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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Germany Retracts Deadly E. Coli-Sprouts Connection

June 6, 2011 9:38 am | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press | News | Comments

BERLIN (AP) — In their second major retraction in a week, German officials said initial tests provided no evidence that sprouts from an organic farm in northern Germany were the cause of the deadly E. coli outbreak. One U.S. expert called the German investigation "a disaster." The surprise U-turn came only a day after the same state agency, Lower Saxony's agriculture ministry, held a news conference to announce that sprouts from the organic Gaertnerhof farm in the northern village of Bienenbuettel were suspected to be the cause of the outbreak.

Japanese Workers Start Earlier To Conserve Energy

June 6, 2011 9:36 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Facing a summer power crunch, some Tokyo city government employees began working an hour earlier Monday to conserve energy amid shortages caused by damage to a tsunami-hit nuclear plant. City workers on the earliest shift will start at 7:30 a.m. and be allowed to leave at 4:15 p.

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Impax Gets FDA Warning Label For Manufacturing Practices

June 6, 2011 9:33 am | News | Comments

HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) — Generic drugmaker Impax Laboratories Inc. said Monday that it received a warning from the Food and Drug Administration about manufacturing practices at its plant in Hayward. Impax said the warning letter came Friday. It said during a review, FDA inspectors found problems in the company's sampling and testing, its production record review, and the process it used to determine why manufacturing batches did not meet quality specifications.

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GE Begins Dredging of Upper Hudson River

June 6, 2011 9:32 am | News | Comments

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (AP) — The main phase of a massive dredging project designed to rid the upper-Hudson River in New York of PCBs began Monday after weeks of delays due to high waters. General Electric Co., officials said two dredges began operations in the river about 40 miles north of Albany at Fort Edward early Monday.

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On Last Week's Disappointing Jobs Numbers

June 6, 2011 7:10 am | Videos | Comments

CNN Money reports on last week’s disappointing news that jobs aren’t being created as quickly as economists would hope, and sits down with Secretary Hilda Solis of the Department of Labor to ask if we’re falling into a double-dip recession. The truth is that while many businesses are doing better than a year ago, and want to hire, the economy isn’t as supportive as it could be.

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Government Work: Pushing The Monolith

June 6, 2011 6:53 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, Product Design & Development | Blogs | Comments

It’s hard to doubt the impact government work can have on a small business in terms of both financial and technological gain. Just imagine the potential such programs could have if the playing field were level. In its first ten years of existence, visualization software company Tecplot  relied almost entirely on R&D contracts with the U.

Simpler Pumps Are Better

June 6, 2011 6:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

Pump Solutions Group (PSG; Grand Terrace, CA) has announced its acquisition of the EnviroGear product line, which includes the EnviroGear mag-drive internal gear pump, gear pump base plate assemblies, and a line of pump and motor protection. The EnviroGear pump is designed to eliminate operational concerns found in seal-less gear pumps.

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Tough Metal Putty

June 6, 2011 6:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Hi-Temp Lab-metal one-component metal putty from Alvin Products (Everett, MA) requires no mixing, applies easily, and can be sanded or painted. According to the company, it can withstand temperatures up to 1,000°F. In addition, it is suitable for smoothing welds and filling cracks, dents, or voids, and it will not shrink.

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More Versatile, Precise Scales

June 6, 2011 6:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

The PrimoWeigher 360 combination scales from CombiScale, Inc. (Opa Locka, FL) provide for more flexibility than using a 24- or 32-head combination scale by allowing users to add or remove scales/products easily, with no loss in accuracy or productivity. The Windows-based 360 Operating System can support as many scales as needed to mix infinite products, and offers features like Skype for online support, Crystal Report for custom reports, and a Wizard for step-by-step assistance for operators when inputting new jobs.

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Improve Your Oscilloscopes

June 6, 2011 6:43 am | Product Releases | Comments

Hittite Microwave Corporation (Chelmsford, MA) has introduced three new ADCs that are ideal for Digital Storage Oscilloscopes (DSOs). According to the company, the combination of low power and 1 GSPS sample rate is a first. The HMCAD1520, HMCAD1511, and HMCAD1510 feature integrated crosspoint switches that allows switching between quad-, dual-, and single-channel modes, while the HMCAD1511 features 8-bit resolution at a 1 GSPS sample rate.

