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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Nation's Billionaires Gather To Give Away Fortunes

May 9, 2011 8:20 am | by Donna Gordon Blankinship, Associated Press | News | Comments

What do dozens of American billionaires talk about when they get together? Their topic this week was of course money; not how to make it, but how to give it away. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Friday that a private gathering was a great chance for the billionaires who have pledged to give away at least half their wealth to meet each other, compare notes, eat and laugh.

Crews Battle Fire At Los Angeles-Area Food Company

May 9, 2011 8:06 am | News | Comments

HUNTINGTON PARK, Calif. (AP) — A fire feeding on soybean oil at a frozen food plant sent flames soaring through the roof Monday and created a towering plume of smoke that was seen for miles around the eastern Los Angeles suburb. About 150 firefighters from several departments fought the blaze, which was reported by employees at about 5:30 a.

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ABB Acquires Mincom For Better Software Offerings

May 9, 2011 7:03 am | News | Comments

Zurich, Switzerland — ABB, the global power and automation technology group, has agreed to acquire Mincom to broaden its software portfolio and establish the Group as a leader in enterprise asset management (EAM) software and services. ABB is acquiring the Brisbane, Australia-based company from Francisco Partners, a private equity group that invests in technology businesses, for an undisclosed sum.

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The VW Passat: Made In America

May 9, 2011 6:29 am | Videos | Comments

CNN Money takes a look inside Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tenn. plant, which was built at the height of the "Great Recession." The $1 billion facility was built in Chattanooga thanks to some $500 million in financial incentives from the state government, which helped sway VW over the other 400 cities that bid for the plant.

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Making Your Loading Dock Safer

May 9, 2011 6:20 am | by Joe Manone, Vice President, Rite-Hite | Articles | Comments

Forklift accidents and fatalities are a serious reality at the loading dock. The trailer is an extension of the warehouse floor that can unexpectedly separate from the dock if the proper safety precautions aren’t taken. Choosing the appropriate vehicle restraint to help prevent these tragedies can be difficult.

Saab Taps Subaru Exec To Run North American Operations

May 9, 2011 5:08 am | News | Comments

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — Saab named an executive from Subaru on Monday to run its North American operations. The struggling Swedish automaker said Timothy Colbeck would be the president and chief operating officer overseeing its largest market. Colbeck has 25 years of U.S. auto industry experience with Subaru in sales, e-business, finance and other areas, Saab said.

How A 'Networker' Became A Spy For China

May 9, 2011 4:49 am | by Pauline Arrillaga, AP National Writer | News | Comments

Locked in a federal penitentiary in the Arizona desert, Tai Kuo spends his days helping with the cooking, teaching language classes and tennis, making new friends. The convicted spy, it seems, has become a mentor. This surprises no one. Not the prosecutors who charged him. Not his old friends or colleagues, some of whom stand behind him still.

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U.S., China To Discuss Trade, Currency, Human Rights

May 9, 2011 4:44 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's massive trade deficit with China, currency rates and human rights concerns will all be on the agenda when top officials from the United States and China sit down for high-level talks this week. The annual meetings will bring together top officials from both countries representing dozens of government agencies in the areas of trade and finance, and foreign policy.

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Chinese Authorities Investigate Lead Poisoning Breakout

May 9, 2011 4:41 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Authorities are investigating heavy metals poisoning in a village in eastern China after discovering that dozens of people living near a lead battery plant were sickened. Local authorities in Deqing, a village near the scenic city of Hangzhou, west of Shanghai, said Monday they ordered that nearly 2,000 people be given free blood tests.

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Obama Turns Chatter Back To Economic Recovery

May 9, 2011 4:38 am | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is reassuring the public that jobs and the economy are his top priority. At the end of a historic and emotionally charged week that began with his nationally televised announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan during a raid by U.

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Toyota To Lose No. 1 Spot Sometime This Year

May 9, 2011 4:26 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp., which is likely to lose its spot as the world's No. 1 automaker to General Motors Co. later this year, reports its fiscal fourth quarter results Wednesday. WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Toyota's production capacity was sorely hurt by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11.

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RFID-Enabled Fall Protection

May 6, 2011 10:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

The i-Safe 3.0 Intelligent Safety System from Capital Safety (Red Wind, MN) is a significant upgrade to the existing i-Safe 2.0 system, which was the first RFID system dedicated to fall protection equipment and inspection tracking. The upgraded suite now offers four software options that allow a company to decide if they want Capital Safety to host their data or manage it themselves.

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Easier Adjustment With 'Quick Releases'

May 6, 2011 10:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

igus (East Providence, RI) now offers a “quick-release” nut for its DryLin lead screw tables. According to the company, this makes format adjustments easier and faster by reducing the number of revolutions required to position the carriage on a lead screw assembly with a small pitch.

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More Fluid Handling Options

May 6, 2011 10:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

MISUMI USA, Inc. (Schaumburg, IL) has introduced a total of 19 new products to its Sanitary Pipes, Vacuum Piping Parts, and Tanks product category. They are suitable for use in liquid pumping and vacuum defoaming applications across a wide range of industries. The Pressure Tanks are designed to handle operating pressure ranges of 0.

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Safe And Ergonomic Lift Tables

May 6, 2011 10:14 am | Product Releases | Comments

Unidex, Inc. (Warsaw, NY) has designed a mobile workstation designed for safe, ergonomic lifting, positioning, load transfer, assembly, manufacturing, and maintenance operations. The PHQL mobile lift table has a 500-pound load capacity and features a 24” by 24” platform table time.

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Apollo-Soyuz-Era Spacesuit Fetches $240,000 At Auction

May 6, 2011 9:32 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — A Russian spacesuit worn during the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project skyrocketed to $242,000 at a New York City auction. Bonhams had estimated it at $100,000 to $150,000. The auction house didn't disclose the buyer of the Sokol K pressure suit. The Apollo-Soyuz marked the first multinational manned spaceflight.

Markets Surge At News Of Forecast-Busting Jobs Numbers

May 6, 2011 9:30 am | by Pan Plyas, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — A forecast-busting U.S. jobs survey on Friday eased concerns that the world's largest economy was slowing down, sending stocks and the dollar higher. Worries about the U.S. recovery's pace had grown over the past few days following a run of soft economic data. Commodity prices took the brunt of the sell-off amid worries of waning demand for crude, metals and raw materials.

Japan Seeks More Nuclear Plant Shutdowns

May 6, 2011 9:13 am | by Shino Yuasa, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Japan urged a power company Friday to suspend all three reactors at a coastal nuclear plantwhile a seawall and other structures are built to ensure a major earthquake or tsunami does not cause a second radiation crisis. The move came as the government is conducting a safety review of all Japan's 54 nuclear reactors after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left more than 25,000 people dead and missing on the northeast coast.

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GM's Chinese Sales Drop 5 Percent As Growth Cools

May 6, 2011 8:56 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors Co. and its joint ventures sold 203,367 vehicles in China in April, down nearly 5 percent from a year earlier as growth cools in the world's largest auto market. GM said Friday that sales by its flagship venture Shanghai GM rose 7.4 percent to 96,219 vehicles in April.

Superior Industries Exec Pleads Guilty To Wire-Fraud

May 6, 2011 8:53 am | News | Comments

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A former finance executive at the Superior Industries plant in Fayetteville has pleaded guilty to a federal wire-fraud charge, admitting she embezzled almost $400,000 from the maker of aluminum automotive wheels. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says Mary Benz of Bella Vista entered the plea Thursday as part of an agreement with the U.

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