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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

It Pays to Keep Employees Fit

April 8, 2011 5:57 am | by Preston Diamond | Articles | Comments

Healthier employees lead to lower premiums, according to numerous studies. If companies can help their workers improve their health without cutting benefits or shifting more premium costs to employees, where is the downside? After all, Fortune 1000 companies have been using wellness programs for years to combat the rising costs of healthcare.

Photo Of The Day: Firefighters Versus Plant Blaze

April 8, 2011 4:56 am | News | Comments

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire that broke out in a Czech plastic plant in Chropyne, about 250 km east of Prague, Czech Republic, on Friday, April 8, 2011. An official says more than a hundred firefighters have been battling a huge fire that hit the factory in the eastern Czech Republic.

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N.C. Company Hires 61 To Produce EV Batteries

April 8, 2011 4:37 am | News | Comments

EAST BEND, N.C. (AP) — EcoVolt Power Corp. says it is hiring 61 workers and investing $20 million in East Bend to produce environmentally-friendly automotive batteries. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Friday that the New York-based manufacturer should be shipping some 6 million automotive starter batteries annually from Yadkin County within three years.

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Gov't Wants More E-85 Fuel At Pumps Nationwide

April 8, 2011 4:35 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government wants to increase production and use of a higher blend of ethanol fuel by giving financial help to gas stations that install more pumps for the fuel, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in advance of a formal announcement planned for Friday.

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HP: Former Exec Stole Trade Secrets For Oracle

April 8, 2011 4:32 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. has filed a lawsuit against a former executive over allegations he took trade secrets with him when he went to work for rival Oracle Corp. The case against Adrian Jones, who was a senior vice president in HP's server, storage and networking division in Asia, shows the growing rancor between the Silicon Valley technology titans.

Toyota To Resume Japanese Manufacturing, For Now

April 8, 2011 4:29 am | by Shino Yuasa, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will resume car production at all its plants in Japan at half capacity from April 18 to 27 after the March earthquake and tsunami forced it to halt manufacturing due to shortages of parts and power. Toyota, the world's No. 1 automaker, said production at its 18 plants will then halt from April 28 to May 9, a period that includes Golden Week holidays when factories would normally close.

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Fire, Explosions Rock Iowa Manufacturing Plant

April 8, 2011 4:27 am | News | Comments

HULL, Iowa (AP) — No one was hurt by explosions and a fire at a manufacturing plant in the northwest Iowa town of Hull. Authorities say the fire started inside the K & O Manufacturing Co., Inc., plant a little before 5 p.m. Thursday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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Monitor Your Fleet's Tire Pressures

April 7, 2011 5:54 am | Product Releases | Comments

Doran (Cincinnati, OH) has developed a tire pressure monitoring system through a collaborative project with PeopleNet, allowing for in-cab integration with off-truck communication and fleet management capabilities. The Doran 360 tire pressure monitoring system will help reduced fleet maintenance costs by providing real-time tire pressure data, warnings, and reports directly to maintenance professionals.

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Change Pump Pressure When Needed

April 7, 2011 5:54 am | Product Releases | Comments

The NLB (Wixom, MI) 605 Series of water jet pump units now give users a combination of ultra-high pressure and high horsepower in a rugged unit that can be converted to a variety of operating pressures. The range has been expanded to include eight operating pressures from 4,000 to 40,000 psi, with engines of up to 600 hp.

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A Smarter Control Interface

April 7, 2011 5:53 am | Product Releases | Comments

Baldor Electric Company (Fort Smith, AR) had added a compact IP65-rated operator panel with a CANopen interface to its range of motion control products. The panel provides machine builders with a cost-effective way to implement simple human-machine interfaces. The KPD202-501 panel uses a backlit, 4-line x 20-character LCD with six programmable function keys.

