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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Design + Make — Start Early

May 5, 2011 5:33 am | Articles | Comments

Children start designing and making things from the time that they can hold a crayon and spill glue — it comes naturally and is generally encouraged by parents and teachers alike. It’s about expression, ideas, and innovation — exactly the same concepts that lie behind successful design, engineering, and manufacturing.

Carbon Footprint Calculator Offers Energy Awareness

May 5, 2011 4:36 am | Articles | Comments

Muskegon, Michigan, May 4, 2011– Reid Supply Company, one of the country's leading suppliers of industrial products , now offers a free online Carbon Footprint Calculator and other calculators to help industry and education take proactive steps to lower their energy use. Many manufacturers and educators needed a resource to find Carbon Footprint Calculators, Fuel Cost Calculators, Performance Benchmarking Tools, Facility Assessment Wizards, Workplace Posters, Energy Posters, and more.

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Intel Brings Chips Into 3-D

May 5, 2011 4:20 am | Videos | Comments

Intel has announced that it will begin manufacturing a new type of transistor for its computer chips. Instead of the typical “flat” transistors, it will use three-dimensional ones, which has been a development a decade in the making. As with most things computers, their hope is to do things faster, cheaper, and while using much less power.

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How Is Globalization Hurting The Middle Class?

May 4, 2011 9:40 am | Videos | Comments

By all accounts, the United States economy is back on track following the Great Recession. But is the future bright for each and every economic class? Experts Chrystia Freeland and David Frum take an in-depth look at a new report on globalization and its economic impact on the American middle class.

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Sony Hit With 'Professional' Cyber Attack, Loses Data

May 4, 2011 9:34 am | by Joelle Tessler, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The data breach of Sony's PlayStation Network resulted from a "very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack designed to steal personal and credit card information for illegal purposes," a Sony executive said. In a letter to members of the House Commerce Committee released Wednesday, Kazuo Hirai, chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC, defended the company's handling of the breach.

Automakers Win With Florida Product Liability Law

May 4, 2011 8:38 am | by James L. Rosica, Associated Press | News | Comments

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — In a win for Big Business, the Florida House approved a bill on Wednesday that makes it more difficult for injured plaintiffs to win product liability damages from auto makers and othermanufacturers. The measure (SB 142) was approved by a vote of 80-35 and will be sent to Republican Gov.

Fiat Brings The Tiny 500 To American Soil

May 4, 2011 8:32 am | by Ann M. Job, Associated Press | News | Comments

The 2012 Fiat 500 hatchback is the newest and arguably the cutest small car in the United States, with federal government fuel mileage ratings that are at the top of the subcompact class. The four-passenger, two-door 500, which is the first Fiat to be sold by the automaker in this country since 1983, is rated at 30 miles per gallon in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway with standard manual transmission.

Intel Redesigns The Transistor In '3-D'

May 4, 2011 8:29 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Intel Corp. said Wednesday that it has redesigned the electronic switches on its chips so that computers can keep getting cheaper and more powerful. The switches, known as transistors, have typically been flat. By adding a third dimension — "fins" that jut up from the base — Intel will be able to make the transistors and chips smaller.

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Boeing Swings Back At NLRB's Anti-Labor Claims

May 4, 2011 8:27 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Boeing Co. says federal labor regulators unfairly twisted or misquoted statements by company executives to make a case that the company illegally retaliated against union workers. The company is urging the National Labor Relations Board to withdraw a complaint that accuses Boeing of locating a new plant in South Carolina in part to avoid future labor disruptions in Washington state.

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GM Invests $131 Million In Kentucky-Built Corvettes

May 4, 2011 8:25 am | by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press | News | Comments

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — General Motors is putting more muscle into making Corvettes. The automaker said Wednesday it will invest $131 million — and add about 250 jobs — at the south-central Kentucky assembly plant that produces the classic muscle car. The investment allows GM to produce the next-generation Corvette at the Bowling Green plant.

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Technology Behind bin Laden Raid

May 4, 2011 6:08 am | Videos | Comments

CrossMatch Technologies, based in Palm Beach, Florida, has developed some of the high-tech devices that the U.S. military uses out in the field. One of them includes SEEK, which can capture fingerprints, facial images, or iris images, allowing operatives to determine the identities of captured or killed combatants without having to wait for a DNA test.

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Robots Learn To Slaughter

May 4, 2011 6:02 am | Videos | Comments

Mayekawa Manufacturing has developed the HAMDAS-R, a robotic system for automated ham boning. What makes it unique is the ability to be flexible for the variety of meat that would theoretically come down the line, while still producing consistent results. We’ll try to stay away from any robots-taking-over-the-world jokes here, but this would be a remarkably intimidating tool for them to use.

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Getting A "Kiss" Over The Internet

May 4, 2011 6:00 am | Videos | Comments

A student at The University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo, Japan, has developed the “Oral Communication Device,“ which is a robotic way to transmit a “kiss“ over a computer. As the student demonstrates, one user initiates the kiss, while the other experiences it through a second device.

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Caught Looking

May 4, 2011 5:07 am | Blogs | Comments

Over the weekend, we had one of those strange 80-degree April days that caught everybody off-guard. It was supposed to thunderstorm all afternoon, but wound up being partly sunny, hot and muggy—a welcome surprise for those of us in Wisconsin who aren’t good skiers and spend the winter mostly indoors.

Analyst: Japanese Car Shortages Could Benefit GM

May 4, 2011 4:54 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors Co. should benefit more than any U.S. competitors from the shortage of Japanese cars resulting from the earthquake in Japan, a Credit Suisse analyst wrote Tuesday in upgrading the stock. That could boost the biggest U.S. automaker's earnings this year by 60 cents a share, Credit Suisse said.

Boeing Will Deliver First 787 In 3Q 2011

May 4, 2011 4:44 am | News | Comments

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Boeing will deliver its first 787 jet in third-quarter 2011 and roll out two of the long-delayed new planes each month after that, a company executive said Tuesday in the Chilean capital. Latin America is an important market for Boeing, with 11,000 company jets flying in the region and requests pending for 3,400 more.

BMW Profit Quadruples On Accelerating Sales Worldwide

May 4, 2011 4:31 am | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German luxury carmaker BMW says first-quarter net profit rose almost fourfold to euro1.21 billion ($1.79 billion) as sales climbed all around the world, but particularly in China. Profits were up from last year's euro324 million. Revenues grew 29 percent to euro16.

Geithner: China Needs To Move Faster On Its Currency

May 4, 2011 4:28 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday that China needs to make more progress on economic issues vital to America's interests, including speeding up the rise of its currency against the dollar. Critics say an undervalued yuan is swelling China's trade surplus. Geithner said a stronger yuan would help reduce trade imbalances and bolster China's efforts to restrain inflation.

Turning Chicken Feathers Into Plastic Bottles

May 4, 2011 4:22 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Researchers have developed ways to substitute chicken feathers for petroleum in some plastic products, and at least two companies are working to bring items ranging from biodegradable flower pots to office furniture to market. The substitution would allow the U.S. to cut back on its oil use, however slightly, and give poultry producers another market for the more than 3 billion pounds of leftover chicken feathers they have each year, the developers and others said.

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AP: Economic Stress Reaches Three-Month Low

May 4, 2011 4:20 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Mike Schneider, Associated Press | News | Comments

Lower unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures in March reduced the nation's economic stress to its lowest point this year, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country. More than 85 percent of the nation's 3,141 counties and every state but two — Louisiana and South Dakota — enjoyed better conditions in March than in February, the AP's Economic Stress Index showed.

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