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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Self-Driving Cars: Here Sooner Than You Think, Courtesy Of Google?

September 2, 2011 5:53 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Articles | Comments

From time to time I have noted the progress being made in autonomous roadway vehicles, otherwise known as self-driving cars. Somebody recently stepped on the gas to speed it up considerably. This time, the progress took place not in a lab, but in a state legislature. About half a decade ago, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sponsored a series of highly publicized contests to develop driverless vehicles that would complete a prescribed route many miles long, including some rugged stretches representative of the kind of terrain the military might be interested in traversing.

Just Juice

September 2, 2011 5:50 am | Blogs | Comments

By Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO I’ve been a vegetarian for 14 years, which is not to say my diet is always healthy. Let’s not forget that Doritos, cheese pizza, and jelly beans are all technically vegetarian. Despite this, stories of health success interest me in the sense that they're motivating, while still allowing me to sit idly on the couch, eating Corn Nuts (totally a vegetable!), and observing.

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JUMPFLEX Universal Signal Conditioner

September 2, 2011 5:42 am | Product Releases | Comments

The 857-402 JUMPFLEX Universal Signal Conditioner (USC) from WAGO Corporation (Germantown, WI) supports 456 signal combinations with exclusive input voltage range and self-resetting fuse. The 6mm USC offers class-exclusive signal clipping and factory-calibrated, laser-capable resistors. The 857-402 also has a vibration-proof Momentary Rocker-style Switch (MRS), which has no end/stop point for signal setting and provides scalability across the entire measurement range.

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SKF SPEEDI-SLEEVE

September 2, 2011 5:41 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new generation of SKF SPEEDI-SLEEVE from SKF USA Inc. (Lansdale, PA) introduces an advanced and cost-effective sealing solution for worn or damaged shafts on rotating equipment. These easily installed sleeves provide a sealing surface without requiring shaft disassembly or specifying a new size of replacement seal.

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Tuff-Coat Wall Coating

September 2, 2011 5:40 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new Tuff-Coat single-component, low-solvent, emulsified poly-resin architectural wall coating from Garland (Cleveland, OH) damp-proofs and beautifies all types of exterior and interior masonry wall surfaces. It provides heavy-bodied protection against moisture, UV, fumes, and water—while allowing water vapor to escape through its breathable film.

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Lockout Lifted At International Fiber Plant

September 2, 2011 5:11 am | News | Comments

URBANA, Ohio (AP) — Nearly 100 employees of International Fiber Corp. have returned to work at the company's southwest Ohio plant after a tentative contract agreement ended a lockout of almost four months. Business agent Don Minton with Teamsters Local 957 says employees returned to the Urbana plant Thursday after being locked out since May 3.

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GM's Sales Up 18 Percent

September 2, 2011 5:08 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

General Motors says its U.S. sales rose 18 percent in August as fuel-efficient vehicles helped offset economic uncertainty and bad weather. Other automakers may not fare as well. Analysts predict that car and truck sales slowed in last month because of fewer discounts, worries about the economy and Hurricane Irene, which closed showrooms in the huge East Coast market.

Hiring Stalls In August

September 2, 2011 5:07 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers stopped adding jobs in August, an alarming setback for an economy that has struggled to grow and might be at risk of another recession. The government also reported that the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent. It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010.

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Head Injury Kills Man At Poultry Plant

September 2, 2011 5:06 am | News | Comments

ORLAND, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say a maintenance worker was killed in an accident at a chicken-processing plant in northeastern Indiana. The Steuben (stoo-BEN') County coroner says 25-year-old Samuel Worrell of Fremont died from head injuries Thursday at Miller Poultry near the town of Orland.

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Report: Firms Paid More In CEO Pay Than Taxes

September 2, 2011 5:03 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) -- Twenty-five of the 100 largest U.S. corporations paid their chief executives more than they paid the government in federal income taxes last year, according to a report released Wednesday. The nonprofit Institute for Policy Studies says the 25 CEOs averaged $16.7 million in salary and other 2010 compensation.

