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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Kraft Seeks Injunction Against Starbucks

December 6, 2010 4:14 am | News | Comments

NORTHFIELD, Illinois (AP) — Kraft Foods is seeking a preliminary injunction against Starbucks, saying Monday that the coffee chain violated terms of a distribution deal. The two businesses began arbitration proceedings late last month as Kraft tried to prevent Starbucks from ending an agreement to distribute and promote its packaged coffee in stores.

Factory Orders Slipped In October On Cooled Demand

December 6, 2010 4:00 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories fell in October by the largest amount in five months, reflecting a big drop in demand for aircraft. Factory orders declined 0.9 percent in October, the Commerce Department reported Friday. It was the first setback since June and the biggest decline since a 1.

U.S., South Korea Sign Job-Creating Trade Agreement

December 6, 2010 3:51 am | by Julie Pace and Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and South Korea have reached an agreement on America's largest trade pact in more than a decade, a highly coveted deal the Obama administration hopes will boost U.S. exports and create tens of thousands of jobs at home. After a week of marathon negotiations, representatives from both countries broke through a stalemate Friday morning on outstanding issues related to the automobile industry, which have been a sticking point in the talks.

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Mazda CEO: Ford Hasn't Abandoned Us

December 6, 2010 3:41 am | by Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automaker Mazda remains committed to its 30-year-old technical and strategic alliance with Ford although the US company is no longer its top shareholder, Mazda's chief said Monday. Ford cut its stake in Mazda from 11 percent to 3.5 percent last month, marking a symbolic shift in a longtime U.

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American Voices: How Would You Jumpstart The Economy?

December 6, 2010 3:40 am | News | Comments

The Associated Press asked people around the country to share their ideas on jump-starting the economy. Some responses: More stimulus: Carolyn Morrison is a Wake County, N.C., school board member who has spent more than 45 years in education. The public school she attended as a child in Lumberton, N.

Union Ratifies Pratt & Whitney Plant Closures

December 6, 2010 3:39 am | News | Comments

WALLINGFORD, Connecticut (AP) — Members of the Machinists union have overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney that allows the company to shut two plants it has targeted for more than a year, while preserving jobs insisted on by the union. Workers voted 2,609-198 Sunday to accept the pact with the subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

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Troubleshoot Your Loading Dock

December 3, 2010 9:07 am | Product Releases | Comments

The 4SIGHT is designed to alleviate common logistics problems around loading docks. The product, developed by 4Front Engineered Solutions (Carrollton, TX) can be used as a standalone system or in conjunction with other warehouse management software solutions. Real-time data is used to assist facilities in loading dock visibility, live and staged trailer coordination, and turn time management.

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Don't Bend To Pressure

December 3, 2010 9:05 am | Product Releases | Comments

The OHAUS VN Series Floor Scales and Platforms from OHAUS Corporation (Pine Brook, NJ) offer a high-quality construction to minimize distortion under heavy loads, thereby ensuring years of dependable use, according to the company. The VN Series makes use of welded steel ribs and a thick top plate design to provide structural stiffness, while the cross-hatch surface pattern increases slip resistance.

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Arc Welding For Any Job

December 3, 2010 9:05 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Thermal Arc (St. Louis, MO) has introduced its most versatile arc welding equipment: the Thermal Arc Portable DC Welder Series. The series, which includes the 95S, 161S, and 201S, offers 95 to 200 Amps of welding power. The 161S Portable DC Welder is designed for light industrial projects, with 110 Amps on standard 115-volt circuits for stick and TIG welding.

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Monorail Handling For The Little Guys

December 3, 2010 9:04 am | Product Releases | Comments

TKF, Inc . (Cincinnati, OH) now offers overhead monorail and power and free conveyor systems, which are ideal for small manufacturing plants, according to the company. The systems can accommodate products weighing up to 6,000 pounds. In addition, they can reduce material handling between sequential processes while accommodating static work station operations.

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A Factory's Fountain Of Youth

December 3, 2010 5:27 am | by Patrick Michel, Dassault Systems | Articles | Comments

Building a new factory is an expensive and time consuming endeavor, so why would you start from “square one” if you didn’t have to?  As manufacturers look to continually increase efficiency and profit margins, it’s a question that many have asked and as a result have found success in retrofitting “old” factories to suit their needs.

Co-packer Increases Business With Intuitive Printer

December 3, 2010 5:03 am | by Scott Benigni, Continuous Ink Jet Product Manager, Videojet Technologies, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Co-packers provide supplemental personnel, production space and project management for manufacturers that need expert help for quick-turnaround projects, short runs or overflow packaging projects. This expertise may include having access to special equipment or experience with a new packaging application or challenge.

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GM Pays $4 Billion Into Underfunded Pension Plans

December 3, 2010 3:56 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. took another step toward cleaning up its balance sheet on Thursday when it pumped $4 billion in cash into its underfunded U.S. pension plans. The company made the payment two weeks after a historic initial public stock offering that was worth a total of $23 billion, and it comes just 17 months after the automaker exited a government-funded bankruptcy restructuring.

Samsung Chairman Promotes Son To President Role

December 3, 2010 3:45 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A scion of the family that founded the sprawling Samsung conglomerate has been promoted to president at the flagship electronics business, sending its shares to a record high. The elevation of Lee Jae-yong, 42, from executive vice president at Samsung Electronics Co.

Wall Street Whimpers As Unemployment Rises In November

December 3, 2010 3:43 am | by David K. Randall, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — An unexpected increase in the U.S. unemployment rate and slower than expected job growth has darkened the mood ahead of Friday's opening on Wall Street. The unemployment rate climbed to a seven month high in November as employers added only 39,000 jobs. Economists had expected that 145,000 were added last month.

One Killed, One Injured In Scaffolding Fall

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

HOWARD, Wis. (AP) — One worker was killed and another injured when they fell from scaffolding at a Green Bay area paper company Thursday. Officials say the two men were employed by Faith Technologies, a contractor at Hattiesburg Paper Co. in Howard. The Brown County medical examiner's office identifies the worker who died as 41-year-old Michael Leroy of Appleton.

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Transportation Department To Make Rearview Cameras Mandatory

December 3, 2010 3:40 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rearview cameras could become more common in future cars and trucks under new rules the government was proposing Friday to address concerns about drivers unintentionally backing over children. The Transportation Department was offering new requirements to improve rear visibility in cars by the 2014 model year.

Homeowners Finally Getting Repairs In Drywall Debacle

December 3, 2010 3:37 am | by Cain Burdeau, Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A pilot program to fix homes that were built with tainted drywall made by a major Chinese manufacturer is progressing well and will likely expand, a federal judge said Thursday. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon said a test program to repair up to 300 homes in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi made with drywall made by Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co.

A Safer Air 'Gun'

December 2, 2010 7:40 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new Precision Safety Gun from EXAIR (Cincinnati, OH) is lightweight and comfortable to operate during periods of extended use, according to the company. The small diameter nozzle and extension fit into tight spaces while packing the punch of a strong blowing force, and the sleek profile works with small or large hands.

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Signage Goes Sustainable

December 2, 2010 7:40 am | Product Releases | Comments

Brady (Milwaukee, WI) has introduced a line of three new sustainable materials for safety and traffic signage. The Sustainable Signs can help companies invest in ”green“ programs, according to Brady, by using materials that are as durable as other products. The B-586 Paper Signs are made of 10 percent post-consumer waste and are 100 percent recyclable.

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