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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Why OSHA Was Created

December 21, 2010 5:00 am | Videos | Comments

Considering how long ago the U.S. went through its industrial revolution, it's surprising that OSHA wasn't formed and ratified until 1971. The organization, which is now a staple in any workplace, was formulated because in the two preceding years, some 28,000 workers died from workplace hazards. Every year, another two million were disabled or harmed.

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Who Said Biofuels Are Boring?

December 21, 2010 4:56 am | Videos | Comments

While much of the world's attention is currently focused on electric cars, the development of 2nd generation biofuels is moving ahead significantly as well. Researchers of the University of Twente, in cooperation with BTG (as part of the Biocoup consortium) have reached a breakthrough in the conversion of biomass into liquid biofuel.

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Turning Bombs Into Robots

December 21, 2010 4:55 am | Videos | Comments

CNN reports on an old weapons factory in Baghdad that now makes robots that will help Iraqi police and military in the disposal of bombs. The most incredible thing about the story is what the factory — and its manager — used to make under the Hussein regime: bombs. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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GM Using Gulf Spill Oil Boom In Production Of Volt

December 21, 2010 3:57 am | by Harry R. Weber, Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Boom from the BP oil spill is getting a new charge from the maker of the Chevrolet Volt electric car. General Motors says that instead of going to landfills, roughly 100 miles of plastic boom material will be converted into vehicle parts. The parts deflect air around the vehicle's radiator.

SEC To Investigate Hurd's Devastating Ouster From HP

December 21, 2010 3:42 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mark Hurd is facing more fallout from his ouster five months ago as CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's biggest personal computer and printer maker. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the circumstances of Hurd's forced resignation in August, a surprising exit that triggered an immediate $9 billion drop in HP's market value and involved allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate sharing of inside information.

Union Leaders Not Happy With Kohler Contract

December 21, 2010 3:38 am | News | Comments

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — Union workers at Kohler Co. have approved a new contract against the recommendation of their leaders. The contract passed with 62 percent of the vote. Vote totals were not made available immediately following the vote Sunday in Sheboygan. The contract calls for a 5-year pay freeze, and workers will pay more for health insurance.

Pfizer Recalls More Lipitor For Strange Odor

December 21, 2010 3:36 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Drug developer Pfizer Inc. on Tuesday recalled a batch of 19,000 bottles of the blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor, citing a consumer complaint about an "uncharacteristic" odor. The latest announcement marks the fourth such recall since August over similar issues. Pfizer said the bottles were supplied by an outside manufacturer, though it did not identify the party.

A Timeline Of Our Gas-Guzzling Nation

December 21, 2010 3:35 am | by the Associated Press | News | Comments

Experts say U.S. gasoline demand is at the start of a long-term decline following seven decades of mostly uninterrupted growth. Here are key moments marking the rise and fall: 1905 — Country's first gasoline filling station is built in St. Louis. 1946 — Gasoline demand rises 25 percent the year after World War II ends.

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Toyota To Pay Record $32.4 Million Fine Over Recalls

December 21, 2010 3:34 am | by Ken Thomas and Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay the U.S. government a record $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis. The civil penalties will settle investigations into how Toyota dealt with recalls over accelerator pedals that could get trapped in floor mats and steering relay rods that could break and lead to drivers losing control.

Multimeters And Calibrators, Combined

December 20, 2010 7:52 am | Product Releases | Comments

Yokogawa (Newnan, GA) has announced the CA450 Process Multimeter, which combines the functionality of a digital multimeter and a 4-20mA loop calibrator into a single instrument. The CA450 allows maintenance personnel to source and measure with a single handheld tool, which helps minimize the amount of equipment users have to carry.

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Thermal Imaging In High Definition

December 20, 2010 7:52 am | Product Releases | Comments

NEC Avio Infrared Technologies (San Fernando, CA) has introduced its new InfReC R300 high-definition thermal imager with a variety of capabilities, which includes a thermal movie recording mode, thermal/visible integrated images, a resolution (NETD) of 0.05°C, and an accuracy of ±1°C (1 percent).

