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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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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Get The Works Of Lubricants

August 30, 2010 11:14 am | Product Releases | Comments

The WD-40 Company is introducing BLUE WORKS, a new line of industrial-strength, specialty maintenance products that deliver performance under tough conditions. The BLUE WORKS line consists of eight products: Contact Cleaner, Degreaser, High-Performance PTFE Lubricant, and White Lithium Grease, plus more.

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Torque Wrenches Go Digital

August 30, 2010 11:09 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Mountz Inc.  introduces newest version of the TorqueMate® Digital Torque Wrench, a microprocessor-controlled digital torque wrench designed for use in quality control and maintenance. With a large LED screen, the wrench is well-suited for torque calibration, joint testing, auditing, or verification of torque applied.

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Safe, Bright Work Lights

August 30, 2010 11:09 am | Product Releases | Comments

General Mfg., Inc. has launched its IS300 Intrinsically Safe, Cordless LED work light. The IS300 comes with three 3-watt LEDs and has the capability of operating in beam mode for use as an inspection light. The long-life LEDs are rated at 50,000 hours and produce 5,000K bright, white light.

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You Don't Need A New Heat Exchanger

August 30, 2010 7:59 am | Articles | Comments

When a heat exchanger begins to fail or becomes problematic, it may be indicative of various problems ranging from inappropriate mechanical design to unforeseen chemical reactions. Chemical process industry professionals know all to well that damaged or failed heat exchangers can lead to unexpected downtime and corresponding consequences.

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Make Your Tools Safer, More Mobile

August 30, 2010 7:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Portable Mechanics’ Service Sets from Snap-on Industrial (Kenosha, WI) put large and small hand tools, including screw drivers, wrenches, and pliers — along with multimeters and other specialty equipment — at easy reach for professionals looking for maximum protection of their tools.

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Guardrails Get Portable

August 30, 2010 7:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

Capital Safety (Red Wing, MN) has enhanced its Portable Guardrail System, an economic passive fall protection system. The guardrails can be erected in minutes, require no permanent or surface-penetrating attachments, and seal off areas and edges that are unprotected. The entire system is offered in six-foot, eight-foot, and ten-foot sections to fit a site’s specific needs.

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Industrial-Strength Embedded PCs

August 30, 2010 7:17 am | Product Releases | Comments

Siemens (Atlanta, GA) has announced that an embedded PC is now available for its Simotion P320-3 motion control applications, which provides maintenance-free motion control. The embedded PC is free of wear from moving parts, such as hard disks or fans, and its compact size allows for maximum flexibility for applications that require a compact size.

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Better Alignment Is Important

August 30, 2010 7:16 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The ROTALIGN ULTRA LIVE TREND is a short-term continuous monitoring application from LUDECA (Doral, FL) that determines the relative positional changes between coupled machines during run-up or shutdown. The ROTALIGN 5-axis sensor monitors both the vertical and horizontal parallel continuously, allowing the machines to be precisely aligned to reflect normal operating conditions.

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Fine-Tuning Pump Performance Bands

August 30, 2010 6:01 am | by Wallace Wittkoff, Hygienic Director, Dover's Pump Solutions Group (PSG) | Articles | Comments

When it comes to evaluating a pump’s performance or choosing the proper pump for an application, many people focus solely on flow rate. In reality, a number of fluid-transfer concepts must work in concert in order to have a pump that is dependable while meeting the needs of the application.

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Consumer Spending Rises In July, Economists Still Worried

August 30, 2010 5:17 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans spent last month at the fastest pace in four months, helped by a jump in demand for automobiles. Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in July after three lackluster months, the Commerce Department said Monday. Spending fell 0.1 percent in April, rose a tiny 0.1 percent in May and was flat in June.

Raytheon Lands $55 Million Navy Contract

August 30, 2010 5:02 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Raytheon Co. has landed a $55.4 million Navy contract related to the production of a test site for the Aegis missile-defense system, the Department of Defense said Friday. The contract modifies and earlier contract to exercise an option for the production of an Aegis ashore test site transmitter and fire control system.

Tough Computer Industry Means Bargains For Consumers

August 30, 2010 5:01 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — If you're looking for bargains on personal computers, bad news from the industry could be good for your pocketbook. Computer makers are scrambling for ways to goose faltering consumer demand after a weak start to the back-to-school shopping season. That could mean deeper price cuts and other promotions beyond the incentives that the industry dangled in front of shoppers to lure them into stores during the worst of the recession.

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