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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

(Re)Calling Upon Our Nation

December 10, 2010 5:27 am | by by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info | Blogs | Comments

I’m admittedly not much of a cook (plus, who has the time?), so I defect frequently to a diverse range of restaurants in Madison, whether chain or independent, and I relish that I have enough freedom to do so. But this year, I’ve found myself surrendering celery at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Federal Judge Rejects Dismissal Of Toyota Lawsuits

December 10, 2010 3:46 am | by Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press | News | Comments

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge who said he's inclined to let personal injury and wrongful deathlawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp. move forward heard arguments Thursday from Toyota attorneys hoping to dissuade him. U.S. District Judge James V. Selna issued a preliminary opinion Wednesday denying the automaker's motion to dismiss key causes of action in 51 lawsuits.

AFL-CIO Opposes U.S.-South Korea Trade Agreement

December 10, 2010 3:42 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The largest U.S. labor federation said Thursday it will oppose the free trade deal between the Obama administration and South Korea, which could complicate efforts to get the support of organized labor's Democratic backers in Congress. The decision announced by AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka marks a break with the United Auto Workers union, an AFL-CIO affiliate, which agreed to support the deal after negotiators acted to deal with South Korea's big trade surplus in automobiles.

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CEO, Union Disagree On Happiness Of Pratt & Whitney Workers

December 10, 2010 3:41 am | News | Comments

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The chief executive of Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp. says workers at jet engine manufacturing subsidiary Pratt & Whitney are happy to have a new labor contract. A union official disagrees. Chief Executive Officer Louis Chenevert told investor analysts Thursday he's pleased members of the Machinists union on Sunday approved an agreement allowing the company to shut two engine repair plants in Connecticut.

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Investigators Seek Answers In Blast That Killed Brothers

December 10, 2010 3:40 am | by Joe Mandak, Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. (AP) — Investigators planned to search Friday for answers to what caused an explosion at a West Virginia chemical plant that killed two brothers in the third fatal blast at the site in 15 years. The blast happened around 1:30 p.m. at the AL Solutions Inc. plant in New Cumberland, a small town in West Virginia's northern Panhandle about 33 miles west of Pittsburgh.

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GM Was Humbled By Its 'Near-Death Experience'

December 10, 2010 3:39 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top executive at General Motors says the company was humbled by its "near-death experience" and hopes to rebound from its bankruptcy two years ago. GM CEO Dan Akerson says in a speech to the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., that the automaker is making strides after its large initial public offering in November.

Ill. Manufacturing Execs Plead Guilty To Loan Fraud

December 10, 2010 3:37 am | News | Comments

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Three people who pleaded guilty earlier this year to fraudulently borrowing $213 million from 85 lenders for a now-bankrupt Bloomington, Ill. company have been sentenced to prison. Former Wildwood Industries plant manager Dominic F. Propersi of Bloomington was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.

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Put A Blanket Over Your Coolers

December 9, 2010 6:21 am | Product Releases | Comments

ZONEWORKS (Milwaukee, WI) now offers the insulated Door Blanket, which is a quick and affordable way to protect temperature-controlled items and finished products from the threat of spoilage or irreparable damage that occurs when powered doors on coolers or freezers unexpectedly shut down. The Door Blanket is designed to eliminate the exchange of air at the door opening when an air or automated door won’t close for any reason.

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More Rooftop Filtering

December 9, 2010 6:19 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The Filter Curb from Thybar (Addison, IL) can add additional filter capacity to a rooftop unit. Advanced laser technology offers the tightest tolerances and superior construction because each curb is custom-manufactured due to the varying specifications of various roof configurations. The Curbs use an all-welded construction, factory-insulated walls, an integral filter rack, and an access door for servicing filters.

