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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Judge: Terror Payment Lawsuits Against Chiquita Can Continue

June 3, 2011 9:40 am | by Curt Anderson, AP Legal Affairs Writer | News | Comments

MIAMI (AP) — A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss lawsuits filed by thousands of Colombians against produce seller Chiquita Brands International over its payments to a right-wing paramilitary group responsible for killing and terrorizing civilians during Colombia's lengthy civil conflict.

CSB: Hoeganaes Must Redesign Plant To Stop Deaths

June 3, 2011 9:26 am | by Travis Loller, Associated Press | News | Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal agency investigating a fatal fire at a Middle Tennessee chemical plant said a corroded pipe leaking hydrogen gas caused an explosion that ignited combustible iron dust there. A total of four workers have died this year after being critically burned in fires at the Hoeganaes (HAY'-gan-eez) plant in Gallatin, with the latest one occurring last week.

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Sikorsky To Lay Off Almost 400 N.Y. Workers

June 3, 2011 9:13 am | News | Comments

BIG FLATS, N.Y. (AP) — Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is laying off nearly 400 workers at its factory in upstate New York because of what the company says is a lull in orders for military helicopters. The announcement Thursday by the Stratford, Conn.-based subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. didn't divulge the number of jobs being cut, but a notice filed with the state Department of Labor lists the number of layoffs as 386.

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Aluminum Plant Manager Pleads Guilty To EPA Fraud

June 3, 2011 9:10 am | News | Comments

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A former manager at a northwestern Indiana aluminum plant has pleaded guilty to charges that he knew about employees lying on reports in order to cover up air pollution violations. Charles Woodworth of Crown Point made the plea Thursday in federal court in Hammond.

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Chevy Volt Gets Highest Safety Rating From NHTSA

June 3, 2011 9:08 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The Chevrolet Volt electric car has won a five-star safety rating from the U.S. government. The five-star rating is the top one given by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. General Motors, the car's maker, says the Volt was judged under tougher standards for 2011 models that include a simulated 20 mile-per-hour side crash into a pole.

Obama: Economy Still Facing 'Headwinds' In Recovery

June 3, 2011 9:05 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — President Barack Obama says the U.S. economy is still facing challenges and it is going to take more time to mend the wounds inflicted by the recession. Obama spoke at a Chrysler plant in Ohio against the backdrop of a dismal jobs report released Friday that shows the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.

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Chrysler CEO On Paying Back The Bailout

June 3, 2011 7:29 am | Videos | Comments

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne sat down with CNN Money to talk about the automaker’s exit from dealings with the U.S. government, now that Fiat bought the last stake from the U.S. Treasury on Friday. As it stands, the government lost some $1.2 billion on the $12 billion loan, but Marchionne says it was a “phenomonal” deal for U.

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Quicker MIG Guns

June 3, 2011 6:29 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Tregaskiss (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) has announced that its QUICK LOAD Liners will now be standard on TOUGH GUN and TGX Semi-Automatic MIG Guns as of July 2011. The QUICK LOAD liners are installed from the front end of the MIG gun, and because there is no need to cut the welding wire, there is less unnecessary downtime and cost.

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High-Pressure Tank Cleaning

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

The TankJet 190D motor-driven tank cleaner from Spraying Systems Co. (Wheaton, IL) provides 180° downward coverage when removing sticky residues/skim line and heavy sludge from the bottom and shadow areas of tanks. The system operates at pressures of up to 1,000 psi and uses high-impact solid stream nozzles to clean tanks up to 34’ in diameter.

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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.

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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