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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GE To Invest $63 Million In Energy-Efficiency Companies

June 24, 2011 7:05 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. and its venture-capital partners say they will invest $63 million in 10 companies that provide technology such as energy-efficiency to the home. GE said Thursday that the investment is the second round of funding in a $200 million competitive program it calls "ecomagination.

Apple Takes Samsung Lawsuits To South Korea

June 24, 2011 6:35 am | News | Comments

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Apple Inc. is bringing its patent fight with Samsung Electronics Co. over smartphones and tablet computers to South Korea. Apple spokesman Steve Park said Friday that the company filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Seoul Central District Court. Apple sued Samsung in the United States in April.

Need Help Defusing A Bomb?

June 24, 2011 6:28 am | by Kevin Begos, Associated Press | News | Comments

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Need help defusing a bomb, mowing a lawn or scraping old paint? President Barack Obama might see robots that can do those tasks on Friday when he visits the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University. It's one of eight research centers at the school's Robotics Institute.

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Boeing Test Pilots Take 2,500-Mile Trip For Famous Pa. Sandwich

June 24, 2011 6:25 am | News | Comments

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The flight crew testing a next-generation Boeing jumbo jet made a long trip for a taste of Pittsburgh's most famous sandwich. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the crew manning a new $300 million 747-8 Freighter jet made the 2,500-mile test flight from outside Seattle to western Pennsylvania for a Primanti Bros.

Cheerios Turn 70, Are As Popular As Ever

June 24, 2011 4:48 am | by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press | News | Comments

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Here's a little quiz for the breakfast table: What is the most popular cereal brand in American grocery stores? Hint: It's been General Mills' top name since 1951. Another hint: If you're a parent, you've vacuumed it from the minivan and under the high-chair cushion by the cupful.

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Trade Commission Delays Kodak Vs. Apple And RIM Case

June 24, 2011 4:43 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

ROCHESTER, New York (AP) — A federal agency said Thursday it will spend an extra week reviewing Eastman Kodak Co.'s potentially lucrative patent claim against tech giants Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd. The U.S. International Trade Commission, which oversees trade disputes, had been expected to issue a ruling Thursday but put off completing its investigation until June 30.

U.S. Economy Expanded Faster In Q1 Than Expected

June 24, 2011 4:34 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded a little faster at the beginning of the year than previously estimated. But the pace was still anemic and economists don't see that changing until later this year. The Commerce Department on Friday said the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the January-March quarter.

Rheem To Move 250 Ark. Jobs To Mexico

June 24, 2011 4:30 am | News | Comments

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Rheem Manufacturing Co. says it plans to shift about 250 jobs from its operation in Fort Smith to a plant in Mexico. Fort Smith is the company's air conditioning division headquarters. The company said Thursday it's expanding its plant in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, by more than 290,000 square feet and will begin producing residential products there that now are produced in Fort Smith.

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Businesses Shook Off April Slip, Rebounded In May

June 24, 2011 4:28 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses boosted their orders for machinery, electronics products and airplanes in May. The pickup suggests manufacturing is rebounding after the Japan crises made parts scarce and slowed production of some factory goods temporarily. Orders long-lasting manufactured products increased 1.

Obama Announces $500M High-Tech Manufacturing Incentive

June 24, 2011 4:23 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press | News | Comments

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Imagining advances from lighter cars to smarter robots, President Barack Obama is announcing a $500 million project to spur high-technology manufacturing, a sector of U.S. industry that presidential advisers say has lost ground to such competitors as Germany and Japan. On Friday in Pittsburgh, Obama is to call for a joint effort by industry, universities and the federal government to help reposition the United States as a leader in cutting-edge manufacturing, including biotechnology, robotics and nanotechnology — the development of new materials at the molecular level.

A Gateway To Networking

June 23, 2011 11:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) is now offering the MB-GATEWAY, a single-port Modbus Gateway module that converts Modbus TCP to Modbus RTU. The module uses an automatic read function and is equipped with a RJ45 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port and one RS-422/485 serial port. The gateway module is 35mm DIN-rail mountable, and it supports NetEdit or Web browser configuration tools.

