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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Japan Trying To Make Business "Super Cool"

June 1, 2011 4:44 am | by Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese government wants the country's suit-loving salarymen to be bold this summer. Ditch the stuffy jacket and tie. And for the good of a country facing a power crunch, go light and casual. Japan's "Super Cool Biz" campaign kicked off Wednesday with a government-sponsored fashion show featuring outfits appropriate for the office yet cool enough to endure the sweltering heat.


Burned Worker Dies After Combustible Dust Fire

June 1, 2011 4:34 am | News | Comments

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — An employee injured in a fire at a Gallatin chemical plant last week has died. Eric Hulsey is the third employee killed in accidents at the Hoeganaes (HAY'-gan-eez) Corp. plant this year. A spokeswoman for Vanderbilt University Medical Center told The Tennessean that Hulsey died on Tuesday evening.


ISM: U.S. Manufacturing Still Growing, Albeit Slower

June 1, 2011 4:31 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing activity expanded in May at the slowest pace in 20 months, the latest sign that a sharp rise in energy prices is hampering economic growth. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said Wednesday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 53.


Toyota Recalls 106,000 Prius Hybrids For Faulty Steering

June 1, 2011 4:28 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota recalled 106,000 first-generation Prius hybrid cars globally on Wednesday for faulty steering caused by a nut that may come loose. The single minor accident suspected of being related to the problem was reported in the U.S., according to Toyota Motor Corp. The latest recall from Toyota, which has taken hit to its reputation from massive recalls worldwide, affects 48,000 Prius vehicles in Japan, starting with the first Prius models that went on sale in 1997, and those manufactured through 2003.

Epic Fails In MRO Master Data Management

May 31, 2011 12:00 pm | by Zynapse, a Zycus Division | Articles | Comments

From a spend and demand management perspective, every company’s objective should be to consume the bare minimum of MRO items needed to support acceptable levels of maintenance and competitive operations. But any time there is a disconnection between a buy transaction and a consumption transaction—for example, when MRO items are placed into stockrooms that don’t track consumption to individual cost centers or individuals directly—the potential emerges for invisible inventory, excessive consumption, and even theft.


Q&A: What, If Anything, We Will Learn From Japan

May 31, 2011 11:41 am | Articles | Comments

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan this spring has led to many supply chain disruptions around the globe, ranging from lack of raw materials to damaged facilities and missing personnel. Jeff Karrenbauer, President and Co-Founder, INSIGHT, Inc., a provider of supply chain planning solutions for the world’s foremost companies, recently spoke about the long-term supply chain effects of the Japan disaster and what industrial companies can do about them.


Industrial Marketing Is Not Consumer Marketing

May 31, 2011 11:23 am | Articles | Comments

Of all the strategies that American manufacturers could use today to grow their businesses, industrial marketing is perhaps the most important, yet least understood strategy. One of the reasons industrial marketing is not very well understood is that it is not taught in most universities.


Don't Confuse How You Deploy ERP With How You Pay For It

May 31, 2011 10:36 am | Articles | Comments

Let’s first talk about how you pay for ERP, or any enterprise level software for that matter. Enterprise application software is typically not bought and sold; it is instead licensed for use. It may be licensed to be used by a company, on a particular computer, or by other criteria, such as number of users.


Court Changes Patent System In Deep Fryer Ruling

May 31, 2011 9:32 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has upheld a $5 million judgment to the maker of a patented deep fryer, but in a ruling that makes it harder to claim patent infringement. The justices voted 8-1 Tuesday in favor of France-based SEB, S.A., on claims that a Hong Kong company copied features of its innovative home fryer in which the outside stays cool to the touch.

Toyota: Production Will Be At 90 Percent In June

May 31, 2011 9:21 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota production in Japan will recover to 90 percent of pre-disaster levels in June, faster than the world's biggest automaker had projected and highlighting its power to bounce back from the supply disruptions caused by the March earthquake and tsunami. The disasters in northeastern Japan had damaged the plants of key parts suppliers, disrupting production at all Japanese automakers.


