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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Manufacturers Turn To Prisoners For Work

October 12, 2009 4:07 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Good help is hard to find, unless that help is doing hard time. Two manufacturers are taking advantage of a program in which they develop factories in Arkansas prisons and put convicts to work at market wages. The workers use their earnings to fund the program, pay child support, fines, restitution and build a nest egg.

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Printing Up Cheesesteak

October 9, 2009 11:55 am | Articles | Comments

A Philly cheesesteak sandwich is a culinary indulgence to some and a dietary staple to others. Thin slices of beef, chicken or pork piled high on an Amoroso-style roll with lots of melted cheese is a palate-pleasing treat that originated in Philadelphia, but can now be found in sandwich shops all over the world.

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Minimal, Efficient Lidding

October 9, 2009 11:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

Rollprint Packaging Products Inc. (Addison, IL) announces the launch of a high-performance, 100 percent polyester lidding alternative for medical, pharmaceutical, and food processing applications. The SteamOne uses are much as 50 percent less material and helps companies meet recycling objectives.

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Chill Out

October 9, 2009 11:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Instapak TempGuard Cold Chain Packaging system from Sealed Air (Danbury, CT) has been designed to keep temperature-sensitive products safe during shipment. The Instapak polyurethane foam performs better than expanded polystyrene, according to the company, allowing customers to choose more cost-effective solutions than overnight priority shipping.

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Front-And-Back Labeling

October 9, 2009 11:18 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Label-Aire (Fullerton, CA) has launched the Inline Series 5100 Vacuum Wrap Front/Back label system, which was designed to accurately apply both front and back labels to round bottles without the need for a second applicator. The 5100 labeler features a vacuumized wrap transport belt using a single Label-Aire 3015-ND Wipe-ON label applicator.

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Get Vertical

October 9, 2009 11:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new SVI Vertical Bagger from Bosch Packaging Technology (Waiblingen, Germany) is ideal for a wide range of food and non-food application due to its versatile operation. The SVI machines can produce bags with a corner seal and doy style bags with optional zippers, with simple additions and changes.

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GM Inks Hummer Sale To Chinese

October 9, 2009 8:41 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Hummer, the off-road vehicle that once was a symbol of America's love for hulking trucks, is now in the hands of a Chinese heavy equipment maker. General Motors Co. and Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp. finally signed the much-anticipated deal to sell the brand on Friday, according to a joint statement issued by both companies.

Body Found At Conn. Recycling Center

October 9, 2009 7:22 am | News | Comments

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Hartford police are at a recycling plant investigating the death of a man whose body was found near cardboard boxes. Police are trying to determine who the man was and how he died. They say he was not an employee of the plant. Authorities were called to All Waste Inc.

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France Orders Anti-Stress Plans For Workers

October 9, 2009 5:28 am | News | Comments

PARIS (AP) — France's labor minister has ordered all companies with more than 1,000 employees to develop an anti-stress plan based on discussions about pressure in the workplace. If not, they will go on a list of shame to be published on the Internet. The government's concern about the psychological and physical health of employees follows outrage caused by 25 suicides in 18 months at the phone company France Telecom.

NC Gov. Orders Dell To Pay Back Incentives

October 9, 2009 4:43 am | News | Comments

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Beverly Perdue says North Carolina has no choice but to keep offering incentives packages to attract out-of-state companies even with the closing of the Dell computer plant. But Perdue told reporters Thursday she's made plain to Dell the state expects back every "red cent" it's owed in tax breaks and other benefits because it didn't meet job and investment performance standards.

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Ford Union Summons Execs To Detroit

October 9, 2009 4:37 am | by Ken Thomas and Tom Krisher, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United Auto Workers union has summoned representatives from Ford factories across the nation to Detroit on Tuesday to discuss contract talks with the automaker. Union President Ron Gettelfinger confirmed the meeting after a charity appearance in Washington on Thursday night but would not elaborate.

GM Sets Sales Record In China

October 9, 2009 4:28 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — General Motors Corp. said Friday it set a sales record in China in September and total sales for the first nine months of the year rose 55 percent to nearly 1.3 million vehicles. GM and other global automakers are looking to China's fast-growing market to drive sales amid slack demand elsewhere.

Tata Motors Fundraises For $750m Jaguar

October 9, 2009 4:16 am | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

MUMBAI, India (AP) — India's Tata Motors has raised $750 million from international markets to help pay for its 2008 acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Co., the company said Friday. Tata Motors said it's issuing 29.9 million new shares, worth $375 million, in the form of Global Depository Shares at $12.

Monsanto Under Antitrust Investigation

October 8, 2009 12:10 pm | News | Comments

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Monsanto Co. says the Justice Department is investigating whether it violated antitrust rules in trying to expand its dominance of the market for genetically engineered crops. The department's investigation of Monsanto is part of a previously announced inquiry into consolidation in the seed industry.

LED Manufacturer To Expand, Add 575 Jobs

October 8, 2009 12:05 pm | News | Comments

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina-based maker of energy-efficient lighting elements is expanding and plans to add 575 jobs in the next three years. Cree Inc. said Thursday it expects to add 275 jobs this year as it expands production of light-emitting diode chips at its Durham plant.

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Man Causes $50m Fire At Meatpacker, Gets 90 Days In Jail

October 8, 2009 6:30 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee man whose military flare sparked a $50 million meatpacking plant fire this summer has been sentenced to 90 days in jail. Joshua J. Popp was also sentenced Thursday to three years probation and 500 hours of community service. The 23-year-old apologized and said he took responsibility for his actions.

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The Mysteries Of Ketchup

October 8, 2009 4:16 am | Articles | Comments

Ever wondered how ketchup is manufactured? This video will take you through (most of) the process, save for the "myserious" blue bags containing the Heinz secret recipe. And ironically enough, they actually have a test to make sure that the ketchup is next to impossible to extract from those glass bottles.

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Dell To Close NC Plant, Cut 905 Workers

October 7, 2009 10:02 am | News | Comments

ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) — Dell Inc. says it will close a desktop computer manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina by the end of January. The computer maker said Wednesday that 905 people will be laid off, with around 600 to be let go next month. The plant closure is part of a plan to save $4 billion a year at Dell by 2011.

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Cummins Recalls 270 Workers To Build Ram Engines

October 7, 2009 6:55 am | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — Diesel-engine maker Cummins Inc. said Wednesday that it wants to recall about 270 laid off or transferred production workers to meet an increase in orders for Dodge Ram turbo diesel pickup truck engines. Chrysler Group LLC is attempting to build inventory for its 2010 model heavy duty Dodge Ram pickup, which is powered by Cummins' 6.

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Combustible Dust At Imperial Sugar

October 7, 2009 5:54 am | Articles | Comments

The CSB has investigated the Imperial Sugar refinery explosion of 2008, and has concluded that combustible dust was to blame for the deaths of 14 workers and injuries of many more. The company did not properly clean up after combustible dust, particularly that which accumulated on hard-to-reach places like light fixtures and beam, and did not provide adequate ventilation systems for dust in the air.

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