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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Ford Focus Goes Global In Massive Cost-Savings Gamble

December 7, 2010 3:39 am | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. on Monday started high-volume production of its new Focus compact at its Saarlouis factory in Germany, the company said. Early U.S. production of the car is now under way at a factory near Detroit, with the Focus due in U.S. showrooms early next year. The car, designed in Europe for sale in 120 markets around the globe, will be built in mid-2011 in St.

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Jump-Starting Your Manufacturing Business In 2011

December 6, 2010 10:48 am | by Dave Mischler, President, Inner Circle Chicago | Articles | Comments

It is no secret that 2010 was tough for a lot of manufacturing business owners. However, 2011 is setting up to be a year of growth for many businesses and there is no reason yours cannot be a part of that. There are some straight-forward but important steps that you can take to help reinvigorate your business’s performance and get it on track to achieve your long-term goals.

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Brick By Brick

December 6, 2010 8:38 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

Aggressive investments in personnel and equipment, as well as proactive approaches to market trends, have helped Davisco build its cheese processing operations. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” is how boxing legend Muhammad Ali described his approach in the ring. And while neither family-owned Davisco Foods’ or their Lake Norden, South Dakota cheese factory are looking to pick a fight, parallels to this famous quote can be drawn in the way Davisco operates with extreme fluidity in making quick decisions that deliver a big impact for the company and customers like Kraft Foods.

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Find Leaks With Light

December 6, 2010 7:30 am | Product Releases | Comments

Tracer Products (Westbury, NY) has unveiled the new Tracerline TP-8690 OPTIMAX 3000, which is a portable, blue light LED fluorescent leak detection flashlight. With a focused beam, the OPTIMAX 3000 makes finding air-conditioning and fluid leaks easier than ever. The super-hi-flux LED technology delivers 15 times brighter leak detection light over regular LED lamps.

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No More Carpal Tunnel

December 6, 2010 7:30 am | Product Releases | Comments

Allegro Industries (Garden Grove, CA) is offering a number of back-supports, wrist supports, kneepads, and ankle and elbow supports, according to the company. The wrist supports address the problem of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) with five different designs, with each one made to help maintain a neutral position at the wrist while allowing for full movement of the hand and fingers.

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Bearings Are Better In 'HD'

December 6, 2010 7:29 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The Dodge Steel-Housed S-2000 HD spherical roller bearing from Baldor Electric Company (Fort Smith, AK) features an economical set screw shaft mount with a cast steel housing specifically designed for heavy-duty applications. The S-2000 HD bearings are available in pillow block and flange configurations, and are designed with a high-capacity, double row spherical bearing element that provides excellent misalignment tolerance.

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A Better Electric Lift Truck

December 6, 2010 7:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

Linde Material Handling—North America Corporation (Summerville, SC) has introduced its new RX60 series of electric counterbalanced sit-down lift trucks. The eight models in the series have capacities ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 pounds, and are ideal for any manufacturing businesses with a need for emission-free, high-performance trucks.

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Kraft Seeks Injunction Against Starbucks

December 6, 2010 4:14 am | News | Comments

NORTHFIELD, Illinois (AP) — Kraft Foods is seeking a preliminary injunction against Starbucks, saying Monday that the coffee chain violated terms of a distribution deal. The two businesses began arbitration proceedings late last month as Kraft tried to prevent Starbucks from ending an agreement to distribute and promote its packaged coffee in stores.

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Factory Orders Slipped In October On Cooled Demand

December 6, 2010 4:00 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories fell in October by the largest amount in five months, reflecting a big drop in demand for aircraft. Factory orders declined 0.9 percent in October, the Commerce Department reported Friday. It was the first setback since June and the biggest decline since a 1.

U.S., South Korea Sign Job-Creating Trade Agreement

December 6, 2010 3:51 am | by Julie Pace and Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and South Korea have reached an agreement on America's largest trade pact in more than a decade, a highly coveted deal the Obama administration hopes will boost U.S. exports and create tens of thousands of jobs at home. After a week of marathon negotiations, representatives from both countries broke through a stalemate Friday morning on outstanding issues related to the automobile industry, which have been a sticking point in the talks.