Analyst: High Natural Gas Prices Can't Last

May 31, 2011 9:17 am | News | Comments

BOSTON (AP) — A recent rise in natural gas prices is unlikely to last, as U.S. nuclear capacity returns in coming weeks and gas demand consequently eases, a Raymond James analyst said on Tuesday. The analyst, J. Marshall Adkins, wrote in a research note that a surge in springtime nuclear plant refueling and maintenance "may be giving the natural gas market a temporary 'sugar high.


General Dynamics Hires 100 Mass. Workers

May 31, 2011 9:12 am | News | Comments

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — General Dynamics Corp. has hired more than 100 employees to help work on a defense contract it was awarded by the Navy in December. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems ultimately hopes to hire 500 workers over the next five years to build, test and deliver the electronics systems for the Littoral Combat Ships.

Nokia Warning Sends Stock Plummeting To 13-Year Low

May 31, 2011 9:10 am | by Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press | News | Comments

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia Corp. on Tuesday warned its second-quarter sales and margins will be much lower than expected as rivals challenge the world's largest handset maker in both smartphones and low-end devices. The announcement sent Nokia shares down more than 17 percent to a 13-year low of euro4.

Obama Calls On Businessman Bryson To Lead Commerce

May 31, 2011 9:07 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has chosen businessman John Bryson to lead the Commerce Department, bringing another private sector player into an administration that has been making a concerted effort to improve its relationship with the business community. Bryson, 67, is a former chairman and chief executive officer of Edison International, a California-based energy company.

Next Steps For REACH Compliance

May 31, 2011 7:46 am | by Malcolm Carroll, CEO, Reach Delivery | Articles | Comments

With the REACH registration of high-volume and hazardous chemicals now complete, many companies will now be turning their attention to the next phase of compliance, which involves the production and delivery of safety data sheets (SDSs). To comply with REACH, any company involved in importing and distributing chemicals to and within the EU will need to ensure the direct delivery of SDSs and associated documentation to customers.

Go Ethernet

May 31, 2011 7:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) is offering its GS-EDRV100 Ethernet drive module, which provides a high-performance link between a control system and any GS or DURApulse AC drive. The module mounts on a 35mm DIN rail, and connects the drive to an Ethernet hub or PC by transmitting the signals to a number of servers.


Compressed Air Vacuuming

May 31, 2011 7:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

The 15 gallon Nortech vacuum is now available from Guardair Corporation (Chicopee, MA), and is powered by compressed air. The Nortech vacuum can produce 60 scfm of vacuum flow, and 213 scfm in lift. According to the company, the vacuums offer safety, durability, and easy maneuverability by hand.


Plumbing-Quality Grease

May 31, 2011 7:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

Hercules Chemical Company, Inc. (Passaic, NJ) has announced the availability of its Plumbers Silicone Grease, which lubricates and prevents corrosion on valve stems, faucets, ballcock linkages, and other places where waterproof grease is needed. It provides high heat resistance of -40° to 400°F for use in a broad range of applications.


High-Pressure Pumping

May 31, 2011 7:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

Harvard Apparatus (Holliston, MA) has released the new PHD ULTRA 4400 Syringe Pump for demanding high-pressure applications, with high accuracy and smooth flow from 3.06 pl/min to 215.8 ml/min. According to the company, the pump delivers more than 200 pounds of linear pumping force, and has an easy-to-use touchscreen, color LCD, and icon interface.


New Process Technology Increases Production Capacity

May 31, 2011 6:17 am | Articles | Comments

GEA Liquid Processing in Skanderborg, Denmark — a technology company of GEA Process Engineering - has delivered new process technology to Urtekram International A/S. The new technology  BATCH FORMULA™  is an advanced mixing system that has contributed both to an increase of production capacity and continued maintenance of product quality.



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