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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Dow Climbs Above 12,000 On Major Business Dealings

March 21, 2011 10:47 am | by Stan Choe, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks climbed Monday on the strength of a major telecommunications deal and signs that that Japan's nuclear crisis was stabilizing. AT&T Inc. said it would buy rival T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, creating the largest U.S. cellphone company. Charles Schwab Corp. said it would buy online brokerage services provider OptionsXpress for $1 billion.

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GM Lays Off U.S. Workers Due To Earthquake

March 21, 2011 10:06 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. on Monday is halting some production and temporarily laying off workers at a Buffalo engine plant, another sign that Japan's disaster is affecting automakers around the globe. GM's Tonawanda plant in Buffalo, New York, makes four- and five-cylinder engines for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickups, which are assembled at a GM plant in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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Boeing's Newest Jumbo Jet Takes Flight

March 21, 2011 9:12 am | Videos | Comments

On Monday, Boeing first flew its new 747-8 jumbo jet, which can hold up to 467 passengers and fly 8,000 nautical miles. The first video shows the four-engine beast lift into the air, and the second, of course, shows its successful landing back to the ground. 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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Protecting The Robots That Protect Soldiers

March 21, 2011 8:47 am | by Abbott Koloff, Associated Press | News | Comments

ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Because bomb-disarming robots cost about $140,000 apiece, Bernard Reger's superiors asked him to design a virtual training system that does not require using robots that might get blown up during an exercise or fall off a cliff. The Army already marketed a computer war game, America's Army, as part of a recruiting campaign.

Organic Grease Clogs City's Sewer Systems

March 21, 2011 8:07 am | News | Comments

CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind. (AP) — Officials blame grease that an organic food company is releasing into the sewer system for ruining equipment at an eastern Indiana town's treatment plant. The Western Wayne Sewer District Board says the material from Really Cool Foods has been clogging pumps and damaging sewage equipment at the Cambridge City facility.

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New Standards Make Firefighting Choppers Very Expensive

March 21, 2011 7:55 am | by Kate Ramsayer, Associated Press | News | Comments

BEND, Ore. (AP) — New U.S. Forest Service standards for some firefighting helicopters could require contractors to spend as much as $50,000 per helicopter to upgrade the aircraft. Some in the helicopter industry say the high cost of upgrades could reduce the number of helicopters in the "call-when-needed" pool come fire season.

Decimated Sake Brewer Vows To Rebuild, Re-Brew

March 21, 2011 7:53 am | by Jay Alabaster, Associated Press | News | Comments

RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan (AP) — Yasuhiko Konno stands next to a pile of debris that reaches over two stories high. He bows his head for a moment and takes a deep breath. This was his sake brewery, one of the best in Japan, with a history that goes back hundreds of years. A week after he barely escaped a tsunami that flattened it and nearly everything else in sight, he's come back for the first time, and it takes him a second to collect his thoughts.

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Tearing Down The Beauty Of LCDs

March 21, 2011 6:46 am | Videos | Comments

Surprise, surprise — Bill is back with a tear-down and explanation of how liquid crystal displays (LCDs) work. Chances are you're looking at one right now. The technology behind them — which involves diffusing light across the entire width and length of the screen, followed by unique polarizers and "sub-pixels" — is nothing short of incredible.

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Keep The Lights On

March 21, 2011 6:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

Shurter (Santa Rosa, CA) has announced the addition of the V-Lock cord retaining system for 10A and 16A appliance couplers and power entry modules. The V-Lock power cord provides a safe and reliable power connection that latches into the notched inlet to prevent accidental disconnection of the power from the equipment.

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Pump Difficult Contents

March 21, 2011 6:22 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Moyno (Springfield, OH) 2000 Model G3 Progressing Cavity Pump is suited for handling semi-dry, high-solids content or caked substances. By positioning the pump above the auger feed, the bridge breaker device prevents the accumulation of material in the throat of the pump. In addition, this bridge breaker is independently-driven for flexibility in controlling the pump and breaker, which helps meet specific application requirements.

