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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Bill Gates Wants Energy Miracles

March 8, 2011 3:19 am | Videos | Comments

Bill Gates, well-known for being the founder and main proprietor of Microsoft for many years, now heads a foundation that invests in forward-thinking technology to help propel the world into a better future. As he explains in this talk, the key to solving the world's energy crisis isn't in making Americans use less, or taking away the services that we hold dear, but rather using technology that creates energy with little environmental backlash.

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Better Cordless Torque Control

March 7, 2011 9:58 am | Product Releases | Comments

Mountz, Inc. (San Jose, CA) has developed a new line of cordless screwdrivers to their FlexPower-branded lineup, designed for torque control and durability. The tools are built around the 10.8V and 14.4V high-capacity lithium-ion battery platforms. According to the company, they are ideal for applications where air or electric power is not easily accessible, and they automatically stop when the preset torque has been reached.

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Floor, Wall Cleaning Gets Easier

March 7, 2011 9:57 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new Oil Eater Floor Cleaner from Kafko (Skokie, IL) comes packaged in a 1.5 oz. pouch, and simplifies the task of cleaning floors and walls, according to the company. The pre-measured packets help maintain proper dilution and control wasteful overuse, while still being compatible with a mop bucket or floor scrubber.

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Completely Wireless Inspection

March 7, 2011 9:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

SKF (San Diego, CA) has developed the Microlog Inspector, the next generation SKF MARLIN inspection system, which provides the ability to manage workflow and data collection within and between different plant disciplines (operations, maintenance, safety, etc). The Microlog Inspector does not need to be connected to a PC running SKF’s @ptitude software package because it supports communication over LAN, USB, WiFi, and even cellular data networks (3G/GPRS).

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Forego Welds And Rivets For Adhesives

March 7, 2011 9:55 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Henkel Corporation (Rocky Hill, CT) has introduced two Loctite Structural Acrylic Adhesives formulated to fixture in just five to 20 minutes. The Loctite H8100 and H8110 Speedbonder Structural Adhesives provide excellent peel and shear strength once cured, and the bonds are designed to reduce or eliminate welds, rivets, and threaded fasteners.

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Domestic ‘Fourslide’ Parts Fabrication Slashes Inventory Costs

March 7, 2011 8:58 am | Articles | Comments

If you’re sourcing stamped metal parts from overseas, you may be required to order far more than you really need. Using fourslide fabrication can eliminate that requirement. If you’re sourcing metal stampings from overseas locations such as China, you’re most likely buying in large volumes, perhaps container-loads.

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Managing Change In CPG Manufacturing

March 7, 2011 8:42 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Doug Newman, Consumer Packaged Goods Sector Lead, Celerant Consulting According to new research published by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Celerant Consulting, senior executives are shifting their priorities towards growth and the future as the economy slowly recovers.  Food Manufacturing  spoke with Doug Newman of Celerant Consulting about the most important changes CPG manufacturers can make in these crucial times.

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Western Digital Buys Hitachi Unit For $4.3 Billion

March 7, 2011 3:49 am | News | Comments

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Hard drive maker Western Digital Corp. is buying Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for $4.3 billion in cash and stock. Western Digital said Monday that the deal includes $3.5 billion in cash, plus 25 million of its common shares. The stock is valued at $750 million based on the company's Friday closing stock price of $30.

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Caterpillar Workers, UAW Approve Six-Year Contract

March 7, 2011 3:47 am | News | Comments

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The United Auto Workers says employees of Caterpillar Inc. have approved a new labor agreement. The UAW says a majority of members at Caterpillar approved the new six-year contract in voting Sunday. The union did not provide specific numbers on how members voted. The contract covers about 9,500 hourly production and maintenance workers at Caterpillar facilities in the Illinois cities of Peoria, Aurora, Decatur and Pontiac, and those in York, Pa.

Robot Connects Va. Manufacturer And Dominican Republic

March 7, 2011 3:43 am | by Rebecca Layne, Associated Press | News | Comments

CLEAR BROOK, Va. (AP) — In a house in the Dominican Republic, Erwin Deininger moves a computer mouse. Thousands of miles away in Frederick County, a 4-foot-tall state-of-the-art robot comes to life in a small factory, out of place among the old wood paneling and mechanical pencil sharpeners that adorn the walls and the steel machines that grind and crank on the factory floor.

