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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Dow Chemical Looking To Spin Off, Sell 40 Plants

December 2, 2013 8:43 am | News | Comments

Dow Chemical is looking to spin off or sell about 40 manufacturing plants from its business as it continues to move away from cyclical commodity products.The company said Monday that it expects those deals to happen within the next one to two years. Almost 2,000 workers will be affected by the moves.

Ex-BP Engineer Who Deleted Texts Heads To Trial

December 2, 2013 7:50 am | by Michael Kunzleman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nearly a year after energy giant BP cut a deal to a resolve a criminal investigation of its role in the nation's worst offshore oil spill, a jury is set to hear the Justice Department's case against a former company employee accused of trying to stymie the federal investigation.

Piles Of Midwest 'Petcoke' Raising Residents' Ire

November 26, 2013 8:24 am | by Tammy Webber, Associated Press | News | Comments

The onslaught, captured in photos and video footage from Detroit and Chicago this year, was caused by the same thing: brisk winds sweeping across huge black piles of petroleum coke, or "petcoke," a powdery byproduct of oil refining that's been accumulating along Midwest shipping channels and sparking a new wave of health and environmental concerns.

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China Company Sorry For Oil Blasts That Kill 47

November 25, 2013 3:01 pm | News | Comments

Sinopec's expansion of petrochemical projects has met with resistance from members of the public, and Friday's blasts in the eastern port city of Quingdao will likely add to growing concern about safety and environmental risks. The accident was the deadliest involving Sinopec.

Jury Awards Mo. Worker $28M For Lung Damage

November 25, 2013 8:32 am | News | Comments

In the lawsuit, Philip Berger claimed he developed inflammation of the lung after breathing contaminants from a chemical used to cool cutting tools at Copeland Scroll Compressors, a firm owned by Ferguson-based Emerson Climate Technologies.     

Are There Spiders Lurking In Your Food?

November 25, 2013 8:24 am | by Lindsey Jahn, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

Occurrences of shoppers discovering spiders lurking in grocery-store grapes have been reported throughout the Midwest over the past month — and the issue isn’t limited to one retail chain. Budget supermarket chain Aldi pulled all grapes from its Milwaukee locations after a consumer found a black widow spider in a package of grapes from an Aldi store in Wauwatosa, Wis.

Dow Exiting Stake In Battery Maker Dow Kokam

November 25, 2013 7:56 am | News | Comments

Dow Chemical Co. said Friday that it is selling its stake in lithium-ion battery maker Dow Kokam LLC for an undisclosed amount. That will make the buyer, MBP Investors, an affiliate of investment firm Townsend Ventures, the majority owner of Dow Kokam. The venture's products are used by marine, defense and industrial customers.

Oil Pipeline Blasts In Eastern China Kill 35

November 22, 2013 11:33 am | News | Comments

The leaked oil triggered two huge blasts, one of them tearing up concrete along a city road in Qingdao. Photos posted online showed ripped slabs of pavement, bodies, overturned vehicles and shattered windows in nearby buildings. Black smoke rose above gigantic fuel silos and darkened much of the sky.

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New Calif. Chemical Flame Retardant Rules Adopted

November 22, 2013 7:50 am | News | Comments

California on Thursday adopted new flammability standards for furniture and other products that would allow manufacturers to stop using chemical flame retardants. Gov. Jerry Brown said the new standards were a badly needed update to nearly 40-year-old rules that led to the widespread use of chemicals known as PBDEs to treat the foam found inside furniture.

House OKs Bills To Speed Oil, Gas Drilling

November 21, 2013 8:46 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

The measures were among three energy bills the House is considering this week as Republicans who control the chamber push to expand an oil and gas boom that's lowered prices and led the U.S. to produce more oil last month than it imported from abroad.

Hercules Files Motion To Dismiss Part Of Lawsuit

November 19, 2013 10:10 am | News | Comments

Hercules Inc. and its parent company have asked a federal judge to allow the Environmental Protection Agency to address complaints raised by the city of Hattiesburg in its lawsuit that alleges improper disposed of harmful chemicals in its facility.The city sued for damages from what it has called decades of pollution from the Hercules plant site, which dates back to 1923.

Gulf States Get First $113M From Oil Spill Fines

November 15, 2013 10:57 am | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Over the next five years, the foundation's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund will receive about $1.3 billion for barrier island and river diversion projects in Louisiana, $356 million each for natural resource projects in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi, and $203 million for similar projects in Texas.

