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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Toyota Increases Production At Multiple US Plants

August 21, 2009 3:56 am | News | Comments

ERLANGER, Ky. (AP) — Toyota said Friday that it will boost capacity at its engine plant in Huntsville, Ala., to allow it to produce four-cylinder engines for two additional North American assembly plants. The expansion will allow the Alabama plant to produce 216,000 four-cylinder engines annually.


Workplace Suicides Surge 28 Percent

August 20, 2009 11:40 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Workplace suicides surged 28 percent last year, the Labor Department said Thursday, as experts said anxious workers watched colleagues depart in a rash of layoffs and faced survivor's guilt. At the same time, the agency's Bureau of Labor Statistics said the total number of workers who died on the job from any cause fell by 10 percent.

Cash For Clunkers To End Monday

August 20, 2009 11:32 am | by Stephen Manning, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's revived business at car dealerships, taken gas-guzzlers off the road and given a badly needed boost to struggling auto factories. By many measures, the government's Cash for Clunkers program has been a success. Yet as it winds down, there is another lasting image: the hasty planning and troubled execution that nearly derailed the program early on and, lately, has led some frustrated dealers to drop out amid long waits for the government money.


Lifting To The Next Level

August 20, 2009 11:31 am | Product Releases | Comments

After 80 years of New Orleans’ humid summers, a distribution facility for Lafarge, one of the largest cement producers in the United States and Canada, was literally crumbling. So the company called in a team of maintenance experts to salvage the distribution facility.  David Soch and Emmett Moore quickly compiled a laundry list of maintenance problems, ranging from mechanical issues with the gates used to control the flow of cement, to changing the light bulbs that illuminated the truck loading area.

Cleaning Out the Web Cobwebs

August 20, 2009 11:07 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO The web is a strange place to live because there is such a disparity in structure from place to place. In real life, my neighborhood is all maples, condos, and serious lawn care. I don’t accidentally turn a corner and find myself in a sewer.

ND Burns Off 1/3 Natural Gas Supply

August 20, 2009 10:12 am | by James MacPherson, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Enough natural gas to heat every home in North Dakota through at least two brutal winters was burned off as an unmarketable byproduct in the state's oil patch in 2008, records obtained by The Associated Press show. North Dakota produced a record 62.8 million barrels of oil last year, up nearly 18 million barrels from 2007.


Porsche Ex-CEO Investigated For Market Manipulation

August 20, 2009 8:01 am | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — Porsche SE ex-chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking and his former finance chief are under investigation in a probe that involves suspicions of market manipulation. Company spokesman Frank Gaube on Thursday confirmed German media reports that Wiedeking and ex-CFO Holger Haerter are being investigated by Stuttgart prosecutors in connection with the company's unsuccessful attempt to acquire larger automaker Volkswagen AG.

Q&A: Rediscovering the Edison Nation

August 20, 2009 4:54 am | Articles | Comments

N.J. Slabbert is an award-winning writer and scholar, and co-author of the recent book, “Innovation, The Key To Prosperity: Technology & America's Role in the 21st Century Global Economy,” with Aris Melissaratos. The book explains how science and technology drove America’s previous economic prosperity but that America lost its technological momentum in the second half of the 20th century.


Full Speed In Reverse

August 20, 2009 4:43 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO I know, I know, the U.S. auto industry has been an easy target for quite a while now, but a release came across my screen last week that made putting it back within the crosshairs of my keyboard way too appealing. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve all become familiar with the Cash For Clunkers program.

Unit Load AS/RS Acts As A Temporary Buffer

August 19, 2009 11:42 am | Articles | Comments

This automated storage and retrieval system at the Cox Target Media Valpak facility has two storage retrieval machines and is configured to hold both full and empty print rolls. Rolls are delivered and removed from the AS/RS by automatic guided vehicles (AGVs).


