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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Angry Over Trade, Labor Gets Union-Friendly Pitch From Obama

February 9, 2015 2:23 pm | by Jim Kuhnhenn, The Associated Press | Comments

On a cold overcast morning in January, President Barack Obama briefly delayed his departure for an Iowa day-trip to huddle in the Oval Office with AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams. The topic was Obama's upcoming State of the Union...

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U.S. Gas Prices Jump 13 Cents A Gallon

February 9, 2015 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

The average price of a regular gallon of gas jumped 13 cents in the past two weeks to $2.20, ending a sustained drop. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that a rebound in the price of crude oil caused the run-up at the pump. However, the price is $1.10 below the mark a year ago, on...

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Technology On The Shop Floor: Empowering Your Manufacturing Team

February 9, 2015 1:53 pm | by Lori Payne | Comments

Operations leaders at small and mid-sized manufacturing companies have no shortage of stress. Much of the burden of bringing in jobs on-time and on-budget falls on you, which explains the thirst for visibility and hawkish attention to detail regarding everything on the shop...

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Strong U.S. Job Growth Is Powered By An Array Of Industries

February 9, 2015 12:28 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A broad range of industries propelled U.S. job growth in January, an encouraging sign that the improving economy is permeating nearly all sectors of the economy. Education and health-related employers added 46,000 jobs, professional services 39,000. Over the past 12 months, those two sectors have combined for more than 1.2 million...

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More Americans Are Finally Seeing Something New: A Pay Raise

February 9, 2015 12:01 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | Comments

As the U.S. economy has steadily recovered from the Great Recession, the critical missing piece has been a painful lack of pay raises for many Americans. Their pain may be easing. Friday's jobs report signaled that raises have finally begun to flow through an economy in which, once you factor in inflation, most people earn less than...

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New Catalyst Could Pave The Way To A More Eco-Friendly Fertilizer

February 9, 2015 10:30 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Comments

Taking nitrogen from the air and converting it to ammonia under natural conditions is a process that has only happened in nature — until now. Scientists from Northwestern University recently became the first to develop a catalyst driven by light that can pull off the feat with no temperatures or pressure...

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Health Care Records Make Fertile Field For Cyber Crime

February 9, 2015 10:24 am | by Tom Murphy, Brandon Bailey, AP Business Writers | Comments

Those seemingly harmless medical forms everyone fills out before seeing a doctor can lead to identity theft if they get into the wrong hands. Names, birthdates and — more importantly — Social Security numbers can help hackers open fake credit lines, file false tax returns and create false medical records. And health care businesses...

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MAPI: Is Cuba Open For Business?

February 9, 2015 10:20 am | by Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | Comments

The announcement by President Barack Obama on December 17, 2014 that the icy relations between the U.S. and Cuba may begin to thaw was met with surprise and mixed reactions. What, many asked, will the future hold for tourism, a potential new economic paradigm, and...

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Steelworkers To Expand Strike To Two BP Refineries In Midwest

February 9, 2015 10:17 am | by David Koenig, AP Business Writer | Comments

The first nationwide strike at U.S. oil refineries since 1980 is spreading to two BP plants in the Midwest. The United Steelworkers union has notified BP Plc. that workers at refineries in Ohio and Indiana will strike late Saturday night, joining a walkout that began this week at nine other refineries. A BP spokesman said that the...

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CA Formally Opens Large Solar Plant

February 9, 2015 6:23 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

California is rushing to expand its use of solar power to meet the renewable energy requirements, and one of the nation's largest solar projects will be dedicated Monday in the Riverside County desert. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is scheduled to join federal and local officials to...

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Report: Automakers Fail To Fully Protect Against Hacking

February 8, 2015 7:29 pm | by Joan Lowy, The Associated Press | Comments

A Senate report says automakers are cramming cars with wireless technology, but they have failed to adequately protect against the real possibility that hackers could use those potential entry points to take control of vehicles or steal personal data. Sen. Edward Markey asked automakers a series...

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SpaceX Calls Off Launch Of Space Weather Satellite

February 8, 2015 6:24 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | Comments

The SpaceX company has called off Sunday's launch of a deep-space observatory. The countdown was halted at the two-and-a-half-minute mark at Cape Canaveral, Florida, because of a problem with a rocket-tracking system. At the same time, SpaceX was dealing with a rocket issue. SpaceX had been...

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Even As U.S. Job Market Picks Up, Unemployed Face Frustration

February 7, 2015 9:24 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | Comments

The job market remains a frustrating place for America's 9 million unemployed — perhaps more so as hiring has accelerated along with job postings. The pace of job growth over the past three months was the fastest in 17 years. The gains spanned nearly every industry, and some employers have...

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Recalls Of The Week: GM Reaches Claims Deadline

February 6, 2015 3:28 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Comments

This Saturday, January 31st, marked the deadline to submit claims for compensation regarding the GM ignition switch recall that affected 2.6 million cars. The immense recall made headlines in 2014 as the death toll rose to 51. The current number of injuries from the recall is 77, and Tom Krisher of The Associated Press reported that...

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Obama To Tout Community College Plan At IN Town Hall

February 6, 2015 2:34 pm | by Jeni O'Malley, The Associated Press | Comments

President Barack Obama's proposal to make two years of community college free will get a key test Friday as he travels to Indiana, a red state where making college more affordable and increasing graduation rates are squarely in the spotlight. Obama's plan is part of a proposed budget that increases taxes on the wealthy and aims to...

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U.S. Rig Count Plunges 87 To 1,456

February 6, 2015 2:32 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. plunged by 87 this week to 1,456 amid depressed oil prices. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report 1,140 rigs were exploring for oil and 314 for gas. Two were listed as...

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Global Plastics Additives Market Expected To Grow

February 6, 2015 2:26 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Comments

The global plastics additives market was valued at $41.4 billion in 2013. According to a recent report, it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.9 percent to generate revenues of $57.8 billion by 2020. The market research included companies such as BASF, Exxon Mobil, Bayer Ag., Zeon...

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Fracking Puts CA Governor, Environmentalists At Odds

February 6, 2015 2:24 pm | by Juliet Williams, The Associated Press | Comments

In the 1970s, the environmental movement had no bigger political hero than California Gov. Jerry Brown. He cracked down on polluters, ended tax breaks for oil companies and promoted solar energy. Forty years later, in his second go-around as governor, conservationists are among his harshest...

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Farmers File More Than 360 Corn Lawsuits Against Syngenta

February 6, 2015 1:19 pm | by David Pitt, The Associated Press | Comments

Farmers and farm businesses in 20 states have now filed more than 360 lawsuits against agricultural chemicals-maker Syngenta, and hundreds more may be coming as a federal judge organizes the complex case so they can move forward. The dispute centers around Syngenta's sale of a corn seed called...

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U.S. Trade Deficit Jumps 17.1% to $46.6B

February 6, 2015 10:23 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit in December jumped to the highest level in more than two years as exports fell and Americans bought a record amount of imports — a potentially worrisome development that could weigh on overall economic growth. The deficit jumped 17.1 percent to $46.6 billion in December, resulting in the biggest imbalance...

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