the weakest gain since...

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Hershey Moves To Ban Cadbury Chocolates In U.S.

February 19, 2015 10:34 am | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

For more than 30 years, importers of British goods brought English Cadbury Chocolate into the United States, but as a lawsuit between American chocolate behemoth Hershey and British importers draws to a close, fans of milky English bars of chocolate are anticipating...

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Labor Disputes Roil Canadian Rail Industry

February 19, 2015 10:23 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The union representing thousands of Canadian National Railway Company employees says it is considering a strike vote as labor issues persist among the country's largest rail operators. The contract between the Unifor union—which represents about 4,800 mechanical, clerical and intermodal workers—and CN Rail, the country's largest rail company, expired...

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Meet Harriet, The World's Most Powerful Gas Turbine

February 19, 2015 10:16 am | by GE Reports | Articles | Comments

Eric King has made many an extreme machine cry uncle over his long career as a testing engineer. But nothing comes close to his current charge, Harriet, the world’s largest and most powerful gas turbine. “What we are doing is akin to the hardest military boot camp,” King says. “There is nothing like this anywhere in the world. We can simulate conditions ranging from...

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Three Vehicle Trends To Keep An Eye On

February 19, 2015 9:42 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Blogs | Comments

Recent reports have indicated that Apple may be making a bigger push into the car market, Nissan is again playing with paint and Toyota is trying to make getting around town a little easier. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has hundreds of employees working on an electric car...

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Study: EPA Labels Don't Reflect Total Savings For Hybrid, Electric Cars

February 19, 2015 9:20 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's labels for vehicle fuel efficiency do not show a complete picture of the ownership costs for hybrid and electric cars and are likely ineffective in affecting consumer choices, according to a recently released study. The EPA's redesigned labels currently include statistics...

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GM, Consumers Battle In Court Over Ignition Switch Defect

February 19, 2015 8:35 am | by Marley Jay, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A federal bankruptcy judge this week heard arguments from consumers who are suing General Motors, saying their cars dropped in value because of a defect with its ignition switches. Attorneys for GM and several groups of plaintiffs argued before Judge Robert Gerber in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for...

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Samsung Buying Mobile-Pay Company In Bid To Challenge Apple Pay

February 19, 2015 8:32 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Samsung is buying mobile-payment startup LoopPay as the Korean phone maker steps up to challenge Apple and its payment system on iPhones. The deal strengthens speculation that Samsung Electronics Co. plans to include mobile-payment technology in its next major phone, which is expected to be...

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4,300 Pounds Of Pork Sausage Products Recalled

February 18, 2015 12:44 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials say a business is recalling about 4,300 pounds of pork sausage products in Michigan due to mislabeling and an undeclared allergen. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall late Tuesday by Bay City-based Michigan Brand Inc. There are no reports...

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Barefoot Contessa Files Lawsuit Against CA Company Over Frozen Dinners

February 18, 2015 12:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Barefoot Contessa says in a lawsuit that a California company sold unauthorized look-alikes of her frozen dinners. Newsday says Ina Garten sued OFI Imports Inc. on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court. The host of the Food Network's "Barefoot Contessa" cooking show filed...

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