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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Ford To Expand Use Of Fuel-Saving Technology

December 27, 2010 6:12 am | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Monday that it plans to include its fuel-saving Auto Start-Stop technology — originally designed for and used in its gas-electric hybrids — in a wider range of vehicles sold in North America starting in 2012. The technology automatically shuts off the engine when a vehicle stops, which Ford says improves fuel economy at least 4 percent.

Educational Partnership Improves 'Steelworker for the Future'

December 27, 2010 5:34 am | News | Comments

BURNS HARBOR, Ind. (AP) — Andrew Sweeney said it wasn't part of his initial plan to work in the steel industry. Hired earlier this year as an electrical maintenance technician working at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, Sweeney said his thoughts changed once he enrolled in a training program that helped him snag a job with the world's largest steelmaker.

Muncie Locomotive Plant Advertising Welding Positions

December 27, 2010 5:26 am | News | Comments

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A division of Caterpillar that plans to employ 650 people at a diesel-electric railroad locomotive plant in Muncie is looking for workers. Progress Rail Services has begun advertising for 70 welders and other positions through the state website www.indianacareerconnect.

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Ind. Ethanol Plant Begins Production After Bankruptcy Halts

December 27, 2010 5:16 am | News | Comments

MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (AP) — A company is ramping up production at an ethanol plant in southwestern Indiana that is now operating after construction work was halted for more than a year. Pekin, Ill.-based Aventine Renewable Energy produced its first ethanol on Nov. 30 at the Mount Vernon plant, which it started building in late 2007.

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For Japan, 2010 A Year To Forget

December 27, 2010 5:08 am | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Japan has been overtaken by China as the world's No. 2 economy. Its flagship company, Toyota, recalled more than 10 million vehicles in an embarrassing safety crisis. Its fourth prime minister resigned in three years, and the government remains unable to jolt an economy entering its third decade of stagnation.

High-Speed Thread Inspection

December 23, 2010 3:30 am | Articles | Comments

Performing thread inspection on large numbers of parts can be difficult and exhausting for the operator, and gets worse for production quantities. The Rotary Thread Inspection Tool Kit comes with taper lock extensions for gauge tapers 0, 1, 2, and 3. It also has length limit collars for thread gauge sizes of 3/16”, ¼”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 7/16”, ½”, 9/16”, and 5/8”.

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What Is The Future Of Food Manufacturing?

December 22, 2010 10:15 am | by by Lauren Kiesow, Associate Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

Salmonella. E-coli. Listeria. These are the words people have started to fear more and more; they’re practically swears. From cilantro and spinach to peanut butter and eggs, food recalls have been springing up with increased frequency in the past year or so. The litany of outbreaks — resulting in product fear, illness and, in some instances, death — has people demanding safer consumables.

Talk About The Sleeping Dragon

December 22, 2010 3:58 am | by by Kim Ukura, Associate Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Anyone who has ever worked in an office can appreciate some of the humor of NBC’s  The Office  – even if we haven’t had a boss like the bumbling and offensive Michael Scott. In an episode earlier this month, Michael arrived to work after a morning dentist appointment with some alarming news: “China is going to pass us as the number one global super power! When did this happen?” Michael’s concerns about China – repeated to his coworkers from the news magazine feature he read at the dentist’s office – are both serious and ridiculous.

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Hawker Beachcraft Decides To Stay Put In Kansas

December 22, 2010 3:51 am | by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press | News | Comments

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft Corp. on Tuesday announced its commitment to keep its aircraft operations in Kansas for the next 10 years as part of a $45 million deal brokered with state and local officials. In return for an incentives package, Hawker Beechcraft has agreed to maintain its current aircraft lines and keep at least 4,000 jobs in the state during the next 10 years.

PPG Subsidiary Fined For Sending Nuclear Tech To Pakistan

December 22, 2010 3:31 am | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — A Chinese subsidiary of U.S.-based PPG Industries Inc. has pled guilty to violating U.S. export controls by exporting high-tech coatings to a nuclear reactor in Pakistan, the U.S. Commerce Department said. PPG and its wholly owned subsidiary PPG Paints Trading (Shanghai) Co.

