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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Mitsubishi Gets $34 Million Incentive For Memphis Factory

February 16, 2011 3:31 am | by Adrian Sainz, Associated Press | News | Comments

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mitsubishi Electric will receive more than $34 million in tax incentives for building a $200 million high-voltage power transformer factory that is expected to create 281 jobs in Memphis, documents show. Mitsubishi Electric Power Products announced plans Monday to build the plant on 140 acres at an industrial park near the Mississippi River.

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A Chuck For Air

February 15, 2011 10:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

Northfield Presicison Instrument Corporation (Island Park, NY) has introduced the Model 450 Air Chuck, which installs on the bed of the customer’s machine. The pick-and-place arm picks up the parts after they are finished in the front chucks and transfers them to the rear chucks for finishing.

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Master Your Bulk Bag Systems

February 15, 2011 10:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

The modular Material Master Bulk Bag Discharging System — from Material Transfer (Allegan, MI) — offers a Sure-Seal pneumatic discharge spout clamping system to ensure a dust-tight operation. In addition, the Flo-Master bag massaging system delivers product to high-deflection vibratory feeder.

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Extra-Durable Shaft Encoders

February 15, 2011 10:17 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Baumer (Southington, CT) has introduced its new HS35 family of incremental hollow shaft encoders — including a fully-programmable version — for heavy-duty positioning and speed control applications. The rugged encoders withstand shocks up to 200 g, high-pressure cleaning, and ambient temperatures from -40°F to 212°F.

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Smarter Gas Handling

February 15, 2011 10:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Gasco Affiliates, LLC (Oldsmar, FL) has announced the expansion of its EcoSmart line of environmentally-friendly precision gas products with the EcoSmart 44, a standard 34-liter container containing 44 liters of precision calibration gas. The new model features 29 percent more gas than the traditional 34-liter unit, which reduces the cost per liter while extending the life cycle.

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Are You A Saw-Muri Warrior?

February 15, 2011 5:07 am | by Bruce Hamilton, OldLeanDude.org | Articles | Comments

I was joining a manager on a walk through his plant some time back, when we came upon an automatic cut-off saw that was cutting twelve-foot brass bars into four-foot lengths. The bed of the saw was about four feet high — just below chest height for me — but just above chest height for the employee who was tending and unloading the saw.

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China's Car Imports Doubled In 2010, With SUVs In Charge

February 15, 2011 4:12 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's imports of foreign cars nearly doubled last year, with Japanese and German models most in favor among buyers looking to upgrade their vehicles, an industry association said Tuesday. The quasi-official China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said car imports jumped 93 percent last year from 2009 to 813,600 vehicles.

First 'Man Vs. Machine' Jeopardy Battles Ends In Draw

February 15, 2011 3:59 am | by Frazier Moore, AP Television Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — In the "Jeopardy!" battle of man vs. machine, man and machine were neck-and-neck on Monday. Human player Brad Rutter and the supercomputer named Watson ended an initial round tied at $5,000. The other challenger, human Ken Jennings, was far behind with $2,000. Rutter (the show's all-time money-winner with $3.

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U.S. Retail Sales Rise 0.3 Percent Despite Weather

February 15, 2011 3:44 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. shoppers pushed retail sales up for a seventh straight month although the increase was the weakest since June. Retail sales increased 0.3 percent last month to $318.6 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Demand rose at department stores, electronic stores and auto dealerships.

GM CEO: China Is Our New 'Crown Jewel'

February 15, 2011 3:43 am | by Tini Tran, Associated Press | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — China will play a much bigger role in General Motors Co.'s plans including clean energy vehicles as it moves to capitalize further on rapid growth in the world's largest auto market, the company's CEO said Tuesday. Calling China "the crown jewel in the GM universe," Chief Executive Daniel Akerson said the automaker plans to launch more than 20 new or redesigned cars in China over the next two years.

