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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

BMW Expects Production Increase Despite Economy

September 21, 2009 3:53 am | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — German carmaker BMW AG said it wants second half 2009 production levels to match levels of the second half of 2008, despite the dramatic sales declines experienced in the first half of this year. The Munich-based carmaker told German weekly Automobilwoche the company "wouldn't build fewer cars in the second half of 2009, compared to the year-ago period.

GM, Chrysler Demand Tax Breaks In Michigan

September 21, 2009 3:47 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Governments and schools across Michigan are bracing for the possible loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue as General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC argue that they should pay less in property taxes. GM and Chrysler say their property taxes are inflated by more than 50 percent because local communities overestimate the value of their plants and buildings.

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Apple Reveals Revolutionary Keyboard-less Laptop

September 18, 2009 12:03 pm | Articles | Comments

Apple is renowned for their revolutionary and innovative products, some of which have changed the way we live. First, the iPod, featuring the world-famous "click wheel." Now, see how Apple has hybridized click wheel technology with their sleek laptops, forming a keyboard-less laptop that functions seamlessly and beautifully.

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Entering a New Age

September 18, 2009 11:45 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

If you asked Ken Baker, CEO of NewAge Industries of Southampton, PA, why he thought his company was a great place to work, he wouldn’t answer you with metrics, platitudes, or generic corporate speak. In fact, Baker doesn’t seem capable of the stereotypical “canned answer.

Kaizen For Sore Feet

September 18, 2009 11:26 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

I’m by no means a trade show amateur. In fact, I’ve walked so many expo halls over the course of my career in trade media I probably have permanent shin splints—the result of several marathons of dress shoes on concrete. As I approached the task of packing for Design & Manufacturing Midwest this week, my primary area of focus was on how best to maintain my overall comfort throughout these long days.

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The Flexible Schedule

September 18, 2009 11:12 am | by John W. Frehse, Chief Strategist, Core Practice LLC | Articles | Comments

The ability to react rapidly to changes in demand is one of the most crucial capabilities in business today. At one time you might have staffed extra people or carried extra inventory, but that is expensive. Every wasted dollar eats away at your margins. Whatever your industry, you need a way to respond quickly to fluctuations in demand while minimizing your costs.

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People Protection

September 18, 2009 11:00 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

“The biggest misconception among manufacturers is that OSHA is just presenting them with a guideline, not with something they have to do. The fact is, OSHA is beefing up enforcement of safety measures on several fronts,” says Tony Supine, technical director, Farr Air Pollution Control (APC).

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Successful Manufacturing Starts With Respect

September 18, 2009 10:35 am | by Amanda Earing, News Editor, Manufacturing.Net | Articles | Comments

“We don’t have unions within our company except in countries where it is mandated,” says David Armstrong, CEO of Armstrong International. “When we came in as new owners, we moved the employees into a new, clean building. We cleaned the machinery, the shelving, and we treated the people with respect and courtesy, which are core values in our company.

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Fike Announces Free CA Combustible Dust Hazard Seminars

September 18, 2009 10:28 am | News | Comments

Blue Springs , MO — Fike, a leader in industrial and explosion protection safety solutions, is sponsoring two Explosion Protection Seminars: Concord, California on September 29, 2009; and Pomona, California on October 1, 2009. The primary focus of these educational seminars is the protection of facilities against potential combustible dust explosion hazards, and explosion mitigation techniques use to help provide a safe workplace.

Sustainability And Process In Sync

September 18, 2009 10:18 am | by Tracey de Morsella, Green Economy Post | Articles | Comments

In the September issue of Harvard Business Review, authors Ram Nidumolu , C.K. Prahalad , and M.R. Rangaswami provide a framework for adopting sustainable practices to bring about the technological and organizational innovations that will ultimately yield top- and bottom-line returns, providing a competitive advantage when the recession ends.

