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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

ISM Index: 20th Straight Month Of Manufacturing Growth

April 1, 2011 4:37 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing activity probably increased in March for the 20th straight month, though at a slightly slower pace than the previous month. Economists forecast that the Institute for Supply Management's index of manufacturing activity will edge down to 61.

EU Appeals Own Victory Against U.S. Subsidies For Boeing

April 1, 2011 4:31 am | News | Comments

GENEVA (AP) — The European Union is appealing its own victory in a trade ruling against U.S. planemaker Boeing Co. by asking the World Trade Organization to toughen its condemnation of American subsidies for Boeing-made aircraft. The ruling published Thursday based on EU complaints concluded Boeing received at least $5 billion in subsidies between 1989 and 2006 that were prohibited under international trade rules.

Unemployment Falls To 8.8 Percent With 216,000 Jobs

April 1, 2011 4:27 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March and companies added workers at the fastest two-month pace since before the recession began. The Labor Department reported Friday that the economy added 216,000 new jobs last month, offsetting layoffs by local governments.

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U.S. Car Sales Hit Double-Digit Increase In March

April 1, 2011 4:24 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. sales of cars and trucks are expected to rise at a double-digit rate in March as worries about higher gas prices and supplies of Japanese cars prompted some shoppers to buy new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The number of new vehicles sold likely rose 17 percent to 1.24 million, compared with a year earlier, according to Edmunds.

One Dead, Three Injured In Texas Chemical Blast

April 1, 2011 4:21 am | News | Comments

PORT ARTHUR, Texas (AP) — One person is dead and three others are hurt after an explosion and flash fire at a Southeast Texas chemical plant. The incident happened about 2:15 p.m. Thursday at the KMTEX plant near Port Arthur. A statement issued by Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Rod Carroll says witnesses report a worker was welding on a pipeline containing coal tar solvent when it exploded.

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Video Release: Smaller Air Conditioners

March 31, 2011 5:36 am | Product Releases | Comments

MovinCool (Long Beach, CA) has developed a video to highlight the features and benefits of their CM Series ceiling-mounted packaged air conditioners.

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Even, Precise Bolt Tensioning

March 31, 2011 5:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

The hydraulic bolt tensioners from Enerpac (Sydney, Australia) help facilitate faster, safer, and more precise maintenance and fabrication operations, according to the company. The GT-Series bolt tensioners, in capacities up to 320 tons at 1,500 bat, are suited where operators want to achieve known and accurate bolt loads across multiple applications.

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Fully-Sealed Connectors For Tough Jobs

March 31, 2011 5:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

Molex Incorporated (Lisle, IL) has announced the Multi-Drop Sealed Connector and Cable System, a modular connector system for the transfer of both power and data/signal in a multi-drop configuration. The system is fully sealed to IP66 and IP67 ratings, and can be customized to meet any requirements for internal and external data/signal and power applications.

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Capture Better Audio In Loud Places

March 31, 2011 5:34 am | Product Releases | Comments

Olympus (Center Valley, PA) has developed the new DM-620 PCM audio recording device featuring a three-microphone TRESMIC system designed to capture low frequency sound for premium recordings. The device also features a “scene select” option, noise cancelation, a zoom microphone, and a low-cut filter.

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Leaders Are Needed In Compliance Crises

March 31, 2011 4:36 am | by The QA Pharm, Anonymous Industry Insider and Contributor to Pharmaceutical Processing | Articles | Comments

When an organization is faced with the task of transforming from non-compliance complicity to embracing standards and discipline, a central figure that rallies the troops must step forward. It’s a most unfortunate ailment of epidemic proportions that the approach taken by many when addressing underlying CGMP compliance issues is effectively based in a checklist mentality — a to-do list.

Lean Manufacturing Demands Intelligent AP Automation

March 31, 2011 4:35 am | by Dan Hunstad, Senior Systems Analyst, Metafile Information Systems | Articles | Comments

The accounting process is the lifeblood of every manufacturing organization, and therefore deserves to be treated with the same priority placed on contributors to the production line. By definition, Lean manufacturing is intended to reduce the waste of time and resources that do not directly add value to the business.

Re-Kindling Your Passion

March 30, 2011 11:40 am | by by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

I’ve always been a diehard fan of the printed page, whether it’s a hardback novel or the glossy pages of a magazine. That passion is a large part of why I’m in the publishing business now. In many ways, there’s nothing better than sitting down with a good book and feeling the pages between your fingers.

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Mitigating Purchasing Sabotage

March 30, 2011 11:31 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

For most people, a room full of editors, executives, sales reps, and business owners discussing MRO might not seem like a good time. I wish I could say I was with you, but the manufacturing and distribution nerd in me takes great pleasure in the picking of brains. I have a feeling that I am not alone among our readers in this.

The Science Of Beer

March 30, 2011 6:58 am | Videos | Comments

Grant Wood, a brewmaster with Sam Adams, discusses the chemistry involved in producing one of the world's most popular beverages. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department. Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you’d like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.

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Playing Catch With Helicopters

March 30, 2011 6:58 am | Videos | Comments

At the ETH Flying Machine Arena in Switzerland, researchers are figuring out all-new ways for robots to play "catch." These quatrocopters are paired with a motion-sensing camera above, and some complex computer software that allows them to predict the ball's trajectory for accurate bouncing.

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Our Greatest Invention: The Washing Machine

March 30, 2011 6:54 am | Videos | Comments

Hans Rosling, famous for previous TED Talks featuring data presented in interesting ways, claims that the washing machine is one of the greatest inventions of industrialization, not because it's particularly sophisticated or innovative, but rather because it provides time to do other things than wash clothes by hand.

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The Ultimate Slingshot

March 30, 2011 6:53 am | Videos | Comments

We all know true genius when we see it. Joerg Sprave , known on YouTube for his slingshot-based R&D efforts, has developed one more bizarre and completely unnecessary slingshot. Instead of the usual lead balls, it launches machetes . Yes, that's right. 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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Dana Reaches New Union Deal With 4,000 Workers

March 30, 2011 4:53 am | News | Comments

MAUMEE, Ohio (AP) — Auto supplier Dana Holding Corp. said Tuesday it has reached new three-year labor agreements covering 4,000 workers. The agreements, with the United Auto Workers and United Steelworkers unions, are effective June 1. They include Dana's first-ever profit-sharing payments to workers based on the company's performance.

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Nissan, TI Optimistic About Japan Manufacturing's Future

March 30, 2011 4:51 am | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday that an engine plant wrecked by the March 11 tsunami won't return to operations until June and it will take "some time" before auto production runs at full capacity. Nissan spokesman Mitsuru Yonekawa said the Iwaki factory, one of Nissan's two engine plants in Japan, still has no running water.

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Calif. CEO Charged With Counterfeiting Rifle Sights

March 30, 2011 4:33 am | News | Comments

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — An arrest warrant has been issued for a California businessman who has been charged with counterfeiting high-tech rifle sights in a scheme to sell them over the Internet. Yongming "Steven" Sui, the 37-year-old chief executive officer of Anaheim-based Field Sport Inc., and two business associates are accused of manufacturing and advertising about 700 counterfeit gun sights and 200 magnifier systems for sale online, with a retail value of about $475,000, according to U.

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