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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM Sales Jumped 27 Percent As Buyers Go Fuel-Efficient

May 3, 2011 7:19 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors' U.S. car and truck sales jumped 27 percent in April as the economy continued to improve and $4 a gallon gasoline pushed buyers into more fuel-efficient vehicles. The largest U.S. car company sold 232,538 vehicles last month, led by a shift to small cars and crossover vehicles.

Space-Age Technology To Soon Land On Earth

May 3, 2011 7:08 am | Videos | Comments

Undergraduate researchers are working on embedding the fabrics that make up space suits with metallic strands that are piezoelectric , which means that they create a small electric charge as they are bent, stretched, and compacted. The combination of all these charges could be enough to power the small portable gadgets of our time.

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Picking The Right Pump, The Hard Way

May 3, 2011 7:01 am | by Jack H. Berg, CEO, Service Filtration Corporation | Articles | Comments

Several years ago, a pump application was brought to our attention. A golf course community wanted to adorn its entrance with a waterfall. Rocks were arranged to form a wall about 12 ft. high, so that the water could flow over and spill down into a collection pond for recirculation. The committee in charge of this project, wanting to save money on the equipment and installation, elected to use a quantity of six swimming pool pumps that could be purchased at the local pool supply.

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All-In-One Air Conditioners

May 3, 2011 6:49 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Total Package Enclosure System from Thermal Edge (Irving, TX) now includes the UL-listed enclosure and enclosure air conditioner, back panel, and all holes for mounting. The company’s air conditioners are available in 120V, 230V and 480V, and come in NEMA Types 12, 4, and 4X. Condensate evaporation, a digital controller, and a narrow design are standard on every system.

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Communications Get Sophisticated

May 3, 2011 6:48 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Hittite Microwave Corporation (Chelmsford, MA) has introduced three new SMT packaged MMIC Band-Pass Turnable Filters, which are ideal for pre-selection in multi-band communication systems and in test or measurement equipment. They are tunable over a 4.0 to 19.0 GHz frequency range, and are insensitive to environmental conditions, according to the company.

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A More Powerful Welder

May 3, 2011 6:48 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Lincoln Electric (Cleveland, OH) has updated their Outback 145 portable welding machine with a Kohler 9.5 HP Model CH395 OHC (overhead cam) gasoline engine. The Kohler engine features a cast iron cylinder liner for a long engine life, as well as automatic shutdown on low oil levels. According to the company, it delivers 145 amps of DC output welding for use with up to 1/8” stick electrodes on steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and hardfacing projects.

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Go Wireless In Your Plant

May 3, 2011 6:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

Omega Engineering, Inc. (Stamford, CT) has designed the RTD-to-Wireless Connector/Convertor, which transmits process temperature, ambient temperature, signal strength, and battery status wirelessly to a computer or the internet. According to the company, users can interface up to 12 different wireless connectors with one receiver.

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Chrysler: We'll Lose 100,000 Vehicles On Supply Shortages

May 3, 2011 4:54 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne said Monday that the company will lose production of 50,000 to 100,000 vehicles this year because of the March 11 earthquake in Japan. Chrysler uses components that are made in that nation. Chrysler has cut overtime at plants in Canada and Mexico to conserve parts.

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U.S. Auto Sales Rose 19 Percent During April Buying Frenzy

May 3, 2011 4:47 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. sales of cars and trucks are expected to rise 19 percent in April as customers worried about shortages of Japanese cars rushed to buy the models they wanted. Automakers will release monthly sales results starting around 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday. In March, sales jumped 17 percent from a year earlier to 1.

Protestors Arrested At Honeywell Nuclear Part Plant

May 3, 2011 4:44 am | News | Comments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police arrested more than 50 people protesting at the construction site of a Honeywell plant that will build parts for nuclear bombs. Police say the protesters were arrested Monday after marching toward the gates of the site in south Kansas City.

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Factory Orders Rose 1.8 Percent In March

May 3, 2011 4:37 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses likely purchased more machinery, computers and other manufactured goods, boosting U.S. factory orders in March. The consensus view of economists surveyed by FactSet is that U.S. factory orders rose 1.8 percent in March. The Commerce Department will release the new report at 10 a.

Saab Saved By Investment From China's Hawtai

May 3, 2011 4:29 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach and Malin Rising, Associated Press | News | Comments

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A small, privately owned Chinese automaker on Tuesday saved Sweden's Saab Automobile from imminent collapse through an agreement to provide $223 million (euro150 million) in funds for the ailing brand. Saab's owner Spyker Cars said Hawtai Motor Group will take an initial 30 percent stake in Spyker in the deal which also includes joint ventures on manufacturing, technology and distribution.

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Honda Expands Airbag Recall To 800,000 Vehicles

May 3, 2011 4:25 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Honda Motor Co. is expanding a recall so it can check the driver's air bags on another 833,000 vehicles for a possible defect. The automaker said it's adding the vehicles to a previous recall because some may have had faulty air bags installed when they were fixed after a crash.

Q&A with John Murphy, Director of Solutions Management, Infor

May 2, 2011 12:08 pm | Articles | Comments

Understanding the most effective and efficient ways to manage its assets is a critical task for any manufacturing enterprise. John Murphy, Director of Solutions Management at Infor, recently spoke about the latest strategies and tools companies use to best manage their assets. Infor is a leading provider of business software and services, helping 70,000 customers in 125 countries improve operations and drive growth.

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What The Average American Knows About Manufacturing

May 2, 2011 11:56 am | Articles | Comments

Fifty years ago manufacturing provided one out of every four jobs. Today it is one out of 10 jobs. As a percentage of GDP, manufacturing has declined from a high of 21 percent in the 1950s to 11 percent today. The large corporations continue to outsource both products and complete plants, and seem to be totally indifferent to the future of manufacturing in the U.

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Electrical And Enclosure Safety For Solar Energy Projects

May 2, 2011 11:51 am | by Jeff Seagle, President, Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures | Articles | Comments

Electrical fires consistently rank among the top five causes of commercial building fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Fires involving electricity also regularly result in a higher percentage of property damage than those caused by many other sources. One of the most effective ways to better protect property against electrical fires is through education.

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Integrated Material Handling Results In Modern Paint Manufacturing Line

May 2, 2011 11:43 am | Articles | Comments

Beginning in 1946 with a single manufacturing facility in San Carlos, CA, Kelly-Moore Paints™ has grown to become the largest employee-owned—and the 5th largest paint company—in the United States. Supporting over 165 local stores, Kelly-Moore is “the painter’s paint store,” providing high-quality paint and related products to contractors, commercial and maintenance accounts, and do-it-yourself consumers.

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Southwest Closes $1B AirTran Deal

May 2, 2011 9:26 am | News | Comments

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines Co. closed its $1 billion purchase of AirTran on Monday, securing its spot as one of the biggest domestic airlines. For travelers, nothing much changes right away. They'll continue to deal with whichever airline sold their ticket. And policies such as checked bag fees are not changing right away.

2010 Flood Yielded New Water Plant For Tenn. City

May 2, 2011 8:55 am | News | Comments

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Severe flooding last year that washed away the city of Clarksville's wastewater treatment plant's ability to operate has also hastened a needed reconstruction of the facility. With repairs to the plant and needed new construction, the city will essentially build a new facility, said Pat Hickey, the head of Clarksville Gas and Water.

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Oil Prices Rise Again As Dollar Weakens

May 2, 2011 8:44 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices are rising again after falling below $111 a barrel on news that U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Benchmark oil for June delivery rose 24 cents to $114.17 a barrel in Monday morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude gained 48 cents at $126.

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