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Airbus Warns Pilots About Potentially Deadly Malfunction

December 22, 2010 3:30 am | News | Comments

PARIS (AP) — Airbus has warned pilots about a dangerous potential malfunction of speed sensors on aircraft like the Air France A330 that crashed into the Atlantic last year, killing all 228 people aboard. The European jet maker on Monday sent the warning over the sensors, called Pitot tubes, to the roughly 100 operators of its A330 and A340-200 and A340-300 long-range, widebody aircraft.

Hyundai, VW Lead Pack For Safest Vehicles

December 22, 2010 3:27 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia and German car maker Volkswagen lead the insurance industry's annual list of the safest new vehicles, used by safety-minded consumers looking to buy a new car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recognized 66 vehicles on Wednesday with its "top safety pick award" for the 2011 model year, the most-ever awarded by the Virginia-based group.

Combustible Dust Explosion Injures Two At Georgia Plant

December 22, 2010 3:23 am | News | Comments

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Fire investigators say dust in the air at an animal vitamin plant led to an explosion that damaged the plant and left two workers injured. Jackson County firefighters responded to the blast at the Hoffman-La Roche/DCM Materials plant on Tuesday.

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NAM Names Jay Timmons President And CEO

December 22, 2010 3:20 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today announced that it has named Jay Timmons president and CEO, effective January 2011. Timmons has served as Executive Vice President at the NAM and will succeed former Michigan Governor John Engler in this position.   Timmons has extensive experience in government relations, public affairs, political campaigns and business.

The Advantages Of Mixed Mode Manufacturing

December 21, 2010 9:06 am | Articles | Comments

An alternative to implementing multiple modules like flow and discrete for manufacturing, the process-mix can be handled using Discrete Manufacturing module alone, resulting in lowering of implementation and support cost. Manufacturing companies usually have a mix of discrete and flow type manufacturing processes.

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Make Pallet Loading More Ergonomic

December 21, 2010 8:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

Southworth Products Corp. (Portland, ME) has redesigned its PalletPal Level Loader to make it more ergonomic. A smaller base makes loading and unloading pallets faster, safer, and easier because it allows users to step closer to the unit’s platform. According to the company, its use can eliminate injury-producing bending, lifting, reaching, and stretching common to pallet-loading applications.

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Easy RTV Dispensing

December 21, 2010 8:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

The RTV Silicone Dispenser from Dispense Works, Inc. (McHenry, IL) is a bench-top solution for automatically dispensing RTV onto a user’s product. The Axis 300 robot uses a built-in digital valve controller and a full-length T-Slot base to simplify fixturing and tooling. In addition, the robots feature continuous contouring and real-time syringe/valve control, which results in dispensed beads of consistent widths and volume.

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Streamlined Thermal Printing

December 21, 2010 8:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

The duplexpackslip from Premier Print (Chicago, IL) allows shipping departments to streamline the shipping label and packing slip process with two-sided thermal printing. The duplexpackslip allows facilities to reduce high labor costs and excessive error rates. According to the company, the system takes a five-step process and brings it to a two-step process with minimal intervention, which enables costs savings.

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A 'Man' To Help Scan Barcodes

December 21, 2010 8:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) has announced that a manufacturer of components in the aerospace industry has selected the Cognex DataMan handheld ID reader to help speed order processing and error-proof part handling at its production facilities worldwide. The DataMan 8500 reader can be used to scan ID codes marked on parts and on order sheets to verify that the orders have been correctly processed.

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Working At Google: And That's Not All!

December 21, 2010 5:27 am | Articles | Comments

This tour through Google’s California headquarters sounds like one of those late-night infomercials that just keep tacking on the promises. From free food, free gyms, massages on your birthday, and a multitude of laundry machines so that you don’t have to take a trip to the laundromat, Google’s fringe benefits just keep on giving.

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