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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Keep Forklifts In Check

November 5, 2010 9:11 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new Safety Sentry Warning Signal Alarm from Erich Industries (Verona, WI) can alert workers of a nearby vehicle backing into the dock position. The Safety Sentry uses a 105 dB siren and strobe light in combination with motion sensing technology. According to the company, at least one dock-related fatality occurs each year nationwide, and the Safety Sentry could help prevent a similar incident.

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Packaging Cushions Go Hybrid

November 5, 2010 9:09 am | Product Releases | Comments

Pregis Corp. (Deerfield, IL) has introduced a new hybrid cushioning system that can handle multiple roll widths (up to 32”) via a dispenser head than is 60 percent smaller than previous models. The Air Speed HV Versa can provide cushioning in three different widths: 24” wide cushions from 32” rolls, as well as 18” and 12” wide size.

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More Flexible Cables

November 5, 2010 9:08 am | Product Releases | Comments

Belden (St. Louis, MO) has enhanced their Belden Infinity C-TC+ and FCC cables with the addition of Belden high-performance Belflex jackets, which offer resistance to sunlight, oil, and abrasion. They also provide flexing capabilities and the ability to withstand temperature ranges of -40°C to 90°C (cold impact) and -50°C to 90°C (cold bend).

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We're All Just Bugs

November 5, 2010 6:10 am | by by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

A number of news sources — including the Associated Press — have recently reported that Google has been quietly working on research and development of hardware and software solutions toward a lofty goal: autonomous cars. According to a post on Google’s corporate blog, the self-driving vehicles have rolled over 140,000 miles on California roads with drivers sitting behind the wheel, ready to intervene in case of a malfunction.

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Job Market Gets Stronger In October, Manufacturing Slips

November 5, 2010 5:07 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy generated a net gain in jobs for the first time in five months in October, as businesses stepped up their painfully slow pace of hiring. But the unemployment rate, measured by a separate survey of households, remained stuck at 9.6 percent for the third straight month.

Trucks Outsell Cars For First Time In Five Years

November 5, 2010 4:49 am | by Sharon Silke Carty, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Trucks outsold cars by the highest margin in nearly five years in October, a sign the economy may be starting to improve. These trucks aren't the tractor-trailers that haul freight. They're pickups, sport utility vehicles, minivans and smaller SUVs. The category — known as light-duty trucks — made up 54 percent of all new U.

Plant Worker Dies After Being Trapped Under Machinery

November 5, 2010 4:49 am | News | Comments

CUMMING, Ga. (AP) — Officials in Forsyth County say a worker at the county's water plant died after being trapped under a piece of machinery. Capt. Jason Shivers of the Forsyth County fire department says the man, whose name has not been released, worked for a subcontractor at the plant.

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Panasonic To Invest $30 Million In Tesla Motors

November 5, 2010 4:46 am | by Shino Yuasa, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Panasonic Corp. is investing $30 million in Tesla Motors Inc., the U.S. maker of electric sports cars, eyeing expansion in the global market for green vehicles, both sides said Thursday. Panasonic, Japan's biggest electronics maker, will acquire about a 2 percent stake in Tesla, purchasing Tesla common stock at $21.

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Toyota's Profit Quadruples Despite Recall Woes

November 5, 2010 4:45 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's second quarter profit more than quadrupled despite lingering worries about the safety of its cars after massive recalls that are still dogging its sales in the U.S. Toyota reported July-September profit of 98.7 billion yen ($1.2 billion) on Friday, up dramatically from 21.

GM Predicts Massive Profits Post-Gov't Ownership

November 5, 2010 4:44 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors has the potential to make huge pretax profits once global auto sales fully recover, the company's chief financial officer said Thursday in a video presentation that was posted online. The video with CFO Chris Liddell's comments is the foundation for GM's "road show" — presentations that start Friday and aim to court investors for an initial public stock offering.

