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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM, Chrysler White-Collar Workers See Green

February 11, 2011 3:53 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Most of the 26,000 white-collar workers at General Motors Co. will get performance bonuses of 4 to 16 percent of their base salaries this year, but payments to a small number could be 50 percent or more, the company confirmed late Thursday. Chrysler Group LLC also will give bonuses to white-collar workers, with payments expected on Friday.

Food Safety Law Helps Protect Whistleblowers

February 11, 2011 3:49 am | by Steve Karnowski, Associated Press | News | Comments

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Food industry workers who become whistleblowers gained protection against retaliation from their employers with a little-noticed provision in the sweeping food safety law President Barack Obama signed last month. The Food Safety and Modernization Act is best known for sections that aim to prevent foodborne illnesses, allow the Food and Drug Administration to order recalls and make it easier to trace contaminated food to its source.

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Lincoln MKZ A 'Successful' Test Of Hybrid Demand

February 11, 2011 3:43 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Car buyers usually have to pay a premium of $5,000 or more for the hybrid version of a car. So when Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln MKZ hybrid went on sale last fall for the same price as the gas version, it became a test case for hybrid demand. The verdict: More people will choose the hybrid when price isn't a factor, but not too many more.

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Tech Firm: Chinese Hackers Stole IP From Western Companies

February 11, 2011 3:41 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — Hackers operating from China stole sensitive information from Western oil companies, a U.S. security firm reported Thursday, adding to complaints about pervasive Internet crime traced to the country. The report by McAfee Inc. did not identify the companies but said the "coordinated, covert and targeted" attacks began in November 2009 and targeted computers of oil and gas companies in the United States, Taiwan, Greece and Kazakhstan.

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Goodyear Lays Off 1,900 Tennessee Workers

February 11, 2011 3:34 am | News | Comments

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. reported Thursday its revenue rose 14 percent in the fourth quarter but it lost $177 million as it absorbed costs for its planned closure of a plant in Union City, Tenn. Its adjusted earnings and revenue beat Wall Street expectations, and shares surged $1.

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Tougher-Than-Tough Transformers

February 10, 2011 5:31 am | Product Releases | Comments

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) has expanded its Hammond line of HPS Fortress commercial encapsulated power transformers. The single-phase units are now available in 100VA to 25kVA ratings and input voltages ranges of 120VAC to 480VAC. They are encapsulated with electrical-grade silica sand and resin compounds to protect the core and coils, which seals out moisture and airborne contaminants.

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Get Things Done With Whiteboards

February 10, 2011 5:31 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new magnetic KPI whiteboards from Magnatag (Macedon, NY) help managers tell employees that “things get done” when they display key performance metrics. According to the company, these whiteboards can help increase productivity, or can be used as an essential component of a company’s Lean program.

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Clear Blockages With High Pressures

February 10, 2011 5:30 am | Product Releases | Comments

The RIDGID (Elyria, OH) KJ-3100 water jetter offers professional power to clear blockages in 2” to 10” diameter drains with a full 3,000-psi working pressure, and a 5.5 gallon-per-minute flow. The KJ-3100 jetter allows the user to reach remote or resisted-access drains easily. The system is mounted on a heavy-duty, two-wheeled cart that fits through standard doors and negotiates tight turns, and the design allows the user to refuel without removing the reel.

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More Versatile Process Control

February 10, 2011 5:30 am | Product Releases | Comments

Omega Engineering, Inc. (Stamford, CT) now offers the CS series of process control modules, which give you PID loop control of any process, all without using a PLC. A variety of modules allow for control of temperature, flow, and pressure, while the single- and dual-loop temperature models provide ramp-and-soak controls.

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Staying On Schedule 

February 10, 2011 3:59 am | Articles | Comments

The multiple factors considered in creating production schedules to meet customer service levels, while managing inventory, pointed to the need for a finite capacity scheduling system for one food manufacturer. Oberto Sausage Company  is a family owned business that offers a complete portfolio of meat snacks, refrigerated sausage, and deli products for 89 years.

