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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The Blind Leading... Themselves?

March 8, 2011 4:18 am | Videos | Comments

Today's technology is being leveraged to actually help people, which is one of the most exciting and inspiring aspects of this most recent age of tech innovation. CBS News reports on an artificial retina that could restore partial vision to the blind and may soon be approved by the FDA. Then, the network discusses how the device works and how it could change the lives for people with certain types of blindness.

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'Old GM' To Pay $50.6 Million For Environmental Slip-Ups

March 8, 2011 4:06 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. Attorney's Office and the Environmental Protection Agency have reached a $50.6 million deal to settle some environmental claims against the old General Motors Corp. The deal covers 34 sites in 11 states. It brings the settled environmental claims against old GM to more than $800 million, but more claims remain.

Hutchinson Technology To Cut 30 To 40 Percent Of Workforce

March 8, 2011 3:41 am | News | Comments

HUTCHINSON, Minn. (AP) — Hutchinson Technology will cut 30 percent to 40 percent of its U.S. work force as part of a consolidation plan, the company said Tuesday, sending shares plummeting 10 percent before the market opened. The cuts amount to between 680 and 910 of its 2,275 workers. Hutchinson said its needs fewer employees now because of advancements in manufacturing technology.

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Are We Experiencing A Little Benefit Envy?

March 8, 2011 3:35 am | by Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press | News | Comments

When Erin McFarlane looks at public workers, she sees lucrative pension benefits she doesn't ever expect to get. And it makes her mad. "I don't think that a federal employee or government employee is worth any more than anybody else who does their job and does it well," said the Slinger, Wis., woman.

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Toyota: Global Hybrid Sales Have Topped 3 Million

March 8, 2011 3:29 am | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday that global sales of its hybrid models have topped 3 million vehicles on the back of brisk demand for the Prius. The world's No. 1 automaker has sold more than 3.03 million gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles worldwide since 1997 when Toyota first rolled out the Prius in Japan, it said.

Food Distributor Plans On Selling Company To Its Workers

March 8, 2011 3:25 am | News | Comments

GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — The owners of a Goshen-based food distributor say they plan to sell the company to its 280 employees rather than risk selling it to a company that might move it. The Goshen News reports that Becky and Paris Ball-Miller will sell the company to its employees over the next 10 years.

Ford CEO Mulally Gets $56.5 Million Stock Reward

March 8, 2011 3:23 am | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. has rewarded CEO Alan Mulally with stock worth $56.5 million before taxes. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr., the man who hired Mulally, got stock worth $42.4 million. The Dearborn, Michigan, company disclosed the awards in filings Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Magna Rebounds Quickly After Devastating Plant Fire

March 8, 2011 3:20 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Part of a Michigan auto parts factory that was damaged by fire last week started producing again over the weekend, easing a parts shortage that had forced two auto companies to shut down some assembly lines. The fire Wednesday at a Magna International Inc. plant caused General Motors Co.

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Bill Gates Wants Energy Miracles

March 8, 2011 3:19 am | Videos | Comments

Bill Gates, well-known for being the founder and main proprietor of Microsoft for many years, now heads a foundation that invests in forward-thinking technology to help propel the world into a better future. As he explains in this talk, the key to solving the world's energy crisis isn't in making Americans use less, or taking away the services that we hold dear, but rather using technology that creates energy with little environmental backlash.

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Better Cordless Torque Control

March 7, 2011 9:58 am | Product Releases | Comments

Mountz, Inc. (San Jose, CA) has developed a new line of cordless screwdrivers to their FlexPower-branded lineup, designed for torque control and durability. The tools are built around the 10.8V and 14.4V high-capacity lithium-ion battery platforms. According to the company, they are ideal for applications where air or electric power is not easily accessible, and they automatically stop when the preset torque has been reached.

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Floor, Wall Cleaning Gets Easier

March 7, 2011 9:57 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new Oil Eater Floor Cleaner from Kafko (Skokie, IL) comes packaged in a 1.5 oz. pouch, and simplifies the task of cleaning floors and walls, according to the company. The pre-measured packets help maintain proper dilution and control wasteful overuse, while still being compatible with a mop bucket or floor scrubber.

