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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Automatic Tank Gauging Relieves Anxiety

January 3, 2011 7:47 am | Articles | Comments

To paraphrase an old public-service announcement: “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know what the product levels are in the aboveground storage tanks at your bulk-storage facility?” For many bulk plant operators, the answer to this question would be a tentative (or wishful), “I think so.


Reputation Protection: Avoiding Brand Implosion

January 3, 2011 7:44 am | by Andrew Gilman, CEO and President of CommCore Consulting Group | Articles | Comments

From Tiger Woods, to Toyota, to BP, to Wright County Egg, each crisis in 2010 seemed to top the other. Tylenol stands for best-in-class company values, decision making, brand management and recovery; while BP, Tiger, Wright County and Toyota represent the gravest risk of brand implosion, failure to anticipate calamities, and the media piling-on effect.

See What's Cooking

January 3, 2011 7:04 am | Product Releases | Comments

The No. 983 from The Grieve Corporation (Round Lake, IL) is an electrically-heated, 550°F bench oven. The oven has 3” insulated walls, a Type 304, 2B finish stainless steel interior, and a #4 brushed stainless steel exterior. Two 13” x 4” access slots are equipped with insulated covers on the rear wall of the oven, and the 8” x 10” double-pane Pyrex window can be used for viewing the oven chamber.


Film Wrapping Goes 'Lean'

January 3, 2011 7:03 am | Product Releases | Comments

The automatic stretch wrappers equipped with the new metered film delivery systems and other LeanWrap innovations from Lantech (Louisville, KY) have been designated as the “L” Series of stretch wrappers. The new line includes the QL Automatic (turntable model), SL Automatic (cantilevered and straddle automatics), and RL Automatic (ring straddle automatics).


Connectivity In All Sizes

January 3, 2011 7:02 am | Product Releases | Comments

As part of its expanding package of control connectivity products, Balluff (Florence, KY) has introduced a full line of I/O Hubs to their I/O-Link device offering. Because one size does not fit all, Balluff is offering a large range, from M8 to M12 with plastic or metal housing. The line is offered with or without diagnostics, thus giving a user’s application the same level of short circuit and overload diagnostics.


A Tribute To Boilers

January 3, 2011 7:00 am | Product Releases | Comments

Fulton Companies (Pulaski, NY) has announced new products, including a signature boiler, the Tribute model (ICT). The boiler uses a pressure vessel design with high efficiency, and also has the capability to operate at sub-9 ppm NOx with an advanced boiler control system. The Tribute model also utilizes a fiber mesh burner, variable-speed fan, and integrated gas train, which provides low emissions combustion.


Employee Engagement: More Than A Buzz Word

January 3, 2011 6:02 am | Articles | Comments

In today's hectic work environment, quick fixes are often favored over long-term solutions. Immediate improvements can be had when “band-aid” solutions are used to put out the fires, but these fixes rarely last. Short-term gain very often results in long-term pain. Management can no longer rely on old solutions because the problems we are facing in this fast-paced, competitive business environment are new.

Thinking Outside The Box; Literally

January 3, 2011 5:46 am | Articles | Comments

GM realizes “weeks to hours” reduction in line change and transmission build dynamics at Toledo Powertrain, resulting from Flexible Assembly Configuration System (FACS) and Siemens control/communication. OP 090/OP 100 in sequence at General Motors Toledo Powertrain plant.


Water Filters Help You Go LEED

January 3, 2011 4:11 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The self-cleaning water filters from Forsta Filters (Los Angeles, CA) can help reduce water use, improve energy efficiency, and are made entirely from sustainable materials. According to the company, implementing a Forsta water filter can help projects meet a variety of environmental and sustainability goals, such as LEED.


