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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Fire Destroys PA Recycling Plant

August 3, 2011 4:55 am | News | Comments

NAZARETH, Pa. (AP) — A fire has destroyed an eastern Pennsylvania recycling plant and sent massive clouds of black smoke high into the air. The fire began Tuesday morning at Nicos Polymers Group in Plainfield Township, 55 miles north of Philadelphia. Two hundred firefighters spent much of the day knocking down the heavy flames at the 180,000-square-foot fabricated steel structure.

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New Bulk Bag Filling Line

August 2, 2011 11:09 am | Product Releases | Comments

A new Bulk Bag Filling Line from Flexicon (Bethlehem, PA) automatically dispenses pallets, fills bulk bags, and accumulates filled bags for removal by forklift. The dispenser, which holds up to 15 pallets, is equipped with a powered roller conveyor that removes the bottom-most pallet from the stack, and positions it beneath the cantilevered fill head.

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ORBIS Double-Deck Recycled Plastic Pallets

August 2, 2011 11:07 am | Product Releases | Comments

C&H Distributors (Milwaukee, WI) have added to their recycled product line and now offer a variety of ORBIS reusable plastic pallets made from 100 percent recycled material. The ORBIS Double-Deck Plastic Pallet permits greater stability and support of heavy loads. 100 percent recyclable structural foam construction means pallets will not absorb moisture and are easy to clean and repair.

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LPS Monitor Senses Water Leaks

August 2, 2011 11:05 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new LPS monitor from CAT PUMPS (Minneapolis, MN) is designed to sense water leakage past the low pressure seals and alert maintenance personnel that the pump seals need replacing before pump drive components are at risk. Models are available for PLC or PC interfaces, and an indicator light model is are available when a PC or PLC interface is not used.

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GE To Produce 228 Wind Turbines

August 2, 2011 9:02 am | News | Comments

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) — General Electric Co. and Wind Capital Group said Monday that they reached a deal for 228 wind turbines along with operations and maintenance services for a pair of projects in Oklahoma and Kansas. Financial terms were not disclosed. Under the agreement, GE will supply 94 of its 1.

Americans Cut Spending For First Time In 2 Years

August 2, 2011 9:00 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut their spending in June for the first time in nearly two years after seeing their incomes grow by the smallest amount in nine months. The latest data offered a troubling sign for an economy that is adding few jobs and barely growing. Consumer spending dropped 0.

U.S. Auto Industry Remains Unsure With Weak July Sales

August 2, 2011 8:57 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Car buyers kept visiting dealerships in July, but not in big enough numbers to shake the auto industry's unease about its recovery. Analysts predicted only a slight rise in U.S. sales of new cars and trucks for July. A lack of discounts and continuing shortages of Japanese cars kept many buyers away, causing sales to sputter for the third straight month.

Workers Fired For Collecting Unemployment

August 2, 2011 8:53 am | News | Comments

GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — A recreational vehicle factory in northern Indiana has fired more than 20 people for collecting unemployment benefits while also collecting paychecks for their jobs. Keystone RV fired the workers from the Goshen factory Monday after reviewing monthly reports from the state Department of Workforce Development for a year, said Timothy Edwards, the factory's human resources manager.

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850 Hanford Workers Face Layoffs

August 2, 2011 8:50 am | News | Comments

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — About 850 union members are facing layoffs in two months as Hanford contractors cut workers because federal stimulus money for cleanup work at the nuclear reservation in Washington state is running out. The president of the Hanford Atomic Trades Council, Dave Molnaa, told the Tri-City Herald on Monday he has not seen layoffs of that magnitude since the mid-1990s.

Plan Would Trade Electric Rate Cuts For Jobs

August 2, 2011 8:48 am | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio regulators are proposing that companies get breaks of up to 20 percent on their electric bills based on the number of jobs they create and investments in the state, while other electric customers would pay more to cover much of the discounts. The plan is drawing mixed reactions from business groups and is on the radar of a state consumer watchdog, The Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday.

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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