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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

CAT Profit Soars Five-Fold Thanks To Economic Recovery

April 29, 2011 4:53 am | News | Comments

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. said its first-quarter profit soared more than five-fold as a growing economic recovery boosted demand for the company's mining and construction equipment. The results blew past analysts' expectations and its boosted its outlook for the year.

U.S. Paychecks Rise, But Go Straight Into Pricey Gasoline

April 29, 2011 4:36 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans earned and spent more in March, but much of the extra money went toward more expensive gasoline. Personal incomes rose 0.5 percent last month and consumer spending increased 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday. But after adjusting for inflation, spending rose a much more subdued 0.

Chinese Manufacturing Stagnant On Supply Chain Troubles

April 29, 2011 4:31 am | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Chinese manufacturers added workers but saw scant growth in orders in April amid delays in supplies resulting from Japan's earthquake and tsunami. London-based HSBC said Friday its China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index remained at 51.8 in April, matching its March level and just above a seven-month low of 51.

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Cisco: Can You Baby Boomers Retire Already?

April 29, 2011 4:21 am | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cisco Systems Inc. is giving some of its employees the option to retire early, a move that it hopes will reduce costs. Cisco, in the midst of a restructuring, is trying to re-focus on its core business of selling computer networking gear. Cisco spokeswoman Karen Tillman said Thursday that the networking equipment maker is offering voluntary retirement to some employees in the U.

Microsoft Earnings Through The Roof, Investors Flee

April 29, 2011 4:19 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Even as Microsoft Corp.'s earnings grow at a robust rate, investors can't seem to shake the feeling that the boom days are winding down for the world's largest software maker. The company's fiscal third-quarter results, released Thursday, provided little reassurance despite a 31 percent increase in earnings, exceeding analyst estimates.

Tornadoes Shut Down The South's Manufacturing Base

April 29, 2011 4:16 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The devastating tornadoes that swept across Alabama and other southern states Wednesday caused widespread power outages, shut down several large manufacturing plants and could disrupt the region's fragile economic recovery. Most economists say the setback will likely be temporary.

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J&J To Come Back 'Stronger Than Ever' After Quality Woes

April 28, 2011 9:42 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson's chief executive told shareholders at their annual meeting Thursday that the company will come back "stronger than ever" after addressing quality problems that resulted in an astounding string of product recalls. William Weldon, who became CEO in 2002, said the series of "disappointing recalls" troubled him and employees and meant thousands of parents could not get medicines they needed for their children.

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Oshkosh Corp. Income Tumbles On Gov't Shortfalls

April 28, 2011 9:19 am | News | Comments

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Shares of Oshkosh Corp. tumbled Thursday after the heavy vehicle maker said that its net income and revenue both fell sharply in the second fiscal quarter. THE SPARK: The company, based in Oshkosh, Wis., said its net income fell to $67.9 million, or 74 cents per share, from $292.

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Chrysler To Repay $7.5 Billion In Gov't Loans This Year

April 28, 2011 9:10 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler will take out bank loans and sell bonds to repay $7.5 billion in bailout money from the U.S. and Canadian governments, another sign that the automaker is recovering from its near-collapse in 2009. Details about how much Chrysler will borrow from banks and the size of the bond sale are being worked out.

Texas Company Fined For Underpaying Disabled Workers

April 28, 2011 8:48 am | by Melanie S. Welte, Associated Press | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge ordered a Texas-based company accused of abusing and underpaying several mentally disabled men at a turkey plant in Iowa to pay $1.76 million to the former workers, the U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday. The partial summary judgment was issued in the department's lawsuit against Hill Country Farms, of Goldthwaite, Texas, doing business as Henry's Turkey Service.

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Spyker Appeals To Russians For Cash To Save Saab

April 28, 2011 7:21 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press | News | Comments

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Spyker Cars, the tiny Dutch company that controls struggling automaker Saab, came closer to getting much-needed investment from Russian Vladimir Antonov after Sweden's debt office on Thursday approved his application to become a shareholder. The decision means Spyker has cleared one of several hurdles in its attempt to solve a liquidity crisis that has forced it to suspend production at the Saab plant in western Sweden.

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Gov't Urges Food Companies To Stop Ads For Sugar, Fat

April 28, 2011 7:19 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Commercials promoting sugary breakfast cereals could be put on a strict diet under government guidelines urging food companies to limit marketing of unhealthy products to children. Under a proposal announced Thursday by several government agencies, companies would be urged to only market foods to children ages 2 through 17 if they are low in fats, sugars and sodium and contain specified healthy ingredients.

Need A Tech-Savvy Toilet?

April 28, 2011 6:43 am | Videos | Comments

Kohler has unveiled the Numi, its new “smart toilet,” which features a variety of motion sensors, an adjustable heated seat, a deodorizer that sucks out undesirable smells, and a personalized bidet. Of course, it all comes packaged with a remote control. All of this for only $6,390... If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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More Cooling, Smaller Package

April 28, 2011 6:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

The PC7 portable spot air conditioner from MovinCool (Long Beach, CA) now has an expanded cooling capacity of 9,000 Btu/h, an almost 30 percent increase over the previous version. According to the company, this is made possible by a more efficient design, which provides greater airflow over both the evaporator and condenser.

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Improved Pneumatics, Hydraulics

April 28, 2011 6:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

Bearing Distributors, Inc. (BDI; Cleveland, OH) has announced the acquisition of Salt Lake City, UL-based PneumaTrek National Inc. PneumaTrek will offer pneumatics, hydraulics systems, and fluid power components to businesses in the Salt Lake City market and surrounding area since 1975. According to BDI, the acquisition will combine PneumaTrek’s local market expertise with BDI’s global footprint, supplier/partner relationships, and resources.

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Replace Your Old Bearings

April 28, 2011 6:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

The DryLin R linear plain bearings, from igus (East Providence, RI), can be used to replace PTFE-lined bearings in a variety of industries, according to the company. They have been optimized for aggressive environments thanks to patented dirt channels, which are grooved inlays on the bearing’s liner that prevent buildup.

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Cleaning Gets Greener

April 28, 2011 6:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

ITW Dymon (Olathe, KS) has developed the SCRUBS Green Cleaning Wipes for hard surface cleaning with environmental advantages, according to the company. The 6 by 10.5” wipes are saturated with a non-toxic, biodegradable, and non-flammable formula. They contain no dyes, disperse in water, and are flushable.

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Bill Nye On 'The God Particle'

April 28, 2011 5:39 am | Videos | Comments

U.S. physicists might have found what is commonly known as "the God particle," an elusive, minute substance that has long promised to revolutionize the way we look at the physics of our universe. Bill Nye (aka The Science Guy) seems cautiously optimistic of the findings, which could unlock new forms of hyper-powerful energy sources.

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Q&A: Improving Sustainability Without Compromising Quality

April 28, 2011 4:35 am | Articles | Comments

Q&A with Fred Melms, Manager — Packaging R&D, WhiteWave Foods WhiteWave Foods is one of the largest producers of creamer singles in North America, primarily through its International Delight® and LAND O LAKES® brands. The company has recently developed alternative packaging to reduce the environmental impact of its products.

Do Customers Expect Too Much?

April 28, 2011 4:33 am | by Dr. Ronald L. Hollis, Founder, President & CEO, Quickparts.com | Articles | Comments

At the end of the day, consumers that receive poor customer service do so at their own choosing. It is not the fault of the company because the customer gets to vote everyday with their money as to who gets to stay in business and who does not. What an interesting question to ask in a capitalistic market where, theoretically, there are many companies competing to serve customers with their products.

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