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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

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, | 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.

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, | 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.

Lab Study Cuts Fracking Waste's Radioactivity

January 14, 2014 8:04 am | by Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press | News | Comments

Finding solutions for safely dealing with contaminated water and having enough usable water to drill new wells is crucial for the oil and gas industry. It has booming in recent years due to new methods of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — a method that uses millions of gallons of chemical-laced water to crack thick layers of underground rock so fossil fuels can flow out.

Power Quality Problems Plague Manufacturing’s Push For Productivity

January 13, 2014 12:12 pm | by Ben Grimes, Chief Technology Officer, Innovolt | Articles | Comments

Power is the lifeblood of manufacturing. However, the integration of sensitive electronics into most logic assemblies has made the circuitry (and therefore productivity) of the equipment that drives industrial automation much more susceptible to power quality fluctuations.

Spirit Of Cooperation Frays In Fracking Debate

January 10, 2014 8:49 am | by Tammy Webber, Associated Press | News | Comments

After environmentalists, lawmakers and the oil industry got together last year to draft Illinois' first regulations for hydraulic fracturing, the rest was supposed to be easy. The unusual collaboration was praised as a potential model for other states and a rare example of political foes finding common ground on a complex issue.

Top 10 Biofuels & Biobased Predictions For 2014

January 9, 2014 8:43 am | by Biofuels Digest | Articles | Comments

Despite a continuing array of technologies being developed in the EU, and some pretty substantial assists from national and regional authorities in terms of supporting commercial-scale in Canada, the EU and Australia, the hot markets will continue to be in Asia, the US and Brazil.

From Promising Biofuels Pitch To Federal Custody

January 8, 2014 2:28 pm | by Phuong Le, Associated Press | News | Comments

The indictment in December alleges that the CEO received millions of dollars in deposits from investors to build and operate plants in Slovenia, India and Canada. Instead, the indictment alleges, he spent that money, using a $1 million for a home in Kennewick and $65,000 for furnishings and other personal expenses.

Innovative New Explosion-Proof Light Fixtures

January 8, 2014 11:44 am | Product Releases | Comments

 Larson Electronics recently introduced its EPLC2-HB-2X150LED-RT explosion-proof high bay light fixture that brings energy-efficient and powerful light to hazardous locations. The compact LED design means they are idea for replacements of bulky older fixtures.

EU Makes Carbon Pollution More Expensive

January 8, 2014 11:19 am | News | Comments

The European Union says it is beefing up its carbon trading system to make it more expensive for utilities and other businesses to burn fossil fuels. EU officials on Wednesday voted for a proposal that ended a year of bickering over how to amend what is Europe's prime tool in the fight against climate change.

Temporary Rebound Expected For Coal Mining In 2014

January 8, 2014 8:08 am | by Matthew Brown, Associated Press | News | Comments

Low prices for natural gas have been largely to blame for coal's decline in recent years. But that pressure began to ease in 2013 as gas prices rose and coal regained some of its once-dominant share in the electricity generation business, the EIA said.    

Natural Gas Exports: Slow Walk Or 'Danger Zone'?

January 8, 2014 3:19 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

Some large manufacturers that use natural gas say the department is moving too quickly to approve gas exports, pushing the United States into a "danger zone" that could raise prices and harm the economy. Environmental groups worry that tentative approval of several large export projects may accelerate a fracking boom they say could harm public health and the environment.

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