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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Toyota Ceasing Production In France, UK For 9 Days

March 26, 2010 4:42 am | by Malcolm Foster, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota said Friday it is stopping production at its factories in France and Britain for a total of nine days amid falling sales that the company partly attributed to its recent recall woes. The world's No. 1 automaker will suspend output at it plant in France for four days starting April 6, said spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi.

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Siemens AG: Industrial Sector To Stabilize This Year

March 26, 2010 4:39 am | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — Siemens AG expects demand for products from its industrial division to stabilize this year after the economic downturn hit spending on big-ticket items, the Munich-based company said Friday. Assuming there is a steady economic recovery, new orders in the sector should reach the level of the company's 2009 fiscal year, which ended in September, Siemens said.

GM Recalls 600 Canadian Workers

March 26, 2010 4:35 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says it will bring back 600 workers and add equipment at two Canadian factories in order to turn out more hot-selling midsize crossover vehicles. The company said Friday that it will beef up the body-making capacity at its plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, where it assembles the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers.

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Last Day For 465 At Evansville Whirlpool Plant

March 26, 2010 4:33 am | News | Comments

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — More than 450 jobs are being eliminated as Whirlpool Corp. ends a production shift at an Evansville factory that is being shut down in June. Union officials say Friday was the last day for 465 workers at the plant. Whirlpool announced last year that it would shut down the 1,100-worker refrigerator factory and move production to Mexico.

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China Last To Lift Embargo On U.S. Pork

March 26, 2010 4:32 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nearly a year after nations banned U.S. pork over fears about swine flu, China has become the last one to lift its embargo and is expected to accept shipments by early next month. It's a move welcomed by an industry that has suffered several years of losses, but some experts caution farmers shouldn't expect to see a surge in exports.

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Wake Up And Smell The SCADA System

March 25, 2010 7:39 am | Articles | Comments

For many years, Lavazza’s primary purpose has been to bring the aroma and quality of Italian espresso coffee to the world. Luigi Lavazza invented the concept of blending coffee from various sources to yield a savory blend in the early 1900s. Since then the company has built up more than a century of experience while pursuing its twin aims of excellence and innovation.

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When Pressure Is A Good Thing

March 25, 2010 7:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

The CS Hyde Company now offers two high-performance films, Kynar and PEEK, which are available with pressure-sensitive adhesive. The KYNStick Tape is made with Kynar film and offers excellent chemical and corrosion resistance with a high tensile strength, according to the company.

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Be A Professional Designer

March 25, 2010 7:15 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The MarkWare Lean Communication Software from Brady (Milwaukee, WI) can be used to quickly design professional signs, labels, and tags. The Lean Tools edition of the software helps manufacturers simplify machine setup and identify operation abnormalities through the use of visual equipment controls on gauges, oil sight tubes, drive train belts, and other machine components.

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12 Tons Of Portable Cooling

March 25, 2010 7:14 am | Product Releases | Comments

The KPO portable air conditioner from Atlas Sales & Rentals, Inc. (Torrance, CA) is manufactured by KwiKool Portable Cooling Systems and measures 32” wide by 64” deep by 62” high, and is small enough to fit through a standard door. The 12-ton unit can be positioned outdoors to duct cold air in, or indoors to duct hot air out.

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Rebuild, Repair — They Do It All

March 25, 2010 7:14 am | Product Releases | Comments

Dematic Corp. (Grand Rapids, MI) introduces a suite of products and services designed to increase productivity and reduce operating costs, organized into three categories: material handling systems, facilities, and operations. Material handling : a sorter repair/rebuild kit, replacement rollers, a motorized roller retro-fit kid, a powered pulley upgrade, conveyor replacement, and software/controls upgrades.

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DOE Rejects Federal Loan For V-Vehicle

March 25, 2010 5:35 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A startup automaker that planned to build a fuel-efficient vehicle in Louisiana and employ 1,400 workers lost its bid Wednesday for $321.1 million in federal loans considered vital in getting the company running. V-Vehicle Co. said the federal Energy Department turned aside two loan applications — $241.

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Stay Away From The Toxic Sprite

March 25, 2010 4:47 am | Articles | Comments

Coca-Cola has recently come under fire for an incident in China, where a large batch of Sprite was found to be contaminated with high levels of mercury. After consuming a can of the contaminated product, one man vomited up the small pieces of mercury, and others were hospitalized for poisoning. While some accuse Coca-Cola of bad manufacturing practices, others claim the product was intentionally poisoned to affect Sprite’s reputation.

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Man On Moped vs. Pressure Washer

March 24, 2010 11:32 am | Articles | Comments

Hotsy has hired once-retired stuntman Courageous Carl Payne to demonstrate the power of their pressure washers. Check out the video to see the result of the man-and-moped vs. machine showdown. As if you needed any reminder, industrial pressure washers are extremely dangerous if not used correctly, or if shot at stuntmen, however willing they may be.

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India's Electrified Automotive Industry

March 24, 2010 11:24 am | Articles | Comments

In India, sometimes smaller is better. Especially when it’s electric, too. That’s why the manufacturer of the Reva, the newest competitor in the burgeoning marketplace, is hoping India’s traffic woes will become easier, quieter, and more environmentally-friendly. 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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China Scares, Alienates Foreign Companies

March 24, 2010 11:10 am | Articles | Comments

Companies doing business in China are experiencing a growing uneasiness, including feeling as though they are unwelcome among local brands. A recent survey found that 38 percent of companies are concerned about their Chinese-based business, a 12-point increase since December of last year, a mere three months ago.

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Running Cars On Old Beer

March 24, 2010 11:07 am | Articles | Comments

The E-Fuel MicroFueler consists of a simple idea: bring ethanol production to the residential level. The MicroFueler is a 250-gallon tank, with an attached fuel pump just like the ones you would find at the local Shell station, which converts organic feedstock into pure ethanol. Chances are you have some old, skunky beer or a bottle of red wine that’s aged a little past its prime.

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Cover Your Bases When Combating Combustible Dust

March 24, 2010 10:31 am | by Jon A. Barrett, Business Development Specialist, Interior Maintenance Company, Inc. and Paul R. Miller, General Manager, Nilfisk CFM | Articles | Comments

Combustible dust is fine particulate generated from products such as wood, metals, grains, chemicals, plastics, paper, and more. Manufacturers often pulverize, mill, grind, crush, macerate, and cut this bulk product, which in turn generates dust that settles on equipment and facility structure surfaces.

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A SCHOTT In The Arm

March 24, 2010 10:13 am | by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

Schott built its pharmaceutical packaging facility with twice the footprint necessary for existing operations. When advances in biotechnology created a demand for syringes, the company had room to install a state-of-the-art production line. Extra space is a luxury not afforded by most plants.

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Are You Overlooking A Prime Source Of Cost Reductions?

March 24, 2010 10:06 am | by Bob Zak, President, Powerit Solutions | Articles | Comments

With the economy still weak and competitive pressures continuing to rise, reducing expenses is imperative for industrial businesses. Yet many underestimate or neglect a key source of savings: the electricity bill. That’s because we have a tendency to see energy as a largely uncontrollable cost—we need the energy we need when we need it, and often are dealing with a monopoly provider.

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Smucker Cutting 700 Jobs, Closing Four Plants

March 24, 2010 8:50 am | News | Comments

ORRVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The J.M. Smucker Co. is closing four plants and cutting 700 jobs, about 15 percent of its workforce, the food maker said Wednesday. The company, which makes Folgers Coffee, Smucker's jams and other products, said it is closing its fruit-spread plants in Memphis, Tenn.

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