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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

2 Large Solar Farms Slated For Southern California

August 18, 2009 4:57 am | News | Comments

ROSEMEAD, Calif. (AP) — First Solar Inc. and Southern California Edison said Tuesday they'll build two huge solar farms in Southern California. The power plants will be able to generate 550 megawatts of energy — enough to power about 170,000 homes, the companies said. Construction is expected to start in 2012 and end in 2015.


Survey Shows 'Big 3' Making Improvements

August 18, 2009 4:45 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — All three U.S.-based automakers are doing a better job of satisfying their customers than they were a year ago, according to a recent survey. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC all posted significant gains in this year's American Customer Satisfaction Index released Tuesday by the University of Michigan.

GE And FANUC Announce Agreement To Dissolve Joint Venture

August 18, 2009 4:33 am | News | Comments

Charlottesville , VA — GE (NYSE: GE) and FANUC announced today that the two companies have agreed to dissolve the GE Fanuc Automation Corporation joint venture. This agreement would allow each company to refocus its investments to grow its existing businesses and pursue its respective core industry expertise.


Air Force Breathes New Life In Former GM Plant

August 18, 2009 4:30 am | by Rochelle Hines, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tinker Air Force Base officials gave political and business leaders and the media a look Monday at the new addition to the Tinker Aerospace Complex inside the shuttered General Motors Assembly Plant. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and state Treasurer Scott Meacham were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at the addition, where workers will repair and maintain engines from Air Force and Navy aircraft such as the TF33 and the F-117.


Tesla To Build Electric Car Parts In Palo Alto, CA

August 18, 2009 4:24 am | News | Comments

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Tesla Motors will open a new power train production facility and corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., as the electric-car maker moves to expand production after a recent award of government loans, the company said Tuesday. The three-building facility at the Stanford Research Park will build components for Tesla's electric vehicles as well as parts for other automakers.

GM Exploring Low-Cost Vehicle

August 17, 2009 12:21 pm | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. said Monday it would explore developing an inexpensive small vehicle for emerging markets to compete with Tata Motors' Nano compact car. The Nano, which went on sale in India last month for about $2,000, is forcing automakers such as GM to consider a way to bring automobiles to consumers in developing countries at an affordable price point.

Voltage, Resistance, Capacitance, Oh My

August 17, 2009 12:07 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Extech Instruments (Waltham, MA) has developed the new EX840, the first-ever 1000A CAT IV clamp meter with built-in infrared thermometer with double-molded housing. The EX840 features non-contact IR temperature measurements with a laser pointer. Other features include: Measurements of AC/DC voltage, resistance, capacitance, frequency, diode, and continuity.


Assume The Position

August 17, 2009 12:06 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Herkules Equipment Corp. (Walled Lake, MI) has designed a cart positioner for a plant’s F2 cart to reduce ergonomic issues that inevitably arise. Operators can easily raise and lower material on the cars to a desired height, reducing back strain and other potential injuries when loading or unloading.


Fighting Back Against The Recession

August 17, 2009 5:26 am | by by Amy Radishofski, Features Editor, | Blogs | Comments

The manufacturing sector has taken a beating by the recent economic downturn. While no industry has escaped unharmed, companies are beginning to fight back, according to the  2009 Manufacturing and Wholesale Distribution Survey  by RSM McGladrey. Does that mean there is some good news on the horizon? Well, sort of.

Chrysler To Bring Fiat 500 To US, Built In Mexico

August 17, 2009 4:35 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Chrysler Group LLC is planning to build the Fiat 500 small car at a plant in Mexico, according to a report published Monday. The automaker could also build an engine for the 500 at a plant in Trenton, Mich., and is weighing building another compact car similar to the 500 in the U.


Poop-To-Power Plant Gets OK From Idaho Power

August 17, 2009 4:30 am | News | Comments

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Cargill Inc. has gotten the green light from the state Public Utilities Commission for a plan to supply Idaho Power Co. with 2.13 megawatts of electricity from the Minneapolis-based agricultural conglomerate's poop-to-power plant near Jerome. Cargill's cow manure digester at the 10,000-cow Bettencourt Dairy in Hansen in southern Idaho is scheduled to begin operation on Sept.


Clash At China Smelter After 100s Of Kids Poisoned

August 17, 2009 4:25 am | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

Villagers in northern China clashed with police outside a lead smelter blamed in the poisoning of more than 600 children, reports said Monday. Several hundred villagers tore down fences and blocked traffic outside the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co.


8 Dead, 54 Missing In Russian Hydroelectric Accident

August 17, 2009 4:20 am | by Nataliya Vasilyeva, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

An accident during repair work at Russia's largest hydroelectric plant killed at least eight workers Monday, while 54 others were missing, investigators said. The explosion of a transformer caused the engine room to flood at the Sayano-Shushinskaya power station in southern Siberia, the Investigative Committee of the federal prosecutors office said.


Prescott, AR Plant To Cut 90 Workers

August 17, 2009 4:11 am | News | Comments

PRESCOTT, Ark. (AP) — Ninety workers will be laid off at the Firestone Building Products plant at the start of next month, company officials say. The cuts represent a 21-percent employee reduction at the Prescott plant, which makes a synthetic rubber compound for roofing. They follow the layoffs of 71 plant workers in April.


MI Cruisers Worry Days Of Classic Cars Are Over

August 17, 2009 4:07 am | by David Grant, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

Jack Beller's blue 1966 Corvette has the classic big-block engine and the enormous carburetor that make putting the keys in the ignition a roaring ode to muscle car history. He and his classic ride have been coming to Saturday's Woodward Dream Cruise, billed by its sponsors as "the world's largest one-day celebration of car culture," since it began 15 years ago.

$1B In Battery Grants May Recharge MI Talent Base

August 17, 2009 4:03 am | by David N. Goodman & Jeff Karoub, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

As a business professor and former auto executive in Michigan, Gerald Meyers has seen his share of former colleagues and students leave the state. The state's economy has been shrinking along with its struggling auto industry.


The Ultimate In Accuracy

August 14, 2009 12:14 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Ludeca (Doral, FL) has developed INCLINEO, a level/plumbness measurement system utilizing high-precision inclinometer technology with a resolution of 0.0003 degrees. The product can measure relative or absolute angularity, flatness, levelness, or parallelism or surface — its flexibility makes it possible to check the geometry of CNC machines in addition to the plumbness of hydro turbines.


Environmentally-Conscious Cleaning

August 14, 2009 12:13 pm IMPO Product Releases | Comments

LPS Laboratories (Tucker, GA) introduces the G-49 Orange Degreaser with a low volatile organic compound (VOC) content. G-49 conforms to the VOC regulations of CARB, OTC< and LADCO.  G-49 is ideal for cleaning equipment, whether it is afflicted with grease, grime, or oil, and is an excellent alternative to methyl ethyl ketone.


The Future of Energy Harvesting

August 14, 2009 11:30 am | by Jonathan C. Smith, IDSA, Senior Industrial Designer | Articles | Comments

Energy Harvesting? Let’s begin by establishing a definition for the phrase. Energy harvesting as defined on Wikipedia - is the process by which energy is derived from external sources (e.g., solar power, thermal energy, wind energy, salinity gradients, and kinetic energy), that is captured, and stored.

Scaling Back Is The New Black

August 14, 2009 11:19 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO About a year ago, I began drooling over new car ads and decided I would trade in my dependable VW Jetta for something a bit flashier. Nothing like a bird’s eye view of your 401K floating in the toilet to derail any thoughts of luxury. I decided that I could wait it out, continue to drive my Jetta, and look slightly less cool.


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