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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Hyundai, VW Lead Pack For Safest Vehicles

December 22, 2010 3:27 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia and German car maker Volkswagen lead the insurance industry's annual list of the safest new vehicles, used by safety-minded consumers looking to buy a new car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recognized 66 vehicles on Wednesday with its "top safety pick award" for the 2011 model year, the most-ever awarded by the Virginia-based group.

Combustible Dust Explosion Injures Two At Georgia Plant

December 22, 2010 3:23 am | News | Comments

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Fire investigators say dust in the air at an animal vitamin plant led to an explosion that damaged the plant and left two workers injured. Jackson County firefighters responded to the blast at the Hoffman-La Roche/DCM Materials plant on Tuesday.

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NAM Names Jay Timmons President And CEO

December 22, 2010 3:20 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today announced that it has named Jay Timmons president and CEO, effective January 2011. Timmons has served as Executive Vice President at the NAM and will succeed former Michigan Governor John Engler in this position.   Timmons has extensive experience in government relations, public affairs, political campaigns and business.

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The Advantages Of Mixed Mode Manufacturing

December 21, 2010 9:06 am | Articles | Comments

An alternative to implementing multiple modules like flow and discrete for manufacturing, the process-mix can be handled using Discrete Manufacturing module alone, resulting in lowering of implementation and support cost. Manufacturing companies usually have a mix of discrete and flow type manufacturing processes.

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Make Pallet Loading More Ergonomic

December 21, 2010 8:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

Southworth Products Corp. (Portland, ME) has redesigned its PalletPal Level Loader to make it more ergonomic. A smaller base makes loading and unloading pallets faster, safer, and easier because it allows users to step closer to the unit’s platform. According to the company, its use can eliminate injury-producing bending, lifting, reaching, and stretching common to pallet-loading applications.

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Easy RTV Dispensing

December 21, 2010 8:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

The RTV Silicone Dispenser from Dispense Works, Inc. (McHenry, IL) is a bench-top solution for automatically dispensing RTV onto a user’s product. The Axis 300 robot uses a built-in digital valve controller and a full-length T-Slot base to simplify fixturing and tooling. In addition, the robots feature continuous contouring and real-time syringe/valve control, which results in dispensed beads of consistent widths and volume.

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Streamlined Thermal Printing

December 21, 2010 8:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

The duplexpackslip from Premier Print (Chicago, IL) allows shipping departments to streamline the shipping label and packing slip process with two-sided thermal printing. The duplexpackslip allows facilities to reduce high labor costs and excessive error rates. According to the company, the system takes a five-step process and brings it to a two-step process with minimal intervention, which enables costs savings.

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A 'Man' To Help Scan Barcodes

December 21, 2010 8:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) has announced that a manufacturer of components in the aerospace industry has selected the Cognex DataMan handheld ID reader to help speed order processing and error-proof part handling at its production facilities worldwide. The DataMan 8500 reader can be used to scan ID codes marked on parts and on order sheets to verify that the orders have been correctly processed.

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Working At Google: And That's Not All!

December 21, 2010 5:27 am | Articles | Comments

This tour through Google’s California headquarters sounds like one of those late-night infomercials that just keep tacking on the promises. From free food, free gyms, massages on your birthday, and a multitude of laundry machines so that you don’t have to take a trip to the laundromat, Google’s fringe benefits just keep on giving.

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Why OSHA Was Created

December 21, 2010 5:00 am | Videos | Comments

Considering how long ago the U.S. went through its industrial revolution, it's surprising that OSHA wasn't formed and ratified until 1971. The organization, which is now a staple in any workplace, was formulated because in the two preceding years, some 28,000 workers died from workplace hazards. Every year, another two million were disabled or harmed.

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Who Said Biofuels Are Boring?

December 21, 2010 4:56 am | Videos | Comments

While much of the world's attention is currently focused on electric cars, the development of 2nd generation biofuels is moving ahead significantly as well. Researchers of the University of Twente, in cooperation with BTG (as part of the Biocoup consortium) have reached a breakthrough in the conversion of biomass into liquid biofuel.

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Turning Bombs Into Robots

December 21, 2010 4:55 am | Videos | Comments

CNN reports on an old weapons factory in Baghdad that now makes robots that will help Iraqi police and military in the disposal of bombs. The most incredible thing about the story is what the factory — and its manager — used to make under the Hussein regime: bombs. 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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GM Using Gulf Spill Oil Boom In Production Of Volt

December 21, 2010 3:57 am | by Harry R. Weber, Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Boom from the BP oil spill is getting a new charge from the maker of the Chevrolet Volt electric car. General Motors says that instead of going to landfills, roughly 100 miles of plastic boom material will be converted into vehicle parts. The parts deflect air around the vehicle's radiator.

SEC To Investigate Hurd's Devastating Ouster From HP

December 21, 2010 3:42 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mark Hurd is facing more fallout from his ouster five months ago as CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's biggest personal computer and printer maker. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the circumstances of Hurd's forced resignation in August, a surprising exit that triggered an immediate $9 billion drop in HP's market value and involved allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate sharing of inside information.

Union Leaders Not Happy With Kohler Contract

December 21, 2010 3:38 am | News | Comments

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — Union workers at Kohler Co. have approved a new contract against the recommendation of their leaders. The contract passed with 62 percent of the vote. Vote totals were not made available immediately following the vote Sunday in Sheboygan. The contract calls for a 5-year pay freeze, and workers will pay more for health insurance.

Pfizer Recalls More Lipitor For Strange Odor

December 21, 2010 3:36 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Drug developer Pfizer Inc. on Tuesday recalled a batch of 19,000 bottles of the blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor, citing a consumer complaint about an "uncharacteristic" odor. The latest announcement marks the fourth such recall since August over similar issues. Pfizer said the bottles were supplied by an outside manufacturer, though it did not identify the party.

A Timeline Of Our Gas-Guzzling Nation

December 21, 2010 3:35 am | by the Associated Press | News | Comments

Experts say U.S. gasoline demand is at the start of a long-term decline following seven decades of mostly uninterrupted growth. Here are key moments marking the rise and fall: 1905 — Country's first gasoline filling station is built in St. Louis. 1946 — Gasoline demand rises 25 percent the year after World War II ends.

Toyota To Pay Record $32.4 Million Fine Over Recalls

December 21, 2010 3:34 am | by Ken Thomas and Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay the U.S. government a record $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis. The civil penalties will settle investigations into how Toyota dealt with recalls over accelerator pedals that could get trapped in floor mats and steering relay rods that could break and lead to drivers losing control.

Multimeters And Calibrators, Combined

December 20, 2010 7:52 am | Product Releases | Comments

Yokogawa (Newnan, GA) has announced the CA450 Process Multimeter, which combines the functionality of a digital multimeter and a 4-20mA loop calibrator into a single instrument. The CA450 allows maintenance personnel to source and measure with a single handheld tool, which helps minimize the amount of equipment users have to carry.

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Thermal Imaging In High Definition

December 20, 2010 7:52 am | Product Releases | Comments

NEC Avio Infrared Technologies (San Fernando, CA) has introduced its new InfReC R300 high-definition thermal imager with a variety of capabilities, which includes a thermal movie recording mode, thermal/visible integrated images, a resolution (NETD) of 0.05°C, and an accuracy of ±1°C (1 percent).

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