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Connecting the Back Office to the Plant Floor

June 19, 2013 9:45 am | by Karie Daudt, Director of Marketing, TURCK | Articles | Comments

Though industrial Ethernet has been evolving for many years, it is quickly becoming the foundation for many manufacturing applications. Industrial Ethernet provides the connectivity and communication that today’s applications demand for productivity and efficiency improvement.

SW Ind. County Allowed to Develop Fertilizer Plant

June 19, 2013 9:20 am | News | Comments

The state won't stand in the way of a fertilizer plant that a Pakistan-based group is developing in southwestern Indiana despite reservations expressed by Gov. Mike Pence, his office said Tuesday. Pence directed the Indiana Finance Authority not to block Posey County from backing the Midwest Fertilizer Corp. plant.

Lawmakers: Put Dangerous Chemical Site Info Online

June 18, 2013 10:01 am | by WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press | News | Comments

There are 16 fertilizer production sites in Texas like the one that exploded in West, but authorities aren't clear how many of those might be located near schools or other residential centers, top state officials said Monday. Other state officials told lawmakers that 129 facilities store at least 5 tons of ammonium nitrate and other potentially explosive materials.

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Smithfield Lays Off 120

June 18, 2013 9:41 am | by MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Smithfield Foods Inc. is laying off 120 more workers as part of its previously announced closure of a Virginia facility that makes hot dogs and deli meat. The Smithfield, Va.-based pork producer said Tuesday that it plans to close the Portsmouth plant in the middle of August.

Nuclear Weapons Plant to Improve Fire Safety

June 17, 2013 10:00 am | News | Comments

Pantex, the country's only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly plant, has completed main construction on a $35 million project that is designed to improve fire protection at the facility. The new construction comes after the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board raised safety concerns earlier this year about more than a decade of delays in completing improvements to an aging fire protection system at the West Texas facility.

The Devil is in the Metrics

June 14, 2013 9:18 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Articles | Comments

In many of my posts I have expressed my belief that true performance improvement comes from changing behavior.  I’ve also invested many words on my own site on the topic.  Accordingly, I’ve mentioned many times that metrics will drive behavior.  Our goal is to identify or create metrics that deliberately drive desired behavior.

Hoboken, NJ Embraces Electric Grid Pilot Program

June 14, 2013 9:15 am | News | Comments

The city of Hoboken has agreed to be the guinea pig for a federal and state program to fortify its electrical system against storms like Superstorm Sandy. Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced the agreement Thursday with the federal Department of Energy, state Board of Public Utilities, PSE&G and Sandia National Laboratories.

Blast at La. Plant kills 1, Injures More Than 70

June 14, 2013 9:12 am | by STACEY PLAISANCE, Associated Press | News | Comments

Louisiana's health department said 77 people were treated at hospitals and 51 of those had been released by Thursday evening following an explosion at a petrochemical plant in Geismar. Hospitals reported that workers mostly had burns, cardiac and respiratory issues, and bruises.

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La. State Police: Explosion at Chemical Plant

June 13, 2013 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Louisiana State Police say a reported explosion has started a fire at a chemical plant.Capt. Doug Cain says the fire broke out Thursday morning at The Williams Companies Inc. plant in the town of Geismar. The plant makes highly flammable gases that are basic building blocks in the petrochemical industry.

Deal Lets Duke Energy Raise Rates $200M a Year

June 13, 2013 10:41 am | by EMERY P. DALESIO, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Duke Energy Corp. said Wednesday it is willing to take less than half of the rate increase it sought in February for electricity customers in western North Carolina under a deal with a state regulatory division responsible for representing consumers.

FEMA Denies Aid for Texas Fertilizer Plant Blast

June 13, 2013 10:38 am | by RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is refusing to provide additional money to help rebuild the small Texas town where a deadly fertilizer plant explosion leveled numerous homes and a school, and killed 15 people. FEMA said the explosion "is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration."

Infographic: Plant Maintenance Opportunities

June 13, 2013 10:13 am | by Grady Winston, Blogger & Entrepeneur | Articles | Comments

Any temporary shutdown of a plant or factory is an extremely expensive occurrence, whether emergency in nature or planned for two years. Studies have demonstrated, however, that the short-term expenses are more than offset by improved plant efficiency, improved operations, lower energy use and markedly fewer unexpected mechanical failures.

