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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

OSHA Investigates W. Va. Plant Worker Death

September 21, 2011 9:12 am | News | Comments

HAYWOOD, W.Va. (AP) — The worker killed at a Harrison County power plant has been identified, and a federal investigation is under way. The Exponent Telegram (http://bit.ly/pYyoyu) says the victim was 63-year-old Ned Johnson of Rivesville. He died Sunday when he was pinned between a machine and a wall at the Harrison Power Station in Haywood.

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IRS Gives Employers Break Regarding Misclassified Workers

September 21, 2011 9:06 am | by Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service is offering a break to employers who come clean about wrongly classifying workers as independent contractors to avoid paying federal payroll taxes. What happens when workers are considered independent contractors? Employers don't have to pay various taxes, including unemployment insurance taxes, workers' compensation premiums or the employer's share of Social Security and Medicare taxes.

IMF: Global Economy In 'Dangerous New Phase'

September 21, 2011 5:49 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The world economy has entered a "dangerous new phase," according to the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. As a result, the international lending organization has sharply downgraded its economic outlook for the United States and Europe through the end of next year.

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Federal Reserve To Take Action To Lift Economy?

September 21, 2011 5:43 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is running out of options to try to boost a slumping economy and lower unemployment. So policymakers are expected to reach 50 years back into their playbook for their next move. Most economists expect the Fed to announce a plan Wednesday to shift money in its $1.

Cash-Strapped Saab Receives Bankruptcy Protection

September 21, 2011 5:36 am | by Louise Nordstrom, Associated Press | News | Comments

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Swedish appeals court tossed a lifeline Wednesday to cash-strapped car maker Saab, approving its application for bankruptcy protection as it awaits funding from Chinese investors. The ruling by the Court of Appeal for Western Sweden, overturning a lower court's decision, gives Saab three months to reorganize while being protected from creditors, some of whom have already filed bankruptcy petitions against the company.

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GM Expands Technology Investments In China

September 21, 2011 5:31 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors Co. says it is seeking to buy back a 1 percent stake sold to its main Chinese joint venture partner, as it expands its technology investments in a market where it is maneuvering to keep its edge. The Detroit company opened an advanced technology center in Shanghai on Wednesday meant to help it design lighter, safer and more efficient cars for China, a market that has proved crucial to its survival.

Embattled Solar Energy Execs Will Plead 5th At House Hearing

September 21, 2011 5:26 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two top executives at a bankrupt California solar energy company say they will invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer questions when they appear at a House hearing on Friday. Solyndra Inc. Chief Executive Officer Brian Harrison and Chief Financial Officer W.

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High-Pressure AODD Pumps

September 20, 2011 11:10 am | Product Releases | Comments

Plastic AH Series High-Pressure AODD Pumps from Almatec (Kamp-Lintfort, Germany) have no drives, no rotating parts, and no rotary shaft seals. The pumps offer dry-run capability, good controllability, and a gasketless mechanical design. A compressible drive medium permits gentle product delivery with attenuated pressure peaks.

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Compact, Lightweight Cylinders

September 20, 2011 11:09 am | Product Releases | Comments

MISUMI USA, Inc. (Schaumburg, IL) has announced new specialty clamp cylinders, rotary clamp cylinders, and air grippers for use in industrial machinery, testing and inspection devices, and factory automation equipment. The new products are compact, lightweight, strong and, versatile. Clamp Cylinders, Compressed Air Types are designed with crevices having concave knuckles for firm and secure holding.

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RotaFoam Cutting Fluid

September 20, 2011 11:08 am | Product Releases | Comments

Hougen Manufacturing, Inc. (Swartz Creek, MI) has announced the new RotaFoam Cutting Fluid, a heavy-duty foamy aerosol lubricant that provides protections to the cutting tool even in hard, high torque machining applications. RotaFoam has “super sticky” properties to adhere to the tool and reduce friction throughout the cut.

