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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Geithner: China Needs To Move Faster On Its Currency

May 4, 2011 4:28 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday that China needs to make more progress on economic issues vital to America's interests, including speeding up the rise of its currency against the dollar. Critics say an undervalued yuan is swelling China's trade surplus. Geithner said a stronger yuan would help reduce trade imbalances and bolster China's efforts to restrain inflation.

Turning Chicken Feathers Into Plastic Bottles

May 4, 2011 4:22 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Researchers have developed ways to substitute chicken feathers for petroleum in some plastic products, and at least two companies are working to bring items ranging from biodegradable flower pots to office furniture to market. The substitution would allow the U.S. to cut back on its oil use, however slightly, and give poultry producers another market for the more than 3 billion pounds of leftover chicken feathers they have each year, the developers and others said.

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AP: Economic Stress Reaches Three-Month Low

May 4, 2011 4:20 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Mike Schneider, Associated Press | News | Comments

Lower unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures in March reduced the nation's economic stress to its lowest point this year, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country. More than 85 percent of the nation's 3,141 counties and every state but two — Louisiana and South Dakota — enjoyed better conditions in March than in February, the AP's Economic Stress Index showed.

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Sustainability In A Bottle

May 3, 2011 10:39 am | Articles | Comments

The system here is just phenomenal,” says Graham Bailey, Plant Manager at Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Victorville facility. “From my experience in the beverage world, I can tell you — it’s state-of-the-art. It’s an honor to run a facility like this.” The facility took five years to plan and construct, and produced its first case on Feb.

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Do You Know Your Total Cost?

May 3, 2011 9:59 am | by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Manufacturing professionals are all aware of the dramatic shifts that the industry has taken in the last few decades. Whether it’s moving production to Mexico or China, most of the manufacturing sector has dealt with off-shoring in one way or another. As the world economies shift, however, what made business sense two decades ago may now be an expensive and logistically-complex endeavor.

Toyota: Sales Rose 1 Percent In April

May 3, 2011 9:40 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. says its U.S. sales rose 1 percent in April, a weak showing in an otherwise strong month for the industry. Overall U.S. sales are expected to increase 19 percent from last April. Sales of Toyota's popular Prius hybrid were flat. The Camry sedan edged up 9 percent.

Wash. Steelworkers Approve First Strike Since 1970s

May 3, 2011 9:33 am | by Erik Olson, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Union workers at Georgia-Pacific's Wauna mill in northwest Oregon have given negotiators strike authorization as contract talks with the company have bogged down, a union representative said Monday. The 900 members of the United Steelworkers local 1097 have been working under a contract that expired in April 2010, said Gaylan Prescott, the union's staff representative.

NYC Taxis To Get Japanese Makeover From Nissan

May 3, 2011 9:26 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City's iconic taxi fleet is getting a Japanese makeover City officials announced Tuesday that they had picked Nissan to supply the fleet for the next 10 years. The Japanese automaker beat out Ford Motor Co. and Karsan USA in a contest for the rights to anchor the fleet.

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NYC Picks Nissan To Supply Yellow Cabs

May 3, 2011 9:25 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City's iconic taxi fleet is getting a Japanese makeover City officials announced Tuesday that they had picked Nissan to supply the fleet for the next 10 years. The Japanese automaker beat out Ford Motor Co. and Karsan USA in a contest for the rights to anchor the fleet.

When It Comes To Evaluating ERP, Have A Plan

May 3, 2011 9:20 am | by Dylan Persaud, Managing Director, Eval-Source | Articles | Comments

When evaluating enterprise business software, proceeding straight to a vendor demonstration without a plan i s a critical mistake. The following post will examine four mistakes that organizations make when evaluating enterprise business software. When organizations look to evaluate software, they often mistake interviewing vendors as the software evaluation process itself.

GM To Announce Investment In Bowling Green Plant

May 3, 2011 7:46 am | News | Comments

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — GM North America President Mark Reuss is scheduled to make a visit Wednesday to the south-central Kentucky assembly plant where Corvettes are made, according to a statement from the company. The statement says Reuss will be at the plant in Bowling Green at 10:15 a.

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Goodyear Teams Up With Germans To Replace Blimps

May 3, 2011 7:21 am | by Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press | News | Comments

CLEVELAND (AP) — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will team up with another name rich in blimp history to replace its three U.S. airships with bigger, faster ones. The Akron-based company said Tuesday that it would work with German manufacturer ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik to build three new blimps beginning in 2013.

GM Sales Jumped 27 Percent As Buyers Go Fuel-Efficient

May 3, 2011 7:19 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors' U.S. car and truck sales jumped 27 percent in April as the economy continued to improve and $4 a gallon gasoline pushed buyers into more fuel-efficient vehicles. The largest U.S. car company sold 232,538 vehicles last month, led by a shift to small cars and crossover vehicles.

Space-Age Technology To Soon Land On Earth

May 3, 2011 7:08 am | Videos | Comments

Undergraduate researchers are working on embedding the fabrics that make up space suits with metallic strands that are piezoelectric , which means that they create a small electric charge as they are bent, stretched, and compacted. The combination of all these charges could be enough to power the small portable gadgets of our time.

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Picking The Right Pump, The Hard Way

May 3, 2011 7:01 am | by Jack H. Berg, CEO, Service Filtration Corporation | Articles | Comments

Several years ago, a pump application was brought to our attention. A golf course community wanted to adorn its entrance with a waterfall. Rocks were arranged to form a wall about 12 ft. high, so that the water could flow over and spill down into a collection pond for recirculation. The committee in charge of this project, wanting to save money on the equipment and installation, elected to use a quantity of six swimming pool pumps that could be purchased at the local pool supply.

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All-In-One Air Conditioners

May 3, 2011 6:49 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Total Package Enclosure System from Thermal Edge (Irving, TX) now includes the UL-listed enclosure and enclosure air conditioner, back panel, and all holes for mounting. The company’s air conditioners are available in 120V, 230V and 480V, and come in NEMA Types 12, 4, and 4X. Condensate evaporation, a digital controller, and a narrow design are standard on every system.

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Communications Get Sophisticated

May 3, 2011 6:48 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Hittite Microwave Corporation (Chelmsford, MA) has introduced three new SMT packaged MMIC Band-Pass Turnable Filters, which are ideal for pre-selection in multi-band communication systems and in test or measurement equipment. They are tunable over a 4.0 to 19.0 GHz frequency range, and are insensitive to environmental conditions, according to the company.

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A More Powerful Welder

May 3, 2011 6:48 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Lincoln Electric (Cleveland, OH) has updated their Outback 145 portable welding machine with a Kohler 9.5 HP Model CH395 OHC (overhead cam) gasoline engine. The Kohler engine features a cast iron cylinder liner for a long engine life, as well as automatic shutdown on low oil levels. According to the company, it delivers 145 amps of DC output welding for use with up to 1/8” stick electrodes on steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and hardfacing projects.

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Go Wireless In Your Plant

May 3, 2011 6:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

Omega Engineering, Inc. (Stamford, CT) has designed the RTD-to-Wireless Connector/Convertor, which transmits process temperature, ambient temperature, signal strength, and battery status wirelessly to a computer or the internet. According to the company, users can interface up to 12 different wireless connectors with one receiver.

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Chrysler: We'll Lose 100,000 Vehicles On Supply Shortages

May 3, 2011 4:54 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne said Monday that the company will lose production of 50,000 to 100,000 vehicles this year because of the March 11 earthquake in Japan. Chrysler uses components that are made in that nation. Chrysler has cut overtime at plants in Canada and Mexico to conserve parts.

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