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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Alcoa: New Alloys Will Compete With Carbon Fiber

June 9, 2011 9:20 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. said Thursday that it has developed new alloys and engineering techniques that will give it a chance to compete against the non-aluminum parts increasingly used by airplane makers. Big planes have used aluminum for their skin and other parts for decades.

Opel: GM Is Not Putting Us Up For Sale

June 9, 2011 9:15 am | News | Comments

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — General Motors' European subsidiary Opel on Thursday firmly dismissed as speculation media reports that it's up for sale. Reports in Germany's Spiegel and Auto Bild publications saying it could be sold to a Chinese firm or to competitor Volkswagen AG are "pure speculation," the company said.

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Chinese Auto Sales Fall For Second Month

June 9, 2011 9:12 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's auto sales fell in May compared with a year earlier, as buyers wary of traffic quotas and rising fuel prices shunned showrooms, according to industry data released Thursday. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported that sales of passenger cars, including sedans, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles, slipped to 1.

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Family Sues After Young Son Dies In Escalator Accident

June 9, 2011 9:09 am | by Mark Pratt, Associated Press | News | Comments

BOSTON (AP) — The family of a 4-year-old Massachusetts boy who died after falling from a mall escalator says in a lawsuit that the escalator was in a "dangerous and defective" condition that directly led to the child's death. The escalator's condition was in violation of state building codes, escalator safety standards and the industry standards established by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the parents of Mark DiBona of Dudley said in their suit filed Wednesday in Worcester Superior Court.

Prettier, Stronger Paneling

June 9, 2011 7:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Garland Company, Inc. (Cleveland, OH) is offering the R-Mer Guard wall panels that give owners a lateral aesthetic option for exterior walls. The R-Mer Guard is a concealed clip system that is engineered for strength and longevity, and it has been tested to meet extreme wind uplift, as well as air and water penetration.

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Cordless, High-Speed Grinders

June 9, 2011 7:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

Makita (La Mirada, CA) had added to its line-up of 18V LXT Lithium-Ion tools, which now includes more than 40 cordless products. The 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/4” Die Grinder (model LXDG01) combines speed and portability in a compact size, according to the company. It offers 25,000 RPM speeds for faster grinding, and weighs only 4.

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Let Your Drives Go Wireless

June 9, 2011 7:17 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new Radio Drive Series Interface (RDSI) module, for the Flex M receiver, is now available from Magnetek, Inc. (Menomonee Falls, WI). The RDSI module was designed to allow users to communicate with the company’s IMPULSE drives through a serial interface, reducing system cost by eliminating wiring and labor.

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Pivot For More Flexibility

June 9, 2011 7:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Hyde Tools (Southbridge, MA) had developed the HYDE Pivot Nozzle Wand for gas pressure washers, and is now introducing an electric version of the wand. The new product comes with four connectors and fits virtually any major brand of electric pressure washer. According to the company, the wand allows the user to step back, stay dry, and reach into every crack without contortion.

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This Is What 'The Cloud' Looks Like

June 9, 2011 5:49 am | Videos | Comments

CNN's Emily Reuben gets a rare and almost unprecedented glimpse inside the data center of a cloud facility at an undisclosed location in London. The level of security around that data center is somewhat unbelievable, as it hosts the servers of almost 1,200 companies. Check it out... 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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Technology Suppliers Commend President's Skills Initiative

June 9, 2011 5:45 am | Articles | Comments

Douglas K. Woods, AMT President McLean, Va. — The Association For Manufacturing Technology President Douglas K. Woods reacted positively to the news that President Obama is endorsing a manufacturing skills credentialing system to boost manufacturing jobs growth as part of his Skills for America’s Future initiative launched last year.

A New Digital Era

June 9, 2011 5:33 am | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

A typical digital watch remains a dull, black design with a gray LCD. Some companies have tried to dress it up with added features and functionality while others have surrounded the drab display with vibrant colors and brushed metals to try and force the consumer to look beyond grandpa’s old Casio.

