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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Hundreds Sue Makers Of Fukushima Nuclear Plant

January 30, 2014 7:49 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The plaintiffs said that manufacturers — Toshiba, GE and Hitachi — failed to make needed safety improvements to the 4-decade-old reactors at the Fukushima plant. They are seeking compensation of $1 each, saying the idea is to raise awareness of the problem.

IBM, Texas A&M Will Collaborate On Research

January 29, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

IBM and Texas A&M University System will be collaborating on wide-ranging research. The Armonk, N.Y. based company and the university announced the agreement on Wednesday. The work will focus on energy, animal diseases and global food supplies, among other things.

Processing Trends, Chemical Industry Knowledge Lead To Custom Approach

January 29, 2014 10:23 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

Currently, the processing market, and in particular the harsher chemical, petrochemical and resins sectors, are seeing growth due to an influx of homegrown energy resources that have helped lower production costs. This growth shines a spotlight on the need for equipment, operational approaches and ERP systems that are scalable, reliable and efficient.

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Ethanol Industry Set To Fight EPA On Blend Rule

January 29, 2014 8:02 am | by David Pitt, Associated Press | News | Comments

At the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association's annual meeting Tuesday in Altoona, the ethanol's chief Washington lobbyist noted that the industry is battle-hardened, having successful fought against oil interests to get the biofuel mandate, which currently requires that renewable fuels make up about 18 billion gallons of the nation's fuel supply.

Bono, Cameron Talk Poverty, Climate At AP Debate

January 24, 2014 12:35 pm | by Josh Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron says efforts to eradicate poverty must go hand-in-hand with curbing global warming. The comments came Friday at an Associated Press debate looking ahead to the expiration of the United Nations' "millennium goals."

Next-Generation Manufacturers Are Saving Money On Energy

January 24, 2014 11:25 am | by Thomas McCann Mullooly and Kurt Rempe of Foley & Lardner | Articles | Comments

The modern energy marketplace is changing.  Energy costs as a percent of cost of manufactured goods fell by 11% between 2006 and 2010, according to the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), and those prices have continued to fall.   

Mo. Senate Panel Considers Blocking E15 Gasoline

January 24, 2014 8:46 am | by Jordan Shapiro, Associated Press | News | Comments

Amid warnings from business groups and car manufacturers about using higher concentrations of ethanol in gasoline, a Missouri Senate committee considered Thursday whether to permanently block a proposal allowing gas stations to sell fuel containing 15 percent ethanol.

Power Company Tri-State Pitches $10M CO2 X Prize

January 24, 2014 8:43 am | by Mead Gruver, Associated Press | News | Comments

The prize winner would have to be able to show they could economically capture carbon emissions at a working power plant. They also would have to be able to put the carbon to a use that could defray the cost of keeping the greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere.

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Achieving Net-Zero Use Of Grid Energy In Manufacturing

January 23, 2014 2:12 pm | by Jim McMahon, sustainability and renewable energy writer | Articles | Comments

Energy management, process efficiency and incorporating more sustainable procedures are critical for maintaining a competitive edge in today’s markets. Indeed, the need for streamlining energy usage and providing creative solutions for sustainability issues has never been stronger.

GE Hitachi To Pay $2.7M Over False Nuke Claims

January 23, 2014 11:36 am | News | Comments

A subsidiary of General Electric has agreed to pay $2.7 million to resolve claims its employees made false statements to the U.S. Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission about a reactor component.       

One Solution To Ending Train Derailments

January 22, 2014 4:54 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Amid a few newsworthy derailments of trains carrying crude oil, energy companies and the public alike are concerned about the future of the U.S. rail infrastructure and what can be done in the near future to mitigate potentially serious and deadly incidents.

Taking Control Of Energy

January 22, 2014 2:35 pm | by Michael Nicoloro, PE and Joan Fontaine, PE | Articles | Comments

Over the past generation, energy has been a defining issue of our economy. Fluctuations in price and availability of energy have a significant impact on corporate profitability, and the unpredictability of the energy markets are a common source of worry for corporate leaders who have to manage energy supplies.

At Davos, Push For Climate Relief, Clean Energy

January 22, 2014 8:40 am | News | Comments

Leaders gathered in the Swiss ski resort of Davos have made it a top priority to push to reshape the global economy and cut global warming by shifting to cleaner energy sources. U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres says the world economy is at risk unless a binding climate deal is agreed in Paris in 2015 to lower heat-trapping carbon emissions from coal and oil.