One In An Undecillion

February 10, 2011 3:12 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

CNN Tech taught me a new word last week: Undecillion. That’s right… we’re making stuff up now. Numbers, in fact. If forced to guess what exists an undecillion times in our world—in order to require this made-up sounding number—I might start with plankton or fleas, grains of sand or former child actor felonies.

Inside Cleveland's Salty Underbelly

February 9, 2011 9:43 am | Videos | Comments

Anyone who spends time in Cleveland during the winter — or anywhere in the northern half of the country — is well aware of the copious amounts of salt used to keep roads free of ice. But little do most know that Cargill operates a massive salt mine directly underneath Cleveland, with 100 miles of roads and tunnels.

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The Battle Of The Bulbs

February 9, 2011 9:43 am | Videos | Comments

A new law hopes to phase-out the incandescent light bulb in favor of more energy-efficient versions, and, like everything else in this country, the opposition force is moving to have the law repealed. In case that movement falls through, however, some incandescent-lovers are going to extreme lengths to avoid CFL, LED, and halogen bulbs, such as hoarding five-year supplies.

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Is Detroit Having A 'Renaissance'?

February 9, 2011 9:42 am | Videos | Comments

Chrysler's Super Bowl ad featuring the "Motor City" and rapper Eminem has received a great deal of buzz in the days following its premiere, and now many are left wondering if Detroit is about to experience a "renaissance." CNBC sat down with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing to discuss some of the new policies he's putting in place to encourage growth in the inner city.

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Toyota Cars Declared Safe To Drive

February 9, 2011 9:41 am | Videos | Comments

As many of you have heard, the government has said — after a 10-month investigation — that the Toyota recalls were caused by sticky accelerators and floor mats, not any electronic flaws. After 8 million recalled vehicles, Toyota is simply trying to move past the controversy, but some aren't done fighting.

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Food Fight: Metal vs. Plastic Belting

February 9, 2011 4:23 am | Articles | Comments

Plastic vs. Metal Belting . Virtually every manufacturer employs conveying systems in their processing operations. Different conveyor belting options are available to manufacturers, and each presents its own benefits to various applications. IMPO sister publication Food Manufacturing asks two experts to sound off: Jamie Card, Marketing Specialist, Wire Belt Company of America Processing plants face many different challenges, including increased pressure to avoid downtime and keep lines running.

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FBI Raids Detroit Offices Of Japanese Auto Parts Supplier

February 9, 2011 3:45 am | News | Comments

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The FBI has raided the suburban Detroit offices of the Japanese auto parts supplier Takata Corp. A subpoena and search warrant were served Tuesday at the offices of TK Holdings Inc. in Auburn Hills. Takata spokeswoman Alby Berman tells WXYZ-TV she's unsure of the reason for the raid.

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GM's Hourly Workers Could Get Highest-Ever Bonuses

February 9, 2011 3:42 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Hourly workers at General Motors Co. could get $3,000 or more in profit-sharing this year, their biggest checks ever, according to a newspaper report Tuesday. The Detroit company, just a year and a half out of bankruptcy protection, made $4.2 billion in the first three quarters of this year and is expected to post a fourth-quarter profit in the coming weeks.

'Reshoring' Group Aims To Bring Manufacturing To Illinois

February 9, 2011 3:39 am | News | Comments

In his Jan 25, 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama focused on the need to create jobs, especially manufacturing and technical jobs, and the challenge of doing so in an increasingly competitive world.  The Illinois Reshoring Initiative today announces its program to apply the principles of the national Reshoring Initiative to revitalize Illinois manufacturing by reshoring: bringing back many of the most desirable jobs that have been lost to decades of offshoring.

GM: Chinese Sales Reach Month-To-Month High

February 9, 2011 3:33 am | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors Co. says its vehicle sales in China, the world's largest auto market, hit a monthly record high of 268,071 in January, though year-on-year growth was sharply lower. GM said Wednesday that its sales in China in January rose 22.3 percent from a year earlier, a much smaller increase than the 97 percent growth seen in January 2010, when sales totaled 219,192 vehicles.

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