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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

A Magical Mix

August 2, 2011 6:32 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

Childhood friends Eileen Spitalny and David Kravetz founded Fairytale Brownies in 1992 in a friend’s Old Town Scottsdale, AZ, catering kitchen. Using Kravetz’s mother’s 55-year-old secret family brownie recipe, the business started out selling to friends, farmers markets, and festivals.

The Robotic Renaissance

August 2, 2011 6:06 am | by Mike Jacobs, President of Applied Manufacturing Technologies | Articles | Comments

The convergence of three developments: more capable, less expensive robotic automation, demand by manufacturers to automate their production, and the National Robotics Initiative is fueling a “Robotic Renaissance” in the United States. As a leading supplier of factory automation design, engineering, and process consulting services, we at Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) have launched an aggressive hiring initiative to support the rebirth of this industry as a result of these three major developments.

Digital Projectors Merge Real, Virtual Worlds

August 2, 2011 5:59 am | Videos | Comments

Move over virtual reality, researchers at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute are taking spatially augmented reality to the next level with ''dynamic projection surfaces.'' The system moves projected images out into the real world, enabling multiple users to interact with their physical and virtual environments simultaneously.

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Copper Prices Fall On Weak Manufacturing Data

August 2, 2011 5:33 am | by Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Copper didn't have much of a chance to extend its brief rally. Weak manufacturing data from the United States and China combined with a stronger dollar Monday to snap two consecutive days of higher copper prices. Copper for September delivery fell 6.95 cents to settle at $4.41 a pound.

Wrangler To Rebuild Plant After Tornado

August 2, 2011 5:31 am | by Bob Johnson, Associated Press | News | Comments

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The largest employer in the small, northwest Alabama town of Hackleburg announced Monday night that it plans to rebuild a Wrangler plant wiped out by a massive April tornado, prompting cheers and celebration among workers and townsfolk. VF Corp. officials delivered the news that they would rebuild the distribution center destroyed by the April 27 storm that killed 18 people in Hackleburg in Marion County.

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Man Killed In AR Plant Accident Was Electrocuted

August 2, 2011 5:27 am | News | Comments

MARMADUKE, Ark. (AP) — A Brookland man who died after an accident at the American Railcar Industries factory in Marmaduke was electrocuted. The Greene County coroner says the state medical examiner has listed the cause of death of 28-year-old Joshua Buchanan on July 25 at American Railcar Industries as electrocution.

Boeing Receives $172M Korean Air Order

August 2, 2011 5:25 am | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. said Monday that it received an order from Korean Air for two additional 737-900 extended range jetliners worth $171.6 million at Boeing list prices. The airline said it is in the process of revamping its fleet with technologically advanced airplanes, and completed a cabin refurbishment project for its mid- to long-haul flights early this year.

CAT Plans $50M ND Plant Expansion

August 2, 2011 5:23 am | News | Comments

WEST FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A $50 million expansion project is planned at a North Dakota heavy equipment manufacturing company. Caterpillar Inc. officials and Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced the plans Monday for the company's West Fargo plant. It's expected to create about 250 new jobs, nearly doubling the current workforce at the plant.

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Ford Recalls 1M Pickup Trucks

August 2, 2011 5:20 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK, (Kyodo) — Ford Motor Co. is recalling a total of 1.1 million pickup trucks over a problem related to metal straps holding gas tanks that could rust and cause the tanks to fall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday. The recall covers three types of pickup trucks, including certain 1997 through 2004 F-150 models, the NHTSA said.

V-Lift Hydraulic Material Lift

August 1, 2011 12:13 pm IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Wildeck (Waukesha, WI) has released the new V-Lift Hydraulic Material Lift, a hydraulically operated, cantilever material lift that can be installed in a shaftway or free-standing with optional structural framing. The lift is designed to meet ANSI/ASME B20.1 “Safety Standard for Conveyors.

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Heavy-Duty Electric Walkie Straddle Stacker

August 1, 2011 12:12 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks (Houston, TX) has added a new 3,000-3,500 pound capacity Heavy-Duty Electric Walkie Straddle Stacker to its North American product line. The new PWT15 and PWT18 walkie stacker models feature an AC-powered drive motor and electric power steering option. Additional features extend the battery life and increase efficiency: the stacker can be powered-up with a key or optional keyless access pad and the stacker will automatically shut down after a set period of inactivity.

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Loosen Frozen Metal Parts

August 1, 2011 12:11 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Kroil from Kano Laboratories (Nashville, TN) dissolves rust and lubricates to loosen frozen metal parts. Kroil’s unique molecular structure facilitates penetration while maintaining a structure that breaks bonds due to corrosion or compression. It is available in 8 sizes, including a new 16.

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Smart Switch For RadioLinx Ethernet Radios

August 1, 2011 10:06 am | Product Releases | Comments

Prosoft Technology (Bakersfield, CA) has announced the new Smart Switch feature, supported in the RadioLinx Industrial Frequency Hopping Ethernet Radios for the 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz spectrums. With Smart Switch technology, the Ethernet radios are able to route packets over the network, managing the wireless network like a standard Ethernet switch, and creating peer-to-peer wireless Ethernet communication.

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July Another Weak Month For Auto Sales

August 1, 2011 9:27 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Car shoppers worried about the U.S. economy last month and that kept sales in a funk. U.S. sales of new cars and light trucks are expected to rise only slightly in July, as the debate over the debt limit and other economic worries kept buyers at home. Automakers are scheduled to report July sales starting around 11 a.

Lockheed Martin Wins $60M Army Contract

August 1, 2011 9:24 am | News | Comments

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Defense contractor Lockheed Martin said Monday that it has received a $60 million contract from the Army to provide a night vision sensor for Apache attack helicopters. The follow-on pact includes 23 Arrowhead night vision sensor kits for the National Guard, plus U.

Honda Considers New Mexico Plant For Fit Subcompact

August 1, 2011 9:22 am | News | Comments

TOKYO, Aug. 1 (Kyodo) — Honda Motor Co. is considering building a new plant in Mexico to make the Fit subcompact, which is currently exported to North America from Japan, company officials said Monday. Honda may begin building the plant as soon as next year with the aim of starting production in 2014, the officials said.

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China Secretly Recruited 10,000 Workers For Aircraft Program

August 1, 2011 9:19 am | News | Comments

SHANGHAI, Aug. 1 (Kyodo) — After China confirmed for the first time last week that it is pursuing an aircraft carrier program, residents in Changxing Island just north of Shanghai said authorities have secretly recruited 10,000 workers in an apparent move to build China's first domestic aircraft carrier.

New Mileage Standards Aim For Less Fuel Use

August 1, 2011 9:14 am | by Dina Cappiello, Tom Krisher, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and automakers ushered in what could be the largest cut in fuel consumption since the 1970s on Friday with a deal that would save drivers money at the pump and dramatically cut heat-trapping gases coming from tailpipes. The agreement pledges to double overall fuel economy to 54.

Manufacturing Growth Hits Lowest Level In 2 Years

August 1, 2011 9:11 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturers had their weakest growth in two years in July, a sign that the economy could weaken this summer. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 50.9 percent in July from 55.

EAM 8.5 Does More

August 1, 2011 7:53 am | Product Releases | Comments

Infor (Alpharetta, GA) has developed new functionality for its leading asset management solution, Infor Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) 8.5. These enhancements allow users to be more effective in managing their assets: Graphical Scheduling Planning Board—a streamlined, graphical process to schedule resources with advanced filtering across multiple weeks.

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