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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Routine Problems, Routine Explanations

November 18, 2010 11:01 am | by The QA Pharm, Anonymous Industry Insider and Contributor to Pharmaceutical Processing | Articles | Comments

When a recurring deviation and obviously ineffective corrective and protective action happens the third time, you no longer own the deviation/ investigation/ corrective and protective action — your boss does . Here I am at a foreign airport with time on my hands due to a significantly delayed flight.

Better Rooftop HVAC

November 18, 2010 9:50 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Vibro-Curb, available from Thybar Corporation (Addison, IL) has integral, vibration-dampening spring isolators that can be easily accessed. The curbs provide mounting for rooftop HVAC units, and they allow roofing to be completed at a later date. The flexible 9” counter-flashing provides a weather seal while permitting easy access to the isolators.

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Clean And Recirculate

November 18, 2010 9:50 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Trans-O-Filter unit from SERFILCO, Ltd. (Northbrook, IL) re-circulates at flow rates of 3 to 10 GPM on fuel or hydraulic systems to collect moisture on a coalescing element. To enhance the life of the coalescing element, a pre-filter can be added to remove particulates, and the choice of media allows the user to select cartridges with high dirt holding depth or absolute media of pleated membrane to trap particles as small as 1 micron.

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Know Your Costs

November 18, 2010 9:49 am | Product Releases | Comments

MTI Systems (West Springfield, MA) announces the release of the latest version of the Costimator — Version 11.0. According to the company, the new version helps make the user experience easier and more productive while improving speed and quality of results. Easier configuration is also included.

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Dry As A Desert

November 18, 2010 9:48 am | Product Releases | Comments

Atlas Copco (Westfield, MA) has launched three new desiccant air dryer ranges that are designed for efficiency, with low pressure drops, delayed dryer cycles, and a guaranteed constant pressure dew point — even at full load — under any condition. The CD+ range is engineered with a design that guarantees reliability, according to the company.

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Make Friends With The Air Hockey Robot

November 17, 2010 10:00 am | Videos | Comments

A Japanese professor has developed a robotic air hockey player, which uses a camera to track the puck's motion and calculate its trajectory and deliver a mean counter-attack. According to one YouTube commenter, this device is ideal for "people with no friends." That might be a little harsh, as the project is a good test in machine vision and developing faster reaction times for unexpected events.

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The Chevy Volt: Car Of The Year

November 17, 2010 9:59 am | Videos | Comments

The Chevrolet Volt, despite some concerns that it might not be as revolutionary as once thought, is the winner of Motor Trend 's 2011 Car of the Year Award. As Motor Trend editor-in-chief Angus MacKenzie explains, the award is given for performance in six main categories: Engineering excellence Advance in design Efficiency Safety Value Performance in intended function Despite a $41,000 sticker price, reviewers say that the Volt more than makes up for a bigger monthly payment with good mileage, and a lower energy cost when using the electric motor, compared to gasoline.

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Profiting From Anti-China Politics

November 17, 2010 9:58 am | Videos | Comments

China has been in the news lately due to veiled threats of withholding rare earth materials for political reasons, and that has made manufacturers around the world a nervous bunch. Considering a vast majority of the rare earth metals we use come from China, they do have the power to strangle a handful of industries and countless companies.

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What Are The Best Inventions Of 2010?

November 17, 2010 9:58 am | Videos | Comments

Time Magazine recently revealed its list of the 50 best inventions of 2010. There were a number of major technological breakthroughs over the course of the past few months, including the development of a jetpack, robotic prosthetic legs that allows paraplegics to walk again, and a super bus that can hold roughly 1,000 passengers.

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GE Aviation To Build 400-Worker Plant In Auburn, Ala.

November 17, 2010 4:01 am | News | Comments

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — GE Aviation has picked Auburn for its plant that will make coatings for the components in military jet engines. GE Aviation, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, had announced in August that it planned to locate a plant in Alabama and would decide the location within three months.

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Boeing Unsure When 787 Test Flights Will Continue

November 17, 2010 4:00 am | by Joan Lowy and Joshua Freed, Associated Press | News | Comments

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Boeing Co. said it's still not clear when it will resume test flights for its new 787, and an executive said in an interview that he doesn't know if the plane's first delivery would be delayed once again. Boeing has been flying six of the new 787s with a goal of getting certification to deliver the first one around mid-February.

Roche To Cut 4,800 Jobs For 'Operational Excellence'

November 17, 2010 3:59 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche will cut 4,800 jobs over two years, mostly in the U.S., to help save 2.4 billion Swiss francs ($2.4 billion) by 2012, the company said Wednesday. The cuts amount to six percent of its 82,000-strong global work force and will mainly affect positions in sales, marketing and manufacturing, Basel-based Roche Holding AG said in a statement.

Officals Call For Safer, Less Faulty Defibrillators

November 17, 2010 3:56 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials are calling on manufacturers of heart-zapping defibrillators to fix long-standing problems with the emergency devices that have triggered dozens of recalls and led to injuries and deaths. Defibrillators use electric shocks to jolt the heart back to normal after patients collapse from cardiac arrest.

Koss Executive Faces 20 Years For Embezzling Millions

November 17, 2010 3:53 am | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The former Koss Corp. executive accused of embezzling $34 million from the headphones manufacturer faces sentencing Wednesday in federal court in Milwaukee. Koss chief executive Michael Koss is asking the judge to sentence Sue Sachdeva (sah-CHEE'-vah) to the maximum 15 to 20 years.

Is GM's IPO Leaving Out The 'Little Guy'?

November 17, 2010 3:52 am | by Bernard Condon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — When General Motors finally offers stock to the public later this week, small investors will probably be left out in the cold. Pension funds, mutual funds and other big institutions all want a piece of the rehabilitated GM. That means the three dozen banks divvying up the new shares may not have much left for individual investors.

Industrial Output Down Overall, But Manufacturing Climbs

November 17, 2010 3:51 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industrial production in the U.S. was unchanged in October, as a sharp drop in utility output offset gains by manufacturers producing big-ticket goods for consumers and businesses. The Federal Reserve says that output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities was flat last month after falling by 0.

Sustainable Bubble Wrap

November 17, 2010 3:41 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Instapak RC45 foam from Sealed Air (Danbury, CT) provides users with a plant-based, renewable-content packaging form that is ideal for light-duty packaging applications. The RC45 foam contains 25 percent renewable content in the finished foam, providing a reduction in the use of petroleum-based raw materials.

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Better Grease For Electric Motors

November 17, 2010 3:41 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Monolec Extend EM Grease from Lubrication Engineers, Inc. (Fort Worth, TX) helps bearings run cooler and last longer, along with increasing efficiency and mechanical stability. According to the company, it is ideal for severe conditions, where extreme temperatures and high speeds are present.

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Smartphone-Controlled Weighers

November 17, 2010 3:40 am | Product Releases | Comments

CombiScale Inc. (Opa Locka, FL) now allows for operators to control the company’s Primo Weigher 360 more easily — eliminating the need to go back and forth between the weigher and HMI interface — with only a Windows-based smart phone. Operators can execute any function, including a step-by-step wizard, run the automatic self-check start-up routine, or run a self diagnosis.

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Inclinometers For Many Purposes

November 17, 2010 3:38 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Fredericks Company (Huntingdon Valley, PA) has announced the release of its new Dual Axis Inclinometer with 0-5 V analog outputs (X and Y axes) for PWM and temperature. The new inclinometer is designed for all types of instrumentation and equipment, with an angle range of ±60° over the X and Y axis, 0.

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