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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM Adding 110 Jobs To Arlington SUV Plant

May 26, 2011 9:19 am | News | Comments

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — General Motors Co. is adding 110 jobs to a Texas factory and investing $331 million to expand the plant to make full-size sport utility vehicles. The Arlington, Texas, factory will make Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Cadillac Escalades. The plant, which currently has 2,400 employees, opened in 1954 and was expanded in 2001 to 3.

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Heinz: Income Is Up, But We're Cutting 1,000 Jobs

May 26, 2011 9:17 am | by Michelle Chapman and Sarah Skidmore, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

H.J. Heinz Co.'s global expansion efforts are paying off, driving its fourth-quarter net income up 16 percent. But the world's biggest ketchup maker said it needs to raise prices and cut jobs to continue its profitable path. The company, based in Pittburgh, announced Thursday that it will shed up to 1,000 jobs globally in fiscal 2012 as it closes five factories.

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The Future Of Robotics

May 26, 2011 8:07 am | Videos | Comments

Andrew Ng, of Stanford University, has long been trying to solve the complex problem of enabling robots to complement human life. According to him, robots have all the mechanical aptitude needed for any task currently done by a human — and at times, with more efficiency — but they fail when it comes to software.

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No More Sanding Dust

May 26, 2011 7:57 am | Product Releases | Comments

Dynabrade, Inc. (Clarence, NY) has introduced a new series of air-powered Vacuum Disc Sanders, which allows for efficient coatings removal with the capture of the actual contaminants to the vacuum source. The new tool line features 2”, 3”, 5”, and 7” sanders for smooth operation, while the Vacuum Shroud diverts dust and debris.

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More Versatile Actuators

May 26, 2011 7:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

Spartan Peripheral Devices (Vaudreuil, QC, Canada) is selling the ME4840 and ME4940 Spring Return Modulating Actuator with a wider input signal range. They are not on-board selectable with a Jumper J3 selectable range from: 0-10Vdc 2-10Vdc 0-5Vdc 5-10Vdc 4-20mA Users can choose from Spring Open or Spring Closed models with direct or reverse control action.

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Print Labels On The Go

May 26, 2011 7:53 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

DuraLabel (Portland, OR) has launched a new portable, fully-integrated label printing system called Toro, which combines a full-sized flip-down keyboard, tilting touchscreen, and OSHA-ANSI compliance software, and a thermal-transfer printer. According to the company, the Toro does not need IT support or connectivity to a computer.

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A Tough Industrial Laptop

May 26, 2011 7:52 am | Product Releases | Comments

Panasonic Solutions Company (Secaucus, NJ) has announced a series of upgrades to its Toughbook 31 rugged laptops. The devices now feature Intel Core i5 and i3 processors, increased RAM and hard drive capacity, and up to 20 hours of battery life. The devices have been certified to meet nineteen MIL-STD-810G tests, including shock, drop, vibration, and extreme temperature, and has an IP65 rating for protection from water and dust.

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A Better Caster

May 26, 2011 5:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Revvo Caster Company, Inc. (West Seneca, NY) has announced two new Towcaster swivel caster sets for moving ISO freight containers quickly without expensive equipment, such as cranes, gantries, or side-loading forks. The Towcasters are now available as a set of four swivel casters for optimum mobility.

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Shims In All Sizes

May 26, 2011 5:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Stainless Steel Arbor Shims from Precision Brand Products, Inc. (Downers Grove, IL) are available in 18 thicknesses in 12 different I.D/O.D. combinations. The shims are corrosion-resistant and can be used for fast, accurate spacing of milling cutters, gang cutters, saws, slitting blades and grinding tools.

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Smoother-Rolling Bearings

May 26, 2011 5:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

NKE (Clifton Park, NY) is introducing bearing solutions for industrial gearboxes with spherical roller and taper roller bearings, along with angular contact and deep groove ball bearings. The roller bearings are offered in more than 3,000 different designs and versions, suitable for high radial loads and moderate-to-high speeds.

