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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

A First In Air Quality

January 7, 2011 9:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Reznor Z Series hybrid ventilation unit, developed by Thomas & Betts (Memphis, TN) is the first unit, according to the company, to integrate an energy recovery wheel into a dedicated heat pump system for precise ventilation and temperature control. The Z Series can recover more than 80 percent of the exhaust air energy year-round.

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More Effective Enclosures

January 7, 2011 9:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

Attabox (San Antonio, TX) has achieved IP66 certification, which adds to the current UL/cUL 50e, type 3R, 4, 4X, and 12 certification. The IP66 rating means the enclosure provides effective protection from dust penetration and leakage from high-pressure water jets. This allows users to be sure the enclosures can last in harsh environments.

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Protect Your Grippers

January 7, 2011 9:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

The DCT Series Pneumatic Grippers from Omega Engineering (Stamford, CT) are angular grippers with a 180° jaw opening, which allows for the complete release of a directly-fed part. The gripper forces range from 32 N to 112 N. According to the company, the gripper has shielding to repel chips and other particulate from the internal drive mechanism.

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A Better Suction Cup

January 7, 2011 9:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

Piab (Hingham, MA) has launched its new piGRIP suction cup, which is the first modular suction cup, according to the company. The piGRIP allows companies to choose the ideal combination of lip and bellow so products can be handled at high speeds. The system is available with a range of independent lips, bellows, and fittings in sizes from 25-77mm, allowing it to be tailored to individual gripping, lifting, and height requirements to handle a variety of products.

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The Link Between Goal Alignment And Staying Competitive

January 7, 2011 7:41 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers are faced with a number of challenges, including driving revenue growth, improving compliance and streamlining operations. A recent study by the Aberdeen Group draws a link between talent management processes and the overall success of meeting these everyday challenges.

Manufacturing In 2025, Part One

January 7, 2011 7:34 am | by John Ferreira, managing director of Accenture's North American Manufacturing practice, and Stephen Laaper, senior manager in Accenture's North American Manufacturing practice | Articles | Comments

From the shop floor to the order desk, manufacturing has become quite volatile, complex, and dependent on far-flung operations and partners. But that’s a walk in the park compared to what the next 15 years will bring. Here’s how to prepare for the challenges just ahead and, in turn, how you can translate manufacturing prowess into a true competitive advantage.

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Can You Imagine Working For Just A Dollar?

January 7, 2011 3:58 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs' compensation package remained the usual $1 in fiscal 2010, but the value of the shares he owns has skyrocketed amid the company's ongoing success with introducing shiny new gadgets many people come to find indispensible. Apple said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday it paid a salary of $1 to Jobs, who rejoined the company in 1997 and has overseen the company's explosive growth following the launch of the iPod, the iPhone and now the iPad.

Is Microsoft Even Trying To Compete Against Apple?

January 7, 2011 3:35 am | by Jessica Mintz, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Instead of unveiling an elegant response to the iPad, Microsoft came to the tech industry's premier gadget show with a collection of exposed computer guts. Microsoft's biggest news was that the next version of Windows would run on the style of mobile phone chips that power the iPad and other tablets today.

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Phosgene Leak Sickens 62 Workers At Chinese Factory

January 7, 2011 3:31 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — A chemical leak has sickened 62 workers at a pharmaceutical factory in eastern China. The official Xinhua News Agency reported that 37 of them were still in a hospital Friday after inhaling fumes at work Thursday. The cause of the leak was under investigation. Xinhua said the leaked chemical was phosgene, commonly used to produce pesticides, painkillers and antibiotics.

Donald Tyson, Poultry Patriarch, Dies At 80

January 7, 2011 3:30 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Former Tyson Foods Inc. chief executive Donald J. Tyson, who led his family's poultry company from being a regional producer to dominance in the industry while instilling a corporate culture that mixed hard work and enjoyment, died Thursday. He was 80. Company spokesman Gary Mickelson said Tyson died from complications from cancer, and passed away at home with his family.

