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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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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Deleting CDs With Electrocution

April 19, 2011 7:47 am | Videos | Comments

Need to delete the information from some CDs? You’d be hard-pressed to find a more over-the-top (or cool-looking) way to get the job done. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Take Control Of Your Pallets

April 19, 2011 6:34 am | Product Releases | Comments

Columbia Machines (Vancouver, WA) has further developed the Load Transfer Station (LTS) product line to include a Pallet Cart (LTS-C), which allows the fork truck driver to place the “go to” pallet onto a pallet cart allowing the process to complete automatically. The LTS-C is capable of transferring products that are packaged in cases, barrels, drums, bags, and pails from one pallet type to another.

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Coatings That Cure In Seconds

April 19, 2011 6:33 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Multi-Cure 9-30556 coating, from DYMAX (Torrington, CT), cures in seconds upon exposure to UV/visible light and was designed for rapid coating of PCBs and other electronic assemblies. It is formulated to remain on the edges of difficult-to-wet components and sharp leads. With a medium viscosity, it was designed to enhance wetting of leads, and is compatible with most types of spray equipment.

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A Tougher, Leak-Free Hose

April 19, 2011 6:32 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

A medium-weight thermoplastic rubber hose from Flexaust (Warsaw, IN) can now be supplied with thermally welded cuffs to provide a smooth surface and a tight seal using standard hose clamps. The TR T-7 Hose is reinforced with a spring steel wire helix, which allows the hose to resist most chemicals and is suitable for removing fumes, vapors, powders, and dust.

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Purge HVAC Or Refrigerator Lines

April 19, 2011 6:32 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

TurboTorch (St. Louis, MO) has introduced a new Nitrogen Flow Meter that is ideal, according to the company, for purging HVAC or refrigerator lines prior to the brazing process. The meter monitors the flow of nitrogen gas through the lines so that oxygen can be displaced. The model NFM-TT can measure gas in two ways: standard cubic feet per hour (outflow 0 to 75 SCFH), or by liters per minute (0 to 35 LPM).

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A Reality Check

April 19, 2011 5:06 am | by Girish Malhotra, PE, EPCOT International | Articles | Comments

Recently in my efforts to assist a client to find suppliers of certain product, I took the easy route: using one of the search engines. The results were very interesting. Most of the products were available from Chinese and/or Indian companies. All of the sites had minimal to no information on any physical properties or performance data.

Automakers Unveil Ambitious Plans To Dominate China

April 19, 2011 4:58 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Global automakers unveiled ambitious expansion plans for China on Tuesday, targeting the country's newly prosperous drivers as the industry struggles to recover from Japan's tsunami. Nissan Motor Co. plans to raise sales by about 15 percent to 1.15 million vehicles this year, said CEO Carlos Ghosn.

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Once-Great Industrial Crane Company Now Dismantled

April 19, 2011 4:54 am | by Susan Harrison Wolffis, | News | Comments

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — At its peak, more than 1,000 people worked at Lift-Tech International, a quiet company in Muskegon Heights that built some of the most sophisticated industrial hoists and cranes in the world. Now all that's left is rubble. On June 30, 2010, the company closed its doors forever, leaving a gaping hole not only in the landscape it dominated for almost 120 years, but also in thousands of lives.

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GM Unveils New 2013 Malibu: More Power, Less Gas

April 19, 2011 4:52 am | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors has set out to refine the current Chevrolet Malibu midsize car with the 2013 version to be unveiled Tuesday. The new car, GM's first midsize sedan to be sold globally, is designed to have better aerodynamics than the current version, and its all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is designed to perform better than the current version yet be fuel efficient.

Apple Sues Samsung For Devices That 'Slavishly Copy' iPhone

April 19, 2011 4:48 am | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple Inc. has sued Samsung Electronics Co., saying the South Korean company's Galaxy line of smartphones and tablet computers copy Apple's popular iPad and iPhone. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple alleges the product design, user interface and packaging of the Galaxy products "slavishly copy" Apple.

Grainger Rakes In Healthy 1Q Revenue

April 19, 2011 4:42 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — W.W. Grainger Inc. surpassed most Wall Street expectations in the first quarter thanks to its ability to raise prices. The industrial supply company reported its quarterly results after the market closed on Monday and in addition to unexpectedly health margins, Grainger boosted its outlook for the year.

J&J Profits Slip 23 Percent On String Of Recalls

April 19, 2011 4:39 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TRENTON, New Jersey (AP) — Health care giant Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday its sales rebounded but its profit dropped 23 percent in the first quarter, due to higher expenses, costs of recalls and litigation and a tax gain that boosted results a year ago. Adjusted earnings topped analysts' expectations.

Smart-Energy Consumption Via An Open Ecosystem

April 18, 2011 9:10 am | by Tony Paine, Kepware Technologies President and CEO | Articles | Comments

From America’s viewpoint, there is a dire need to transform the way we manage energy consumption and smart grid initiatives are leading the way. Our nation is saying goodbye to inefficient utility control systems plagued by slow reaction speeds, incompatibility, and isolation, which is due in part to the establishment of the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act).

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