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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Zippo Lights Fire Under New Businesses As Less Smoke

March 21, 2011 5:07 am | by Joe Mandak, Associated Press | News | Comments

BRADFORD, Pa. (AP) — Zippo lighters have retained their retro cool even as the tiny northwestern Pennsylvania company that makes them gets ready to celebrate its 80th anniversary and 500 millionth lighter next year. But with pressure increasing on folks not to smoke, Zippo Manufacturing Co.

Boeing Completes Flight Of Biggest-Ever Passenger Jet

March 21, 2011 4:54 am | News | Comments

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The Boeing Co.'s newest and largest passenger plane completed its first flight on Sunday, marking another milestone as the company prepares to get the long-haul jumbo jet ready for the market by the end of the year. The 4½ hour-flight, which began in Everett and landed in Seattle, was the first in a months-long test program that will log more than 600 flight hours between now and the fall.

DOJ: Samsung To Pay $32M For Price Fixing

March 21, 2011 4:48 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department said Friday that Samsung SDI Co. has agreed to plead guilty in a price-fixing conspiracy and pay a $32 million fine. The Justice Department said Samsung SDI, part of South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., conspired to fix prices, reduce output and allocate market shares of color display tubes, a type of cathode ray tube used in computer monitors and other devices.

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Nissan To Resume Japanese Manufacturing Next Week

March 21, 2011 4:45 am | by Tom Murphy, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co. plans to resume auto and parts production at more Japanese factories next week, but it may be several months before inventories and other elements of the country's auto industry return to normal. Nissan said it will resume production of parts at five plants Monday. It then plans to resume vehicle production Thursday as long as supplies last.

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GM Cutting Unnecessary Spending After Japan Disaster

March 21, 2011 4:42 am | by Janna Herron, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — GM said Saturday it is cutting unnecessary spending companywide as it assesses the impact of production disruptions from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The move will help the automaker preserve cash as it deals with the financial implications from shortages of parts made in Japan, a company spokesman said.

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3M Settles Age-Discrimination Lawsuit For $12 Million

March 21, 2011 4:40 am | News | Comments

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — 3M Co. has agreed to pay up to $12 million to settle an age-discrimination lawsuit with as many as 7,000 current and former employees. The 2004 lawsuit targeted the company's performance-review system, alleging that older workers were disproportionately downgraded. It also accused the company of favoring younger employees for certain training opportunities that could fast-track them for promotions.

Food-Friendly Ducting

March 18, 2011 10:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

The TPU-SD duct with steel wire helix — from Novaflex (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada) — is now manufactured using raw materials to meet FDA requirements for food contact applications when used in accordance with the limitations of 21 CFR: 175.105 and 177.2600a. The specially-formulated grade of urethane also maintains the TPU-SD duct’s ability for permanent protection against electrostatic discharge.

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Water Jetting Goes Automatic

March 18, 2011 10:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

NLB Corp. (Wixom, MI) has developed wireless controls for its automated water jet Crawler, which is a surface preparation tool for towers and other large structures that does not expose personnel to the risk of falling. The SRT-10-W Crawler removes coatings and scale faster than manual methods using only ultra-high pressure water (up to 40,000 psi).

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Guard Your Pallet Racks

March 18, 2011 10:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

Damotech (Boisbriand, Canada) has introduced the Damo Super Guard, which protects pallet racks in warehouses from damage, typically from forklifts. The Super Guard offers an extra level of durability, including five anchor bolts with high shearing capacity to sustain the most common impacts in warehouse environments.

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New, Better Butterfly Valves

March 18, 2011 10:14 am | Product Releases | Comments

Assured Automation (Clark, NJ) has announced two new butterfly valve series, the first of which is the FK Polypropylene Butterfly Valve Series. This line offers superior strength and chemical resistance in highly-corrosive environments. The valves feature double, self-lubricating seals and direct-mount actuator capability.

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Transforming Product Complexity Into Cash

March 18, 2011 9:04 am | by Louis Columbus, Cincom Systems | Articles | Comments

When considering product configuration systems it is easy to become inwardly focused and lose out on the greatest benefits as a result. If you are using a product configuration system today or are considering implementing one, remember this one point: Your customers’ experiences with your selling strategies and systems are all that really matter.

The Continued Evolution Of SaaS ERP

March 18, 2011 9:01 am | Articles | Comments

The evolution of software-as-a-service ERP is one of the most widely-discussed topics in the manufacturing industry today. Mark Symonds, CEO and President of  Plex Systems , a provider of SaaS ERP software, recently spoke with  Manufacturing Business Technology  about the latest trends surrounding this technology.

Keeping The Oyster Boats Afloat

March 18, 2011 8:49 am | by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

This story originally ran in the  March 2011  issue of Food Manufacturing . The nation’s largest shipper of Gulf Coast oysters has fallen on hard times. Still recovering from a natural disaster, operations were set back again when BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April, 2010.

New To You

March 18, 2011 8:31 am | by Bruce Hamilton, OldLeanDude.org | Articles | Comments

There is a sign along a roadway I travel that puts a wonderfully positive spin on the purchase of a used car. A 2006 Rav4 with 59,000 miles may have been around the block a few times, but at Boch Superstore it’s “NEW TO YOU.” I often recall that headline in a similar context when I’m visiting a new customer for the first time.

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Drive Technology For A Bottling Plant

March 18, 2011 7:53 am | by NORD Drive Systems | Articles | Comments

The Hacklberger Getränke- und Logistikcenter (Hacklberger Beverages and Logistics Center), founded in 1998, is a spin-off of the Hacklberger brewery, where according to historical documents, beer has been brewed since 1618. The company supplies about 1,200 beverage dealers and is one of the largest breweries in the German area of Bavaria.

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Micro-Sized Inspection Cameras

March 18, 2011 7:24 am | Product Releases | Comments

RIDGID (Elyria, OH) has introduced the micro CA-100 view-only inspection camera as the newest addition to its Hand-Held Diagnostic and Inspection product line. The micro CA-100 camera allows for more detailed visual digital inspection in hard-to-reach areas. According to the company, the 3.

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Weigh With Speed, Precision

March 18, 2011 7:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

METTLER TOLEDO (Columbus, OH) has introduced the versatile WMS weigh modules, which can be integrated into automated processes with ease. According to the company, they meet demanding standards and quality requirements. The FDA-compliant stainless steel design features overload stops and a long service life.

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Valves That Handle The Highest Pressures

March 18, 2011 7:22 am | Product Releases | Comments

Badger Meter (BMI; Milwaukee, WI) has added the Ultra High Pressure Valve Assembly HP-60 to its product line. It is engineered for use in high-pressure chemical applications in need of a 60,000 psi, low-flow control valve. It is designed with a 17-4ph alloy and solid Stellite Innervalve assembly, allowing it to withstand intense pressure.

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See Oil Spills With A 'Flare'

March 18, 2011 7:22 am | Product Releases | Comments

New Pig Corporation (Tipton, PA) has introduced the PIG Oil-Only Absorbent Mat with Color Flare Technology, which is specifically designed to change color to reveal light-colored oil leaks. The outer spunbond layer contains oil-indicating wax dots, which dissolve in oil to release dye. This process “flares” bright blue to provide a clear visual indication that mineral oil or hydraulic fluid is leaking.

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Factory Production Signals Increased Hiring Soon

March 18, 2011 4:47 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Factories are producing more cars, computers and household appliances, and applications for unemployment benefits over the past four weeks are at the lowest point since summer 2008. Economic data released Thursday suggest that March will be the second straight month of strong job growth.

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