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Easy-Upgrade Valves

May 26, 2011 5:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

Hayward Flow Control (Clemmons, NC) has developed the new large-diameter TB Series True Union Ball Valve, which incorporates an actuation mounting pad, per ISO 5211, and an integral panel mount foot pad. Sizes range from 2-1/2” to 6”, and materials include PVC and CPVC. Additional features include: A pressure rating of 235 psi non-shock and a full-port design.

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Making A Sport Out Of CEO Pay

May 25, 2011 12:09 pm | by by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Blogs | Comments

I’ve been a die-hard sports fan all my life. As I’ve grown and matured over the years, my highly-emotional, rabid fandom has evolved into something more statistically-oriented and analytical in nature. But that also means I have less and less tolerance for coaches and executives who don’t look at sports the same way.

As Hiring Returns, Will Efficiency Be Lost?

May 25, 2011 10:30 am | by Matthew Marciniak, Director of Strategy and Business Development, Celerant Consulting | Articles | Comments

Recent economic news might be the first signs of light at the end of this three year tunnel for the manufacturing industry, as positive momentum is gathering around jobs data. Certainly a welcome indicator as the sector still struggles under the weight of a recession that saw manufacturing profits after tax collapse to the tune of 40 percent from 2007 to 2008, according to the US Census Bureau.

Tesla Hopes To Raise $214M For Electric Crossover

May 25, 2011 9:42 am | News | Comments

PALO ALTO, California (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. says it plans to raise up to $214.3 million by selling common stock. A portion of the proceeds will be used to develop a crossover vehicle. Tesla plans to sell 5.3 million shares to the public, and up to 795,000 more to the underwriter, at $26 each, according to a regulatory filing.

Open Valves Caused Middleton Plant Explosion

May 25, 2011 9:23 am | News | Comments

MIDDLETON, Mass. (AP) — An internal investigation has determined that an explosion at a Middleton chemical plant that sent four workers to the hospital was caused when two valves were left open, allowing a building to fill with flammable vapors that were ignited by an internal ignition source.

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Spacewalk Maintenance Delayed By Soap In Eye

May 25, 2011 9:16 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A spacewalking astronaut got soap in his eye and almost had to retreat into the safety of the International Space Station on Wednesday. Andrew Feustel said it stung "like crazy." But several minutes later, he said he was feeling better and the third spacewalk of shuttle Endeavour's final voyage continued as planned for about seven hours.

Google Throws $55 Million To The Wind

May 25, 2011 9:11 am | News | Comments

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google Inc. is throwing another $55 million to the wind. The Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet search giant is partnering with Citigroup Inc. to help finance the Alta Wind Energy Center wind farm in California's Tehachapi Mountains. Google has been investing hundreds of millions in wind energy as it seeks reliable new ways to power its massive server farms, or data centers, which are notorious power hogs.

Organic-Lovers Start Demanding DNA-Traceable Meats

May 25, 2011 9:05 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — First came organic, then free-range, then local. Now discerning diners with a penchant for spending a premium to know where food comes from are pushing DNA-traceable meat onto restaurant menus. The technology — which allows meat to be traced from the farm to the fridge — has been used in Europe and other countries for decades, but has been slow to catch on in America.

Whistleblowers Get Financial Incentives From SEC

May 25, 2011 8:54 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Whistleblowers who report corporate fraud or other misconduct to the government could receive sizable cash awards under new rules adopted Wednesday by federal regulators. Tipsters would be eligible if they give the Securities and Exchange Commission information that leads to an enforcement action resulting in more than $1 million in penalties.

Want A Personal Submarine?

May 25, 2011 7:46 am | Videos | Comments

Thought expensive cars and multi-million dollar mansions were enough for the super-rich? That’s ridiculous. Private submarines are the new rage, and cost a pretty $80 million. For that price, you’re looking at jacuzzis, world-class kitchens, and gyms, all from the comfort of below the sea.

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