Boeing: Biofuel-Based Aviation Here By 2015

February 15, 2011 3:41 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press | News | Comments

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Boeing Co. hopes aviation biofuels will be practical for the market by around 2015, but it's going to take a lot of work. Richard Wynne, Boeing Commercial Airplane's director of environment and aviation policy, told reporters Monday that the company is working with others throughout the industry toward having 1 percent of all aviation fuel come from non-petroleum sources by then.

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Ecuador Fines Chevron $9.5 Billion For Contamination

February 15, 2011 3:40 am | by Frank Bajak and Gonzalo Solano, Associated Press | News | Comments

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — An Ecuadorean judge ruled Monday in an epic environmental case that Chevron Corp. was responsible for oil drilling contamination in a wide swath of Ecuador's northern jungle and ordered the oil giant to pay $9.5 billion in damages and cleanup costs. The amount — $8.

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Who Needs Reshoring?

February 14, 2011 11:09 am | by Fred Young, CEO, Forest City Gear | Articles | Comments

A mid-sized gear manufacturer espouses some old-fashioned ideas to confront the challenges of today’s economic environment and world market conditions. The two “ages” of Fred Young, then and now. Forest City Gear supplies some of the world’s leading companies with high-precision gear work.

Pinpoint Any Alignment Issue

February 14, 2011 9:00 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Pinpoint Laser Systems (Peabody, MA) has developed a new roll alignment kit to facilitate the alignment of rollers, idlers, take up reels, shafts, and web-handling systems. The newest addition — the Microgage Roll Alignment kit — is compact and easy to use in industrial environments, according to the company.

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A Microscopic Lubrication

February 14, 2011 7:03 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The DAYlube grease — from Dayton Progress (Dayton, OH) — uses nanoceramic particles that act as microscopic ball bearings, which helps provide continuous lubrication to steel surfaces. Dayton Progress has announced that DAYlube is now available in 5-gallon pails, which makes it ideal for high-volume applications, particularly conveyors, bearings, chains, gears, and more.

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Frictionless Braking Is Possible

February 14, 2011 7:02 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Posidyne oil-shear clutch brakes from Force Control (Fairfield, OH) transmit torque between two lubricated surfaces, which eliminates wear and dissipates heat. Because there is no direct contact between the friction surfaces during acceleration or deceleration, there is no need for adjustment or replacement of discs, according to the company.

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A Rugged Computer To Manage Supply Chains

February 14, 2011 7:02 am | Product Releases | Comments

LXE (Atlanta, GA) has announced the launch of the Tecton rugged handheld computer — the MX7 — which is a IP-65 rated tool for real-time data capture in supply chain applications. The unit’s multi-range scanning capabilities enable bar code reads from 4” to 40’, so operators can perform warehouse moves ranging from receiving, to full pallet put-aways, with the same computer.

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Trend Of Growth Consistent For Manufacturing Industry 

February 14, 2011 5:30 am | by Norbert Ore, CPSM, C.P.M. | Articles | Comments

According to the January ISM Report On Business, economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded for the 18th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 20th consecutive month. Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M. Chair, ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, recently spoke to Industrial Distribution about the most recent report and what it means for the manufacturing industry.

Clearing Manufacturing Hurdles

February 14, 2011 5:28 am | by MetalMoro, SolidWorks | Articles | Comments

MetalMoro's Sport Protótipo MCR model race car. MecSoft’s VisualMILL for SolidWorks helps MetalMoro achieve design goals accurately and quickly. For over 40 years,  MetalMoro  in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, has been producing competitive automotive racing cars and parts.

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Nokia CEO Under Heavy Fire For Microsoft Alliance

February 14, 2011 3:56 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Investors have panned his shake-up strategy and employees are not happy. Now,Nokia Corp.'s Stephen Elop, the first non-Finn to lead the world's largest maker of phones, is in a hurry to justify his decision to ditch the company's smart-phone software in favor of a former employer's, Microsoft.

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