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Giant Spud Gunn Makes Its Way Across Wyoming

January 20, 2014 3:33 pm | by Benjamin Storrow, The Casper Star-Tribune | News | Comments

The Spud Gunn is 198 feet tall when standing. It is made of stainless steel and weighs 261 tons. It has almost nothing to do with spuds or guns — its true purpose is separating methane from other natural gases — but it was made in Idaho and slightly resembles one of those plastic devices teenage boys use to launch potatoes into the air, thus the name.

Silicon Valley Sees Shortage Of EV Charge Stations

January 20, 2014 2:11 pm | News | Comments

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. expects 800,000 electric vehicles to be on state roads by 2020 — there are only 20,000 now — creating a high demand for charging stations. Currently, there are about 5,000 public and workplace charging stations in California and 20,000 nationwide.

New Tests Find More Methane In North Texas Water

January 20, 2014 10:28 am | by Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press | News | Comments

Texas' oil and gas regulator has opened a new investigation into allegations that methane is contaminating North Texas water after residents complained that independent sampling by university researchers revealed high levels of the explosive gas in their residential wells, the state agency and scientists said.

Boeing, Etihad To Develop Aviation Biofuels

January 20, 2014 8:13 am | News | Comments

 Aircraft maker Boeing Co., Etihad Airways, the oil company Total and others say they will work together on a program to develop an aviation biofuel industry in the United Arab Emirates. Boeing says in a news release Sunday that the program will involve research and development and investments in production of fuels derived from plants that can power aircraft.

Survey: Costs Of Electronic Equipment Failure Rising

January 17, 2014 12:03 pm | by Innovolt | News | Comments

The costs and challenges associated with electronic asset failures are significant. To better understand these issues, Innovolt® Inc. sponsored a survey of executives from several industries that are particularly dependent upon the reliability, performance, and lifespan of sensitive electronic equipment.

FutureGen Gets Key Energy Department Approval

January 17, 2014 11:28 am | by David Mercer, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Energy Department issued its 25-page approval of the $1.65 billion plan that would refit a coal-fired power plant in Meredosia in western Illinois. The project would remove carbon dioxide from the coal and store it underground. The greenhouse gas is linked to climate change.

Most Innovative Companies #2: AquaTech

January 16, 2014 11:03 am | Articles | Comments

Our #2 pick is AquaTech, which has 32 years of experience with industrial waste water treatment and is located at the heart of the Marcellus Shale region. The company was one of the first in the area to develop mobile water treatment facilities which lower costs and reduce the risk of transporting contaminated water. AquaTech is also expanding its manufacturing space as well as dedicating a company division to the shale industry.

UN Climate Chief Promotes Green Investments

January 16, 2014 8:17 am | by Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press | News | Comments

International climate negotiators agreed at the 2009 U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen that global warming this century shouldn't increase by more than 2 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. According to the International Energy Agency, $36 trillion of global investment will be needed in clean energy by 2050 to meet this goal.

BP: World Energy Demand To Jump 41 Percent By 2035

January 15, 2014 2:07 pm | News | Comments

Oil giant BP forecasts world demand for energy to grow by 41 percent by 2035, driven by growing consumption in the booming economies of China and India. That represents a drop from 55 percent growth in the previous period, and BP says the growing use of renewable energy will help energy suppliers meet the world's needs.

Va. Manufacturing Research Center Gets New Member

January 15, 2014 11:44 am | News | Comments

Officials say National Instruments has joined the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing as its 17th industry member. The Texas company helps engineers and scientists develop innovations and solutions for energy, aerospace, automotive and other industries. It serves 35,000 companies worldwide.

Google Invests $75 Million In Texas Wind

January 14, 2014 12:13 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Google today announced that it has finalized an agreement to invest $75 million in the Panhandle 2 wind farm, which will be located outside of Amarillo, Texas. Pattern Energy Group LP will develop the 182MW facility, which generates enough electricity to power 56,000 U.S. homes.

U.S. Import Prices Drop, Export Prices Rise In December

January 14, 2014 9:46 am | by Bureau of Labor Statistics | News | Comments

U.S. import prices recorded no change in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, following declines of 0.9 percent in November and 0.6 percent in October. In December, higher fuel prices offset declining nonfuel prices. U.S. export prices advanced 0.4 percent in December, after edging up 0.1 percent the previous month.

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