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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

J&J Lays Off Hundreds To Renovate Tainted Plant

July 16, 2010 4:32 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it will lay off most of the staff at a factory idled over repeated recalls of Tylenol and other popular nonprescription medicines. The healthcare giant said it has decided to make a significant investment in the manufacturing facilities, equipment and laboratories at its plant in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.

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Steel Coke Plants Inherently Dangerous, Some Say

July 16, 2010 4:29 am | by Jennifer C. Yates, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

PITTSBURGH (AP) — From the outside, a typical coke plant looks like something from a dystopian science-fiction movie: a maze of metal buildings, pipes, conveyer belts and tall smokestacks belching white puffs of smoke and steam into the air. Inside, there's danger seen and unseen: ovens that heat coal to more than 3,000 degrees, massive steel doors for loading the ovens, moving cars and chutes for coal, and gases that can cause cancer or ignite.

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Oil Shear Technology Keeps Reading Rockin’

July 15, 2010 9:39 am | by Reading Rock | Articles | Comments

Reading Rock was using SmartPac vibrator shafts to introduce vibration to achieve the half-block height molds. For several years, however, Reading has been using a variation that allows Reading personnel to change the amplitude and frequency. In addition to flexibility never before seen in this application, the technology offers a service life that is fully twice the number of cycles of prior designs.

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Execute Flawlessly, Or Competitors Will

July 15, 2010 9:34 am | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

Greg Galvin, PH.D. founded Ithaca, NY-based  Kionix in 1993 to commercialize a novel micromechanical technology pioneered by researchers at Cornell University. From 1993 to 2000, Kionix went from its two founding fathers to a 40-person operation that developed products in inertial sensors, microfluidics, data storage, micro-relays and micro-optics.

3-D Glasses Not Required

July 15, 2010 7:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

ZONEWORKS (Milwaukee, WI) has developed three-dimensional environmental containment enclosures, which are custom-designed and modular to cost-effectively address challenging environmental conditions virtually anywhere within an industrial plant. The enclosures allow users to control temperature, heat, humidity, sound, odor, dust, fumes, and other elements to protect employees or products.

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Get Every Last Drop

July 15, 2010 7:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

The general-purpose CX Series of pneumatic diaphragm pumps from Almatec (Kamp-Lintfort, Germany) are ideal for low- to medium-duty application, as well as drum pumps, according to the company. The CX pumps have been designed to self-prime and are protected against dry-running, which allows them to empty containers down to the last drop of liquid.

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Seals Are Nashville-Bound

July 15, 2010 7:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

Tencarva Machinery Company (Greensboro, NC) has expanded its territory for representation of the John Crane lines of seals to include Tennessee. The mechanical seal brand names now available through Tencarva in Tennessee include John Crane, Sealol, Safematic, and Flexibox.

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Making Your Motions Smarter

July 15, 2010 7:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

KolverUSA (Westford, MA) has developed the SmartMotion Linear Arm, which provides smooth positioning motion for assembly tools, such as screwdrivers, particularly when torque is involved. The arm can absorb the torque reaction while providing ergonomic support for the operator.

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Industrial Vending For The Masses

July 15, 2010 5:49 am | Articles | Comments

Given vending’s long history, the question is: why hasn’t it been more widely adopted for industrial applications? Generally speaking, it boils down to cost. There’s been some great industrial vending technology out there, but the up-front capital expenses have been a tough sell for smaller or medium sized companies.

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Air Doors Create AIQ Surprise

July 15, 2010 5:47 am | Articles | Comments

Coleman Tool & Mfg. Co. originally specified air curtains to save monthly winter heating costs, but later discovered a dual purpose of filtering welding process smoke to significantly improve employee indoor air quality (IAQ). “We hit two birds (energy savings and IAQ) with one stone (air curtain technology),” said Michael Coleman, president, Coleman Tool, Union Grove, WI.

