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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Long-Lasting Diaphragm Pumps

August 26, 2010 9:29 am | Product Releases | Comments

The VACUUBRAND ME1 and ME1C diaphragm pumps from BrandTech Scientific, Inc. (Essex, CT) offer a compact solution that is ideal for both single and multiple filtrations, according to the company. The new pumps deliver pumping speeds of 14 lpm and a vacuum of 100 mbar, while providing a long diaphragm life (10,000 to 15,000 operating hours).

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Count By Lasers

August 26, 2010 9:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Baumer Group (Southington, CT) has developed a new SCATEC sensor, which uses laser optics and a unique internal algorithm to count the number of documents being transported via conveyor clamps or grippers. The sensor measures documents as thick as 0.25 mm and sensing ranges up to 120 mm, and can scan items traveling at speeds up to 5 m/s.

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An ERP Success Story

August 26, 2010 6:59 am | Articles | Comments

A quality enterprise resource planning solution can offer a manufacturer a powerful, end-to-end value-chain solution to manage key infrastructure and support its manufacturing and business needs. Located in Irwin, Pennsylvania, Precision Defense Services (PDS) is a leading manufacturer of high quality precision machined parts for both the military and commercial marketplaces.

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Principles Of Sustainability For Food Products

August 26, 2010 5:39 am | by Cheryl Baldwin, Ph.D., Editor of Sustainability in the Food Industry | Articles | Comments

Sustainability is a growing concern in the food industry. A study published in the  New Scientist showed the food industry lagging in environmental performance compared to all other industries studied. This is partly because the industry plays a significant role in environmental impact.

Easier Lubricant Dispensing

August 25, 2010 11:51 am | Product Releases | Comments

Oil-Rite Corporation has designed a spray dispenser to apply lubricant or industrial fluid to continuously operating machinery with alternating reservoirs in a controlled sequence to attain an “always on” status. Two reservoirs are used together to achieve a constant source of pressurized fluid, avoiding the need for oversized reservoirs to maximize the run time.

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Next-Generation Industrial Doors

August 25, 2010 11:50 am | Product Releases | Comments

Goff’s Enterprises has developed a customized high-speed roll-up door, the “G-2 Door,” which features replaceable and exchangeable panels in vinyl, mesh, and clear PVC. The panels allow users to replace sections of the door with changing seasons without downtime or destruction.

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Self-Contained CNC Fixtures

August 25, 2010 11:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

The S.C.P.U. (Self-Contained Power Unit) from Kirsan Engineering was designed to eliminate the possibility of human error when hydraulically actuating machining fixtures. With the S.C.P.U., the hydraulic pump is integral to the fixture, and when the machining process is complete, the last tool used is then programmed to release the hydraulic press by depressing the release valve.

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Foxconn's Ineffective 'Morale Rallies'

August 25, 2010 8:30 am | Articles | Comments

Last week, Foxconn held a morale-boosting parade in order to stem the wave of suicides that have marred the company’s reputation. While workers certainly couldn’t complain about a little R&R, they were still skeptical of the rally’s effectiveness in making workers happier. One woman says the theatrics are worthless, and that Foxconn needs to start treating its workers like human beings instead.

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China's Straddling Buses

August 25, 2010 6:04 am | Articles | Comments

China is well-known for its massive industrial surge, but their clogged infrastructure is starting to become a major issue, if that 10-day traffic jam is any indication. So what's their solution? A little something called “straddling buses.” These buses travel on two parallel sets of tracks, with one major difference: there is space beneath for cars to pass through, allowing for more traffic and less congestion.

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A Pickup That Runs On Human... Waste

August 25, 2010 5:44 am | Articles | Comments

Automotive innovation is what originally put Flint, Michigan on the map, and this pickup is no different. The “brown” technology is being developed for potential use among all Flint municipal vehicles, which are in the process of being converted to natural gas. For all intents and purposes, the car is more or less unchanged, save for an extra fuel tank.

