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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Whitacre: GM Will Repay Federal Loans By June

December 15, 2009 4:39 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. plans to pay all of its $6.7 billion in government loans by the end of June, Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre Jr. said Tuesday. The automaker plans to make quarterly installments starting this month with a $1.2 billion payment, Whitacre said. He said GM could repay the loan sooner but that hasn't been decided.

GE Aviation Expands Mississippi Operations By 350

December 15, 2009 3:54 am | News | Comments

BATESVILLE, Miss. (AP) — GE Aviation is expanding its operation in the northern Mississippi city of Batesville. Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday that the company will add 350 jobs over the next several years. The plantalready has more than 100 workers. The plant makes composite components for the GEnx jet engine, which will power Boeing's new 787 and 747-8 aircraft.

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Man With 'Popcorn Lung' Settles Explosive Lawsuit

December 15, 2009 3:40 am | News | Comments

DENVER (AP) — A suburban Denver man believed to be the only consumer to develop "popcorn lung" from regularly eating microwave popcorn and its artificial butter flavoring has settled his claims against a flavor developer. Documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Denver say Wayne Watson has settled claims against FONA International Inc.

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Poll: Climate Bills Help, Not Hurt, Jobs And Economy

December 15, 2009 3:33 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans believe steps taken to reduce global warming pollution will help the U.S. economy than say such measures will hurt it. It's a sign the public is showing more faith in President Barack Obama's economic arguments for limiting heat-trapping gases than in Republican claims that the actions would kill jobs.

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CPSC Recalls 50 Million Window Blinds

December 15, 2009 3:28 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government and the window covering industry on Tuesday recalled more than 50 million Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds because of the risk children may be strangled by the cords. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said five deaths and 16 near-strangulations from Roman shades have been reported since 2006, while three deaths connected to roll-up blinds have been reported since 2001.

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Spreads Its Wings... Today

December 15, 2009 3:14 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Weather permitting, Boeing Co. plans to finally get its new 787 jetliner into the air Tuesday, more than two years after it had intended. The test aircraft completed its ground tests during the weekend, including a 150-mph dash down the runway at Everett's Paine Field during which its nose gear briefly lifted off the pavement.

Cummins Engine To Cut 200 Indiana Workers

December 15, 2009 3:11 am | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — Cummins Engine Co. will lay off more than 200 workers in Columbus. Spokesman Mark Land said the company will idle off 195 workers at its fuel systems plant by Jan. 2 because of a decline in demand for heavy-duty truck engines. Land says customers have been buying more trucks with older engines instead of buying new and more expensive trucks that meet new government emissions standards that take effect on Jan.

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Visible Hydrogen Sulfide Cloud Forces Evacuation Of 4,000

December 14, 2009 10:33 am | by Matt Leingang, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A gas leak at an oil recycling company forced about 4,000 workers to evacuate nearby office buildings for six hours Monday, sending one person to the hospital, authorities said. Firefighters who arrived at Heartland Petroleum LLC saw a gas cloud over the company, said Battalion Chief David Whiting.

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GM-Rooted Flint Manufacturing Plant On Auction Block

December 14, 2009 10:25 am | by David Runk, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — A Flint manufacturing and office complex that includes a building constructed in the 1920s by the founder of General Motors and that still houses his one-time office will be auctioned off Tuesday. The Great Lakes Technology Centre, as it's now known, will be auctioned off in four parts.

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The Brainstorm: Innovation In A Recession

December 14, 2009 10:23 am | by Tim Bowe, CEO & Co-Founder, Foliage | Articles | Comments

It has been suggested that the recession is, in part, a result of a lack of innovation in America? Do you buy that?  This question has been discussed by economists for quite some time. The basis of the question is that in the 1980’s, the U.

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Miniature Circuit Breakers

December 14, 2009 7:59 am | Product Releases | Comments

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) now offers Fuji Electric’s BW series of molded case circuit breakers, which take up a small amount of space and offer standard type and high-interrupting capacities in identically-size housings. The three-pole non-adjustable magnetic trip breakers, in sizes up to 800A, are also suitable for reverse-feed applications.

