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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Cost-Based Purchasing Threatens Supply Chain Integrity

January 31, 2011 6:52 am | by Bill Moore, Senior Vice President of Channel Management, SKF USA, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Distribution Process Faces Evolution Vs. Revolution   Business sectors throughout the industrial supply chain are encountering dramatic change: End users of equipment components and technology are enjoying unprecedented influence when interacting with industrial distributors. Industrial distributors are reacting in unprecedented ways.

Mezzanines Lift Operational Efficiency, Safety

January 31, 2011 6:30 am | Articles | Comments

Alliance Packaging is a well-known, independent corrugated box manufacturer with several facilities located throughout northwest United States. The company provides a full range of packaging solutions from custom shipping containers to retail packaging, from stock boxes to in-store displays, from creative design to same day delivery service.

Strike-Free, Heavy-Duty Wrenches

January 31, 2011 5:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new strike-free wrenches from Wright Tool (Barberton, OH) can be used for heavy-duty applications, where striking-face box wrenches cannot be used and where cheater bars should not be used. The wrenches also loosen and tighten large fasteners in confined areas where there is not enough room to swing a striking tool.

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Get A Handle On Your Fans

January 31, 2011 5:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new touch-screen Fan-Commander control station from Rite-Hite Fans (Milwaukee, WI) controls the operation of up to 18 high volume/low speed (HVLS) Revolution Fan or Revolution SP Fan models. With the Fan-Commander, users can optimize year-round performance of the fans. In the winter, the controller changes the fan speed to produce even temperatures from floor to ceiling for energy savings.

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Thermal Imaging For The Masses

January 31, 2011 5:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

FLIR (Portland, OR) has unveiled three distinct thermal imaging product lines for every budget. The FLIR i3 is a sub-$1,200 point-and-shoot infrared camera, and is an affordable upgrade from single-spot infrared thermometers or “temperature guns” with numerical readouts. It offers a 60 x 60 pixel resolution and 2 percent thermal accuracy, according to the company.

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Configure Your Conveyors In 3D

January 31, 2011 5:45 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Dorner (Hartland, WI) has developed a system to draw conveyor systems — www.dornercad.com — which is designed to save time and serve as a link to more than one million model possibilities. The new conveyor model configurator allows users to draw virtually any conveyor model in 3D, which allows users to see what their conveyors will look prior to purchase, and it allows them to change the conveyor sizes in increments as small as 1/8”.

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If At First You Don't Succeed, Dry Again

January 31, 2011 5:40 am | Articles | Comments

When it comes to fenestration, the components of today’s energy-efficient doors and windows should be made with the same attention to resource management. Recently the Amesbury Group’s textile facility, part of its Sealing Solutions Division, completed a compressed air reduction project that will yield a $41,000 annual electricity cost savings in their extrusion department.

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Outsourcing My Self-Control

January 31, 2011 5:24 am | by by Kim Ukura, Associate Editor, Product Design & Development (PD&D) | Blogs | Comments

Most of my New Year’s resolutions have to do with breaking bad habits or developing good new ones: cutting back on frivolous spending, wasting less time online, and getting to the gym more often. The problem that I have — a problem shared by about almost 70 percent  of American and British adults — is breaking a bad habit alone.

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Tech Firm Toss Millions Into Obama's Jobs Initiative

January 31, 2011 3:42 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Three of the nation's biggest technology companies are committing hundreds of millions of dollars to an initiative backed by President Barack Obama to encourage job creation and economic growth by supporting small businesses. The program, called the Startup America Partnership, is aimed at helping entrepreneurs start businesses and help them grow.

In The Future, Cars Will Decide Who's Too Drunk To Drive

January 31, 2011 3:34 am | by Bob Salsberg, Associated Press | News | Comments

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — An alcohol-detection prototype that uses automatic sensors to instantly gauge a driver's fitness to be on the road has the potential to save thousands of lives, but could be as long as a decade away from everyday use in cars, federal officials and researchers said Friday.

