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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Lawmakers Praise Detroit's Recovery From Bankruptcy

January 11, 2011 3:23 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Touring the Detroit auto show Monday, House Democrats praised the U.S. auto industry for rebounding from the depths of bankruptcy and despair and credited an unpopular bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. Getting behind the wheels of shiny new cars, lawmakers who helped GM and Chrysler secure billions of dollars in federal aid said the companies were on the comeback after government-led bankruptcies in late 2008 and 2009.

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Get 'Chuck' To Hold Your Work

January 10, 2011 9:36 am | Product Releases | Comments

Northfield Precision Instrument Corporation (Island Park, NY) has introduced their Model 470 chuck, which was retooled for Caterpillar. The chuck has special serrated insert pads to securely grip the part during drilling. In addition, the chuck is mounted on an indexing head to expose both sides of the part for drilling.

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Riding On Air

January 10, 2011 9:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

The actuators for scissor lifts and tilt tables from Air Springs (Meadowbank, New South Wales, Australia) attempt to eliminate one of the weakest links in pneumatic actuation: the seals in traditional cylinders. The Airstroke actuators are essentially — according to the company — heavy-duty balloons.

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Foggy Or Dirty Eyewear?

January 10, 2011 9:34 am | Product Releases | Comments

Allegro Industries (Garden Grove, CA) has added a complete line of eyewear cleaning products to its family of safety equipment and accessories. The line includes two metal, wall-mounted, and refillable cleaning stations: the Deluxe or Economy Low Profile Station. The Deluxe model offers a mirror and a lock, while the Economy version has a white, high-gloss powder-coated finish that reduces wear.

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Cylinders That Handle The Unexpected

January 10, 2011 9:33 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new long-stroke RC Duo hydraulic cylinders from Enerpac (Milwaukee, WI) optimized extension capabilities while minimizing retraction times to get the job done faster and more reliably, according to the company. The 700 bar cylinders are available in capacities from 5 to 95 tons, with stroke lengths from 156 to 362mm.

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Manufacturing In 2025, Part Two

January 10, 2011 6:44 am | Articles | Comments

This is the second part of a two-part series on the next fifteen years in manufacuring. To read the first part, go here . ___ 1. Segment of one: Will you be able to suit customers’ increasingly specific needs? The migration to highly customized products is accelerating in both consumer and business-to-business markets.

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U.S. Sets Up First Foreign Safety Commission In China

January 10, 2011 3:57 am | by Alexa Olesen, Associated Press | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will set up its first office outside the United States in China in a bid to reduce the amount of dangerous products reaching the American market. Commission head Inez Tenenbaum told reporters Monday the "history-making" office also aims to make it easier for the U.

Spirit Aerosystems Ready To Hire 200 Workers

January 10, 2011 3:45 am | News | Comments

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Aircraft parts maker Spirit AeroSystems is planning to hire workers for several locations this year. The Wichita Eagle reported that the hiring is expected to occur in the first quarter because production on new and existing programs is increasing. Spokesman Ken Evans said Friday that the near-term plans call for hiring about 200 workers for Wichita and Tulsa, Okla.

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Official Suspended After Factory Sickens Hundreds Of Children

January 10, 2011 3:40 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — An environmental official in eastern China was suspended after a battery factory sickened more than 200 children with lead poisoning, authorities said Sunday. China is the world's largest producer and consumer of lead, a key component in lead-acid batteries needed for the growing number of vehicles in the country.

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Detroit Auto Show, Day 1: VW Returns Manufacturing To U.S.

January 10, 2011 3:37 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

Volkswagen to keep Passat name on new midsize   DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen is keeping the Passat name for a new midsize vehicle that will be built at the company's new U.S. plant in Tennessee. Volkswagen of America Inc. announced plans Sunday to maintain the Passat nameplate at an event before media previews of the North American International Auto Show.

