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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The 'SWITL' Works Its Magic On Ketchup

June 15, 2011 6:38 am | Videos | Comments

The SWITL in action doesn't exactly seem real. It uses a Teflon-covered plate to scoop up semi-liquid materials, like ketchup or mayonnaise, without disrupting their shape. While the SWITL is pretty cool to watch, it does have some applications in automated packaging, for example. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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GOP Hopeful's Company Settles $33 Million Lawsuit

June 15, 2011 4:42 am | by Charles Babington, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman was a top executive of a large chemical conglomerate that is paying $33 million to settle a lawsuit alleging price-fixing. Huntsman International LLC recently agreed to pay the money to settle a suit filed by several competitors.

Economists: Gas And Food Prices To Fall, Hiring To Rise

June 15, 2011 4:39 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber and Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writers | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are finally getting some relief from high gas and food prices. Wholesale food prices fell last month by the most in nearly a year, and gas prices keep dropping after peaking in May. A separate survey suggests CEOs are feeling more optimistic and will hire more in the second half of this year.

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Man Killed In Bedding Plant Roller Accident

June 15, 2011 4:31 am | News | Comments

WALLKILL, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say a 47-year-old man has died after getting trapped between two rollers of a mattress-bagging machine at an upstate New York bedding factory. Police tell the Times Herald-Record of Middletown that Jainarine Depoo of Wallkill was injured Tuesday afternoon at Corsicana Bedding in the Orange County town of Wallkill.

La. Chemical Plant Succumbs To Explosions, Inferno

June 15, 2011 4:28 am | by Molly Davis, Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) — A fire at a southern Louisiana plant where chemicals are blended and stored for oilfield operations is being allowed to burn itself out before investigators enter the facility to search for a cause. Tuesday afternoon's explosion and fire at the Multi-Chem Corp.

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Lockheed Martin To Cut 1,200 From Space Division

June 15, 2011 4:23 am | News | Comments

DENVER (AP) — Aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. plans to cut 1,200 employees in its space systems equipment division. The company said Tuesday that the cuts will be nationwide in America and trim the division's 16,000-person work force by nearly 8 percent. The company said middle management will be reduced by 25 percent.

Boeing Asks Judge To Dismiss NLRB Case

June 15, 2011 4:20 am | by Phuong Le, Associated Press | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing on Tuesday asked a judge in Seattle to dismiss a case brought by the National Labor Relations Board that accuses the plane maker of breaking the law when it built a non-union production line in South Carolina. The complaint by NLRB acting general counsel Lafe Solomon accused Boeing Co.

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Aerospace Manufacturers Spared From Republican Cuts

June 14, 2011 9:29 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense cuts sought by House Republicans in fiscal 2012 are unlikely to hurt "modernization, readiness" or the bottom lines of top aerospace contractors, an analyst said Tuesday. In a plan released Monday, the GOP-controlled panel that approves defense budgets barely touched major programs and cut modestly from others compared to the president's budget request, Jeffries analyst Howard Rubel said in a research note.

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Stocks Shake Off Two-Week Slump, Rally To June High

June 14, 2011 9:25 am | by Chip Cutter, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are shaking off a two-week slump after retailers had better sales in May than analysts had predicted. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed back above 12,000, and all three major indexes are on track to have their best day so far in June. The government reported Tuesday that retail sales edged down 0.

GM, Magna Get Michigan-Approved Tax Incentives

June 14, 2011 9:15 am | News | Comments

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A state board has approved tax incentives for projects connected to General Motors and other companies in Michigan. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority on Tuesday approved an amended brownfield tax credit valued at $10 million for GM's Van Slyke complex in Flint. The new project is expected to retain up to 185 jobs.

Ford Announces $1.2 Billion Spanish Investment

June 14, 2011 9:04 am | News | Comments

MADRID (AP) — U.S. automaker Ford has announced an €812 million ($1.2 billion) investment for its plant in the Valencia region of eastern Spain. Ford Europe chief executive officer Stephen Odell said at an event in Valencia Tuesday the investment will create hundreds of jobs in a country with a 21 percent unemployment rate.

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FDA Finds Listeria In Atlanta Kellogg Plant

June 14, 2011 8:56 am | News | Comments

ATLANTA (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration found traces of listeria at a Kellogg Co. bakery in Augusta, Ga., during an inspection earlier this year. In a letter released Tuesday, regulators say that the pathogen was found in several spots along the production line that comes in direct contact with food.

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Siemens Board Member Charged With Millions In Bribes

June 14, 2011 8:51 am | News | Comments

Ex-Siemens manager charged in bribery case  BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors said Tuesday they have filed charges against a former member of Siemens AG's board over millions of dollars in alleged bribe payments in Argentina. Munich prosecutors said the former manager is charged with three counts of breach of trust.

A Musician May Have Solved The U.S. Energy Crisis

June 14, 2011 8:06 am | Videos | Comments

One Pennsylvania-based musician thinks he has the (right) solution to the country's energy crisis. Soon after Brandon Hollinger managed to turn his old Saab into an electric vehicle, he developed a business to transform other gas-guzzling vehicles into eco-friendly transportation options. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Why Intellectual Property Is Protected By The U.S. Constitution

June 14, 2011 8:04 am | by William Gindlesperger, Chief Executive Officer, e-LYNXX | Articles | Comments

The Constitution of the United States (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8) grants to Congress the powers to promote "the progress of science and useful arts" by providing inventors the limited but exclusive right to their discoveries. This applies to copyrights and patents, with trademarks similarly protected by Congress under the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3).

Greg's Corner — Life's Circle of Fun

June 14, 2011 7:58 am | by Greg Harris , Vice President of Marketing, Jameco Electronics | Articles | Comments

Life has a way of coming full circle. As kids, our focus is all about fun. At some point, however, most of us turn serious. In fact, we turn on people who have too much fun and think of them as "immature." By the time we become seniors many will shed their seriousness, and while some could be labeled as "eccentric," most are just having fun.

Magnets Filter Better

June 14, 2011 6:13 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The Eco-Mag high-intensity magnetic filter, from Magnetic Products, Inc. (MPI; Highland, MI), improves filtration efficiency by using high-power neodymium Rare Earth magnets to remove ferrous and para-magnetic contamination. According to the company, it is effective with machine tool oils, coolants, and hydraulic fluid machinery systems.

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High-Tech Blowers

June 14, 2011 6:13 am | Product Releases | Comments

Kaeser Compressors, Inc. (Fredericksburg, VA) has lunched two additions to its Com-paK Plus family of blower packages. The EB 291C and EB 421C models offer side-by-side installation, plus low noise and vibration. They also use the company’s tri-lobe blowers, and have an enhance airflow design that improves both efficiency and heat removal.

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Picking Made Easier, Faster

June 14, 2011 6:12 am | Product Releases | Comments

Dematic (Grand Rapids, MI) has launched its RapidPick System, which uses a “goods to person” design that delivers split case items to an operator in a configuration that allows pick rates up to 1,000 line items per hours. According to the company, it offers high pick accuracy because only one SKU is presented to the operator at a time, in the desired sequence.

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Breathe Easy And See Better

June 14, 2011 6:11 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Jackson Safety (Roswell, GA), a Kimberly-Clark Professional brand, is now offering the R60 Airmax Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR), which features a NIOSH-approved HE filter for particulate contaminants that can be easily set and locked into place. It comes with fully-adjustable headgear and a welding helmet, which has a W40 series variable auto-darkening filter.

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