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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Embrace Process Signature Technology 

September 9, 2010 6:01 am | Articles | Comments

Quality issues cost companies billions of dollars each year, negatively impact brand reputations and damage customer loyalty. Competitive pressures in a global marketplace are making it both more urgent and more difficult to deal with these very real threats to core business success. In automotive manufacturing, and in highly regulated industries such as medical manufacturing, lives are at stake.

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Fish With 'Six-Packs'

September 8, 2010 9:52 am | Videos | Comments

A ten-year effort by University of Rhode Island scientist Terry Bradley to develop transgenic rainbow trout with enhanced muscle growth has yielded fish with “six-packs” and muscular shoulders. This development could ultimately provide a boost to the aquaculture industry. 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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Payroll Tax Break — A Good Idea? 

September 8, 2010 9:22 am | Videos | Comments

The heads of the AFL-CIO and the National Small Business Association join CNN to discuss a number of the economic policies that have been bouncing around the White House lately. While there are controversies around some of the specifics, both leaders agree: less payroll taxes on small business would mean more jobs.

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The Electric Car Land Speed Record

September 8, 2010 9:21 am | Videos | Comments

The "Buckeye Bullet," built by students and engineers at the Ohio State University, has beaten the world land speed record for an electric car, topping 307 mph in a recent test. So why is Ohio State spending all this time and money on an electric car that goes 307 mph? Dr. Georgia Rizzoni, the director for automotive research at Ohio State, thinks of this project as no different from the countless other bright minds who first pushed the gasoline engine to its limits many decades ago.

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The 'Beach Bot' Saves Lives

September 8, 2010 9:20 am | Videos | Comments

This "beach bot" device allows lifeguards to reach distressed swimmers faster, which could mean the difference between life and death. While the robot is still in a prototype stage, it could be outfitted with a number of accessories to tailor it to specific environments, including the military.

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Harley Could Cut Wis. Jobs Despite Concessions

September 8, 2010 5:10 am | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson could cut hundreds of jobs at its engine factory in Menomonee Falls, even if union members give the motorcycle maker the concessions it says it needs to remain competitive. The proposed contract given to union workers for consideration cuts 200 jobs by the end of 2012.

Kia Announces New CEO In Mood Lighting Shuffle

September 8, 2010 4:42 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Kia Motors promoted the chief of its overseas operations to the company's top executive job after his predecessor resigned following a global recall of more than 100,000 vehicles due to defective wiring. The new boss, Lee Hyoung-keun, will retain his current responsibilities while also overseeing domestic business, global corporate planning and production and labor-management relations, Kia spokesman Michael Choo said Wednesday.

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Peanut Exec Back In Business After Two-Year Investigation

September 8, 2010 4:40 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The peanut industry executive whose filthy processing plants were blamed in a salmonella outbreak two years ago that killed nine people and sickened hundreds more is back in the business. Stewart Parnell, former president of the now-bankrupt Peanut Corp. of America, is working as a consultant to peanut companies as the federal government's criminal investigation against him has languished for more than 18 months, The Associated Press has learned.

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Obama To Unleash Trio Of Tax Cuts, R&D Credits

September 8, 2010 4:35 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to give anxious Democrats a boost ahead of the November elections, President Barack Obama is pitching a trio of economic initiatives Wednesday and voicing unwavering opposition to Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthy. With the tax breaks for the top two percent of income earners set to expire at the end of the year, the White House sees the issue as an opportunity to draw a stark contrast with Republicans.

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BP Partially Blames Self For Oil Spill

September 8, 2010 4:32 am | by Dina Cappiello, Harry R. Weber, and Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Oil giant BP PLC laid much of the blame for the rig explosion and the massive Gulf of Mexico spill on itself, other companies' workers and a complex series of failures in an internal report released Wednesday before a key piece of evidence has been fully analyzed. In its 193-page report posted on its website, the British company described the incident as an accident that arose from a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces.