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Q&A With James Johnson, Senior Director, Workplace Safety Initiatives, National Safety Council

July 15, 2010 5:35 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

James Johnson is responsible for leading National Safety Council advocacy initiatives to reduce deaths and injuries associated with workplace safety. Mr. Johnson works with a diverse group of stakeholders to establish and promote best practices for safety and health processes affecting employees on-the-job.

Polyurethane Roll Covers, Revolutionized

July 15, 2010 5:00 am | Articles | Comments

Introduction Due to new technologies, polyurethane (PU) roll covers no longer require molds, as they can be cast directly on the roll core surface using a robotic deposition system and a CNC precision-coordinated spindle. Although this process was originally introduced in the 1980s, advances in chemistry, robotics, and computer technology in the past several years have led to significant maturity of the process, resulting in growth of this technique.

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Minimum Wages Around The World

July 14, 2010 8:11 am | Articles | Comments

We don't often hear about the minimum wage in America anymore, but it's an issue that is plaguing countries worldwide as they try to find a middle ground between protecting workers and maintaining an economy accepting of business. Greece, for example, is cutting back on its old minimum wage policy in order to survive the credit crunch, while Asian countries such as India are simply struggling to enact a minimum at all.

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Are Those Baked Beans Safe?

July 14, 2010 8:08 am | Articles | Comments

It's almost guaranteed that with every trip to the grocery store you pick up canned food of one kind or another, and that can will likely have a label that guarantees its freshness for years down the road. Some companies say their cans have a five-year shelf life. How can they make such a claim? The BBC visits the biggest Heinz baked beans factory in the world to see how they ensure the beans are safe to eat.

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If You're Already Spending $100,000...

July 14, 2010 8:07 am | Articles | Comments

Yesterday, Chevrolet announced the "Corvette Engine Build Experience," which allows buyers of the Corvette ZR1 or Z06 to visit GM's Wixom, Mich. facility and assemble the engine themselves — under the observation of a skilled technician, of course. While many mocked Chevy's new idea, and suggested that it was a way for the company to lower labor costs, it's hard to argue against spending an extra $6,000 (you're already spending more than $100,000 for a ZR1, anyway) and driving around with the added joy of knowing that you helped build the car.

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Consumer Reports: Don't Buy The iPhone 4

July 14, 2010 8:05 am | Articles | Comments

So, you just bought a brand new iPhone, but you've been noticing some dropped calls when you hold it a certain way. Turns out the new antenna design seems to be affected by the user's own hand, which leads to a degraded signal. Apple says this is a software issue, but Consumer Reports claims their extensive testing proves the flaw is hardware-based.

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Energy Intelligence: The Greening Of ROI

July 14, 2010 6:55 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

With the recent buzz over energy efficiency and sustainability, the pressure is on manufacturers to adopt new technologies or pay the price when it comes to consumer dissent or supply chain issues. Not to mention that nagging energy bill that keeps climbing… For this reason, the industry sometimes gets bogged with going green for going green’s sake: frankly, it looks good.

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White House: Stimulus Saving Millions Of Jobs

July 14, 2010 5:09 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new White House report says last year's $862 billion stimulus law has now "saved or created" between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs. That's up from 2.2 million to 2.8 million in the last quarterly report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Christina Romer, head of the council, says in congressional testimony prepared for Wednesday that every $1 from the stimulus bill is matched by $3 in private money.

Ford Edge Sport To Get Mustang V-6

July 14, 2010 5:04 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The Ford Edge Sport is getting sportier with a new engine swiped from the Ford Mustang. Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday that the 2011 Ford Edge Sport — the high-performance version of the Edge, which is one of the country's top-selling mid-size crossovers — will have the same engine as the Mustang sports car.

DoT Says Many Toyota Accidents Due To Driver Error

July 14, 2010 4:50 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — The Department of Transportation has analyzed dozens of black boxes in Toyota vehicles involved in accidents blamed on unintended acceleration, finding the throttles were open and the brakes were not engaged, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. That suggests that drivers of the speeding cars were stepping on the accelerator rather than hitting the brakes.

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