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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

EU Fines P&G, Unilever Over Laundry Detergent Cartel

April 13, 2011 5:07 am | by Gabriele Steinhauser, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union regulators on Wednesday fined consumer products companies Procter & Gamble and Unilever a total of euro315.2 million ($456 million) for fixing prices of powdered laundry detergent together with Henkel in eight EU countries. Germany's Henkel AG escaped a fine because it blew the whistle on the cartel.

BRICS Gather, Discuss Plans For Taking On U.S., Europe

April 13, 2011 5:00 am | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — The leaders of the world's largest emerging economies gather this week in southern China for what could be a watershed moment in their quest for a bigger say in the global financial architecture. Thursday's summit comes at a crucial moment for the expanded five-member bloc known as the BRICS, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China, and, for the first time, South Africa.

Xerox CEO Awarded $10.6 Million In 2010 Pay

April 13, 2011 4:48 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Xerox Corp. awarded CEO Ursula Burns a compensation package last year that the company valued at $10.6 million, a 7 percent increase from the year before as Burns assumed the title of chairwoman and orchestrated the printer and copier maker's deeper push into technology services.

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Subaru Stops Lafayette Production Line For Four Days

April 13, 2011 4:44 am | News | Comments

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Subaru of America is halting production on one of its Lafayette plant's production lines for four days due to a parts shortage caused by Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami. Subaru spokeswoman Jennifer McGarvey tells the Kokomo Tribune that the automaker will halt production on the plant's Toyota Camry line Friday, next Monday and on April 21 and April 25.

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GM Invests $100 Million In Fuel-Injection Innovations

April 13, 2011 4:39 am | News | Comments

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — General Motors Corp. is investing $100 million to manufacture fuel-injection technology at its Rochester plant in upstate New York, securing hundreds of existing jobs and creating 30 new ones. The automaker says Tuesday that the factory, which employs around 800 people, got the project over a sister plant in the Midwest.

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Airbus A380 Collision Proves Big Planes Are Troublesome

April 13, 2011 4:35 am | by Chris Hawley and Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — A frightening collision between one of the world's largest airliners and a commuter jet on a dark, wet tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport is underscoring worries about ground accidents as U.S. airports begin handling a new generation of giant planes. A total of 586 passengers and crew members were aboard the two aircraft Monday night when the left wing of an Airbus A380 operated by Air France clipped a Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jet flown by Comair, spinning the smaller plane nearly 90 degrees.

Cool Your Electrical Enclosures

April 12, 2011 7:37 am | Product Releases | Comments

Kooltronic, Inc. (Pennington, NJ) has announced additions to its 480V Panel Mounted Air Conditioners, which were designed to cool the interior of electrical enclosures. The new models have expanded the capacity to 5,000 to 26,000 BTU-H, and are now available in either NEMA 4 or 4X in 480V configurations.

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Cable Splitting Made Easier

April 12, 2011 7:37 am | Product Releases | Comments

Seatek Company (Stamford, CT) has introduced a new model in the Roto-Split line — the RS-101B — with an auto-clamping feature that eliminates the need to fuss with a thumb screw when cutting different sizes of AC/MC cable. Any cable from 14-2 to 10-4 or 3/8” Flex can be secured without adjustment by squeezing the bottom lever.

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Keep Track Of Pesky Moisture

April 12, 2011 7:36 am | Product Releases | Comments

The HM100 Pin Moisture Meter, from E Instruments International (Langhorne, PA), is a portable unit for detecting the moisture levels of materials in a variety of different applications, including indoor air quality (IAQ), HVAC, building inspections, and more. According to the company, the HM100 is a highly sensitive instrument, and can measure moisture levels in many types of wood, concrete, plaster, and brick.

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Detect Fast-Changing Noise Levels

April 12, 2011 7:36 am | Product Releases | Comments

Casella USA (Amherst, NH) has unveiled the new CEL-630 data logging meter designed to simplify the task of measuring workplace noise in environments prone to variable or fast-changing noise levels. The device provides the operator with an overall average result, along with a time history of every reading.