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Pilot Lights In Explosive Environments

December 9, 2010 6:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new Optitrol Series from O-Z/Gedney (Rosemont, IL) is a line of factory-sealed, explosion-proof and dust-ignition proof control stations and pilot lights. They are typically used for remote control of motors in industrial areas where flammable gases are present. Optitrol’s heavy-duty enclosure confines electrical arcing, preventing ignition of flammable atmospheres, and the malleable iron enclosure is given a triple coat of zinc, chromate, and epoxy powder for corrosion resistance.

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Humidity Testing Gets Better

December 9, 2010 6:12 am | Product Releases | Comments

Sheldon Manufacturing, Inc. (Cornelius, OR) has announced its HC6 Environmental Humidity Chamber for multiple industrial testing applications. The HC6 floor model incorporates an air-jacket design that evenly disperses air within the walls to maintain uniformity and ensure proper insulation.

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Reducing The Midwest's Energy Consumption

December 9, 2010 4:48 am | by Bin Wu, Professor of Industrial Engineering | Articles | Comments

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Reducing energy costs is one of the simplest ways companies can cut expenses and increase profits, but only if they know how to do so effectively. Since its establishment in 2004, the University of Missouri Industrial Assessment Center (MoIAC) has helped more than 60 Midwest companies become more energy efficient.

Hopping Aboard The 'Jet Stream' For Better CNC

December 9, 2010 4:37 am | Articles | Comments

Founded in 1939, Ferrotherm Corporation (Cleveland, OH) is a well-established supplier to the aerospace industry with a heritage of providing quality gas turbine honeycomb seals and shrouds to customers such as GE, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, the U.S. Military, and many others. With 121 employees and over 100 various machines, the company is set up to perform most operations and processes on-site at its 78, 000 sq.

SpaceX World's First Company To Orbit Earth

December 8, 2010 9:48 am | Videos | Comments

SpaceX, the private-sector space transport company owned by Tesla founder Elon Musk, successfully launched its Falcon 9 test rocket into Earth's orbit and recovered it successfully, a first for a non-government entity. The test's success brightens the future for NASA, who will someday hire companies like SpaceX to shuttle materials and astronauts from Earth to the International Space Station.

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Wozniak: Rebels Of Today Are Future Successes

December 8, 2010 9:46 am | Videos | Comments

Steve Wozniak, best known for being a co-founder of Apple alongside Steve Jobs, now spends his time as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. He says that Apple's success, and the success of many other innovators in the electronics world, emerges from people doing risky and unconventional work. The "rebels" of today are no different.

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The World's Most Expensive 'Crap'puccino

December 8, 2010 9:45 am | Videos | Comments

The most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak, is popular throughout the world, despite its unique method of production and a price tag upwards of $50 a cup. 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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Beware The Ammonia Cloud

December 8, 2010 9:44 am | Videos | Comments

These ominous videos show two different angles of workers fleeing from a 2007 ammonia leak. The YouTube user who posted these videos says the leak neared 40,000 pounds of ammonia. That would be enough to get me running, too. 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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RIM Stock Could Drop Under Heavy Fire From Google

December 8, 2010 3:48 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Research in Motion Ltd.'s stock could fall over 3 percent over the next 12 months, said one analyst, as the company's line of BlackBerry smart phones continue to lose market share to phones running Google Inc.'s popular Android software. Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu maintained his "Hold" rating on the company, which suggests it will perform in line with similar companies over the coming year.

Fortune Brands To Keep Jim Beam, Ditch Everything Else

December 8, 2010 3:47 am | by Mae Anderson, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Consumer products maker Fortune Brands Inc. plans to split into three separate companies, keeping its liquor business led by Jim Beam bourbon while shedding the businesses that make Titleist golf balls, Moen faucets and Master Locks. Fortune Brands said Wednesday it will focus on its spirits business which generates annual revenue of $2.

Concrete Maker's President Pleads Guilty To Price Fixing

December 8, 2010 3:45 am | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The president of an Iowa ready-mix concrete company has pleaded guilty in a price fixing case. The Justice Department says Chad Van Zee pleaded guilty on Monday in U.S District Court in Sioux City, and agreed to cooperate with the department's ongoing antitrust investigation.

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