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Prevent Spillage And Bad Odors

December 20, 2010 7:51 am | Product Releases | Comments

Carts and trucks covered with the covers/caps from EDGECO (Little Ferry, NJ) will keep odors contained and will not spill, according to the company. Material options for the covers include a fire-, bacterial-, and water-resistant vinyl or a heavy-duty nylon in a variety of sizes and colors. A shock cord in the hem provides for a snug fit.

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Epoxies For Electronic Components

December 20, 2010 7:48 am | Product Releases | Comments

Master Bond (Hackensack, NJ) had developed a thermally-conductive epoxy system that is designed to mitigate the issues associated with tightly-packed components and miniaturized electronic circuits. With a thermal conductivity of 22 BTU/in/ft²/hr/ºF and serviceability from -60 to 400°F, the EP21ANHT delivers in demanding microelectronic applications, according to the company.

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Industry And Sustainable Development

December 20, 2010 6:21 am | by Dr. Joerg Strassburger, Managing Director and Country Speaker, LANXESS India Private Ltd. | Articles | Comments

In today’s age of rapid urbanization and industrialization, sustainable development is certainly the need of the hour for businesses and governments at large. Regardless of the size of the organization, nature of business and geography, there is an incumbent need for everyone to take up this challenge of developing ways to meet the future demands while maintaining the necessary balance in the environment, all in a commercially viable manner.

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Made Lean In America

December 20, 2010 4:43 am | by Bruce Hamilton, OldLeanDude.org | Articles | Comments

I was struck by a comment made by Rhode Island Governor, Don Carcieri in his presentation to the Northeast Shingo Conference :  At the turn of the 19th century, his state was  first  in the nation in manufacturing, virtually the birthplace of modern manufacturing in the US and a leader in wealth creation.

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Smartphone Makers Battling More In Court Than The Market

December 20, 2010 4:15 am | by Jessica Mintz, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Competition among smart phone makers is heating up at retail, in advertising and, increasingly, in the courtroom as handset and software makers wield patent lawsuits to protect their turf and slow down their rivals. Just a few years ago, smart phones were mainly for office workers who needed to check e-mail after hours.

Caterpillar, UAW Halt Contract Talks

December 20, 2010 3:58 am | News | Comments

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Negotiators for Caterpillar Inc. and the United Auto Workers are taking a break for the holidays and plan to resume talks on a contract on Jan. 11. The contract covers about 9,500 workers at a number of sites around Illinois and in three other states. The two sides met Thursday for about two hours.

Coal Shortages Cause Massive Blackouts In China

December 20, 2010 3:46 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Communities in central and northern China are facing power cuts and rationing as winter coal supplies fall short of surging demand. Cold weather and transport disruptions typically cause shortages most years, but the problem has been complicated by coal producers' unhappiness over price controls that are crimping their profits.

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Qatar Airways: We're Not Abandoning Boeing, Yet

December 20, 2010 3:39 am | by Adam Schreck, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar Airways' CEO voiced confidence in Boeing Co. over its delayed 787 program Saturday, but warned the fast-growing carrier may scrap orders for the planes if development problems drag on. Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker noted, however, that there are no current plans to amend Qatar Airways' multibillion-dollar orders for 30 787s and options for 30 more.

Lockheed Pays Feds $10.3 Million For Lying About Prices

December 20, 2010 3:38 am | by Greg Bluestein, Associated Press | News | Comments

ATLANTA (AP) — Defense company Lockheed Martin Corp. reached a $10.3 million settlement with the federal government Friday to resolve claims that the company's Georgia division inflated rates used to price contracts for the Air Force and Navy between 1996 and 2000. The settlement resolves prosecutors' claims that Lockheed mischarged costs in a commercial contract with Italian company Alenia Aerospazio to develop a tactical transport plane dubbed the C-27J, said U.

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