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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GE To Produce 228 Wind Turbines

August 2, 2011 9:02 am | News | Comments

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) — General Electric Co. and Wind Capital Group said Monday that they reached a deal for 228 wind turbines along with operations and maintenance services for a pair of projects in Oklahoma and Kansas. Financial terms were not disclosed. Under the agreement, GE will supply 94 of its 1.

Americans Cut Spending For First Time In 2 Years

August 2, 2011 9:00 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut their spending in June for the first time in nearly two years after seeing their incomes grow by the smallest amount in nine months. The latest data offered a troubling sign for an economy that is adding few jobs and barely growing. Consumer spending dropped 0.

U.S. Auto Industry Remains Unsure With Weak July Sales

August 2, 2011 8:57 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Car buyers kept visiting dealerships in July, but not in big enough numbers to shake the auto industry's unease about its recovery. Analysts predicted only a slight rise in U.S. sales of new cars and trucks for July. A lack of discounts and continuing shortages of Japanese cars kept many buyers away, causing sales to sputter for the third straight month.

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Workers Fired For Collecting Unemployment

August 2, 2011 8:53 am | News | Comments

GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — A recreational vehicle factory in northern Indiana has fired more than 20 people for collecting unemployment benefits while also collecting paychecks for their jobs. Keystone RV fired the workers from the Goshen factory Monday after reviewing monthly reports from the state Department of Workforce Development for a year, said Timothy Edwards, the factory's human resources manager.

850 Hanford Workers Face Layoffs

August 2, 2011 8:50 am | News | Comments

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — About 850 union members are facing layoffs in two months as Hanford contractors cut workers because federal stimulus money for cleanup work at the nuclear reservation in Washington state is running out. The president of the Hanford Atomic Trades Council, Dave Molnaa, told the Tri-City Herald on Monday he has not seen layoffs of that magnitude since the mid-1990s.

Plan Would Trade Electric Rate Cuts For Jobs

August 2, 2011 8:48 am | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio regulators are proposing that companies get breaks of up to 20 percent on their electric bills based on the number of jobs they create and investments in the state, while other electric customers would pay more to cover much of the discounts. The plan is drawing mixed reactions from business groups and is on the radar of a state consumer watchdog, The Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday.

A Magical Mix

August 2, 2011 6:32 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

Childhood friends Eileen Spitalny and David Kravetz founded Fairytale Brownies in 1992 in a friend’s Old Town Scottsdale, AZ, catering kitchen. Using Kravetz’s mother’s 55-year-old secret family brownie recipe, the business started out selling to friends, farmers markets, and festivals.

The Robotic Renaissance

August 2, 2011 6:06 am | by Mike Jacobs, President of Applied Manufacturing Technologies | Articles | Comments

The convergence of three developments: more capable, less expensive robotic automation, demand by manufacturers to automate their production, and the National Robotics Initiative is fueling a “Robotic Renaissance” in the United States. As a leading supplier of factory automation design, engineering, and process consulting services, we at Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) have launched an aggressive hiring initiative to support the rebirth of this industry as a result of these three major developments.

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Digital Projectors Merge Real, Virtual Worlds

August 2, 2011 5:59 am | Videos | Comments

Move over virtual reality, researchers at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute are taking spatially augmented reality to the next level with ''dynamic projection surfaces.'' The system moves projected images out into the real world, enabling multiple users to interact with their physical and virtual environments simultaneously.

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Copper Prices Fall On Weak Manufacturing Data

August 2, 2011 5:33 am | by Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Copper didn't have much of a chance to extend its brief rally. Weak manufacturing data from the United States and China combined with a stronger dollar Monday to snap two consecutive days of higher copper prices. Copper for September delivery fell 6.95 cents to settle at $4.41 a pound.