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High Schoolers Make A Better Car

August 25, 2010 5:39 am | Articles | Comments

Think high school students can't make anything worthwhile? While these students based their vehicle off the used frame from an Indy car, the drivetrain technology is all their own. Accoring to those involved, the car is capable of achieving the equivalent of 450mpg. Better yet? Programs like these are what inspire young Americans to take engineering and manufacturing as serious career choices.

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Minnesota Struggles To Keep Ford Truck Plant

August 25, 2010 5:04 am | News | Comments

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty meets Wednesday with Ford Motor Co. executives to talk about the future of the company's St. Paul truck plant. Pawlenty's official schedule lists a private meeting at the Ford Product Development Center in Dearborn, Mich. The Republican governor is traveling with St.

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Northrop Grumman Cutting 642 Miss. Workers

August 25, 2010 4:42 am | News | Comments

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Northrop Grumman Corp. plans to lay off 642 workers at its Pascagoula shipyard by the end of the year, the company said. The first 292 affected workers were notified Wednesday under a federal law requiring 60 days notice of layoffs that affect 500 or more people. The company told The Mississippi Press that the layoffs are due to the cyclical nature of shipbuilding, including the timing of contracts.

July A Bleak Month For Manufactured Goods

August 25, 2010 4:41 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies cut back on their investments in equipment and machines last month as the economic recovery lost momentum. Overall orders for big-ticket manufactured goods increased 0.3 percent in July, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. But that was only because of a 76 percent jump in demand for commercial aircraft.

Company Apologizes For Ammonia Leak, Restarts Operations

August 25, 2010 4:36 am | News | Comments

THEODORE, Ala. (AP) — A refrigeration company says it's sorry for the ammonia leak that sent dozens of people to hospitals around Mobile. Millard Refrigerated Services issued a statement late Tuesday apologizing to people who reported medical problems or experienced discomfort because of the leak at its plant in Theodore along an industrial canal.

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Wyo. Plant Turns Sugar Cane Waste Into Biofuel

August 25, 2010 4:35 am | by Bob Moen, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming is a long way from places where sugar cane is grown, but a test plant in the northeast part of the state will soon be turning sugar cane waste into biofuel. KL Energy Corp., based in Rapid City, S.D., and Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras announced an agreement Tuesday to produce cellulosic ethanol from sugar cane bagasse, the waste created when sugar cane is processed into sugar.

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RV-Maker Reopens Ind. Plant For Luxury Trailers

August 25, 2010 4:34 am | News | Comments

SYRACUSE, Ind. (AP) — A recreational vehicle company says it has bought a closed factory in northern Indiana where it plans to start building a new line of luxury trailers in the coming months. Thor Industries subsidiary Redwood RV announced Tuesday its purchase of the factory in Syracuse that was formerly owned by Ameri-Camp RV, which shut down in 2008.

Experimenting With Supercritical Fluids

August 24, 2010 6:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

Supercritical Fluid Technologies, Inc. (Newark, DE) has developed the SFT-150 Supercritical Fluid Extraction/Reaction System, which allows users to investigate the feasibility of applying supercritical fluid techniques to various processing situations. A modular design makes it easy and cost-effective to alter the unit’s basic configurations, adapting it to meet new or evolving application needs, according to the company.

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Damage-Free Flange Spreading

August 24, 2010 6:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

Flange Spreaders separate pipe flanges for the replacement of the flange gasket or the reapplication sealant to the flange face. The Safety Boy Flange Spreader, from WM.L.RIGGS Company (Tulsa, OK) attaches to the flange mounting holes and spreads the flange faces without the risk of damage to the flange sealing surfaces.

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Easier Than Hand Tapping

August 24, 2010 6:55 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Speedaire Hand Tappers, which are ideal for general purpose tapping, are now available from W.W. Grainger (Lake Forest, IL). They eliminate time-wasting hand tapping with a pneumatic high-reversal-type motor with added torque, which allows the tapper to handle a range of tap sizes. A quick-change tool holding provides tap-changing flexibility and accepts optional clutch-type tap holders.

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