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Tough Casters For High Speeds

June 23, 2011 11:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new Enhanced Heavy Service (EHS) Caster Series from Hamilton Caster (Hamilton, OH) is a towable caster that is well-suited for in-plant trailers, tow carts, and AGV systems. The new series uses the company’s new HPI Swivel Technology with 6” x 2” and 8” x 2” wheel sizes.

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Proven Leak Detection

June 23, 2011 11:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

UE Systems (Elmsford, NY) has independently verified the accuracy of its UE3000 leak detectors to estimate compressed air leak flows. Air Power USA ran head-to-head comparisons of air flow estimates between the UE3000 and their own engineering-based approach to finding leaks, and found that the two approaches came with 5 percent of each other, or within 2 cfm.

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Smaller, Lighter Accelerometers

June 23, 2011 11:18 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Meggitt (Germantown, MD), the maker of Wilcoxon Research accelerometers, has announced improvements to its side exit 4-20 mA vibration sensors, including a reduced size. The PCC421 and PCC423 series are 50 percent lighter and operate at 221°F. Additional connector and mounting options have also been added to the PCC421, such as the traditional MIL-C-5015 connector and the popular M12 connector.

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Wisconsin Initiative Showcases Profitable Sustainability

June 23, 2011 9:41 am | News | Comments

Innovative Pilot Program to Promote Sustainable Manufacturing to Generate a $54 Million Economic Impact Over Five Years Sustainability Fuels Savings, Growth and Competitive Advantage for 45 Participants Environmental and Financial Impacts Exceed Expectations, Program Delivers Substantial ROI for Manufacturers, State of Wisconsin    ___ MILWAUKEE — An innovative program to promote sustainable manufacturing in Wisconsin is projected to generate a five-year $54 million economic impact and significant environmental benefits, states a report released today by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) .

Elkhart Hit Again By Bankruptcy Of Norwegian EV Startup

June 23, 2011 9:05 am | News | Comments

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — The bankruptcy filing of an electric car manufacturer has clouded the future of a northern Indiana factory that was touted as an economic boost for an area hit hard by job losses in the recreational vehicle industry. Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore said a company official told the city's economic development director that the factory there wouldn't be affected by Norway-based Think Global's bankruptcy filing, but he remains concerned.

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Airbus Soars Past Boeing With $72 Billion In Orders

June 23, 2011 8:54 am | by Greg Keller, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Airbus is trouncing Boeing in the race to be the world's biggest planemaker, claiming over $72 billion dollars worth of orders and commitments at the Paris Air Show, where the popularity of its new fuel-efficient jets twice broke records for the largest order ever. Airbus' success cast a long shadow over Chicago-based Boeing, which recorded only $22 billion in orders and commitments, and raised questions over the U.

Hoeganaes To Resume Production Despite Four Deaths

June 23, 2011 8:47 am | News | Comments

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — A Gallatin, Tenn., Hoeganaes chemical plant where four workers have died in fires this year will resume partial production this week. Officials at the Hoeganaes plant did not specify which day and said production in other areas of the facility is expected to restart over the coming weeks after reviews.

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Saab Runs Out Of Money To Pay 3,700 Employees

June 23, 2011 8:44 am | by Louise Nordstrom, Associated Press | News | Comments

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Saab, the Swedish car company renowned for its sometimes quirky designs, moved closer to bankruptcy Thursday after it conceded that it didn't have any money to pay employees' wages. After months of production stoppages and problems with paying suppliers, Saab said the situation is so dire that it won't be able to pay its 3,700 employees, raising doubts over how long the brand can survive.

Survey: New U.S. Cars Struggle With Quality

June 23, 2011 8:40 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Owners of cars that were new or redesigned for the 2011 model year are reporting more quality problems, partly because of glitches with the navigation screens, voice-activated systems and other technology packed into their dashboards. J.D. Power and Associates released its annual survey of new vehicle quality Thursday.

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