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Flame-Resistant, Comfortable Coveralls

April 7, 2011 5:52 am | Product Releases | Comments

AmeriPride (Minneapolis, MN) has announced the Bulwark Excel FR ComforTouch Premium Coveralls, which are intended to resist ignition and prevent the spread of flame in areas where intermittent exposure to flame or heat is possible. They have an arc rating (ATPV) of 8.6 calories/cm², which allows them to meet NFPA 70E standards for hazard/risk category (HRC) 2 applications.

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How Well Do You Score For Presentation?

April 7, 2011 5:30 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions, LLC | Articles | Comments

The Internet has become our customers' most powerful shopping tool, and how you present your product or service may be the determining factor as to whether you'll get their business. The Internet has become our customers’ most powerful shopping tool. It's vital that you present yourself, your service, and your products on the Internet in a way that not only enables your customers to find you/it/them and perceive that what you offer is well developed, but also answer your customers’ questions.

Surgical Robots Fold Tiny Paper Airplanes

April 6, 2011 7:38 am | Videos | Comments

Dr. James Porter, the medical director of robotic surgery at Swedish hospital in Seattle, has used their da Vinci surgical robot for a little after-hours challenge: folding a tiny paper airplane with the incredible precision and dexterity the system provides. One can only imagine the possibilities if this sort of technology finds its way into manufacturing someday.

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A Cruelly Effective Alarm Clock

April 6, 2011 7:36 am | Videos | Comments

Most of us don't like waking up in the morning, but an alarm clock (or two) is enough to get us out of bed and to work in time. YouTube user stampmaille , on the other hand, is a pretty deep sleeper. Luckily, he has the technical prowess to build himself the world's most brutal alarm clock, which includes some air compressors and one big air cylinder.

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The New Global Economy

April 6, 2011 7:27 am | Videos | Comments

The recession is over and economies across the globe are awakening to a new reality: The recoveries are uneven, and the United States isn't the fastest growing economy. In the past, countries like China and India have come to depend on the U.S. and other Western economies for growth. Not anymore. 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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Building A Better, Stronger Mankind

April 6, 2011 7:23 am | Videos | Comments

Eythor Bender, the CEO of Berkeley Bionics , has been working hard on exoskeletons, which attempt to fuse the boundaries between humans and robots, in order to supplement users' natural abilities. The HULC allows soldiers to carry more gear into battle without experiencing chronic back injuries, while the eLEGS could serve both regular Americans and wounded veterans.

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Boeing Surprised By 737 Fuselage Tears, Holes

April 6, 2011 4:58 am | by Bob Christie and Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

PHOENIX (AP) — Boeing was surprised when a section of a Southwest jetliner's fuselage ripped open in flight because the plane wasn't old enough to be worrisome, a company official said Tuesday, as the airline cleared most of its older 737 planes to return to the skies. Southwest said it had inspected nearly all of the jets it grounded after the accident on Friday.

Toyota Sells Millionth Prius In U.S. Thanks To Pricy Gas

April 6, 2011 4:53 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The Toyota Prius hybrid, once viewed as a science experiment for environmentalists, has become a mainstream vehicle in the United States, with the company selling more than a million of the cars nationwide. Toyota announced Wednesday that it had passed the million sales milestone, helped by brisk sales recently as U.

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Cisco CEO Apologizes For 'Unacceptable' Downfall

April 6, 2011 4:45 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers is calling his company's recent missteps "unacceptable" and is vowing to take "bold steps" to narrow Cisco's focus. A memo to employees that Cisco posted on its corporate blog Tuesday suggests that major changes are coming for the world's biggest maker of computer-networking gear, but it was short on specifics.

SpaceX To Build Biggest Rocket Since Moon Launch

April 6, 2011 4:38 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A high-tech entrepreneur unveiled plans Tuesday to launch the world's most powerful rocket since man went to the moon. Space Exploration Technology has already sent the first private rocket and capsule into Earth's orbit as a commercial venture. It is now planning a rocket that could lift twice as much cargo into orbit as the soon-to-be-retired space shuttle.

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