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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

OSHA: Spartech 'Inviting Tragedy' With Safety Violations

September 22, 2010 4:51 am | News | Comments

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Federal authorities have cited an Evanston plastics company that they say endangered employees through 16 serious safety violations. The action against Spartech Plastics LLC comes from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA says the company exposed workers to unguarded machinery and electrocution and amputation hazards.

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600 N.C. Jobs Saved Through Federal Stimulus Loan

September 22, 2010 4:49 am | by Johnny Whitfield, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WENDELL, N.C. (AP) — More than 600 people in Nash, Johnston and eastern Wake counties still have jobs because of provisions in a federal stimulus package that loosened underwriting rules for loans to companies in rural areas. Mortex, headquartered in Wendell, makes sportswear from raw materials and sells them under brand names such as Eagle to companies that print logos on them and sell them to colleges and universities across the country.

Two BP Workers Suffer Steam Burns

September 22, 2010 4:48 am | News | Comments

HOUSTON (AP) — A BP spokesman says two workers at the company's Texas City refinery have been hospitalized after suffering steam burns. Refinery spokesman Michael Marr said the accident happened about 4 p.m. Tuesday. He told the Houston Chronicle he had no other details on how the injuries occurred.

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AC Inverters For All Situations

September 21, 2010 10:58 am | Product Releases | Comments

High-Lites (Wallingford, CT) introduces the PFT Series of universal, fast transfer AC inverter systems. They’re designed to accommodate small- to medium-sized projects requiring emergency power back-up, and unlike ballast packs, they provide reliable emergency power sine wave output to any connected load or fixture.

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Brakes Get Bigger

September 21, 2010 10:58 am | Product Releases | Comments

Twiflex Limited/Hilliard Corp. (South Beloit, IL) is offering its grinding mill braking systems, which have wrap-around motors that measure 38’ in diameter by 45’ in length. The braking system is designed to provide both static and dynamic braking function, and the system can operate in two modes, stopping from full speed in an emergency or providing inching functions in the event of bearing lubrication or power failures.

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Take Your Computer Anywhere

September 21, 2010 10:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

The RC Series Mobile Powered Workstation from Newcastle Systems (Woburn, MA) has on-board power to run a laptop, a printer, and a scanner or other device for at least eight hours of normal use, according to the company. Its small footprint (18.5” x 22”) makes it ideal for narrow aisles and small spaces.

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Hybrids Cleaning Plant Floors

September 21, 2010 10:55 am | Product Releases | Comments

Brush and Clean (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) has announced the release of their HybridPro Carpet & Hard Floor Cleaner, which is designed to effectively clean both hard flooring and carpet. The system utilizes counter-rotating brushes to scrub and actively lift dirt, grime, and cleaning compound to instantly produce dry, clean surfaces, according to the company.

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A Post-Brunch Wave Of Regret

September 21, 2010 6:04 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

This past weekend, I returned to eggs for the first time since the recall. After five weeks of brunch abstinence, I went back to my favorite local Southwestern restaurant for their breakfast quesadilla. Sunday brunch is a staple, and I’d been avoiding it due to the recent bad press. This past weekend I was starting to waver.

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Subaru Hiring 100 At Ind. Plant On Rising Demand

September 21, 2010 4:58 am | News | Comments

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A Subaru assembly plant in central Indiana plans to add 100 full-time production jobs to its work force over the next six months. Subaru of Indiana Automotive says the new full-time workers will come from among its current temporary employees at the factory near Lafayette.

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Hyundai To Build Compact At Montgomery Factory

September 21, 2010 4:57 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Hyundai Motor Co. will begin building the new Elantra compact at its factory in Montgomery, Ala., late this fall, the Korean automaker announced Monday. The Elantra, previously built in South Korea, will be an all-new model introduced in showrooms early next year. It will make its U.

