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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

TN GOP Leader Questions Incentives For Unionized GM Plant

February 26, 2015 7:14 pm | by Erik Schelzig, The Associated Press | Comments

State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said Thursday that it may have been "a mistake" for Tennessee to subsidize the development of the General Motors plant outside Nashville because it has a United Auto Workers union contract. The Blountville Republican's comments came as GOP...

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FCC Backs Net Neutrality

February 26, 2015 3:33 pm | by Andy Szal, Digital Reporter | Comments

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to protect so-called "net neutrality" by establishing uniform standards for those using the Internet. The commissioners split 3-2 along party lines on the proposal, which reclassified high-speed Internet as a telecommunications service...

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Wisconsin Moves Closer To 'Right-To-Work' Status

February 26, 2015 3:15 pm | by Andy Szal, Digital Reporter | Comments

The Wisconsin state Senate passed "right-to-work" legislation late Wednesday, which moves the state one step closer to prohibiting membership in a union as a condition of employment. The bill passed by a 17-15 margin with just one Republican breaking ranks to vote against...

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Energy, Manufacturing Companies Look To Women To Address Skills Gap

February 26, 2015 2:37 pm | by Andy Szal, Digital Reporter | Comments

ExxonMobil will host more than 2,000 students at "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day" events throughout the next several months as part of a continued effort to bolster the number of women in the industry. The events, hosted at 14 ExxonMobil and XTO Energy sites across the country, connect ExxonMobil employees with middle school girls, providing mentorship...

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Automakers Hire Rocket Firm To Probe Air Bag Problems

February 26, 2015 11:14 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | Comments

The auto industry, fed up with slow progress toward finding the cause of air bags to explode with too much force, has hired a Virginia rocket science company to investigate the matter. Ten automakers whose vehicles have been recalled because of problems with Takata Corp. air bags...

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Gas Cost Lowers Consumer Prices By Most In Six Years

February 26, 2015 10:00 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | Comments

A plunge in gas prices last month lowered consumer prices by the most in six years. But excluding the volatile food and energy costs, prices rose. The Labor Department said Thursday that the consumer price index fell 0.7 percent in January, the sharpest drop since December 2008. Tumbling prices at the pump drove...

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Consumer Reports Releases Its Top Vehicle Picks

February 26, 2015 9:54 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Comments

The closely watched annual list of top auto brands and individual vehicles was released this week indicating Consumer Reports’ favorites among the 270 autos recently tested. Japanese vehicles won six of the 10 categories, the smallest number in the 19-year history...

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Orders For U.S. Durable Goods Up 2.8 Percent In January

February 26, 2015 9:37 am | by Martin Crustinger, AP Economics Writer | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in January as a key category that signals business investment plans showed an increase. Orders for durable goods increased 2.8 percent in January after declines of 3.7 percent in December and 2.2 percent in November, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Demand in a category that serves as a proxy...

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Industry Group Warns Of Vapors At Fracking Sites

February 26, 2015 9:31 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Workers at shale oil drilling operations on the northern Great Plains could be at risk for serious injury, illness or death from inhaling tank fumes, an industry group warns. MonDaks Safety Network issued an alert over the potential consequences of breathing in vapors from the tanks. Compounds such as propane, butane or benzene pose risks for explosions...

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Report: FDA Recalls Fell In Fourth Quarter Of 2014

February 26, 2015 9:24 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

A recent report found that recalls of products overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fell during the final quarter of 2014 but the number of affected units increased. According to the latest recall index from Indianapolis-based ExpertSOLUTIONS, the pharmaceutical, medical device and food industries saw 398 recalls the final three months of last...

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Manufacturing Snapshot Of The Week: Space Selfie

February 25, 2015 2:54 pm | by Abbey Dean, Editor | Comments

This week we bring you the art of the space selfie. NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts are currently on their second of three scheduled spacewalks this week on the International Space Station. According to The Washington Post, the astronauts, assisted by Italian astronaut and robotic...

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Elon Musk's Solar Company To Use Former Solyndra Buildings

February 25, 2015 2:41 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

SolarCity, the California-based solar power company chaired by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, will soon set up shop in the buildings that formerly housed Solyndra. The two-building, 200,000-square-foot complex in Fremont, California has been vacant since Solyndra infamously...

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Google, Apple Compete For Upper Hand In New Tech Markets

February 25, 2015 2:35 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Comments

Smartphone dashboards and mobile payment systems catch the attention of rival companies.         

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Newest UPS & FedEx Competitor: Waffle House?

February 25, 2015 1:53 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

A new ridesharing service has an unlikely ally in its quest to enter the package delivery marketplace: Waffle House. The iconic Southern breakfast chain will serve as the first official pickup location for drivers using the Roadie app. Roadie, launched late last month by...

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TJ Maxx, Marshalls To Follow Wal-Mart In Raising Pay

February 25, 2015 1:18 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

The owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods stores said Wednesday that it will boost pay for its U.S. workers to at least $9 per hour. The announcement by TJX Cos. comes a week after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it would increase wages for its employees and is a sign that more...

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Motorola Aims New Phone At First-Time Smartphone Buyers

February 25, 2015 1:15 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Motorola is updating its low-cost smartphone, the Moto E, as it targets first-time smartphone buyers worldwide. Among the improvements over last year's model: The camera now has auto-focusing, whereas the older model had a fixed-focus lens that didn't compensate for how far away...

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Lego Sales Keep Rising Amid Global Demand

February 25, 2015 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Lego says its popular, multi-colored toy blocks continued to be in strong demand last year, particularly in its largest market, the U.S., as well as Britain, France, Russia and China. The Danish company said Wednesday it invested 3.1 billion kroner in 2014 to locate production closer...

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Volvo To Test Self-Driving Cars On Swedish Roads In 2017

February 25, 2015 10:03 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

One hundred people will get behind the wheel of self-driving Volvo cars in 2017 for the first public test of the Swedish automaker's Drive Me system. The test will place individuals in the driver's seats, which would automatically move through streets cleared...

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Survey: China Factory Activity Up, Export Orders Drop

February 25, 2015 9:55 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | Comments

China's manufacturing activity edged up to a four-month high in February although export orders decreased for the first time in nearly a year, in the latest sign of uncertainty for the world's No. 2 economy, according to a private survey Wednesday. HSBC's preliminary purchasing managers' index released...

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Apple To Bolster Emoji Diversity

February 25, 2015 9:28 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

More than a year after an Internet outcry about a lack of racial diversity among Apple's emojis, users looking to punctuate their texts with tiny cartoon people will soon be able to select from a variety of new skin tones. Apple officials said the next update to its operating system for the iPhone and iPad...

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