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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Wind-To-Fertilizer Plant Is A 'No-Brainer'

June 9, 2010 4:28 am | by Dirk Lammers, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MORRIS, Minn. (AP) — The winds sweeping across the Northern Plains could soon help farmers fertilize their crops of corn, wheat and sorghum. Minnesota researchers have designed a $3.75 million carbon-free system that uses wind power from a towering turbine to produce anhydrous ammonia, a common nitrogen-based fertilizer.

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Farming Fuel, Powering The Grid

June 8, 2010 6:03 am | by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

At one time, Farm Power stored its feedstock in this large tank, but upon discovering that the hay doesn’t degrade much when exposed to the elements, the not-for-profit chose to store it more naturally, on the ground. The antiquated view of the family farm may already be long gone in the minds of many, but Farm Power has managed to plow itself straight from the stigmatized old-fashioned farm into a farm of the future.

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Bernanke: No 'Double Dipping' On Recession

June 8, 2010 5:23 am | News | Comments

by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday he is hopeful the economy will gain traction and not fall back into a "double dip" recession. "My best guess is we will have a continued recovery, but it won't feel terrific," Bernanke said.

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Honda's Chinese Suppliers Continue Strikes

June 8, 2010 5:07 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday it was assessing the impact of a walkout by some workers at one of its parts suppliers in China, just days after resolving a strike that froze car production at four factories. The strike by some workers at Foshan Fengfu Autoparts Co. in Foshan, a city in southern China's Guangdong province, began Monday morning, said company spokesman Keitaro Yamamoto.

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Hong Kong Protesters Picket Apple's Supply Chain

June 8, 2010 4:55 am | by Min Lee, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

HONG KONG (AP) — Protesters picketed Foxconn's annual general meeting in Hong Kong on Tuesday, accusing both the Apple Inc. supplier and computer giant of poor corporate ethics after a spate of suicides at Foxconn factories in mainland China. The 30 demonstrators held signs saying, "Workers are not machines.

Ind. Trailer Maker Closes Plant, Fires 150 Workers

June 8, 2010 4:39 am | News | Comments

MIDDLEBURY, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana cargo trailer maker says it may close its plant in the city of Middlebury — a move that would cost 150 workers their jobs. Illinois-based Pace American Inc. notified the state of the possible closing late last week, saying it is in the process of selling its business operations and assets.

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Feds Offer $19 Million In Grants To Ex-NUMMI Workers

June 8, 2010 4:31 am | by Evelyn Nieves, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Monday that the federal government will provide $19 million in emergency grants to help thousands of workers who lost their jobs when California's only auto plant closed. Solis said the money would be used to retrain workers at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.

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Manufacturing Jobs Ease Nationwide Economic Stress

June 8, 2010 4:29 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Mike Schneider, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing job gains in the Midwest helped lower the nation's economic stress in April to its lowest point in five months, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country. Contributing to the improvement were lower foreclosure rates in two states with beaten-down housing markets: California and Florida.

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Hyundai's Indian Workers Continue Crippling Strike

June 8, 2010 4:28 am | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Police arrested some 200 workers occupying a Hyundai Motor plant as a strike stopped the automaker's Indian production for a second day, the latest in a series of union battles that have pushed the nation's No. 2 carmaker to move some production to Turkey. Hyundai spokesman Rajiv Mitra said police removed the workers from the factory shortly after midday Tuesday and arrested about 200.

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Dannon Improves Operations With SAM

June 7, 2010 12:13 pm | Articles | Comments

The Dannon Company, Inc. is America's founding national yogurt company and continually leverages its expertise to develop and market innovative cultured fresh dairy products in the United States. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Dannon has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX and West Jordan, UT.

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Safe Chemicals Act Is A 'No-Brainer'

June 7, 2010 12:03 pm | by James A. Kosch | Articles | Comments

Legislation recently introduced to overhaul the nation’s outdated chemical law is a “no-brainer”—so much so that the industry itself largely supports the move. Given the complexities of the global marketplace, however, the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 easily could lead to unintended consequences that harm the U.

Keep The 'Baby Cage' Idea To Yourself

June 7, 2010 11:42 am | Blogs | Comments

Recently, Time released its list of the 50 worst inventions of all-time , a dumping ground for well-meant ideas — however pathetic —that never really hit the ground running. In fact, many of them simply hit the ground, and from a long way up. Time ’s list ranges from the macabre ( Agent Orange ), to the annoying (Facebook’s Farmville game), to the nostalgia-inducing ( Olestra and Microsoft Word’s Clippy ).

Laser Calibration In Micrometers

June 7, 2010 9:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

Renishaw (Hoffman Estates, IL) has developed the “lean design” XL-80 system for laser interferometer calibration, which allows a 4x faster slew rate, 10x higher dynamic data capture rate, and a smaller package. The XL-80 brings nanometer-level motion analysis to advanced machine tools, robots, and assembly systems.

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Comprehensive Air Quality

June 7, 2010 9:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

The AMI300 Indoor Air Quality monitor from E Instruments (Langhorne, PA) is ideal for any IAQ application, according to the company. The monitor can detect CO, CO2, temperature, humidity, air flow (vane and hot wire), air velocity, and more. In addition, the AMI300 can be used with a variety of temperature, humidity, and air flow probes, which can also be wireless.

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An Elevator Workstation

June 7, 2010 9:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new Elevation Station adjustable-height workstation from Southworth Products Corp. (Portland, ME) allows the user to raise or lower the tabletop, reducing fatigue and back strain. The unit features a foot pedal at each end of the base to initiate a smooth, precise transition to any height between 24” to 40”.

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Don't Waste Solder

June 7, 2010 9:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

Seika Machinery, Inc. (Torrance, CA) announces that their Solder Paste Recycling (SPR) unit is able to reduce the amount of waste material to less than 10 percent of current volumes by recycling solder paste. The SPR allows companies to move forward with green initiatives as well as save by recycling leftover solder material for reuse in another process, according to the company.

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HVAC Done Retro

June 7, 2010 7:24 am | Product Releases | Comments

Thybar (Addison, IL) introduces the Retro-mate, a cost-effective method of replacing rooftop HVACs. The old unit is removed, and then the Retro-mate is installed on top of the existing curb to adapt it to the new rooftop unit. Existing ductwork can be utilized for even more savings, according to the manufacturer.

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Hugging The Corner

June 7, 2010 7:23 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Strong Hand Tools (Pico Rivera, CA) designed the 90° Corner Magnet for holding workpeices from the outside, leaving unobstructed space inside your workpiece for welding. The boomerang-shaped magnet has a height of just 3-1/2”, making it compact enough to take anywhere in the shop.

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Get In Your Bunker

June 7, 2010 7:22 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Balluff (Florence, KY) has developed the BunderProx, a rugged, “self-bunkering” M18 inductive proximity sensor designed to survive longer in welding applications without external protection. The BunkerProx has a strong, thick housing that boosts the ability to withstand repeated mechanical impact, and also acts as an intermittent heat sink to shield the electronics from intense heat.

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Gas Goes Wireless

June 7, 2010 7:22 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Model DM-100 SmartWireless gas detection sensors from Detcon (The Woodlands, TX) are low-power devices designed to detect and continuously monitor a wide range of toxic gases. All sensors provide a 2-wire loop powered 4-20 milliamp current signal equivalent to the range of the detected concentration of gas.

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