Processing in Person: Keeping It Fresh (Part II)

June 13, 2013 10:09 am | by Krystal Gabert, Editor | Articles | Comments

Chem.Info's recurring Processing in Person feature highlights a processing company that stands above the rest for the implementation of strategic processing techniques and the production of high quality goods. This week, we're focusing on juice processor Hoogesteger in the Netherlands.

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San Diego Utility Revives Plans for Electric Plant

June 12, 2013 10:59 am | by ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Southern California electric utility said Tuesday that it was reviving plans to build a large, natural gas-fired plant after news that the San Onofre nuclear power plant was closing. San Diego Gas & Electric Co. said it will ask regulators next week to approve a 300-megawatt plant in unincorporated Otay Mesa near the Mexican border.

Ala. Nuclear Reactor Automatically Shuts Down

June 12, 2013 10:48 am | News | Comments

A nuclear reactor in Alabama automatically shut down because of an electrical problem, but regulators say there is no threat to the public. Officials report the Unit 1 reactor at Plant Farley south of Dothan automatically shut down around 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

Fukushima Plant Moves Toward Fuel-Rod Removal

June 12, 2013 10:45 am | by MALCOLM FOSTER, Associated Press | News | Comments

More than two years after Japan's nuclear disaster, damaged vehicles, twisted metal and other debris remains strewn about the Fukushima plant. Scores of black and gray pipes and hoses cover the ground in some places, part of the company's makeshift system to pump water into the damaged reactors to keep them from overheating.

Regs Report: NFPA2112 Standards

June 12, 2013 10:06 am | by Kimberley Schmitt, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Chem.Info’s recurring Regs Report feature presents new and emerging regulations and enables readers to better achieve compliance. In this installment, we explore the NFPA 2112 standards on flame resistant garments for protection against flash fires.

La. Company, Employees Indicted in Explosives Case

June 11, 2013 11:32 am | by HOLBROOK MOHR & JEFF AMY, Associated Press | News | Comments

Six executives of a Louisiana company that recycles explosives were indicted Monday in an investigation into the improper storage of millions of pounds of military propellant, a discovery that led a small town to evacuate after an explosion.

Security Guards Only Workers Left at Plant Aiming to Produce Solar Panel Materials

June 11, 2013 11:28 am | News | Comments

Hoku Scientific Inc.'s estimated $400 million polysilicon plant in eastern Idaho now has only eight workers, all security guards, after its last engineer exited last month amid dwindling hopes the facility will ever produce materials for solar panels.

Q&A: Good Mechanics Know How the Parts Work

June 10, 2013 11:15 am | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, Product Design & Development | Articles | Comments

In late January, FCI Electronics named Alessandro Perrotta as the company’s new CEO, effective February, 13 2013. David Mantey of Product Design & Development had a chance to speak with Perrotta about the FCI’s future in the latest installment to PD&D’s Fireside Chat series.

Canadian Solar Signs Deal for Ontario Plant

June 10, 2013 10:48 am | News | Comments

Canadian Solar landed a $304.2 million contract to construct a power plant in Ontario, sending shares 6 percent higher before the opening bell Monday. Construction begins in the third quarter of 2013 and the plant, being built for Grand Renewable Solar LP, is expected to be fully operational by 2015.

Safety at Deadly China Plant 'Extremely Chaotic'

June 7, 2013 11:03 am | by CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press | News | Comments

China's workplace safety agency said negligence among factory managers and government inspectors caused "extremely chaotic" work-safety conditions at the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Co. plant where a deadly fire killed 120 workers this week.

Texas Site Begins Taking Federal Nuclear Waste

June 7, 2013 10:52 am | by BETSY BLANEY, Associated Press | News | Comments

Republican mega-donor Harold Simmons' remote hazardous waste dump in West Texas began accepting low-level radioactive material Thursday from a federal lab in New Mexico — the latest step in Simmons' vision of a site that accepts all types of waste.

Governor, Others Mark Opening of Opelika Plant

June 7, 2013 10:48 am | News | Comments

The governor and other officials are celebrating the official opening of a plant in Opelika that makes vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements. The officials are scheduled to join executives of Pharmavite for the grand opening of the manufacturing facilit.

Sustaining Market Leadership by Leveraging Business & Manufacturing Intelligence

June 7, 2013 10:17 am | by James Montgomery, Product Manager, Apriso | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers cannot expect to sustain success with traditional decision making in today's business climate. To maintain a leadership position and profit margins, companies must respond intelligently to more frequent, drastic and faster changes.

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