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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Instructional How To Lose Your Job

November 19, 2009 3:34 am | Videos | Comments

Full disclosure up front: remarkably, no one was hurt in this incident. And that's why forklifts have cabs. That said, this warehouse worker takes his forklift driving a little to vigorously, and has a little mishap with some shelves absolutely filled with bottles of vodka. In his defense, I don't think good steel is supposed to bend over like a twig as these shelves did.

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Apple Industrial Designer: We're Cool, You're Not

November 19, 2009 3:21 am | Articles | Comments

Apple computers are well-recognized around the world, despite having a small market share in comparison to the plethora of Windows-based computers from manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Sony, and countless others. So, what makes people tick when they get an iPod or a MacBook in their hands? Easy: industrial design.

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Calif. Electricity-Hungry TV Ban Angers Manufacturers

November 18, 2009 9:54 am | by Samantha Young, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Power-hungry TVs will be banned from store shelves in California after state regulators Wednesday adopted a first-in-the-nation mandate to reduce electricity demand. On a unanimous vote, the California Energy Commission required all new televisions up to 58 inches to be more energy efficient, beginning in 2011.

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Head Of U.S. Military Celebrates Wisconsin Trucks

November 18, 2009 6:50 am | Articles | Comments

Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corp. to check out the production of the company's M-ATVs, which are currently being used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Take a peek at Gates' speech to the workers who build the trucks on a daily basis, and why they're so important to the military.

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GE To Develop Wearable Sensors With Federal Grant

November 18, 2009 4:29 am | News | Comments

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (AP) — GE Global Research, the technology development arm of General Electric Co., said Tuesday it will get $2 million federal grant to develop wearable sensors that alert people to chemical weapons and diseases. Radio-frequency identification sensors are commonly used to track materials, including in baggage at airports.

Costco Axes Coca-Cola Over Pricing Disputes

November 18, 2009 4:14 am | by Emily Fredrix and Sarah Skidmore, AP Food Industry Writers | News | Comments

ATLANTA (AP) — Costco customers may have to look elsewhere for Coca-Cola products now that the retailer has stopped carrying them because the pair are fighting over prices. The public squabble between one of the nation's largest wholesale club operators and the world's largest soft drink maker is likely to fizzle quickly.

GM Takes Tax Credits To Stay In Detroit

November 18, 2009 4:05 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — General Motors Co. is promising to keep its headquarters in Detroit in return for expanded state tax credits approved Tuesday. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority gave the go-ahead to extend tax credits the company won in June for agreeing to build a new small car at its Orion Township plant near Pontiac.

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The Supercomputer That 'Thinks' Like A Cat

November 18, 2009 4:04 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Scientists say they've made a breakthrough in their pursuit of computers that "think" like a living thing's brain — an effort that tests the limits of technology. Even the world's most powerful supercomputers can't replicate basic aspects of the human mind.

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Poll: Being 'Green' Means Lots Of Talk, No Walk

November 18, 2009 3:52 am | by H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A solid majority of Americans recognize the need to help the environment, although there are some things — like buying a hybrid car or taking mass transit — that people often talk about, but don't necessarily act on. That's shown in a survey of more than 1,000 adults that sought to gauge attitudes about the environment.

Cold Weather Straining China's Energy Resources

November 18, 2009 3:47 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Unusually cold weather has caused shortfalls of power and natural gas in Shanghai and parts of central China, local government reports said Wednesday. The surge in energy consumption due to the cold snap, which began last week, is typical of the challenges the country is facing as it struggles to meet demand from consumers whose growing earning power enables them to adopt more modern lifestyles.

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Feds Raid Gibson Guitars Over Hardwood Rumors

November 18, 2009 3:38 am | News | Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal agents on Tuesday raided a Gibson guitar manufacturing plant and seized guitars amid concerns about where the Nashville-based company obtains the fine woods that go into its instruments. Television stations reported that authorities seized wood guitars and other items, but no one was arrested.

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Hershey, Ferrero Consider Bids For Cadbury

November 18, 2009 3:32 am | by Robert Barr, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — Chocolate makers The Hershey Co. and Ferrero International SA said Wednesday they are considering a possible offer for Cadbury PLC, already the target of a hostile bid by Kraft Foods Inc. The move raises the possibility of a takeover battle for the British maker of Dairy Milk and Creme Eggs.

Notes From The Real World

November 18, 2009 3:25 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder of PCDworks | Articles | Comments

To offer an alternative to my usual rant, this month I thought I'd share some hard-earned insights with those of you who have an insane itch to develop, manufacture, and sell your own products. Until now, I have been shielded from the vagaries of actually manufacturing something in the real world.

Integrated Motion, Integrated Solutions

November 17, 2009 11:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Rockwell Automation (Anaheim, CA) has announced a series of products and enhancements to provide closed- and open-loop drive control on EtherNet/IP with Integrated Motion. Users can now control the Allen-Bradley Kinetics 6500 servo drive and PowerFlex 755 AC drive on EtherNet/IP using Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) and CIP Sync technology, in addition to the RSLogix 5000 software.

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Measure Your Pressure

November 17, 2009 11:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Automation Products Group, Inc. (APG, Logan, UT) has released the PG7 Digital Pressure Gauge, which has been engineered for outdoor conditions. The PG7 is available with ranges from vacuum up to 500 psi, and from 0 up to 10,000 psi, at ±0.25 percent accuracy of full scale.

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Easily Deployed Vacuums

November 17, 2009 11:15 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The PIAB (Täby, Sweden) Modular Automation Tooling system allows users to construct vacuum-end effector tools to meet their exact needs with minimal design time. The PMAT is lightweight and easy to assemble on-site without welding or use of special tools, and features a swivel arm assembly with a choice of various functional attachments, including a PIAB vacuum pump.

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OnLine Programming Ups Versatility

November 17, 2009 11:14 am | Product Releases | Comments

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms (Charlottesville, VA) has announced the release of its latest VersaMax Micro Plus controller firmware revision 4.0. The new OnLine Programming feature enables the user to edit and download logic to the PLC without stopping it, which saves significant downtime and potential expense for lost productivity and scrap.

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Ford Fusion: Motor Trend's 'Car of the Year'

November 17, 2009 8:57 am | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The 2010 Ford Fusion is MOTOR TREND magazine's pick for its prestigious Car of the Year® award The Fusion bested a field of 23 contenders - including the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class - to win the prominent award Fusion is now among America's top 10-selling vehicles and the No.

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World's Fastest Computer Used For Science, Not Bombs

November 17, 2009 6:07 am | by Duncan Mansfield, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — At least for the moment, the world's fastest supercomputer is devoted to solving scientific questions that may save the planet — climate change, renewable energy, new medicines — rather than advances in nuclear weapons that might blow it up. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory's high-performance Jaguar XT5 computer, built by Seattle-based Cray Inc.

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Honeywell Nabs $11.4 Million "Smart Grid" Grant

November 17, 2009 5:33 am | News | Comments

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Honeywell (NYSE: HON ) today announced it has been awarded an $11.4-million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the largest single energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history. The grant, one of several awarded from a smart grid funding package under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), solidifies Honeywell's position as a key player in helping the U.

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