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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Google Gets More Guarded About Acquisition Numbers

February 14, 2014 9:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The subtle change surfaced this week in Google's 2013 annual report. Google Inc. didn't quantify the total number of deals that it closed last year in the regulatory filing, marking the first time that the U.S. company has withheld that detail since going public in 2004.

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5 Things To Know About The UAW Vote At Volkswagen

February 14, 2014 9:14 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Employees at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., are voting on whether they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers union. With a three-day election wrapping up Friday, here's a look at what's at stake.         

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Avon Sets Aside More Money For Bribery Settlement

February 13, 2014 4:33 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Avon said Thursday that it could pay up to $132 million to settle a long-running bribery investigation and posted another loss, its fourth over the past five quarters. The beauty products direct seller has been cutting costs, eliminating jobs, and leaving markets as its sales decline.

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Nestle: Consumer Demand To Remain Weak In 2014

February 13, 2014 4:31 pm | by John Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nestle, the world's biggest food and drinks maker, said Thursday it expects 2014 to be just as challenging as last year amid falling growth in emerging markets and weaker prices in Europe.                   

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U.S. Businesses Boost Inventories As Sales Slow

February 13, 2014 4:29 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. businesses restocked their shelves and warehouses at a faster pace in December, but sales slowed, a cautionary sign for the economy. The Commerce Department says inventories rose 0.5 percent after a 0.4 percent increase in November. Sales growth fell to just 0.1 percent, from 0.7 percent in November.

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Debt Limit Saves GOP From Political Showdown

February 13, 2014 4:27 pm | by Donna Cassata, Associated Press | News | Comments

Republicans' new acquiescence to letting the government increase debt paid double political dividends: It spared the GOP another politically debilitating showdown with President Barack Obama and also forced Democrats to cast votes that rivals immediately used against them in this year's midterm elections.

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Court: Ind. Owes IBM Nearly $50M In Welfare Fight

February 13, 2014 4:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

IBM Corp. failed to deliver its part of a deal to privatize Indiana's welfare system, but the company is still entitled to nearly $50 million in fees that the state agreed to pay, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday.        

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Nissan Recalling Over 18,000 Vehicles In Japan

February 13, 2014 4:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

In a report filed with Japan's transport ministry, the automaker said compressed air induction pipes in the vehicles may detach due to vibration from diesel turbo engines, potentially making it impossible for the vehicles to accelerate or causing engines to stall.

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New Pallet Safety Gate

February 13, 2014 4:19 pm | by FabEnCo, Inc | Product Releases | Comments

FabEnCo, Inc., a leading manufacturer of self-closing industrial safety gates, announced that the company has developed a new Pallet Safety Gate that will be added to the company’s full line of safety gate products.

All-Electric Utility Vehicles

February 13, 2014 4:10 pm | by Curtis Industries, LLC | Product Releases | Comments

STAR EV (Brand of JH Global Services, Inc.) is pleased to announce the introduction of the 48 Volt DC and 72 Volt AC all-electric U Series Heavy Duty Utility line featuring all-American made Curtis Cabs. 

New IP67 Seal For Shaft Encoders

February 13, 2014 4:02 pm | by Encoder Products Company (EPC) IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Encoder Products Company (EPC), manufacturer of AccuCoder brand rotary encoders, introduces a newly designed IP67 shaft seal. Now available in eight different models, this option is intended for encoders used in industrial motion control applications where dust and moisture are present.

High Performance Polymers For Automotive Applications

February 13, 2014 3:55 pm | by igus IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Specific features of iglide bearings including resistance to dirt, oil, and chemicals, pressure resistance, and shock absorption make them excellent for use in the chassis, engine compartment, and gearbox.

Lean Principles, Impressive Results

February 13, 2014 3:43 pm | by Mike Engel, Chief Operations Officer, FLEXcon | Articles | Comments

FLEXcon began its lean manufacturing program in 2003 and has since achieved a 90 percent improvement in on-time deliveries, 20 percent reduction in waste and a 35 percent increase in total productivity. Dollar savings are more than 10 times what was invested to roll the practice out and educate and train 1,000 employees. 

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Q&A: Making Compressed Air OSHA-Compliant

February 13, 2014 3:35 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

End users use air guns or homemade devices to clean that are unsafe and do not meet OSHA regulations. For example, we have seen a device constructed out of a ball valve and a piece of pipe. If the tip on this homemade device were to become blocked, full line pressure would be built up behind the blockage — this could be hazardous.

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Reshoring: A Key Strategy Facing Present And Future Manufacturers

February 13, 2014 3:28 pm | by Guy Morgan, Managing Director and Global Operations Advisory Group Lead, BBK | Articles | Comments

The manufacturing environment is in a constant state of change. The failure to recognize the static nature of the business coupled with the failure of manufacturers to comply with disciplined global production systems has caused participants to revisit the value of outsourcing and the opportunities associated with reshoring.

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Q&A: How Manufacturers Can SAVE FOOD

February 13, 2014 3:07 pm | by Holly Henschen, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Food waste drains food manufacturers’ resources and profits. Data on the issue is shocking. For example, 40 percent of all food produced in less-developed countries spoils every day before it reaches consumers.            

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Nuclear Fusion Project Takes Key Step In Lab Test

February 13, 2014 2:02 pm | by Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Scientists say they've taken a key step toward harnessing nuclear fusion as a new way to generate power, an idea that has been pursued for decades. They are still a long way from that goal. The amount of energy they got out of their experimental apparatus was minuscule compared to what they put into it.            

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Marchionne Optimistic He'll Get Canadian Aid

February 13, 2014 1:53 pm | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Sergio Marchionne said Thursday he's more than halfway to getting what he's seeking from the Canadian and Ontario governments for a proposed multibillion upgrade to its Canadian plants.        

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Pilots' Union Rejects Contract At American Eagle

February 13, 2014 1:43 pm | by David Koenig, AP Airlines Writer | News | Comments

Eagle wanted the pilots to make labor-cost concessions in exchange for getting new, larger planes. Leaders of the local Air Line Pilots Association chapter rejected the offer Wednesday without sending it to members for a vote.        

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Study: Manufacturers Will Benefit From Low-Cost U.S. Natural Gas

February 13, 2014 1:32 pm | by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) | News | Comments

Cheap natural gas will have a greater impact on U.S. manufacturing over the next several years than is commonly assumed, giving the U.S. a powerful cost advantage that will benefit a wide range of industries across the full value chain, from feedstock to finished goods.

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