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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Low Inflation Likely To Keep Fed 'Patient' About A Rate Hike

January 26, 2015 1:22 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Federal Reserve ended 2014 with a pledge to be "patient" in raising interest rates from record lows. The way things are going, its patience may endure for a long while. Though the U.S. economy has steadily improved, inflation has dipped further below the Fed's target rate. Chalk it up to...

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MT High Court Upholds Coal Industry Sales Practice

January 26, 2015 11:50 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Montana's Supreme Court has sided with a Wyoming mining company in a dispute with state tax authorities who challenged the coal industry practice of making sales through affiliates. The unanimous high court ruling means Montana tax authorities must recalculate a $3.4 million tax bill for Gillette-based Cloud Peak...

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Death Toll From GM Ignition Switches Rises To At Least 50

January 26, 2015 11:42 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

At least 50 people have died in crashes involving General Motors cars with defective ignition switches. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by GM to compensate victims, updated the totals Monday. With five days before the deadline to file claims, Feinberg has received 338 death claims and...

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Top Chemical Facility Safety Trends Of 2015

January 26, 2015 10:39 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

As the federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has a bird’s-eye view on safety trends impacting the industry. In a recent interview with Chem.info, the CSB’s Chairman, Rafael Moure-Eraso, pinpointed three areas where he sees chemical facilities concentrating...

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Japan Logs Record Trade Deficit In 2014

January 26, 2015 10:32 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan's trade deficit ballooned to a record 12.8 trillion yen ($109 billion) last year as a weakening yen pushed the cost of imports higher despite a moderate recovery in exports. Preliminary data from the Finance Ministry released Monday showed Japan's exports rose 4.8 percent to 73.1 trillion...

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States Consider Repealing Prevailing Wage Laws

January 26, 2015 10:29 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Amid strong Republican gains in statehouses nationwide in recent years, debates over "right-to-work" legislation have generally been the most prominent union-related issues. Union-heavy states Indiana and Michigan enacted such laws, which prohibit requirements that workers join a union as a condition of...

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Where GE Ventures Sees The Next Big Ideas

January 26, 2015 10:08 am | by GE Reports | Articles | Comments

Like many inventors, Thomas Edison started out as a teenage tinkerer with empty pockets. But his work on improving the telegraph led him to a better stock market ticker and a valuable patent, which he sold for $10,000 to Western Union. He used the money to build a lab in Menlo Park, N.J., and amp up his work with...

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Senator Puts Forward Five Amendments To Keystone XL Legislation

January 26, 2015 10:03 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | News | Comments

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat from North Dakota and longtime supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline, has proposed five new amendments to the legislation to approve the construction of the pipeline. She believes the Keystone XL Pipeline is a critical piece of the U.S. energy infrastructure, and...

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Survey: Firms Optimistic On Hiring, Wages In 1Q

January 26, 2015 8:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Rising sales helped boost hiring at U.S. businesses in the last three months of 2014, and companies are optimistic that continued improvement in business conditions will bring increased employment and wages in the current quarter, a new survey shows. And many businesses expect the steep drop in...

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Unmanned Drones Could Play Key Role In Food Supply

January 26, 2015 3:21 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Herding cattle. Counting fish. Taking an animal's temperature. Applying pesticides. When it comes to drones, "your imagination can go pretty wild in terms of what would be possible," says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. This month, the Federal Aviation Administration...

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1 Year After Explosion, Biofuels Plant Has Permits To Reopen

January 25, 2015 7:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A year after an explosion ripped apart the JNS Biofuel plant, the rebuilt plant in New Albany has all the permits it needs to reopen. However, state and local officials don't know when that will happen. TJN Biofuel LLC's president and owner, Steve Bolin, has not given official notice yet. The...

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Elon Musk's SpaceX Drops Lawsuit Against Air Force

January 24, 2015 12:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A spacecraft company run by billionaire Elon Musk has dropped a lawsuit alleging the U.S. Air Force improperly awarded a contract to launch military satellites to a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Musk's SpaceX filed the lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in April after...

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Senate Republicans Changing Their Stance On Global Warming? Not Quite.

January 23, 2015 12:57 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Videos | Comments

In a move that shocked many Democrats and environmentalists, the Senate overwhelmingly voted 98-1 on Wednesday to approve an amendment stating that climate change is “real and not a hoax.” Even one of the most notorious global warming deniers, Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, signed on...

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Landfill Could Be One Of The Last To Tap Methane For Power

January 23, 2015 12:52 pm | by Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press | News | Comments

When most Californians think about the source of renewable energy flowing into their homes, they picture wind turbines and solar panels — not garbage. The little-known source of electricity has fed California's power grid for decades, but a groundbreaking Thursday for yet another trash-driven power...

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Percentage Of Union Workers Down Slightly In 2014

January 23, 2015 12:44 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The percentage of workers belonging to unions in 2014 declined slightly from the previous year, according to new federal estimates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest Current Population Survey -- which sampled 60,000 households -- found 11.1 percent of wage and salary workers were members of...

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OH Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.8% In December

January 23, 2015 12:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ohio's unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent last month, its lowest since September 2001 and the fourth consecutive monthly decrease. The state's Department of Job and Family Services said Friday that Ohio had 278,000 unemployed workers in December. That's down 9,000 compared with November,...

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CA Cities Among Top Unemployment Rates; Upper Midwestern Cities Among The Lowest

January 23, 2015 11:55 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The desert Southwest, the Jersey Shore and California's central valley account for the highest urban unemployment rates in the nation, according to data compiled by Forbes. The lowest unemployment rates, in contrast, primarily lie in northern college towns and in cities in close proximity to the country's shale...

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Goodyear Recalls SUV Tires Due To Tread Cracks

January 23, 2015 11:28 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Goodyear is recalling about 48,500 SUV tires after finding small cracks in the tread during endurance testing. The move has forced General Motors Co. to stop selling about 6,300 Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave models until the tires are replaced. The recall covers 18-inch...

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Gauge Of U.S. Economy Increases 0.5% In December

January 23, 2015 11:28 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

An index designed to predict the future health of the U.S. economy posted a fourth straight solid gain in December. The Conference Board said Friday that its index of leading indicators increased 0.5 percent in December after a revised gain of 0.4 percent in November. The index also posted solid...

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NASA Spacecraft Almost To Pluto

January 23, 2015 11:25 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

It's showtime for Pluto. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is nearing the end of its nine-year voyage to Pluto, with just over 100 million miles to go before reaching there this July. In the meantime — starting Sunday — it will begin photographing the mysterious, unexplored, icy world once deemed a...

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