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UAW, GM Deal Creates Or Keeps 6,400 Jobs

September 20, 2011 9:23 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — A new four-year contract deal between the United Auto Workers and General Motors Co. will add or keep 6,400 jobs in the U.S. with a $2.5 billion investment, the union said Tuesday. Union leaders from around the country were briefed on the deal in Detroit in a morning meeting, and they voted to recommend that GM's 48,500 factory workers ratify it in voting that will take place in the next week.

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Legacy Electronics Cuts Ribbon On SD Facility

September 20, 2011 9:17 am | News | Comments

CANTON, S.D. (AP) — Electronics manufacturer Legacy Electronics cut the ribbon on a 40,000 square foot plant in Canton, S.D. on Monday. Legacy Electronics builds, designs and tests of high-speed, high-density memory modules, printed circuit boards and other computer products. It chose Canton for its manufacturing operations in March.

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Equipment Supplier Plans SC Facility, 50 Jobs

September 20, 2011 9:15 am | News | Comments

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Denmark-based machining supplier says it will open a facility in Easley that will create at least 50 jobs. KP Components Inc. plans to spend at least $10 million to begin operations in an existing building that will make hydraulic components. Their parts are used in farm and heavy equipment as well as in wind turbines.

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Nissan To Expand Overseas Parts Procurement

September 20, 2011 9:13 am | News | Comments

TOKYO, Sept. 20 (Kyodo) — Nissan Motor Co. President Carlos Ghosn indicated Tuesday the automaker will expand procurement of overseas components for its Kyushu plant in Fukuoka Prefecture, southwestern Japan, to help cope with the yen's appreciation. Under the strategy, the Kyushu plant will increase the ratio of vehicle components to be procured in other Asian countries as well as the Kyushu region to 80 to 90 percent from 70 percent at present, taking advantage of its proximity to Asia, Ghosn said in Kitakyushu in Fukuoka.

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NASA Selects Boeing For Cryogenic Propellant Tanks

September 20, 2011 9:11 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON, PRNewswire-USNewswire -- NASA has selected The Boeing Company of Huntington Beach, Calif., for the Composite Cryotank Technologies Demonstration effort. Under the contract, Boeing will design, manufacture and test two lightweight composite cryogenic propellant tanks. The demonstration effort will use advanced composite materials to develop new technologies that could be applied to multiple future NASA missions, including human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit.

CAT's Global Sales On The Rise

September 20, 2011 9:09 am | News | Comments

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar's global heavy equipment sales rose 34 percent in August, with strong growth continuing despite the economic slowdown in the U.S. and Europe. The world's largest maker of mining and construction equipment, based in Peoria, Ill., provided an update on sales Tuesday in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CA Desert Spaceship Factory Completed

September 20, 2011 9:07 am | News | Comments

MOJAVE, California (AP) — Space tourism is closer to reality after the completion of an $8 million Mojave Desert production plant where the world's first fleet of passenger-ready spaceships will be built. Hundreds of public officials and reporters were invited Monday to tour the giant hangar where the White Knight and SpaceShipTwo craft will be built.

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NJ Jobless Take Up Residence In "Tent City"

September 20, 2011 7:59 am | Videos | Comments

A lot of unemployed individuals have it bad in these uncertain economic times. However, there is a new low in the sour U.S. economy. Some unemployed people in the New Jersey area have taken up residence in "Tent City." It is a community of jobless/homeless individuals established five years ago by a reverend who lives in a converted school bus.

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Server Smashing, Mini-Golf At Work

September 20, 2011 7:57 am | Videos | Comments

Cloud computing provider Rackspace believes that the unique corporate culture is at the core of its success. The company employs 4,000 people, all of which are referred to as "rackers." The company believes it needs to make its workers voluntarily do good work, rather than coerce them into doing good work 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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Jaguar C-X16 Concept

September 20, 2011 7:55 am | Videos | Comments

At the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, Jaguar aims to set new class benchmarks in design, vehicle dynamics and technology. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department. Have any comments or questions about our video editions of IMPO? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Rachel.

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