Q&A with Joe Manone, Vice President of Rite-Hite

September 18, 2009 7:46 am | Articles | Comments

A. Our philosophy at Rite-Hite over the past 35 years has been product development and innovation with compelling new products that add value and solve problems for customers. That is how all of our businesses are set up. We’re constantly looking for new ways to solve problems at the loading dock, as well as other areas throughout plant and warehouse facilities.

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Does Retraining Help?

September 18, 2009 6:17 am | by by Mike Collins | Blogs | Comments

In manufacturing, the people losing their jobs are mostly skilled workers, some of whom are highly skilled. Their worry is whether they can find a comparable job that approximates their current income and benefits in the event of a lay-off. The big question is: Are the retraining programs sponsored by state and federal governments going to provide comparable jobs, or are they focused on finding any type of job that is available? An Attempt There are four different government programs that offer training and re-training: The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) : The Workforce Investment Act is the program with the biggest budget for training (approximately $7 billion per year), and was passed in 1998.

Methane Explosion Kills 12 In Polish Mine

September 18, 2009 4:22 am | News | Comments

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A methane leak in a Polish coal mine set off an explosion that killed 12 miners on Friday, officials said. Edyta Tomaszewska, a spokeswoman for the state body that oversees Polish coal mining, said the explosion occurred 3,450 feet (1,050 meters) underground at the mine in the southwestern city of Ruda Slaska.

Opel To Funnel GM Technology To Russia

September 18, 2009 4:14 am | by Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Last week's deal for General Motors to give up control of its money-losing Opel unit has a big downside: If the deal goes through, Russian automaker GAZ will get its hands on GM technology. Worse yet, GAZ, with cars that are light years behind most global automakers in quality as well as engines, transmissions and other technology, is likely to use what it gets from GM to compete against the Detroit automaker's Chevrolet brand in Russia.

Coca-Cola, IBM Top List Of Trusted Brands

September 18, 2009 4:10 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Marketing Writer | News | Comments

Consumers lost trust in brands this year as the recession deepened, according to an industry report released Thursday, although longtime staples Coca-Cola and IBM retained their spots as the world's two most valuable brands. This is the first time the combined value of the world's top 100 brands as ranked by Interbrand, a branding agency, has fallen in the 10 years Interbrand has assessed them.

Canadian Abitibi Loses 1,500 In Streamlining

September 18, 2009 3:59 am | News | Comments

MONTREAL — AbitibiBowater announced Thursday that it will suspend production indefinitely at several Canadian and U.S. mills in a corporate streamlining that will affect about 1,500 Canadian workers. The cuts, which begin Oct. 31, reflect the insolvent newsprint giant's restructuring efforts under the bankruptcy protection laws in Canada and the United States.

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LA Scoops Up $670,000 From Pfizer Fine

September 18, 2009 3:54 am | News | Comments

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A judge's approval of a settlement agreement between the state and Pfizer Inc. means Louisiana will receive more than $670,000 from the drug maker over alleged improper marketing of an antipsychotic drug. Louisiana was among the states that reached a $33 million settlement with Pfizer, the world's largest drug manufacturer.

Energy Awareness

September 17, 2009 6:23 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Coastal Training Technologies (Virginia Beach, VA) and DuPont Safety Resources have collaborated to produce a new training DVD, titled Energy Smart , which helps promote general energy awareness. A 7-day preview is free, and the video will soon be released in Coastal’s ClarityNet online courseware.

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Be In Sync

September 17, 2009 6:22 am | Product Releases | Comments

The TML_LIB_X20 motion control library from Technosoft (Cincinnati, OH) is a collection of high-level functions and blocks allowing the control of a Technosoft intelligent drive from a B&R PLC. With the TML_LIB functions, customers can control drives individually or grouped by sending commands for simple, complex, or synchronized moves.

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Score-less Pipe Cutting

September 17, 2009 6:22 am | Product Releases | Comments

The RIDGID (Elyria, OH) Press Snap soil pipe cutter expands the original RIDGID line of press tools by providing an easy way to cut cast iron soil pipe. The Press Snap eliminates the need for manual ratcheting when connected to a RIDGID press tool, and there is no need to score the pipe beforehand.

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