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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Analyst: Success For Chrysler-Fiat Would Be 'A Herculean Feat'

September 28, 2009 4:45 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler thinks its future may be in a new lineup of smaller cars based on models from Italian partner Fiat. The question is how to make them for Americans put off by stiff suspensions, firm seats and — perish the thought — not enough cupholders. The problem is further complicated because Americans generally are plumper and taller than Western Europeans, and they're used to driving fatter and longer cars on wider roads.

Waste Not The Profit

September 28, 2009 4:33 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

While it’s not the first time a trip to Starbucks has helped propel my work, it usually has more to do with the caffeine kick than any topical inspiration. However, a visit last week offered some insight on both the innovation and challenges that lie ahead for the processing industry.

Clean Energy Bill Could Create 5,000 SD Jobs

September 28, 2009 4:17 am | by Roger Larsen | News | Comments

HURON, S.D. (AP) — Transitioning to a clean energy economy with passage of an energy bill pending in the Senate would create 5,000 South Dakota jobs, break the nation's dependence on oil and help solve the climate crisis, the state director of Repower South Dakota said Wednesday. Wind turbine blade manufacturer Knight & Carver stands to double or triple its current 60-employee base should the measure pass.


MN Pig Iron Plant Fights For American Steel

September 28, 2009 4:16 am | by Peter Passi | News | Comments

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The sea of vehicles crowding the approach to Mesabi Nugget bespeaks the project's scale. Somewhere between 600 and 700 contractors are on the job most days, working to launch the Iron Range's newest taconite processor. At the peak of activity, about a month ago, upwards of 800 tradespeople were working to construct the $270 million plant that will transform taconite into pig iron.


BP And Kuwait Begin Joint Venture For Chinese Oil

September 28, 2009 4:12 am | News | Comments

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Oil giant BP PLC is interested in teaming up with Kuwait in a planned $9 billion joint venture refinery project in southern China, a senior Kuwaiti official said Monday. Hussein Ismail, president of the state-owned Kuwait Petroleum International, told the official Kuwait News Agency that "preliminary talks" with the British oil giant have begun, and that BP was evaluating the 300,000 barrel per day facility's site in southern China's Guangdong province.


IL-Based Abbott To Buy Solvay Pharma For $6.6b

September 28, 2009 4:11 am | by Damian Troise, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Abbott Laboratories is buying the pharmaceutical business of Belgian chemicals maker Solvay for $6.6 billion in a move to further expand internationally and add to its product portfolio. North Chicago, Ill.-based Abbott already holds U.S. marketing rights for Solvay's Trilipix and TriCor, drugs which raise "good" HDL cholesterol while reducing triglycerides and "bad" LDL cholesterol.

Force Gauge For Any Application

September 25, 2009 9:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Dart 2.0 FGV-XY Force Gage from the Paul. N. Gardner Company (Pompano Beach, FL) is an ergonomically-designed force gauge for inspection, finished goods testing, and R&D. The built-in USB port and 1,000 point memory allows for data exporting in real-time. Other features include: A 1,000 Hz sample rate to provide more accurate results.


Magnetic Particle Separator

September 25, 2009 9:44 am | Product Releases | Comments

Bunting Magnetics Co. (Newton, KS) has recently added a redesigned RotoGrate Magnetic Separator to its product line. The RotoGrate is ideal for products with poor flow characteristics and features a powerful motorized grate magnet which will remove ferrous metals from powders and granular products.


The Medusa Of Smoke Detectors

September 25, 2009 9:41 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Fireray 5000 optical beam smoke detector from Fire Fighting Enterprises (FFE, Corinth, TX) delivers a wide area coverage, ideal for large indoor spaces like manufacturing facilities. When utilizing the new Multi Head System, the Fireray 5000 becomes the first UL/ULC-listed, motorized, self-correcting beam smoke detector that allows up to four detectors installed into a single system.


Professional Splicing Kit

September 25, 2009 9:40 am | Product Releases | Comments

PAPCO Industries (Northvale, NJ) is now offering an array of splicing products and tools for making emergency repairs on non-metallic expansion joints, which can be purchased individually or as a part of a professional kit. The professional splicing kit includes the following: splicing iron (P38), stapler, spray adhesive, PFA splice film, spare fuses, a splice rubbing block, and more.


