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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Surgical Robots Fold Tiny Paper Airplanes

April 6, 2011 7:38 am | Videos | Comments

Dr. James Porter, the medical director of robotic surgery at Swedish hospital in Seattle, has used their da Vinci surgical robot for a little after-hours challenge: folding a tiny paper airplane with the incredible precision and dexterity the system provides. One can only imagine the possibilities if this sort of technology finds its way into manufacturing someday.

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A Cruelly Effective Alarm Clock

April 6, 2011 7:36 am | Videos | Comments

Most of us don't like waking up in the morning, but an alarm clock (or two) is enough to get us out of bed and to work in time. YouTube user stampmaille , on the other hand, is a pretty deep sleeper. Luckily, he has the technical prowess to build himself the world's most brutal alarm clock, which includes some air compressors and one big air cylinder.

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The New Global Economy

April 6, 2011 7:27 am | Videos | Comments

The recession is over and economies across the globe are awakening to a new reality: The recoveries are uneven, and the United States isn't the fastest growing economy. In the past, countries like China and India have come to depend on the U.S. and other Western economies for growth. Not anymore. 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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Building A Better, Stronger Mankind

April 6, 2011 7:23 am | Videos | Comments

Eythor Bender, the CEO of Berkeley Bionics , has been working hard on exoskeletons, which attempt to fuse the boundaries between humans and robots, in order to supplement users' natural abilities. The HULC allows soldiers to carry more gear into battle without experiencing chronic back injuries, while the eLEGS could serve both regular Americans and wounded veterans.

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Boeing Surprised By 737 Fuselage Tears, Holes

April 6, 2011 4:58 am | by Bob Christie and Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

PHOENIX (AP) — Boeing was surprised when a section of a Southwest jetliner's fuselage ripped open in flight because the plane wasn't old enough to be worrisome, a company official said Tuesday, as the airline cleared most of its older 737 planes to return to the skies. Southwest said it had inspected nearly all of the jets it grounded after the accident on Friday.

Toyota Sells Millionth Prius In U.S. Thanks To Pricy Gas

April 6, 2011 4:53 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The Toyota Prius hybrid, once viewed as a science experiment for environmentalists, has become a mainstream vehicle in the United States, with the company selling more than a million of the cars nationwide. Toyota announced Wednesday that it had passed the million sales milestone, helped by brisk sales recently as U.

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Cisco CEO Apologizes For 'Unacceptable' Downfall

April 6, 2011 4:45 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers is calling his company's recent missteps "unacceptable" and is vowing to take "bold steps" to narrow Cisco's focus. A memo to employees that Cisco posted on its corporate blog Tuesday suggests that major changes are coming for the world's biggest maker of computer-networking gear, but it was short on specifics.

SpaceX To Build Biggest Rocket Since Moon Launch

April 6, 2011 4:38 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A high-tech entrepreneur unveiled plans Tuesday to launch the world's most powerful rocket since man went to the moon. Space Exploration Technology has already sent the first private rocket and capsule into Earth's orbit as a commercial venture. It is now planning a rocket that could lift twice as much cargo into orbit as the soon-to-be-retired space shuttle.

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Ind. Modular Parts Maker To Invest, Add 110 New Jobs

April 6, 2011 4:36 am | News | Comments

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana modular parts manufacturer will create 110 new jobs and invest more than $9 million to expand its operations in Columbia City. The company known as 80/20 Inc. announced Tuesday it will add more than 90,000 square feet. It now has more than 250 workers in a 135,000-square-foot plant.

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Ill. Gov., CAT CEO Talk Business-Friendly Politics

April 6, 2011 4:32 am | by Zachary Colman, Associated Press | News | Comments

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Illinois is facing growing concerns among business leaders that its policies hurt the companies that drive its economy, the head of Caterpillar Inc. warned Tuesday as he met with Gov. Pat Quinn. The meeting was prompted by a letter that Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman sent to the governor about other states trying to lure his company after Illinois hiked its income tax.

Precision-Built Torque Tools

April 5, 2011 6:06 am | Product Releases | Comments

Seekonk Manufacturing Company, Inc. and Pro Torque Tools (Atlanta, GA) are now offering Seekonk’s line of Precision Torque wrenches, screwdrivers, and testers for delivery anywhere in the world. All of Seekonk torque products are manufactured in their Massachusetts facility, with an ISO 9001-certified commitment to quality.

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Carry More With Modular Belts

April 5, 2011 6:04 am | Product Releases | Comments

Duckbill LLC (Grand Rapids, MI) has designed the MobilityMax product line of ergonomic body-borne carrying gear, which allows for users to bring their hand tools, instruments, and devices with them in a modular fashion. The MobilityMax product is a system-based approach to upgrading new, or existing, fall protection harnesses that do not interfere with the ability to carry gear.

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Replace Your Aging Bulb With LEDs

April 5, 2011 6:04 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Cooper Crouse-Hinds (Syracuse, NY) announced the introduction of its Vaporgard LED Series as a direct LED replacement for incandescent bulbs in industrial or hazardous applications. According to the company, these LEDs have 20 percent longer life than incandescent lamps, and reduce energy consumption by 85 percent.

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Scissor Lifts Reach New Heights

April 5, 2011 6:03 am | Product Releases | Comments

Genie (Redmond, WA), a Terex brand, is launching a new series of 69”-wide rough terrain scissor lifts, which includes three new models: GS™-2669 RT, GS™-3369 RT and GS™-4069 RT. According to the company, the redesign has increased capacity and improved jobsite performance.

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Big 3 Could Gain Marketshare In Earthquake Aftermath

April 5, 2011 4:47 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — In a note to investors Monday, Barclay's Capital analyst Brian Johnson suggested that Detroit automakers could gain some sales in the coming months because of earthquake-related supply shortages at their Japanese rivals. THE OPINION: Johnson said Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co.

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Pringles Snapped Up By Diamond Foods For $1.5 Billion

April 5, 2011 4:37 am | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Diamond Foods Inc. is buying Procter & Gamble Co.'s Pringles chips business in a $1.5 billion deal, the biggest in a string that have given the maker of Pop Secret popcorn and Kettle chips a steadily growing share of the snack aisle. The deal also completes P&G's exit from all its major food businesses.

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R.I., Manufacturers Team Up To Stop Texting While Driving

April 5, 2011 4:35 am | by David Klepper, Associated Press | News | Comments

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island may enlist some high-tech help in the fight against texting while driving: a device that jams most cell phone capabilities when a vehicle's engine is running. A state lawmaker has proposed legislation to require those caught texting while driving to install such a device.

GM Rewards CEO Akerson With $1.3 Million In Stock

April 5, 2011 4:33 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is rewarding its top executive with shares currently worth more than $1.3 million. In a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, GM said it gave Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson 42,360 stock units on March 31 as part of his compensation package.

Cummins Inc. To Hire 2,500 Workers This Year

April 5, 2011 4:30 am | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — Cummins Inc. says it plans to hire 2,500 workers in the U.S. this year. The Columbus-based engine manufacturer says it is hiring across the board to meet strong demand worldwide and in anticipation of an economic recovery. A company spokesman tells The Columbus Republic that it's too soon to know how many of the 2,500 jobs will be added in Columbus.

TI Buys National Semiconductor For $6.5 Billion

April 5, 2011 4:27 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Texas Instruments Inc. is buying National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in a marriage of two of the world's premier makers of analog chips, which are widely used in electronics to transform signals such as sound into digital form that computers can understand. In scooping up National Semiconductor, TI is getting a storied Silicon Valley company whose history stretches back more than 50 years and is known for its power-management chips.

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