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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Unit Load AS/RS Acts As A Temporary Buffer

August 19, 2009 11:42 am | Articles | Comments

This automated storage and retrieval system at the Cox Target Media Valpak facility has two storage retrieval machines and is configured to hold both full and empty print rolls. Rolls are delivered and removed from the AS/RS by automatic guided vehicles (AGVs).

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'Extract' Draws Out Manufacturing Humor

August 19, 2009 11:38 am | Articles | Comments

Mike Judge, creator of Office Space , returns with Extract , a film about the owner of a food manufacturing plant. Starring Jason Bateman as the plant operator and Ben Affleck as a local bartender. If nothing else, the film will no doubt thoroughly tackle the important issues of employee relations, co-worker romance, and the various safety hazards presented to male workers.

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The Chinese Steel Steal

August 19, 2009 11:19 am | by OurFuture.org | Articles | Comments

China has created a larger steel-manufacturing infrastructure in the last four years than the US has in existence. Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, explains how Chinese steel manufacturers are able to undercut American producers for lesser-quality product.

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Microsoft: Future Manufacturing Will Be Beautiful, Seamless

August 19, 2009 11:11 am | Articles | Comments

Microsoft's Future Vision: Someday, the manufacturing of old will be gone, and in its place will be 21st century innovation in order to create a seamless transition from design, to prototyping, to manufacturing, and finally the showroom floor. While most of these technologies are within our grasp, it will take an enormous effort to push old infrastructures into a new age.

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Ramen-Making Robots Kick Chefs To The Curb

August 19, 2009 11:09 am | by ITN News | Articles | Comments

High-tech robots mix and match a seeemingly-endless flavor selection of Ramen noodles at a restaurant in Japan. The owner-designer claims his robots are more efficient and accurate than their human counterparts. Could these automated food connoisseurs be the next revolution in food preparation? The American equivalent — hamburgers and french fries — might be the next target for restauranteers looking to save a buck.

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NY Dealers Withdraw From CARS Program By Hundreds

August 19, 2009 9:39 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of auto dealers in the New York area have withdrawn from the government's Cash for Clunkers program, citing delays in getting reimbursed by the government, a dealership group said Wednesday. The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which represents dealerships in the New York metro area, said about half its 425 members have left the program because they cannot afford to offer more rebates.

Deere Down 27 Percent

August 19, 2009 5:11 am | by Daniel Lovering, AP Manufacturing Writer | News | Comments

Deere & Co. posted a 27 percent decline in third-quarter profit Wednesday as the slumping global economy continued to depress sales of its tractors, bulldozers and other products. But the results easily beat Wall Street expectations. The world's largest maker of farm equipment said it expected the biggest single-year sales drop in at least 50 years in 2009, but reiterated an annual profit forecast of $1.

Dump Truck Flips, Killing 25 Indonesian Plantation Workers

August 19, 2009 4:19 am | by Niniek Karmini, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A dump truck packed with more than 60 Indonesian plantation workers and their families overturned, killing at least 25 and injuring dozens, police and a doctor said Wednesday. At least three children were among the dead. The passengers were riding in the back of the open truck Tuesday night when the driver swerved to avoid damage in the road, which was under construction, and the vehicle flipped over near Sampit town in Central Kalimantan, police spokesman Made Ardana said.

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Gerber Fined $900,000 For Discrimination

August 19, 2009 4:15 am | News | Comments

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that Gerber Products Co. in Fort Smith will pay $900,000 to settle allegations of hiring discrimination. The Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs on Tuesday announced the agreement to pay 1,912 minorities and females.

2 Guilty Of Hiring Illegal Workers In WA Plant

August 19, 2009 4:11 am | by Manuel Valdes, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Two members of a family that owns an engine company in Washington state pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges of knowingly hiring undocumented workers. The case stems from an immigration raid in February on Yamato Engine Specialists of Bellingham — the first such action after President Barack Obama took office calling for stepped up efforts to prosecute the companies that hire undocumented workers.

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Death Toll In Russian Plant Rises To 14, 60 Missing

August 19, 2009 4:07 am | by Nataliya Vasilyeva, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MOSCOW (AP) — Rescue workers found two bodies Wednesday in the destroyed engine room of Russia's largest hydroelectric plant, raising the accident's official death toll to 14, officials said. Sixty other workers are missing and feared dead at the massive Sayano-Shushenskaya power station in southern Siberia after an explosion during repairs Monday blew out walls and caused the turbine room to flood.

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'Flowers For Clunkers'? No Joke For IL Florist

August 19, 2009 4:02 am | by Michael Tarm, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

CHICAGO, Ill. (AP) — The government is giving cash for clunkers. It isn't sending flowers. Still, a small-town florist in central Illinois has been fielding hundreds of calls a day from people inquiring about the rebate program after General Motors began advertising a national toll-free cash-for-clunkers number that's nearly identical to the shop's toll-free number.

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Ford Envisions Vehicles Interacting With Power Grids

August 19, 2009 3:59 am | by Kimberly S. Johnson, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday its future electric cars will "talk" to power grids across the country, allowing car owners to control when they charge vehicles and for how long. The nation's second-largest automaker released details of a two-year collaboration with 10 utility companies and the Department of Energy on the design of a system it hopes will drive greater interest in alternative energy vehicles.

GM Adds 60,000 Vehicles To Production, Re-Hires 1,350

August 18, 2009 9:49 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says it will add 60,000 vehicles to its production in the third and fourth quarters, spurred partly by demand from the government's Cash for Clunkers program. The automakers says it will bring back about 1,350 laid-off workers in the U.S. and Canada to bolster production at factories.

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Redefining Dairy

August 18, 2009 8:15 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO As someone who grew up in the rolling corn and hay fields of southeastern WI, I’ll proudly testify to the sentiment that permeates throughout this area. Combining a strong work ethic with a common sense approach has resulted in a collective that embraces both traditional and new ideas.

Boeing Awarded $98M Air Force Contract

August 18, 2009 6:33 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Boeing Co.'s McDonnell Douglas Corp. received a $98 million contract to provide integration and production services for the laser joint direct attack munitions systems on various aircraft, the Pentagon said late Monday. The deal from the Air Force would apply to aircraft purchased under foreign military sales.

Kia To Build 2011 Sorento At GA Plant

August 18, 2009 5:07 am | News | Comments

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Kia Motors America said Tuesday it will build the Sorento crossover at its manufacturing facility in West Point, Ga., making it the first vehicle to be built at the South Korean automaker's newly minted plant. Production is scheduled to begin at the plant — the automaker's first U.

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Michigan Researchers Look At Rutabagas For Biofuel

August 18, 2009 5:05 am | by David Runk, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Researchers at Michigan State University are working to turn the rutabaga into an oil-producing powerhouse that could make the turnip-like vegetable a better source of biofuel than other food crops. The idea is that the rutabaga, which stores oil in its seeds like some other biofuel crops, could be genetically modified to churn out more oil and store it throughout the plant.

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2 Large Solar Farms Slated For Southern California

August 18, 2009 4:57 am | News | Comments

ROSEMEAD, Calif. (AP) — First Solar Inc. and Southern California Edison said Tuesday they'll build two huge solar farms in Southern California. The power plants will be able to generate 550 megawatts of energy — enough to power about 170,000 homes, the companies said. Construction is expected to start in 2012 and end in 2015.

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Survey Shows 'Big 3' Making Improvements

August 18, 2009 4:45 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — All three U.S.-based automakers are doing a better job of satisfying their customers than they were a year ago, according to a recent survey. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC all posted significant gains in this year's American Customer Satisfaction Index released Tuesday by the University of Michigan.

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