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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Auto Industry Supply Issues To Get Much Worse

March 28, 2011 4:31 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach and Sharon Silke Carty, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — The auto industry disruptions triggered by Japan's earthquake and tsunami are about to get worse. In the weeks ahead, car buyers will have difficulty finding the model they want in certain colors, thousands of auto plant workers will likely be told to stay home, and companies such as Toyota, Honda and others will lose billions of dollars in revenue.

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CAT CEO Threatens To Leave Illinois In Letter To Gov.

March 28, 2011 4:28 am | News | Comments

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The chief executive of Caterpillar wrote a letter to Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn raising the possibility the heavy equipment company could move out of Illinois because of concerns that the direction the state is heading isn't favorable to business. In a letter to Gov.

Control Your DC Drives Via The Internet

March 25, 2011 7:37 am | Product Releases | Comments

Sprint Electric (Arundel, England) has developed an Ethernet-based distributed control system for DC drives. The drive.web system includes graphical configuration tools that provide diagnostics and configurability of all drives on the network, either locally or remotely via the Internet. These allow for full configuration, all without the need for a PLC or supervisory computer.

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Accurate Liquid Leveling

March 25, 2011 7:36 am | Product Releases | Comments

ifm efector inc. (Exton, PA) has developed the LMT Series Sanitary Point-Level Sensor, which is designed to monitor the level of liquids, viscous media, and powders in food in processing tanks and pipes. The LMT sensor uses high frequency capacitive spectrum profiling technology that enables the sensor to ignore foam and deposit build-up and differentiate between actual product and residue.

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Chains That Don't Bend Backwards

March 25, 2011 7:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

iwis (Indianapolis, IN) has introduced anti-backbend chains, which are only flexible in one direction, for pushing loads and transmitting forces without the need for a guidance system. The chains are suitable for transmitting tensile and compressive forces, and perform a similar function as linear drives, eliminating the need for an endless, circulating chain drive.

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Clean Tanks In All Directions

March 25, 2011 7:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new TankJet 360 Fluid Drive Tank Cleaner from Spraying Systems Co. (Wheaton, IL) is equipped with a dual- or triple-nozzle hub and high-impact solid stream nozzles that rotate 360° in horizontal and vertical planes. The rotation cleans tanks up to 100’ in diameter, and can remove the stickiest of residues, according to the company.

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UAW: GM Plans To Boost Hiring With 2,000 Recalls

March 25, 2011 4:46 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union says General Motors Co. plans to recall the last 2,000 of its laid-off workers by this fall, clearing the way for new hiring at its U.S. plants. The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press report that word about the jobs came Wednesday at a union meeting in Detroit that set goals for bargaining a new labor contract with automakers later this year.

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Jobless Benefits Drop, Signaling Growth-Heavy 2011

March 25, 2011 4:37 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, adding to evidence that layoffs are slowing and employers may be stepping up hiring. The number of people seeking benefits dropped by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 382,000 in the week ended March 19, the Labor Department said Thursday.

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Bolt Failures Cause Blades To Fly Off Wind Turbine

March 25, 2011 4:35 am | by Dale Wetzel, Associated Press | News | Comments

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Bolt failures caused a wind turbine's rotor and blades to fall from a tower in north-central North Dakota, and six other turbines have been shut down while their bolts are replaced, a state regulator said Thursday. Members of North Dakota's Public Service Commission, which oversaw the development of the 71-turbine wind farm, said Thursday they would seek more detailed information about how widespread the problems may be.

J&J Announces 20th Recall Since September 2009

March 25, 2011 4:28 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon unit is recalling a group of medical drainage products because of concerns about the sterility of the products. Ethicon, which makes sutures and other surgical products, said it received customer complaints that the sterile barrier in the product packaging was compromised.

U.S. Economy Grew 3.1 Percent At End Of 2010

March 25, 2011 4:23 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew a little faster at the end of 2010 than the government had previously estimated, boosted by more inventory building and business investment in plants and equipment. But rising oil prices will likely limit growth this year. The economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at an annual rate of 3.

