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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Maine Manufacturer Signs Pact To Reduce Illegal Employment

March 9, 2011 3:49 am | News | Comments

WHITNEYVILLE, Maine (AP) — A wreath manufacturing company in eastern Maine is the first business in the state to sign an agreement with the federal government aimed at preventing unlawful employment of illegal immigrants. Whitney Wreath President David Whitney and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Bruce Foucart signed the agreement at the company's headquarters in Whitneyville.

GM Recalls Buicks, Cadillacs For Faulty Defrosters

March 9, 2011 3:44 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors Co. is recalling new models of the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac SRX to fix a software glitch that could prevent the defroster from clearing the windshield. The recall affects more than 10,000 LaCrosse and SRX vehicles from the 2011 model years. GM says the software in the electronic climate control module could disable the ability to adjust and control the defroster and affect the driver's visibility.

China's Voracious Demand For Cars Falls Dramatically

March 9, 2011 3:38 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's voracious demand for cars eased in February, as surging gasoline prices, the end of government subsidies and a major holiday took a toll on the world's biggest auto market. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported Wednesday that total sales including buses and trucks fell 33 percent in February from the month before to 1.

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Japanese See Potential In Mississippi Manufacturing

March 9, 2011 3:30 am | by Molly Davis, Associated Press | News | Comments

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Japanese ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that he sees potential in energy and manufacturing for more economic partnership between Mississippi and his country. "Automobiles is a very promising area, but we are looking at various fields, electronics and nuclear powerplants as well," Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki said at a Mississippi Museum of Art luncheon.

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Toyota Aims For Industry-First 10 Million Annual Sales

March 9, 2011 3:23 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. is aiming for an auto industry first by reaching annual sales of 10 million vehicles by 2015 even as it acknowledges that overly rapid growth was at the root of its recall fiasco. Toyota President Akio Toyoda gave the 10 million figure Wednesday while outlining the company's "global vision" in his first major strategy announcement since the recall crisis that hit a year and a half ago.

Crane Topples At Steel Plant: One Dead, One Injured

March 9, 2011 3:22 am | by Hasan Dudar, Associated Press | News | Comments

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A 40-foot-tall movable platform toppled over at a New Castle steel plant Tuesday, killing one worker and seriously injuring a second, authorities said. The injured worker was on top of the scissor lift at the Alleghany Ludlum Steel Corp. when the accident happened, Henry County Emergency Medical Service chief Ron Burns said.

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Q&A With Monty Hamilton, CEO, Rural Sourcing Inc.

March 8, 2011 11:00 am | Articles | Comments

Rural Sourcing Inc. (RSI) provides a competitive onshore alternative to the traditional answers of IT outsourcing. Mr. Hamilton is the CEO responsible for leading the strategic direction and the growth of RSI to launch 30 new high-tech hubs across the US. He is a sought after speaker on the outsourcing topic, having recently been featured on CNBC, NPR radio, and at various industry conferences.

Unbreakable

March 8, 2011 10:55 am | Articles | Comments

When it comes to running a business, there are so many elements out of management’s direct control. Economic conditions, market swings, skilled labor shortages, or compliance requirements become the variables which—on a macro level—might determine whether your business is able to retain its market position.

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Plasma Machine Makes The Cut

March 8, 2011 10:42 am | Articles | Comments

Behlen Industries, founded in 1969, is Canada’s largest producer of steel building systems, in terms of units produced annually. Behlen serves the industrial, institutional, commercial, and agricultural markets with systems sold and installed throughout North America and parts of Europe by a network of authorized builder-distributors.

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The Electrical Revolution

March 8, 2011 10:29 am | by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Those familiar to the world of electrically-driven systems in manufacturing facilities are likely aware of the reigning sentiment that the systems are the cause of an undue amount of global energy usage. Some estimate that electric motors and their associated components consume almost 50 percent of the total energy usage within the U.

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How Long Is Too Long?

March 8, 2011 10:16 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

One of the first columns I ever wrote for IMPO magazine — three long years ago when I took over as editor — was about my car. At the time, I was dealing with a maintenance issue, struggling over the decision of whether to investigate the dashboard light that seemed to indiscriminately flash on and off, or to save the cash since nothing appeared to be wrong.

Capitalizing On Shifting Consumer Trends In Asia Pacific

March 8, 2011 9:58 am | by Angela Quintero, Consulting Director and head of Global Intelligence Alliance's global Consumer Retail practice | Articles | Comments

Technology has made consumers more powerful than ever, as they search for, source and compare products all over the world within a few clicks or tabs in a matter of seconds. While this has benefited consumer products and services that offered good ‘value for money’ in recent years, consumers have now started to demand much more than value.

A Whole New Kind Of Flight

March 8, 2011 8:12 am | Videos | Comments

Keeping on track with this week’s videos of innovative technology, we offer Yves Rossy, a Swiss military and commercial pilot. He is the inventor of a jet-propelled wing, and he remains the only man to pilot one of these machines. The craft uses four model turbine engines for power, and carbon fiber wings to provide enough lift to keep Rossy — also known as Jetman — from plummeting to the earth.

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What's Watson's End Game?

March 8, 2011 7:07 am | by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Blogs | Comments

While I’m cautiously optimistic that we humans will not have to engage in a decades-long, post-apocalyptic war against power-hungry machines looking to wipe us off the face of the earth, I cannot help but wonder what the future holds for Watson and artificially intelligent computers like it.

Robotic Automation Raises The Organic Bar

March 8, 2011 6:56 am | Articles | Comments

To meet growing consumer demand for its line of nutritious FOOD BARS, ORGANC FOOD BARs, an organic foods manufacturer in Southern California teamed up with Bosch Packaging Technology to install three new packaging machines—including two Delta robots—at the company’s facility in Corona, Calif.

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Video Release: Track The Root Cause

March 8, 2011 5:43 am | Product Releases | Comments

Reliability Center, Inc. (RCI; Hopewell, VA) has developed the PROACTOnDemand, which allows companies to engage in process, equipment, safety, environmental, and human root cause analysis (RCA) investigations. They have produced the following video to explain how the system can be used in one particular scenario: Go to www.

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High-Strength Chain Lubricant

March 8, 2011 5:39 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Escalator Chain Lube — available from Royal Purple (Porter, TX) — is a high film strength synthetic lubricant designed for a variety of chains, including those used in automotive and industrial applications. According to the company, it can reduce lubricant consumption by as much as 75 percent, along with reducing noise levels and extending the life of chains.

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Take Control Of Your Power

March 8, 2011 5:39 am | Product Releases | Comments

Time Mark Corporation (Tulsa, OK) has announced the arrival of the new Model 64-5 Power Factor Regulator, which is a monitoring and power factor control system. The Model 64-5 uses a phase-angle sensing circuit to monitor the power factor of a three-phase power line and automatically respond to changing power by closing or opening the internal relays.

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Penetrating, Water-Resistant Grease

March 8, 2011 5:38 am | Product Releases | Comments

LPS Laboratories (Tucker, GA) has introduced the Clean Penetrating Grease, a high tack, clear grease that contains PTFE to enhance the lubrication performance and reduce friction. According to the National Lubrication Grease Institute (NLGI), Clear Penetrating Grease has a rating of 1 to 1.

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'Making' Trash Into Art

March 8, 2011 4:48 am | Videos | Comments

Two weeks ago, we featured a video of Dale Dougherty, publisher of MAKE magazine, talking about how we are all "makers." Well, this video shows almost exactly what Dougherty — and we — were talking about there. Reuben Margolin creates kinetic sculptures, which are a form of artwork he builds using found materials, such as cardboard tubes and scrap metal.

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