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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Is Microsoft Even Trying To Compete Against Apple?

January 7, 2011 3:35 am | by Jessica Mintz, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Instead of unveiling an elegant response to the iPad, Microsoft came to the tech industry's premier gadget show with a collection of exposed computer guts. Microsoft's biggest news was that the next version of Windows would run on the style of mobile phone chips that power the iPad and other tablets today.

Phosgene Leak Sickens 62 Workers At Chinese Factory

January 7, 2011 3:31 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — A chemical leak has sickened 62 workers at a pharmaceutical factory in eastern China. The official Xinhua News Agency reported that 37 of them were still in a hospital Friday after inhaling fumes at work Thursday. The cause of the leak was under investigation. Xinhua said the leaked chemical was phosgene, commonly used to produce pesticides, painkillers and antibiotics.

Donald Tyson, Poultry Patriarch, Dies At 80

January 7, 2011 3:30 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Former Tyson Foods Inc. chief executive Donald J. Tyson, who led his family's poultry company from being a regional producer to dominance in the industry while instilling a corporate culture that mixed hard work and enjoyment, died Thursday. He was 80. Company spokesman Gary Mickelson said Tyson died from complications from cancer, and passed away at home with his family.

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Alcoholic Energy Drinks Meet Their End In Virginia Plant

January 7, 2011 3:27 am | by Zinie Chen Sampson, Associated Press | News | Comments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Truckloads of Four Loko and other alcohol-laced energy drinks are being recycled into ethanol and other products after federal authorities told manufacturers the beverages were dangerous and caused users to become "wide-awake drunk." Wholesalers from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and other East Coast states started sending cases of the high-alcohol, caffeinated malt beverages to MXI Environmental Services in Virginia after the U.

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Unemployment Drops To 9.4 Percent

January 7, 2011 3:24 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent last month, its lowest level in 19 months. That was because more people found jobs, but also because some people gave up on their job searches. The Labor Department says employers added 103,000 jobs in December, an improvement from November but far below most analysts' expectations.

GM: New Batteries To Improve Volts By 50 To 100 Percent

January 7, 2011 3:23 am | News | Comments

General Motors said Thursday that it has licensed technology from a government laboratory that promises to improve battery performance in its Volt electric car by 50 percent to 100 percent. GM and LG Chem have agreed to license the technology, which consists of a mix of materials, from the Argonne National Laboratory.

A Quality New Year’s Resolution

January 6, 2011 11:16 am | by by Meaghan Ziemba, Associate Editor, Product Design and Development | Blogs | Comments

Excellence without exception. What a great mission to live by, especially in today’s markets where some companies seem to have forgotten the importance of quality and replaced its importance by prioritizing quantity. Before the New Year I made a visit to Forest City Gear (FCG), a small gear manufacturer in Roscoe, IL.

Using The Supply Chain To Promote Company Growth

January 6, 2011 9:46 am | by Taylor Jones, Sales Executive, BridgeNet Solutions, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Many companies miss out on not only some of the money-saving opportunities that might present themselves if they were to look at their supply chains a little differently, but on the money-making opportunities they might be able to uncover. Even companies that are adept at running their supply chains efficiently and cost-effectively tend not to see the supply chain as an area of the company which might enable them to achieve actual company growth.

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Worker-Safe Chemical Cleaning

January 6, 2011 8:24 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Safe-T-Wash, from A.W.T. World Trade (Chicago, IL) is a non-carcinogenic and biogegradable cleaning solution for stubborn ink, adhesives, and other hard-to-remove substances. According to the company, Safe-T-Wash is non-flammable and low-odor, but dissolves most ink systems quickly without compromising worker safety.

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Safer Shop Lifts

January 6, 2011 8:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

A&H Engineering and Manufacturing, Inc. (Cerritos, CA) now offers the Shop Lift as an ergonomic solution to the problem of heavy materials handling in a confined space. The Shop Lift is designed to fit through most standard doorways, but is capable of carrying up to 600 pounds of payload.

