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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Union Sues To Hold Pratt & Whitney Jobs

September 22, 2009 11:22 am | by Stephen Singer, AP Manufacturing Writer | News | Comments

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Machinists union asked a federal judge Tuesday to block Pratt & Whitney from moving 1,000 jobs from Connecticut, accusing the jet engine maker of negotiating in bad faith. The International Association of Machinists said in court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Hartford that Pratt & Whitney executives failed to make "every reasonable effort" to preserve the jet engine repair jobs in Connecticut.

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CA Automaker Receives $500m Govt. Loan

September 22, 2009 11:12 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fisker Automotive, a California manufacturer of luxury electric vehicles, will receive more than $500 million in federal loans to develop a plug-in hybrid sports car with a sticker price of nearly $90,000 and a new plug-in hybrid vehicle to be built in the United States. The Energy Department said Tuesday it would lend $528.

GM Increases Production At 3 Plants

September 22, 2009 8:53 am | by Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. will go to 24-hour operations at factories in Kansas, Michigan and Indiana to make up for production lost due to a large-scale factory consolidation announced earlier in the year. The automaker says it will add third shifts at its Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kan.

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Goodyear Workers Ratify New Contract

September 22, 2009 7:42 am | News | Comments

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — A United Steelworkers official says Goodyear workers in Gadsden voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new four-year contract, which has won national ratification. Local 12 President David Hayes says 63.7 percent of union members in Gadsden voted in favor of the proposed contract, joining other union locals that supported ratification.

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Auto Engineers Look Outside Industry For Work

September 22, 2009 7:32 am | by David Runk, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — After Jerry Tester lost his job as a contract engineer at General Motors, it soon became clear that the struggling auto industry wouldn't be the place where he would work again. The 45-year-old spent months unemployed before a tip from a friend led him to the Talascend Global Training Academy, where he took a crash course in piping design that landed him a job at Marathon Oil Corp.

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Synchronous Belt Failure Guide

September 22, 2009 5:54 am | Articles | Comments

A failure that occurs when a belt reaches its ultimate tensile cord fatigue life, after running for a period of two to three years may be considered to be normal. Belt tensile failure due to cord fatigue after a long running period is considered to be ideal. Figure 1 illustrates a jagged 45-degree belt fracture that is typical of tensile cord at the end of its fatigue life.

Analysts Cautious About Dell-Perot Deal

September 22, 2009 5:11 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Analysts are keeping a cautious eye on Dell Inc.'s planned $3.9 billion acquisition of Perot Systems Corp., a deal aimed at moving the company beyond personal computers and into technology services. Credit Suisse analyst Bill Shope cut his rating on the company to "Neutral" from "Outperform" in a note to investors Tuesday, a day after the deal was announced.

Pratt & Whitney To Cut 1,000 CT Jobs

September 22, 2009 4:51 am | by Stephen Singer, AP Manufacturing Writer | News | Comments

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney said Monday it will eliminate 1,000 jobs in Connecticut by 2011, transferring engine repair work to Georgia and Asia in a cost-cutting move. The subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. will shut its Cheshire, Conn.

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Startup To Build Electric Vehicles In Oregon

September 22, 2009 4:45 am | by Tim Christie, AP Writer | News | Comments

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Tucked away in a nondescript garage off an unpaved alley in Eugene's Whiteaker neighborhood, a group of young entrepreneurs is trying to catch the next wave of human transport by building an affordable, rechargable electric vehicle. The company is called Arcimoto, and it will unveil a prototype of its first vehicle, the Pulse, on Wednesday at Pioneer Square in downtown Portland.

VW May Drop Magna Due To Opel Deal

September 22, 2009 4:33 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — The chief executive of the Canadian parts maker that is buying a stake in Opel from General Motors said Tuesday talks are planned with Volkswagen to ease the German automaker's concerns about the deal. "Volkswagen has said they are concerned, so we need to finalize internal procedures and have more discussions with them," Don Walker, co-chief executive officer of Magna International Inc.

Mitsubishi To Build $325m Plant In Georgia

September 22, 2009 4:29 am | by Russ Bynum, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

POOLER, Ga. (AP) — After sitting vacant for seven years, a 1,500-acre industrial site near Savannah landed its first manufacturer Monday as Mitsubishi Power Systems announced plans to produce giant steam and gas turbines in coastal Georgia. The company said it will begin construction before the end of the year on a $325 million plant that will employ about 500 workers.

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Cleveland Firm Seeks Syracuse Steel Plant

September 22, 2009 4:23 am | News | Comments

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A Cleveland investment group is offering the highest bid for an upstate New York steel mill going through bankruptcy reorganization. The group headed by Jack Jankovic of JP Industries says it would pay $8 million for the Crucible Specialty Metals steel plant in suburban Syracuse.

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Retired Deere Workers Sue For Health Benefits

September 22, 2009 4:19 am | News | Comments

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — About 5,000 retired workers are suing Deere and Co. for changes to their health benefits plan, saying the agricultural machinery manufacturer broke its promises. An attorney for the Flex Retirees Organization says in U.S. District Court in Davenport that the retirees thought they and their spouses would have medical benefits for life.

Breakers Key To Process Integrity

September 21, 2009 12:15 pm | Articles | Comments

Figure 5 Circuit breakers must be properly maintained and applied in order to operate when called upon. Consider the following scenario: A circuit breaker is helping protect a flow pump and senses a fault downstream. If the electrical distribution system is selectively coordinated, the breaker in closest proximity to the problem on the circuit would trip, isolating the fault to the smallest area.

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High-Grip Pull Caps

September 21, 2009 11:45 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Caplugs (Buffalo, NY) introduces the new VFT series of vinyl pull-caps, with a textured finish at the top to enable better gripping to save time and effort in the field. According to the company, hands, gloves, and even automated machinery can grip the VFT series up to 80 percent better than traditional caps.

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Low Capacitance Cables

September 21, 2009 11:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

Belden (Richmond, IN) has expanded its line of low capacitance DataBus cables, which consists of PLTC/ITC-ER, PLTC, and TC-ER versions that are specifically designed to meet Fieldbus specification 61158.2. DataBus cables offer a robust electrical design and robust construction to ensure reliable performance, while providing flexibility in industrial environments, including outdoor installations.

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Inexpensive Thermal Imaging

September 21, 2009 11:44 am | Product Releases | Comments

FLIR Systems (Billerica, MA) has unveiled the FLIR i7 thermal imaging camera, which couples RESNET-compliant 120x120 pixel infrared resolution with 2 percent accuracy and 0.1°C sensitivity. Designed for electrical, HVAC, mechanical, and energy-audit problems, the FLIR i7 reveals abnormal temperature readings with crisp images on a 2.

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Versatile PLCs

September 21, 2009 11:43 am | Product Releases | Comments

The CLICK PLC from AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) is the latest family of programmable controllers designed as stackable discrete modules for first-time PLC customers as well as experienced users. The product is engineered with a multitude of built-in and stackable I/O options.

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Crafting A Better Brewery

September 21, 2009 10:46 am | by by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

Visually, the new Hilltop Brewery owned by the New Glarus Brewing Company is stunning. Nestled on a hilltop just past the town of New Glarus, Wisconsin, a cluster of colorful buildings with jagged rooftops rise up from beautifully landscaped gardens. Things get even better inside.

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These Things We Do

September 21, 2009 9:16 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Do you know the name Norman Borlaug? Me neither, but I think it’s worth a minute of your time to learn a little more about an individual who might have been one of the single greatest human beings to ever walk this planet. His life and the way he approached his passion also offers a blueprint from which we can model our pursuits, and the framework we put around them.

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