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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The Death Of Innovation, The End Of Growth

May 2, 2013 9:11 am | by Ted | Videos | Comments

The U.S. economy has been expanding wildly for two centuries. Are we witnessing the end of growth? Economist Robert Gordon lays out 4 reasons U.S. growth may be slowing, detailing factors like epidemic debt and growing inequality, which could move the U.S. into a period of stasis we can't innovate our way out of. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Erik Brynjolfsson.

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The Key To Growth? Race With The Machines

May 2, 2013 9:11 am | by Ted | Videos | Comments

As machines take on more jobs, many find themselves out of work or with raises indefinitely postponed. Is this the end of growth? No, says Erik Brynjolfsson -- it’s simply the growing pains of a radically reorganized economy. A riveting case for why big innovations are ahead of us … if we think of computers as our teammates. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Robert Gordon.

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GM CEO: Volt Will Be Profitable

May 2, 2013 9:11 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson tells Fortune that the second generation of the Chevy Volt will be cheaper to make and profitable. Looking to the future, GM hopes to have a half million cars on the road with some form of electrification by 2017.

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Michigan Manufacturing International: A New Name, New Web Site

May 1, 2013 2:41 pm | by Michigan Manufacturing International | News | Comments

Michigan Mechanical, a broad line supplier of high-quality mechanical assemblies and components, is pleased to announce the company’s new name: Michigan Manufacturing International (MMI). The new name provides a more accurate description of the company’s services and reflects its global presence.

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Greenlee Textron Acquires Sherman & Reilly, Inc.

May 1, 2013 2:33 pm | News | Comments

In a strategic move to broaden its position in the utility segment, Greenlee, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today it has acquired ownership of Sherman & Reilly, Inc., a manufacturer of underground and aerial transmission and distribution products based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Abused Disabled IA Plant Workers Awarded $240M

May 1, 2013 2:09 pm | by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press | News | Comments

An Iowa jury on Wednesday awarded a total of $240 million to 32 mentally disabled Iowa turkey processing plant workers for what government lawyers described as years of around-the-clock abuse and discrimination by the Texas company that oversaw their care, work and lodging.

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Chrysler, Ford, GM, Nissan April U.S. Sales Up

May 1, 2013 2:07 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Ford, GM, Chrysler and Nissan all reported double-digit U.S. sales increases last month, signaling the best April for car and truck sales in six years. A rebound in pickup truck sales led the way, especially for the Detroit automakers. Small businesses are replacing aging trucks that they've kept since the Great Recession.

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Angry Workers Unite On May Day

May 1, 2013 2:05 pm | by Mehmet Guzel, Suzan Fraser, Associated Press | News | Comments

Workers around the world united in anger during May Day rallies Wednesday — from fury in Europe over years of austerity measures that have cut wages, reduced benefits and eliminated many jobs altogether, to rage in Asia over relentlessly low pay, the rising cost of living and hideous working conditions that have left hundreds dead in recent months alone.

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U.S. Manufacturing Growing At A Slower Pace

May 1, 2013 2:03 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factory activity expanded at a slower pace in April, held back by weaker hiring and less company stockpiling. The report is the latest sign that economic growth may be slowing this spring. The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its index of manufacturing activity slipped to 50.7 last month.

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Amid Low Prices, Alcoa Weighs Production Cutbacks

May 1, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Alcoa Inc. said Wednesday that it might reduce production because of a slump that has cut aluminum prices by more than one-third since they peaked in 2011. The reduction could affect up to 11 percent of Alcoa's aluminum-smelting capacity, a cut of 460,000 tons of capacity. The company has already idled 13 percent of its capacity.

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Carpet Company Planning New GA Plants

May 1, 2013 2:00 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal says a carpet manufacturing company will open two plants in northwest Georgia and create about 2,400 jobs. Deal's spokesman Brian Robison confirmed Wednesday that Engineered Floors will build plants in Whitfield and Murray counties.

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The Next Killer Manufacturing Technology App

May 1, 2013 11:57 am | by IMTSTV | Videos | Comments

Today, there is an extensive amount of data produced relative to the manufacturing process.  However, this data is typically “trapped” in equipment used in the production of products or the operation of the facilities or it is recorded on paper where it cannot be easily analyzed. The purpose of MTConnect is to “unlock” this data and provide it in a format that can be used by software applications. 

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Why Parts Fail Workshop

May 1, 2013 10:40 am | by Reliability Center, Inc. | Events

This training provides an understanding of how it is possible to make order out of chaos when things go wrong. The workshop is designed to teach attendees how to identify failure modes by reading fracture surfaces of parts such as bearings, shafts, fasteners, seals, belts, and other materials to determine physical root causes. This will provide the answer(s) to "what happened."

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Ram Truck Demand Drives Chrysler Sales

May 1, 2013 10:18 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Strong demand for the Ram pickup truck helped drive Chrysler's sales up 11 percent last month as the company posted its best April in six years. The increase is another sign that Americans continue to buy cars and trucks despite high unemployment and mixed economic signals.

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China Automaker To Open CA Electric Bus Plant

May 1, 2013 10:16 am | by John Rogers, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Chinese company whose mantra is Build Your Dreams plans to build all-electric buses in California's Mojave Desert. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and officials of BYD Automotive scheduled a news conference Wednesday to announce plans to open the first Chinese-owned vehicle manufacturing plant in the United States in the wind-swept high-desert city 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

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Mayor: Blast-Damaged Texas Town Will Rebuild

May 1, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The mayor of a Texas town devastated by a deadly fertilizer plant explosion says he expects the community to rebuild and he'll do the same. West Mayor Tommy Muska said Tuesday that his hometown of about 2,700 has received donations from across the country since the April 17 accident.

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Jury Deliberates In IA Worker Abuse Case

May 1, 2013 10:12 am | by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press | News | Comments

A government attorney asked jurors Tuesday to award damages to 32 mentally disabled workers, saying they were subjected to around-the-clock discrimination by a Texas company that profited from their work at an Iowa turkey plant. qual Employment Opportunity Commission attorney Robert Canino said the former workers for Henry's Turkey Services suffered "broken lives" because of the conditions they endured.

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Nissan Cuts Prices On 7 U.S. Models

May 1, 2013 10:09 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Nissan is cutting prices on seven of its 18 models in the U.S., hoping its cars and trucks will show up in more Internet searches by shoppers. The price cuts vary with the amount of equipment on each model and run from 2.7 percent, or $580, on the top-selling Altima midsize car to 10.7 percent, or $4,400, on the Armada big SUV.

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Apple Sells $17B In Bonds In Record Deal

May 1, 2013 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple Inc. sold $17 billion in bonds Tuesday in a record deal spurred by the company's plan to placate its frustrated shareholders. The Cupertino, California-based company sold the bonds in its first debt issue since the 1990s to raise money to pass along to shareholders through dividend payments and stock buybacks.

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The Hidden Cost Of Summer Heat

May 1, 2013 8:05 am | by Megan Browning, Big Ass Fans® | Articles | Comments

Industrial facilities aren’t typically built with the comfort of workers as a top priority. High ceilings, large open spaces, and sizeable mechanical obstructions can make cooling manufacturing and warehousing spaces difficult. Uncomfortable working conditions lead to heat-related illnesses and decreased productivity, which negatively affect the bottom line of the business.

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