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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Nokia Sues Apple For Infringing 'Virtually All' Of Its Patents

March 29, 2011 5:01 am | by Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press | News | Comments

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia is suing Apple in the United States for allegedly infringing patents in "virtually all" of its mobile phones, portable music players, tablets and computers, the Finnish company said Tuesday. The move is the latest in a string of lawsuits by Nokia and comes as the world's largest handset maker struggles to keep up with smartphone rivals like Apple.

Four Weapon-Smuggling Executives Plead Guilty

March 29, 2011 4:59 am | by Kristin M. Hall, Associated Press | News | Comments

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Four men accused of smuggling military weapons and parts, some of which were sold to Middle East nations, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court and have agreed to testify against a British firearms manufacturer who currently faces extradition from England.

S.C. Lawmakers Fight For Incandescent Lightbulbs

March 29, 2011 4:56 am | by Jim Davenport, Associated Press | News | Comments

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina lawmakers are taking a stand in favor of states' lights. With incandescent bulbs being phased out under federal law in favor of energy-efficient compact fluorescents, legislators want to exempt South Carolina from the measure, saying Washington has no business telling the state how to light its closets and countertops.

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Lifting With Magnets

March 28, 2011 11:48 am | Product Releases | Comments

Master Magnetics (Castle Rock, CO) now offers Neodymium Lifting Magnets, which are ideal for handling steel plate, forgings, die casting, and similar items in machine shops, warehouses, and industrial processing plants. Lift magnets eliminate the need for slings or clamping devices and allow one person to do the work of two or more.

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Double-Diaphragm For Many Applications

March 28, 2011 11:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

A new portable, variable-speed electric double diaphragm pump — available from EDSON (New Bedford, MA) — is rated for 25 GPM service in a variety of industrial applications. The EDSON Model 2500 electric-powered double diaphragm plastic pump can transfer liquids with solids up to 1” diameter, with low emulsion and no shear.

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Weigh With Your Forklift

March 28, 2011 11:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

Toyota Material Handling U.S.A., Inc. (Irvine, CA) has developed a new integrated scale, now available on 4,000 to 5,000 pound Toyota internal combustion, cushion tire lift truck models. The new scale allows for simultaneous weighing and transportation of loads. In addition, it eliminates the repetitive, time-consuming process of transporting loads to and from floor scales.

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More Compact Storage Systems

March 28, 2011 11:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

Spacesaver Industrial (Fort Atkinson, WI) has introduced the ActivRAC Mobilized Storage, which is a full-line of space-saving storage systems that give manufacturers the ability to increase their capacity without having to expand existing facilities. With ActivRAC Mobilized Storage, fixed rows of pallet racking are mounted on carriages and mobilized.

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Packing And Shipping Facility Does The Robot

March 28, 2011 6:56 am | Articles | Comments

An effort to upgrade a Kansas-based flour mill into a state-of-the-art operation led to the development of a new packing and shipping facility, complete with robotic arms that do the loading and lifting of sacks of flour. NEWTON, Kan. (AP) — After months of enduring detours, demolition and construction, residents of Newton have had a chance to see what the work was all about — the upgrade of the central Kansas town's old flour mill into a state-of-the art operation.

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Perception Is A Funny Thing

March 28, 2011 6:54 am | by Karin Lindner, Founder, Karico Performance Solutions | Articles | Comments

I recently spoke with a young VP (son of the owner) of a manufacturing facility in Mississauga (Ontario). At one point during our conversation he said, "Karin, I honestly think that most of my workers are stupid. Some people have "it" and some people don't. Most of the ideas we get from the workers (which are not many), I find to be stupid ideas.

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Kodak Revives Patent Battle Against Apple, Wants $1 Billion

March 28, 2011 4:59 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A federal agency said Friday that it will review Eastman Kodak Co.'s high-stakes patent-infringement claim against technology giants Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd. The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., agreed to examine a judge's finding in January that Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry don't violate an image-preview patent the photography pioneer obtained in 2001.

