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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

A Thief's Delight: Boca Raton's New Gold-Dispensing ATM

December 17, 2010 3:26 am | by Kelli Kennedy, Associated Press | News | Comments

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Shoppers who are looking for something sparkly to put under the Christmas tree can skip the jewelry and go straight to the source: an ATM that dispenses shiny 24-carat gold bars and coins. A German company planned to install the machine Friday at an upscale mall in Boca Raton, a South Florida paradise of palm trees, pink buildings and wealthy retirees.

UAW Workers Accept Pay Cuts At Mitsubishi Plant

December 17, 2010 3:21 am | by David Mercer, Associated Press | News | Comments

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — United Auto Workers members at Mitsubishi Motors North America's plant in Normal ratified a new contract Thursday that includes wage cuts the union has said could determine the fate of the facility and its 1,300 jobs. Seventy-seven percent of the union workers who voted on the deal approved it, UAW local President Ralph Timan said.

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Ford's Louisville Plant Sends Last Explorer Down The Line

December 17, 2010 3:20 am | News | Comments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Ford Motor Co.'s Louisville Assembly Plant saw its last Explorer SUV come off the line on Thursday. The plant is shutting down for a $600 million renovation. The Courier-Journal reports it will reopen late next year with new body, paint, and trim assembly lines equipped to produce multiple fuel efficient models.

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The Cost Of Giving Cigarettes To Children: $81 Million

December 17, 2010 3:18 am | by Rodrique Ngowi, Associated Press | News | Comments

BOSTON (AP) — A tobacco company that had tried to hook black children on cigarettes was ordered Thursday to pay $81 million in punitive damages to the estate and son of a Boston woman who started smoking at age 13, in what an attorney said is one of the largest jury awards of its kind in the United States.

Cables That Can Handle Torsion

December 16, 2010 9:44 am | Product Releases | Comments

igus (East Providence, RI) has introduced twistable hybrid, bus, motor, and fiber-optic cables to its torsion-resistant Chainflex robot cable range. The line includes five cables with a PUR outer jacket: CF-Robot 9, which is a hybrid control cable that is available shielded or unshielded.

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Reliable Volumetric Dispensing

December 16, 2010 9:43 am | Product Releases | Comments

GPD Global (Grand Junction, CO) has developed Positive Cavity Displacement (PCD) Dispensing for next-generation volumetric dispensing. Fluids are delivered to the substrate via nozzles, a technique that is not affected by variations in temperature or reservoir pressure, thereby improving day-to-day and start-to-finish process results, according to the company.

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A More Efficient Impeller

December 16, 2010 9:42 am | Product Releases | Comments

The XE-3 from Chemineer (Dayton, OH) is a high-efficiency axial flow impeller for heat transfer, blending, and solids suspension applications. The XE-3 impeller is as much as 10 percent more efficient than the HE-3 model in turbulent mixing, which can reduce energy costs in both new and retrofit applications.

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Three Channels Are Better Than One

December 16, 2010 9:42 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Microlog Analyzer GX series vibration measurement tool from SKF (San Diego, CA) offers one- to three-channel capabilities in a IP 65 rated unit. Because of the three-channel simultaneous triaxial input with a separate tachometer input, the Microlog GX can achieve fast and comprehensive data collection, according to the company.

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Fisker Automotive To Bring Electric Vehicles To China

December 16, 2010 8:17 am | News | Comments

SHANGHAI — Fisker Automotive, the California manufacturer of premium electric vehicles with extended range, has partnered with the China Grand Automotive Group, the number one passenger car trader in China, to have its vehicles distributed, marketed and serviced in the region. Executives from Fisker and China Grand Auto (CGA) formalized the non-exclusive agreement during a ceremony near CGA headquarters in Shanghai today.

Ten Tips For Setting Up A School Machine Shop

December 16, 2010 8:06 am | Articles | Comments

It’s probably not a stretch to suggest that most students back in high school shop class didn’t expend a great deal of mental energy wondering how those lathes, drill presses, and grinders made it into the classroom for their enjoyment and educational experience. We’ll assume, however, that most were too busy learning how to manipulate metal, wood, and other materials in a safe and effective manner to care about how the tools got there.

