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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The Snowman And His 1 µm Nose

December 16, 2009 11:18 am | Articles | Comments

Researchers at the Britain's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) made a tiny snowman out of two tin beads, and then went as far as to mill out a smile and eyes using a focused ion beam. The little guy's nose, which is under 1 µm wide (or 0.001 mm), was made out of platinum and was deposited by an ion beam.


The Coolest Gadgets Of 2009

December 16, 2009 10:21 am | Articles | Comments

TIME technology editor Peter Ha counts down his top 10 gadgets released this year, and it runs the gauntlet from cool to crazy. There's the standard cell phones and digital cameras, with some interesting additons from a wristwatch (who wears those anymore?) and a bladeless fan . [ ] If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.


The 787 Dreamliner (Finally) Takes Flight

December 16, 2009 10:00 am | Articles | Comments

As most of us know, Boeing's long-awaited 787 Dreamliner took its maiden voyage on Tuesday, marking the end of a construction process that has been delayed for more than two years due to labor issues and malfunctioning components. While the plane still has a battery of tests to complete before the first models are shipped off to airlines around the world, the first flight represents a significant leap forward for the project.


Renegade Electric Cars In China

December 16, 2009 9:54 am | Articles | Comments

In the Shandong province of China, some entrepreneurs have started building their own emission-free electric vehicles, much like what we will someday see in the Nissan Leaf or the Chevrolet Volt, to an extent. Thing is, these cars weren't exactly legal to start out. But now that so many companies and individuals have stepped up to retrofit cars with electric drivetrains, demand is steadily rising.


Whirlpool Recalls 400 For Production Demands

December 16, 2009 3:49 am | News | Comments

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — The Whirlpool Corp. says 400 laid-off workers at its Fort Smith refrigerator plant are being called back to work. The company said Tuesday that production demands prompted the call-backs. The plant now employs between 900 and 1,000 people, far fewer than the 4,600 it had in 2006 before the company moved part of its production to Mexico.


Senate Nixes Prescription Imports To Appease Drug Makers

December 16, 2009 3:44 am | by Alan Fram, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate rejected a plan Tuesday to allow Americans to import low-cost prescriptions from abroad, handing drug makers a victory that may help secure passage of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The vote on the amendment by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., was 51-48 in favor, but 60 votes were needed to prevail under a special rule.


Korean Car Part Builder Hiring 200 In Coffee County, Ala.

December 16, 2009 3:36 am | News | Comments

ELBA, Ala. (AP) — A Korean automotive parts manufacturer says it will operate in Coffee County, bringing 200 new jobs to Elba. The Dothan Eagle reports that Koo-Ryong Jung, chairman of the company, which has 22 plants in Korea, India, China and Malaysia that employ 44,000 workers, made the announcement on Tuesday.


FTC Files Antitrust Suit Against Intel

December 16, 2009 3:23 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission is suing Intel Corp., accusing the world's biggest chip maker of using its size to snuff out competition. The FTC says Intel, which makes the microprocessors that run personal computers, has shut rivals out of the marketplace. In the process, the FTC says Intel has deprived consumers of choice and stifled innovation in the chip industry.


Copenhagen Debate Stall As U.S. Balks On Climate Change

December 16, 2009 3:18 am | by Charles J. Hanley, AP Special Correspondent | News | Comments

COPENHAGEN (AP) — Danish police fired pepper spray and beat protesters with batons outside the U.N. climate conference on Wednesday, as disputes inside left major issues unresolved just two days before world leaders hope to sign a historic agreement to fight global warming. With the talks clearly deadlocked, Connie Hedegaard, former Danish climate minister, resigned from the conference presidency to allow her boss, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen to preside as world leaders from 115 nations streamed into Copenhagen.


Boeing's 787 A 'Joy To Fly'

December 16, 2009 3:12 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The first flight of Boeing's new 787 jetliner brought no surprises — exactly what pilots, engineers and company officials had anxiously sought for the long-delayed aircraft. "The airplane responded just as we expected," Randy Neville, one of the two pilots, said after touchdown Tuesday at Seattle's Boeing Field.

