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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Texas Energy Company Protests $18 Million Mercury Fine

February 17, 2010 3:17 am | by Eric Tucker, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Texas energy company convicted of illegally storing hazardous mercury in a rundown Rhode Island building asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to throw out an $18 million penalty, calling the punishment "grossly excessive." The mercury, stored by the Southern Union gas company in a building in Pawtucket, was exposed to the public in 2004 after vandals broke in and dumped a container of the hazardous liquid at a nearby apartment complex.

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Obama Calls $8.3 Billion Nuclear Grant 'Only The Beginning'

February 16, 2010 10:02 am | News | Comments

bu Julie Pace, Associated Press Writer LANHAM, Md. (AP) — Promising "this is only the beginning," President Barack Obama announced more than $8 billion in federal loan guarantees Tuesday for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the United States in nearly three decades.

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Ford Cuts 900 At Michigan Mustang Plant

February 16, 2010 7:48 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is cutting 900 workers at the Michigan plant that makes the Mustang. Ford said Tuesday that the Flat Rock plant will go from two shifts to one in July. The plant, which is jointly owned with Mazda, also makes the Mazda6. Nearly 2,300 people work there.

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The Big Shift

February 16, 2010 7:18 am | by Jim Lane, Editor, Biofuels Digest | Articles | Comments

In the 2010 Dodgen Lecture at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences, and in the Q&A that followed, I described four principles that must be observed in order to successfully complete the transition away from a fossil-fuel based society.

Eyewear For Manufacturing's Many Faces

February 16, 2010 6:29 am | Product Releases | Comments

Uvex (Smithfield, RI) has launched the Specifix collection of protective eyewear. The collection includes three new styles (VersaPro, PrecisionPro, and ExtremePro), all of which are designed to meet the needs of workers in various industrial facilities. The eyewear comes with Uvex’s Supra-Dura anti-scratch coating.

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Lead-Free Submersible Pumps

February 16, 2010 6:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

Hitachi America (Tarrytown, NY) has announced compliance with NSF/ANSI Standard 61-Annex G for their submersible pump motor line-up. The Annex-G standard (Weighted Average Lead Content Evaluation Procedure to a 0.25 Percent Lead Requirement) was developed in response to California’s Low Lead Plumbing Law, which mandates a maximum lead content of 0.

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A Billion Revolutions Later

February 16, 2010 6:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

Mercotac Inc. (Carlsbad, CA) announces the Model 215-2K in their line of rotating electrical connectors with a service life that can last over one billion revolutions in many applications. In addition, the connectors are virtually maintenance-free, and transmit electrical power or signals with almost no electrical noise.

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Sweep Up With Magnets

February 16, 2010 6:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

Master Magnetics, Inc. (Castle Rock, CO) has introduced a few additions to their line of magnetic sweepers. The permanent magnet assemblies range from 12” to 96” in width, making them ideal for quick removal of hazardous scrap metal debris from warehouses, loading docks, and manufacturing areas.

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Toyota Idles Two Assembly Plants

February 16, 2010 5:11 am | by Ken Thomas,Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Toyota says it plans to idle production at two assembly plants while it grapples with massive recalls in the United States. Toyota spokesman Mike Goss says a plant in San Antonio, Texas, has scheduled production breaks for the weeks of March 15 and April 12.

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Chrysler Supplier Doubles Up, Ready To Hire 65 Workers

February 16, 2010 4:03 am | News | Comments

KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana auto parts plant plans to hire 65 workers in the coming months as it starts a contract with Chrysler. Creative Liquid Coatings Inc. manager Stephen Geist told Kendallville officials that the company is buying robots and other equipment for the new production line.

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Complaints Of Sudden Acceleration Deaths Rise To 34

February 16, 2010 3:47 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Complaints of deaths connected to sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles have surged in recent weeks, with the alleged death toll reaching 34 since 2000, according to new consumer data gathered by the government. Complaints to a database maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the popular Toyota Prius hybrid grew by nearly 1,000 in just over a week.

LG Hausys Expands In Georgia, Adds 80 Jobs

February 16, 2010 3:37 am | News | Comments

ADAIRSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Gov. Sonny Perdue says surface countertop manufacturer LG Hausys America Inc. will expand its operations in Adairsville, creating up to 80 new jobs. The expansion is planned next to the company's existing facilities in Gordon County in northwest Georgia. The governor's office says the new plant will cover about 95,000 square feet and will require an investment of about $50 million.

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Spanish Turbine-Maker Announces Milwaukee Plant

February 16, 2010 3:36 am | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Spanish manufacturer of wind-turbine generators will build its first American manufacturing plant in Milwaukee. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett made the announcement involving Ingeteam during his annual State of the City address Monday. The Zamudio, Spain-based company will locate its North American headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Menomonee Valley.

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Temp Workers No Longer Predictor Of Recovery

February 16, 2010 3:33 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not the signal it used to be. When employers hire temporary staff after a recession, it's long been seen as a sign they'll soon hire permanent workers. Not these days. Companies have hired more temps for four straight months. Yet they remain reluctant to make permanent hires because of doubts about the recovery's durability.

Obama Provides $8.3 Billion Loan For Nuclear Plant

February 16, 2010 3:30 am | by Darlene Superville, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | News | Comments

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will announce a guarantee of $8.3 billion (C6.1 billion) in loans for the first new U.S. nuclear power plant in nearly three decades, underscoring the administration's efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil. Obama was to make remarks Tuesday after touring a jobs centre in Maryland.

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Disaster Planning And Response For Food Processors

February 16, 2010 3:26 am | by Wayne Yon, Stephen Blackwell, Daniel Coto & Melvin N. Kramer, EHA Consulting Group, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Disaster: the word alone congers images of your facility in the worst possible condition; people not understanding what happened, not knowing how to respond to the event or what to tell the media, if anything, and more. But it doesn't have to be that way if you have an emergency plan in place.

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Why Foreign Corporations Struggle In America

February 12, 2010 8:43 am | by Jeff Klingberg, President & CEO, Fluid Power Technologies | Articles | Comments

A recent LinkedIn post asked for experiences from foreign national corporations who have had trouble introducing their products and services to the North American market. From our experience in this area, foreign national corporations typically encounter the following issues: Send a foreign national to open the operation just because someone believes there is a large untapped market in North America, but no research is done and no plan is formulated before coming.

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Safety Needs A Backup

February 12, 2010 7:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

SIS-TECH (Houston, TX) announces the DIAMOND-SIS automated independent backup (AIB), a standalone safety instrumented system that backs up current process control trip logic and meets the requirements of IEC 61511. The AIB is available in single, dual, and triplicated channel configurations with on-line diagnostics, testing, and maintenance capabilities.

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You Hold The Power

February 12, 2010 7:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Edison power distribution line from AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) now includes the HPB-series open-style power distribution blocks as a convenient way to manage power distribution needs. The distribution blocks are manufactured with tin-plated aluminum connectors suitable for copper conductions, helping maintain a high SCCR rating of 200kA.

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Get The Nastiest Of Drain Clogs

February 12, 2010 7:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

RIDGID (Elyria, OH) introduces the Auto-Clean drain cleaning machine for cleaning drain blockages in pipes from ¾” to 1½” in diameter. The machine features a dual-direction AUTOFEED technology, which advances and retrieves the drain-cleaning cable with the push of a lever.

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