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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Military Robots Become A Soldier's Lifesaver

May 19, 2010 4:34 am | by Verena Schmitt-Roschmann, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

HAMMELBURG, Germany (AP) — On the outside, it looks like a normal SUV. But the prototype "autonomous robot car" — fitted with sensors and scanners, multifocal camera systems and powerful computers — might one day help avoid military fatalities from bombings and ambushes — or so its designers hope.

Deere Finds Green With 16 Percent Profit Jump

May 19, 2010 4:33 am | by Josh Funk, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Deere & Co. said Wednesday that its second-quarter profit jumped 16 percent as sales of farm and construction equipment improved, so the maker of iconic green and yellow machinery raised its outlook for the second time this year. The Moline, Ill.-based company said it generated $547.5 million in net income, or $1.

Our Economic Report Cards Are Improving—Enough Whining

May 18, 2010 7:54 am | by Jim Tompkins, CEO of Tompkins Associates | Articles | Comments

I know some fathers who are never happy with their child’s report card. Consider this lecture from a dad to his fourth-grade son, Johnny: "Well, Johnny, you went up in five subjects and down in none, but you still have one A-, one B+ and two Bs on this report card, and I really do not see you putting all your effort into being a straight-A student.

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Fueling The World On Orange Peels

May 18, 2010 7:50 am | by Dr. Rosalie Lober, Biofuels Digest columnist | Articles | Comments

It is the integration of intent, goals, actions and partnerships that differentiates sustainable biofuels companies from the rest. Integrated companies have deep roots. The leaders of these companies create solid alliances with companies that support their missions through sourcing, distribution, technology and long lasting relationships.

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Cooler Summers, Warmer Winters

May 18, 2010 7:13 am | Product Releases | Comments

Kelley Company (Carrollton, TX) has launched a new High Volume Low Speed (HVLS) Fan series, designed to provide facilities with an energy-efficient and cost-effective cooling and heating solution. The fans create a horizontal floor jet that consistently circulates air in large spaces, which provides an 8-10 degree cooling sensation.

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Betting Your Safety With A COBRA

May 18, 2010 7:12 am | Product Releases | Comments

The COBRA LIFELINK Single-Man cart from Garlock Safety Systems (Plymouth, MN) is a mobile anchorage system that one or two people can tie-off to when they’re on an elevated job site by providing fall arrest for 1 worker and fall restraint for a second. The modular design fits almost anywhere.

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Don't Choose Between Welded And Mechanical

May 18, 2010 7:11 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Interna-Rail handrail system from Hollaender Manufacturing (Cincinnati, OH) is an in-line fitting based system designed to combine the look of a welded rail with all the benefits of a mechanical system. The system can be designed to meet any building code. Its fittings are manufactured from 6063-T6 aluminum alloy and the pipe is a combination of 6005-T5 and 6063-T6 alloys.

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A Pump Regulator That Purrs

May 18, 2010 7:09 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Cat Pumps (Minneapolis, MN) has developed the new 7375 and 7376 pressure regulators, which are designed to meet the demands of industrial applications where continuous-duty, dependable performance is required. The high flow regulators set system pressure, by-pass unused liquid without interrupting system operation, and protect the pump from exceeding the set system pressure.

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State Of The Economy: Some Ups, Some Downs

May 18, 2010 5:02 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prices at the wholesale level fell in April, reflecting declines in energy and food. The Labor Department said Tuesday that wholesale prices edged down 0.1 percent last month, the second decline in the past three months. Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, rose 0.

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Turbine Manufacturer To Open Shop In Sioux City

May 18, 2010 4:34 am | News | Comments

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Arizona-based company says it wants to open a wind turbine blade plant in Sioux City, which has recently suffered large layoffs. Sioux City officials and TPI Composites say in state documents that the company wants to open a 250,000-square-foot factory that would employ 500 workers.