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Trade Deficit Fell 2.6 Percent In February

April 12, 2011 4:59 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies sold fewer products overseas in February but the trade deficit narrowed because of a big decline in oil imports. The trade deficit fell 2.6 percent to $45.8 billion in February, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Exports, which had hit an all-time high in January, edged down 1.

Renault Fires Executive Over Fabrication Of Spy Threat

April 12, 2011 4:55 am | by Greg Keller, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

PARIS (AP) — One of Renault's top executives will lose his job amid a wide-scale corporate shakeout following a deeply embarrassing scandal that saw France's partially state-owned car maker falsely accuse three of its executives of espionage. In a statement Monday, Renault said Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata would be removed from his position and given unspecified duties within the Renault-Nissan alliance.

Google Pumps $168 Million Into Massive Solar Array

April 12, 2011 4:45 am | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google Inc. is investing $168 million in an alternative power project that aims to produce enough solar energy to light 140,000 homes. The commitment announced Monday is part of the financing that BrightSource Energy needs to build solar power plant in California's Mojave Desert.

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Intel Dives Into Tablet Processor Business

April 12, 2011 4:37 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Intel Corp. has launched a new chip for tablet computers, as the world's most powerful semiconductor company aims to become a contender in the market for mobile chips. Intel's chips are in 80 percent of laptops and desktop PCs, but it's had less success getting its chips into smaller devices such as cellphones and tablets.

Worker Killed By Falling Granite At Ky. Manufacturer

April 12, 2011 4:32 am | News | Comments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A piece of granite being moved at a Louisville business had fallen, pinning and killing a worker. The accident occurred Monday afternoon at KBR Manufacturing killing 50-year-old Sylvia Walters of Taylorsville, according to WAVE-TV in Louisville. Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell says other employees found Walters under the stone and called for help.

Missouri Announces Investment In Advanced Manufacturing

April 12, 2011 4:30 am | by Chris Blank, Associated Press | News | Comments

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A report Gov. Jay Nixon touted Monday as a five-year economic blueprint for Missouri recommends that the state promote the development of seven specific industries with a mixture of tax incentives, specialized job training and expanded infrastructure projects. The industries, announced previously, are advanced manufacturing, energy, bioscience, health sciences, information technology, financial and professional services, and transportation.

Misalignment Caused Massive N.D. Wind Turbine Failure

April 12, 2011 4:26 am | by Dale Wetzel, Associated Press | News | Comments

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Experts said a North Dakota wind turbine's rotor and blades crashed to the ground because they weren't properly aligned with a power shaft atop the turbine's steel tower, which caused the rotor's connecting bolts to fail. The March 14 accident north of Rugby will prompt more frequent inspections of other turbines, said Scott Winneguth, director of wind plant engineering for Iberdrola Renewables Inc.

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Manufacturing Consumption Up 99 Percent Over Feb. 2010

April 12, 2011 4:19 am | News | Comments

Douglas K. Woods, President of AMT February U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $329.43 million, according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was down 10.

Designed For Nuclear Meltdown

April 11, 2011 9:56 am | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

Exposure to ionizing radiation is believed to be dangerous for humans. The rays or particles can damage human tissue based on the exposure; typically, the more radiation, the more damage.  As Japan’s nuclear disaster continues, the Fukushima 50 and others risking their lives to prevent a nuclear catastrophe have been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation as they attempt to stabilize the power plants.

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Centrifugal Pumps For Intense Environments

April 11, 2011 9:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

The System One centrifugal pumps from Blackmer (Grand Rapids, MI) are designed for high-volume, severe-duty applications. The System One has a stiffer heavy-duty shaft and larger bearings, which means that operators can expect improved mean time between failures for reduced maintenance costs.

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