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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Report Chronicles Dangers Of Flavoring Chemical

February 18, 2015 11:18 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

A chemical long known to cause rapid, severe lung damage remains unregulated by federal labor officials, according to a recent report. The report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel concerns diacetyl, which is used in its liquid form to flavor an array of food products, including as candy, chips and...

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U.S. Wholesale Prices Drop 0.8% In January

February 18, 2015 11:16 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | Comments

U.S. wholesale prices fell by a record amount in January, led by the biggest drop in gasoline prices in six years. The Labor Department said Wednesday that its producer price index declined 0.8 percent last month, the biggest drop in a data series that goes back to November 2009 when the...

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For Many In U.S., Cash Saved At Gas Pump Is Staying In Pockets

February 18, 2015 11:13 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | Comments

In recent months, the stage seemed set for American consumers to do what they've traditionally done best: Spend money — and drive the economy. The lowest gas prices in five years had given people more spending money. Employers added over 1 million jobs from November through January, the best three-month...

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SEC Filing: Duke Energy Says It Expects To Settle Criminal Probe

February 18, 2015 10:26 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Duke Energy says it expects to pay $100 million to settle an ongoing federal criminal investigation that began after a massive coal ash spill at a North Carolina plant. The details are contained in an earnings report filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission...

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NAM Partners With Ecolab To Support Manufacturers Nationwide

February 18, 2015 10:20 am | by Jamie Hennigan, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) | Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today named Ecolab Inc. an exclusive Manufacturing Partner to provide thought leadership at NAM regional and national events and engage with manufacturing executives nationwide. "Ecolab has consistently been an industry leader in providing water...

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U.S. Factory Output Rose A Modest 0.2% In January

February 18, 2015 10:04 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | Comments

U.S. factory production edged up last month as manufacturers cranked out more computers, clothing, steel and other metals, offsetting declines in autos and aerospace. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that factory production increased 0.2 percent in January, after a flat reading in December. The data suggests...

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Did NSA Plant Spyware In Computers Shipped Abroad?

February 17, 2015 6:30 pm | by Brandon Bailey, AP Technology Writer | Comments

Did the National Security Agency plant spyware deep in the hard drives of thousands of computers used by foreign governments, banks and other targets under surveillance abroad? A new report from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said its researchers identified malicious programs or worms...

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Quartz Surface Manufacturing Plant Expanding In GA

February 17, 2015 6:30 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A company that manufactures quartz surfaces is planning to expand a plant near Savannah. Gov. Nathan Deal announced Tuesday that Caesarstone is planning to expand its plant in Richmond Hill and create 130 jobs. Deal said in a statement that the company is expanding its U.S. manufacturing...

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Report: Solar Energy Jobs Up More Than 20 Percent In 2014

February 17, 2015 5:06 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

The U.S. solar energy sector employed nearly 174,000 workers in manufacturing, construction, engineering, sales and other industries as of November 2014, an increase of nearly 22 percent compared to the previous year. That's according to data compiled by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit The Solar Foundation, which...

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Sansa Security Joins The Industrial Internet Consortium

February 17, 2015 4:14 pm | by Sansa Security | Comments

Sansa Security, a provider of embedded security technologies, today announced that it has joined the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) in the hopes of accelerating the growth of the industrial Internet and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The IIC brings together nearly 140 members from various industries including...

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WV Chemical Spill Company's Bankruptcy At Crossroads

February 17, 2015 3:36 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A federal bankruptcy judge is calling for parties to meet to discuss how to conclude the case of Freedom Industries, whose January 2014 chemical spill caused a tap-water ban for 300,000 people for days. The Charleston Gazette reports Judge Ronald Pearson scheduled a March 3 status conference in...

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Ex-Smucker Employee Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $4.1M

February 17, 2015 3:32 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A former employee of the J.M. Smucker Co. in northeast Ohio has been sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison for stealing $4 million from the company over a 16-year-period. A news release says 54-year-old Mark Kershey of Akron was sentenced to 58 months Friday. He was the Orrville, Ohio, company's chief...

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Judge: Oil, Gas Firms Not Liable For LA Coastal Erosion

February 17, 2015 3:27 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A federal judge has dismissed a New Orleans-area levee authority's lawsuit charging oil and gas companies with destroying Louisiana's coastal wetlands. The lawsuit was filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East in 2013 against nearly 100 oil and gas companies over damage they...

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Obama Administration May Double Salary Threshold For Overtime Exemption

February 17, 2015 3:07 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Policy experts expect forthcoming rules from the Obama administration to potentially double the salary threshold for exemptions to overtime pay requirements. Under current guidelines, employers may exempt salaried workers earning at least $23,660 annually from requirements that they pay overtime rates for more...

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VW Certifies UAW Alternative Group At TN Plant

February 17, 2015 3:05 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Volkswagen has certified a group called the American Council of Employees to represent workers at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, setting the stage for the group's continued showdowns with the United Autoworkers union. The ACE formed at the plant as an alternative to the UAW, which had long sought...

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Families: Send Suit Against Gun Manufacturer To State Court

February 17, 2015 1:32 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

The families of nine children and adults killed in the 2012 Newtown school shooting are asking a federal judge to return their lawsuit against gun maker Remington to state court, where legal experts say it may have a better chance of succeeding. The families and shooting survivor Natalie Hammond...

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MI Governor Puts Renewed Emphasis On Blue-Collar Jobs

February 17, 2015 1:31 pm | by David Eggert, The Associated Press | Comments

Only a few short years ago, Michigan leaders talked excitedly about diversifying the state's economy beyond the auto industry, envisioning a Silicon Valley-style workforce that would be less dependent on manufacturing and more invested in technology and green...

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Why Refinery Strike Has Had Little Bite At Gas Pump

February 17, 2015 12:14 pm | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | Comments

Gasoline prices can spike for all kinds of reasons that make skeptical drivers roll their eyes: "tension" in the Middle East, a refinery suddenly shuts down for maintenance, or the annual springtime switch to summer blends of gasoline. A refinery strike, however, would seem...

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Growing Pains: Oil Boom Turns Prairie School To Melting Pot

February 17, 2015 12:07 pm | by Sharon Cohen, AP National Writer | Comments

Every morning as principal Brad Foss arrives at his school — after just a 60-second commute — he's reminded of oil's giant footprint in this town. There's the revolving-door student roster that reads like random pages of a school atlas: Jiang from China, Emma from Utah, Jose from Guatemala, Omar from Arizona...

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Drones Rule: Proposed Rules For Commercial Unmanned Aircraft

February 17, 2015 10:27 am | by Joan Lowy, The Associated Press | Comments

Drone on, the government says. Just not through the night sky. Or close to an airport. Or out of the operator's sight. And probably not winging its way with a pizza or package, any time soon. Long-anticipated rules proposed Sunday will open an era in which small (under 55 pounds) commercial unmanned...

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