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Officials Promote U.S. Exports During Trip To China

May 18, 2010 4:33 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke led his first trade mission to China's financial center Tuesday, working to deliver on President Barack Obama's pledge to double U.S. exports and create 2 million jobs. The visit to China, ahead of an annual economic dialogue, comes as both countries seek to smooth trade tensions and cultivate new business opportunities while grappling with uncertainties revived by the European financial crisis.

Taxpayers Will Lose $1.6 Billion On Single Chrysler Loan

May 18, 2010 4:22 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department said Monday it will lose $1.6 billion on a loan made to Chrysler in early 2009. Taxpayer losses from bailing out Chrysler and General Motors are expected to rise as high as $34 billion, congressional auditors have said. Treasury said Monday that Chrysler repaid $1.

Pfizer To Cut 6,000 Manufacturing Jobs Worldwide

May 18, 2010 4:19 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday it will cut 6,000 jobs as it trims its manufacturing capacity worldwide after acquiring smaller rival Wyeth last year. The world's biggest drugmaker says it will cease operations at eight plants in Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. by the end of 2015, and reduce operations at six other plants over the next several years.

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GM Profits, But Can They Repay That $43.3B Debt?

May 18, 2010 4:18 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin & Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — In less than a year, General Motors Co. has roared back from bankruptcy to a quarterly profit. Now comes the hard part: Sustaining the income and repaying billions of dollars in government aid. There are signs that GM is on track to do just that. Revenue is up 40 percent over the first quarter of last year.

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Measure Conductivity Anywhere

May 17, 2010 6:29 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Models S10 and S17 Universal Toroidal Conductivity Sensors from Electro-Chemical Devices, Inc. (ECD, Irvine, CA) feature a standard measurement range from 50 to 1,000 mS. The inductive sensors are built with the toroids in line with the axis of the sensor instead of perpendicular to the axis as is commonly employed.

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Go Rubber For Performance

May 17, 2010 6:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

Robinson Rubber Products (Minneapolis, MN) has a new tool call the Molded Rubber Component Design Specification Checklist, which can be filled in online. A Robinson Rubber Engineer will evaluate your part requirements and provide a free, no-obligation way to investigate potential new methods to improve your product’s performance, life, weight, features, and assembly costs.

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Long-Lasting Pumps

May 17, 2010 6:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

Nikkiso-KSB GmbH (Bruchköbel, Germany) has launched a new pump type series to meet the stringent requirements of API 685. The series comprimises of 27 sizes and is designed for a minimum of 20 years of operation under heavy-duty conditions. The low-noise motors are available up to 132 kW and are fitted with a corrosion-resistant and energy-efficient chrome nickel molybdenum alloy.

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All-In-One Machining Center

May 17, 2010 6:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new SPECHT 500/630 horizonal machining center from MAG Industrial Automation Systems (Sterling Heights, MI) offers modularity with six spindle options, four control options, and three 5-axis configurations to suit various needs. The machine is engineered around a box-in-box, moving-table design for low-inertia responsiveness that delivers accuracies up to 4 microns with 260-Nm full-torque cuts.

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China Rejects Domestic Fighter Jets For Poor Manufacturing

May 17, 2010 4:50 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (Kyodo) — China's Air Force has refused to accept 16 J-11B fighters manufactured by a domestic aircraft maker due to technical problems, the Kanwa Defense Review magazine said in its June issue, quoting a Western intelligence source in Beijing. China is believed to have developed the new fighter based on technology from the Russian fighter Sukhoi Su-27, sparking speculation that the maker, Shenyang Aircraft Corp.

Army Recalls 44,000 Combat Helmets

May 17, 2010 4:45 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army says it is recalling 44,000 advanced combat helmets that have been issued to soldiers worldwide because they do not meet military specifications. The Army said in a statement Friday that the risk to soldiers wearing the helmets is still being determined. New helmets are being issued to anyone who has a defective one.

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