Wrangler To Rebuild Plant After Tornado

August 2, 2011 5:31 am | by Bob Johnson, Associated Press | News | Comments

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The largest employer in the small, northwest Alabama town of Hackleburg announced Monday night that it plans to rebuild a Wrangler plant wiped out by a massive April tornado, prompting cheers and celebration among workers and townsfolk. VF Corp. officials delivered the news that they would rebuild the distribution center destroyed by the April 27 storm that killed 18 people in Hackleburg in Marion County.

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Man Killed In AR Plant Accident Was Electrocuted

August 2, 2011 5:27 am | News | Comments

MARMADUKE, Ark. (AP) — A Brookland man who died after an accident at the American Railcar Industries factory in Marmaduke was electrocuted. The Greene County coroner says the state medical examiner has listed the cause of death of 28-year-old Joshua Buchanan on July 25 at American Railcar Industries as electrocution.

Boeing Receives $172M Korean Air Order

August 2, 2011 5:25 am | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. said Monday that it received an order from Korean Air for two additional 737-900 extended range jetliners worth $171.6 million at Boeing list prices. The airline said it is in the process of revamping its fleet with technologically advanced airplanes, and completed a cabin refurbishment project for its mid- to long-haul flights early this year.

CAT Plans $50M ND Plant Expansion

August 2, 2011 5:23 am | News | Comments

WEST FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A $50 million expansion project is planned at a North Dakota heavy equipment manufacturing company. Caterpillar Inc. officials and Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced the plans Monday for the company's West Fargo plant. It's expected to create about 250 new jobs, nearly doubling the current workforce at the plant.

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Ford Recalls 1M Pickup Trucks

August 2, 2011 5:20 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK, (Kyodo) — Ford Motor Co. is recalling a total of 1.1 million pickup trucks over a problem related to metal straps holding gas tanks that could rust and cause the tanks to fall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday. The recall covers three types of pickup trucks, including certain 1997 through 2004 F-150 models, the NHTSA said.

V-Lift Hydraulic Material Lift

August 1, 2011 12:13 pm IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Wildeck (Waukesha, WI) has released the new V-Lift Hydraulic Material Lift, a hydraulically operated, cantilever material lift that can be installed in a shaftway or free-standing with optional structural framing. The lift is designed to meet ANSI/ASME B20.1 “Safety Standard for Conveyors.

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Heavy-Duty Electric Walkie Straddle Stacker

August 1, 2011 12:12 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks (Houston, TX) has added a new 3,000-3,500 pound capacity Heavy-Duty Electric Walkie Straddle Stacker to its North American product line. The new PWT15 and PWT18 walkie stacker models feature an AC-powered drive motor and electric power steering option. Additional features extend the battery life and increase efficiency: the stacker can be powered-up with a key or optional keyless access pad and the stacker will automatically shut down after a set period of inactivity.

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Loosen Frozen Metal Parts

August 1, 2011 12:11 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Kroil from Kano Laboratories (Nashville, TN) dissolves rust and lubricates to loosen frozen metal parts. Kroil’s unique molecular structure facilitates penetration while maintaining a structure that breaks bonds due to corrosion or compression. It is available in 8 sizes, including a new 16.

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Smart Switch For RadioLinx Ethernet Radios

August 1, 2011 10:06 am | Product Releases | Comments

Prosoft Technology (Bakersfield, CA) has announced the new Smart Switch feature, supported in the RadioLinx Industrial Frequency Hopping Ethernet Radios for the 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz spectrums. With Smart Switch technology, the Ethernet radios are able to route packets over the network, managing the wireless network like a standard Ethernet switch, and creating peer-to-peer wireless Ethernet communication.

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July Another Weak Month For Auto Sales

August 1, 2011 9:27 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Car shoppers worried about the U.S. economy last month and that kept sales in a funk. U.S. sales of new cars and light trucks are expected to rise only slightly in July, as the debate over the debt limit and other economic worries kept buyers at home. Automakers are scheduled to report July sales starting around 11 a.

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