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Completely Wireless Inspection

March 7, 2011 9:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

SKF (San Diego, CA) has developed the Microlog Inspector, the next generation SKF MARLIN inspection system, which provides the ability to manage workflow and data collection within and between different plant disciplines (operations, maintenance, safety, etc). The Microlog Inspector does not need to be connected to a PC running SKF’s @ptitude software package because it supports communication over LAN, USB, WiFi, and even cellular data networks (3G/GPRS).

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Forego Welds And Rivets For Adhesives

March 7, 2011 9:55 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Henkel Corporation (Rocky Hill, CT) has introduced two Loctite Structural Acrylic Adhesives formulated to fixture in just five to 20 minutes. The Loctite H8100 and H8110 Speedbonder Structural Adhesives provide excellent peel and shear strength once cured, and the bonds are designed to reduce or eliminate welds, rivets, and threaded fasteners.

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Domestic ‘Fourslide’ Parts Fabrication Slashes Inventory Costs

March 7, 2011 8:58 am | Articles | Comments

If you’re sourcing stamped metal parts from overseas, you may be required to order far more than you really need. Using fourslide fabrication can eliminate that requirement. If you’re sourcing metal stampings from overseas locations such as China, you’re most likely buying in large volumes, perhaps container-loads.

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Managing Change In CPG Manufacturing

March 7, 2011 8:42 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Doug Newman, Consumer Packaged Goods Sector Lead, Celerant Consulting According to new research published by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Celerant Consulting, senior executives are shifting their priorities towards growth and the future as the economy slowly recovers.  Food Manufacturing  spoke with Doug Newman of Celerant Consulting about the most important changes CPG manufacturers can make in these crucial times.

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Western Digital Buys Hitachi Unit For $4.3 Billion

March 7, 2011 3:49 am | News | Comments

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Hard drive maker Western Digital Corp. is buying Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for $4.3 billion in cash and stock. Western Digital said Monday that the deal includes $3.5 billion in cash, plus 25 million of its common shares. The stock is valued at $750 million based on the company's Friday closing stock price of $30.

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Caterpillar Workers, UAW Approve Six-Year Contract

March 7, 2011 3:47 am | News | Comments

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The United Auto Workers says employees of Caterpillar Inc. have approved a new labor agreement. The UAW says a majority of members at Caterpillar approved the new six-year contract in voting Sunday. The union did not provide specific numbers on how members voted. The contract covers about 9,500 hourly production and maintenance workers at Caterpillar facilities in the Illinois cities of Peoria, Aurora, Decatur and Pontiac, and those in York, Pa.

Robot Connects Va. Manufacturer And Dominican Republic

March 7, 2011 3:43 am | by Rebecca Layne, Associated Press | News | Comments

CLEAR BROOK, Va. (AP) — In a house in the Dominican Republic, Erwin Deininger moves a computer mouse. Thousands of miles away in Frederick County, a 4-foot-tall state-of-the-art robot comes to life in a small factory, out of place among the old wood paneling and mechanical pencil sharpeners that adorn the walls and the steel machines that grind and crank on the factory floor.

Iowa Town Braces Itself For Electrolux's Departure

March 7, 2011 3:39 am | by Jane Curtis, Associated Press | News | Comments

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — The end is rapidly approaching for Electrolux's presence as a major manufacturer in this town. As the scheduled March 31 closing date nears and production lines fall irreversibly still, the cavernous building will gradually fall silent. And, more than 4,000 miles away, corporate leaders in Stockholm, Sweden, will deliver to AB Electrolux stockholders the results of the multinational appliance manufacturer's efforts to pare down expenses and improve a different line: the corporate bottom line.

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GM Restarts Lordstown Plant After 5-Day Shutdown

March 7, 2011 3:35 am | News | Comments

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Work will resume at a General Motors plant in northeast Ohio on Tuesday following last week's shutdown caused by a fire at an auto parts plant in Michigan. Tom Mock of General Motors Co. says shifts will begin at the Lordstown plant near Youngstown after significant progress has been made by Magna International Inc.

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