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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Clean Rooms Adapt To A Changing Industry

November 23, 2010 9:01 am | by Mike Auerbach, Editor In Chief, PharmPro | Articles | Comments

When you think of the pharmaceutical industry one of the first images that comes to mind is that of the clean room operator. Covered from head-to-toe in a white garment, mask and gloves on, manipulating a piece of sophisticated equipment designed to produce the life-saving drugs we have all come to rely on.

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Higher-Than-High-Quality Hoses

November 22, 2010 10:32 am | Product Releases | Comments

The GilaFlex Inner-braided PVC Air Hose from Coilhose Pneumatics (East Brunswick, NJ) is the newest addition to the company’s line of high-quality hoses. The visible safety orange cover does not trap dirt and is easy to clean — according to the company — and a special blend of PVC allows the hose to lay flat on the ground or floor.

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Make Consistent And Accurate Bends 

November 22, 2010 10:31 am | Product Releases | Comments

Greenlee  (Rockford, IL) offers the 555 series benders and the 855GX IntelliBender. According to the company, they are designed to make consistent and accurate bends in EMT, IMC, Steel Rigid, Aluminum Rigid, Stainless Steel Rigid, and PVC Coated Steel Rigid conduit. The patent pending solid-state control system uses current-limiting technology to protect the motor and on-board electronics from a variety of job site power sources, like generators and temporary drops, as well as eliminates arcing and the potential for relay failure.

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Anti-Pinch, Non-Slip 

November 22, 2010 10:30 am | Product Releases | Comments

The VISE-GRIP curved jaw locking pliers from  Irwin  (Phoenix, AZ) feature a self-energizing lower jaw. According to the company, the jaw tightens for maximum grip as torque is applied to the tool. They are available in two core models: Fast Release, with a one-handed, triggerless release and anti-pinch, non-slip ProTouch™ Grips; and Original, with a classic trigger release.

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Gas Detection Gets Durable

November 22, 2010 10:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

Detcon (The Woodlands, TX) has improved its Model PI-700 Photo-ionization gas detection sensor to better manage humidity drift and surface contamination, making it more reliable and durable. The Model PI-700 is a sensor that can detect and monitor a wide range of volatile organic compounds and toxic gases in the air.

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Furniture Executive Indicted For Fraud, Money Laundering

November 19, 2010 3:37 am | News | Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — An executive at a Lenoir furniture manufacturer has been indicted on charges that he took more than $560,000 from the company. The Charlotte Observer reported that Andrew Geiger is accused of setting up a dummy company and billing Bernhardt Furniture Company for extra services concealed as processing fees.

Toyota Tries To Throw Out All Acceleration Lawsuits

November 19, 2010 3:34 am | News | Comments

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge in California will consider a motion by Toyota Motor Corp. to dismisslawsuits that claim there are sudden acceleration defects in its cars. U.S. District Judge James Selna will hear arguments Friday about whether he should throw out some of the hundreds of lawsuits filed since the automaker starting recalling millions of vehicles because of acceleration problems in several models and brake defects with the Prius hybrid.

Solar Manufacturer Using China As Low-Cost Stepping Stone

November 19, 2010 3:33 am | News | Comments

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A Toledo solar panel manufacturer opened an assembly plant in China to provide low-cost assembly while it works to automate and expand its local operations, the company's president said Thursday. Xunlight Corp., which has received nearly $50 million in federal and state assistance to develop research and production in Toledo, just started talking publicly this week about the Chinese facility, which opened earlier this year, The Blade newspaper reported Thursday.

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Lockheed Martin Cutting 1,000 Eagan, Minn. Jobs

November 19, 2010 3:31 am | News | Comments

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. said on Thursday that it will close its Eagan, Minn. plant by 2013, eliminating or moving about 1,000 jobs. The company makes components for the Navy's P-3 Orion anti-submarine plane at the plant. Lockheed said 650 of the Minnesota jobs would move to Owego, N.

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Kia Ready To Hire Another 1,000 Georgians

November 19, 2010 3:30 am | News | Comments

WEST POINT, Ga. (AP) — Kia Motors plans to hire another 1,000 workers at its west Georgia plant. Kia on Thursday opened the online application process for prospective employees for its plant in West Point, which is near the Alabama state line. The plant officially opened earlier this year and, as of September, had produced about 100,000 Kia Sorrento SUVs.