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Bulked-Up Salmon Might Become The New Normal

September 21, 2010 4:57 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) —  U.S. regulators are weighing whether to approve genetically modified salmon for human consumption, and if they do, it might not be labeled any differently from conventional fish. It is still unclear whether the Food and Drug Administration will approve the fish, which was created by a Massachusetts company and grows twice as fast as its conventional counterparts.

Firefighter Injured At Four-Alarm Peanut Butter Fire

September 21, 2010 4:54 am | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle firefighters have controlled a four-alarm blaze that tore through the former Sunny Jimpeanut butter plant in south Seattle, injuring a firefighter and sending smoke high into the air. An estimated 120 firefighters responded Monday to the vacant, city-owned, two-story building.

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Ford Abandons Ranger Pickup In North America

September 21, 2010 4:53 am | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. has confirmed that it will not sell the next generation of the small Ford Ranger pickup truck in North America. The market for small pickups has shrunk in recent years, and Ford believes it can cover the whole North American market with multiple versions of its F-150 full-size pickup truck, said Mark Schirmer, a spokesman for the Dearborn, Mich.

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Survey: Computers, Electronics Keep Getting Better

September 21, 2010 4:52 am | by Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Consumers are as happy as they've ever been with their computers, and those with Apple computers are the most pleased, a new survey says. The American Customer Satisfaction Index's score for personal computers, which is part of a larger survey that also includes consumer sentiments on home electronics, totaled 78 out of 100 for the past 12 months.

Platinum And Gold Sensors

September 20, 2010 12:18 pm | Product Releases | Comments

The S10 and S17 ORP Sensors from Electro-Chemical Devices (ECD — Irvine, CA) have a no-glass design with platinum or gold sensor tips to operate safely in a wide range of demanding applications. They come with easily-replaceable ORP cartridges that plug into a 316 stainless steel body, which incorporates the sensing element, a temperature module, and a signal conditioner with cabling.

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Piping And Fittings Get Better

September 20, 2010 12:17 pm | Product Releases | Comments

The Lubrizol Corporation (Cleveland, OH) offers a more durable, corrosion-resistant piping alternative with its Corzan HP pipe and fittings, which have a 25 percent higher pressure rating than standard CPVC at 180°F. The fittings are pressure-rated to the same pressure as the pipe. In addition, the Corzan HP fitting compound has also been tested to verify performance, and it has demonstrated improved creep resistance and the ability to better withstand long-term, high-temperature hydrostatic pressure.

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Built-Tough Floor Mats

September 20, 2010 12:17 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Superior Manufacturing Group (Chicago, IL) introduces the Dura Trax series, which is the latest in anti-fatigue floor mats for today’s industrial environments. The Dura Trax combines a rubber top surface with a dense sponge backing that utilizes the company’s UniFusion bonding process.

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Stronger, Safer Blowoff

September 20, 2010 12:16 pm | Product Releases | Comments

The new ¾ NPT Stainless Steel Super Air Nozzle from EXAIR (Cincinnati, OH) delivers 4.5 pounds blowing force for blowoff, cooling, and drying applications located in corrosive, high-temperature, and pharmaceutical environments. Its blowing strength makes it ideal for blowing heavy materials, according to the company.

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Performance With Intelligent Safety System Design

September 20, 2010 11:00 am | by George Schuster - CFSE, Senior Industry Consultant, Safety and Sustainability Solutions - Rockwell Automation | Articles | Comments

Ask any production line manager about the importance of safety and they will likely tell you about the critical role it plays in helping to protect personnel, reduce injuries, and meet compliance demands. These are all valid objectives, but manufacturers and machine builders are missing opportunities if they only focus on avoiding negative consequences rather than striving for greater performance — e.

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Is Student Debt Worth A College Degree?

September 20, 2010 9:31 am | by Mike Collins, Author, Saving American Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

The American dream has always been about upward mobility and the mantra for the last 50 years has been “just get a college education.” In the 1950s, only 10 percent of workers had bachelor's degrees. Then the mantra kicked in and people flocked to college. By 2007, 27 percent of the working people had four-year degrees.

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