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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Ford Adds 4.5m Cars To Flaming Switch Recall

October 14, 2009 4:12 am | by Stephen Manning and Tom Krisher, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it will add 4.5 million older-model vehicles to the long list of those recalled because a defective cruise control switch could cause a fire. The latest voluntary action pushes Ford's total recall due to faulty switches to 14.3 million registered vehicles over 10 years, capping the company's largest cumulative recall in history involving a single problem.

'Don't Die On Me!': Staying Alive With Predictive Maintenance

October 13, 2009 9:45 am | Articles | Comments

In recent years, modern packaging machines have become more intelligent. They are incorporating more decentralized intelligence in order to protect the machine from expensive breakdown situations using error diagnostics and reactions without any detour through the control. With today’s generation of intelligent servo drives, predictive maintenance functionality is now built into the electronics.

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Help, I've Been Nerded

October 13, 2009 8:59 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

I suppose that the hair would be parted on the other side and I’d be wearing a lavender vest rather than a kindergarten blazer featuring an assortment of arts and crafts, but the photo could just as easily come as the result of an evil motherly plot to sabotage my cool factor (pause for guttural laugh), as it did from a few minutes of Photoshop 101.

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Simple Tube Cutting

October 13, 2009 8:07 am | Product Releases | Comments

Reed Manufacturing Co . (Erie, PA) offers an easy-to-grip Spring-Loaded Tubing Cutter. The spring-loaded cutter wheel self-feeds with constant pressure as the tool is rotated around the tubing, which means operators only have to turn the cutter in the direction of the marked arrow.

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Breathe Easy

October 13, 2009 8:07 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Farr Air Pollution Control (APC, Jonesboro, AR) introduces an updated portable dust and fume collector that combines three-stage filtration with versatility. The Zephyr® III collector comes with a choice of three main filters, and is ideal for welding fumes, grinding dusts, or soldering fumes.

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Have A HART

October 13, 2009 8:06 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The FL3100H UV/IR and FL3101H UV Flame Detectors from General Monitors (Lake Forest, CA) are now compatible with the HART communication protocol. The flame detectors are designed to detect fires over a wide field of view and provide alarm outputs directly. The FL3100H uses both the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) spectral ranges, making it resistant to false alarms caused by lightning or arc welding.

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Diesel-Powered For Efficiency

October 13, 2009 8:05 am | Product Releases | Comments

MTU Onsite Energy (Mankato, MN) has developed a new MTU diesel-powered generator set, covering a range of 250 to 3,250  kW. The Series 1600 engine is new for MTU, and is the smallest the company produces, yet it combines reliability, high power density, and fuel efficiency.

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Accurate Light Meter

October 13, 2009 5:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Traceable Light Meter Pen from Control Company (Friendswood, TX) reads from 0 to 1,860 foot-candles with a resolution of .01, and from 0 to 20,000 Lux with a resolution of 1. Tough ABS plastic housing, an O-ring seal, and membrane keypad help keep dirt and dust out, which makes the product ideal in harsh plant environments.

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Flame-Proof Clothing

October 13, 2009 5:17 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Flamesafe Workwear (Caulfield, Victoria, Australia) has released the Flamesafe Maxisoft FR Cotton apparel range, which includes undergarments, polo shirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoods, gloves, jackets, and more. All products meet and exceed international safety performance standards, according to the company.

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Get Online, Anywhere

October 13, 2009 5:17 am | Product Releases | Comments

ProSoft Technology (Bakersfield, CA) has announced the release of the RadioLinx Intelligent Cellular solution, designed to provide global wireless connectivity for industrial devices. The RadioLinx gateways utilize the existing cellular infrastructure to connect devices across geographically diverse locations, and can connect devices through the Internet.

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Easy Coupling

October 13, 2009 5:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Style 177 QuickVic Flexible Coupling from Victaulic (Easton, PA) offers a flame-free pipe joining solution that reduces installation time and cost. The new coupling is an extension of the patented installation-ready line, and with no loose parts and no requirement to disassemble before installation, this line provides a competitive edge.

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GM Trimming Fat With Opel, Hummer Sales

October 13, 2009 4:24 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors could finalize the sale of its German auto unit Opel as early as this week, the U.S. automaker's CEO said Tuesday. Fritz Henderson, visiting China for the first time since GM was restructured last summer, was also upbeat about the prospects for the sale of the company's Hummer unit to Chinese buyer Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp.

Siemens Nabs $888m Turbine Deal With Four States

October 13, 2009 4:07 am | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — Siemens AG has won orders worth some euro600 million ($888 million) to supply 250 wind turbines in the United States and Canada, the German-based industrial conglomerate said Tuesday. A quarter of the order is destined for the Canadian province of Ontario, while the rest of the turbines will go to California, Oklahoma, Washington and Wyoming, Munich-based Siemens said.

China Poisons Another 1,000 Children

October 13, 2009 3:57 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — Nearly 1,000 children in a central Chinese province have tested positive for excessive lead in their blood, state media reported Tuesday, the latest of several lead poisoning cases involving thousands of children across the country. After reports of large-scale lead poisoning in neighboring Shaanxi province, the health bureau in Jiyuan City, Henan province, conducted blood tests on 2,743 children under the age of 14, the official Xinhua News Agency quoted the bureau's director, Wei Zongchang, as saying.

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Cap & Gown Co. Sued For Hispanic Discrimination

October 13, 2009 3:56 am | by Margery A. Beck, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha cap-and-gown manufacturer has been accused in federal court of discriminating against its Hispanic employees. Three lawsuits filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Omaha allege that Willsie Cap & Gown routinely offered better hours, more desirable work, more breaks and even better lighting to non-Hispanic employees.

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Iowa Slaughterhouse Exec On Trial In SD

October 13, 2009 3:54 am | by Nigel Duara, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The first trial for a former manager of an Iowa kosher slaughterhouse that was the site of a massive immigration raid gets under way Tuesday in South Dakota. Sholom Rubashkin's trials were moved from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Sioux Falls, S.D., after a federal judge ruled last month that a "prodigious" amount of negative pretrial publicity caused potential jurors to develop a bias against Rubashkin and Agriprocessors, Inc.

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Detroit Mayor Considers Selling Bing Steel Plant

October 13, 2009 3:52 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Mayor Dave Bing says he is weighing whether to sell the steel company that bears his name and employs about 600 people. Bing tells WWJ-AM that The Bing Group has been caught up in the auto industry downturn that has depressed sales of the stamped and processed steel. He says he'll likely decide by early 2010 whether to sell the Detroit-based company.

All The Right ERP Questions

October 12, 2009 10:00 am | by Jay Deakins | Articles | Comments

Integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is the backbone of your business, as it handles everything from lab management to invoicing. So selecting and implementing an ERP system is a big decision and significant investment for any specialty chemical manufacturing company.

Honey, I Shrunk The Company

October 12, 2009 9:44 am | by Ron Melcher and Mark Fiquett, Step3 Consulting | Articles | Comments

As we emerge from unprecedented economic decline, past experience and common sense suggest that growth in these better times will not come without hardship.  Many companies were forced to take quick measures to reduce costs, and this approach often has negative consequences in terms of operating risks down the road.

Enough With The Positive Thinking

October 12, 2009 9:38 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Before I decided to study literature in college, I took the typical freshman approach: I changed my major again and again, based on the whims of my current fascinations, causes and favorite professors. It’s scary looking back, considering I could have based my life’s career goals around an affinity for a class that happenstance scheduled following my afternoon latte boost.

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