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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Why I Fired GM's CEO

October 21, 2009 9:13 am | Articles | Comments

Yesterday Steve Rattner, the former head of Obama's automotive task force, said he was alarmed by the "stunningly poor management" of GM and Chrysler earlier this year and considered GM to have "perhaps the weakest finance operation any of [the task force] had ever seen in a major company." Ouch.


Bentley Motors Benefits From Design For Manufacture

October 21, 2009 7:30 am | Articles | Comments

With a heritage covering almost a century, Bentley Motors is among the world’s most iconic brands. The mixture of speed and luxury combine in the Continental and Arnage ranges to suit the world’s most discerning drivers. From Bentley’s Crewe, UK plant, the company produces limited numbers of hand-finished cars that incorporate the famous leather and wood craftsmanship that typify the brand.


Workers' Compensation Loss Run Reports: How To Assess Your Safety Culture

October 21, 2009 7:20 am | by Teresa A. Long, Director of Agency Services, The Institute of WorkComp Professionals | Articles | Comments

While it may not sound very exciting, a Loss Run Report documents information about your company’s Workers’ Compensation claims––and that includes where your money is going. Loss run reports come from your insurance company or Third Party Administrator (TPA). While some reports are more thorough than others, there is always useful information on job-related accidents and claims.


Mother Sues Louisville Slugger For Son's Death

October 21, 2009 4:58 am | News | Comments

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A woman is suing the maker of Louisville Slugger aluminum baseball bats over the 2003 death of her son, who was hit with a ball during a youth league baseball game. Opening arguments began Tuesday in Helena's district court. Debbie Patch says her teen son Brandon was pitching for the Miles City Mavericks when a ball hit by a Helena Senators batter struck him in the temple, causing a fatal injury.

Throw The Book At Him

October 21, 2009 4:52 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Beijing Autos (BA) says it doesn’t know anything  about the ex-engineer who photocopied thousands of documents and coincidentally took an overseas vacation to shop his merchandise to the highest bidder. Yeah, and I denied it when the side view mirror disappeared out of my father’s truck and a bird was left to take the rap.

Auto Task Force 'Shocked' By Detroit Mismanagement

October 21, 2009 4:43 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The shockingly poor financial management of General Motors and Chrysler weakened their case for a government bailout, but officials feared letting the automakers collapse would severely harm the U.S. economy, the former head of the Obama administration's auto task force says.

Sun Microsystems Cutting Up To 3,000 Jobs

October 21, 2009 4:37 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to eliminate up to 3,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its worldwide work force, as it awaits a takeover by Oracle Corp., a deal being held up by antitrust regulators in Europe. The layoffs Sun outlined Tuesday in a regulatory filing are the latest in a series of job cuts at the world's No.

Boeing Loses $1.6b In Midst Of 787 Mess

October 21, 2009 4:19 am | by Daniel Lovering, AP Manufacturing Writer | News | Comments

Boeing Co. lost $1.6 billion in the third quarter as charges from its delayed 787 and revamped 747 dragged down results. Those charges also forced the airplane maker to slash this year's profit forecast. Shares of the Chicago-based company fell $1.22, or 2.4 percent, to $50.67 in pre-market trade after results were announced Wednesday.


Fisker Deciding On Plant For Luxury Electric Cars

October 21, 2009 4:18 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fisker Automotive, a California-based startup manufacturer of luxury electric vehicles, plans to announce shortly the location of a U.S. manufacturing facility where it will build plug-in electric vehicles, its top executive said Tuesday. Henrik Fisker, the company's co-founder and chief executive, declined to elaborate on the site of the retooled plant but said in an interview that the company considered several existing factories.


Excuse Me, Did You Forget Your 44 Tons of Rotting Meat?

