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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Japanese Automakers Begin To Test Cars For Radiation

April 22, 2011 4:31 am | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automakers have begun checking the level of radiation on cars to be exported from the country in a bid to ease worries among foreign consumers, an industry group said Friday. The automakers will inspect radiation inside cars and on tires before shipment, said Hirokazu Furukawa, a spokesman for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

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Toyota: Production Won't Normalize Until November

April 22, 2011 4:29 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's global car production, disrupted by parts shortages from Japan's earthquake and tsunami, won't return to normal until November or December — imperiling its spot as the world's top-selling automaker. President Akio Toyoda apologized to customers for the delays due to the March 11 disasters that damaged suppliers in northeastern Japan, affecting automakers around the world.

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Shale Gas: A Game-Changing Resource

April 21, 2011 9:07 am | by Gail McMinn, Executive Vice President of Commercial Services, U.S. Energy Services, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Natural gas has a reputation of being a reliable and clean fuel, but purchasing this energy source isn’t always easy. Natural gas prices can be extremely volatile for reasons that are often unclear. Energy industry experts point to a variety of reasons for changing natural gas prices, including  shifts in demand, weather, supply excesses, or constraints and the amount of gas in storage.

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Fault-Free Wire Dispensing

April 21, 2011 6:37 am | Product Releases | Comments

Lincoln Electric (Cleveland, OH) has introduced a new Stem and Wood Reel Dispensing System, which was designed for larger wire sizes from 1/16” to 3/16” in diameter. The system allows for accurate wire placement when using large diameter wire, and is compatible with up to 2,200-pound bulk stems.

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Keep Electronics Safe From Overcurrent

April 21, 2011 6:37 am | Product Releases | Comments

The family of PolyTron polymer positive temperature coefficient (PPTC) resettable overcurrent protective devices — from Cooper Bussmann (St. Louis, MO) — offers low resistance, fast trip times, and reliable protection, according to the company. The devices are ideal for protecting applications that are sensitive to high ambient operating temperatures or subject to frequent overcurrent conditions, such as I/O ports or process-control applications.

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Protect Almost Any Roof

April 21, 2011 6:34 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Garland Company, Inc. (Cleveland, OH) has recently upgraded its multipurpose liquid waterproofing roof restoration system. The White-Knight Plus/White-Stallion Plus is a reflective, multi-purpose, single-component aliphatic urethane coating designed to maintain, restore, and upgrade the performance of existing single-ply, metal, smooth BUR, and modified bitumen roofs.

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Customize Your New Industrial Scale

April 21, 2011 6:33 am | Product Releases | Comments

CombiScale Inc. (Opa Locka, FL) has announced the release of a new PrimoWeigher 360 combination scale with 16 heads and 2.5 liter buckets. The PrimoWeigher 260 is the first open frame scale where all electronics are located remotely in a electrical enclosure. This allows them to be safeguarded during washdown, and from machine vibration, but they are still located at eye level for servicing.

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The Brainstorm: The 'Going Green' Movement

April 21, 2011 4:11 am | Articles | Comments

In the Product Design & Development Brainstorm we talk with industry leaders to get their perspective on issues critical to the design engineering marketplace. In this issue, we ask: What role has the “going green” movement played in new product designs? ___ Scott Frankel, Director, Cooling Technologies Group,  NMB Technologies At NMB, the green movement has given us an opportunity to dedicate a significant amount of our R&D resources into improving the overall efficiencies of our products.

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Boeing Plans Massive Solar Array For S.C. Plant

April 20, 2011 4:56 am | by Bruce Smith, Associated Press | News | Comments

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Boeing Co. announced Tuesday that the roof of its new 787 jet assembly plant will be covered with solar panels and its South Carolina operation will be powered entirely with renewable energy. South Carolina Electric & Gas will install and maintain the thin panels that will cover the space of about eight football fields atop the massive assembly building.

