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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Riddle Me This, Small Business

February 26, 2010 9:13 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder, PCDworks | Articles | Comments

Many of you reading this column may work for a small business, or perhaps aspire to own one.  Congratulations. According to Henry Paulson, Alan Greenspan and seemingly everyone else along the beltway, small businesses are the key to this nation's recovery. Small businesses account for 52 percent of all the jobs in this country, and conventional wisdom says that if we can just get them to hire more people we can turn this thing around.

Ventilation In Small Spaces

February 26, 2010 8:30 am | Product Releases | Comments

The VAF-Series ventilators from Americ (Elk Grove Village, IL) are designed for confined space applications. They are manufactured from durable, high-density polyethylene plastic, making them extremely lightweight and portable. Handles are located centrally for balanced maneuverability, and anti-skid rubber feet keep the ventilator in once place.

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Detect 'Mass'-ive Leaks

February 26, 2010 8:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

Vacuum Instrument Corp. (Ronkonkoma, NY) introduces a new series of helium mass spectrometer leak detectors with touchscreen GUIs for testing the integrity of vacuum systems. The touchscreen allows for greater control and monitoring, along with easy calibration with the MS-60’s built-in leak standard.

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Maintain Your Sensors Anywhere

February 26, 2010 8:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

The U-50 Series Multiparameter Meters from Gardco (Pompano Beach, FL) measure and display 11 parameters simultaneously with a newly-designed control unit. This unit features an easy-to-read LCD display and a one-handed operation. A shock resistant cover makes the unit ideal for industrial applications.

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High BTU Heaters From Space

February 26, 2010 8:21 am | Product Releases | Comments

Space-Ray (Charlotte, NC) has expanded its line of energy-efficient, low intensity gas-fired U-tube heaters to 21 different models, with capacities from 40,000 to 250,000 BTU/hour. The heaters are ideal for high air change environments and higher ceiling heights, such as machine or weld shops, maintenance facilities, and more.

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Ford Adding 700 Jobs At Ontario Plant

February 26, 2010 5:58 am | News | Comments

TORONTO — Ford's engine plant in Windsor, Ont., is expected to get more than 700 new jobs over five years. The Ontario government says it will contribute up to $81.2 million towards the plant, building on an earlier investment of $17 million that helped reopen the shuttered plant in 2008.

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Bidders Snap Up Equipment In Chrysler Auction

February 26, 2010 4:29 am | News | Comments

NEWARK, Del. (AP) — Hundreds of bidders from across the country have snapped up machinery, tools and other equipment from the closed Newark Chrysler assembly plant. More than 300 potential bidders gathered Thursday in the auditorium at Clayton Hall on the University of Delaware's Laird Campus and another 250 others were participating via a webcast.

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State Agencies Battle With EPA Over Mill's Colored Water

February 26, 2010 3:29 am | News | Comments

CANTON, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's water regulators are sticking up for a big paper mill in a dispute with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Friday that the state Division of Water Quality says Evergreen Packaging's mill in Canton cannot meet EPA demands that the plant do more to stop turning the Pigeon River dark.

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Sweater Factory Fire Kills 21 In Bangladesh

February 26, 2010 3:26 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A fire raced through a sweater factory near the Bangladeshi capital overnight, killing at least 21 people and injuring dozens more, police said Friday. All of the victims of Thursday night's fire, including 14 women, died of suffocation after they were pulled from the Garib & Garib Sweater Factory in Gazipur, district police Chief Moahammad Abdur Rashid said.

Toyota Likely To Miss Output Target By 20 Percent

February 26, 2010 3:22 am | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. is likely to miss its output target in North America by 20 percent due to slumping sales amid massive recalls, Japan's top business daily said Friday. Toyota's production in North America is now seen at 350,000 units from February to April, down by 20 percent from its original target, the Nikkei business daily said, citing no sources.

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Ford Invests $155 Million In Fuel-Efficient V-6

February 26, 2010 3:21 am | News | Comments

BROOK PARK, Ohio (AP) — The Ford Motor Co. announced Friday that it is investing $155 million and adding 60 jobs at an engine plant in suburban Cleveland to build a fuel-efficient V-6 engine for the 2011 Mustang. The engine built at Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1, is expected to help the Mustang lead its class in fuel efficiency with 30 miles per gallon on the highway and 305 horsepower, the Dearborn, Mich.

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Wal-Mart Pushes Suppliers To Drop Greenhouse Emissions

February 26, 2010 3:18 am | by Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants its suppliers to reduce 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2015. The world's largest retailer's push goes beyond its efforts to date to reduce its own emissions by designing more energy-efficient stores and pursuing alternative fuels for its fleet of trucks.

Dangerous 'Gas Blow' Caused 6 Deaths At Middletown Plant

February 26, 2010 3:17 am | by Stephanie Reitz, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — An industrial practice that involved the widespread release of natural gas at a Connecticut power plant shortly before it exploded is "inherently unsafe," and should be curbed to prevent similar incidents, a federal safety investigator said Thursday. Six people were killed in the Feb.

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The Private Brand Revolution

February 25, 2010 11:20 am | by George Young, Founding Partner, Kalypso | Articles | Comments

It’s no secret: the buzz surrounding the trajectory of private, or own, brands has reached a fever pitch. With the growth rate outpacing national brands year over year, the private brand revolution is not only changing how consumers shop, but how retailers stock their shelves.

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I'll Miss You, Olympics... But Only A Little

February 25, 2010 10:59 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

At the risk of being pelted with apple pies, I’ll just come right out and say it: I’m not really into the Olympics. As someone who has dedicated a lot of time to sports—a lifetime cumulative I’d find embarrassing and depressing, I’m certain—the Olympics was never really very compelling for me.

Teaming Up On Pallets

February 25, 2010 10:42 am | Product Releases | Comments

Lantech (Brewerton, NY) and Schneider Packaging Equipment introduce the Stack and Wrap Palletizing/Stretch Wrapping Cell, which combines two or more lines into a centralized, automated stretch wrapping station. The palletizing system centers a FANUC robotic arm between two Lantech Q-600 stretch wrappers.

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An Accident, But Not A Mystery

February 25, 2010 10:42 am | Product Releases | Comments

The SMARTY from Keytroller (Tampa, FL) is a compact digital camera recorder that matches video incidents with GPS location and tracking. The SMARTY begins to record when its 3-axis accelerometer senses an impact, fast acceleration, or quick turn. Video, GPS location, and G-force is kept 15 seconds before and 5 seconds after the event and stored on the unit’s onboard memory.

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The Wonderful World Of Material Handling

February 25, 2010 10:41 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Martin Sprocket & Gear (Arlington, TX) offers a total package in bulk material handling systems and components, including CEMA standard screws, shaftless screws, dragless conveyors, bucket elevators, cone screws, and ribbon screws. Martin’s material handling solutions are ideal for just about every segment of the manufacturing industry, according to the company.

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Clamping With Accuracy

February 25, 2010 10:40 am | Product Releases | Comments

Misumi USA, Inc. (Schaumburg, IL) introduces additions to its lines of Posts, Stands, and Clamps, which can be configured to suit a variety of applications. They are designed to securely mount devices, such as CCD cameras and photoelectric sensors, which are used by machine designers and builders of automated assembly, inspection, and testing systems.

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Honda: The Land Of Automation

February 25, 2010 3:59 am | Articles | Comments

Honda’s manufacturing plants have largely moved to automation as a means of performing repetitive or labor-intensive tasks, such as welding and metalworking. And while we all know that robotics are slowly gaining hold in manufacturing plants worldwide, it’s sometimes hard to understand the scope until you actually see it.

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