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Fast, Low-Power Vacuum Gripping

December 14, 2009 7:58 am | Product Releases | Comments

The FXC-HD large-area gripping system from Schmalz (Raleigh, NC) facilitates energy-saving and cost-efficient automation with a small main body and a small evacuation volume. The chambers from the suction and blow-off functions are separate, so items can be set down quickly, using less power, with only 0.

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Mechanical Boosters For Energy-Efficiency

December 14, 2009 7:58 am | Product Releases | Comments

The HV8000 mechanical booster pumps from Edwards Vacuum (Tewsbury, MA) replace steam ejectors on a chemical vapor infiltration (CVI) process, which is used in the matrix deposition process of manufacturing high-temperature materials, and using a mechanical booster can significantly lower manufacturing costs, according to the company.

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Independent Video Monitoring

December 14, 2009 7:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

Satel-West (Cupertino, CA) has announced the WIPAT Remote Patrol and Monitoring System, a long-range wireless video monitoring system that provides video clips, still images, multiple digital sensor inputs, and a suite of event logging tools. While operating on public safety channels — with options for satellite connection and solar power — WIPAT allows industries to monitor critical areas without relying on phone lines, fiber optic cable, or hardwired networks.

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Q&A: Debunking The Myth Of Chinese Rubbish

December 14, 2009 5:53 am | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

Star Prototype China is owned and run by Gordon Styles, British businessman and engineer. In 1993 he began building what became the U.K.’s largest rapid prototyping technology (RPT) company, which he later sold. Styles then founded Star Prototype in 2005 with the intention of offering western clients the opportunity to use a reliable and high-quality rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing supplier in China.

Cadbury Battles 'Derisory' Offer From 'Unattractive' Kraft

December 14, 2009 4:10 am | by Jane Wardell, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) -- Cadbury PLC revealed Monday it has received approaches from The Hershey Co. and Italy's Ferrero International SA as it launched a robust defense against a hostile 9.8 billion pound ($16.3 billion) from Kraft Foods Inc. Cadbury Chairman Roger Carr said the statements of intent from Hershey and Ferrero were too preliminary to start proper talks as he warned shareholders not to let Kraft "steal your company with its derisory offer.

Oregon RV Makers Hit The Road After Economic 'Tsunami'

December 14, 2009 4:00 am | by Tim Christie, AP Writer | News | Comments

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The fall of the recreational vehicle industry in Lane County was swift, relentless and brutal. A year ago at this time, local RV makers sent workers home for their customary holiday furloughs. Most workers never came back. Within months, two companies, Monaco Coach Corp.

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Toyota To Sell Plug-In 'Affordable' Hybrids In 2011

December 14, 2009 3:43 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota showed its new plug-in hybrid Monday, available for leasing this month in Japan, the U.S. and Europe, and promised the green vehicle for sale to regular consumers in 2011 at an "affordable" price. The plug-in Prius is the first from Toyota Motor Corp. packed with a more powerful battery called lithium-ion that's different from the batteries used in Prius hybrids on roads today.

From Poultry Fat To Jet Fuel

December 14, 2009 3:40 am | by Amy Lorentzen | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A central Iowa plant could soon begin producing jet fuel from poultry fat. Bolingbrook, Ill.-based Elevance Renewable Sciences plans to build a $15 million plant in Newton, adding onto an existing biodiesel operation. The experimental operation plans to use plant oils and poultry fat as building blocks to replace petroleum-based chemicals used to make myriad products, including jet fuel, lubricants, adhesives and even cosmetics and candles.

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GE-FANUC Finalize Dissolution Of Joint Venture

December 14, 2009 3:36 am | News | Comments

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — GE (NYSE: GE) and FANUC LTD announced today that the two companies have completed their agreement to dissolve the GE Fanuc Automation Corporation Joint Venture.  This agreement reverts the respective portions of the joint venture back to the parent company and allows each company to focus on its existing businesses and pursue growth in its respective core industry of expertise.

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