Fire Damages Detroit Chemical Company

November 15, 2013 8:24 am | News | Comments

The fire started early Thursday afternoon at Chemical Technology Inc.'s offices and warehouse on the city's east side and sent up huge plumes of thick smoke that were seen miles away. Fire officials quickly labeled it a hazardous materials situation.

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Ecuador Court Halves Chevron Pollution Judgement

November 13, 2013 2:14 pm | News | Comments

Ecuador's highest court has cut in half a landmark judgment against Chevron Corp. for oil contamination in the Amazon, putting the penalty at $8.8 billion. The sum equals the original judgment against the oil multinational awarded by a local judge in February 2011.

Siemens Subsidiary Fined Over Russian Bribes

November 12, 2013 11:43 am | News | Comments

Swiss federal prosecutors said Tuesday that Sweden-based Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery made payments between 2004 and 2006 to "senior executives of the Russian state-owned" gas production company into their Swiss bank accounts. Gazprom wasn't identified by name, but is Russia's only state gas company.

Pa.'s gas drilling job figures raise questions

November 11, 2013 2:04 pm | by Marc Levy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The statistic comes from a state Department of Labor and Industry report, whose authors don't exactly make the same claim. It is the agency's estimate of employment at Pennsylvania businesses in 36 different lines of work that have some sort of relationship to the exploration of the Marcellus Shale, the nation's largest-known natural gas reservoir.

Transocean Agrees To Deal With Icahn

November 11, 2013 7:53 am | News | Comments

The company said Monday that it has agreed to support a dividend of $3 per share and reduce the size of its board. It is also looking to boost margins by $800 million through cost-cutting efforts and other measures. The stock climbed in premarket trading. 

Emerson Opens New Global Headquarters For Regulator Tech

November 8, 2013 4:34 pm | News | Comments

Emerson Process Management has today announced the opening of its new $25 million headquarters for the design, testing and manufacture of its regulator technologies. The company says these products include pressure regulators and relief valve solutions for the oil & gas, chemical and power industries.

2 Burned By Acid At Suburban Philly Plant

November 8, 2013 6:42 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Authorities say two workers were burned after they were splashed by acid at a dental implant manufacturing plant in suburban Philadelphia. Officials in Bucks County said the workers came into contact with nitric acid shortly after 9:30 a.m. Thursday during a chemical reaction at the Hiossen Inc. plant in Falls Township.

Natural Gas Gains Squeeze Family-Run Oil Companies

November 7, 2013 8:34 am | by Stephen Singer, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The industry faces a relentless boom in cheaper natural gas, on top of a more than 50 percent drop in the number of homes heated by oil between 1973 and 2011. The threat to the industry dominated by family businesses is particularly keen in the Northeast, where about 30 percent of homes are heated by oil, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

LG Chem Michigan To Pay Gov't $1.2M

November 5, 2013 1:53 pm | News | Comments

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Grand Rapids, Mich., said Tuesday that the workers watched movies, played games and did volunteer work in 2012 while being paid through a $150 million Department of Energy grant to build and operate a battery factory in Holland, Mich.

Volatile Prices At Gas Pumps Give Drivers Whiplash

November 4, 2013 8:46 am | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

The problem, analysts say, is a fuel system increasingly vulnerable to short-term shocks. That's because refiners try to keep stocks of gasoline low to save money, just as other manufacturers aim to operate on a "just-in-time" inventory schedule.   

Judge Denies Exxon Mobil Motions In Ark. Lawsuit

November 1, 2013 2:09 pm | News | Comments

A federal judge has rejected two motions by Exxon Mobil Corp. in a lawsuit filed following an oil spill from a ruptured pipeline in Mayflower.U.S. District Judge Brian Miller in Little Rock denied the company's request to dismiss the lawsuit and dismiss certain class-action allegations.

Gulf Platform Owner Sued Over Deadly 2012 Blast

October 30, 2013 2:31 pm | News | Comments

A Filipino worker who was severely burned in a deadly explosion on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico last year is suing the platform's owner and operator. Lawyers for Renato Dominguez, 53, filed the suit against Houston-based Black Elk Energy LLC on Oct. 16 in a county court in Galveston, Texas.

Rockwell Automation To Acquire vMonitor

October 30, 2013 10:17 am | News | Comments

Rockwell Automation, Inc., yesterday announced its intent to purchase vMonitor, a technology company that creates wireless solutions for customers in the oil and gas industry. Rockwell officials say the deal is expected to close within two months.

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