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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The Joys Of High-Tech Manufacturing

January 5, 2011 6:08 am | Articles | Comments

Lexar, a division of Micron technology, makes computer memory. A lot of it. According to them, they're the only major memory company who does any manufacturing here in the U.S. And while much of the later processes and packaging is performed in Asia, the high tolerances and cleanliness required for the initial manufacturing makes domestic work the better option.

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The Penalties Of Bad Medicine

January 5, 2011 6:06 am | Articles | Comments

Whistle-blower Cheryl Eckard tells 60 Minutes' Scott Pelley about her experience trying to fix problems at a GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical factory that made her a key figure in a federal lawsuit and a multimillionaire. When touring a Puerto Rico facility, she noticed countless quality issues, ranging from workers who would contaminate anti-bacterial creams, to mix-ups between tablets of diabetes and anti-depression medicine.

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I'm Going To Shoot You... With Sound

January 5, 2011 6:05 am | Articles | Comments

In the 2002 movie  Minority Report — which has become the template for technically-possible science fiction — characters use guns that fire bursts of sound in order to disable, not kill, their enemies. While many remember the movie for the touch- and hologram-based computing, this technology is another that could find real-world use in the near future.

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Asus Introduces Bevy Of Tablets To Take Down Apple

January 5, 2011 4:11 am | by Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Taiwan's AsusTek Computer Inc. plans to start selling an array of tablet computers — including hybrids that sit somewhere between a laptop and a tablet — with the hope that variety is the best weapon against Apple Inc.'s iPad and other similar gadgets. Asus chairman Jonney Shih unveiled the new devices Tuesday ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Chinese Candymaker To Bring 120 Jobs To S. Carolina

January 5, 2011 4:04 am | News | Comments

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) — A Chinese candy maker is building a new $6 million factory in Sumter. Officials for Au'Some says they hope to hire 120 workers over the next five years. The Hong Kong company makes candy for retailers like Walmart, Target, Walgreens and CVS. The Sumter factory is Au'Some's first facility in North America, and the company wants to have it open by the end of the summer.

Ford Gains Marketshare At The Expense Of GM, Toyota

January 5, 2011 3:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. saw the biggest percentage point gain in U.S. market share in 2010, while Toyota Motor Co. saw the biggest loss. These are the 10 largest car companies by U.S. sales and their share gains or losses in 2010. A percentage point of share equaled about 115,800 cars and trucks in 2010. Company Total 2010 sales 2010 U.

Moore's Law Continues To Predict Semiconductor Innovation

January 5, 2011 3:47 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Semiconductor companies are whipping up a new generation of chips to bring richer video and better battery life to personal computers and help them hold off threats from tablets and increasingly powerful smart phones. Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., whose processors are the "brains" of PCs, are unveiling significant changes to their chips' designs at this week's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Automakers Paid $9.1 Million In Fuel Efficiency Fines

January 5, 2011 3:42 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government says car companies paid $9.1 million in fines last year for failing to comply with federal fuel efficiency requirements. Six companies had to pay fines to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Jaguar-Land Rover paid the largest fine of $3.2 million.

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Analysts: Employers Added 297,000 Jobs In December

January 5, 2011 3:41 am | by Matthew Craft, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — A surprising jump in hiring is swaying U.S. stock and bond markets. An early decline in stock index futures was trimmed after payroll processor ADP reported employers added 297,000 jobs last month. The jump in payrolls from the ADP survey came in far above the 100,000 rise economists expected.

Samsung Plans Hiring, $38.4 Billion Investment

January 5, 2011 3:40 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Group said Wednesday it plans to carry out record investment and hiring this year as it seeks to extend global dominance in products including flat screen televisions and memory chips. South Korea's top business conglomerate is spearheaded by Samsung Electronics Co.

Higher-Temperature Crane Controls

January 4, 2011 8:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

Magnetek, Inc. (Menomonee Falls, WI) announces that its IMPULSE G+ and VG+ Series adjustable frequency crane controls have been rerated to an increased ambient temperature rating of 140°F. According to the company, this allows the IMPULSE controls to be used in high-temperature crane and hoist applications.

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Safely Saw It 

January 4, 2011 8:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

Reed Manufacturing   (Erie, PA) announces the addition of two new models to its SawIt® line. SAWITSD and SAWITD pneumatic saws feature immediate shut down when throttle is released and immediate start up with throttle squeeze. On the SAWITSD version only, a trigger lock prevents accidental “on” if the trigger is bumped or pressed unintentionally.

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Protect Your Fingers And Hands

January 4, 2011 8:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) now offers machine safety devices for use in industrial applications in the form of two series of safety light curtains (active optoelectronic protective devices). The systems are ideal for human protection where risks cannot be eliminated by machine design, or if the process might require frequent access during operation.

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Make A More Flexible Robot

January 4, 2011 8:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

SAS Automation (Xenia, OH) has introduced the new Uni-Grip and Uni-Clamp Robotic Gripper Systems. The Uni-Grip is a universal system that allows for a precise gripper tool to be built with the added benefit of greater flexibility, such as the ability to use center-mountable components without disassembly or additional drop-in channel nuts.

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Auto Sales Surged In 2010, Bringing Hope For 2011

January 4, 2011 3:40 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — A surge in car and truck buying that began in October is expected to lift last year's U.S. auto sales above a dismal 2009. Customers gained confidence in the economy, loans were easier to get and deals got sweeter. Ford, General Motors, Toyota and other car companies will report 2010 and December sales throughout the day on Tuesday.

Factory Orders Rose In November After Slow October

January 4, 2011 3:36 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories are expected to strengthen in November outside of transportation in a further sign that manufacturers will be cranking up production in anticipation of greater spending by businesses and consumers in 2011. Economists at JPMorgan Chase are forecasting that factory orders will post a 0.

Senator: Football Helmet Manufacturers Lying About Safety

January 4, 2011 3:34 am | by Howard Fendrich, AP Pro Football Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. Senator is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate "misleading safety claims and deceptive practices" in the selling of new football helmets and reconditioning of used ones. In a letter dated Tuesday — a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press on Monday night — Sen.

Seven Insurers Sue Toyota Over Accelerator Fiasco

January 4, 2011 3:29 am | News | Comments

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Seven insurance companies have sued Toyota Motor Corp. in an attempt to recover money paid to cover crashes they blame on sudden acceleration. The insurers cite data that blames 725 crashes on the problem and fault the Japanese automaker for failing to equip its cars with an override system that would cause a car to idle if the brake and gas were deployed simultaneously.

Salmonella-Blocking Food Bill To Be Signed Today

January 4, 2011 3:28 am | by Darlene Superville and Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — When salmonella-laced peanut products sickened hundreds during a recent scare, President Barack Obama said consumers should be able to have confidence that their government will keep peanut butter-eating children safe — and that included his daughter Sasha. "That's what Sasha eats for lunch probably three times a week," Obama said then.

Animal Fat Backs Up Into Basements Near Unilever Plant

January 4, 2011 3:24 am | News | Comments

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A Hammond Sanitary District official says a greasy white substance backing up through basement drains into homes appears to be linked to operations at a Unilever soap factory. Unilever and Hammond city officials haven't determined the cause of the Friday backup but the district's pretreatment coordinator, Jeff Massey, said during a public meeting Monday night that sewage apparently backed up after animal fat and coconut oil from the plant solidified and clogged sewer lines.

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