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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Retail Sales Crush Thoughts Of Double-Dip Recession

September 14, 2010 4:48 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Retail sales rose in August by the largest amount in five months, adding to evidence that a late spring economic swoon was temporary and not the start of another recession. Retail sales rose 0.4 percent last month, the best advance since March, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Corn Syrup Makers Seek New Name: Corn Sugar

September 14, 2010 4:46 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Marketing Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — The makers of high fructose corn syrup want to sweeten up its image with a new name: corn sugar. The bid to rename the sweetener by the Corn Refiners Association comes as Americans' concerns about health and obesity have sent consumption of high fructose corn syrup, used in soft drinks but also in bread, cereal and other foods, to a 20-year low.

Mott's Workers Approve Contract After 4-Month Strike

September 14, 2010 4:39 am | News | Comments

WILLIAMSON, N.Y. (AP) — About 300 striking workers have approved a new labor contract with Mott's and will return next week to their jobs at the company's apple juice plant in western New York. Officials with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union say hourly employees at the Wayne Countyplant voted Monday 185 to 62 in favor of the contract and will return to work Monday, four months after they went on strike over proposed wage and benefit reductions.

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Kraft Facility Undergoes 'Flexible' Restart After Shooting

September 14, 2010 4:37 am | News | Comments

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Workers have returned to the Philadelphia Kraft Foods plant where a suspended employee fatally shot two co-workers and wounded a third last week. The Northeast Philadelphia plant reopened Sunday night, with counselors on hand to help employees cope with the aftermath of Thursday's shooting.

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Boeing Demolishes Plant 2, Home To 'Rosie The Riveter'

September 14, 2010 4:36 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

SEATTLE, Washington (AP) — The dilapidated factory that helped make Seattle a high-tech town is being demolished after 75 years, a casualty of time, technology and tails that grew too tall. Boeing Co.'s Plant 2, a sprawling but outdated building, gave birth to some of the world's most significant aircraft.

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Harley Workers Divided, Disgruntled Over Being 'Threatened'

September 14, 2010 4:31 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc.'s three Wisconsin unions have agreed to a contract with steep concessions. Now it's up to the company to confirm it won't move its production out of the state. Harley's board of directors was scheduled to review the voting results Tuesday from the unions, which all agreed to accept the new contract to save jobs.

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Implementing On-the-Fly Motor Phasing

September 14, 2010 4:03 am | by Siemens Industry, Drive Technologies & Motion Control | Articles | Comments

Located in Glen Carbon, Ill., near St. Louis, FASTechnology Group (FASTech) is an industrial controls system integration and manufacturing company that specializes in turnkey automation systems.  Siemens Simotion package combines motion control, drive control, and logic control. With its core expertise in the commercial printing industry, FASTech is often called upon to affect changes in the control architecture and drive mechanics on the very largest printing and bindery equipment in the industry.

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Multi-Parameter Gas Detection

September 13, 2010 7:59 am | Product Releases | Comments

Seacoast Science, Inc. and Forston Labs (Fort Collins, CO) has launched the Forston Mini Gas Chromatograph (GC), which uses MEMS technology developed for the Army Research Laboratories. The Forston Mini GC is ideal for industrial processing, quality control applications, and a wide range of safety applications, according to the company.

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Modular, Customizable IT Cabinets

September 13, 2010 7:58 am | Product Releases | Comments

A new IT cabinet with an extrusion-based modular design, advanced cable management, and convex perforated doors is now available from Optima EPS (Lawrenceville, GA). According to the company, the modular design allows users to customize the cabinets for specific requirements, in addition to integrated ground points plus removable sides, panels, and doors.

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A Better Piston Gauge

September 13, 2010 7:57 am | Product Releases | Comments

Fluke Calibration (Everett, WA) has introduced the PG9607 piston gauge, which delivers unequaled performance for the measurement of absolute and gauge pressures up to 500 kPa (72.5 psi). The PG9607 piston gauge has a 100g mass load to allow a wide range of pressure defined by a single piston-cylinder assembly, and a new 50mm piston-cylinder design.

