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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Longer Daisy Chains

June 3, 2011 6:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

Omega Engineering (Stamford, CT) is now offering the HE359 series universal remote I/O module. It connects via 2-wire RS485 Modbus RTU to any PLC, allowing a total of 31 I/O modules to be daisy-chained on a single RS485 link. Available I/O modules include digital in, relay out, analog in, analog out, RTD, and thermocouple.

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Cut Almost Anything

June 3, 2011 6:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation (Milwaukee, WI) has launched the new 14” Abrasive Cut-Off Machine, with a 15 Amp, 4 horsepower motor. The tool offers a 5” max cut capacity to handle materials such as bundled drywall track, angle iron, conduit, pipe, channels, tubing, and rebar.

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A Different Generation Requires A Different Approach

June 3, 2011 5:37 am | by Martin Stevens, CEO, A1 Technologies | Articles | Comments

In the previous column in this series I talked about the importance of educating youngsters about advanced 3D digital technologies. Getting them hands-on with these technologies at the earliest opportunity within their school careers to draw larger numbers of students and graduates into the engineering sector because it is an advanced and exciting place to work; plus it pays well.

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Three Boeing Employees Agree To Testify Against NLRB

June 3, 2011 4:50 am | by Meg Kinnard, Associated Press | News | Comments

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Three employees at Boeing Co.'s plant in North Charleston, S.C. want roles in a lawsuit filed by the National Labor Relations Board, claiming they are sure to lose their jobs if the federal agency is successful and work on the 787 passenger jet returns to Washington state.

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European E. Coli Highlights Gaps In U.S. Food Safety

June 3, 2011 4:44 am | by Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nasty form of E. coli hitting Europe points out gaps in the U.S. food safety system that raise concern that similar outbreaks might happen here. It's impossible to test for every illness-causing form of E. coli, even the kinds we already know about. Today, the food industry and health authorities focus mostly on a single strain of the bacteria that until now was considered the most dangerous.

Obama To Visit Ohio, Celebrate Auto Industry's Rebound

June 3, 2011 4:41 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is drawing attention to the auto industry's rebound, visiting a Chrysler plant in politically important Ohio as he seeks to highlight a rare bright spot in the sluggish economic recovery. Obama was to travel to Toledo on Friday, making the latest in a string of domestic trips to promote his economic agenda and defend the much maligned government bailouts to Chrysler and General Motors.

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Mazda Plans To Stop Building Cars In The U.S.

June 3, 2011 4:31 am | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Mazda Motor Corp. plans to leave its joint venture with Ford Motor Co. and stop building cars in the U.S., the Nikkei financial daily reported Friday. Mazda and Ford operate the AutoAlliance International plant in Michigan as a 50-50 partnership. Citing unnamed company sources, the Nikkei said Mazda is considering selling its stake to Ford as the Japanese automaker tries to restructure its global production.

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Jobless Rate Rises To 9.1 Percent, AAM Responds

June 3, 2011 4:28 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — American employers hired only 54,000 new workers in May, the fewest in eight months, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent. The Labor Department report offered startling evidence that the U.S. economy is slowing, hampered by high gas prices and natural disasters in Japan that have hurt U.

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Chrysler Ready To Sever Ties With U.S. Government

June 3, 2011 4:24 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler Group LLC, newly profitable and confident in its revamped products, will soon sever its ties with the U.S. government after most — but not all — of the bailout loans it got two years ago are repaid. Italian automaker Fiat SpA agreed late Thursday to buy the U.

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RockTenn To Close Three Previous Smurfit-Stone Plants

June 2, 2011 9:33 am | News | Comments

NORCROSS, Ga. (AP) — RockTenn Co. will close three corrugated container plants that it picked up in its acquisition of Smurfit-Stone, the packaging manufacturer said Thursday, as it eliminates redundant operations to cut costs The plants in Birmingham, Ala., Jonesboro, Ark., and Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

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'Jetson' Takes A Spill In His Jetpack

June 2, 2011 9:29 am | Videos | Comments

The Martin Aircraft Company is hoping to be one of the first comanies to develop a jetpack that could be used in a variety of markets, like civil defense and recreation. While the jetpack does fly, they're currently testing the system for safety in emergency situations, hence the video below. I know I can’t be the only one who was hoping for a more dramatic fall-out, considering that only the company’s dummy, Jetson, was on the line.

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Manufacturers Push For Legalization Of Body Liquefaction

June 2, 2011 9:00 am | by Kantele Franko, Associated Press | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Hal Shimp didn't want a traditional send-off after death. He didn't want a big, somber service, and he certainly didn't want to be buried. When the 91-year-old World War II veteran died in February after a cancer battle, his body tissue was dissolved using heat and lye, turning it into a liquid that could be poured down a drain and a dry bone residue given to relatives, who plan to scatter it when they plant a tree in his honor.

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Ford Developing Its Smallest Engine Ever

June 2, 2011 8:46 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. plans to introduce its smallest engine ever by 2013, part of the race to improve fuel economy across the industry. Ford said Thursday it's working on a one-liter, three-cylinder engine that will be available in small cars globally. Ford didn't say which cars will get the engine, but it plans to release more details this fall.

Fewer Applying For Unemployment Benefits

June 2, 2011 8:43 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, but applications remain stuck at a level that signals weak job growth. The number of applications for unemployment benefits dropped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 422,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the third drop in four weeks.

Second Hoeganaes Employee Dies From Fire Injuries

June 2, 2011 8:37 am | News | Comments

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — Two employees have died from injuries received in a fire at a Gallatin factory, bringing the total number of workers killed in accidents at the Hoeganaes Corp. plant this year to four. Meanwhile, investigators said Wednesday evening they have reached no definitive conclusions about the cause of three accidents at the facility this year.

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Businesses Cut Back On Factory Orders In April

June 2, 2011 8:35 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses cut back on their orders for heavy machinery, computers and autos in April, partly because the March earthquake in Japan has made components parts harder to come by. Orders to U.S. factories fell 1.2 percent in April and a measure that signals business investment dropped 2.

Plant Floor Collaboration, Online

June 2, 2011 7:17 am | Product Releases | Comments

Librestream (Winnipeg, MB, Canada) has created a mobile collaboration system called Onsight, which allows users to take video collaboration onto the plant floor or to a supplier location. Using the system, users can receive live video and audio, and share feedback to assess operations and resolve issues quickly.

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A More 'Zippy' Bagging Solution

June 2, 2011 7:17 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Zippy Bagger models from WeighPack (Lachine, QC Canada) operate at speeds up to 35 cpm within a compact footprint, according to the company. They will automatically draw a bag, open it, and seal it after filling. The systems can run both polyethylene and laminated wicketed bags in 6” to 20” lengths.

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Greener Magnetic Systems

June 2, 2011 7:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Eriez (Erie, PA) has developed an eco-certification designation for a variety of its magnetic separation products, including the entire line of Plate and Grate Magnets and Liquid Line Traps. These products are manufactured with energy-saving features, including the use of energy-free permanent magnets, and, according to the company, the products have a positive impact on recycling processes and the recycling industry.

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Better Sensors For Gas Detection

June 2, 2011 7:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

Detcon (The Woodlands, TX) has released the Model SG1 portable single-gas detector that uses electrochemical sensor technology to detect and monitor any one of five gases: hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, oxygen, or sulfur dioxide. The detector is controlled by an advanced microprocessor for automatic zero-calibration and easy set-up.

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