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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The Value-Adding Workforce: Creating Savings Without The Pain Of Restructuring

July 19, 2010 5:35 am | by Matthew Marciniak, Director of Strategy & Business Development, Celerant Consulting | Articles | Comments

The global business environment has been reshaped over the past several years, with companies across all industries either falling to the financial crisis or adapting to new conditions. Especially during the early stages of the credit crunch, leading players often responded by identifying cost-cutting opportunities and too often dove directly into restructuring staff to provide quick relief to the bottom line.

Manufacturer To Build Electric Boats, Cars In Louisiana

July 19, 2010 4:57 am | News | Comments

VIVIAN, La. (AP) — A new boat manufacturer is coming to the Caddo Manufacturing plant in Vivian. Epic Wake Boats has announced it will use the facility and the plant's workforce to produce its electric and hybrid boats. The Times of Shreveport reports that the company's plans also include producing two electric cars, which are built more for recreation than everyday commuting.

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Fire Investigation Could Influence $55 Million Lawsuit

July 19, 2010 4:55 am | News | Comments

ST. CHARLES, Minn. (AP) — A state investigation into the fire that destroyed North Star Foods in St. Charles pinpointed where the blaze started, but does not answer what caused it to ignite in the first place. The April 2009 fire forced a citywide evacuation of the southeast Minnesota town and left more than 200 people without jobs.

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Air Show Leads To Lift-Off In Boeing, Airbus Sales

July 19, 2010 4:53 am | by Emma Vandore and Jane Wardell, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

FARNBOROUGH, England (AP) — Arch rivals Boeing Co. and Airbus announced new orders worth almost $13 billion at the start of the Farnborough International Airshow on Monday, raising hopes that the aviation industry is on the way back up after a dire two-year slump. The aerospace market "has come back faster than we expected" and Boeing has twice raised its internal forecasts for the number of orders at the biennial show, said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Jim Abaugh.

Oil Boom Manufacturing Jumpstarts Washington County, Ga.

July 19, 2010 4:41 am | by S. Heather Duncan, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MACON, Ga. (AP) — The manufacture of booms to help clean up the Gulf oil spill has become a boon to Washington County. The booms manufactured by Meltblown Technologies are used to corral oil floating on the surface and can be linked to form miles of barriers to absorb oil and prevent its spread.

Can Too Much Wind Power Be A Bad Thing?

July 19, 2010 4:39 am | by Ted Sickinger, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — On the afternoon of May 19, in a single chaotic hour, more than a thousand wind turbines in the Columbia River Gorge went from spinning lazily in the breeze to full throttle as a storm rolled east out of Hood River. Suddenly, almost two nuclear plants worth of extra power was sizzling down the lines — the largest hourly spike in wind power the Northwest has ever experienced.

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GM Closure, Gulf Spill Create 'Perfect Storm' For La. Economy

July 19, 2010 4:36 am | by Alan Sayre, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In the blink of an eye, the economic focus in Louisiana has shifted from recession recovery to avoiding actual and potential job losses piling up at a staggering rate. And there's very little that the state can do: The tally is due to the Obama administration decisions affecting petroleum, defense and space — all coming together in a perfect storm.

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Old School Vs New School

July 16, 2010 11:54 am | by by Amanda Earing, News Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

Recently, the United Auto Workers union approved veteran union negotiator and current Vice President Bob King as their new President. With over 30 years in the UAW, some critics consider King to represent the old school way of thinking — especially as he pushes for fewer worker concessions in a highly competitive, struggling and changing auto industry.

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Video Release: Repair Anything

July 16, 2010 5:33 am | Product Releases | Comments

PSI Repair Services, Inc. (PSI, Livonia, MI) has launched a new video that showcases PSI’s repair facilities, advanced diagnostic equipment, as well as the cost-saving services PSI offers. The company offers repair services on electronics (circuit boards, drives), hydraulic components (servos, motors, pumps), industrial robots, legacy system components from all the major suppliers, and more.

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Stop-And-Go Status Indicators

July 16, 2010 5:32 am | Product Releases | Comments

Trident Instruments, Inc. (Farmingville, NY) has released the Load Status Indicator LSI-55, a new generation pilot light/indicator. The LSI will turn green when power is available, and unlike other indicators, it will determine if the load is active as well. When the load current is greater than 1 Amp the indicator light will turn red.

