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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Climbing Out Of The 'Uncanny Valley'

June 21, 2010 7:59 am | Articles | Comments

Most people think of Honda as an automotive manufacturer, but that would be grossly underestimating the amount of time and money the company has spent in the last few decades on developing Asimo and other robotic technologies. While Honda's main goal is to create a robot that ordinary people would be comfortable using in their homes, their R&D efforts have led to better manufacturing processings and better products as well.

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Leveling The IP Playing Field In China

June 21, 2010 6:59 am | by Lee Osman, Dorsey Whitney, LLP | Articles | Comments

Over the past 15 years, companies developing, manufacturing and selling products and services in China have “gotten drunk” on the financial upside of moving these operations to China from North America and Europe.

High-Pressure Pipe Cleaners

June 21, 2010 6:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

A new family of Rotating Line Moles (RLM) are now available from NLB Corp. (Wixom, MI), and give users more than 40 choices to clean pipes with high-pressure water. The RLMs feature operating pressures of 10,000 or 20,000 psi, plus a variety of flows and nozzle patterns for specific applications.

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Make Ladders Safe

June 21, 2010 6:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

Wildeck, Inc. (Waukesha, WI) has added two Laddergard Safety Swing Gates that protect personnel at potentially dangerous openings, including loading dock ladders, mezzanine ladders, rooftop access ladders, and more. The safety swing gates are self-closing and meet OSHA 1910.

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Eliminate Flux, Dirt

June 21, 2010 6:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

Aqueous Technologies Corp. (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) introduces the Trident OneShot automatic deflexing and cleanliness testing system, which is designed to work with post-reflow circuit assemblies. The OneShot is equipped with a 16” touch-screen interface, unlimited recipe quantities, a Windows PC control platform, networking capabilities, and real-time cleanliness testing.

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Easy Bucket Conveying

June 21, 2010 6:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

A new bucket elevator that moves material in three different directions is now available from Gough Econ, Inc. (Charlotte, NC). The Gough Elecon bucket conveyor and elevator system is ideal for applications requiring gentle handling, according to the manufacturer. Cantilevered buckets can move vertically, horizontally, and can turn any direction up to 90° without having to transfer the load being conveyed.

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AstraZeneca Pays $103 Million For Price Fixing Cancer Drug

June 21, 2010 5:05 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — AstraZeneca PLC on Friday agreed to pay $103 million to settle lawsuits that allege it inflated the price of its cancer drug Zoladex and its child asthma medication Pulmicort. The lawsuits alleged that the British drug maker inflated the average wholesale price of the drugs, a benchmark rate used to determine how much the drugs cost for consumers, health plans and government programs.

Biden Breaks Ground On Battery Manufacturing Plant

June 21, 2010 4:58 am | News | Comments

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden plans to visit Midland for the groundbreaking of an advanced battery manufacturing facility being built by a Dow Chemical Co. joint venture. Biden is to be at the event Monday for the Dow Kokam facility. The joint venture was given a $161 million grant to build a lithium polymer battery technology manufacturing plant.

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Miss. Governor, Senators Shopping For A Ford

June 21, 2010 4:44 am | by Chris Blank, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is shopping for a Ford. The governor ordered lawmakers back for a special session starting Thursday to consider millions in tax incentives and pension plan changes to entice the automaker to keep its Kansas City-area plant producing.

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The 105-Year 'Heart Of Clarion' Dies July 1

June 21, 2010 4:43 am | by Dante Anthony Fuoco, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

CLARION, Pa. (AP) — There's a hum here, soft yet ever-present. The noise is drowned out during the din of the day, but late at night the sound of the Owens-Illinois glass plantreverberates through this town of 6,000 people. Mayor Andrea Estadt calls it the "heartbeat of Clarion," an enunciation from a plant that has been a centerpiece of community employment and pride for 105 years.

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'Pool Noodle' Manufacturer Helps Clean Up The Gulf

June 21, 2010 4:41 am | by Stephen Tait, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MARYSVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Barry Jorgensen has never traveled to the Gulf of Mexico. That doesn't mean he isn't concerned about the extensive oil spill affecting that region. "I'm disgusted with what is going on there," said Jorgensen, 50, of Marysville. Now, Jorgensen is getting a chance to help.

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Toyota Preparing To Hire 2,000 Miss. Workers

June 21, 2010 4:39 am | News | Comments

BLUE SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — Toyota officials say they'll begin hiring later this year in Blue Springs, Miss., and details about the process will be announced in a few weeks. Ray Tanguay, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, says the workers won't need any special skills.

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Copiers 'Goldmines' For Identity Thieves

June 18, 2010 11:36 am | Articles | Comments

Every business in the U.S. has at least one copy machine that’s used on an almost-constant basis. The problem is that most Americans, nor the businesses that employ them, are aware the copy machines store every document ever scanned, printed, and faxed on hard drives buried deep within the machinery.

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Pallets Cause Foobourne Illness

June 18, 2010 11:35 am | Articles | Comments

We've all heard about the typical food safety issues, but did you know pallets might be to blame for many of the millions of food-related illnesses in the U.S. every year? The National Consumers League conducted a study, which found that 10 percent of food pallets have E.coli, and 3 percent have the even-deadlier Listeria.

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Americans Get Bigger, Coffins Get Wider

June 18, 2010 11:34 am | Articles | Comments

There's no questions Americans are getting wider, and everyone knows we'll all end up in the ground someday. But some Americans are so large they're fueling a niche Indiana business: extra-large caskets. This 5-person operation is positively booming, manufacturing caskets as wide as double beds for people 500-600 pounds.

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Hold Delicate Parts

June 18, 2010 11:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

The ROTA NCR 6-jaw compensation chunk from SCHUNK (Morrisville, NC) allows the clamping of thin-walled and easily-deformed components with diameters up to 1,200mm. The ROTA NCR consists of a central chuck piston, which has three inner pendulums positioned at 120°, which work in conjunction with three pairs of base jaws.

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Lifting With Vacuums

June 18, 2010 11:13 am | Product Releases | Comments

EXAIR (Cincinnati, OH) Modular E-Vac Vacuum Generators are compressed air powered vacuums for lifting, “pick and place,” clamping, chucking, and surface mounting applications. The pumps are offered in many sizes and offer a variety of vacuum levels and flow rates.

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Nozzles For Any Application

June 18, 2010 11:12 am | Product Releases | Comments

A complete line of flat fan spray nozzles is available from Lechler Inc. (St. Charles, IL). Flat fan nozzles cover a fan-shaped area on a single plane, and are ideal when used in a stationary position on a conveyor when the target moves through the spray. Typical applications for flat fans include cleaning, coating, cooling, lubricating, rising, high-pressure cleaning, and more.

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Conveyors Go 'Pro'

June 18, 2010 11:04 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Midbrook, Inc. (Jackson, MI) has announced a new model in their line of pneumatic material handling conveyors known as “Shuttle Pro Conveyors.” The Shuttle Pro conveyor has a universal t-slot mounting and cross bar support, and uses vibratory/shaking motion to convey materials down the length of a tray.

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What To Do With A Clueless Client

June 18, 2010 7:39 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

What do you do with a clueless client? It’s doesn’t exactly have the sing-song charm of asking what to do with a drunken sailor, but I think we’re two beats away from a viral video here. Okay, maybe the client doesn’t lack basic information processing skills, but maybe they’re looking to build something that represents everything you stand against as a reputable product designer.

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