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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Industrial Production Rose 1 Percent In July

August 17, 2010 4:23 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industrial production rose in July on the strength of U.S. manufacturing, as auto factories stayed open and businesses replaced worn-out equipment. Output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased 1.0 percent last month, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.

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Death Toll In Fireworks Blast Rises To 19

August 17, 2010 4:21 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — The death toll from a massive explosion at a fireworks factory in northeast China rose Tuesday to at least 19 workers, with five still missing. Up to 50 people were working at the fireworks factory in the Heilongjiang province city of Yichun when it was rocked by the explosion Monday, damaging nearby buildings and sparking secondary blasts, according to a statement on the local government's website.

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14 Protestors Arrested At Honeywell's Kansas City Plant

August 17, 2010 4:19 am | News | Comments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Fourteen protesters have been arrested at the construction site of a Kansas City plant that will make parts for nuclear arms. The Kansas City Star reports Monday's arrests came as about 75 people locked arms and marched onto the excavation site. The $685 million Honeywell plant is being built in southern Kansas City.

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GM Recalls 250,000 Crossovers For Unlatching Seat Belts

August 17, 2010 4:18 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors is recalling nearly 250,000 crossover vehicles worldwide to inspect second-row seat belts that could be damaged and not latch. GM says the recall affects 2009-2010 models of the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook. Most of the recalled vehicles are in the United States but some are also in Canada, Mexico and elsewhere.

Obama Touts Wis. Battery Plant As America's Future

August 17, 2010 4:16 am | News | Comments

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (AP) — President Barack Obama says a Milwaukee-area battery plant represents the country's future in renewable energy. Obama visited ZBB Energy Corp. in Menomonee Falls on Monday morning. The company makes batteries and fuel cells that get used in renewable-energy products.

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UAW Halts Vote At Indy GM Plant

August 16, 2010 7:53 am | News | Comments

August 16, 2010 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The United Auto Workers union has decided not to go ahead with a vote on a new wage-cutting contract for a General Motors stamping plant in Indianapolis that is facing sale. UAW Local 23 bargaining chairman Gregory Clark says members won't vote on the proposed contract, which would cut base wages from $29 per hour to $15.

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Air Products Closer To Airgas Takeover

August 16, 2010 7:49 am | News | Comments

August 16, 2010 ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Air Products and Chemicals,Inc. said Monday it has reached an agreement with staff at the Federal Trade Commission on the terms of a consent decree for its $5.5 billion takeover of rival Airgas, Inc. The decree allows Air Products to acquire Airgas if it divests of certain assets, including Airgas's liquid bulk and onsite supply of atmospheric gases.

China Overtakes Japan For Number 2 Economy

August 16, 2010 7:45 am | News | Comments

August 16, 2010 Tomoko A. Hosaka, AP TOKYO (AP) — Japan lost its place as the world's number two economy to China in the second quarter as receding global growth sapped momentum and stunted a shaky recovery. Gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of just 0.4 percent, the government said Monday, far below the annualized 4.

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Russian Official Blames Wheat Shortage On Global Warming

August 16, 2010 7:42 am | News | Comments

August 16, 2010 David Nowak, AP MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's heat wave, drought and wildfires — which have killed dozens of people and destroyed millions of acres of wheat — are another indication that global warming is causing more weather extremes around the world, a Russian official stated.

Technology Companies Earn Big Despite Economy

August 13, 2010 11:30 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Here is a summary of recent earnings reports for selected technology companies and what they reveal about the state of spending and the overall economy: July 13: Intel Corp. reports its largest quarterly net income in a decade as the chipmaker benefits from a stronger computer market and more sophisticated factories.

Source: GM Will File For IPO This Week

August 13, 2010 11:28 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is likely to file paperwork next week that describes its plan to sell shares to the public, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. The Detroit automaker had planned to file the papers on Friday but delayed the move to build distance between the filing and two major announcements it made on Thursday, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the company is not commenting publicly on the stock sale.

Supplying Faster Production And Flexibility

August 13, 2010 9:34 am | Articles | Comments

Imagine you’ve just started production in your newly remodeled assembly plant, and news comes that production of the existing models will be cut 30 percent and another completely different variant will need to be accommodated. Scenarios like this are a nightmare for the facilitation of lean principals, but a common occurrence in the automotive industry.

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25 Million Acres Of Corn With Nowhere To Go

August 13, 2010 9:19 am | by Jim Lane, editor and publisher, Biofuels Digest | Articles | Comments

Buried inside the USDA’s Biofuels Strategic Production Report is a startling prediction from both EPA and USDA: If the Renewable Fuel Standard targets are to be met by 2022, there will be a wholesale change in U.S. crop usage. However, doomsayers who have been predicting an inevitable conflict between food and fuel appear to have been completely off the mark.

Workbenches By Xpress Mail

August 13, 2010 8:53 am | Product Releases | Comments

Lista International Corporation (Holliston, MA) has expanded its Lista Xpress program, which features a selection of Lista products ready to ship within three to five days of a customer’s order. The company has developed four new styles of the All-Purpose workbench, a four-leg bench that is ideal for a variety of settings, according to the company.

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Industrial-Strength Wipes

August 13, 2010 8:52 am | Product Releases | Comments

Georgia-Pacific’s (Atlanta, GA) line of Brawny Industrial Wipers is expanding with the addition of Brawny Industrial High Performance Shop Towels, which are engineered to replace rags and shop towels. Brawny towels are designed to be hygienic, safe, and strong, according to the company, and are able to stand up to tough working environments.

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Five-In-One Screwdrivers

August 13, 2010 8:51 am | Product Releases | Comments

Ideal Industries, Inc. (Sycamore, IL) is now offering a 5-in-1 non-conductive screwdriver that meets ASTM F1505-94 and IEC900 standards for the safety of technicians working on electrical components. Each screwdriver is UL- and VDE-listed and certified to 1,000V AC or 1,500V DC for safety. The high-visibility bright yellow handle, along with a permanently-bonded orange insulation shaft, act as an “at-a-glance” safety system, according to the company.

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Earplugs Made Better

August 13, 2010 8:49 am | Product Releases | Comments

Magid Glove & Safety (Chicago, IL) has introduced Magid E2 IHP932J and IHP932CJ Jumbo-Sized, Uncorded, and Corded Disposable Earplugs. The hypo-allergenic polyurethane foam has a high noise reduction rating (NRR) of 32 dB, with a variety of sizes. A tapered design ensures a comfortable fit all day long, and the red PVC cord keeps the plugs close at hand while reducing loss and further enhancing visibility.

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Versatile Pump Controllers

August 13, 2010 6:24 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Model 42A Pump Controller from Time Mark is a versatile liquid level/pump management system that can control up to three pumps with a 4-20mA input or two pumps and backup floats. Alarm inputs for seal failure, over-temperature, or contactor failure, plus an alarm output relay, are provided.

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Collect Weld Fumes

August 13, 2010 6:23 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

United Air Specialists, Inc. announces the W Series of weld fume collectors, which are available in portable (WP model) and wall-mount (WS model) configurations. The collectors effectively capture weld fumes at the source of the welding process with obstruction-free extraction arms. Once inside the system, contaminants are sent through a spark trap and captured within a fire-retardant Protura Nanofiber cartridge filter.

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High-Tech, Medium-Duty Lifts

August 13, 2010 6:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

Yale Materials Handling Corporation has launched its GC050LX cushion tire and GP050LX pneumatic tire internal combustion lift trucks. The GC/GP lift trucks take technologies utilized in the heavier-duty Yale Veracitor trucks — solid construction and durability — and adapt them for use in moderate-duty working conditions.

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