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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Safety In A Bottle

January 14, 2011 4:40 am | by by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

This Editor's Note first appeared in the  November/December 2010 issue  of  Food Manufacturing . Though reports on the safety of using BPA in plastic packaging conflict, the industry must ensure that the chemical is safe at all exposure levels. As someone who has begun to feel more comfortable inside a convention hall than inside my living room, I’m very happy to report that November’s PACK EXPO was definitely the busiest trade show I’ve been to this year.

Intel Profits, 'Pulse' Of Technology Sales, Gets Stronger

January 14, 2011 4:02 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sales of server chips saved Intel Corp.'s fourth quarter, as net income jumped 48 percent mainly on strong demand from corporations. Yet the sour economy and the rise of smaller and sleeker gadgets such as the iPad have hurt consumers' appetite for new PCs, depressing that part of Intel's business.

OSHA Fines U.S. Steel For Coke Plant Explosion

January 14, 2011 3:57 am | News | Comments

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Federal officials have fined U.S. Steel and a subcontractor a total of $175,000 for safety violations found after a coke plant explosion injured at least 15 workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Thursday it cited the companies following a probe of the July 14 explosion at the Clairton Coke Works near Pittsburgh.

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Industrial Production Hits 5-Month High In December

January 14, 2011 3:48 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industrial production rose in December by the largest amount in five months, providing the economy with solid momentum heading into the new year. Activity at the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased 0.8 percent last month, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Industrial production was up in every month but one in 2010.

Renault Suspends Executives In Industrial Espionage Case

January 14, 2011 3:29 am | by Greg Keller, Associated Press | News | Comments

PARIS (AP) — Renault said Thursday it has filed a criminal complaint in connection with a suspected case of industrial espionage at the French car maker that has rocked France's industrial sector. The complaint "against persons unknown" follows Renault's discovery of "serious misconduct detrimental to the company" and in particular to its "strategic, technological and intellectual assets," the car maker said in a statement.

U.S. Trade Deficit Drops To Lowest Point In 10 Months

January 14, 2011 3:26 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit edged down to the lowest point in 10 months as exports, helped by a weaker dollar and rising foreign demand, climbed to the highest level in more than two years. The trade deficit narrowed to $38.3 billion in November, down 0.3 percent from October's revised $38.

Ford Says Raises Are Out, Bonuses Are In

January 14, 2011 3:22 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. will give bonuses but not pay raises to its U.S. and Canadian white-collar workers as the company tries to keep its costs down to stay competitive with other global automakers. Spokeswoman Marcey Evans said Ford surveyed 21 peer companies, including General Motors and Chrysler, and determined that its salaries are competitive.

Customer Service: The Hill You Don't Want To Die On

January 14, 2011 3:15 am | by Charles Marshall, Humorist, Author, and Motivational Speaker | Articles | Comments

Remember, the customer is not always right, but he is always the boss. I was in Home Depot last week returning a few items that I didn’t need. It was a few minutes before closing time and I was in a hurry to make my return and get out of there before the lights went out. I may be a big advocate of the Customer First philosophy, but that doesn’t mean that I want to keep people from going home to their families.

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Clean House

January 13, 2011 8:17 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

ERC Wiping Products, Inc. (Lynn, MA) has further expanded its line of economical microfiber products to include non-woven microfiber wipers. According to the company, the wipers are lint-free, non-abrasive, absorbent, and can effectively clean with little or no chemicals. Microfiber wipers are ideal for infection control as they are low-cost enough to be used as a disposable wiper yet durable enough for machine washing.

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Save Money On Extrusions

January 13, 2011 8:17 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Guill Tool & Engineering (West Warwick, RI) now offers money-saving extrusion technology in the form of a unique six-layer head/die, which offers a lower cost when compared to purchasing two three-layer systems to perform the same function. The Series 800 can extrude fluropolymer materials, but it can also handle non-fluoropolymers and adhesives that work well when combined in thin layers.

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Put Your Sanders Into Orbit

January 13, 2011 8:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Dynorbital Silver Supreme Random Orbital Sander from Dynabrade (Clarence, NY) is an air-powered sander ideal for high-production areas needing flat and horizontal sanding. The 12,000 RPM sander is available in 3”, 3.5”, 5” and 6” diameter models, all of which include a low profile, urethane weight-mated sanding pad.

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Divide Your Conveyor Into Zones

January 13, 2011 8:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

The zoned accumulation conveyor from TKF (Cincinnati, OH), with roll-to-roll chain-driven live rollers (CDLR), is designed to handle medium- to heavy-duty loads. The zone lengths can be designed to coincide with the product lengths, and the entire length can be driven by a single power unit.

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Marrying ERP And Social Media 

January 13, 2011 6:37 am | Articles | Comments

In August 2010, a study of 325 executives at large/middle-market manufacturers was conducted by IFS North America and Affinity Research Solutions, Boston. It sought to better understand the degree to which manufacturing executives feel various approaches to marrying social media and ERP are desirable.

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A Tiny Tuning Fork On Your Wrist

January 12, 2011 8:48 am | Videos | Comments

Let’ be honest — while we might understand the complexities of a complicated manufacturing process, learning about the technology behind a cheap wristwatch might not have ever crossed our minds. Luckily, Bill Hammack — from the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois - Urbana — is here to explain how it all works, thanks to a tiny tuning fork and something called the piezoelectric effect.

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Watch Those Fingers

January 12, 2011 8:47 am | Videos | Comments

We've always held a great deal of respect for people who are impeccably good at building or crafting an item — anything, really — with their hands, and this video is no different. We won't spoil the surprise, but we'll just say that this woodworker is making all of those seemingly-random cuts for a good reason.

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Electronics Suiting Up For Plant Floor Mayhem

January 12, 2011 8:42 am | Videos | Comments

More and more, mobile devices are being used to handle transactional applications in manufacturing facilities. In many cases, that means they are being used on shop floors. If manufacturers are being asked to purchase mobile devices and put them in harm's way, they're going to have to be durable (like these tech products).

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Defying Physics In A Ford Fiesta

January 12, 2011 8:41 am | Videos | Comments

With banks as steep as 51 degrees, the Montlhéry track in France is the ultimate playground for driving enthusiasts. Rally racer and stunt driver Ken Block gets behind the wheel of a souped-up, turbo-charged Ford Fiesta, capable of launching from 0 to 60mph in 1.9 seconds, to show us the joys of defying physics.

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GM's CEO: We're A Year Behind On R&D

January 12, 2011 4:04 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — A big cut in research and development spending while General Motors was in bankruptcy protection set the company's new product plans back by about a year, its top executive told reporters Tuesday. Chairman and CEO Daniel Akerson said GM is working to accelerate vehicle plans that were postponed when R&D spending was cut to $5 billion per year as the company was trying to save money during its 2009 stay in bankruptcy protection.

Photo Of The Day: Scenes From Detroit

January 12, 2011 3:54 am | News | Comments

A Volvo electric C30 is shown after being crashed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) The Audi exhibit is shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) The floor of the North American International Auto Show is shown in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan.

Nissan Spends $118 Million To Restructure Miss. Plant

January 12, 2011 3:41 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday that production of its 2012 NV commercial van will begin Jan. 19 at its expanded plant in Canton, Mississippi, marking its first venture into the U.S. commercial vehicle market. The NV offering will be aimed at commercial van customers through a network of about 240 Nissan commercial dealers, with sales set to begin in the spring.

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