MSC's Latest Catalog Features New Products

September 1, 2011 11:02 am | News | Comments

Melville, New York – MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc. recently released its latest V80 Metalworking Catalog, which features thousands of new customer solutions from the company’s long list of trusted, industry-leading suppliers. “The MSC team worked extremely hard this past year to make this catalog the most comprehensive of its kind in the metalworking industry,” said David Sandler, president and CEO for MSC Industrial Direct.

Transforming Industrial Robots Into Precision Machine Tools

September 1, 2011 6:55 am | Articles | Comments

The EU co-funded COMET consortium is creating a revolutionary solution enabling the use of industrial robots for high-end machining. Robots of any brand fitted with the novel COMET plug-and-produce controller unit successfully respond to manufacturing industry needs for cost effective, flexible and reliable manufacturing solutions.

The 6 Pitfalls Of Growth

September 1, 2011 6:52 am | by Richard Kopelman, CPA, Partner at Habif, Arogeti & Wynne LLP | Articles | Comments

It may seem counterintuitive, but it is possible for companies to grow themselves out of business. The U.S. economy is beginning to move toward recovery, in spite of the most recent spell of unrest caused by the credit downgrade. So as our economy begins to turn around, an increasing number of food manufacturers are starting to see an uptick in their business.

The $400K Beer-Fetching Robot

September 1, 2011 6:50 am | Videos | Comments

Willow Garage is a company working diligently to create a personal robot people will use in their everyday lives. Some of the things it can do: play pool, bake cookies, make pancakes, and fetch a beer from the refrigerator. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Stryker To Buy Concentric Medical For $135M Cash

September 1, 2011 5:43 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Stryker Corp. said Wednesday it will buy Concentric Medical Inc., which makes devices that are used to remove blood clots from the brain, for $135 million in cash. Concentric Medical is based in Mountain View, Calif. Its devices are designed to be inserted into a blood vessel and then be threaded to the brain, where they can remove a blood clot.

Hurricane Closes Tough Summer For Automakers

September 1, 2011 5:41 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Car sales likely slowed in August because of fewer discounts, worries about the economy and Hurricane Irene, which shut East Coast dealerships during the final weekend of the month. Irene closed out a disappointing summer for automakers, which report U.S. sales on Thursday.

Steuben Glass To Shut Doors After 108 Years

September 1, 2011 5:38 am | by Ben Dobbin, Associated Press | News | Comments

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The Ohio owner of Steuben Glass, the company still making luxury lead crystal by hand in the United States, said Wednesday that it plans to end production after 108 years. Schottenstein Stores Corp. of Columbus, Ohio, which bought the business from longtime owner Corning Inc.

Apple Blasted For Alleged Pollution By Suppliers

September 1, 2011 5:35 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Apple is defending itself against a fresh barrage of criticism from Chinese environmental activists over alleged pollution by the manufacturers who make its iconic iPhones, iPads and other products. In a report issued Wednesday, a group of nongovernmental organizations accused the technology giant of violating its own corporate responsibility standards by using suppliers it said its investigations found are violating the law and endangering public health by discharging heavy metals and other toxins.

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BMW Recalls SUVs

September 1, 2011 5:33 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — BMW of North America is recalling up to 2,120 of its X5 xDrive 35d sport utility vehicles because its fuel-filter heater could overload and possibly cause a fire. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says the model year 2009 vehicles were made between Oct.

Saab Owner Posts $220M Loss In Q2

September 1, 2011 5:32 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press | News | Comments

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Saab owner Swedish Automobile NV says its losses widened further in the second quarter and that it still hasn't secured the funding needed to keep the ailing car brand afloat. Swedish Automobile — previously known as Spyker — on Wednesday reported a second-quarter loss of €152 million (nearly $220 million) compared with a loss of €60 million in the same period last year.

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