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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Keep Torque Wrenches Calibrated

June 21, 2011 7:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

The TechAngle Electronic Torque Wrench from Snap-on Industrial (Kenosha, WI) now comes with a cycle-counting feature to keep track of calibration cycles. The wrench allows users to set the torque value in Newton-meters, foot-pounds, or inch-pounds, and angle of rotation. The cycle counting feature helps users meet the ISO standard 6789:2003, which specifies calibration requirement for torque wrenches at one year or 5,000 cycles.

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Bearings In Extreme Heat

June 21, 2011 7:21 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Metallized Carbon Corporation (Ossining, NY) has developed cast iron pillow blocks and flange blocks with self-lubricating, carbon-graphite bearing inserts for applications where oil/grease lubrication cannot be used. According to the company, the bearings provide and a long, maintenance-free life in high-temperature applications were grease would melt or carbonize.

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A Supervisor's Greatest Discovery

June 21, 2011 7:17 am | by Bruce Hamilton, OldLeanDude.org | Articles | Comments

The following is a true story but told with time compression — a nine month period shortened to three — in order to cover the events as painlessly as possible: Paul was a shift supervisor with 32 years on the floor. Hitting schedules was his job. His manager, Bob, related this to me: “Paul is a hard worker who has held nearly every position in production.

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Iowa Concrete Company Pleads Guilty To Price Fixing

June 21, 2011 5:09 am | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa based ready-mix concrete company has pleaded guilty to participating in a price-fixing scheme for the sale of ready-mix concrete. The U.S. Department of Justice says Rock Valley-based Tri-State Ready Mix Inc. pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiring with another company to fix prices for ready-mix concrete.

Three S.C. Boeing Workers Get Limited Role In NLRB Case

June 21, 2011 4:52 am | by Meg Kinnard, Associated Press | News | Comments

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Three employees who say they fear losing their jobs at Boeing Co.'s North Charleston plant were allowed on Monday to have limited roles in a federal labor dispute over the company's 787 passenger jet line. The National Labor Relations Board has decided to allow the employees to file a brief in the case once an NLRB hearing in the case is completed, according to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is helping the employees with their legal case.

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3M Investing $90 Million To Expand Illinois Plant

June 21, 2011 4:44 am | News | Comments

CORDOVA, Ill. (AP) — 3M is investing $90 million to expand its plant in the western Illinois community of Cordova. Officials from 3M broke ground Monday on the expansion, which is designed to help the company meet increasing demand for its next generation of technologies. Pat Thornton is the plant's site manager, and Thornton tells the Quad-City Times that the decision to expand in Cordova is "a vote of confidence" in the plant's employees.

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NLRB To Propose Sweeping New Union Rules

June 21, 2011 4:37 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Labor regulators are set to propose sweeping new rules Tuesday that would dramatically speed up the time frame for union elections, a move that could make it easier for struggling unions to organize new members, and cut the time businesses have to mount anti-union campaigns. A copy of the planned rules, to be announced by the National Labor Relations Board, was obtained by The Associated Press.

Toyota To Hire 4,000 Temporary Japanese Workers

June 21, 2011 4:30 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota said it will hire 3,000 to 4,000 temporary workers in Japan to be ready for a recovery in vehicle production as automakers bounce back from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Toyota Motor Corp. will start recruiting the factory workers in July, as production is now gradually recovering and expected to surge by October, company spokesman Shigehiko Okamura said Tuesday.

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Franklin Electric To Move 125 Jobs To Mexico

June 21, 2011 4:28 am | News | Comments

BLUFFTON, Ind. (AP) — Franklin Electric Co. Inc. said it plans to close an Oklahoma City factory and move the equivalent of 125 jobs, primarily to a facility in Linares, Mexico. Franklin Electric, which makes systems and components used to move water and automotive fuels, said it will move some of the 260,000 annual man-hours of work to another Oklahoma City facility.

MAPI: Economy Weakening, But Manufacturing Stays Afloat

June 20, 2011 10:40 am | Articles | Comments

Industrial Production Forecast to Grow 6 Percent in 2011, 4 Percent in 2012 Arlington, VA. — A host of factors, ranging from the tsunami in Japan to higher oil prices, have conspired to weaken the outlook for the overall U.S. economy, yet the manufacturing sector continues to forge ahead, according to the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI U.