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Dust Is No More

July 16, 2010 5:32 am | Product Releases | Comments

DeWalt (Towson, MD) has launched two new Dust Extraction Systems (D25302DH and D25301D) for cordless and corded DeWalt SDS rotary hammers (in 7/8” and 1”), which completes their line of dust extraction solutions. The cordless system with a HEPA filter (the D25302DH) for 36-volt and 28-volt SDS rotary hammers is equipped with a built-in motor, delivering increased suction and high tool performance, according to the company.

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Make An Impact

July 16, 2010 5:31 am | Product Releases | Comments

Ingersoll Rand (Annandale, NJ) has designed the new 2015MAX and 2025MAX Hammerhead low-profile Impactools, which are designed for optimal performance even in extremely confined spaces. According to the company, the tools have the power and speed of an impact combined with the reach of a ratchet, with a head-height of less than 2”, 180 ft-lb of max torque, and 7,100rpm of speed.

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GE Nets First Profit Since 2007 On Cost Cutting

July 16, 2010 4:37 am | by Stephen Manning, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Cost cuts and an improved financial business helped General Electric Co. post its first increase in quarterly profit since 2007, but sales remained sluggish for the industrial giant. The second-quarter results showed that challenges remain for the economy and GE, one of the world's largestindustrial and financial companies.

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Ethanol's Time Fading As $6 Billion In Subsidies Expire

July 16, 2010 4:36 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The once-popular ethanol industry is scrambling to hold onto billions of dollars in government subsidies, fighting an increasing public skepticism of the corn-based fuel and wariness from lawmakers who may divert the money to other priorities. The industry itself can't agree on how to persuade Congress to keep the subsidies, which now come in the form of tax credits worth about $6 billion annually.

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Toyota, Tesla To Co-Develop Electric RAV4

July 16, 2010 4:35 am | News | Comments

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. and electric vehicle upstart Tesla Motors Inc. will work together to develop an electric version of Toyota's RAV4 small crossover vehicle, with plans to begin selling it in the U.S. in 2012, the companies announced Friday. Tesla already is working on the electric power system for the RAV4, which looks like a small sport utility vehicle but is based on a car frame.

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BP Stops Gulf Leak With Cap — Don't Celebrate Yet

July 16, 2010 4:34 am | by Colleen Long and Harry R. Weber, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP finally gained control over one of America's biggest environmental catastrophes by placing a carefully fitted cap over a runaway geyser that has been gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico since early spring, though no one was declaring victory just yet. Engineers, politicians and Gulf residents will watch anxiously over the next day and a half to see if the cap holds.

J&J Lays Off Hundreds To Renovate Tainted Plant

July 16, 2010 4:32 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it will lay off most of the staff at a factory idled over repeated recalls of Tylenol and other popular nonprescription medicines. The healthcare giant said it has decided to make a significant investment in the manufacturing facilities, equipment and laboratories at its plant in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.

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Steel Coke Plants Inherently Dangerous, Some Say

July 16, 2010 4:29 am | by Jennifer C. Yates, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

PITTSBURGH (AP) — From the outside, a typical coke plant looks like something from a dystopian science-fiction movie: a maze of metal buildings, pipes, conveyer belts and tall smokestacks belching white puffs of smoke and steam into the air. Inside, there's danger seen and unseen: ovens that heat coal to more than 3,000 degrees, massive steel doors for loading the ovens, moving cars and chutes for coal, and gases that can cause cancer or ignite.

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Oil Shear Technology Keeps Reading Rockin’

July 15, 2010 9:39 am | by Reading Rock | Articles | Comments

Reading Rock was using SmartPac vibrator shafts to introduce vibration to achieve the half-block height molds. For several years, however, Reading has been using a variation that allows Reading personnel to change the amplitude and frequency. In addition to flexibility never before seen in this application, the technology offers a service life that is fully twice the number of cycles of prior designs.

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Execute Flawlessly, Or Competitors Will

July 15, 2010 9:34 am | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

Greg Galvin, PH.D. founded Ithaca, NY-based  Kionix in 1993 to commercialize a novel micromechanical technology pioneered by researchers at Cornell University. From 1993 to 2000, Kionix went from its two founding fathers to a 40-person operation that developed products in inertial sensors, microfluidics, data storage, micro-relays and micro-optics.

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