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Do Your Homework Before You Buy

December 16, 2010 7:53 am | Articles | Comments

Wireless devices can provide a number of benefits for manufacturing plant personnel. But what considerations should processors make prior to installing a wireless sensor system? Paul Richards, CEO, Wireless Sensors  “Wireless devices provide many advantages for plant personnel, such as elimination of wiring, rapid installation, suitability for temporary or mobile applications, and robust operation.

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Thought Ink Was Boring? Think Again

December 15, 2010 9:19 am | Videos | Comments

Peter Welfare, president and head inkmaker of The Printing Ink Company, proves that making high-quality ink is anything but boring. Like most processes that we take for granted, it starts with an incredible artistry that expands into a massive scale. While the music helps a little bit, it's easy to find yourself a little mesmerized simply by the rich visuals.

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Hackers Push Toward Sign Language Computing

December 15, 2010 6:48 am | Videos | Comments

Microsoft recently released the Kinect for its Xbox 360 gaming console, which is a camera-based device that can see and understand human movement without the use of controllers. While the device was meant to help regular people play games, researchers from MIT's Media Lab have hacked it to demonstrate hands-free web browsing, Minority Report -style.

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Painting A Plane In 4 Minutes

December 15, 2010 6:33 am | Videos | Comments

The production company Vivid Photo Visual set up a variety of time-lapse cameras to take in the 13-day operation of repainting a Boeing 747 for recommission with Virgin Atlantic. The end result is a sort of peaceful ballet, with a great-looking plane to boot. Virgin Atlantic plane livery time-lapse movie from johnson banks on Vimeo .

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Myth Confirmed: Rail Guns Are Terrifying

December 15, 2010 6:31 am | Videos | Comments

The rail gun has long been a pipe dream for the military, but those hopes are slowly becoming a reality. According to Popular Science , this latest test has launched a projectile with 33 megajoules of energy, which equates to speeds at Mach 7 and a range of 100 miles—all without explosives.

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Ten Years Later, Will The Electric Car Fail Again?

December 15, 2010 4:02 am | News | Comments

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Low gas prices, weak batteries and a lack of cooperation between carmakers and utilities caused past efforts to introduce electric vehicles to fizzle. But this time, advocates say, an alliance of automakers, utilities and regulators are squarely behind an ambitious project to make California a national leader in accommodating electric vehicles for the mainstream car market.

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Obama To Meet CEOs To Negotiate Regulatory Labyrinth

December 15, 2010 3:40 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring is anemic but corporate profits are up, and President Barack Obama is having 20 CEOs over to talk about how to tap that cash to boost jobs. But don't count on the president to reprise the "fat cat" scolding he gave bankers a year ago. No, this is not a woodshed moment.

U.S. Factory Output Grows For Fifth Straight Month

December 15, 2010 3:36 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory output grew for the fifth straight month, adding to evidence thatmanufacturing remains an engine of economic growth. The Federal Reserve says output by the nation's factories, utilities and mines increased 0.4 percent in November, after falling 0.2 percent in October.

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GE Expects 'Substantially' Higher Profits In 2011

December 15, 2010 3:34 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt said Tuesday he expects the company to deliver "substantially" higher profits in 2011, driven by growth in its industrial division and in China. Revenue in GE's industrial division, which makes everything from windmill turbines to ventilation fans, is expected to grow after being flat in 2010, Immelt said.

Chinese Authorities Nab Bosses Who Enslaved Workers

December 15, 2010 3:33 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — Authorities have rescued a group of mentally ill workers enslaved in a factory after being sold by a man who purportedly ran a beggars' shelter, state media reported Wednesday. Police on Tuesday nabbed Li Xinglin, the boss of the building materials factory in the far-western Xinjiang region who had fled Sunday after Chinese media reports exposed the plant's working conditions, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

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