China Blackouts Factories, Villages To Meet Energy Targets

September 8, 2010 4:31 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese steel mills and mobile phone factories are being idled and thousands of homes in one area are doing without electricity as local governments order power cuts to meet energy-saving targets set by Beijing. Rolling blackouts and enforced power cuts are affecting key industrial areas.

Automating The Bottom Line

September 7, 2010 9:28 am | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers should always be looking for ways to improve processes, and accomplishing that task should be a focus shared by every member of the enterprise. Metcam is a manufacturing company located in Alpharetta, Georgia, just north of Atlanta. Founded in 1989, the company specializes in custom sheet metal fabrication serving a diverse industry base including commercial HVAC, healthcare, electronics, automotive, food service, and air filtration.

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Hygrometer Alarms

September 7, 2010 6:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

Seika Machinery, Inc. (Torrance, CA) introduces the McDry Signal Tower with ERC-301AD Hygrometer, which utilizes an alarm system and a wireless temperature/humidity data logger. With the new hygrometer, the light signal will flash and an audible alarm will sound when the humidity level goes over the set limit for a fixed period of time.

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A Range Of Filtration Products

September 7, 2010 6:44 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The NITRA line from Automation Direct (Cumming, GA) now includes several new products, such as the AF Series particulate and moisture separation air filters, pneumatic air pressure regulators, and particulate/moisture separation air filters. The AF air filters are available with 1/8 to 1” NPT female port sizes and either a semi-automatic or automatic drain.

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Faster, Safer Robotic Tooling

September 7, 2010 6:43 am | Product Releases | Comments

SAS Automation (Xenia, OH) offers the Semi-Automatic Tool Changer for accurate, repeatable mounting of robotic end-of-arm tooling, which quickly mounts a tool to the robot’s arm. The changer can automatically connect multiple ports, including air, vacuum, and electric, greatly reducing set-up time.

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Smarter Barcode Scanners

September 7, 2010 6:42 am | Product Releases | Comments

Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) announced its next-generation DataMan handheld industrial ID scanner, the DataMan 8000 Series, which uses IDMax technology for reading 1D and 2D codes regardless of size, quality, printing method, or surface. According to the company, the DataMan 8000 now comes with integrated liquid lens technology, which gives the maximum depth of field flexibility for an image-based handheld reader.

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Fine-Tuning Pump Performance Bands, Part Two

September 7, 2010 5:20 am | by Wallace Wittkoff, Hygienic Director, Dover's Pump Solutions Group (PSG) | Articles | Comments

Last time, we looked at how pump performance can be affected by a number of changing variables and how regulating “tight” vs. “loose” pump operation, in the form of controlling “slip” in continuous in-line blending operations, can optimize a pump’s performance.

Explosion At Ohio Auto Parts Plant Injures Nine

September 7, 2010 5:01 am | News | Comments

NORTHWOOD, Ohio (AP) — An explosion at an auto parts plant in northern Ohio has injured nine people. Authorities just outside Toledo say all the injuries appear to be minor. The explosion happened Tuesday morning at Faurecia (fahr-SEE'-uh) Interior Systems in Northwood. The company makes doors for a nearby Chrysler plant.

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Taiwanese Firm Raided After Shipping Machines To North Korea

September 7, 2010 4:57 am | by Debby Wu, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

Taiwanese investigators raided a local company after it shipped banned machinery to North Korea via a Chinese firm with ties to Pyongyang's military, a Taiwanese official said Tuesday. The owner of the Taiwanese company, Ho Li Enterprises, said that two computer-controlled machine tools used in the manufacture of engines were shipped to North Korea earlier this year, but said he was unaware he had broken the law.

Kia CEO Resigns After 100,000-Vehicle Recall

September 7, 2010 4:40 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The top executive at Kia Motors has resigned after the company recalled more than 100,000 vehicles worldwide over defective wiring, the automaker said Tuesday. Chung Sung-eun, vice chairman and CEO of South Korea's No. 2 automaker, stepped down on Friday, according to company spokesman Michael Choo.

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