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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Next-Generation Industrial Doors

August 25, 2010 11:50 am | Product Releases | Comments

Goff’s Enterprises has developed a customized high-speed roll-up door, the “G-2 Door,” which features replaceable and exchangeable panels in vinyl, mesh, and clear PVC. The panels allow users to replace sections of the door with changing seasons without downtime or destruction.

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Self-Contained CNC Fixtures

August 25, 2010 11:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

The S.C.P.U. (Self-Contained Power Unit) from Kirsan Engineering was designed to eliminate the possibility of human error when hydraulically actuating machining fixtures. With the S.C.P.U., the hydraulic pump is integral to the fixture, and when the machining process is complete, the last tool used is then programmed to release the hydraulic press by depressing the release valve.

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Foxconn's Ineffective 'Morale Rallies'

August 25, 2010 8:30 am | Articles | Comments

Last week, Foxconn held a morale-boosting parade in order to stem the wave of suicides that have marred the company’s reputation. While workers certainly couldn’t complain about a little R&R, they were still skeptical of the rally’s effectiveness in making workers happier. One woman says the theatrics are worthless, and that Foxconn needs to start treating its workers like human beings instead.

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China's Straddling Buses

August 25, 2010 6:04 am | Articles | Comments

China is well-known for its massive industrial surge, but their clogged infrastructure is starting to become a major issue, if that 10-day traffic jam is any indication. So what's their solution? A little something called “straddling buses.” These buses travel on two parallel sets of tracks, with one major difference: there is space beneath for cars to pass through, allowing for more traffic and less congestion.

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A Pickup That Runs On Human... Waste

August 25, 2010 5:44 am | Articles | Comments

Automotive innovation is what originally put Flint, Michigan on the map, and this pickup is no different. The “brown” technology is being developed for potential use among all Flint municipal vehicles, which are in the process of being converted to natural gas. For all intents and purposes, the car is more or less unchanged, save for an extra fuel tank.

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High Schoolers Make A Better Car

August 25, 2010 5:39 am | Articles | Comments

Think high school students can't make anything worthwhile? While these students based their vehicle off the used frame from an Indy car, the drivetrain technology is all their own. Accoring to those involved, the car is capable of achieving the equivalent of 450mpg. Better yet? Programs like these are what inspire young Americans to take engineering and manufacturing as serious career choices.

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Minnesota Struggles To Keep Ford Truck Plant

August 25, 2010 5:04 am | News | Comments

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty meets Wednesday with Ford Motor Co. executives to talk about the future of the company's St. Paul truck plant. Pawlenty's official schedule lists a private meeting at the Ford Product Development Center in Dearborn, Mich. The Republican governor is traveling with St.

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Northrop Grumman Cutting 642 Miss. Workers

August 25, 2010 4:42 am | News | Comments

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Northrop Grumman Corp. plans to lay off 642 workers at its Pascagoula shipyard by the end of the year, the company said. The first 292 affected workers were notified Wednesday under a federal law requiring 60 days notice of layoffs that affect 500 or more people. The company told The Mississippi Press that the layoffs are due to the cyclical nature of shipbuilding, including the timing of contracts.

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July A Bleak Month For Manufactured Goods

August 25, 2010 4:41 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies cut back on their investments in equipment and machines last month as the economic recovery lost momentum. Overall orders for big-ticket manufactured goods increased 0.3 percent in July, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. But that was only because of a 76 percent jump in demand for commercial aircraft.

Company Apologizes For Ammonia Leak, Restarts Operations

August 25, 2010 4:36 am | News | Comments

THEODORE, Ala. (AP) — A refrigeration company says it's sorry for the ammonia leak that sent dozens of people to hospitals around Mobile. Millard Refrigerated Services issued a statement late Tuesday apologizing to people who reported medical problems or experienced discomfort because of the leak at its plant in Theodore along an industrial canal.

