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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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CSB Slams Xcel For 'Troubling' Handling Of Safety

August 24, 2010 4:39 am | by P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Chemical Safety Board slammed Xcel Energy Inc. on Monday for the company's handling of the aftermath of a tunnel fire that killed five workers at a hydroelectric plant, as well as for a host of "troubling episodes." The board cited the electric and gas utility's failure to cooperate in the agency's probe, and said that investigators had to turn to the the U.

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Biden: U.S. Automakers Will Thrive Despite Economy

August 24, 2010 4:38 am | by John Seewer, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that U.S. automakers will thrive in the coming years despite the economic challenges still facing the industry. Addressing auto workers, Biden painted a rosy picture of an industry that only a year ago was facing questions about whether it could survive and still is struggling to sell cars and other vehicles.

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True Sustainability Is No Fad

August 23, 2010 9:05 am | Articles | Comments

These are complex challenges, but it’s not a fad. There’s a lot of dialogue about this issue, but fundamentally the issues that have sparked this movement will continue to be challenging going forward. To me, sustainability is not just about the messaging you deliver to the world, it’s all about what you do to help ensure your business will thrive and be increasingly sustainable in the future.

Beat Outsourcing's Unwanted Byproducts 

August 23, 2010 8:43 am | by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Industrial Distribution | Articles | Comments

Logistical challenges and inefficiencies are often unwanted byproducts of a globalized industrial distribution enterprise. AquaPhoenix, a U.S. manufacturer and distributor of water treatment chemicals, was a company whose global presence and reliance on outsourcing necessitated a reorganization of its international supply chain.

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Be More Aware Of Your Watts

August 23, 2010 7:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

Watts Aware, from Sensor Energy, Inc. (Buffalo Grove, IL) is a new way to remotely monitor and analyze electrical power usage within an industrial facility. According to the company, the tool allows inefficient operational practices to be quickly identified and corrected. Watts Aware can be installed within an hour, without interrupting the operational status of the equipment to be monitored, thus avoiding costly shutdowns.

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Get A Bag Of Chips

August 23, 2010 7:22 am | Product Releases | Comments

The 110 Gallon Chip Trapper from EXAIR (Cincinnati, OH) offers a fast, easy way to clean large coolant sumps, according to the company. The Chip Trapper removes solids — such as chips, swarf, and shavings — out of used coolants and other liquids, and is ideal for use on machines with parts washers, tanks, and storage containers.

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Welders In All Sizes

August 23, 2010 7:22 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

ESAB Welding & Cutting Products (Florence, SC) introduces the Origo MIG family of welders — including the MIG 320, 410, and 510 — all of which offer a wide current and voltage range that simplify optimizing settings for a wide variety of filler metals and gases. Made with a strong galvanized metal casing designed to withstand harsh environments, the Origo family features large wheels, sturdy lifting eyelets, and a standard undercarriage for easy forklift transport.

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