Chrysler Predicts $300 Million Profit In 2011

January 31, 2011 3:32 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — An optimistic Chrysler narrowed its net loss significantly in the fourth quarter from a year ago and forecast a net profit for 2011 as it continued a comeback from bankruptcy protection. Chrysler, which is controlled by Italy's Fiat Group SpA, predicted it would make $200 million to $500 million this year, setting the stage for an initial public stock offering that could take place in the fourth quarter.

China: Savior Or Threat To Western Business?

January 31, 2011 3:28 am | by Angela Charlton, Associated Press | News | Comments

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The Western business elite can't seem to decide whether China is a savior or a threat. Nearly everyone speaking at the World Economic Forum this week had something to say about the world's new No. 2 economy. Some jockeyed for greater access to China's markets, some pleaded for China to let its currency rise and allow more political freedoms.

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Oshkosh Corp. Hiring 750 To Build Army Trucks

January 31, 2011 3:25 am | News | Comments

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Oshkosh Corp. says it's hiring 650 to 750 people in Oshkosh, thanks to a military truck contract. Company spokesman John Daggett says career fairs are planned for February. The company is looking for employees with production experience, especially in welding and assembly.

American Factories Still Outperforming, Outproducing China

January 31, 2011 3:21 am | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories are closing. American manufacturing jobs are reappearing overseas. China's industrial might is growing each year. And it might seem as if the United States doesn't make world-class goods as well as some other nations. "There's no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains, or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products," President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union policy address last week.

Q&A: Behind The Brand

January 28, 2011 9:30 am | Articles | Comments

Since the recession, private label products have become more popular than ever, and it looks as though consumers will stick with private label even as the economy recovers. Meanwhile, brand names are taking innovative measures to ensure their products’ continued success.

OSHA-Compliant Powder Vacuuming

January 28, 2011 7:55 am | Product Releases | Comments

The VAC-U-MAX (Belleville, NJ) Model 860/02 is for managers who want to eliminate drum handling and collect powders in a safe, dust-free, and convenient way. It uses the VAC-U-Max Air-Powered Vacuum cover with the manual pulse-jet filter cleaning system and a non-stick filtration, which captures 99.

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Reuse Your Gearbox's Oil

January 28, 2011 7:54 am | Product Releases | Comments

JLM Systems Limited (Richmond, BC, Canada) has developed the OILMISER Vapor Guard (OVG), which is designed for lubricated gearboxes and bearing houses that are vented to atmosphere. Continuous operation, rotating parts at high speeds, and high working loads will all generate heat and oil mist inside a gearbox, but the OVG helps condense the mist at the bottom of a containment chamber.

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Motors That Withstand Any Rigor

January 28, 2011 7:54 am | Product Releases | Comments

Boston Gear (Charlotte, NC) has launched a new line of stainless steel motors, which have been engineered for better washdown performance, according to the company. The exterior construction consists of a 300 Series stainless steel housing, end bells, output shaft, and conduit box. The motors also use double lip shaft seals, a rubber gasket seal on the conduit cover, O-rings between end bells and the housing, and a smooth exterior with no mounting feat.

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Improved Production Line Printing

January 28, 2011 7:53 am | Product Releases | Comments

The enhanced Videojet 2300 Series from Videojet Technologies, Inc. (Wood Dale, IL) offers improved flexibility for easier production line integration and operation. The 2340, 2350, and 2360 printers all feature the automatic printhead micropurge, which helps eliminate frequent downtime, while maintaining high-quality printing, even in dusty environments.

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Being There

January 28, 2011 5:46 am | by Bruce Hamilton, OldLeanDude.org | Articles | Comments

A couple years ago I was consulting in a large rolling mill to help reduce late deliveries to customers. After walking the floor for the first time with an enthusiastic 20-something engineer, let’s call him Mark, I asked for help with observation at a particular point in the factory where inventory was queuing up.

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