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Sanitary Solids Handing

March 21, 2011 6:21 am | Product Releases | Comments

Material Transfer (Allegan, MI) has developed the Sanitary Stainless Steel Hydraulic Container Dumper, which discharges containers of food products into an existing hopper at 63” above floor level. The unit has a sanitary, wash-down duty, tubular 304 stainless steel construction with continuous TIG welds, and no tube penetrations.

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Smaller, Large-Ranged Power Supplies

March 21, 2011 6:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

Altech (Flemington, NJ) is offering the “PSW Series” AC/DC wide voltage input, DIN rail power supplies, which offer a 50 percent smaller size and a wider input voltage range (180VAC-550VAC and 254VDC-780VDC). The latest family has been designed for high efficiency (up to 93 percent), according to the company.

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Zippo Lights Fire Under New Businesses As Less Smoke

March 21, 2011 5:07 am | by Joe Mandak, Associated Press | News | Comments

BRADFORD, Pa. (AP) — Zippo lighters have retained their retro cool even as the tiny northwestern Pennsylvania company that makes them gets ready to celebrate its 80th anniversary and 500 millionth lighter next year. But with pressure increasing on folks not to smoke, Zippo Manufacturing Co.

Boeing Completes Flight Of Biggest-Ever Passenger Jet

March 21, 2011 4:54 am | News | Comments

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The Boeing Co.'s newest and largest passenger plane completed its first flight on Sunday, marking another milestone as the company prepares to get the long-haul jumbo jet ready for the market by the end of the year. The 4½ hour-flight, which began in Everett and landed in Seattle, was the first in a months-long test program that will log more than 600 flight hours between now and the fall.

DOJ: Samsung To Pay $32M For Price Fixing

March 21, 2011 4:48 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department said Friday that Samsung SDI Co. has agreed to plead guilty in a price-fixing conspiracy and pay a $32 million fine. The Justice Department said Samsung SDI, part of South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., conspired to fix prices, reduce output and allocate market shares of color display tubes, a type of cathode ray tube used in computer monitors and other devices.

Nissan To Resume Japanese Manufacturing Next Week

March 21, 2011 4:45 am | by Tom Murphy, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co. plans to resume auto and parts production at more Japanese factories next week, but it may be several months before inventories and other elements of the country's auto industry return to normal. Nissan said it will resume production of parts at five plants Monday. It then plans to resume vehicle production Thursday as long as supplies last.

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GM Cutting Unnecessary Spending After Japan Disaster

March 21, 2011 4:42 am | by Janna Herron, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — GM said Saturday it is cutting unnecessary spending companywide as it assesses the impact of production disruptions from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The move will help the automaker preserve cash as it deals with the financial implications from shortages of parts made in Japan, a company spokesman said.

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3M Settles Age-Discrimination Lawsuit For $12 Million

March 21, 2011 4:40 am | News | Comments

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — 3M Co. has agreed to pay up to $12 million to settle an age-discrimination lawsuit with as many as 7,000 current and former employees. The 2004 lawsuit targeted the company's performance-review system, alleging that older workers were disproportionately downgraded. It also accused the company of favoring younger employees for certain training opportunities that could fast-track them for promotions.

Food-Friendly Ducting

March 18, 2011 10:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

The TPU-SD duct with steel wire helix — from Novaflex (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada) — is now manufactured using raw materials to meet FDA requirements for food contact applications when used in accordance with the limitations of 21 CFR: 175.105 and 177.2600a. The specially-formulated grade of urethane also maintains the TPU-SD duct’s ability for permanent protection against electrostatic discharge.

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Water Jetting Goes Automatic

March 18, 2011 10:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

NLB Corp. (Wixom, MI) has developed wireless controls for its automated water jet Crawler, which is a surface preparation tool for towers and other large structures that does not expose personnel to the risk of falling. The SRT-10-W Crawler removes coatings and scale faster than manual methods using only ultra-high pressure water (up to 40,000 psi).

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