'Extract' Draws Out Manufacturing Humor

August 19, 2009 11:38 am | Articles | Comments

Mike Judge, creator of Office Space , returns with Extract , a film about the owner of a food manufacturing plant. Starring Jason Bateman as the plant operator and Ben Affleck as a local bartender. If nothing else, the film will no doubt thoroughly tackle the important issues of employee relations, co-worker romance, and the various safety hazards presented to male workers.


The Chinese Steel Steal

August 19, 2009 11:19 am | by | Articles | Comments

China has created a larger steel-manufacturing infrastructure in the last four years than the US has in existence. Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, explains how Chinese steel manufacturers are able to undercut American producers for lesser-quality product.


Microsoft: Future Manufacturing Will Be Beautiful, Seamless

August 19, 2009 11:11 am | Articles | Comments

Microsoft's Future Vision: Someday, the manufacturing of old will be gone, and in its place will be 21st century innovation in order to create a seamless transition from design, to prototyping, to manufacturing, and finally the showroom floor. While most of these technologies are within our grasp, it will take an enormous effort to push old infrastructures into a new age.


Ramen-Making Robots Kick Chefs To The Curb

August 19, 2009 11:09 am | by ITN News | Articles | Comments

High-tech robots mix and match a seeemingly-endless flavor selection of Ramen noodles at a restaurant in Japan. The owner-designer claims his robots are more efficient and accurate than their human counterparts. Could these automated food connoisseurs be the next revolution in food preparation? The American equivalent — hamburgers and french fries — might be the next target for restauranteers looking to save a buck.


NY Dealers Withdraw From CARS Program By Hundreds

August 19, 2009 9:39 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of auto dealers in the New York area have withdrawn from the government's Cash for Clunkers program, citing delays in getting reimbursed by the government, a dealership group said Wednesday. The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which represents dealerships in the New York metro area, said about half its 425 members have left the program because they cannot afford to offer more rebates.

Deere Down 27 Percent

August 19, 2009 5:11 am | by Daniel Lovering, AP Manufacturing Writer | News | Comments

Deere & Co. posted a 27 percent decline in third-quarter profit Wednesday as the slumping global economy continued to depress sales of its tractors, bulldozers and other products. But the results easily beat Wall Street expectations. The world's largest maker of farm equipment said it expected the biggest single-year sales drop in at least 50 years in 2009, but reiterated an annual profit forecast of $1.

Dump Truck Flips, Killing 25 Indonesian Plantation Workers

August 19, 2009 4:19 am | by Niniek Karmini, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A dump truck packed with more than 60 Indonesian plantation workers and their families overturned, killing at least 25 and injuring dozens, police and a doctor said Wednesday. At least three children were among the dead. The passengers were riding in the back of the open truck Tuesday night when the driver swerved to avoid damage in the road, which was under construction, and the vehicle flipped over near Sampit town in Central Kalimantan, police spokesman Made Ardana said.


Gerber Fined $900,000 For Discrimination

August 19, 2009 4:15 am | News | Comments

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that Gerber Products Co. in Fort Smith will pay $900,000 to settle allegations of hiring discrimination. The Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs on Tuesday announced the agreement to pay 1,912 minorities and females.

2 Guilty Of Hiring Illegal Workers In WA Plant

August 19, 2009 4:11 am | by Manuel Valdes, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Two members of a family that owns an engine company in Washington state pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges of knowingly hiring undocumented workers. The case stems from an immigration raid in February on Yamato Engine Specialists of Bellingham — the first such action after President Barack Obama took office calling for stepped up efforts to prosecute the companies that hire undocumented workers.


Death Toll In Russian Plant Rises To 14, 60 Missing

August 19, 2009 4:07 am | by Nataliya Vasilyeva, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MOSCOW (AP) — Rescue workers found two bodies Wednesday in the destroyed engine room of Russia's largest hydroelectric plant, raising the accident's official death toll to 14, officials said. Sixty other workers are missing and feared dead at the massive Sayano-Shushenskaya power station in southern Siberia after an explosion during repairs Monday blew out walls and caused the turbine room to flood.



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