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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

An Improved TIG Torch

April 29, 2011 11:54 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Weldcraft (Appleton, WI) is offering the WP-17 Series of air-cooled TIG torches, which include six different styles, including those with gas valves and flex necks. They provide 150-amp DC and 115-amp AC welding capabilities at a 60 percent duty cycle. According to the company, the torches feature the company’s exclusive Diamond Grip torch body, which promotes a secure grip and greater control, no matter the welding position.

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More User-Friendly Stretch Wrapping

April 29, 2011 11:54 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Q-300XT stretch wrapping machine from Lantech (Louisville, KY) improves operator friendliness with a larger load-placement window for its automatic film cut-and-clamp system, according to the company. The system allows the fork truck operator to simply drive up, position the pallet on the turntable, start the machine with a lanyard switch or a wireless Click-n-Go remove, and drive away, all without ever getting off the fork truck.

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Less Floor Space, More Inventory

April 29, 2011 11:53 am | Product Releases | Comments

Spacesaver Industrial (Fort Atkinson, WI) has introduced ActivRAC Mobilized Storage, a full line of space-saving storage system that gives manufacturers the ability to increase capacity without having to expand existing facilities. With the ActivRAC system, otherwise stationary rows of pallet racking are mounted on carriages and mobilized.

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Chinese Telecom Manufacturers Face Off In Patent War

April 29, 2011 9:47 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp. has countered accusations by rival Huawei Technologies of violations of its patent and trademark rights by suing Huawei for alleged infringements of its mobile phone technology. ZTE said in a statement Friday that it plans to use all legal means to protect its own intellectual property rights.

Goodyear Posts Record Quarterly Sales Figures

April 29, 2011 9:28 am | by Thomas J Sheeran, Associated Press | News | Comments

CLEVELAND (AP) — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. sold more tires at higher prices in the first quarter, helping it set a company sales record for any quarter and reverse a loss from the first quarter of 2010. Goodyear shares rose more than 10 percent to $17.87 after the opening bell, a new 52-week high.

Federal Judge: Yes, Toyota Lawsuits Can Move Forward

April 29, 2011 9:14 am | by Greg Risling, Associated Press | News | Comments

SANTA ANA, California (AP) — A federal judge in California said Friday that he will deny another request from Toyota Motor Corp. to dismiss lawsuits filed by car owners who claim sudden-acceleration defects were responsible for the value of their vehicles to drop. U.S. District Judge James Selna said in a 30-page ruling that the lawsuits have enough merit to move forward.

State Attorneys Object To Labor Complaint Against Boeing

April 29, 2011 9:07 am | News | Comments

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Several states have joined South Carolina's attorney general in objecting to a federal labor complaint filed against Boeing Corp. for opening a 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in North Charleston. Attorney General Alan Wilson and eight other attorneys general said in a letter Thursday that the National Labor Relations Board's complaint against Boeing hurts the states' ability to create jobs and recruit industry.

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Philip Morris Wins In Miss. Hospitals V. Tobacco

April 29, 2011 8:58 am | News | Comments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Philip Morris USA and other major tobacco companies won a lawsuit Friday filed by 37 Missouri hospitals seeking more than $455 million for treating sick smokers. Philip Morris USA was one of six tobacco companies involved in the lawsuit. The case was filed as the City of St.

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Kia Recalls 58,000 Cars For Gas Tanks That Fall Off

April 29, 2011 7:59 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Kia Motors Corp. is recalling more than 58,000 Spectra compact cars registered in cold-weather states because the gas tanks could fall off and cause a fire. The recall affects Spectra LD models from the 2004 to 2007 model years in 20 states and Washington, D.C., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website Friday.

Are Electric Cars Safe?

April 29, 2011 6:37 am | Videos | Comments

More electric cars are arriving on dealership floors, and hitting the streets, so natually, many are left wondering: Are they as safe as their gasoline-powered silblings? Seth Doane reports for CBS News with the latest on electric vehicle safety. 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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Lean In The Office: The Next Frontier

April 29, 2011 6:23 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions, LLC | Articles | Comments

Lean is a very powerful tool for business improvement. Application of Lean in factory floors and to repeatable processes is straightforward, but applying it to the office environment is not. Unfortunately, the office is where a great deal of waste exists. Transform some assumptions about Lean, and it can effectively be applied to the office with substantial reward.

Dry Split Seal Is The Perfect Deal

April 29, 2011 6:01 am | by Vic Lundberg, process engineer, Quadna, a DXP company | Articles | Comments

Chemical attack is a destructive force in any high-tech manufacturing process. For TIMET’s Las Vegas, Nev.-based plant, the force was presenting itself during the high-temperature mixing of titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4), known in the industry as TiCL. TIMET is the world's largest supplier of high-quality titanium metal products.

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CAT Profit Soars Five-Fold Thanks To Economic Recovery

April 29, 2011 4:53 am | News | Comments

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. said its first-quarter profit soared more than five-fold as a growing economic recovery boosted demand for the company's mining and construction equipment. The results blew past analysts' expectations and its boosted its outlook for the year.

U.S. Paychecks Rise, But Go Straight Into Pricey Gasoline

April 29, 2011 4:36 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans earned and spent more in March, but much of the extra money went toward more expensive gasoline. Personal incomes rose 0.5 percent last month and consumer spending increased 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday. But after adjusting for inflation, spending rose a much more subdued 0.

Chinese Manufacturing Stagnant On Supply Chain Troubles

April 29, 2011 4:31 am | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Chinese manufacturers added workers but saw scant growth in orders in April amid delays in supplies resulting from Japan's earthquake and tsunami. London-based HSBC said Friday its China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index remained at 51.8 in April, matching its March level and just above a seven-month low of 51.

Cisco: Can You Baby Boomers Retire Already?

April 29, 2011 4:21 am | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cisco Systems Inc. is giving some of its employees the option to retire early, a move that it hopes will reduce costs. Cisco, in the midst of a restructuring, is trying to re-focus on its core business of selling computer networking gear. Cisco spokeswoman Karen Tillman said Thursday that the networking equipment maker is offering voluntary retirement to some employees in the U.

Microsoft Earnings Through The Roof, Investors Flee

April 29, 2011 4:19 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Even as Microsoft Corp.'s earnings grow at a robust rate, investors can't seem to shake the feeling that the boom days are winding down for the world's largest software maker. The company's fiscal third-quarter results, released Thursday, provided little reassurance despite a 31 percent increase in earnings, exceeding analyst estimates.

Tornadoes Shut Down The South's Manufacturing Base

April 29, 2011 4:16 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The devastating tornadoes that swept across Alabama and other southern states Wednesday caused widespread power outages, shut down several large manufacturing plants and could disrupt the region's fragile economic recovery. Most economists say the setback will likely be temporary.

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J&J To Come Back 'Stronger Than Ever' After Quality Woes

April 28, 2011 9:42 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson's chief executive told shareholders at their annual meeting Thursday that the company will come back "stronger than ever" after addressing quality problems that resulted in an astounding string of product recalls. William Weldon, who became CEO in 2002, said the series of "disappointing recalls" troubled him and employees and meant thousands of parents could not get medicines they needed for their children.

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Oshkosh Corp. Income Tumbles On Gov't Shortfalls

April 28, 2011 9:19 am | News | Comments

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Shares of Oshkosh Corp. tumbled Thursday after the heavy vehicle maker said that its net income and revenue both fell sharply in the second fiscal quarter. THE SPARK: The company, based in Oshkosh, Wis., said its net income fell to $67.9 million, or 74 cents per share, from $292.

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