Industry Trends: Business & Industry

Business & Industry

Why the Battle Over Pacific Coal Export Terminals Matters

The boom in U.S. natural gas production is sparking an overseas demand for American coal. The domestic market for coal has shrunk as emission standards tightened and natural gas prices dropped. As a result, U.S. coal prices fell, boosting overseas demand for it. Despite its weight, coal is easier to export than natural gas. Eager to make up lost domestic revenues, and seeing a hungry market...

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Business & Industry

What Is Your Data Backup Strategy Missing?

It's just about impossible to find a business that isn't heavily dependent on computers, data, and software applications. Given the various risks that can cause critical information to disappear -- cyber-attack, natural disaster, computer virus, or coffee accidentally spilled into a laptop -- it is essential to have a strategy to back up computers and servers. How does a small or medium business...

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Business & Industry

Light Friday: What to Do with Leftover Halloween Candy

Plus: Unwind with a Python Massage Can a Wristband Make AC Obsolete? World's Tallest Man Now World's Tallest Groom A Dose of Pun  If you're the type to go all out trick or treating -- with a battle plan, maps, driving a few neighborhoods over to hit the right blocks -- you know that Halloween can stretch out for weeks or even months. That cairn of Snickers, Jolly Ranchers, Smarties, and more...

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Business & Industry

Career Spotlight: Gary Butkowski, Welder Turned Instructor

As an accomplished welder, Gary Butkowski decided long ago to share his knowledge and spent more than 20 years teaching the profession at a prison and a military base. He continues to teach today, giving high school students the benefit of his experience and know-how. Butkowski equips students at the Wright Technical Center in Buffalo, Minn., with the most in-demand skill sets in welding, from...

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Business & Industry

How EPA Regulations Could Ultimately Help Oil and Coal Industries

Could the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new regulations actually increase oil dependence? That's what some are saying about the agency's latest attempt to tamp down on coal-fired CO2 emissions. According to The Motley Fool's Matthew DiLallo, the EPA's latest proposal requires new coal-fired power plants to be built with cutting-edge carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. The...

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Business & Industry

Staffing Firms Helping Big and Small Manufacturers Survive the ACA

The health care mandates under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have posed a challenge for small manufacturing businesses that look to or are hoping to expand. In response, many staffing firms are stepping up to offer specialized services that can help the businesses save money while complying with the law.  Under the ACA, if a company that has fewer than 50 full-time employees hires additional...

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Business & Industry

Survey: Students Are Overconfident in Workforce Skills

Recent college graduates might be a bit too confident about their workforce skills, a survey of students and hiring managers indicates. However, students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) seem much better prepared to embark upon their careers. Academic resource company Chegg and research firm Harris Interactive revealed in their survey that one area new grads and hiring...

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Business & Industry

Does Lean Manufacturing Work for Small-Run Job Shops?

Lean manufacturing tends to be associated with large-scale, mass-production manufacturing. But can smaller-scale job shops benefit from such process-improvement programs as well?  Shahrukh Irani, director of industrial engineering research at Hoerbiger, a Swiss manufacturer of automation and drive technologies, believes so. One problem, he told IMT, is that "low-mix, high-volume production was...

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Business & Industry

Industrial Production Inches Up in September

Manufacturing output registered a slight uptick of 0.1 percent last month, indicating that the U.S. economy was sputtering even before the government shutdown.  The modest boost in factory output is down from a 0.5 percent gain in August, according to data released by the Federal Reserve. Production of durable goods increased 0.5 percent last month and advanced at an annual rate of 2.7 percent...

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