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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Managing Energy With Modern Drive Systems

March 16, 2010 10:11 am | by Michael Perlman, Siemens Industry Inc., Motion Control Marketing Manager | Articles | Comments

While it is valid to state that energy efficiency is defined as the same level of production being achieved at an overall lower energy cost, it is equally important for today’s machine builders and automation engineers alike to remember than an energy-efficient system can actually translate into higher productivity.

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Manufacturers Working To Save American Jobs

March 16, 2010 10:08 am | by Amanda Earing, News Editor, Manufacturing.Net | Articles | Comments

In an economy where manufacturers are struggling to stay afloat, some are also fighting to find ways to keep their workers employed. Save An American Job (SAAJ) is a branding and networking initiative designed to do just that. Save an American Job, founded by Don Rongione, CEO and President of the Bollman Hat Company, is a proactive initiative to encourage more Americans to buy American-made products and help manufacturers prevent job losses in the industry.

Enough Of The 'Windwilling'

March 16, 2010 9:55 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Draftguard anti-rotation device from Gates (Denver, CO) prevents belt-driven air-cooled heat exchanger (ACHE) fan drives from “windwilling” when they are idle. A free-spinning fan poses a safety hazard to maintenance workers and causes wear on belts, shafts, bearings, and attached equipment when the fan direction is reversed during start-up.

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Sorting Made Easy

March 16, 2010 9:54 am | Product Releases | Comments

Intelligrated (Cincinnati, OH) now offers tilt-tray and cross-belt sortation solutions to its product portfolio. Intelligrated now designs and manufactures the complete line of Crisplant sorters, and offers them as standalone sub-systems or as parts of larger automated material handling systems.

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Knowing The Code

March 16, 2010 9:52 am | Product Releases | Comments

Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) has introduced two new barcode readers to its DataMan line of industrial ID readers. The 100 QL and 200 QL fixed mount readers offer best-in-class 1D barcode reading performance. The included Cognex 1DMax code-reading algorithm handles quiet zone violations that can occur when codes are printed close to the edge of a label.

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Working Up High Is E-Z

March 16, 2010 9:51 am | Product Releases | Comments

E-Z Drill (Stillwater, OK) now offers the E-Z Tray, a work tray designed for use on scissor lifts, boom lifts, aerial work platforms, and any equipment with railings. The E-Z Tray provides an ergonomically-friendly solution for the safe handling of tools while working at heights.

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Analysts Weigh In On Cost Of Toyota's Recall Fiasco

March 16, 2010 9:33 am | by Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — A massive global recall, mounting legal bills and a battered reputation add up to a very expensive problem for Toyota. How expensive? Depends who you ask. With new developments emerging almost daily, predicting a final pricetag for the Japanese automaker is a daunting calculation that only some analysts have attempted.

Unions Bash Kraft CEO On Cadbury Takeover

March 16, 2010 9:32 am | by Jane Wardell, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — British union leaders and lawmakers lashed out at Kraft Inc. Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld for failing to appear before an inquiry on the U.S. company's takeover of British confectioner Cadbury on Tuesday. The Unite union also criticized Rosenfeld for failing to meet directly with workers at Cadbury sites across the country to reassure them about the company's plans after it backtracked on a promise to keep open a local factory.

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US Steel CEO Takes 83 Percent Salary Cut

March 16, 2010 9:31 am | by Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

DENVER (AP) — United States Steel Corp. CEO John Surma's compensation package plummeted more than 83 percent last year as he took a salary cut and refused stock awards. The reduction came in a year the company struggled with withering demand for steel. Surma, who also is board chairman, received total compensation of $1.

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AK Steel Sues Ex-Workers For Stealing Trade Secrets

March 16, 2010 9:30 am | News | Comments

WEST CHESTER, Ohio (AP) — AK Steel Holding Corp. has filed a lawsuit alleging three ex-employees of its Rockport, Ind., plant stole company trade secrets. The lawsuit filed March 11 says Donald Earley resigned as a senior process engineer last year and accepted a job with ThyssenKrupp Steel USA.

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We Applies For $255 Million Wis. Biomass Plant

March 16, 2010 9:30 am | News | Comments

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — We Energies has filed for regulatory permission to build a $255 million biomass power plant near Wausau. In its application to the state Public Service Commission, the utility says the plant would supply steam to Domtar's paper mill in Rothschild and create up to 150 jobs.

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Judge Overturns Suit Against Ford For Sudden Acceleration

March 16, 2010 9:29 am | by Meg Kinnard, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's highest court on Monday overturned an $18 million verdict againstFord Motor Co. in a fatal crash, ruling that one expert shouldn't have been allowed to testify about cruise control problems. Sonya Watson, 17, was paralyzed after losing control of her Ford Explorer in December 1999.

Toyota, UAW Reach Tentative NUMMI Closure Agreement

March 15, 2010 11:25 am | News | Comments

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — The United Auto Workers union has reached a tentative agreement to shut down California's sole remaining auto plant which employs 4,600 people. The terms weren't disclosed Monday but will include payouts for workers at the Fremont-based Nummi plantwhich is slated to close on April 1.

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A Bitter Sweet Takeover

March 15, 2010 10:08 am | by by Krystal Gabert, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

I guess there’s not much to defend, really. Kraft made an offer; Cadbury accepted. The once-British company is soon to join the ranks of the American food giant. And because Cadbury shareholders voted to approve the takeover bid, defending Cadbury would mean defending it against itself.

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All-Electric Pressure Washers

March 15, 2010 9:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

Sioux Corporation (Beresford, SD) has redesigned its EN-Series All-Electric line of hot water pressure washers and steam cleaners. The all-electric series now incorporates a more compact frame: the non-explosion proof units have a minimum 43 percent reduction in volume, while the explosion proof units have been reduced by at least 30 percent.

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Torque Wrenches With Jaws

March 15, 2010 9:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

Binder-USA (Camarillo, CA) now offers a new torque wrench for its 7/8” Series 820 connectors. The tool is designed to connect and disconnect field-attachable cable connectors with hex-shaped locking nuts. The wrench ensures the correct torque value and guarantees an IP67-rated connection.

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Clean Up Busy Spills

March 15, 2010 9:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

New Pig Corporation (Tipton, PA) introduces the tough PIG® RHINO™ Absorbent Mat, designed to stand up to heavy foot traffic while soaking up liquid and minimizing slips. Features include: A thermally bonded, spunbond polypropylene top layer with zig-zag stitching to enhance strength and resist wear and tear.

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Blowing Hot Air

March 15, 2010 9:44 am | Product Releases | Comments

Atlas Copco (Antwerp, Belgium) announces its new technology for air blowing applications: the ZS screw blower, which will replace the company’s entire range of rotary lobe blowers. The screw blower can be used in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, textiles, and other general manufacturing.

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Industrial Prodcution Edges Up, Manufacturing Slips

March 15, 2010 5:02 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in February, beating expectations and marking the eighth straight monthly increase. But the key manufacturing sector produced less —for months a rare bright spot — produced less, muting hopes for a speedy recovery.

Lawmakers Bash China Ahead Of Election Day

March 15, 2010 4:58 am | by Foster Klug, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — China is once again the country Congress loves to hate. After a lull last year, U.S. politicians jockeying ahead of crucial November elections have stepped up attacks on China as a way to win support from voters worried that the Asian power is taking American jobs. China-bashing eased during President Barack Obama's first year in office, partly as a nod to the administration's attempts to get Chinese help settling nuclear standoffs with North Korea and Iran, and on important environmental and economic initiatives.

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