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Safer Safety Circuits

September 13, 2010 7:57 am | Product Releases | Comments

Elobau Sensor Technology Inc. (Lake Bluff, IL) has developed a line of interlock switches for safety applications by monitoring and interrupting the safety circuit, depending on the position of the machine guard. The locking solenoid holds the guard closed until a stored energy hazard has dissipated.

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It's Time To Learn More About Humidity

September 13, 2010 6:00 am | by Ken Appel, Manager for Regulated Markets for Veriteq, a Vaisala Company | Articles | Comments

Have you seen the FDA’s web site home page recently — www.fda.gov ? Here are some other recent headlines to consider: September 2, 2010 – Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration “We expect El Niño to strengthen and persist through the winter months, providing clues as to what the weather will be like during the period,” says Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center — a division of the National Weather Service.

Sub-Zero Workers Accept 20 Percent Pay Cuts To Keep Jobs

September 13, 2010 4:46 am | News | Comments

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Union workers at Madison-based Sub-Zero/Wolf have agreed to a deal that will save their jobs, but with a 20 percent cut in pay and benefits over a year. Company vice president Chuck Verri tells the Wisconsin State Journal on Friday that the agreement runs through October 2018 and will save the jobs of about 200 workers.

OSHA Investigating Deadly Kan. Flash Fire

September 13, 2010 4:45 am | News | Comments

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Federal authorities have begun investigating a flash fire that killed one worker and injured another at a central Kansas business. The fire Wednesday at Woodwork Manufacturing in Hutchinson killed 46-year-old Kevin Lewis of Burrton. The Hutchinson News reports that the U.

Harley CEO Urges Wis. Workers To Accept Concessions

September 13, 2010 4:43 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The chief executive of Harley-Davidson Inc. has urged Wisconsin employees to approve an unpopular labor contract Monday, telling them the motorcycle company is prepared to move on without them if they turn it down. CEO Keith Wandell wrote a letter last week telling the workers it's up to them to decide whether they want to remain part of Harley's future.

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Kraft Shooter Fired For Co-Worker 'Feuds'

September 13, 2010 4:42 am | by MaryClaire Dale, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Kraft Foods plant worker who had been suspended for feuding with colleagues, then escorted from the building, returned minutes later with a handgun, found her foes in a break room and executed two of them with a single bullet each and critically wounded a third, police said Friday.

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Calif. Ponders Gagging 'Obnoxious' Motorcycles

September 13, 2010 4:40 am | by Daisy Nguyen, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

CALABASAS, Calif. (AP) — The laid-back vibe of this affluent Los Angeles suburb gets a jarring wakeup on weekends when hundreds of motorcycles thunder through the Santa Monica Mountains, triggering car alarms, rattling windows and jolting alive barking dogs. "They rev their engines with complete disregard for the people who live here," complained neighborhood resident Tonia Aery.

Stimulus-Funded Car Batteries Roll Off Assembly Lines

September 13, 2010 4:37 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first wave of mass-produced advanced batteries funded by the Obama administration's economic recovery program is starting to roll off assembly lines, setting the stage for new hybrid and electric vehicles. So how will consumers respond? Fending off criticism of the $787 billion stimulus program, the administration has cited the battery industry as one of the success stories.

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Your Car, The Fire Hazard

September 10, 2010 11:16 am | Articles | Comments

According to the US Fire Administration statistics from 2008, a quarter of all vehicle fires are electrical in nature. U.S. automobile organizations are paying attention to these hazards and are also looking ahead to the next generation of electric vehicles. by Guillemette Paour , Global Market Manager, Automotive, Tyco Electronics Circuit Protection As automobile electronics become more sophisticated, so does the vehicle’s electric system.

Formulating Your Energy Master Plan

September 10, 2010 11:12 am | by Jerry Cater, Senior Associate, LEED AP BD+C and Zach Platsis, LEED AP O+M and Energy Specialist, SSOE Group's Sustainable and Renewable Solutions | Articles | Comments

Not too long ago, making decisions about a company’s energy management and sustainability was a fairly uncomplicated process for most facility managers. Switching to fluorescent lighting, replacing the HVAC to a more efficient system or upgrading to a more integrated process controls architecture to streamline production.

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