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Chevrolet Volt Named 'Car Of The Year'

January 10, 2011 3:34 am | by Jeff Karoub, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The 2011 Chevrolet Volt got another marketing jolt Monday, when it received the North American Car of the Year. The car that runs on electricity for 40 miles before a backup gas engine kicks in beat out the Nissan Leaf, another electric, and Hyundai Sonata in the annual ceremony on the first day of media previews for the Detroit auto show.

Is Ford Strong Enough To Survive Their Latest Success?

January 10, 2011 3:28 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) — In every boom cycle of its 107-year life, Ford Motor Co. became complacent, unprepared for the inevitable bust in the auto business. From the 1920s, when Ford lost its dominant position in the U.S. because it was slow to update the Model T, to the 2000s, when it squandered billions in SUV profits and narrowly avoided bankruptcy, the company stuck with some strategies too long and didn't pay enough attention to others.

Give Your Brain A Break Today

January 7, 2011 9:48 am | by by Nancy Maas, Editor in Chief, Wireless Design & Development | Blogs | Comments

We need to cut back on our consumption of media, our connectivity, and how much we multitask, even if it is only for a few minutes a day to start. There is a lively debate going on among scientists over whether technology’s influence on behavior and the brain is good or bad, and how significant it is.

A First In Air Quality

January 7, 2011 9:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Reznor Z Series hybrid ventilation unit, developed by Thomas & Betts (Memphis, TN) is the first unit, according to the company, to integrate an energy recovery wheel into a dedicated heat pump system for precise ventilation and temperature control. The Z Series can recover more than 80 percent of the exhaust air energy year-round.

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More Effective Enclosures

January 7, 2011 9:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

Attabox (San Antonio, TX) has achieved IP66 certification, which adds to the current UL/cUL 50e, type 3R, 4, 4X, and 12 certification. The IP66 rating means the enclosure provides effective protection from dust penetration and leakage from high-pressure water jets. This allows users to be sure the enclosures can last in harsh environments.

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Protect Your Grippers

January 7, 2011 9:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

The DCT Series Pneumatic Grippers from Omega Engineering (Stamford, CT) are angular grippers with a 180° jaw opening, which allows for the complete release of a directly-fed part. The gripper forces range from 32 N to 112 N. According to the company, the gripper has shielding to repel chips and other particulate from the internal drive mechanism.

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A Better Suction Cup

January 7, 2011 9:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

Piab (Hingham, MA) has launched its new piGRIP suction cup, which is the first modular suction cup, according to the company. The piGRIP allows companies to choose the ideal combination of lip and bellow so products can be handled at high speeds. The system is available with a range of independent lips, bellows, and fittings in sizes from 25-77mm, allowing it to be tailored to individual gripping, lifting, and height requirements to handle a variety of products.

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The Link Between Goal Alignment And Staying Competitive

January 7, 2011 7:41 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers are faced with a number of challenges, including driving revenue growth, improving compliance and streamlining operations. A recent study by the Aberdeen Group draws a link between talent management processes and the overall success of meeting these everyday challenges.

Manufacturing In 2025, Part One

January 7, 2011 7:34 am | by John Ferreira, managing director of Accenture's North American Manufacturing practice, and Stephen Laaper, senior manager in Accenture's North American Manufacturing practice | Articles | Comments

From the shop floor to the order desk, manufacturing has become quite volatile, complex, and dependent on far-flung operations and partners. But that’s a walk in the park compared to what the next 15 years will bring. Here’s how to prepare for the challenges just ahead and, in turn, how you can translate manufacturing prowess into a true competitive advantage.

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Can You Imagine Working For Just A Dollar?

January 7, 2011 3:58 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs' compensation package remained the usual $1 in fiscal 2010, but the value of the shares he owns has skyrocketed amid the company's ongoing success with introducing shiny new gadgets many people come to find indispensible. Apple said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday it paid a salary of $1 to Jobs, who rejoined the company in 1997 and has overseen the company's explosive growth following the launch of the iPod, the iPhone and now the iPad.

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