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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Taking A Ride On 'The Cloud'

February 16, 2011 8:52 am | Videos | Comments

You've likely heard about computing in the "cloud," but do you know what that really means? The on-demand, always-on world of cloud computing comes down to massive data centers, where thousands of rack-mounted servers are cooled by powerful cooling units. Even a power outage won't take the facility down, thanks to enough generators to power a small town.

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Cracking The Coca-Cola Code

February 16, 2011 8:50 am | Videos | Comments

Has the host of a nationwide radio program finally cracked secret recipe of Coca-Cola? This American Life 's Ira Glass claims to have found the original recipe — one of the most closely-guarded secrets in business — in a newspaper, of all places. Of course, Coca-Cola claims that the Glass-produced recipe is a cola, but not Coca-Cola .

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Should We Fear The 'Singularity'?

February 16, 2011 8:49 am | Videos | Comments

Should we be afraid of the “singularity”? Scientists believe that come 2045, the processing power of computers will become so overwhelming, that mankind will forever be changed. New research will be conducted by computers with super-human intelligence, only furthering their power. Will we end up the enemy, or will we be able to co-exist? If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Apple Audits Find Countless Abuses Among Suppliers

February 16, 2011 3:46 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Apple Inc. says its audits found labor, safety and other abuses by its suppliers in 2010, though it praised Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn for saving lives through its handling of a spate of suicides at its factories in China. The findings, outlined in Apple's annual supplier responsibility report, prompted local reports Wednesday to decry the "high price" paid by Chinese workers who assemble hit gadgets like the iPod and iPad.

China To Put Stranglehold On Rare Earths Market

February 16, 2011 3:42 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — China plans to tighten control over rare earths producers and restrict output in a five-year development strategy, the Cabinet said Wednesday, amid concern abroad about plans to reduce exports of the exotic minerals used in high-tech goods. A Cabinet statement promised to "reasonably set annual quotas for production and export" but gave no details.

GM Recalls 50,000 Cadillacs For Handling Issues

February 16, 2011 3:35 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors says it is recalling more than 50,000 Cadillac CTS vehicles worldwide to fix a loose joint that could cause a rear wheel to become unstable, making it hard for drivers to steer. GM says the recall affects more than 44,000 CTS vehicles in the United States from the 2009 and 2010 model years.

Engine Battle Forces GOP To Choose Favorite Manufacturer

February 16, 2011 3:34 am | by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's campaign against a costly alternative engine for the Pentagon's next-generation fighter jet faces a critical vote in the GOP-controlled House, its fate to be decided by more than 90 freshmen lawmakers who previously haven't had to choose sides between two major defense companies.

Factory Output Jumps For Fifth Straight Month

February 16, 2011 3:31 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Factories produced more goods for the fifth straight month in January as strong auto sales spurred demand for new cars and trucks. But overall industrial production fell for the first time in 19 months. The Federal Reserve says output by the nation's factories, mines and utilities dipped 0.

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Mitsubishi Gets $34 Million Incentive For Memphis Factory

February 16, 2011 3:31 am | by Adrian Sainz, Associated Press | News | Comments

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mitsubishi Electric will receive more than $34 million in tax incentives for building a $200 million high-voltage power transformer factory that is expected to create 281 jobs in Memphis, documents show. Mitsubishi Electric Power Products announced plans Monday to build the plant on 140 acres at an industrial park near the Mississippi River.

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A Chuck For Air

February 15, 2011 10:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

Northfield Presicison Instrument Corporation (Island Park, NY) has introduced the Model 450 Air Chuck, which installs on the bed of the customer’s machine. The pick-and-place arm picks up the parts after they are finished in the front chucks and transfers them to the rear chucks for finishing.

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Master Your Bulk Bag Systems

February 15, 2011 10:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

The modular Material Master Bulk Bag Discharging System — from Material Transfer (Allegan, MI) — offers a Sure-Seal pneumatic discharge spout clamping system to ensure a dust-tight operation. In addition, the Flo-Master bag massaging system delivers product to high-deflection vibratory feeder.

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Extra-Durable Shaft Encoders

February 15, 2011 10:17 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Baumer (Southington, CT) has introduced its new HS35 family of incremental hollow shaft encoders — including a fully-programmable version — for heavy-duty positioning and speed control applications. The rugged encoders withstand shocks up to 200 g, high-pressure cleaning, and ambient temperatures from -40°F to 212°F.

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Smarter Gas Handling

February 15, 2011 10:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Gasco Affiliates, LLC (Oldsmar, FL) has announced the expansion of its EcoSmart line of environmentally-friendly precision gas products with the EcoSmart 44, a standard 34-liter container containing 44 liters of precision calibration gas. The new model features 29 percent more gas than the traditional 34-liter unit, which reduces the cost per liter while extending the life cycle.

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Are You A Saw-Muri Warrior?

February 15, 2011 5:07 am | by Bruce Hamilton, OldLeanDude.org | Articles | Comments

I was joining a manager on a walk through his plant some time back, when we came upon an automatic cut-off saw that was cutting twelve-foot brass bars into four-foot lengths. The bed of the saw was about four feet high — just below chest height for me — but just above chest height for the employee who was tending and unloading the saw.

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China's Car Imports Doubled In 2010, With SUVs In Charge

February 15, 2011 4:12 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's imports of foreign cars nearly doubled last year, with Japanese and German models most in favor among buyers looking to upgrade their vehicles, an industry association said Tuesday. The quasi-official China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said car imports jumped 93 percent last year from 2009 to 813,600 vehicles.

First 'Man Vs. Machine' Jeopardy Battles Ends In Draw

February 15, 2011 3:59 am | by Frazier Moore, AP Television Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — In the "Jeopardy!" battle of man vs. machine, man and machine were neck-and-neck on Monday. Human player Brad Rutter and the supercomputer named Watson ended an initial round tied at $5,000. The other challenger, human Ken Jennings, was far behind with $2,000. Rutter (the show's all-time money-winner with $3.

U.S. Retail Sales Rise 0.3 Percent Despite Weather

February 15, 2011 3:44 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. shoppers pushed retail sales up for a seventh straight month although the increase was the weakest since June. Retail sales increased 0.3 percent last month to $318.6 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Demand rose at department stores, electronic stores and auto dealerships.

GM CEO: China Is Our New 'Crown Jewel'

February 15, 2011 3:43 am | by Tini Tran, Associated Press | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — China will play a much bigger role in General Motors Co.'s plans including clean energy vehicles as it moves to capitalize further on rapid growth in the world's largest auto market, the company's CEO said Tuesday. Calling China "the crown jewel in the GM universe," Chief Executive Daniel Akerson said the automaker plans to launch more than 20 new or redesigned cars in China over the next two years.

Boeing: Biofuel-Based Aviation Here By 2015

February 15, 2011 3:41 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press | News | Comments

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Boeing Co. hopes aviation biofuels will be practical for the market by around 2015, but it's going to take a lot of work. Richard Wynne, Boeing Commercial Airplane's director of environment and aviation policy, told reporters Monday that the company is working with others throughout the industry toward having 1 percent of all aviation fuel come from non-petroleum sources by then.

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Ecuador Fines Chevron $9.5 Billion For Contamination

February 15, 2011 3:40 am | by Frank Bajak and Gonzalo Solano, Associated Press | News | Comments

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — An Ecuadorean judge ruled Monday in an epic environmental case that Chevron Corp. was responsible for oil drilling contamination in a wide swath of Ecuador's northern jungle and ordered the oil giant to pay $9.5 billion in damages and cleanup costs. The amount — $8.

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