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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

Ind. Modular Parts Maker To Invest, Add 110 New Jobs

April 6, 2011 4:36 am | News | Comments

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana modular parts manufacturer will create 110 new jobs and invest more than $9 million to expand its operations in Columbia City. The company known as 80/20 Inc. announced Tuesday it will add more than 90,000 square feet. It now has more than 250 workers in a 135,000-square-foot plant.

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Ill. Gov., CAT CEO Talk Business-Friendly Politics

April 6, 2011 4:32 am | by Zachary Colman, Associated Press | News | Comments

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Illinois is facing growing concerns among business leaders that its policies hurt the companies that drive its economy, the head of Caterpillar Inc. warned Tuesday as he met with Gov. Pat Quinn. The meeting was prompted by a letter that Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman sent to the governor about other states trying to lure his company after Illinois hiked its income tax.

Precision-Built Torque Tools

April 5, 2011 6:06 am | Product Releases | Comments

Seekonk Manufacturing Company, Inc. and Pro Torque Tools (Atlanta, GA) are now offering Seekonk’s line of Precision Torque wrenches, screwdrivers, and testers for delivery anywhere in the world. All of Seekonk torque products are manufactured in their Massachusetts facility, with an ISO 9001-certified commitment to quality.

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Carry More With Modular Belts

April 5, 2011 6:04 am | Product Releases | Comments

Duckbill LLC (Grand Rapids, MI) has designed the MobilityMax product line of ergonomic body-borne carrying gear, which allows for users to bring their hand tools, instruments, and devices with them in a modular fashion. The MobilityMax product is a system-based approach to upgrading new, or existing, fall protection harnesses that do not interfere with the ability to carry gear.

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Replace Your Aging Bulb With LEDs

April 5, 2011 6:04 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Cooper Crouse-Hinds (Syracuse, NY) announced the introduction of its Vaporgard LED Series as a direct LED replacement for incandescent bulbs in industrial or hazardous applications. According to the company, these LEDs have 20 percent longer life than incandescent lamps, and reduce energy consumption by 85 percent.

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Scissor Lifts Reach New Heights

April 5, 2011 6:03 am | Product Releases | Comments

Genie (Redmond, WA), a Terex brand, is launching a new series of 69”-wide rough terrain scissor lifts, which includes three new models: GS™-2669 RT, GS™-3369 RT and GS™-4069 RT. According to the company, the redesign has increased capacity and improved jobsite performance.

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Big 3 Could Gain Marketshare In Earthquake Aftermath

April 5, 2011 4:47 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — In a note to investors Monday, Barclay's Capital analyst Brian Johnson suggested that Detroit automakers could gain some sales in the coming months because of earthquake-related supply shortages at their Japanese rivals. THE OPINION: Johnson said Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co.

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Pringles Snapped Up By Diamond Foods For $1.5 Billion

April 5, 2011 4:37 am | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Diamond Foods Inc. is buying Procter & Gamble Co.'s Pringles chips business in a $1.5 billion deal, the biggest in a string that have given the maker of Pop Secret popcorn and Kettle chips a steadily growing share of the snack aisle. The deal also completes P&G's exit from all its major food businesses.

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R.I., Manufacturers Team Up To Stop Texting While Driving

April 5, 2011 4:35 am | by David Klepper, Associated Press | News | Comments

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island may enlist some high-tech help in the fight against texting while driving: a device that jams most cell phone capabilities when a vehicle's engine is running. A state lawmaker has proposed legislation to require those caught texting while driving to install such a device.

GM Rewards CEO Akerson With $1.3 Million In Stock

April 5, 2011 4:33 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is rewarding its top executive with shares currently worth more than $1.3 million. In a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, GM said it gave Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson 42,360 stock units on March 31 as part of his compensation package.

Cummins Inc. To Hire 2,500 Workers This Year

April 5, 2011 4:30 am | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — Cummins Inc. says it plans to hire 2,500 workers in the U.S. this year. The Columbus-based engine manufacturer says it is hiring across the board to meet strong demand worldwide and in anticipation of an economic recovery. A company spokesman tells The Columbus Republic that it's too soon to know how many of the 2,500 jobs will be added in Columbus.

TI Buys National Semiconductor For $6.5 Billion

April 5, 2011 4:27 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Texas Instruments Inc. is buying National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in a marriage of two of the world's premier makers of analog chips, which are widely used in electronics to transform signals such as sound into digital form that computers can understand. In scooping up National Semiconductor, TI is getting a storied Silicon Valley company whose history stretches back more than 50 years and is known for its power-management chips.

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The Overtime Lie

April 4, 2011 10:55 am | by John Frehse, Chief Strategic Officer, Core Practice | Articles | Comments

Recently, I stood before a plant management team sharing labor strategies that could help resolve some serious cost problems associated with inefficient shift schedules. The plant manager talked about some of their greatest achievements. Number one was keeping their overtime below 5 percent. Corporate listed low overtime as a key performance indicator, and minimizing it was critical to plant bonuses.

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Safety Proves Not-So-Tall Order

April 4, 2011 8:22 am | by Pat McDevitt, Manager of Business Development, Snap-on Industrial | Articles | Comments

You work in one of the most sensitive production areas in a large chemical plant. The concern is that no contaminants be introduced into the work area, including stray tools and equipment. Or you’re standing on the walkway above a large newspaper-printing press—and time is money.

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Tidying Up Titletown

April 4, 2011 8:02 am | by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

Green Bay Packaging’s Coated Products Operations division has implemented a strategy that not only makes environmental sense, but also financial cents. The Green Bay Packaging Inc. Coated Products Operations division coats, laminates, and slits pressure-sensitive label materials in Titletown—also known as Green Bay, WI (It was just in February that the Green Bay Packers football team won the Super Bowl, after all).

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The Case For Working With Your Hands

April 4, 2011 7:41 am | Articles | Comments

As distasteful as it may seem to some students and parents, working with your hands may be a good alternative in this changing economy. When you look around, people still are needed to fix your car, rewire or paint your house, fix your broken power lines, teach you to play the piano, and bypass your clogged arteries.

The Art Of Slashing Lead Times

April 4, 2011 7:06 am | by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

One of the company’s machining centers, which create precision parts for customers in a variety of markets. “People want product as soon as possible. The days of six, eight, 12-week lead times just don’t exist any more. We have more customers knocking on our door saying, ‘Okay, you said two weeks, but can we get it in a week?’ That really changes things.

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A Sight For Sore Eyes

April 4, 2011 6:56 am | by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Imagine the following scenario: One of your plant floor employees has just had their eye or skin exposed to a caustic chemical, which needs to be immediately flushed from contact. Per OSHA regulations, you should already have an eye washing station or emergency shower on the plant floor, which the employee should be familiar with.

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