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Batteries Are A 'Snap'

January 6, 2011 8:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

Philadelphia Scientific (Montgomeryville, PA) has introduced a new snap-fit valve battery base for its entire line of Water Injector Systems, which is the fastest single-point watering system in the world, according to the company. The base eliminates the need for a separate quarter-turn adapter, while saving time and money.

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Get A Better Finish

January 6, 2011 8:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

The LUMICLAD finish, for metal components requiring break-in lubricity and galling resistance when mating aluminum surfaces, is now available from Birchwood Casey (Eden Prairie, MN). The LUMICLAD process forms a non-dimensional black oxide finish on all aluminum surfaces that is clean, durable, and tightly adherent to the metal substrate, according to the company.

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(Video) Why The Gadgets At CES Matter

January 5, 2011 6:09 am | Articles | Comments

The Consumer Electronics Expo, which takes place between Thursday and Sunday of this week, is the world's proverbial “Mecca” for gadget geeks, and this year is no different. The 30 football field's worth of electronics is the starting point for all the new devices and technology that we'll be able to buy in stores throughout the year, so if you're at all thinking about buying a new smartphone, tablet computer, or HDTV this year, you might want to do your research and stay tuned-in.

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The Joys Of High-Tech Manufacturing

January 5, 2011 6:08 am | Articles | Comments

Lexar, a division of Micron technology, makes computer memory. A lot of it. According to them, they're the only major memory company who does any manufacturing here in the U.S. And while much of the later processes and packaging is performed in Asia, the high tolerances and cleanliness required for the initial manufacturing makes domestic work the better option.

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The Penalties Of Bad Medicine

January 5, 2011 6:06 am | Articles | Comments

Whistle-blower Cheryl Eckard tells 60 Minutes' Scott Pelley about her experience trying to fix problems at a GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical factory that made her a key figure in a federal lawsuit and a multimillionaire. When touring a Puerto Rico facility, she noticed countless quality issues, ranging from workers who would contaminate anti-bacterial creams, to mix-ups between tablets of diabetes and anti-depression medicine.

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I'm Going To Shoot You... With Sound

January 5, 2011 6:05 am | Articles | Comments

In the 2002 movie  Minority Report — which has become the template for technically-possible science fiction — characters use guns that fire bursts of sound in order to disable, not kill, their enemies. While many remember the movie for the touch- and hologram-based computing, this technology is another that could find real-world use in the near future.

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Asus Introduces Bevy Of Tablets To Take Down Apple

January 5, 2011 4:11 am | by Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Taiwan's AsusTek Computer Inc. plans to start selling an array of tablet computers — including hybrids that sit somewhere between a laptop and a tablet — with the hope that variety is the best weapon against Apple Inc.'s iPad and other similar gadgets. Asus chairman Jonney Shih unveiled the new devices Tuesday ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Chinese Candymaker To Bring 120 Jobs To S. Carolina

January 5, 2011 4:04 am | News | Comments

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) — A Chinese candy maker is building a new $6 million factory in Sumter. Officials for Au'Some says they hope to hire 120 workers over the next five years. The Hong Kong company makes candy for retailers like Walmart, Target, Walgreens and CVS. The Sumter factory is Au'Some's first facility in North America, and the company wants to have it open by the end of the summer.

Ford Gains Marketshare At The Expense Of GM, Toyota

January 5, 2011 3:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. saw the biggest percentage point gain in U.S. market share in 2010, while Toyota Motor Co. saw the biggest loss. These are the 10 largest car companies by U.S. sales and their share gains or losses in 2010. A percentage point of share equaled about 115,800 cars and trucks in 2010. Company Total 2010 sales 2010 U.

Moore's Law Continues To Predict Semiconductor Innovation

January 5, 2011 3:47 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Semiconductor companies are whipping up a new generation of chips to bring richer video and better battery life to personal computers and help them hold off threats from tablets and increasingly powerful smart phones. Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., whose processors are the "brains" of PCs, are unveiling significant changes to their chips' designs at this week's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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