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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

BP Partially Blames Self For Oil Spill

September 8, 2010 4:32 am | by Dina Cappiello, Harry R. Weber, and Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Oil giant BP PLC laid much of the blame for the rig explosion and the massive Gulf of Mexico spill on itself, other companies' workers and a complex series of failures in an internal report released Wednesday before a key piece of evidence has been fully analyzed. In its 193-page report posted on its website, the British company described the incident as an accident that arose from a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces.

China Blackouts Factories, Villages To Meet Energy Targets

September 8, 2010 4:31 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese steel mills and mobile phone factories are being idled and thousands of homes in one area are doing without electricity as local governments order power cuts to meet energy-saving targets set by Beijing. Rolling blackouts and enforced power cuts are affecting key industrial areas.

Automating The Bottom Line

September 7, 2010 9:28 am | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers should always be looking for ways to improve processes, and accomplishing that task should be a focus shared by every member of the enterprise. Metcam is a manufacturing company located in Alpharetta, Georgia, just north of Atlanta. Founded in 1989, the company specializes in custom sheet metal fabrication serving a diverse industry base including commercial HVAC, healthcare, electronics, automotive, food service, and air filtration.

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Hygrometer Alarms

September 7, 2010 6:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

Seika Machinery, Inc. (Torrance, CA) introduces the McDry Signal Tower with ERC-301AD Hygrometer, which utilizes an alarm system and a wireless temperature/humidity data logger. With the new hygrometer, the light signal will flash and an audible alarm will sound when the humidity level goes over the set limit for a fixed period of time.

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A Range Of Filtration Products

September 7, 2010 6:44 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The NITRA line from Automation Direct (Cumming, GA) now includes several new products, such as the AF Series particulate and moisture separation air filters, pneumatic air pressure regulators, and particulate/moisture separation air filters. The AF air filters are available with 1/8 to 1” NPT female port sizes and either a semi-automatic or automatic drain.

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Faster, Safer Robotic Tooling

September 7, 2010 6:43 am | Product Releases | Comments

SAS Automation (Xenia, OH) offers the Semi-Automatic Tool Changer for accurate, repeatable mounting of robotic end-of-arm tooling, which quickly mounts a tool to the robot’s arm. The changer can automatically connect multiple ports, including air, vacuum, and electric, greatly reducing set-up time.

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Smarter Barcode Scanners

September 7, 2010 6:42 am | Product Releases | Comments

Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) announced its next-generation DataMan handheld industrial ID scanner, the DataMan 8000 Series, which uses IDMax technology for reading 1D and 2D codes regardless of size, quality, printing method, or surface. According to the company, the DataMan 8000 now comes with integrated liquid lens technology, which gives the maximum depth of field flexibility for an image-based handheld reader.

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Fine-Tuning Pump Performance Bands, Part Two

September 7, 2010 5:20 am | by Wallace Wittkoff, Hygienic Director, Dover's Pump Solutions Group (PSG) | Articles | Comments

Last time, we looked at how pump performance can be affected by a number of changing variables and how regulating “tight” vs. “loose” pump operation, in the form of controlling “slip” in continuous in-line blending operations, can optimize a pump’s performance.

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Explosion At Ohio Auto Parts Plant Injures Nine

September 7, 2010 5:01 am | News | Comments

NORTHWOOD, Ohio (AP) — An explosion at an auto parts plant in northern Ohio has injured nine people. Authorities just outside Toledo say all the injuries appear to be minor. The explosion happened Tuesday morning at Faurecia (fahr-SEE'-uh) Interior Systems in Northwood. The company makes doors for a nearby Chrysler plant.

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Taiwanese Firm Raided After Shipping Machines To North Korea

September 7, 2010 4:57 am | by Debby Wu, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

Taiwanese investigators raided a local company after it shipped banned machinery to North Korea via a Chinese firm with ties to Pyongyang's military, a Taiwanese official said Tuesday. The owner of the Taiwanese company, Ho Li Enterprises, said that two computer-controlled machine tools used in the manufacture of engines were shipped to North Korea earlier this year, but said he was unaware he had broken the law.

Kia CEO Resigns After 100,000-Vehicle Recall

September 7, 2010 4:40 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The top executive at Kia Motors has resigned after the company recalled more than 100,000 vehicles worldwide over defective wiring, the automaker said Tuesday. Chung Sung-eun, vice chairman and CEO of South Korea's No. 2 automaker, stepped down on Friday, according to company spokesman Michael Choo.

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Honeywell's 2,100-Worker Nuke Plant Breaks Ground

September 7, 2010 4:39 am | News | Comments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled this week at the site of a privately developed plant in south Kansas City where non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons will be built. The facility being built for Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies will employ 2,100 people and replace the current Honeywell plant at the Bannister Federal Complex, also in south Kansas City.

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When Manufactuing Jobs Return, They Will Be High-Skill

September 7, 2010 4:37 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — American workers faced a sobering reality as they celebrated the U.S. holiday of Labor Day at a time of high unemployment, scant hiring and a widespread loss of job security: economists foresee fewer moderately paid factory supervisors, postal workers and office administrators.

Obama Proposes $200 Billion In Business Tax Breaks

September 7, 2010 4:31 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will call on Congress to pass new tax breaks that would allow businesses to write off 100 percent of their new capital investments through 2011, the latest in a series of proposals the White House is rolling out in hopes of jump-starting economic growth ahead of the November elections.

Your Plant In 3-D

September 2, 2010 12:33 pm | Product Releases | Comments

MobileScan3D is a mobile CNC laser scanning solution, available from Wenzel/Xspect Solutions (Wixom, Michigan), that allows for fully-automatic reverse engineering and part inspection verification. According to the company, its portability and rapid set-up let users scan on location without time-consuming efforts.

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Get Better Back Support

September 2, 2010 12:32 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Allegro Industries (Garden Grove, CA) has developed a number of back supports for various applications and jobs, including the Liftbak, which is a 5” belt of rigid foam that supports the back during strenuous lifting. Allegro’s popular Deluxe Spanbak and Bodybelt are designed for greater durability and strength, while the Flexbak offers a three-part closure for a custom fit and superior lumbar support.

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Water-Proof Cabling

September 2, 2010 12:32 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Heyco Products, Inc. (Minotola, NJ) now offers the Right Angle Strain Relief Cord Grips, which bend electrical cable without damage after insertion, an assembly method that saves time and money, according to the company. The design provides liquid-tight integrity even in the open position, and acme threads on the body prevent skipping and speed installation.

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Thermally-Conductive Adhesives

September 2, 2010 12:31 pm | Product Releases | Comments

The Master Bond EP30FLAO (Hackensack, NJ) is a two-component epoxy resin system for high performance potting, bonding, sealing, and coating. The low-viscosity epoxy is ideal as a thermally-conductive potting compound, and has a wide service temperature range of 4K to 250°F, plus a thermal conductivity of 9-10 BTU/in/ft²/hr/ºF.

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Food AND Fuel

September 2, 2010 9:50 am | by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

A lot of great ideas are developed by imagining a magical black box through which you can process an input to produce a desired output. For example, what if you could take an ear of corn, feed it into a device and get food, fuel and fertilizer out of the other side? This was the challenge given to SynGest engineers when the company set out to produce a system that efficiently utilizes all parts of the corn crop.

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Creative Destruction And The Middle Class

September 2, 2010 9:46 am | by Mike Collins, Author, Saving American Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Manufacturing is not the total answer to a declining middle class; but for every eight manufacturing jobs created, six other jobs are created in the economy. Joseph Schumpeter in his classic book “Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy” called eras of great change in a capitalist system creative destruction.

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