Goals for 2010: Tackling the 5lb. Bag of Oranges

December 15, 2009 6:26 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

In the spirit of my annoyance over those overwhelming, uninteresting, almost certainly irrelevant lists of the “Top 10 X of 2009,” I’ve developed my own. Though it’s a far cry from David Letterman, at least it’s not the perennial Top 10 Break-ups of 2009 (thank you Time.

Restore Power Anywhere

December 15, 2009 5:12 am | Product Releases | Comments

Bridgeport Magnetics (Shelton, CT) has developed the PhazeSaver Model PS8000, a transportable 8000VA transformer to restore 240VAC power from a single 120VAC and a neutral source. The PhazeSaver restores power to businesses that lose partial service — either 120VAC or 208/240VAC — until permanent repairs can be completed, without the use of shunts or bridging utilities.


Universal Valve Actuators

December 15, 2009 5:12 am | Product Releases | Comments

VICI Valco (Houston, TX) has a new Universal Valve Actuator that allows instrument manufacturers to use a single motor and control software to operate any Valco or Cheminert rotary valve. All valves and selectors, with a wide range of turning torques, are covered by three actuator versions: high-speed, medium-speed/medium-torque, and high-torque.


Anti-Stick Gasketing

December 15, 2009 5:12 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The Flange Free anti-stick gasket coating from Garlock Sealing Technologies (Palmyra, NY) is a proprietary, anti-stick agent that facilitates the removal of gaskets from flanged joints, which is applied to all of Garlock’s compressed sheet gasketing. Treating gaskets with Flange Free can reduce the time and effort required for removal after extended service, according to the company.


Pipe Weld Inspection, For Any Size

December 15, 2009 5:11 am | Product Releases | Comments

Olympus NDS (Waltham, MA) introduces a suite of tools for the inspection of circumferential welds in pipes with a diameter as small as 0.84”. Integral in the solution is the COBRA, a manual scanner specifically designed to inspect welds in small diameter pipes. The COBRA is used in conjunction with the OmniScan MX Phased Array flaw detector and OmniScan MXU software to provide a portable inspection solution.


Whitacre: GM Will Repay Federal Loans By June

December 15, 2009 4:39 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. plans to pay all of its $6.7 billion in government loans by the end of June, Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre Jr. said Tuesday. The automaker plans to make quarterly installments starting this month with a $1.2 billion payment, Whitacre said. He said GM could repay the loan sooner but that hasn't been decided.

GE Aviation Expands Mississippi Operations By 350

December 15, 2009 3:54 am | News | Comments

BATESVILLE, Miss. (AP) — GE Aviation is expanding its operation in the northern Mississippi city of Batesville. Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday that the company will add 350 jobs over the next several years. The plantalready has more than 100 workers. The plant makes composite components for the GEnx jet engine, which will power Boeing's new 787 and 747-8 aircraft.


Man With 'Popcorn Lung' Settles Explosive Lawsuit

December 15, 2009 3:40 am | News | Comments

DENVER (AP) — A suburban Denver man believed to be the only consumer to develop "popcorn lung" from regularly eating microwave popcorn and its artificial butter flavoring has settled his claims against a flavor developer. Documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Denver say Wayne Watson has settled claims against FONA International Inc.

Poll: Climate Bills Help, Not Hurt, Jobs And Economy

December 15, 2009 3:33 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans believe steps taken to reduce global warming pollution will help the U.S. economy than say such measures will hurt it. It's a sign the public is showing more faith in President Barack Obama's economic arguments for limiting heat-trapping gases than in Republican claims that the actions would kill jobs.


CPSC Recalls 50 Million Window Blinds

December 15, 2009 3:28 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government and the window covering industry on Tuesday recalled more than 50 million Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds because of the risk children may be strangled by the cords. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said five deaths and 16 near-strangulations from Roman shades have been reported since 2006, while three deaths connected to roll-up blinds have been reported since 2001.


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