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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

Is It A Scam? Nigeria Sues Cheney, Halliburton For Bribery

December 8, 2010 3:44 am | by Jon Gambrell, Associated Press | News | Comments

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's anti-corruption agency on Tuesday charged former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney over a bribery scheme involving oil services firm Halliburton Co. during the time he served as its top executive, a spokesman said. The charges stem from a case involving as much as $180 million allegedly paid in bribes to Nigerian officials, said Femi Babafemi, a spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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Firm Cited By OSHA: Dust Isn't Hazardous To Our Workers

December 8, 2010 3:39 am | News | Comments

COFFEEN, Ill. (AP) — A worksite in central Illinois has been cited by the federal government for willfully exposing workers to dangerous levels of hazardous dust without providing protective breathing equipment. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday it has cited U.

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FBI Issues Alert For 'Barbie Video Girl'

December 8, 2010 3:36 am | by Terry Collins, Associated Press | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The FBI says it recently issued an alert about a popular Barbie doll with a hidden video camera that could be used to produce child pornography, but stressed that the toy has not been linked with any reported crimes. FBI spokesman Steve Dupre said Tuesday the alert last month was meant only for law enforcement agencies to advise them not to overlook Mattel's "Barbie Video Girl" during any searches.

Choose Your Own Shaft Collars

December 7, 2010 9:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

Large diameter shaft collars, which can be single point threaded to customer requirements, are now being offered by Stafford Manufacturing Corp. (North Reading, MA). The collars feature bore sizes up to 16” I.D, along with a variety of O.D. sizes. Customers can specify the collars to be threaded with bearing-, ACME-, stub ACME-, UNC/UNF-, and multi-start threads.

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A Better Boom Lift

December 7, 2010 9:21 am | Product Releases | Comments

JLG Industries, Inc. (McConnellsburg, PA) has announced that it is re-launching its vertical mast lift, the T26E. The mast boom lift features a vertical telescopic mast with a jib that enables operators to reach above and around obstacles. The lift is ideal for plant maintenance applications, heating, HVAC, and workers in automotive plants, according to the company.

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Air- Or Electrically-Actuated Drives

December 7, 2010 9:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

Force Control Industries (Fairfield, OH) has announced their Two Speed Drive for applications up to 30 HP that require a high turndown ratio, while maintaining high torque. The drive includes a brake motor with a low speed drive built-in, which provides precise low speed control with continuous high torque.

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Counterpoint: Threats To A Safe Food Supply

December 7, 2010 7:52 am | by by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

The exemption of small producers from the regulations contained within the Food Safety Modernization Act may ease the burden of an agency already spread too thin. Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the Food Safety Modernization Act, granting more regulatory authority to the FDA. The future of the bill is uncertain, as the  senate’s inclusion of a fee structure  to fund the bill deviates from parliamentary rules, and even if the congress is able to get the bill on track, it must return to the house to be reconciled with the original version passed there.

Point: Small Doesn’t Mean Safe

December 7, 2010 7:51 am | by by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

The food safety bill has cleared the Senate and is headed back to the House, but not without some changes. One amendment looks to exempt smaller producers from FDA regulation which, if kept in the legislation, will compromise the agency’s ability to ensure a completely safe U.S. food supply.

Americans Ready To Spend On Frivolous Coffee, Lacy Bras

December 7, 2010 4:06 am | by Ellen Gibson, AP Retail Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Few companies were clobbered harder than Starbucks in the recession. The coffee chain with outposts on every corner came to represent all that was wrong with American businesses and shoppers: unchecked expansion, self-indulgence and mindless credit-card swiping. But now customers who swore off frivolous spending during the recession are lining up again for their $4 caffeine fix.

Google Admits Getting Overwhelmed By Nexus One

December 7, 2010 3:59 am | by Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The head of Google's Android mobile operating software says the search company "bit off a little more than we could chew" with the sale of the Nexus One, a smart phone Google began selling online early this year but then stopped offering after similar devices powered by Android hit the market.

RV Manufacturers Turning A Profitable Corner, Slowly

December 7, 2010 3:44 am | by Bruce Schriener, Associated Press | News | Comments

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) — American families are ready to hitch up their trailers and tow the RV industry out of its worst stretch in nearly two decades. The industry was driven into the ditch last year by the Great Recession. Sales plunged, plants closed and thousands of jobs were cut as orders for recreational vehicles dropped to their worse level since 1991.

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Chrysler Invests $850M In Mich., Shows Off New Sedans

December 7, 2010 3:41 am | News | Comments

Sterling Heights, Mich. — Chrysler Group LLC celebrated the extension of production, the addition of a second shift and an $850 million investment at an event today at its Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant. The celebration also marked the start of production of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger.

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Boeing Puts Three-Week Hold On 787 Assembly

December 7, 2010 3:39 am | News | Comments

CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing Co. puts a three-week hold on assembling new 787s. Boeing said on Monday that the hold began late last month. It says it is not asking the companies that make parts for the 787 to slow or stop production. The latest delay comes as Boeing deals with the aftermath of an electrical fire during a test flight last month.

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