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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Better HVAC Drives

November 5, 2010 4:37 am | Product Releases | Comments

Firmware version 3.50 is now available for Danfoss’ (Milwaukee, WI) VLT HVAC Drives, and provides on-board BACnet communication to maximize installation, expansion, and modification flexibility. A “Smart-Start” functionality allows for faster commissioning of the drive and motor.

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Protect Your Ball Bearings

November 5, 2010 4:36 am | Product Releases | Comments

The DayLube high-performance grease from Dayton Progress Corporation (Dayton, OH) uses nanoceramic particles, which provide continuous lubrication to steel surfaces with a lower coefficient of friction at all temperatures than traditional PTFE greases. According to the company, the grease does not soften or run out — after 100,000 production strokes, it showed no evidence of breaking down.

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Who Wants A 'Sortasaurus'?

November 5, 2010 4:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new Sortasaurus ergonomic table from Meese Orbitron Dunne Co. (Ashtabula, OH) is rotationally-molded from smooth and 100 percent waterproof polyethylene plastic to eliminate the splinters, bacterial concerns, and other safety issues associated with wooden tables. The Sortasaurus table uses a one-piece design with wings on three sides to help corral diverse products, parts, and packages as they are put on the table.

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Manufacturing Hiring, Optimism Remains Low

November 4, 2010 9:08 am | News | Comments

Business leaders in the manufacturing space are pessimistic, with only a third (33 percent) expecting the U.S. economy to improve in the next six months, according to Grant Thornton’s quarterly survey of U.S. business leaders. The hiring outlook for manufacturing companies is also gloomy — only 37 percent of manufacturing business leaders report that their companies will increase hiring in the next six months.

An Unrelenting Focus On The Big Picture

November 4, 2010 7:04 am | by Dr. Francois Nader, CEO, NPS Pharmaceuticals | Articles | Comments

The business of bringing new therapeutic products to market is full of challenges.  From high costs and long development trajectories to unanticipated side effects and questions of reimbursement, succeeding in the pharmaceutical industry requires intellectual, scientific, regulatory, and financial acumen.

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Japan Readies Its Robotic Workforce

November 4, 2010 6:34 am | Videos | Comments

Japanese researchers have developed a human-like robot to supplement the country's shrinking workforce, as nearly 25 percent of the country's population is over the age of 65. The machine has 34 moving joints, stands almost 5-feet tall, and weighs 85 pounds. According to CBS News , the robots are expected to be used in manufacturing applications, and their mobility will allow them to move around the plant at will.

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How Not To Pour Molten Aluminum

November 3, 2010 9:54 am | Videos | Comments

A group of what appear to be students get an important lesson on safety when dealing with molten metals. Step one: Get a bigger set of tongs. Step two: Wear your face shield, and don't lie about not wearing it to your boss. It's on video. Step three: It's usually better to delete these sorts of things, rather than put them on YouTube.

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75 Good Years Of Anti-Competitive Business

November 3, 2010 9:51 am | Videos | Comments

The legendary board game Monopoly turns 75 this year, so CNN visited Hasbro's manufacturing facility to ask the employees why they think the game has been so consistently successful. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Mike Rowe And The 'War On Work'

November 3, 2010 9:49 am | Videos | Comments

This one's an oldie, but a goodie. Mike Rowe, renowned for his work on Discovery's Dirty Jobs , gives a few anecdotes about some of the work he has been forced to do over the years. And while one of them is particularly cringe-worthy, Mike's message in the end is pretty clear: hard, dirty work is nothing to be ashamed of, and in fact, it's usually the better work.

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The State Of Today's U.S. Worker

November 3, 2010 9:48 am | Videos | Comments

Former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner discusses the state of the average U.S. worker in today's globalized tech industry, and how companies who are trying to make their enterprises efficient and global are treating their workforce. Furthermore, Gerstner touches on just how these workers can position themselves for success in this environment.

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Wash. Voters Reject Private Workers' Compensation

November 3, 2010 5:04 am | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington voters have rejected an initiative that would have privatized workers' compensation insurance. With more than half of the expected vote counted in Tuesday's election, Initiative 1082 was being defeated by more than 16 points, with 58 percent of voters saying no on the ballot.

Factory Orders Grew In Sept., Breaking Streak Of Drops

November 3, 2010 4:48 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories rose broadly in September, propelled by business spending on commercial airplanes, boats and machines. The Commerce Department says that factory orders rose by 2.1 percent in September, the steepest increase since January. Orders were flat in August.

October Auto Sales To Rise Dramatically Over 2009

November 3, 2010 4:47 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — October auto sales are expected to rise substantially from the same month last year as once-stingy automakers loosened up on rebates and incentives, luring more customers into showrooms. Car price information service TrueCar.com predicts October sales rose 11 percent from a year ago, yet were down 3 percent compared with September.

Ten-Ton Asphalt Container Catches Fire

November 3, 2010 4:45 am | News | Comments

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Northwest Fire District crews responded to a fire at a Tucson-area cement plantTuesday involving a ten-ton container of asphalt. Northwest Fire spokeswoman Katy Heiden tells The Associated Press the asphalt was in the process of being mixed when a hole developed in the container and some of the leaking asphalt ignited.

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Is GM Really Worth As Much As Ford?

November 3, 2010 4:44 am | by Sharon Silke Carty, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — If investors pay what General Motors hopes to get for its stock in a planned IPO, they'll have to buy the logic that the company's stock-market value should be similar to its closest competitor, Ford Motor Co. But Ford is making far more money these days and its U.S. market share is rising while GM's is falling and its new management team has little auto industry experience.

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Harley's Restructuring: Efficiency Here, More Sales Overseas

November 3, 2010 4:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Harley-Davidson Inc.'s restructuring plans are firmly in place and the motorcycle maker is on its way to saving money, being quicker to market with new products and expanding abroad, analysts said Wednesday. The motorcycle maker held an analyst meeting Tuesday in its hometown of Milwaukee to update investors on the first 18 months of its three-to-five year restructuring plan.

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The 3-In-1 Grinding Wheel

November 2, 2010 12:10 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Camel Grinding Wheels (GCW — Niles, IL) has expanded its line of abrasive wheels with the introduction of its 3-in-1 cut/grind/finish combo wheels. The combination eliminates the need for frequent wheel changes and increases production times. When at the 90° position, the combo wheel cuts; at a 30° angle, the wheel grinds; and when used at a 15° angle, the wheel finishes.

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Marking Lasers Of All Types

November 2, 2010 12:10 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Laser Research Optics (Providence, RI) offers a full line of OEM-quality replacement CO2 laser optics, including lenses and mirrors, for popular industrial marking lasers. Laser Research’s products are optimized for use at 10.6 µm with 25 to 200 watt marking lasers. They feature <0.

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Two Is Better Than One

November 2, 2010 12:09 pm | Product Releases | Comments

The two-line intelligent panel meter technology from Davis Instruments (Vernon Hills, IL) — the Red Lion’s PAX2A — is designed for applications in which two parameters need to be visualized at the same time, such as indicating the temperature of an oven while displaying the set point value.

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High-Strength Epoxy Lining

November 2, 2010 12:09 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Master Bond (Hackensack, NJ) has developed the EP21ARHT two-component epoxy for coating and lining storage tanks, piping, scrubbers, and processing equipment. Its chemical, fuel, and acid resistance allows it to withstand immersion in 20 percent hydrochloric acid for more than a year. The epoxy cures at room temperature with minimal shrinkage, or more rapidly at elevated temperatures, and once cured, it produces a bond strength greater than 2,200 psi.

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