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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Painting Fighter Jets With Lasers

June 16, 2010 7:39 am | Articles | Comments

This Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II doesn't get your standard paint job, to say the least. It's supposed to be able to fly into enemy airspace without being detected by typical radar systems, which isn't an easy task. The people at Lockheed Martin have developed a whole host of laser systems to precisely paint the technology-heavy planes to make them as stealthy as possible.

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Insurers Banned From Dropping Chinese Drywall Owners

June 16, 2010 5:06 am | by Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A ban on insurance companies dropping coverage of homeowners who have found corrosive Chinese drywall in their homes is headed to Gov. Bobby Jindal after getting final legislative passage Tuesday. The bill by Rep. Julie Quinn, R-Metairie, would prohibit insurers from canceling or refusing to renew policies for homes because of Chinese-made drywall, which has been blamed for home corrosion and health concerns.

Chrysler Won't Shut Down Production This Summer

June 16, 2010 4:59 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler Group LLC has ended a cost-saving requirement that all workers take the same two weeks off during the summer, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday. For the past two years, cash-starved Chrysler shut down all of its operations during the same two weeks in July that it closed U.

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Industrial Production Rises 1.2 Percent, Fuels Economy

June 16, 2010 4:42 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industrial production rose 1.2 percent in May as manufacturing remained a key engine of the economic recovery. The Federal Reserve says output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose over April's 0.7 percent increase. The industrial sector's gains reflect the growing strength of the recovery.

Lindt Expands Unique All-In-One Chocolate Plant

June 16, 2010 4:40 am | by Kathy McCormack, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Swiss chocolate maker Lindt had humble beginnings when it set up its U.S. headquarters in southeastern New Hampshire back in 1989. "At that point in time we were a very small unit, manufacturing just a few products," said Ernst Tanner, Lindt CEO. "Our brand was really not established.

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DuPont Ordered To Pay $59,000 For Mercury Pollution

June 16, 2010 4:35 am | News | Comments

KINSTON, N.C. (AP) — Industrial giant DuPont has agreed to pay a $59,000 penalty for mercury discharges at a North Carolina plant. The federal Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday the settlement relates to the company's polymer fiber manufacturing facility in Kinston. The EPA says discharges at the plant exceeded permitted levels of mercury for eight months between September 2008 and March 2009.

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EPA: Climate Bill To Cost Less Than A Postage Stamp

June 16, 2010 4:34 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A climate and energy bill being pushed in the Senate would cost American households 22 to 40 cents a day — less than the cost of a first-class postage stamp, the Obama administration said Tuesday. An analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that the Senate bill, sponsored by Sens.

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Berries Benefit From Project Management Solution

June 15, 2010 12:06 pm | Articles | Comments

Driscoll’s is a fourth-generation family-owned company that is the world’s leading supplier of fresh berries. The company works with a network of independent farmers throughout the world and needed a project management solution that would enable it to efficiently oversee and execute global projects throughout the organization.

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Mixing Up Some Chicken Breast Tonight?

June 15, 2010 12:05 pm | Articles | Comments

Scientists at the University of Missouri have accomplished what many thought to be impossible: making fake chicken that tastes and feels like the real deal. It's soy-based, and considered to be the first "meat analogue." While some might consider it a novelty, the scientists involved think it could help the country depend less on expensive and agriculturally-intensive poultry production while continuing to satisfy our love for all things chicken.

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Kevin Costner's Oil Spill Solution

June 15, 2010 12:04 pm | Articles | Comments

During the first few weeks of the BP oil spill, Kevin Costner was the butt of a lot of jokes surrounding his so-called fix for the polluted Gulf of Mexico, which revolves around a fairly simple and well-known concept: the centrifuge. Costner says he bought the patent to the device more than a decade ago, and has spent a lot of money in the meantime bringing it to fruition.

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Thermal Imaging Gets Personal

June 15, 2010 9:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

testo Inc. (Sparta, NJ) has released two new thermal imagers, the testo 875 and testo 881, which can be used for diagnostics in building performance, predictive maintenance, and thermal anomalies. The testo 881 was designed with the maintenance professional in mind, with a <0.

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Tubular Products Made-To-Order

June 15, 2010 9:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

Penn Stainless Products (Quakertown, PA) now offers nonstandard welded tubular items in stainless, duplex, nickel, 6-moly, and chrome moly materials. They can also be ordered in light gauge and heavy wall thicknesses. Made-to-order OD sizes range from 1/8” through 96” diameter, while stock sizes range from 1/8” to 24” diameter.

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Conveyors Make Lean Possible

June 15, 2010 9:24 am | Product Releases | Comments

The FLEXconveyor from Bliss Industries Inc. (Milpitas, CA) allows users to unclamp and re-clamp any section of the conveyor line to meet changing needs or improved processes, and is 20 percent off now through July 4, 2010. According to the company, the FLEXconveyor is ideal for low-and high-mix facilities, and allows manufacturers to utilize lean manufacturing to the extreme.

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Keep Cables And Hoses Safe

June 15, 2010 9:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

igus (East Providence, RI) is now offering the RX energy tube, which was developed especially for the machine tool industry, and is nearly 100 percent chip-proof. The domed outer contour allows debris — such as metal or wood chips — to simply fall off the tube.

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Manufacturing Consumption Up 50.6 Percent Year-To-Date

June 15, 2010 7:05 am | News | Comments

Douglas K. Woods, AMT President April U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $222.36 million, according to AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was down 15.

When Component Price Is Right

June 15, 2010 7:04 am | by Bill Moore, Sr. Vice President, Channel Management, SKF Service Division | Articles | Comments

A challenging economy is prompting manufacturers to cut costs in ways that affect nearly every aspect of the business. It is forcing early retirements and layoffs of skilled personnel. It is prohibiting investment in new equipment. And it is putting pressure on long-held and proven sourcing practices, such as purchasing premium rotating components and technology through established supply chain venues.

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300 Deere Jobs Saved Through Tax Credits

June 15, 2010 5:12 am | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state of Iowa's decision to grant state tax credits for a major modernization project at the John Deere Foundry in Waterloo is saving nearly 300 jobs at the company. According to documents Deere & Co. filed with the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the tax credits is allowing the company to retain 60 salaried positions and 235 hourly jobs in Waterloo.

Northrop Wins $517 Million Army Contract For Airships

June 15, 2010 5:10 am | News | Comments

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — Northrop Grumman Corp. said Monday it has won a $517 million contract from the U.S. Army to develop up to three hybrid airships for battlefield surveillance. The airship, dubbed the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, or LEMV, is slightly longer than a football field.

Texas Asks Federal Court For Help In EPA Battle

June 15, 2010 4:56 am | by Juan A. Lozano, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas asked a federal court on Monday to intervene in its fight with the Environmental Protection Agency over how the state regulates emissions from oil refineries and other petrochemicals plants. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to review the EPA's rejection in March of a 1995 state law that allows refineries to be modified without being subject to additional regulation, provided the changes don't increase a facility's overall emissions.

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Hershey To Spend $300 Million On Plant Modernization

June 15, 2010 4:46 am | by Marc Levy, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Chocolate maker The Hershey Co. said Monday it will spend $250 million to $300 million to modernize several facilities and cut costs as part of a plan that is intended to save $80 million a year and could mean big changes for the company's hometown. Hershey made the announcement after its board unanimously approved the plan.

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