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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Clear Your Vision

September 21, 2009 8:06 am | Product Releases | Comments

Cognex (Natick, MA) has enhanced its VisionView operator interface with new features that enable more detailed visualization of parts and easier storage of failed images. The VisionView interface integrates with Cognex In-Sight vision systems, and version 1.2 of the interface adds panning and zooming capabilities.

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Extreme Maintenance

September 21, 2009 6:54 am | Articles | Comments

Sure, we've all experienced the occasional stuck bolt, especially those charged with building and maintaining manufacturing equipment like yourselves. But what about a stuck bolt in space? In their latest spacewalk outside of the Hubble telescrope, American astronauts braved injury and death to install a new, $150 million dollar camera into the Hubble's aging body.

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Building Behemoths

September 21, 2009 6:21 am | Articles | Comments

Digital Altiel gives a quick tour of their facility, where they utilize Delcam's PowerMILL and PowerSHAPE technology to recreate lifesized sculptures in massive scales for the likes of Disney and Pixar. Digital Altiel scans the original piece and machines it in large pieces, which are welded together to create a finished product.

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The Lego V8 Roars

September 21, 2009 6:12 am | Articles | Comments

Remember the Lego of your childhood, when you spent countless hours just putting together a space ship or castle that just fell apart after an hour? Well, those days are over. In the 21st century, Lego engineers have moved to bigger and better pastures. Listen to the "roar" of this pushrod V8 as it revs up over 1,500 rpm.

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Over-engineering, F1-Style

September 21, 2009 5:45 am | Articles | Comments

Via AutoMotoTV . Take a look inside the incredible precision that goes into making every Red Bull Technology F1 race car. Through extensive research, protoyping, and testing, the vehicles come together like a work of art, not to mention an incredible example of precision in engineering.

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Doosan, Bobcat Struggle With High Debt

September 21, 2009 4:41 am | News | Comments

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An analyst says the parent company of Bobcat Co., has been hurt by a global economic slump and by debt it took on when it purchased Bobcat two years ago. Bobcat, of West Fargo, has announced plans to close its Bismarck plant by the end of the year and consolidate its work to Gwinner, in southeastern North Dakota.

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Nektar To Collect $1.12b from AstraZeneca

September 21, 2009 4:16 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Nektar Therapeutics said Monday it licensed a pair of experimental pain treatments to AstraZeneca PLC in a deal valued at about $1.12 billion. AstraZeneca will pay Nektar $125 million upfront for the rights to two drugs: NKTR-118, an oral product intended to treat constipation caused by opioid pain drugs, and NKTR-119, which is intended to combine NKTR-118 with opioid pain drugs to create a painkiller that doesn't cause constipation.

EU Details Intel's Illegal Monopolizing

September 21, 2009 4:06 am | by Aoife White, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Monday published e-mail excerpts from computer makers and Intel Corp. to show that Intel pressured chip buyers into choosing Intel over rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Intel was hit by a record EU antitrust fine of euro1.06 billion ($1.45 billion) last May for what the EU said was using strong-arm sales tactics such as threatening to withdraw price rebates to squeeze out AMD.

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CAW Workers At GM-Suzuki Plant OK Contract

September 21, 2009 3:56 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly two-thirds of union workers at a Canadian auto plant jointly owned by General Motors and Suzuki have approved a new contract that would freeze wages and pensions, trim benefits, introduce a monthly health care contribution and reduce break times. However, the new contract at the CAMI Automotive Inc.

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BMW Expects Production Increase Despite Economy

September 21, 2009 3:53 am | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — German carmaker BMW AG said it wants second half 2009 production levels to match levels of the second half of 2008, despite the dramatic sales declines experienced in the first half of this year. The Munich-based carmaker told German weekly Automobilwoche the company "wouldn't build fewer cars in the second half of 2009, compared to the year-ago period.

GM, Chrysler Demand Tax Breaks In Michigan

September 21, 2009 3:47 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Governments and schools across Michigan are bracing for the possible loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue as General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC argue that they should pay less in property taxes. GM and Chrysler say their property taxes are inflated by more than 50 percent because local communities overestimate the value of their plants and buildings.

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Apple Reveals Revolutionary Keyboard-less Laptop

September 18, 2009 12:03 pm | Articles | Comments

Apple is renowned for their revolutionary and innovative products, some of which have changed the way we live. First, the iPod, featuring the world-famous "click wheel." Now, see how Apple has hybridized click wheel technology with their sleek laptops, forming a keyboard-less laptop that functions seamlessly and beautifully.

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Entering a New Age

September 18, 2009 11:45 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

If you asked Ken Baker, CEO of NewAge Industries of Southampton, PA, why he thought his company was a great place to work, he wouldn’t answer you with metrics, platitudes, or generic corporate speak. In fact, Baker doesn’t seem capable of the stereotypical “canned answer.

Kaizen For Sore Feet

September 18, 2009 11:26 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

I’m by no means a trade show amateur. In fact, I’ve walked so many expo halls over the course of my career in trade media I probably have permanent shin splints—the result of several marathons of dress shoes on concrete. As I approached the task of packing for Design & Manufacturing Midwest this week, my primary area of focus was on how best to maintain my overall comfort throughout these long days.

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The Flexible Schedule

September 18, 2009 11:12 am | by John W. Frehse, Chief Strategist, Core Practice LLC | Articles | Comments

The ability to react rapidly to changes in demand is one of the most crucial capabilities in business today. At one time you might have staffed extra people or carried extra inventory, but that is expensive. Every wasted dollar eats away at your margins. Whatever your industry, you need a way to respond quickly to fluctuations in demand while minimizing your costs.

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People Protection

September 18, 2009 11:00 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

“The biggest misconception among manufacturers is that OSHA is just presenting them with a guideline, not with something they have to do. The fact is, OSHA is beefing up enforcement of safety measures on several fronts,” says Tony Supine, technical director, Farr Air Pollution Control (APC).

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Successful Manufacturing Starts With Respect

September 18, 2009 10:35 am | by Amanda Earing, News Editor, Manufacturing.Net | Articles | Comments

“We don’t have unions within our company except in countries where it is mandated,” says David Armstrong, CEO of Armstrong International. “When we came in as new owners, we moved the employees into a new, clean building. We cleaned the machinery, the shelving, and we treated the people with respect and courtesy, which are core values in our company.

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Fike Announces Free CA Combustible Dust Hazard Seminars

September 18, 2009 10:28 am | News | Comments

Blue Springs , MO — Fike, a leader in industrial and explosion protection safety solutions, is sponsoring two Explosion Protection Seminars: Concord, California on September 29, 2009; and Pomona, California on October 1, 2009. The primary focus of these educational seminars is the protection of facilities against potential combustible dust explosion hazards, and explosion mitigation techniques use to help provide a safe workplace.

Sustainability And Process In Sync

September 18, 2009 10:18 am | by Tracey de Morsella, Green Economy Post | Articles | Comments

In the September issue of Harvard Business Review, authors Ram Nidumolu , C.K. Prahalad , and M.R. Rangaswami provide a framework for adopting sustainable practices to bring about the technological and organizational innovations that will ultimately yield top- and bottom-line returns, providing a competitive advantage when the recession ends.

Q&A with Joe Manone, Vice President of Rite-Hite

September 18, 2009 7:46 am | Articles | Comments

A. Our philosophy at Rite-Hite over the past 35 years has been product development and innovation with compelling new products that add value and solve problems for customers. That is how all of our businesses are set up. We’re constantly looking for new ways to solve problems at the loading dock, as well as other areas throughout plant and warehouse facilities.

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