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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

A Lesson In The German Model Economy

February 17, 2011 5:01 am | Articles | Comments

There are characteristics of German manufacturers that could enhance U.S. initiatives to create a more successful manufacturing-based economy. Much has been written of late about the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States. Statistics show that the U.S. has lost over an estimated 3.

Manufacturing Technology Up 85% In 2010

February 17, 2011 4:59 am | News | Comments

Douglas K. Woods, AMT President December U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $446.76 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 up 40.

Show Me The Green

February 17, 2011 4:46 am | by Bobbi Klein, PR and Marketing Director, Green Analytics, Inc. | Articles | Comments

With the increase in the urgency to combat climate change, the manufacturing industry is beginning to take responsibility for its actions and transitioning into greener practices with the “Go Green” movement. Nevertheless, the current economic situation is not supportive for manufacturers to spend the high up-front costs of being environmentally sustainable and waiting for the long-term return on investment generally keeps the executives wanting to sustain the “doing business as usual” model.

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Guilty Until Proven Innocent

February 17, 2011 4:04 am | by by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info | Blogs | Comments

Chemical disclosure is on the forefront of proactive minds across the processing industry. What is your company willing to divulge? From the dispersants used in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) chemical disclosure to Consumer Product Safety Commission databases to Bisphenol A (BPA) safety concerns, everyone wants to know what’s in their daily inventory of product and how safe it is.

The Seven Steps For Picking A Contractor

February 16, 2011 10:25 am | Articles | Comments

At some point in time every industrial plant must bring in an outside contractor to do specialized work such as boiler blasting, concrete waterproofing and ceiling painting that in-house manpower cannot perform on a cost-effective basis. Such an option makes sense, in that many industrial operations do not enjoy the luxury of re-assigning staff to do labor-intensive work that requires additional training.

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The Manufacturing Predicament

February 16, 2011 10:14 am | by Gerald Shankel, President and CEO, Fabricators Manufacturers Association, International | Articles | Comments

It’s been America’s “signature” since the Industrial Revolution when machinery, factories, and mass production became our hallmarks, and inventiveness, innovation, and ingenuity became our trademarks. Financial pundits, business leaders, and government officials — past and current — assert manufacturing represents this country’s economic engine and serves as the catalyst for prosperity.

Americans Ask For Luxury, More Power

February 16, 2011 8:53 am | Videos | Comments

Horsepower, raw speed, and massive gasoline engines are all the rage at the Chicago Auto Show, where automakers from around the world are displaying their latest products. From a new convertible Camaro, to the incredibly-expensive Lexus LFA, and to a Cadillac that can get to 60mph in just four seconds, the show is all about who can go the fastest.

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Taking A Ride On 'The Cloud'

February 16, 2011 8:52 am | Videos | Comments

You've likely heard about computing in the "cloud," but do you know what that really means? The on-demand, always-on world of cloud computing comes down to massive data centers, where thousands of rack-mounted servers are cooled by powerful cooling units. Even a power outage won't take the facility down, thanks to enough generators to power a small town.

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Cracking The Coca-Cola Code

February 16, 2011 8:50 am | Videos | Comments

Has the host of a nationwide radio program finally cracked secret recipe of Coca-Cola? This American Life 's Ira Glass claims to have found the original recipe — one of the most closely-guarded secrets in business — in a newspaper, of all places. Of course, Coca-Cola claims that the Glass-produced recipe is a cola, but not Coca-Cola .

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Should We Fear The 'Singularity'?

February 16, 2011 8:49 am | Videos | Comments

Should we be afraid of the “singularity”? Scientists believe that come 2045, the processing power of computers will become so overwhelming, that mankind will forever be changed. New research will be conducted by computers with super-human intelligence, only furthering their power. Will we end up the enemy, or will we be able to co-exist? 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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Apple Audits Find Countless Abuses Among Suppliers

February 16, 2011 3:46 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Apple Inc. says its audits found labor, safety and other abuses by its suppliers in 2010, though it praised Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn for saving lives through its handling of a spate of suicides at its factories in China. The findings, outlined in Apple's annual supplier responsibility report, prompted local reports Wednesday to decry the "high price" paid by Chinese workers who assemble hit gadgets like the iPod and iPad.

China To Put Stranglehold On Rare Earths Market

February 16, 2011 3:42 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — China plans to tighten control over rare earths producers and restrict output in a five-year development strategy, the Cabinet said Wednesday, amid concern abroad about plans to reduce exports of the exotic minerals used in high-tech goods. A Cabinet statement promised to "reasonably set annual quotas for production and export" but gave no details.

GM Recalls 50,000 Cadillacs For Handling Issues

February 16, 2011 3:35 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors says it is recalling more than 50,000 Cadillac CTS vehicles worldwide to fix a loose joint that could cause a rear wheel to become unstable, making it hard for drivers to steer. GM says the recall affects more than 44,000 CTS vehicles in the United States from the 2009 and 2010 model years.

Engine Battle Forces GOP To Choose Favorite Manufacturer

February 16, 2011 3:34 am | by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's campaign against a costly alternative engine for the Pentagon's next-generation fighter jet faces a critical vote in the GOP-controlled House, its fate to be decided by more than 90 freshmen lawmakers who previously haven't had to choose sides between two major defense companies.

Factory Output Jumps For Fifth Straight Month

February 16, 2011 3:31 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Factories produced more goods for the fifth straight month in January as strong auto sales spurred demand for new cars and trucks. But overall industrial production fell for the first time in 19 months. The Federal Reserve says output by the nation's factories, mines and utilities dipped 0.

Mitsubishi Gets $34 Million Incentive For Memphis Factory

February 16, 2011 3:31 am | by Adrian Sainz, Associated Press | News | Comments

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mitsubishi Electric will receive more than $34 million in tax incentives for building a $200 million high-voltage power transformer factory that is expected to create 281 jobs in Memphis, documents show. Mitsubishi Electric Power Products announced plans Monday to build the plant on 140 acres at an industrial park near the Mississippi River.

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A Chuck For Air

February 15, 2011 10:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

Northfield Presicison Instrument Corporation (Island Park, NY) has introduced the Model 450 Air Chuck, which installs on the bed of the customer’s machine. The pick-and-place arm picks up the parts after they are finished in the front chucks and transfers them to the rear chucks for finishing.

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Master Your Bulk Bag Systems

February 15, 2011 10:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

The modular Material Master Bulk Bag Discharging System — from Material Transfer (Allegan, MI) — offers a Sure-Seal pneumatic discharge spout clamping system to ensure a dust-tight operation. In addition, the Flo-Master bag massaging system delivers product to high-deflection vibratory feeder.

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Extra-Durable Shaft Encoders

February 15, 2011 10:17 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Baumer (Southington, CT) has introduced its new HS35 family of incremental hollow shaft encoders — including a fully-programmable version — for heavy-duty positioning and speed control applications. The rugged encoders withstand shocks up to 200 g, high-pressure cleaning, and ambient temperatures from -40°F to 212°F.

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Smarter Gas Handling

February 15, 2011 10:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Gasco Affiliates, LLC (Oldsmar, FL) has announced the expansion of its EcoSmart line of environmentally-friendly precision gas products with the EcoSmart 44, a standard 34-liter container containing 44 liters of precision calibration gas. The new model features 29 percent more gas than the traditional 34-liter unit, which reduces the cost per liter while extending the life cycle.

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