Flap Discs In All Shapes And Sizes

November 5, 2010 4:38 am | Product Releases | Comments

A line of Type 29 ceramic flap discs are now available from Rex-Cut Products, Inc. (Fall River, MA). The Rex-Cut Sigma Ceramic Flap Discs provide aggressive stock removal with smooth operator control on steel and stainless steel, according to the company, and feature a slight angle that provides a greater contact area.

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Better HVAC Drives

November 5, 2010 4:37 am | Product Releases | Comments

Firmware version 3.50 is now available for Danfoss’ (Milwaukee, WI) VLT HVAC Drives, and provides on-board BACnet communication to maximize installation, expansion, and modification flexibility. A “Smart-Start” functionality allows for faster commissioning of the drive and motor.

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Protect Your Ball Bearings

November 5, 2010 4:36 am | Product Releases | Comments

The DayLube high-performance grease from Dayton Progress Corporation (Dayton, OH) uses nanoceramic particles, which provide continuous lubrication to steel surfaces with a lower coefficient of friction at all temperatures than traditional PTFE greases. According to the company, the grease does not soften or run out — after 100,000 production strokes, it showed no evidence of breaking down.

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Who Wants A 'Sortasaurus'?

November 5, 2010 4:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new Sortasaurus ergonomic table from Meese Orbitron Dunne Co. (Ashtabula, OH) is rotationally-molded from smooth and 100 percent waterproof polyethylene plastic to eliminate the splinters, bacterial concerns, and other safety issues associated with wooden tables. The Sortasaurus table uses a one-piece design with wings on three sides to help corral diverse products, parts, and packages as they are put on the table.

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Manufacturing Hiring, Optimism Remains Low

November 4, 2010 9:08 am | News | Comments

Business leaders in the manufacturing space are pessimistic, with only a third (33 percent) expecting the U.S. economy to improve in the next six months, according to Grant Thornton’s quarterly survey of U.S. business leaders. The hiring outlook for manufacturing companies is also gloomy — only 37 percent of manufacturing business leaders report that their companies will increase hiring in the next six months.

An Unrelenting Focus On The Big Picture

November 4, 2010 7:04 am | by Dr. Francois Nader, CEO, NPS Pharmaceuticals | Articles | Comments

The business of bringing new therapeutic products to market is full of challenges.  From high costs and long development trajectories to unanticipated side effects and questions of reimbursement, succeeding in the pharmaceutical industry requires intellectual, scientific, regulatory, and financial acumen.

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Japan Readies Its Robotic Workforce

November 4, 2010 6:34 am | Videos | Comments

Japanese researchers have developed a human-like robot to supplement the country's shrinking workforce, as nearly 25 percent of the country's population is over the age of 65. The machine has 34 moving joints, stands almost 5-feet tall, and weighs 85 pounds. According to CBS News , the robots are expected to be used in manufacturing applications, and their mobility will allow them to move around the plant at will.

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How Not To Pour Molten Aluminum

November 3, 2010 9:54 am | Videos | Comments

A group of what appear to be students get an important lesson on safety when dealing with molten metals. Step one: Get a bigger set of tongs. Step two: Wear your face shield, and don't lie about not wearing it to your boss. It's on video. Step three: It's usually better to delete these sorts of things, rather than put them on YouTube.

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75 Good Years Of Anti-Competitive Business

November 3, 2010 9:51 am | Videos | Comments

The legendary board game Monopoly turns 75 this year, so CNN visited Hasbro's manufacturing facility to ask the employees why they think the game has been so consistently successful. 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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Mike Rowe And The 'War On Work'

November 3, 2010 9:49 am | Videos | Comments

This one's an oldie, but a goodie. Mike Rowe, renowned for his work on Discovery's Dirty Jobs , gives a few anecdotes about some of the work he has been forced to do over the years. And while one of them is particularly cringe-worthy, Mike's message in the end is pretty clear: hard, dirty work is nothing to be ashamed of, and in fact, it's usually the better work.

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