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Sunglasses That Blot Out The Sun

June 8, 2011 10:55 am | Videos | Comments

The Dynamic Eye is a new sunglass technology that uses liquid crystal displays — the same innovation that powers your computer or cell phone's screen — to block out the sun in a smarter fashion. Its inventor, Chris Mullin, says that his company needs another 12-18 months to fully develop the LCD technology, which needs to be made of very lightweight plastic.

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U.S. Economy Slows On Manufacturing Supply Troubles

June 8, 2011 9:15 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time this year, the economy slowed in several U.S. regions this spring. High gas prices weakened consumer spending, and the Japan crises reduced manufacturing output. Four of the 12 Federal Reserve bank regions suffered slower growth in April and May, compared with earlier this year, a Federal Reserve survey said Wednesday.

EU To Offer $300 Million To E. Coli-Affected Farmers

June 8, 2011 9:04 am | by Raf Casert, Associated Press | News | Comments

BRUSSELS (AP) — Pressed hard by outraged farmers, the European Union farm chief on Wednesday increased his offer of compensation for the E. coli outbreak to €210 million ($306 million). EU Farm Commissioner Dacian Ciolos had initially proposed €150 million ($219 million) to the struggling farmers, who have tons of unwanted produce rotting in fields and warehouses as Europeans shun vegetables, fearing they are contaminated with a deadly strain of E.

The Re-Designed VW Passat: Almost American

June 8, 2011 9:02 am | by Ann M. Job, for The Associated Press | News | Comments

German automaker Volkswagen is making its mid-size Passat sedan affordable and accommodating for more American car buyers. The four-door, five-passenger, 2012 Passat is bigger than ever, with more back-seat legroom and a bigger trunk than in the Toyota Camry. Front-seat legroom of more than 42 inches is impressive, too, also exceeding Camry's.

Ford Finalizes $1.4 Billion Russian Joint Venture

June 8, 2011 8:58 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. has finalized a deal with Russian automaker Sollers to build and sell cars and other vehicles in Russia, a key part of Ford's ambitious overseas growth plan. Ford said Wednesday that the two companies have lined up $1.4 billion in long-term financing from Vnesheconombank, the Russian development bank, for the 50-50 joint venture called Ford Sollers.

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Committee To Visit S.C. For Labor Lawsuit Against Boeing

June 8, 2011 8:55 am | by Meg Kinnard, Associated Press | News | Comments

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A congressional committee is traveling to South Carolina later this month to hold a hearing over a federal labor lawsuit that claims Boeing Co. moved manufacturing facilities from Washington state to avoid unionized workers. The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government planned to announce Wednesday that it will hold a June 17 hearing in North Charleston, home to Boeing's new 787 passenger aircraft assembly line.

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GM Invests $49 Million In Indiana Plant

June 8, 2011 8:52 am | News | Comments

BEDFORD, Ind. (AP) — General Motors Co. is investing $49 million in its Bedford, Indiana, plant, a move that will help to create or keep 91 jobs. Wednesday's news is part of an effort GM announced May 10 to create or retain about 4,000 jobs by investing $2 billion in 17 factories in eight states.

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Is The 'Cloud' Safe?

June 8, 2011 6:48 am | Videos | Comments

With more technology companies pushing their products onto the “cloud” — the distributed network that is powered by thousands of high-performance servers in dark data centers around the country — many are getting more concerned about security. When sensitive information takes flight on the cloud, it can more easily be hacked and taken.

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Tearing Down A Hard Drive

June 8, 2011 6:24 am | Videos | Comments

Bill Hammack, also known as the “Engineer Guy,” is back, and this time, he opens up a computer to see how a hard drive is engineered. As with many things he tears down, the level of sophistication is incredible, like the small tolerances between the head, which reads and writes data, and the platter of the hard drive itself.

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