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RV Part Maker Plans Move To Elkhart With 180 Jobs

June 6, 2011 4:55 am | News | Comments

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A recreational vehicle component manufacturer is considering a move into a vacant factory in northern Indiana where it could hire 180 workers in the next few years. The steel fabrication company Lippert Components of Marvin, N.C., has asked the Elkhart City Council for tax incentives if it moves into a factory formerly owned by the now-defunct Monaco Coach Corp.

Why Post-Recession Spending Equates To Success

June 6, 2011 4:43 am | by David K. Randall, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — It's not easy being the most optimistic guy in the room. Most companies are hoarding cash after two-plus years of cost-cutting. The members of the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index are sitting on a record $960 billion in cash on their balance sheets. All told, companies now have more than 10 percent more cash than the previous peak in 2004.

Daimler And Rolls-Royce Take Over Engine Maker

June 6, 2011 4:32 am | News | Comments

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany's Daimler AG and Britain's Rolls-Royce have won control of Tognum AG after their joint takeover offer gave them control of a 59.87 percent stake in the German-based maker of heavy-duty engines. Daimler said Tuesday there are still two more weeks for remaining shares to be tendered under the euro26 per share offer.

Should 'E-Cigs' Be Banned Like Their Smoky Cousins?

June 6, 2011 4:30 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Tobacco Writer | News | Comments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — That's not smoke coming out of Cliff Phillips' mouth. But that hasn't stopped others from cringing, making remarks, waving their hands in their faces and coughing at the sight of the vapor from his electronic cigarette. "They're just conditioned if they see you inhale and exhale something, it's got to be smoke and it's going to stink.

U.S. Shrugs At WHO's Cellphone-Cancer Warning

June 6, 2011 4:24 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — News last week that an arm of the World Health Organization said cellphones might raise the risk of brain cancer has been greeted by Americans mostly with a shrug of the shoulder — one that's pinning a cellphone to the ear. Google searches for "cancer" and "cellphones" spiked this week.

Korean Plans To Build EVs In Three States Falter

June 6, 2011 4:19 am | by Mark Niesse, Associated Press | News | Comments

HONOLULU (AP) — Korean electric car company CT&T made a splash in three states when it rolled shiny, tiny vehicles off big rigs and announced with smiling governors that it would hire hundreds of Americans to build them in new factories. But those plans have stalled in Hawaii, Pennsylvania and South Carolina without anyone hired, any plantsconstructed or any electric cars assembled.

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Creating A Memorable Brand

June 3, 2011 10:33 am | by Richard Kopelman, Partner at Habif, Arogeti & Wynne LLP | Articles | Comments

In marketing and sales, it’s all about getting people to remember your company, your products and your brand. It’s the core philosophy behind business development. Creating a close rapport with customers determines where a company takes and makes its future. According to the 2010 Georgia Manufacturing Survey, an ever-increasing number of food manufacturers are realizing this and valiantly attempting to execute well-defined marketing and sales programs to make immediate and lasting impressions with customers.

Judge: Terror Payment Lawsuits Against Chiquita Can Continue

June 3, 2011 9:40 am | by Curt Anderson, AP Legal Affairs Writer | News | Comments

MIAMI (AP) — A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss lawsuits filed by thousands of Colombians against produce seller Chiquita Brands International over its payments to a right-wing paramilitary group responsible for killing and terrorizing civilians during Colombia's lengthy civil conflict.

CSB: Hoeganaes Must Redesign Plant To Stop Deaths

June 3, 2011 9:26 am | by Travis Loller, Associated Press | News | Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal agency investigating a fatal fire at a Middle Tennessee chemical plant said a corroded pipe leaking hydrogen gas caused an explosion that ignited combustible iron dust there. A total of four workers have died this year after being critically burned in fires at the Hoeganaes (HAY'-gan-eez) plant in Gallatin, with the latest one occurring last week.

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Sikorsky To Lay Off Almost 400 N.Y. Workers

June 3, 2011 9:13 am | News | Comments

BIG FLATS, N.Y. (AP) — Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is laying off nearly 400 workers at its factory in upstate New York because of what the company says is a lull in orders for military helicopters. The announcement Thursday by the Stratford, Conn.-based subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. didn't divulge the number of jobs being cut, but a notice filed with the state Department of Labor lists the number of layoffs as 386.

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