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Wyo. Plant Turns Sugar Cane Waste Into Biofuel

August 25, 2010 4:35 am | by Bob Moen, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming is a long way from places where sugar cane is grown, but a test plant in the northeast part of the state will soon be turning sugar cane waste into biofuel. KL Energy Corp., based in Rapid City, S.D., and Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras announced an agreement Tuesday to produce cellulosic ethanol from sugar cane bagasse, the waste created when sugar cane is processed into sugar.

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RV-Maker Reopens Ind. Plant For Luxury Trailers

August 25, 2010 4:34 am | News | Comments

SYRACUSE, Ind. (AP) — A recreational vehicle company says it has bought a closed factory in northern Indiana where it plans to start building a new line of luxury trailers in the coming months. Thor Industries subsidiary Redwood RV announced Tuesday its purchase of the factory in Syracuse that was formerly owned by Ameri-Camp RV, which shut down in 2008.

Experimenting With Supercritical Fluids

August 24, 2010 6:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

Supercritical Fluid Technologies, Inc. (Newark, DE) has developed the SFT-150 Supercritical Fluid Extraction/Reaction System, which allows users to investigate the feasibility of applying supercritical fluid techniques to various processing situations. A modular design makes it easy and cost-effective to alter the unit’s basic configurations, adapting it to meet new or evolving application needs, according to the company.

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Damage-Free Flange Spreading

August 24, 2010 6:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

Flange Spreaders separate pipe flanges for the replacement of the flange gasket or the reapplication sealant to the flange face. The Safety Boy Flange Spreader, from WM.L.RIGGS Company (Tulsa, OK) attaches to the flange mounting holes and spreads the flange faces without the risk of damage to the flange sealing surfaces.

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Easier Than Hand Tapping

August 24, 2010 6:55 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Speedaire Hand Tappers, which are ideal for general purpose tapping, are now available from W.W. Grainger (Lake Forest, IL). They eliminate time-wasting hand tapping with a pneumatic high-reversal-type motor with added torque, which allows the tapper to handle a range of tap sizes. A quick-change tool holding provides tap-changing flexibility and accepts optional clutch-type tap holders.

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Pump The Tough Stuff

August 24, 2010 6:54 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Moyno (Springfield, OH) 2000 CC pump is designed for industrial applications where close-coupled configurations are preferred, but the robustness of a gear joint drive is needed, according to the company. The pump has a sealed gear-type joint drive train, plus a design to efficiently transfer abrasive, high-solid content materials.

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Plug-In Hybrids: The Next Sane Step In 'Green' Cars?

August 24, 2010 5:02 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — David Sandalow starts his five-mile commute each day by unplugging an orange extension cord connecting his Toyota Prius hybrid to an outlet in his brick carport. His Prius, which was converted two years ago to allow him to recharge the battery from an electric outlet, gets more than 80 miles per gallon and lets him drive 30 miles on a single charge.

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Coca-Cola Starts $33 Million Northampton Expansion

August 24, 2010 4:45 am | News | Comments

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — A Coca-Cola Co. bottling plant in Northampton expects to add about 40 permanent jobs by the time a 16,000-square-foot expansion is completed. The $33 million project announced Monday will allow the plant to produce more bottled and cartoned juices in addition to the Vitamin Water and Powerade it already bottles at the site.

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NHTSA Beefs Up Investigation Into Stalling Toyotas

August 24, 2010 4:42 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — The U.S. government has beefed up its investigation into Toyota's Corolla and Matrix vehicles because of a possible engine defect that might cause them to stall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement that it was raising its preliminary evaluation to a more serious scrutiny called an engineering analysis to look into the problems that could cause the engine to stall, not start or to shift gear harshly.

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Ammonia Leak At Chicken Plant Puts 120 In Hospital

August 24, 2010 4:41 am | by Melissa Nelson, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

THEODORE, Ala. (AP) — An ammonia leak at a coastal Alabama chicken distribution plant sent more than 120 people to the hospital on Monday, including four patients in intensive care, and forced residents to hide in their homes while warning sirens blared. At least 29 people were admitted to Mobile-area hospitals, including the four in intensive care.

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