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China's EV Rules Scare Away Foreign Automakers

April 20, 2011 4:50 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — The toylike electric cars at the Shanghai Auto Show are a glimpse of the high-tech automotive future China's leaders are pursuing — and a harbinger of possible disputes with its trading partners. Geely's two-seat McCar, Dongfeng's Shuaike microvan, the four-seat M1 REEV from Chery and others promise a range of more than 100 kilometers (60 miles).

Ford Unveils New Taurus, With Hands-Free Parking

April 20, 2011 4:43 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is revamping its Ford Taurus sedan with three new, fuel-efficient engine choices and a hands-free system that automatically parks the car. The 2013 Taurus has its debut Wednesday at the New York Auto Show and will go on sale next spring. The sixth-generation Taurus was a strong seller when it went on sale in the summer of 2009.

Elecrolux Chooses Charlotte For Vacuum-Making Expansion

April 20, 2011 4:36 am | News | Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Vacuum manufacturer Electrolux North America will create 200 jobs in Charlotte over the next four years by consolidating positions from across the United States. Gov. Beverly Perdue announced the move, saying the company will spend $14 million in the expansion.

Four Missing After Devastating Blast At Czech Factory

April 20, 2011 4:28 am | News | Comments

PRAGUE (AP) — A huge nitroglycerine explosion occurred at a factory in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, leaving nine people injured and four missing, officials said. The blast destroyed one building at the plant and smashed windows in a large area around the facility, which makes explosives for customers including the Czech military, said firefighter spokeswoman Vendula Horakova.

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Toyota Extends Cuts At North American Factories

April 20, 2011 4:26 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has extended production cuts at its North American factories into early June as it struggles to deal with parts shortages caused by the earthquake that hit Japan. The disruptions caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami continue to spread. Toyota has warned dealers to expect shortages well into this summer, and has changed paint colors on many models because of chemical shortages from a supplier.

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The Gulf Oil Spill, One Year Later: Hurting And Healing

April 20, 2011 4:22 am | by Cain Burdeau, Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It was the catastrophe that seemed to crush a way of life, an oil rig exploding in the darkness and plunging the Gulf Coast and its people into months of chaos. One year after the nation's worst offshore oil spill began, solemn ceremonies will mark the disaster Wednesday and underscore the delicate healing that is only now taking shape.

The Cost Of Incorrectly Labeled Goods

April 19, 2011 11:55 am | Articles | Comments

Product labeling is playing a major role in the customer selection process, so it's important for manufacturers to increase their focus on this subject. Cases of Return to Manufacturer (RTM) and Emergency Product Withdrawals (EPWs) within the food retailing sectors have increased significantly in the UK over the past five years and it is estimated that 12 percent of these are due to incorrectly labeled goods.

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Tragedy Will Impact Supply Chain Throughout 2011

April 19, 2011 11:10 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

Brian Zawada offers a look at some of the lessons learned for supply chain planning, and how many industries will continue to feel the aftershocks of events in Japan. The 2011 Continuity Insights Conference ( www.continuityinsights.com ) recently held in Atlanta featured a presentation from business continuity consultant Brian Zawada ( brian.

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Would You Stick Tweezers In This Power Strip?

April 19, 2011 7:59 am | Videos | Comments

Products don't always perform as advertised. In some cases, that's a major concern. The $70 Wet Circuits 4-outlet power strip claims it is resistant to water and you can stick tweezers into the sockets without  electrocuting yourself to death. Techland's Doug Aamoth put those claims to the test.

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Unlocking A Locked-In Artist

April 19, 2011 7:54 am | Videos | Comments

The inventor Mark Ebeling showcases his collaborative creation, the EyeWriter . The project began to help paralyzed graffiti artist, TEMPT, create art again, and developed into an open-source project that anyone can help improve. Better yet, anyone can make one of the devices, giving other paralyzed patients an incredibly affordable and versatile option for communicating with the rest of the world.

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Get A Checkmate With CNC

April 19, 2011 7:51 am | Videos | Comments

I know many of you are familiar with CNC milling — perhaps you even do your fair share during the work day — but it's hard not to appreciate the incredible complexity, not to mention the engineering, that goes into these processes. According to Glacern Machine Tools, the process involves turning out of a 2.

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