GM Restarts Louisiana Pickup Plant After Part Shortage

March 28, 2011 4:54 am | by Alan Sayre, Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — General Motors will resume regular production at its pickup plant in Shreveport on Monday, a week after the company shut it down and blamed a shortage of parts from Japan. Falling supplies of auto parts have disrupted car factories around the world ever since a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11.

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DIY Engineering With An Industrial-Strength Workshop

March 28, 2011 4:41 am | by Marcus Wohlsen, Associated Press | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In the tech-obsessed South of Market neighborhood that digital sensations like Twitter and Zynga call home, a newfangled workshop for would-be inventors blends a startup sensibility with the area's historic manufacturing roots to give geeks a chance to get out from behind the keyboard.

Chinese Factory Manager Arrested For Lead Poisoning

March 28, 2011 4:33 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — State media say a battery factory manager was arrested after 168 villagers living near the manufacturer in eastern China suffered lead poisoning. The official Xinhua News Agency says Ying Jianguo, general manager of Taizhou Suqi Storage Battery Co. Ltd., was taken into custody Friday in the city of Taizhou in Zhejiang province.

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Auto Industry Supply Issues To Get Much Worse

March 28, 2011 4:31 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach and Sharon Silke Carty, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — The auto industry disruptions triggered by Japan's earthquake and tsunami are about to get worse. In the weeks ahead, car buyers will have difficulty finding the model they want in certain colors, thousands of auto plant workers will likely be told to stay home, and companies such as Toyota, Honda and others will lose billions of dollars in revenue.

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CAT CEO Threatens To Leave Illinois In Letter To Gov.

March 28, 2011 4:28 am | News | Comments

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The chief executive of Caterpillar wrote a letter to Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn raising the possibility the heavy equipment company could move out of Illinois because of concerns that the direction the state is heading isn't favorable to business. In a letter to Gov.

Control Your DC Drives Via The Internet

March 25, 2011 7:37 am | Product Releases | Comments

Sprint Electric (Arundel, England) has developed an Ethernet-based distributed control system for DC drives. The drive.web system includes graphical configuration tools that provide diagnostics and configurability of all drives on the network, either locally or remotely via the Internet. These allow for full configuration, all without the need for a PLC or supervisory computer.

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Accurate Liquid Leveling

March 25, 2011 7:36 am | Product Releases | Comments

ifm efector inc. (Exton, PA) has developed the LMT Series Sanitary Point-Level Sensor, which is designed to monitor the level of liquids, viscous media, and powders in food in processing tanks and pipes. The LMT sensor uses high frequency capacitive spectrum profiling technology that enables the sensor to ignore foam and deposit build-up and differentiate between actual product and residue.

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Chains That Don't Bend Backwards

March 25, 2011 7:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

iwis (Indianapolis, IN) has introduced anti-backbend chains, which are only flexible in one direction, for pushing loads and transmitting forces without the need for a guidance system. The chains are suitable for transmitting tensile and compressive forces, and perform a similar function as linear drives, eliminating the need for an endless, circulating chain drive.

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Clean Tanks In All Directions

March 25, 2011 7:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new TankJet 360 Fluid Drive Tank Cleaner from Spraying Systems Co. (Wheaton, IL) is equipped with a dual- or triple-nozzle hub and high-impact solid stream nozzles that rotate 360° in horizontal and vertical planes. The rotation cleans tanks up to 100’ in diameter, and can remove the stickiest of residues, according to the company.

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UAW: GM Plans To Boost Hiring With 2,000 Recalls

March 25, 2011 4:46 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union says General Motors Co. plans to recall the last 2,000 of its laid-off workers by this fall, clearing the way for new hiring at its U.S. plants. The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press report that word about the jobs came Wednesday at a union meeting in Detroit that set goals for bargaining a new labor contract with automakers later this year.

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