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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Luxury Living With A Twist

September 13, 2011 6:22 am | Videos | Comments

This unique project demonstrates how dumpsters can be repurposed into comfortable living areas. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department. Have any comments or questions about our video editions of IMPO? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Rachel.

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Kinect Robot from MIT (KinectBot)

September 13, 2011 6:21 am | Videos | Comments

Here, the Kinect is being used as a sensor for the KinectBot. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department. Have any comments or questions about our video editions of IMPO? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Rachel.

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Propane Combustion Cannon

September 13, 2011 6:20 am | Videos | Comments

Dan Spangler built this propane combustion cannon and uses it to fire soda cans, tennis balls, and even a small camera across the backyard of MAKE HQ. This is an archived clip from Make: Live . Go to http://makezine.com/ for information about the show. 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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Can We Make Things That Make Themselves?

September 13, 2011 6:19 am | Videos | Comments

MIT researcher Skylar Tibbits works on self-assembly -- the idea that instead of building something (a chair, a skyscraper), we can create materials that build themselves, much the way a strand of DNA zips itself together. It's a big concept at early stages; Tibbits shows us three in-the-lab projects that hint at what a self-assembling future might look like.

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The Great Patent War Will Cost You

September 13, 2011 6:13 am | Videos | Comments

The tech industry is in the midst of a patent war, with a number of lengthy legal battles that need to be resolved. Samsung is currently squaring off with Apple, who is waging a battle against, Nokia, HTC, and Motorola. Google acquired Motorola in an effort to defend itself against patent litigation.

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Tools: From Design to Development

September 13, 2011 6:11 am | by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

To say advancements in technology have had a powerful and positive effect on the hand and power tool industry is to make an obvious statement. Manufacturers and distributors understand the importance of leveraging technology to achieve their business goals, and as the relevant technology continues to evolve, industrial firms are becoming more adept at utilizing it.

Developing An Effective KPI Tracking System

September 13, 2011 6:08 am | Articles | Comments

Whether it is used by the shop floor supervisor to monitor productivity and through-put or by the maintenance department to track equipment calibration, the ultimate success of any performance management system is dependent on the quality and integrity of the data. It must be accurate, timely, and relevant.

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Mercedes Aims For Premium Car Market Dominance

September 13, 2011 5:40 am | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says he aims to make Mercedes the strongest luxury brand by the end of the decade. Zetsche says Mercedes is launching 10 new entries in the next four years — including five compact cars — in its bid for volume. He refused to set a target, saying the goal was to produce more cars than premium competitors Audi and Porsche.

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Fiat, Chrysler Aim To Produce 6M Cars By 2014

September 13, 2011 5:38 am | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said Tuesday that the combined companies still aim to produce 6 million cars a year by 2014 despite the increased uncertainty in global financial markets. Speaking on the sidelines of the Frankfurt Auto Show, Marchionne expressed frustration at Europe's spiraling debt crisis, which threatens to engulf Fiat's key market of Italy.

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House Bill Would Block Case Against Boeing

September 13, 2011 5:36 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans, angry over the government's labor dispute with Boeing Co., are taking up a bill that would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board from ordering any company to close plants or relocate workers, even if a company flouts labor laws. The measure would undercut a high-profile lawsuit filed in April that accuses Boeing of violating labor laws by opening a new production line for its 787 airplane in right-to-work South Carolina.

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Judge Tentatively Rules Against Toyota

September 13, 2011 5:34 am | News | Comments

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge in California has tentatively decided not to dismiss the first of hundreds of lawsuits over acceleration problems against Toyota Motor Corp. U.S. District Judge James Selna said Monday he may reject a motion by Toyota seeking to toss the suit, which involves a Utah crash that killed two people.

Car Makers Look Past Economic Woes At Frankfurt Show

September 13, 2011 5:31 am | by Colleen Barry, Jamey Keaten, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — The world's car makers sought to look past economic worries in Europe and the United States at the Frankfurt auto show on Tuesday, with many betting on cleaner, smaller, high-mileage vehicles aimed at evolving consumer tastes. The industry, which suffered through the recession caused by the 2007-2009 financial crisis, has been riding the global recovery but now is looking at shakier prospects amid Europe's debt crisis and worries about the U.

FAA Cites Improper Repairs To Southwest Planes

September 13, 2011 5:28 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $1.1 million fine Monday against an aircraft repair station for allegedly using improper maintenance procedures to find cracks and prevent damage to the fuselages of 44 Southwest Airlines jets. From 2007 to 2009, Aviation Technical Services Inc.

AT&T Defends T-Mobile Deal

September 12, 2011 9:18 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — AT&T is countering the U.S. government's attempt to block its $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile by depicting the deal as a way to provide consumers with better cell phone service at lower prices. The argument, submitted in a Friday court filing, is AT&T Inc.

MO Truck Bed Maker Plans $5M Expansion

September 12, 2011 9:16 am | News | Comments

ROGERSVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri company that makes truck bed covers and accessories is planning a $5.3 million expansion. KOLR-TV reports (http://bit.ly/nTk1Aa ) that the company, Undercover Inc., plans to add 70,000 square feet and hire 30 more employees at its plant in Rogersville.

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Georgia-Pacific Suspends Work At AR Plant

September 12, 2011 9:14 am | News | Comments

CROSSETT, Ark. (AP) — Georgia-Pacific officials say the company is indefinitely suspending its plywood and stud manufacturing operation in Crossett, affecting 700 employees. Officials said Friday a "depression" in the residential and commercial construction market is forcing the company to shut down its factories in southeastern Arkansas and Hawthorne, Fla.

Spirit And Union Resume Negotiations

September 12, 2011 9:12 am | News | Comments

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Negotiations have resumed between Spirit AeroSystems and the union representing its engineering and technical workers. Talks started earlier this summer, but stopped in July after members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace members rejected the company's 9 1/2-year contract offer.

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Compact Cars In Focus At Frankfurt Auto Show

September 12, 2011 9:08 am | by Colleen Barry, David McHugh, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — Germany's highly profitable auto makers are rolling out important new vehicles in the ferociously competitive small car market at this year's Frankfurt auto show. The Volkswagen Up subcompact, Mercedes-Benz's streamlined B-Class hatchback and BMW's electric-powered i3, aimed at crowded cities with its zero-emission motor and lightweight, carbon-fiber reinforced body, are all major bets on what will appeal to buyers — and help earnings through an uncertain year ahead in which global demand may slow.

Feds Probe Minivan Headlight Failures

September 12, 2011 9:05 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Federal safety regulators have opened an investigation into Dodge and Chrysler minivans from the 2005 model year because the headlights can fail without warning. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website that 622,817 Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country minivans could be affected by the problem.

Robot Tries Its Hand At Sketch Comedy

September 12, 2011 6:27 am | Videos | Comments

These days, robots serve a variety of different and useful purposes. But sketch comedian? Meet Data, a robot that tells jokes and senses its surroundings. Data then gathers the information and learns from it. 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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