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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Saab In Talks With Youngman, Chinese Bank

December 5, 2011 4:21 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press | News | Comments

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish Automobile, the owner of Saab, said Monday it is in talks with an unnamed Chinese bank and an auto company about getting them to buy stakes to help the troubled car brand. Swedish Automobile, or Swan, said the negotiations with the bank and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co.

China Manufacturing Contracts In November

December 2, 2011 6:25 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's manufacturing contracted in November for the first time since early 2009, as weak export orders and a slowing economy at home sapped demand for most products, a government survey shows. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said Thursday that its monthly purchasing managers index fell an greater-than-expected 1.

Chattanooga VW Plant Gets LEED-Certified

December 2, 2011 6:24 am | News | Comments

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Volkswagen's manufacturing plant in Chattanooga has been named a LEED-certified factory, making it the only auto making plant in the world to receive the platinum designation, the German automaker announced Thursday. LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through rating systems.

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Biomass Manufacturing Plant Planned For VA

December 2, 2011 6:22 am | News | Comments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A manufacturer of processed biomass fuel in the U.S. and Europe is planning to establish a wood pellet manufacturing operation in Southampton County. Gov. Bob McDonnell said Wednesday that Enviva plans to invest $75 million for the project, creating 64 jobs. The project is contingent upon the property where the plant will be located being rezoned by Southampton County.

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RIM Writes Off Value Of Tablet Inventory

December 2, 2011 6:20 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Research In Motion Ltd., the struggling maker of the BlackBerry phones, is writing off much of its inventory of PlayBook tablets, since it has to sell them at a deep discount. The Canadian company on Friday said it's taking a pre-tax charge of $485 million in the just-ended quarter to account for the declining value of the tablets.

U.S. Trade Panel Considers Solar Dispute With China

December 2, 2011 6:16 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal trade panel is considering a complaint by U.S. solar manufacturers who accuse Chinese companies of "dumping" solar products on global markets to depress prices. Seven U.S. solar companies filed a case with the Commerce Department and International Trade Commission in October.

CAT: IL Has 'Rudderless' Business Climate

December 2, 2011 6:11 am | by David Mercer, Deanna Bellandi, Associated Press | News | Comments

CHICAGO (AP) — One of the largest companies in Illinois is calling the state's business climate "rudderless" and "dysfunctional" after lawmakers failed to approve a package of tax perks to help several businesses threatening to leave the financially strapped state. Caterpillar Inc.

Shaft Voltage Test Kit

December 2, 2011 5:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new AEGIS™ Shaft Voltage Test Kit from Electro Static Technology (Mechanic Falls, ME) makes it easier than ever to measure and document damaging VFD-induced voltages while there is still time to head off bearing damage and equipment downtime. Because the kit can test every VFD-controlled motor in a whole production plant, office building, mechanical room, or anywhere else VFD-driven motors are operating, it provides a powerful tool...

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Posidyne Clutch, Brakes

December 2, 2011 5:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

Posidyne® clutch and brakes from Force Control Industries (Fairfield, OH) feature oil shear technology that allows rapid and precise stopping, starting, reversing, speed change, and positioning—all without adjustment and virtually no maintenance. Ideal for applications with frequent start/stop cycles, these motion control devices allow higher cycle rates (as high as 300 cycles per minute) to increase production rates with lower...

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Truck-Mounted Static Ground

December 2, 2011 5:46 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

A new truck-mounted static grounding system from Newson Gale (Overland Park, KS) provides an enhanced margin of safety when vacuum trucks are used during transfer of flammable or combustible materials in hazardous areas. The Earth-Rite® MGV system verifies the existence of an effective low resistance ground point and monitors the bonding connection throughout the transfer process.

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C-More Remote HMI App

December 2, 2011 5:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

AutomationDirect ’s (Cumming, GA) new C-more remote HMI application is available through the iTunes App Store for $4.99 and provides remote access and control to mobile users who have a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. A C-more panel with remote connectivity is required, and the C-more Remote HMI app does not require third party remote desktop VNC-type applications.

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Plant Design Maximizes Flexibility In Chocolate Production

December 2, 2011 4:54 am | Articles | Comments

Modern chocolate production no longer involves simple manufacturing. Today it is much more the art of recognizing and developing trends early on — while operating economically and without compromising quality. Over the years chocolate has become a general commodity — both its consumption and its production are more affordable, faster and more global than ever before.

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Cisco CEO Talks Emerging Markets

December 2, 2011 4:51 am | Videos | Comments

Cisco CEO John Chambers says his company currently does about 20 percent of its business in emerging markets, but he added that he feels there is a lot of potential for growth in that area. Chambers also answers a number of other questions about Cisco and the company's future in this recent interview with CNN's John Defterios.

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The Dilemma Of Recurring Problems

December 2, 2011 4:48 am | by Michael Curran-Hayes, Senior Partner, Life Science, Kepner-Tregoe, Inc . | Articles | Comments

Nightmare scenario:  The phone rings and you learn with dread that the problem you thought you had gotten rid of a month ago is back and bigger than ever.  Your stomach sinks and your pulse quickens, as you scramble to find out exactly what is happening.   AND you know it is only a matter of time before plant management will be showing up at your door to have a “serious” discussion.

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Lean Comes To The Industrial Battery Room

December 2, 2011 4:40 am | by Harold Vanasse , Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Philadelphia Scientific | Articles | Comments

More than 20 years after it first entered the manufacturing lexicon, Lean thinking is finally taking hold in the warehouse and DC. Now, the last frontier for Lean implementation may be the industrial battery room. In its simplest form, Lean manufacturing means producing goods with less; it applies fewer resources without affecting the quality or quantity of the goods produced.

Australian Court Bans Galaxy Tab Sales

December 2, 2011 4:14 am | by Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press | News | Comments

SYDNEY (AP) — Apple Inc. won a small victory on Friday in its global patent battle with rival Samsung, after Australia's highest court temporarily extended a ban on sales of Samsung's Galaxy tablet computers in the country. Samsung Electronics Co. is desperate to begin selling the Galaxy in Australia in time for Christmas sales, but the High Court's decision means the device can't go on the market until at least Dec.

Union Says CEO Compared Workers To Tumor

December 2, 2011 4:12 am | News | Comments

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Union representatives of locked-out employees at American Crystal Sugar Co. are criticizing the company president and CEO for what they call anti-worker sentiments. The union released audio recordings Wednesday of CEO David Berg telling shareholders a story about a friend with cancer and saying, "We can't let a labor contract make us sick forever and ever.

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GM To Buy Back Volts

December 2, 2011 4:10 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors will buy Chevrolet Volts back from any owner who is afraid the electric cars will catch fire, the company's CEO said Thursday. In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, CEO Dan Akerson insisted that the cars are safe, but said the company will purchase the Volts because it wants to keep customers happy.

EU Claims Compliance With WTO's Airbus Ruling

December 2, 2011 4:08 am | News | Comments

GENEVA (AP) — The European Union said Thursday it has complied with a World Trade Organization ruling that called for an end to unfair government aid to aircraft maker Airbus. U.S. trade officials and rival Boeing Inc. responded that they would study closely the EU's submission to ensure all illegal subsidies had been removed.

Unemployment Falls To Lowest Rate Since March 2009

December 2, 2011 4:07 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in more than 2½ years. More people out of work either found jobs or gave up looking and were no longer counted as unemployed. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 8.

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