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How GM's IPO Affected Detroit, New York, And Washington

November 19, 2010 3:29 am | by Bernard Condon and Tom Krisher, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors returned to Wall Street with the satisfying roar of a muscle car's engine, embraced by traders at the New York Stock Exchange who stood in a crowd eight deep for the chance to buy a piece of a resurrected American icon. Elsewhere, the moment was more complex.

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Perfecting A Cost-Saving Methodology

November 18, 2010 11:10 am | Articles | Comments

A Wisconsin-based manufacturer has spent the last decade developing and trying to perfect a methodology for producing a certain product at a significantly lower cost. Before a potato hits the dinner plate, it may have taken six to eight years of development to get there. Among the thousands of varieties of potatoes, characteristics like size, color, solid-matter content, and starch type can all vary, and they are appealing to producers and consumers for their respective characteristics.

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Routine Problems, Routine Explanations

November 18, 2010 11:01 am | by The QA Pharm, Anonymous Industry Insider and Contributor to Pharmaceutical Processing | Articles | Comments

When a recurring deviation and obviously ineffective corrective and protective action happens the third time, you no longer own the deviation/ investigation/ corrective and protective action — your boss does . Here I am at a foreign airport with time on my hands due to a significantly delayed flight.

Better Rooftop HVAC

November 18, 2010 9:50 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Vibro-Curb, available from Thybar Corporation (Addison, IL) has integral, vibration-dampening spring isolators that can be easily accessed. The curbs provide mounting for rooftop HVAC units, and they allow roofing to be completed at a later date. The flexible 9” counter-flashing provides a weather seal while permitting easy access to the isolators.

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Clean And Recirculate

November 18, 2010 9:50 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Trans-O-Filter unit from SERFILCO, Ltd. (Northbrook, IL) re-circulates at flow rates of 3 to 10 GPM on fuel or hydraulic systems to collect moisture on a coalescing element. To enhance the life of the coalescing element, a pre-filter can be added to remove particulates, and the choice of media allows the user to select cartridges with high dirt holding depth or absolute media of pleated membrane to trap particles as small as 1 micron.

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Know Your Costs

November 18, 2010 9:49 am | Product Releases | Comments

MTI Systems (West Springfield, MA) announces the release of the latest version of the Costimator — Version 11.0. According to the company, the new version helps make the user experience easier and more productive while improving speed and quality of results. Easier configuration is also included.

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Dry As A Desert

November 18, 2010 9:48 am | Product Releases | Comments

Atlas Copco (Westfield, MA) has launched three new desiccant air dryer ranges that are designed for efficiency, with low pressure drops, delayed dryer cycles, and a guaranteed constant pressure dew point — even at full load — under any condition. The CD+ range is engineered with a design that guarantees reliability, according to the company.

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Make Friends With The Air Hockey Robot

November 17, 2010 10:00 am | Videos | Comments

A Japanese professor has developed a robotic air hockey player, which uses a camera to track the puck's motion and calculate its trajectory and deliver a mean counter-attack. According to one YouTube commenter, this device is ideal for "people with no friends." That might be a little harsh, as the project is a good test in machine vision and developing faster reaction times for unexpected events.

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The Chevy Volt: Car Of The Year

November 17, 2010 9:59 am | Videos | Comments

The Chevrolet Volt, despite some concerns that it might not be as revolutionary as once thought, is the winner of Motor Trend 's 2011 Car of the Year Award. As Motor Trend editor-in-chief Angus MacKenzie explains, the award is given for performance in six main categories: Engineering excellence Advance in design Efficiency Safety Value Performance in intended function Despite a $41,000 sticker price, reviewers say that the Volt more than makes up for a bigger monthly payment with good mileage, and a lower energy cost when using the electric motor, compared to gasoline.

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Profiting From Anti-China Politics

November 17, 2010 9:58 am | Videos | Comments

China has been in the news lately due to veiled threats of withholding rare earth materials for political reasons, and that has made manufacturers around the world a nervous bunch. Considering a vast majority of the rare earth metals we use come from China, they do have the power to strangle a handful of industries and countless companies.

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