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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Detroit Auto Show, Day 1: VW Returns Manufacturing To U.S.

January 10, 2011 3:37 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

Volkswagen to keep Passat name on new midsize   DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen is keeping the Passat name for a new midsize vehicle that will be built at the company's new U.S. plant in Tennessee. Volkswagen of America Inc. announced plans Sunday to maintain the Passat nameplate at an event before media previews of the North American International Auto Show.

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Chevrolet Volt Named 'Car Of The Year'

January 10, 2011 3:34 am | by Jeff Karoub, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The 2011 Chevrolet Volt got another marketing jolt Monday, when it received the North American Car of the Year. The car that runs on electricity for 40 miles before a backup gas engine kicks in beat out the Nissan Leaf, another electric, and Hyundai Sonata in the annual ceremony on the first day of media previews for the Detroit auto show.

Is Ford Strong Enough To Survive Their Latest Success?

January 10, 2011 3:28 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) — In every boom cycle of its 107-year life, Ford Motor Co. became complacent, unprepared for the inevitable bust in the auto business. From the 1920s, when Ford lost its dominant position in the U.S. because it was slow to update the Model T, to the 2000s, when it squandered billions in SUV profits and narrowly avoided bankruptcy, the company stuck with some strategies too long and didn't pay enough attention to others.

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Give Your Brain A Break Today

January 7, 2011 9:48 am | by by Nancy Maas, Editor in Chief, Wireless Design & Development | Blogs | Comments

We need to cut back on our consumption of media, our connectivity, and how much we multitask, even if it is only for a few minutes a day to start. There is a lively debate going on among scientists over whether technology’s influence on behavior and the brain is good or bad, and how significant it is.

A First In Air Quality

January 7, 2011 9:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Reznor Z Series hybrid ventilation unit, developed by Thomas & Betts (Memphis, TN) is the first unit, according to the company, to integrate an energy recovery wheel into a dedicated heat pump system for precise ventilation and temperature control. The Z Series can recover more than 80 percent of the exhaust air energy year-round.

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More Effective Enclosures

January 7, 2011 9:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

Attabox (San Antonio, TX) has achieved IP66 certification, which adds to the current UL/cUL 50e, type 3R, 4, 4X, and 12 certification. The IP66 rating means the enclosure provides effective protection from dust penetration and leakage from high-pressure water jets. This allows users to be sure the enclosures can last in harsh environments.

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Protect Your Grippers

January 7, 2011 9:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

The DCT Series Pneumatic Grippers from Omega Engineering (Stamford, CT) are angular grippers with a 180° jaw opening, which allows for the complete release of a directly-fed part. The gripper forces range from 32 N to 112 N. According to the company, the gripper has shielding to repel chips and other particulate from the internal drive mechanism.

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A Better Suction Cup

January 7, 2011 9:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

Piab (Hingham, MA) has launched its new piGRIP suction cup, which is the first modular suction cup, according to the company. The piGRIP allows companies to choose the ideal combination of lip and bellow so products can be handled at high speeds. The system is available with a range of independent lips, bellows, and fittings in sizes from 25-77mm, allowing it to be tailored to individual gripping, lifting, and height requirements to handle a variety of products.

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The Link Between Goal Alignment And Staying Competitive

January 7, 2011 7:41 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers are faced with a number of challenges, including driving revenue growth, improving compliance and streamlining operations. A recent study by the Aberdeen Group draws a link between talent management processes and the overall success of meeting these everyday challenges.

Manufacturing In 2025, Part One

January 7, 2011 7:34 am | by John Ferreira, managing director of Accenture's North American Manufacturing practice, and Stephen Laaper, senior manager in Accenture's North American Manufacturing practice | Articles | Comments

From the shop floor to the order desk, manufacturing has become quite volatile, complex, and dependent on far-flung operations and partners. But that’s a walk in the park compared to what the next 15 years will bring. Here’s how to prepare for the challenges just ahead and, in turn, how you can translate manufacturing prowess into a true competitive advantage.

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Can You Imagine Working For Just A Dollar?

