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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Making Candy Canes... As Hard As Steel

December 22, 2009 10:43 am | Articles | Comments

Like most anything else eaten during the holidays, most of us don't know where candy canes come from, or how they're made. Turns out it's not all that different from making steel. Just more... sweet. 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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How An Engineer Puts Up Christmas Lights

December 22, 2009 10:35 am | Articles | Comments

Christmas lights are a trademark of the season, but some homeowners take the tradition a little further than others. While some settle for a single dim string on the bush beside their front door, others opt for something more luminescent. See what happens when a database engineer from Middletown, OH gets into the holiday spirit.

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'Greening' Building-Sized Christmas Lights

December 22, 2009 10:25 am | Articles | Comments

Every year, Hong Kong lights up for the holidays. That is, they decorate their high-rise buildings in millions lights, all in dazzling displays and patterns. For years, the bulbs were a drain on the city's electrical supply, until the designers began to switch to energy-efficient, long-lasting LED lights.

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Boeing Acquires 787 Subassembly Plant

December 22, 2009 3:51 am | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. said Tuesday that it has purchased Alenia North America's 50 percent stake in a fuselage subassembly plant for its 787 Dreamliner. The transaction occurred through a Boeing subsidiary, making Boeing the sole owner of Global Aeronautica LLC. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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China Becomes World's Biggest Automotive Market

December 22, 2009 3:44 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

CHENGDU, China (AP) — Minivan salesman Zhu Yi has a problem that most auto dealers elsewhere would happily swap for their own — he doesn't have enough vehicles to satisfy customer demand. "Sales are exploding," says Zhu, a 32-year-old manager at a General Motors Co. joint venture dealership in Chengdu, pointing to charts on his laptop that vividly plot the steep incline.

Boeing's Second 787 To Take Flight Today

December 22, 2009 3:39 am | News | Comments

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Boeing says its second 787 will take to the skies on Tuesday. The company has scheduled a test flight for the second jetliner at 8:45 a.m. The aircraft will take off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., as long as flight conditions cooperate. About 25,000 people turned out for the first test flight last Tuesday.

Border Patrol Warns Against Illegally Imported Toys

December 22, 2009 3:36 am | News | Comments

SARAH LARIMER,Associated Press Writer MIAMI (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials warned holiday shoppers Monday to stay away from toys that might be dangerous for children or break copyright, patent or trademark laws. Authorities last year seized more than 1,500 shipments of products that either failed to meet consumer safety standards or violated intellectual property laws, said Harold Woodward, director of the agency's field operations in Miami.

Ind. Attorney General Sues Recycler For Safety Violations

December 22, 2009 3:26 am | News | Comments

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Indiana's attorney general is suing a northern Indiana lumber recycling plant with a history of environmental and worker-safety violations. The lawsuit filed Monday in Elkhart County seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions to halt open dumping of wood wastes at VIM Recycling Inc.

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Small Calif. Town Haunted By Pollutants, Birth Defects

December 21, 2009 11:14 am | by Noaki Schwartz, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

KETTLEMAN CITY, Calif. (AP) — Maricela Mares-Alatorre was well aware of the industrial and agricultural pollutants that surrounded her as she grew up in this tiny farm town just three miles from the largest toxic waste dump in the West. Her parents had founded People for Clean Air and Water two decades ago to successfully fight a proposed incinerator at the dump.

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Ford Offers Buyouts To Its 41,000 Hourly Workers

December 21, 2009 11:04 am | by Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. has offered buyout or retirement incentive packages to all of its 41,000 U.S. hourly workers as it tries to further reduce its factory work force. Ford, the healthiest of Detroit's three automakers and the only one to avoid government aid and bankruptcy protection, still has more workers than it needs to produce cars and trucks at current sales levels, said company spokesman Mark Truby.