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Soda CEO Changes Course, Pleads Guilty To Fraud

June 20, 2011 9:57 am | by Joe Mandak, Associated Press | News | Comments

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The former CEO of a defunct Pennsylvania soft drink company pleaded guilty to tax evasion, mail fraud and money laundering for using two sets of books to obtain $875 million in credit for the company. Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh say the scheme orchestrated by 51-year-old Gregory Podlucky, of Ligonier, resulted in $628 million in losses to various lenders and equipment companies that did business with Latrobe-based Le-Nature's Inc.

Could A Nationwide Wireless Network Cripple GPS?

June 20, 2011 9:45 am | by Joelle Tessler, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — LightSquared, a Virginia-based company that plans to build a nationwide wireless broadband network, is proposing to adapt its network so as not to interfere with GPS systems. The company plans to move some of its operations to a different slice of airwaves and to transmit signals at lower power levels to ensure that its network would not interfere with GPS systems that rely on nearby wireless spectrum.

Virginia Exports Are Rising, Thanks To Manufacturing

June 20, 2011 9:32 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Exports of goods and services in Virginia are growing and having a large impact on the state's economy. Virginia exports increased 8 percent in 2010 to $29 billion, ranking it as the 22nd-largest exporting state in the U.S., according to recent data from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's international trade office.

Boeing Announces $11 Billion In Jet Orders

June 20, 2011 9:11 am | by Jamey Keaten, Associated Press | News | Comments

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Boeing Co. announced more than $11 billion worth of orders and commitments for 56 jets on Monday as the Paris Air Show, the industry's main event of the year, got under way. The Chicago-based aerospace and defense giant opened a day of one-upmanship with traditional rival Airbus by announcing Qatar Airways had ordered six 777 jets in a $1.

CAT Sees Another Strong Month Of Sales In May

June 20, 2011 9:10 am | News | Comments

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, Caterpillar Inc., reported another strong month of global sales growth in May when sales improved 52 percent over last year. Still, the results were slightly weaker than the recent months. The company provided an update on its sales Monday in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

FDA Plan Hopes To Increase Import Safety

June 20, 2011 9:07 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. food and drug regulators would share more information with their foreign counterparts as part of a multifaceted strategy to police the safety of millions of imported goods. A Food and Drug Administration report issued Monday lays out a long-term plan to deal with the flood of imports to the U.

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Will The Electric Car Revolution Stick?

June 20, 2011 7:05 am | Videos | Comments

CBS News national correspondent Ben Tracy reports on how consumers are reacting to the numerous elecric car choices that are current on, or coming soon, to the markeplace. It turns out that 57 percent of Americans won't seriously consider an EV purchase, mostly because of the short ranges. The hope is that with more early adopters, the technology will finally get pushed forward, despite similar surges in both 1890 and 1990.

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Bonded Rubber For Better Parts

June 20, 2011 6:48 am | Product Releases | Comments

Robinson Rubber Products (Minneapolis, MN) has developed several new ways to bond molded rubber components to parts, which can eliminate secondary operations and extra components, plus reduce weight and costs. The company can use 20 engineering-grade polymers and 1,500 unique formulations to develop a custom formula for a user’s need.

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How Is Your Air Quality?

June 20, 2011 6:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

E Instruments International (Langhorne, PA) has developed the AMI300 indoor air quality monitor for any AIQ application. According to the company, the tool can provide information on CO, CO2, temperature, humidity, air flow and velocity, and more. There are also a number of wireless probes available.

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Safe Electricity In Hazardous Places

June 20, 2011 6:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

Appleton Electric (Rosemont, IL), an Emerson Industrial Automation brand, is now offering the Appleton 20 Amp 125 Vac portable U-Line receptacle and GFCI for use in Class I, Division 1 and 2 Hazardous Locations. According to the company, it offers open neutral protection to safeguard plant personnel against the risk of electrical shock, while also protecting the connected apparatus against damage from short circuits and current overload.

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