October 21, 2009 4:12 am | by Carson Walker, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The owner of a South Dakota packing plant who left behind 44 tons of rotting kosher bison meat when he relocated his business to Minnesota has agreed to pay part of the cost of cleaning up the mess, his attorney said. Mike Unke, an attorney for Ilan Parente, said his client will pay back some of the $11,151 in costs it took to clean up the Bridgewater Quality Meats plant after it closed in January 2008.


Closing Of Bobcat Plant Bound To Spoil Christmas

October 21, 2009 4:09 am | News | Comments

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Bobcat Co. workers have been told production will end Dec. 23 at the company's Bismarck plant. Bobcat, which makes skid steer loaders and other light construction equipment, sent notices to its hourly workers this week. Spokeswoman Laura Ness Owens said the plant always has closed from Dec.


1959 vs. 2009: The Chevrolet Showdown

October 20, 2009 11:55 am | Articles | Comments

To celebrate its 50th year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (you know, those guys who crash cars together) lined up a classic 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air with its contemporary counterpart, the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. Let the games begin. If nothing else, this video presents a vivid example of why manufacturing must always innovate and improve, because nothing we've ever made is perfect, and everything we make now will soon be obsolete.


Big Brother Of Gas Detection

October 20, 2009 11:13 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Model 1640 from Detcon (The Woodlands, TX) is a newly designed gas detection alarm and control with a microprocessor-based control card to supervise and display the condition of 16 field-mounted gas detection sensors with either 4-20mA or serial RS-485 output. A backlit display provides indication of gas type and current reading in normal operation.


Let The Pressure Get To You

October 20, 2009 11:11 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Mini-Hermet from SOR (Lenexa, KS) is a robust pressure switch for field-mounting with a hermetically-sealed, explosion-proof steel housing. In addition, the set point can be adjusted without declassification of the hazardous area. The switch is ideal for hazardous locations where stainless steel exterior parts are required and where space is limited, notably offshore platforms or lube oil systems.


Environmentally-Friendly Baths

October 20, 2009 11:11 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Duro-Tank Stainless Steel Recirculating System from A.W.T. (Chicago, IL) has been designed for use with a washout sink and uses biodegradable chemistry to clean a variety of objects. The closed-loop recirculating system uses multistage filtering to reduce chemical consumption by as much as 80 percent.


Whisper-Quiet Compressors

October 20, 2009 11:09 am | Product Releases | Comments

Atlas Copco (Westfield, MA) announces the introduction of its redesigned oil-injected screw compressor range, the GA 5-11/GA 5-15 kW Variable Speed Drive (VSD). The new edition features an eight percent increase in free air delivery while keeping noise levels as low as 60 decibels.


Horizontal Motion Conveying FAQ

October 20, 2009 11:05 am | Articles | Comments

Horizontal motion conveying is proving to be an alternative to vibratory conveying. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions that come up when investigating conveying processes for the dry-bulk and food processing industries.  How does a horizontal motion vibrating conveyor work without any vertical motion? In horizontal, zero-pitch, conveying, the translation comes from a differential or slower forward movement relative to the retraction, which is quick.


A Case For The Apprentice

October 20, 2009 8:58 am | by Mike Collins | Articles | Comments

American manufacturers are realizing that we cannot compete with foreign manufacturers on price and cost reduction. We are going to have to compete using innovation and new products, which requires highly skilled workers. Many government programs talk about the need for high skilled and high performance employees, but they never seem to define high skills.


Earning Its Recognition

October 20, 2009 7:49 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Energy savings sounds like a basic numbers game, but in TharpeRobbins’ experience, it’s all about perception. Its Own Rewards The Attleboro, MA-based employee recognition and awards company—manufacturing corporate gifts and tokens of achievement—recently announced that it has achieved zero discharge status with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).


The Fuel Sell

October 20, 2009 5:17 am | by by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Chem.Info | Blogs | Comments

It’s the culmination of over 40 years work, combining technology developed by NASA in the 1950s with cutting edge biofuel production techniques using purpose-built microorganisms. Coskata appears to be doing what no other cellulosic ethanol startup has done: Proving that the technology works on a large scale.



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