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Nissan Considers Shifting Engine Production To U.S.

March 25, 2011 4:21 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. said Thursday it is considering moving some engine production from Japan to the U.S. because of earthquake damage to a Japanese plant, another illustration of how seriously the disaster has upended the global network of auto supplies. Car factories could face serious shortages of Japanese parts by the middle of next month unless Japan's auto industry can quickly restart its shuttered production following a devastating earthquake and tsunami March 11, experts say.

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Choosing The Right Metal Detector: Customized Systems

March 24, 2011 8:01 am | by John Klinge, Product Manager, Metal Detection | Articles | Comments

While many standard metal detection systems are designed to “pop into” an existing processing line, there are times when certain system components are requested for customization. The majority of custom components fall into the following categories: belt width and length, aperture size, alarm and reject device.

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Don’t Get Lost In The Regulations Storm

March 24, 2011 7:59 am | by Jay Tourigny, MicroCare Medical | Articles | Comments

Suppliers that are up to date and well versed on globally changing regulations and deadlines are better equipped to provide their customers with sound recommendations of products and equipment to use and processes to implement. With the medical device industry expanding globally, it is more important than ever for device designers and manufacturers to ensure their products and processes are compliant with not only U.

Wide-Range, Pressure-Sensitive Film

March 24, 2011 7:00 am | Product Releases | Comments

Sensor Products Inc. (Madison, NJ) has announced the Fuji Prescale pressure film, which reveals pressures from two to 43,200 PSI. The Mylar tactile pressure-indicating sensor film instantly reveals surface pressure magnitude and distribution between contact or impacting surfaces. When placed between the surfaces, it permanently changes color directly proportional to the pressure applied.

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Challenge Your Heavy-Duty Cranes

March 24, 2011 7:00 am | Product Releases | Comments

The SMARTON crane system is designed for optimum flexibility and reliability in challenging environments, with a compact design that allows industrial halls to be smaller than before. Konecranes (Springfield, OH) has developed the cranes with capacities from 160 to 500 tons, which makes them ideal for automotive and general manufacturing, automatic storage systems, workshops, and more.

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A Better All-In-One Tool

March 24, 2011 6:59 am | Product Releases | Comments

According to Hyde Tools (Southbridge, MA), tool clutter has pushed many users toward tools with multiple uses, such as its 14-in-1 Multi-tool, with four screw bits in the handle, plus 10 other common uses. Hyde’s newest tool combines a high-quality, lightweight design with a tool that can scrape paint, spread compound, clean rollers, remove putty, scrape convex surfaces, open cans, and pull nails, among others.

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More Versatile Filling

March 24, 2011 6:59 am | Product Releases | Comments

The RingDex, from Dispense Works (McHenry, IL), is an affordable filling system with a unique modular design that can improve previously manual and tedious filling/capping operations. The RingDex allows quick changeovers for low- to medium-volume protection with a removable indexing ring and quick-release tooling to accommodate different size bottles, vials, caps, tips, etc.

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Starch Producer Transforms Waste To Energy

March 24, 2011 5:46 am | Articles | Comments

Processing 1,200 tons of cassava roots a day, Chockyuenyong Industrial, headed by Tawatchai Yuenyong, uses Global Water Engineering (GWE) anaerobic technology, supplied by local GWE agent Retech Energy, with a capacity of 3,200 m3 effluent  a day. The installation provides wastewater cleanliness while generating green power and carbon credit profits as well, says GWE CEO Jean Pierre Ombregt, whose company has completed more than 300 water and wastewater projects in more than 60 countries.

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Equipping Business For Success In An Improving Economy

March 24, 2011 5:27 am | by William G. Sutton, CAE, President, Equipment Leasing and Finance Association | Articles | Comments

Businesses are ramping up to meet increasing demand and market opportunities in response to continued signs of economic improvement. Acquiring equipment to operate and grow is critical, and for smart businesses, equipment financing is a key acquisition strategy. Equipment financing is tailored to individual business considerations, including that of maintaining cash reserves.

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