Ovens For Clean Rooms

January 3, 2011 4:10 am | Product Releases | Comments

Carbolite (Hope Valley, UK) has developed a class 10,000 clean room oven solution in order to meet precise production requirements. A digital time temperature program controller manages the temperature of the oven and is capable of storing up to 20 programs, each with up to 16 segments. In addition, the oven employs forced air circulation that is carefully positioned to give optimum uniformity of the zones.


Breakaway Cables Protect Technicians

January 3, 2011 4:09 am | Product Releases | Comments

IMI Sensors (Depew, NY) has announced the availability of breakaway safety cables designed to protect technicians and their equipment from being pulled into rotating machinery during route-based vibration monitoring. The cables quickly disconnect in the event that a sensor or analyzer cable becomes entangled when collecting data.


Keep Predictive Maintenance On Track

January 3, 2011 4:08 am | Product Releases | Comments

The MaintenanceMaster whiteboard system from Magnatag (Macedon, NY) can help maintenance managers cut equipment downtime, track asset conditions, and eliminate confusion by visually scheduling and displaying a full year’s preventative maintenance activity. According to the company, users can use color-coded magnet symbols on the board to show a 52-week plan, and there is a visible item T-card for each row.


China Manufacturing Eases Over More Regulation

January 3, 2011 3:57 am | News | Comments

HONG KONG (AP) — China's manufacturing boom eased off slightly in the last month of the year, a survey said, reflecting tightening policies taken by authorities to keep inflation in check. The state-affiliated China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said that its purchasing managers index, or PMI, dipped to 53.

Manufacturing Grows For 17th Straight Month

January 3, 2011 3:39 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturers likely increased output at the same pace in December as the previous month, notching the 17th straight month of growth. The Institute for Supply Management's index of manufacturing activity is expected to remain unchanged at 56.6. Any reading above 50 indicates that the sector is growing.

Four Injured In Explosion During Duct Work Cleaning

January 3, 2011 3:22 am | News | Comments

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — A spokesman for an auto parts supplier says four people have been injured in an explosion at the company's plant in Virginia. Jim Burke, spokesman for Federal-Mogul Corp. in Southfield, Mich., said the injured were employees of a local contractor that was conducting routine duct work cleaning.


AP: Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf Sales Are 'Microscopic'

January 3, 2011 3:21 am | by Sharon Silke Carty, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — This was the year General Motors Co. and Nissan made good on their promise to bring mass-produced electric cars to the market. But don't count on seeing one in traffic soon. Sales so far have been microscopic and they're likely to stay that way for some time because of limited supplies.


Fiat Splits In Half To Prepare For Merger With Chrysler

January 3, 2011 3:19 am | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

MILAN (AP) — Fiat split its industrial vehicle business from its automaking unit on Monday, unwinding two vastly divergent businesses with the goal of creating a global automotive company with Chrysler LLC. As Fiat Industrial began its trading life as an independent entity, opening at euro9 ($12.


Farmers Say 'No' To Greener Tractors

January 3, 2011 3:18 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Farm equipment manufacturers are rolling out cleaner tractors to meet stricter new federal air regulations, but many in the industry say the challenge will be getting farmers to put the high-priced models into fields during hard economic times. The rules that went into effect Saturday apply to tractors, construction vehicles and other so-called nonroad equipment.

GM Stock Jumps As Wall Street Swoons

December 28, 2010 4:39 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of General Motors jumped 2.4 percent Tuesday in premarket trading after several investment groups initiated coverage of the reinvigorated automaker. Credit Suisse set an "Outperform" rating for GM with a 12-month price target of $43 per share, saying that the company's stint under bankruptcy protection cleansed its balance sheet.

China To Reduce Rare Earth Exports By 10 Percent

December 28, 2010 4:37 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — China said Tuesday it is reducing the amount of rare earths it will export next year by more than 10 percent — likely to be an unpopular move worldwide since the minerals are vital to the manufacture of high-tech products. China accounts for 97 percent of the global production of rare earths, which are essential to devices as varied as cell phones, computer drives and hybrid cars.


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