Iowa Town Braces Itself For Electrolux's Departure

March 7, 2011 3:39 am | by Jane Curtis, Associated Press | News | Comments

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — The end is rapidly approaching for Electrolux's presence as a major manufacturer in this town. As the scheduled March 31 closing date nears and production lines fall irreversibly still, the cavernous building will gradually fall silent. And, more than 4,000 miles away, corporate leaders in Stockholm, Sweden, will deliver to AB Electrolux stockholders the results of the multinational appliance manufacturer's efforts to pare down expenses and improve a different line: the corporate bottom line.

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GM Restarts Lordstown Plant After 5-Day Shutdown

March 7, 2011 3:35 am | News | Comments

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Work will resume at a General Motors plant in northeast Ohio on Tuesday following last week's shutdown caused by a fire at an auto parts plant in Michigan. Tom Mock of General Motors Co. says shifts will begin at the Lordstown plant near Youngstown after significant progress has been made by Magna International Inc.

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China's Trade Surplus Could Fall As It Reduces Exports

March 7, 2011 3:27 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — China's imports will rise and its politically volatile trade surplus should shrink this year as Beijing builds up a consumer-based economy to reduce reliance on trade, the commerce minister said Monday. The government's 2011 economic blueprint calls for nurturing self-sustaining growth by promoting consumer spending.

A Waste-Reducing Skimmer

March 4, 2011 7:50 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Keller Products, Inc. (Lexington, MA) has developed the TKO-10-DP pump/skimmer specifically for dye penetrant applications, which are used to detect cracks, seams, or porosity in the surfaces of the parts. The system pulls the penetrant from the surface of the tank through a floating inlet valve using an air-operated pump, separates the penetrant from the rinse water with a permanent separator element, and returns water to the rinse tank at a high flow rate.

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Ball Valves In Many Sizes

March 4, 2011 7:49 am | Product Releases | Comments

The True Union Ball Valves — from Spectrom Parts (Grand Terrace, CA) — come in 1/2”, 1”, 1-1/2”, 2”, and 3” sizes, and are constructed of Georg Fisher PVC or CPVC. They have threaded or rocket connections, with the option of EPDM or Viton seals. TUBCs come in standard pipe sizes so they will work with any matching sized and material piping system.

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Abrasive Cutting In Many Ways

March 4, 2011 7:48 am | Product Releases | Comments

The AbrasiMatic 300 abrasive cutter from Buehler (Lake Bluff, IL) now features the optional X-Bed for increased convenience when sectioning in the x-axis direction. The accompanying digital display tracks x-axis travel, improving precision, consistency, and repeatability in serial (parallel) sectioning applications.

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Flowmeters Use Sound On Big Pipes

March 4, 2011 7:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

KROHNE, Inc. (Peabody, MA) has developed the OPTISONIC 6400 portable ultrasonic flowmeter for liquids, which measures the flow velocity, the current volumetric flow, and a variety of other diagnostic values. According to the company, the OPTISONIC 6400 is compact and easy to install by attaching the sensor rail to the pipe and plugging in all the cables.

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Monitoring Your Brain Waves

March 4, 2011 5:25 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, Product Design & Development | Blogs | Comments

Escaping the sub-zero weather in Wisconsin is enough to make the convention experience worthy of the time, effort, and expense. I arrived in Anaheim and walked off of the plane a sweaty mess covered in jackets, multiple layers, and gloves engineered for the Arctic. The ability to take a mid-winter stroll to the Medical Device & Manufacturing conference and exhibition without fear of frostbite and numbing limbs was refreshing; however, meeting with Julien Penders, program manager of Body Area Networks for imec, was an equally exhilarating experience.

Foul-Smelling Plant Causes Local Children To Vomit

March 4, 2011 3:40 am | News | Comments

COACHELLA, Calif. (AP) — It's the Mecca everyone wants to make a pilgrimage away from. Complaints of foul odors sickening residents of the California desert community of Mecca have prompted a smog control agency to step up an air monitoring effort on Thursday. The South Coast Air Quality Management District said it has concluded that a waste recycling facility just north of Mecca is the source of the stinky fumes.

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Economists: Factory Orders Rose 2 Percent In January

March 4, 2011 3:32 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses likely ordered more manufactured goods from U.S. factories in January, but much of the gain is expected to come from a sharp rise in volatile aircraft orders. Economists expect factory orders rose 2 percent in January. The new report will be released at 10 a.m. EST Friday.

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