January 7, 2011 3:58 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs' compensation package remained the usual $1 in fiscal 2010, but the value of the shares he owns has skyrocketed amid the company's ongoing success with introducing shiny new gadgets many people come to find indispensible. Apple said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday it paid a salary of $1 to Jobs, who rejoined the company in 1997 and has overseen the company's explosive growth following the launch of the iPod, the iPhone and now the iPad.

Is Microsoft Even Trying To Compete Against Apple?

January 7, 2011 3:35 am | by Jessica Mintz, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Instead of unveiling an elegant response to the iPad, Microsoft came to the tech industry's premier gadget show with a collection of exposed computer guts. Microsoft's biggest news was that the next version of Windows would run on the style of mobile phone chips that power the iPad and other tablets today.

Phosgene Leak Sickens 62 Workers At Chinese Factory

January 7, 2011 3:31 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — A chemical leak has sickened 62 workers at a pharmaceutical factory in eastern China. The official Xinhua News Agency reported that 37 of them were still in a hospital Friday after inhaling fumes at work Thursday. The cause of the leak was under investigation. Xinhua said the leaked chemical was phosgene, commonly used to produce pesticides, painkillers and antibiotics.

Donald Tyson, Poultry Patriarch, Dies At 80

January 7, 2011 3:30 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Former Tyson Foods Inc. chief executive Donald J. Tyson, who led his family's poultry company from being a regional producer to dominance in the industry while instilling a corporate culture that mixed hard work and enjoyment, died Thursday. He was 80. Company spokesman Gary Mickelson said Tyson died from complications from cancer, and passed away at home with his family.

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Alcoholic Energy Drinks Meet Their End In Virginia Plant

January 7, 2011 3:27 am | by Zinie Chen Sampson, Associated Press | News | Comments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Truckloads of Four Loko and other alcohol-laced energy drinks are being recycled into ethanol and other products after federal authorities told manufacturers the beverages were dangerous and caused users to become "wide-awake drunk." Wholesalers from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and other East Coast states started sending cases of the high-alcohol, caffeinated malt beverages to MXI Environmental Services in Virginia after the U.

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Unemployment Drops To 9.4 Percent

January 7, 2011 3:24 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent last month, its lowest level in 19 months. That was because more people found jobs, but also because some people gave up on their job searches. The Labor Department says employers added 103,000 jobs in December, an improvement from November but far below most analysts' expectations.

GM: New Batteries To Improve Volts By 50 To 100 Percent

January 7, 2011 3:23 am | News | Comments

General Motors said Thursday that it has licensed technology from a government laboratory that promises to improve battery performance in its Volt electric car by 50 percent to 100 percent. GM and LG Chem have agreed to license the technology, which consists of a mix of materials, from the Argonne National Laboratory.

A Quality New Year’s Resolution

January 6, 2011 11:16 am | by by Meaghan Ziemba, Associate Editor, Product Design and Development | Blogs | Comments

Excellence without exception. What a great mission to live by, especially in today’s markets where some companies seem to have forgotten the importance of quality and replaced its importance by prioritizing quantity. Before the New Year I made a visit to Forest City Gear (FCG), a small gear manufacturer in Roscoe, IL.

Using The Supply Chain To Promote Company Growth

January 6, 2011 9:46 am | by Taylor Jones, Sales Executive, BridgeNet Solutions, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Many companies miss out on not only some of the money-saving opportunities that might present themselves if they were to look at their supply chains a little differently, but on the money-making opportunities they might be able to uncover. Even companies that are adept at running their supply chains efficiently and cost-effectively tend not to see the supply chain as an area of the company which might enable them to achieve actual company growth.

Worker-Safe Chemical Cleaning

January 6, 2011 8:24 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Safe-T-Wash, from A.W.T. World Trade (Chicago, IL) is a non-carcinogenic and biogegradable cleaning solution for stubborn ink, adhesives, and other hard-to-remove substances. According to the company, Safe-T-Wash is non-flammable and low-odor, but dissolves most ink systems quickly without compromising worker safety.

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