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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM Invests $131 Million In Kentucky-Built Corvettes

May 4, 2011 8:25 am | by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press | News | Comments

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — General Motors is putting more muscle into making Corvettes. The automaker said Wednesday it will invest $131 million — and add about 250 jobs — at the south-central Kentucky assembly plant that produces the classic muscle car. The investment allows GM to produce the next-generation Corvette at the Bowling Green plant.

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Technology Behind bin Laden Raid

May 4, 2011 6:08 am | Videos | Comments

CrossMatch Technologies, based in Palm Beach, Florida, has developed some of the high-tech devices that the U.S. military uses out in the field. One of them includes SEEK, which can capture fingerprints, facial images, or iris images, allowing operatives to determine the identities of captured or killed combatants without having to wait for a DNA test.

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Robots Learn To Slaughter

May 4, 2011 6:02 am | Videos | Comments

Mayekawa Manufacturing has developed the HAMDAS-R, a robotic system for automated ham boning. What makes it unique is the ability to be flexible for the variety of meat that would theoretically come down the line, while still producing consistent results. We’ll try to stay away from any robots-taking-over-the-world jokes here, but this would be a remarkably intimidating tool for them to use.

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Getting A "Kiss" Over The Internet

May 4, 2011 6:00 am | Videos | Comments

A student at The University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo, Japan, has developed the “Oral Communication Device,“ which is a robotic way to transmit a “kiss“ over a computer. As the student demonstrates, one user initiates the kiss, while the other experiences it through a second device.

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Caught Looking

May 4, 2011 5:07 am | Blogs | Comments

Over the weekend, we had one of those strange 80-degree April days that caught everybody off-guard. It was supposed to thunderstorm all afternoon, but wound up being partly sunny, hot and muggy—a welcome surprise for those of us in Wisconsin who aren’t good skiers and spend the winter mostly indoors.

Analyst: Japanese Car Shortages Could Benefit GM

May 4, 2011 4:54 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors Co. should benefit more than any U.S. competitors from the shortage of Japanese cars resulting from the earthquake in Japan, a Credit Suisse analyst wrote Tuesday in upgrading the stock. That could boost the biggest U.S. automaker's earnings this year by 60 cents a share, Credit Suisse said.

Boeing Will Deliver First 787 In 3Q 2011

May 4, 2011 4:44 am | News | Comments

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Boeing will deliver its first 787 jet in third-quarter 2011 and roll out two of the long-delayed new planes each month after that, a company executive said Tuesday in the Chilean capital. Latin America is an important market for Boeing, with 11,000 company jets flying in the region and requests pending for 3,400 more.

BMW Profit Quadruples On Accelerating Sales Worldwide

May 4, 2011 4:31 am | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German luxury carmaker BMW says first-quarter net profit rose almost fourfold to euro1.21 billion ($1.79 billion) as sales climbed all around the world, but particularly in China. Profits were up from last year's euro324 million. Revenues grew 29 percent to euro16.

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Geithner: China Needs To Move Faster On Its Currency

May 4, 2011 4:28 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday that China needs to make more progress on economic issues vital to America's interests, including speeding up the rise of its currency against the dollar. Critics say an undervalued yuan is swelling China's trade surplus. Geithner said a stronger yuan would help reduce trade imbalances and bolster China's efforts to restrain inflation.

Turning Chicken Feathers Into Plastic Bottles

May 4, 2011 4:22 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Researchers have developed ways to substitute chicken feathers for petroleum in some plastic products, and at least two companies are working to bring items ranging from biodegradable flower pots to office furniture to market. The substitution would allow the U.S. to cut back on its oil use, however slightly, and give poultry producers another market for the more than 3 billion pounds of leftover chicken feathers they have each year, the developers and others said.

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AP: Economic Stress Reaches Three-Month Low

May 4, 2011 4:20 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Mike Schneider, Associated Press | News | Comments

Lower unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures in March reduced the nation's economic stress to its lowest point this year, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country. More than 85 percent of the nation's 3,141 counties and every state but two — Louisiana and South Dakota — enjoyed better conditions in March than in February, the AP's Economic Stress Index showed.

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Sustainability In A Bottle

May 3, 2011 10:39 am | Articles | Comments

The system here is just phenomenal,” says Graham Bailey, Plant Manager at Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Victorville facility. “From my experience in the beverage world, I can tell you — it’s state-of-the-art. It’s an honor to run a facility like this.” The facility took five years to plan and construct, and produced its first case on Feb.

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Do You Know Your Total Cost?

May 3, 2011 9:59 am | by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Manufacturing professionals are all aware of the dramatic shifts that the industry has taken in the last few decades. Whether it’s moving production to Mexico or China, most of the manufacturing sector has dealt with off-shoring in one way or another. As the world economies shift, however, what made business sense two decades ago may now be an expensive and logistically-complex endeavor.

Toyota: Sales Rose 1 Percent In April

May 3, 2011 9:40 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. says its U.S. sales rose 1 percent in April, a weak showing in an otherwise strong month for the industry. Overall U.S. sales are expected to increase 19 percent from last April. Sales of Toyota's popular Prius hybrid were flat. The Camry sedan edged up 9 percent.

Wash. Steelworkers Approve First Strike Since 1970s

May 3, 2011 9:33 am | by Erik Olson, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Union workers at Georgia-Pacific's Wauna mill in northwest Oregon have given negotiators strike authorization as contract talks with the company have bogged down, a union representative said Monday. The 900 members of the United Steelworkers local 1097 have been working under a contract that expired in April 2010, said Gaylan Prescott, the union's staff representative.

NYC Taxis To Get Japanese Makeover From Nissan

May 3, 2011 9:26 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City's iconic taxi fleet is getting a Japanese makeover City officials announced Tuesday that they had picked Nissan to supply the fleet for the next 10 years. The Japanese automaker beat out Ford Motor Co. and Karsan USA in a contest for the rights to anchor the fleet.

NYC Picks Nissan To Supply Yellow Cabs

May 3, 2011 9:25 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City's iconic taxi fleet is getting a Japanese makeover City officials announced Tuesday that they had picked Nissan to supply the fleet for the next 10 years. The Japanese automaker beat out Ford Motor Co. and Karsan USA in a contest for the rights to anchor the fleet.

When It Comes To Evaluating ERP, Have A Plan

May 3, 2011 9:20 am | by Dylan Persaud, Managing Director, Eval-Source | Articles | Comments

When evaluating enterprise business software, proceeding straight to a vendor demonstration without a plan i s a critical mistake. The following post will examine four mistakes that organizations make when evaluating enterprise business software. When organizations look to evaluate software, they often mistake interviewing vendors as the software evaluation process itself.

GM To Announce Investment In Bowling Green Plant

May 3, 2011 7:46 am | News | Comments

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — GM North America President Mark Reuss is scheduled to make a visit Wednesday to the south-central Kentucky assembly plant where Corvettes are made, according to a statement from the company. The statement says Reuss will be at the plant in Bowling Green at 10:15 a.

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Goodyear Teams Up With Germans To Replace Blimps

May 3, 2011 7:21 am | by Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press | News | Comments

CLEVELAND (AP) — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will team up with another name rich in blimp history to replace its three U.S. airships with bigger, faster ones. The Akron-based company said Tuesday that it would work with German manufacturer ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik to build three new blimps beginning in 2013.

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