Mazda CEO: Ford Hasn't Abandoned Us

December 6, 2010 3:41 am | by Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automaker Mazda remains committed to its 30-year-old technical and strategic alliance with Ford although the US company is no longer its top shareholder, Mazda's chief said Monday. Ford cut its stake in Mazda from 11 percent to 3.5 percent last month, marking a symbolic shift in a longtime U.

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American Voices: How Would You Jumpstart The Economy?

December 6, 2010 3:40 am | News | Comments

The Associated Press asked people around the country to share their ideas on jump-starting the economy. Some responses: More stimulus: Carolyn Morrison is a Wake County, N.C., school board member who has spent more than 45 years in education. The public school she attended as a child in Lumberton, N.

Union Ratifies Pratt & Whitney Plant Closures

December 6, 2010 3:39 am | News | Comments

WALLINGFORD, Connecticut (AP) — Members of the Machinists union have overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney that allows the company to shut two plants it has targeted for more than a year, while preserving jobs insisted on by the union. Workers voted 2,609-198 Sunday to accept the pact with the subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

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Troubleshoot Your Loading Dock

December 3, 2010 9:07 am | Product Releases | Comments

The 4SIGHT is designed to alleviate common logistics problems around loading docks. The product, developed by 4Front Engineered Solutions (Carrollton, TX) can be used as a standalone system or in conjunction with other warehouse management software solutions. Real-time data is used to assist facilities in loading dock visibility, live and staged trailer coordination, and turn time management.

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Don't Bend To Pressure

December 3, 2010 9:05 am | Product Releases | Comments

The OHAUS VN Series Floor Scales and Platforms from OHAUS Corporation (Pine Brook, NJ) offer a high-quality construction to minimize distortion under heavy loads, thereby ensuring years of dependable use, according to the company. The VN Series makes use of welded steel ribs and a thick top plate design to provide structural stiffness, while the cross-hatch surface pattern increases slip resistance.

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Arc Welding For Any Job

December 3, 2010 9:05 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Thermal Arc (St. Louis, MO) has introduced its most versatile arc welding equipment: the Thermal Arc Portable DC Welder Series. The series, which includes the 95S, 161S, and 201S, offers 95 to 200 Amps of welding power. The 161S Portable DC Welder is designed for light industrial projects, with 110 Amps on standard 115-volt circuits for stick and TIG welding.

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Monorail Handling For The Little Guys

December 3, 2010 9:04 am | Product Releases | Comments

TKF, Inc . (Cincinnati, OH) now offers overhead monorail and power and free conveyor systems, which are ideal for small manufacturing plants, according to the company. The systems can accommodate products weighing up to 6,000 pounds. In addition, they can reduce material handling between sequential processes while accommodating static work station operations.

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A Factory's Fountain Of Youth

December 3, 2010 5:27 am | by Patrick Michel, Dassault Systems | Articles | Comments

Building a new factory is an expensive and time consuming endeavor, so why would you start from “square one” if you didn’t have to?  As manufacturers look to continually increase efficiency and profit margins, it’s a question that many have asked and as a result have found success in retrofitting “old” factories to suit their needs.

Co-packer Increases Business With Intuitive Printer

December 3, 2010 5:03 am | by Scott Benigni, Continuous Ink Jet Product Manager, Videojet Technologies, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Co-packers provide supplemental personnel, production space and project management for manufacturers that need expert help for quick-turnaround projects, short runs or overflow packaging projects. This expertise may include having access to special equipment or experience with a new packaging application or challenge.

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GM Pays $4 Billion Into Underfunded Pension Plans

December 3, 2010 3:56 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. took another step toward cleaning up its balance sheet on Thursday when it pumped $4 billion in cash into its underfunded U.S. pension plans. The company made the payment two weeks after a historic initial public stock offering that was worth a total of $23 billion, and it comes just 17 months after the automaker exited a government-funded bankruptcy restructuring.

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