Bad Assumptions About Hearing Protection

December 21, 2009 10:25 am | by Brad Witt, Director of Hearing Conservation, Howard Leight / Sperian Hearing Protection | Articles | Comments

Any good proof is based upon assumptions: if the assumptions are good, the proof is valid. If the assumptions are bad, then the proof is worthless, or as writer Angelo Donghia puts it, “Assumption is the mother of screw-up.1”  In the world of personal protective equipment, bad assumptions are hazardous and often injurious.

Government-Controlled Weather

December 21, 2009 9:28 am | by by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Chem.Info | Blogs | Comments

When I first heard about Chinese officials trying to control the weather during the Beijing Olympics, I laughed it off as a far-flung idea, loosely based on science, which would never be considered in advanced western countries. For anyone that saw the torrential downpour during the men’s beach volleyball final, it was obvious that the techniques being used by the oriental powerhouse weren’t working too well.

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pIon Fluoride Measurement

December 21, 2009 9:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

Highly-accurate Fluoride ion (F−) measurement for applications including semiconductor fabrication and glass manufacturing is now available with the S10 and S17 pIon Sensors from Electro-Chemical Devices (ECD, Irvine, CA) The S10 and S17’s specific (pIon) electrode cartridge measures the activity of “free” Fluroride ions in solution in concentrations from 0.

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Miniature Cutters And Pliers

December 21, 2009 9:17 am | Product Releases | Comments

Xuron Corp. (Saco, ME) has released a pair of wire cutters and pliers for grasping and tip-cutting soft lead wires in electronics production, assembly, and rework. The Xuron 170-II Micro-Shear Flush Cutter and Model 450S Pliers are ideal for working with wire from 1 mil to 18 Ga thick, and feature Light-Touch return springs, along with Xuro-Rubber cushioned hand grips.

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Automatically-Adjustable Distance Sensoring

December 21, 2009 9:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Baumer (Southington, CT) has introduced IP69K-rated laser distance sensors, featuring corrosion-resistant stainless steel housings, for use in harsh applications, such as washdowns or exposure to caustic compounds. The OADR 20 sensors have a PMMA front screen that is safe for use in food and beverage processing.

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All-Welded Polyester Bagging

December 21, 2009 9:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Eaton Corporation (Cleveland, OH) announced the availability of its new UNIBAG Series Filter Bags, designed using low-cost, environmentally-friendly materials. The bags also feature a molded top ring seal with an all-welded construction of new needlefelt media, which is made from recycled fibers and contains no optical white additives.

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Panasonic Absorbs Sanyo For Solar Panel Technology

December 21, 2009 4:03 am | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Panasonic Corp. said Monday that it had taken majority control of Sanyo Electric Co., officially forming one of the world's largest electronics makers. Panasonic said it had converted preferred shares to give it a 50.27 percent stake in Sanyo. It acquired the shares in a previously announced $4.

A Dim Future For Mitsubishi's Arkansas Turbine Plant

December 21, 2009 3:58 am | News | Comments

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The fate of a promised wind-turbine factory with 400 jobs near Fort Smith remains uncertain after a decision in a patent fight between two conglomerates was delayed until next month. Hoping to grab a larger share of the growing U.S.wind-power industry, Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas Inc.

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Spyker Cars Tosses In Last-Ditch Bid To Save Saab

December 21, 2009 3:40 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

STOCKHOLM (AP) — In a final attempt to rescue Saab Automobile AB, Dutch auto maker Spyker Cars on Sunday submitted a new offer to buy the Swedish brand from General Motors Co. Spyker said it has submitted a new 11-point proposal to GM, addressing the issues that made talks collapse earlier this week.

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Judge To Hear Pratt & Whitney Jobs Lawsuit

December 21, 2009 3:39 am | News | Comments

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A federal judge will begin hearing arguments in a lawsuit challenging jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney's plans to move 1,000 jobs out of Connecticut. U.S. District Judge Janet Hall is set to take up the lawsuit filed by the International Association of Machinists on Monday.

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