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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Worker Aid Program Key To Passing Free Trade Deals

September 20, 2011 7:31 am | by Jim Abrams, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A half-century-old program that helps workers who lose their jobs to foreign trade holds the key to whether Congress may finally approve three long-delayed free trade agreements viewed by both the Obama White House and congressional Republicans as a way to invigorate the economy and create jobs.

Driverless Car Navigates Berlin Streets

September 20, 2011 7:29 am | by Kirsten Grieshaber, Associated Press | News | Comments

BERLIN (AP) — It can talk, see, drive and no longer needs a human being to control it by remote. The car of the future — completely computer-controlled — is on the streets of Berlin. All summer, researchers from the city's Free University have been testing the automobile around the German capital.

Equipment Precautions For The Next Irene

September 20, 2011 7:22 am | Articles | Comments

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, is urging businesses to take every precaution with electrical equipment in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, in case another event is to strike the East Coast in the near future. The following precautions are recommended to ensure employee safety and avoid costly damage both to physical equipment and the financial losses of a prolonged shutdown: Wet Electrical Equipment Electrical equipment that has been submerged or come into contact with water must be replaced, though there are exceptions to this rule for larger equipment, which may be able to be reconditioned by trained factory service personnel.

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Analyzing Performance Data To Craft Your Battle Plan

September 20, 2011 7:13 am | Articles | Comments

The importance of a strategy behind the performance management system has been previously stressed . The analysis stage is where this concept finally comes to the forefront. This is where all the groundwork of fact capturing transitions into actual decision-making tools. The battle plan is crafted.

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Gov Promotes Detroit Workforce Partnership

September 20, 2011 6:46 am | by Jeff Karoub, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday praised a partnership between a Detroit-based social and economic services agency and a manufacturing assembly company, saying it would be a role model for the jobs plan he plans to announce in November. Snyder spoke at the nonprofit group Focus: HOPE, which has teamed up with Auburn Hills-based Android Industries to assemble parts for the Chevrolet Volt, a rechargeable electric car with a small gas engine.

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Kansas Economy Sending Mixed Signals

September 20, 2011 6:28 am | by John Milburn, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A mixed bag of statistics released in recent weeks suggests that Kansas, like the rest of the nation, is finding it difficult to get its economic engine firing on all cylinders. Despite rising state revenues, job growth remains flat while more residents are seeking public assistance.

Ariens To Increase Hiring In WI

September 20, 2011 5:46 am | News | Comments

BRILLION, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin outdoor power equipment manufacturer plans to hire 100 additional employees. Ariens Co. usually switches from lawn maintenance equipment to making snow blowers this time of year. But, president Dan Ariens says the company will be manufacturing both equipment lines this fall.

New Zinc Plant To Be Built In NC

September 20, 2011 5:41 am | News | Comments

SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) — A Pennsylvania company that extracts zinc from waste generated through steel mini mills said Monday it will build a new plant in Rutherford County that will generate 250 jobs. Horsehead Corp. will build a zinc production facility in Rutherford County near Forest City, Gov.

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GM Agrees To Deepen EV Cooperation With China

September 20, 2011 5:39 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors Co. agreed Tuesday to deepen cooperation with its flagship Chinese partner on development of electric vehicle know how amid pressure from Beijing to hand over proprietary technology. Investments and other details of the plan were not provided, and it was unclear if the agreement was the result of a renewed push by China to acquire advanced technology its own automakers still lack.

IBM Offers Concession In Antitrust Case

September 20, 2011 5:37 am | by Gabriele Steinhauser, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. computer maker IBM Corp. on Tuesday offered to make it easier for competitors to provide maintenance services for its mainframe computers, a concession to get European regulators to close an antitrust probe. The European Commission, the European Union's competition watchdog, opened two investigations into whether IBM was abusing its dominant position in the market for mainframe computers in July 2010.

Feds Investigate Failing Ford Jacks

September 20, 2011 5:34 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are investigating service jacks sold with Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans because of reports that they can fail and cause the vehicle to fall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says on its website that in one case, a person working under a van was killed when it fell off the jack.

Tyson Pays $32M To Settle Wage Lawsuit

September 20, 2011 5:31 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tyson Foods Inc. is paying $32 million to settle a long-running dispute over whether it should compensate poultry plant workers for time they spend putting on and taking off protective clothing. In a consent decree filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ga., Tyson agreed to make payments averaging around $1,000 per worker to about 17,000 current and former employees around the country.

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DOE Solar Decathalon 2011: Assembly

September 19, 2011 12:22 pm | Videos | Comments

Richard King, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, provides an onsite overview of Solar Decathlon 2011 in his first official video blog of the 2011 event. 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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Whiskey Distillery Undergoes Control System Upgrade

September 19, 2011 12:19 pm | by Keirsten Henderson, Industry Automation, Siemens Industry, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Four Roses Distillery keeps its traditions alive while moving ahead with a control system upgrade. Since the late 1880s, the smooth and mellow taste of Four Roses Bourbon has been a favorite among whiskey lovers. Over the decades, the spirits distiller has seen numerous management and political changes — including being one of only six distilleries granted permission to operate through prohibition to produce bourbon for medicinal purposes.

Manufacturers Losing Confidence In U.S. Economy

September 19, 2011 12:08 pm | Articles | Comments

U.S. manufacturing leaders are extremely pessimistic about the U.S. economy, according to Grant Thornton LLP’s most recent Business Optimism Index, a quarterly survey of U.S. manufacturing business leaders. Only 13 percent believe the U.S. economy will improve in the next six months, down significantly from 40 percent in May.

Wireless True RMS Logging System

September 19, 2011 11:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Wireless True RMS Clamp Meter/Data Logging System (Model CMR35) from General Tools & Instruments (New York, NY) improves safety while increasing utility and reducing labor costs. With its ability to remotely monitor multiple voltage/current inputs at once, the system is designed for use by industrial MRO professionals.

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VERNON Tool RAZOR

September 19, 2011 11:13 am | Product Releases | Comments

The VERNON Tool RAZOR, a new robotic tube cutting and profiling system from VERNON Tool (Oceanside, CA), a Lincoln Electric company, offers functions ideal for high-production tube and pipe fabricators in heavy fabrication, agricultural, construction, vehicle, and tube frame manufacturing. The rugged RAZOR improves productivity and quality by consolidating the typical multi-step fabrication process—set-up, layout, manual/CNC machining and end prep—into one operation.

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Banana Jack Outlet Adaptor

September 19, 2011 11:12 am | Product Releases | Comments

Desco (Chino, CA) has introduced a new Banana Jack Outlet Adaptor for ESD control wrist straps and other grounding hardware.  It converts a standard outlet into a groundable point. The Banana Jack Outlet Adaptor plugs into a standard duplex receptacle and only the ground plug on the adaptor is functional.

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Explosion Proof LEDs

September 19, 2011 11:11 am | Product Releases | Comments

Larson Electronics (Kemp, TX) has released the explosion proof Magnalight LED light fixture with UL certification and a Class 1 Division 1 and 2, and Class 2 Division 1 and 2 explosion proof rating. This four foot long, four lamp LED light fixture replaces traditional fluorescent equipped fixtures and provides more light with less power consumption and enhanced durability as well as better contrast and good color rendering.

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Wearable, Rugged Tablet

September 19, 2011 11:10 am | Product Releases | Comments

Glacier Computer (New Milford, CT) has added the T507K, a seven inch rugged tablet, to their existing product line of vehicles and fixed mount terminals, handhelds, and wearable rugged computers. The T507K offers a sunlight readable seven inch touch screen and is drop tested six feet to concrete.

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