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Alcoholic Energy Drinks Meet Their End In Virginia Plant

January 7, 2011 3:27 am | by Zinie Chen Sampson, Associated Press | News | Comments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Truckloads of Four Loko and other alcohol-laced energy drinks are being recycled into ethanol and other products after federal authorities told manufacturers the beverages were dangerous and caused users to become "wide-awake drunk." Wholesalers from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and other East Coast states started sending cases of the high-alcohol, caffeinated malt beverages to MXI Environmental Services in Virginia after the U.

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Unemployment Drops To 9.4 Percent

January 7, 2011 3:24 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent last month, its lowest level in 19 months. That was because more people found jobs, but also because some people gave up on their job searches. The Labor Department says employers added 103,000 jobs in December, an improvement from November but far below most analysts' expectations.

GM: New Batteries To Improve Volts By 50 To 100 Percent

January 7, 2011 3:23 am | News | Comments

General Motors said Thursday that it has licensed technology from a government laboratory that promises to improve battery performance in its Volt electric car by 50 percent to 100 percent. GM and LG Chem have agreed to license the technology, which consists of a mix of materials, from the Argonne National Laboratory.

A Quality New Year’s Resolution

January 6, 2011 11:16 am | by by Meaghan Ziemba, Associate Editor, Product Design and Development | Blogs | Comments

Excellence without exception. What a great mission to live by, especially in today’s markets where some companies seem to have forgotten the importance of quality and replaced its importance by prioritizing quantity. Before the New Year I made a visit to Forest City Gear (FCG), a small gear manufacturer in Roscoe, IL.

Using The Supply Chain To Promote Company Growth

January 6, 2011 9:46 am | by Taylor Jones, Sales Executive, BridgeNet Solutions, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Many companies miss out on not only some of the money-saving opportunities that might present themselves if they were to look at their supply chains a little differently, but on the money-making opportunities they might be able to uncover. Even companies that are adept at running their supply chains efficiently and cost-effectively tend not to see the supply chain as an area of the company which might enable them to achieve actual company growth.

Worker-Safe Chemical Cleaning

January 6, 2011 8:24 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Safe-T-Wash, from A.W.T. World Trade (Chicago, IL) is a non-carcinogenic and biogegradable cleaning solution for stubborn ink, adhesives, and other hard-to-remove substances. According to the company, Safe-T-Wash is non-flammable and low-odor, but dissolves most ink systems quickly without compromising worker safety.

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Safer Shop Lifts

January 6, 2011 8:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

A&H Engineering and Manufacturing, Inc. (Cerritos, CA) now offers the Shop Lift as an ergonomic solution to the problem of heavy materials handling in a confined space. The Shop Lift is designed to fit through most standard doorways, but is capable of carrying up to 600 pounds of payload.

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Batteries Are A 'Snap'

January 6, 2011 8:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

Philadelphia Scientific (Montgomeryville, PA) has introduced a new snap-fit valve battery base for its entire line of Water Injector Systems, which is the fastest single-point watering system in the world, according to the company. The base eliminates the need for a separate quarter-turn adapter, while saving time and money.

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Get A Better Finish

January 6, 2011 8:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

The LUMICLAD finish, for metal components requiring break-in lubricity and galling resistance when mating aluminum surfaces, is now available from Birchwood Casey (Eden Prairie, MN). The LUMICLAD process forms a non-dimensional black oxide finish on all aluminum surfaces that is clean, durable, and tightly adherent to the metal substrate, according to the company.

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(Video) Why The Gadgets At CES Matter

January 5, 2011 6:09 am | Articles | Comments

The Consumer Electronics Expo, which takes place between Thursday and Sunday of this week, is the world's proverbial “Mecca” for gadget geeks, and this year is no different. The 30 football field's worth of electronics is the starting point for all the new devices and technology that we'll be able to buy in stores throughout the year, so if you're at all thinking about buying a new smartphone, tablet computer, or HDTV this year, you might want to do your research and stay tuned-in.

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