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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Downtime Prevention Through Software Standardization

August 31, 2010 9:09 am | by Vern Bolton, Program Manager, Industrial Solutions Center, Schneider Electric North American Operating Division | Articles | Comments

Time was, if a machine went down, it required a member of the maintenance staff to drop what he or she was doing and connect a laptop computer to the machine to troubleshoot what went wrong. But there is a faster way to accomplish that same task today—through root-cause diagnostic logic built into the software that operates the machine.

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Time To 'Think Big'

August 31, 2010 9:00 am | by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

The 2010 Energy Intelligence Competitor Breakdown aims to give you a cross-sectional view of what other manufacturers are looking at when trying to make their operations more energy efficient. Readers weighed in on which aspects of their current processes are more inefficient, which they would like to replace in the future, what equipment purchases they have made in the last six months, and their achieved ROI.

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Manufacturing: The True Economic Link

August 31, 2010 7:43 am | by Mike Collins | Articles | Comments

Wealth is created in only three ways: agriculture and fishing, mining, and manufacturing. Beyond these three activities it can be argued that all other forms of economic activities transfer wealth, but don’t create it. Many economists dispute this because accepting it would throw cold water on many of their theories about the post-industrial economy.

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Helping Manufacturing And 'Generation Y' Meet Halfway

August 31, 2010 7:28 am | by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Officially speaking, Generation Y represents people born between the early 1980s and 2000. According to Dan Boos, an executive consultant to Fortune 500 and middle-market companies, classification is relatively simple: “If you had to put two or three identifying labels on Generation Y, one is a need for instant gratification, the second one is a lack of intuitiveness in terms of recognizing cause and effect, and the third is that they are information technology-savvy.

Handle Fluids Of All Types

August 31, 2010 7:00 am | Product Releases | Comments

The King Cobra Series Peristaltic Pumps from Wilden (Grand Terrace, CA) feature a simple, seal-free design that is dry-run capable and eliminates potential leak points. According to the company, this construction allows the pumps to handle a variety of fluids, from abrasives to viscous or particle-laden solutions.

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Prevent Cooler Fires

August 31, 2010 7:00 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Jenny Products, Inc. (Somerset, PA) has introduced four models of fire sprinkler air compressors for use in dry-pipe systems, such as those found in cold storage areas. Each compressor is capable of delivering moisture-free air, and depending on the model, they are powered by a 1, 2, 3, or 5 horsepower electric motor capable of pumping between 200 and 1,125 gallons to 40psi in less than 30 minutes.

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Butterfly Valves, Supersized

August 31, 2010 6:58 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Wafer Style Type 567 Polypropylene Butterfly Valves from GF Piping Systems (Tustin, CA) have been expanded to include sizes from 14” to 24”. The larger-sized valves feature the same double eccentric design, excellent corrosion resistance, and complete modularity for easy interchangeability, according to the company.

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Easy-To-Install Position Sensors

August 31, 2010 6:57 am | Product Releases | Comments

TURCK (Minneapolis, MN) has announced that the company’s line of BIM-UNR magnetic cylinder position sensors has been expanded to include NPN outputs. The sensors are made to mount within C-groove cylinders with no accessories required, and a combination mounting screw gives users the flexibility of choosing a 3/16” Allen wrench or a flat-bladed screwdriver for installation.

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Putting Metal Detection To The Test

August 31, 2010 5:49 am | Articles | Comments

Anthony Rowcliffe, a 42 year-old company that has its roots in Peckham, London, has grown over the years and is now operating out of two purpose-built BRC accredited sites at Paddock Wood in Kent, supplying over 1,000 different lines, including its own branded Clemency Hall product. The sites operate five day weeks with a same day delivery policy to a variety of major supermarkets.

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Streamline Plant Project Processes

August 31, 2010 5:32 am | Articles | Comments

Streamlining the setup, creation, and review processes of plant projects can have a major effect on the efficiency of a manufacturer’s operations. Through the design and release of a new plant design solution, 3-D software design firm Autodesk sought to foster better collaboration and interaction among the different components of a manufacturing enterprise.

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HP Agrees To Pay $55 Million For Kickbacks

August 31, 2010 4:58 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Justice says Hewlett-Packard has agreed to pay $55 million to settle claims it paid kickbacks to companies so that they would recommend its products to federal agencies. Hewlett-Packard Co. has already announced earlier this month it will take a charge of 2 cents per share in the third quarter to settle the claims.

As Automakers Recover, Incentives Become Rare

August 31, 2010 4:28 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — For years, Americans shopping for cars were treated to all sorts of deals and incentives, especially at the end of summer. Think Cash for Clunkers, which paid up to $4,500, or promotions that offered employee discounts to everyone. Those days are over. Deals are getting more scarce because automakers, newly lean and profitable, are holding the line on those profit-eating promotions.

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U.S. Likely To Accuse China Of Aluminum Protectionism

August 31, 2010 4:27 am | by Foster Klug, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Analysts say the Obama administration, under congressional pressure to take a tough stance on Chinese trade policies, is expected to declare that China unfairly helped its aluminum industry. The finding, which could spark higher import duties, was anticipated Tuesday as the White House attempts to strike a delicate balance ahead of November congressional elections that will be dominated by the weak U.

Muslim Meatpackers Sue Over Corporate Intolerance

August 31, 2010 4:26 am | by Timberly Ross, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Somali Muslim workers at a meatpacking plant in Grand Island were denied prayer time and faced harassment and even termination for asking to pray, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit filed on behalf on more than 80 Somali Muslims says JBS Swift & Co.

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Deere Sells Wind Energy Business For $900 Million

August 31, 2010 4:25 am | News | Comments

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Deere & Co. will sell its wind energy business to a subsidiary of Exelon Corp. for $900 million, the company said Tuesday, potentially signaling an active merger and acquisition period ahead for the power industry. With energy prices persistently low due to a grinding economic recovery, stakes in the power industry have begun to shift.

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Ford's Louisville Workers To Get First Overtime Since 2005

August 31, 2010 4:24 am | News | Comments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant will see its first extended overtime in years leading up to a layoff of up to a year for factory retooling. Company and union officials told The Courier-Journal that Ford Motor Co.'s production of the 2010 Explorer will employ workers on most Fridays in September and October and two Saturdays in October.

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Ultrasonic Condition Monitoring: An Application Overview

August 30, 2010 12:28 pm | Articles | Comments

Ultrasound inspection offers a unique position for condition monitoring as both a “stand-alone” inspection technology, and as an effective screening tool that can speed up the inspection process and help inspectors determine effective follow-up actions for mechanical, electrical, and leak applications.

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Private Equity

August 30, 2010 12:23 pm | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

It seems in many instances that the cliché about leading, following, or getting out of the way is custom-fit to describe the environment and attitude of U.S. manufacturing. For Lakeside Foods, and its Manitowoc, WI distribution center in particular, the latter two are simply not in the vocabulary.

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Dry Ice Blasting, Cleaning

August 30, 2010 11:16 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

IceTech has developed the KG50 Pro Multi-Touch 1”, which allows users to perform maintenance and cleaning with dry ice blasting. The KG50 offers greater cfm capability and maximum efficiency through the entire range of the machine. Dry ice blasting is non-abrasive, and this unit features infinitely variable adjustment of ice and air on the gun.

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Rare Earth Lift Magnets

August 30, 2010 11:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

The compact and powerful Rare Earth lift magnet from Industrial Mangetics contains an internal ON/OFF release device that does not contact or damage the surface of the part. A test load feature allows users to safely determine lifting capability without fear of injury, and the whole system is heat-resistant up to 200°F.

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