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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Make Friends With The Air Hockey Robot

November 17, 2010 10:00 am | Videos | Comments

A Japanese professor has developed a robotic air hockey player, which uses a camera to track the puck's motion and calculate its trajectory and deliver a mean counter-attack. According to one YouTube commenter, this device is ideal for "people with no friends." That might be a little harsh, as the project is a good test in machine vision and developing faster reaction times for unexpected events.

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The Chevy Volt: Car Of The Year

November 17, 2010 9:59 am | Videos | Comments

The Chevrolet Volt, despite some concerns that it might not be as revolutionary as once thought, is the winner of Motor Trend 's 2011 Car of the Year Award. As Motor Trend editor-in-chief Angus MacKenzie explains, the award is given for performance in six main categories: Engineering excellence Advance in design Efficiency Safety Value Performance in intended function Despite a $41,000 sticker price, reviewers say that the Volt more than makes up for a bigger monthly payment with good mileage, and a lower energy cost when using the electric motor, compared to gasoline.

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Profiting From Anti-China Politics

November 17, 2010 9:58 am | Videos | Comments

China has been in the news lately due to veiled threats of withholding rare earth materials for political reasons, and that has made manufacturers around the world a nervous bunch. Considering a vast majority of the rare earth metals we use come from China, they do have the power to strangle a handful of industries and countless companies.

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What Are The Best Inventions Of 2010?

November 17, 2010 9:58 am | Videos | Comments

Time Magazine recently revealed its list of the 50 best inventions of 2010. There were a number of major technological breakthroughs over the course of the past few months, including the development of a jetpack, robotic prosthetic legs that allows paraplegics to walk again, and a super bus that can hold roughly 1,000 passengers.

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GE Aviation To Build 400-Worker Plant In Auburn, Ala.

November 17, 2010 4:01 am | News | Comments

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — GE Aviation has picked Auburn for its plant that will make coatings for the components in military jet engines. GE Aviation, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, had announced in August that it planned to locate a plant in Alabama and would decide the location within three months.

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Boeing Unsure When 787 Test Flights Will Continue

November 17, 2010 4:00 am | by Joan Lowy and Joshua Freed, Associated Press | News | Comments

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Boeing Co. said it's still not clear when it will resume test flights for its new 787, and an executive said in an interview that he doesn't know if the plane's first delivery would be delayed once again. Boeing has been flying six of the new 787s with a goal of getting certification to deliver the first one around mid-February.

Roche To Cut 4,800 Jobs For 'Operational Excellence'

November 17, 2010 3:59 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche will cut 4,800 jobs over two years, mostly in the U.S., to help save 2.4 billion Swiss francs ($2.4 billion) by 2012, the company said Wednesday. The cuts amount to six percent of its 82,000-strong global work force and will mainly affect positions in sales, marketing and manufacturing, Basel-based Roche Holding AG said in a statement.

Officals Call For Safer, Less Faulty Defibrillators

November 17, 2010 3:56 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials are calling on manufacturers of heart-zapping defibrillators to fix long-standing problems with the emergency devices that have triggered dozens of recalls and led to injuries and deaths. Defibrillators use electric shocks to jolt the heart back to normal after patients collapse from cardiac arrest.

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Koss Executive Faces 20 Years For Embezzling Millions

November 17, 2010 3:53 am | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The former Koss Corp. executive accused of embezzling $34 million from the headphones manufacturer faces sentencing Wednesday in federal court in Milwaukee. Koss chief executive Michael Koss is asking the judge to sentence Sue Sachdeva (sah-CHEE'-vah) to the maximum 15 to 20 years.

Is GM's IPO Leaving Out The 'Little Guy'?

November 17, 2010 3:52 am | by Bernard Condon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — When General Motors finally offers stock to the public later this week, small investors will probably be left out in the cold. Pension funds, mutual funds and other big institutions all want a piece of the rehabilitated GM. That means the three dozen banks divvying up the new shares may not have much left for individual investors.

Industrial Output Down Overall, But Manufacturing Climbs

November 17, 2010 3:51 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industrial production in the U.S. was unchanged in October, as a sharp drop in utility output offset gains by manufacturers producing big-ticket goods for consumers and businesses. The Federal Reserve says that output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities was flat last month after falling by 0.

Sustainable Bubble Wrap

November 17, 2010 3:41 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Instapak RC45 foam from Sealed Air (Danbury, CT) provides users with a plant-based, renewable-content packaging form that is ideal for light-duty packaging applications. The RC45 foam contains 25 percent renewable content in the finished foam, providing a reduction in the use of petroleum-based raw materials.

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Better Grease For Electric Motors

November 17, 2010 3:41 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Monolec Extend EM Grease from Lubrication Engineers, Inc. (Fort Worth, TX) helps bearings run cooler and last longer, along with increasing efficiency and mechanical stability. According to the company, it is ideal for severe conditions, where extreme temperatures and high speeds are present.

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Smartphone-Controlled Weighers

November 17, 2010 3:40 am | Product Releases | Comments

CombiScale Inc. (Opa Locka, FL) now allows for operators to control the company’s Primo Weigher 360 more easily — eliminating the need to go back and forth between the weigher and HMI interface — with only a Windows-based smart phone. Operators can execute any function, including a step-by-step wizard, run the automatic self-check start-up routine, or run a self diagnosis.

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Inclinometers For Many Purposes

November 17, 2010 3:38 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Fredericks Company (Huntingdon Valley, PA) has announced the release of its new Dual Axis Inclinometer with 0-5 V analog outputs (X and Y axes) for PWM and temperature. The new inclinometer is designed for all types of instrumentation and equipment, with an angle range of ±60° over the X and Y axis, 0.

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Despite Recession, Food Producers Expand, Invest

November 16, 2010 4:13 am | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — While the recession took a toll on manufacturing and other industries, one part of the U.S. economy has remained a bright spot over the past few years: food production. Across the nation, food producers are seeing enough growth that many are expanding and investing in new equipment.

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SPX Breaks Ground On $40M China Manufacturing Campus

November 16, 2010 4:06 am | News | Comments

SHANGHAI, Nov. 16, 2010/PRNewswire/ -- SPX Corporation today reiterated its long-term commitment to China and the Asia-Pacific region with an official ground-breaking ceremony marking the start of construction of its new 53-acre China manufacturing campus, which is being built in the FOHO Economic Development Zone.

Detroit Energy-From-Waste Plant Gets $50M Lifeline

November 16, 2010 3:55 am | News | Comments

DETROIT, Nov. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A coalition of public and private enterprises, led by Detroit Renewable Energy LLC, the new parent company of Detroit Thermal, LLC; along with the City of Detroit, the Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Authority, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324, Utility Workers Union of America, AFL, CIO Local 223, and DTE Energy, has attracted a $50 million investment to Detroit in a deal that assures a long-term, cost-effective and eco-friendly supply of renewable energy from waste derived fuel to support the essential energy needs of Detroit's core business districts.

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Industrial Production Falls Flat In October

November 16, 2010 3:45 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industrial production was unchanged in October, even as manufacturers revved up to produce more big-ticket goods for consumers and businesses. A drop in output by utilities offset factory growth. The Federal Reserve says that output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities was flat last month after falling by 0.

Gulfstream Aerospace Announces $500M Expansion

November 16, 2010 3:41 am | News | Comments

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Aircraft manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. said Monday it plans to add 1,000 employees over the next seven years as part of a $500 million expansion plan. Management cited order bookings, which increased in the third quarter to the highest level since mid-2008.

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