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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Q&A with Mike Pulick and Deb Oler, Grainger U.S.

May 10, 2010 10:47 am | by Michael A. Pulick Deb Oler | Articles | Comments

W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2009 sales of $6.2 billion, is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating products with an expanding presence in Asia and Latin America. Michael A. Pulick was named President, Grainger U.

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Long-Term Peristaltic Pumps

May 10, 2010 7:29 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Airtec Products Corp. (Fall River, MA) now offers the Aspen Pumps’ Purple Series of peristaltic condensate pump kits for minisplit air conditioners. These pumps are ideal in applications where excess dirt or oil create blockages in conventional minisplit condensate pumps.

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Curtains Save Your Climate

May 10, 2010 7:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Climate Curtains from Goff’s Enterprises, Inc. (Pewaukee, WI) are designed to reduce temperature loss and separate space with double-paneled vinyl curtain walls lined with Thinsulate from 3M. These curtains are ideal in applications involving freezer and cooler areas, loading docks, food processing lines, and warehouse separation, according to the company.

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A Voice-Guided Warehouse

May 10, 2010 7:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

Voxware (Hamilton, NJ) has developed Voxware 3, a voice-recognition software suite for manufacturing facilities and warehouses. The Adaptive Voice Framework is customizable and highly flexible, according to the company, allowing customers to alter their voice control as their manufacturing assets grow from one warehouse to three, for example.

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Blow Guns Made Easier

May 10, 2010 7:25 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Coilhose Pneumatics (East Brunswick, NJ) introduces an extended trigger system for its high-force blow gun, the Coilhose Cannon. The metal handle retrofit kit enables the user to more easily operate the gun while wearing protective gloves with a long lever-style mechanism.

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Oil Rig Cutoff Valves Unreliable Under Weak Regulation

May 10, 2010 5:01 am | by Jeff Donn and Seth Borenstein, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

HOUSTON (AP) — Cutoff valves like the one that failed to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster have repeatedly broken down at other wells in the years since federal regulators weakened testing requirements, according to an Associated Press investigation. These steel monsters known as blowout preventers or BOPs — sometimes as big as a double-decker bus and weighing up to 640,000 pounds — guard the mouth of wells.

Wisconsin Tops Nationwide Cheese Production

May 10, 2010 4:52 am | News | Comments

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Federal statistics show that Wisconsin is still the nation's big cheese. Wisconsin produced 2.65 billion pounds of cheese last year. That accounted for a nation-best 26 percent of the U.S. cheese output in 2009. Wisconsin also produced 477 million pounds of specialty cheese last year.

Apple Ups Our Fruit Intake... Again

May 10, 2010 4:48 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

It came to my attention last week that Apple had reached the distinguished honor of selling its one millionth iPad in just 28 days of the product’s market emergence. Not just an amazing figure for anyone, this feat is even outstanding for Apple—the teacher’s pet of technology.

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Is Apple Smarter Than I Am?

May 10, 2010 4:48 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | News | Comments

It came to my attention last week that Apple had reached the distinguished honor of selling its one millionth iPad in just 28 days of the product’s market emergence. Not just an amazing figure for anyone, this feat is even outstanding for Apple—the teacher’s pet of technology.

Iowa Meatpacker Paid Disabled Workers 41 Cents Per Hour

May 10, 2010 4:40 am | News | Comments

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A federal report castigated a Texas company for abusing and underpaying several mentally disabled men who were housed in a ramshackle building while working at an Iowa turkey processing plant. The report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Henry's Turkey Service underpaid the men at least $1 million over three years, verbally and physically abused them, and committed several major violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Des Moines Register reported Friday.

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Chinese Auto Sales Dip From March, Still Show Big Growth

May 10, 2010 4:34 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — The surge in China's auto sales has begun to falter with growth in passenger car sales for April easing to just over half the previous month's increase. There were 1.11 million passenger cars sold in April, up 34 percent from a year earlier, the state-affiliated China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Monday.

Automakers Unleash Electric Experiments On Oregon

May 10, 2010 4:26 am | by Richard Read | News | Comments

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Automakers are racing to unleash electric vehicles in Oregon, one of the nation's first significant test markets for plug-in cars. The Nissan Leaf, a four-door hatchback with 100-mile range, leads the pack of zero-emission sedans, with a suggested retail price of $23,780 after tax credits.

LaHood: More Fines Possible For Toyota

May 10, 2010 4:25 am | by Jay Alabaster, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

TOYOTA, Japan (AP) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Monday that Washington wants to see results from Toyota's efforts to improve safety, and more fines would be imposed if needed. "If a fine is required, I think everyone recognizes now that safety is our number one priority, and we will do all that we can to uphold the laws in our country," he said.

When The Utilities Cut You Off

May 7, 2010 8:58 am | Articles | Comments

American Crystal Sugar Company (ACS) is an agricultural cooperative involved in the growing and processing of sugar beets. It operates five sugar factories in the Red River Valley (northwestern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota) and one plant in Montana under the name Sidney Sugars, Inc.

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Wal-Mart Garbage, Phony Warranties & Diabolical Enablers

May 7, 2010 8:50 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

To say that I’m going to move forward with an unbiased opinion would be a flat lie. As the recent victim of techno-junk profiteering, I have bone-picking on the mind and a slew of conspirators who profited, however minimally, from a recent purchase of a bottom-shelf DVD player from a corporate punching bag.

Better Than HVAC

May 7, 2010 6:34 am | Product Releases | Comments

Trane (Chicago, IL) has developed the Performance Climate Changer air handler, with capacities up to 60,000 cfm. The air handler features energy recovery, airflow monitoring, and advanced humidity control options that improve the building environment and better control temperature and humidity.

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Breathe Easy

May 7, 2010 6:33 am | Product Releases | Comments

3M (St. Paul, MN) has expanded its reusable facepiece respirator line with the 3M Ultimate FX Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator FF-400 Series, designed for flexibility in extreme environments. The new facepiece enables a wide peripheral view, along with a quick assembly and disassembly.

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Keep Your Hands Cut-Free

May 7, 2010 6:33 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Kimberly-Clark Professional (Roswell, GA) has redeveloped its Jackson Safety G60 Purple Nitrile Cut Resistant Gloves, which now provide a higher level of cut resistance with more dexterity and comfort features. The gloves are ideal for use in metal fabrication, glass handling, automotive assembly, and other applications involving the handling of sharp parts.

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Hydrogen Powers The 21st Century

May 7, 2010 6:32 am | Product Releases | Comments

Plug Power (Latham, NY) has developed the GenDrive GD-160 and GD-170, which are fuel cell power units for a variety of material handling operations, including forklifts. The GenDrive holds enough fuel to sustain a counterbalanced truck at full-speed throughout an entire shift, without any reduction of power, unlike batteries.

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Toyota Expected To Find Profits Despite Recalls

May 7, 2010 5:22 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp., the world's top automaker, reports earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter on Tuesday. WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Toyota is fighting a serious quality crisis, having recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide since October for gas pedal defects, a faulty floor mat and a braking software glitch.

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