SCADA-Supporting Flow Meter

September 25, 2009 5:48 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Model ML04 Water Specialties Propeller Flow Meter from McCrometer (Hemet, CA) is now available with an optional transmitter that supports 4-20 mA output in support of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. The ML04 is a steel-flanged end tube meter with a measurement accuracy of ±2 percent while measuring liquid flow from 40 to 35,000 gpm.


Automatic Beam Drilling

September 25, 2009 5:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

Nitto Kohki (Hanover Park, IL) has introduced its Atra Ace Automatic Drill, a solution for medium-volume and irregularly-shaped beam drilling. The Atra Ace enables fabricators to drill holes in steel in applications unsuitable for a CNC beam drill line. The Atra Ace also allows operators to bring the drill to the beam, rather than the beam to the drilling line for processing.


Air Force To Reopen $35b Boeing-Northrop Battle

September 25, 2009 4:47 am | by Donna Borak, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Air Force is poised to reopen the competition between rivals Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. for a troubled $35 billion tanker contract. The Pentagon has tried and failed twice to award a contract to replace its Eisenhower-era fleet of tankers that refuel military planes in flight.


Feature: Critical Steps To Distribution Center Planning

September 25, 2009 4:42 am | by Craig Bertorello, Vice President of Operations, TriFactor LLC | Articles | Comments

Because these facilities are critical components of the supply chain, they require a detailed planning process to ensure they meet return on investment expectations. More than ever, the “measure twice, cut once” rule applies, since having to tack on additional capital outlays five, six, or seven years down the road is costly.

Ford, UAW Talks 'A Delicate Balance'

September 25, 2009 4:37 am | by Kimberly S. Johnson, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

PLYMOUTH, Mich. (AP) -- United Auto Workers union president Ron Gettelfinger said Thursday that while the group continues to discuss additional contract modifications with Ford Motor Co. both sides are working to maintain a good relationship. "It's a delicate balance," said Gettelfinger of Ford's desire to make changes and UAW workers' potential reluctance to agree to further concessions.


Chinese Startup To Build Hybrids In Alabama

September 25, 2009 4:29 am | News | Comments

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A group of Chinese investors plans to construct a large-scale plant to manufacture hybrid automobiles in northern Baldwin County near Mobile. Gov. Bob Riley and the chairman of Hybrid Kinetic Motors, Yung "Benjamin" Yeung said the company is expected to begin operations in 2013 and will create more than 5,000 jobs.


Magna Reconsiders Closing of Antwerp Plant

September 25, 2009 4:20 am | by George Frey, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — Magna International Inc. is considering whether to keep the former General Motors Co. plant in Antwerp, Belgium open despite initially saying the plant would be shuttered, a German weekly reported Friday. Germany's Der Spiegel said that Magna, a Canadian car parts company, and GM are considering whether to move production of a small GM SUV, that had been intended to be built in China, to the Belgium plant.


Durable Goods Down, Indexes Inconclusive

September 25, 2009 4:15 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders for goods expected to last at least three years fell unexpectedly in August due mainly to a drop in demand for commercial aircraft. The second decline in orders for durable goods in three months is evidence that any recovery in manufacturing will be slow and gradual.

Unilever Picks Up Sara Lee Franchises For $1.88b

September 25, 2009 4:12 am | News | Comments

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Consumer products giant Unilever NV said Friday it has agreed to buy businesses including the Sanex and Duschdas brands from Sara Lee Corp. for €1.28 billion ($1.88 billion) The businesses to be acquired, subject to regulatory approval, include Sara Lee's worldwide body care products business and its European detergents arms, which includes strong regional brands such as Radox bubble bath and Switzal, a maker of baby shampoo.

Ford To Spent $490m On Chinese Factory

September 25, 2009 4:07 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Friday it plans to spend $490 million on building a third assembly plant in China, ramping up production to meet surging demand in this fast-growing market as the U.S. automaker expands in Asia. The factory, to be built in the central Chinese city of Chongqing, will make the next-generation Focus compact car, which Ford plans to sell globally.



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