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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Americans Buy More, Smaller Cars In March

April 4, 2011 4:21 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Americans bought smaller cars and sport utility vehicles in March, as higher gas prices made fuel efficiency a top priority and rising employment meant more first-time buyers bought a vehicle. The trends lifted U.S. sales of new vehicles by 17 percent from a year earlier to 1.

Rebar-Impaled Popcorn Plant Worker Recovering

April 4, 2011 4:19 am | News | Comments

FOREST CITY, Ill. (AP) — A 25-year-old male employee of a central Illinois popcorn plant is in fair condition after being impaled on some rebar. Douglas Herrman of the Forman Fire Protection District says the man "fell from a height" and was impaled at about 9 a.m. Friday. Herrman tells the Pekin Daily Times that it took crews about 15-20 minutes to remove the rebar using a hand-held saw.


Concerned About Arc-Flash And Electric Shock?

April 1, 2011 11:30 am | by Michael Stuart , Fluke Corporation | Articles | Comments

This article is the first part in a two-part series on arc flash safety and infrared windows. The second part can be found here . Introduction Electrocution is the obvious danger faced by anyone working on or near live electrical equipment and it is clearly important to understand shock hazards and wear appropriate protection.


A Smarter Electric Lift Truck

April 1, 2011 7:42 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Yale Materials Handling Corporation (Greenville, NC) has unveiled its next generation of electric lift trucks with the ECR-VA series. The new trucks have lifting capacities of 3,000 to 4,000 pounds, plus AC motors and transistor controller technology for both the traction and hydraulic systems, which reduces the frequency and cost of maintenance.


When Size Does Matter

April 1, 2011 7:42 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Big Bucket PrimoWeigher combination scale, from CombiScale, Inc. (Locka, FL) is well-suited for a wide range of free-flowing and non-free-flowing applications. The 5 liter BB model can accurately deliver product ranging from 4 ounces to 55 pounds, or for products where a larger volume is a consideration.


A Crane That Carries Anything

April 1, 2011 7:41 am | Product Releases | Comments

Air Technical Industries (Mentor, OH) has announced the development of the Telescopic Mast Straddle Crane, which is a mobile solution that is compact and can carry a variety of loads up to 50,000 pounds. According to the company, it can lift the load up to 120” high for loading, unloading, or transporting heavy loads from one plant bay to another.


Manage Workflow From Anywhere

April 1, 2011 7:41 am | Product Releases | Comments

SKF (San Diego, CA) has introduced the Microlog Inspector, which provides the ability to manage workflow and data collection within and between different plant disciplines (operations, maintenance, safety, inspections, etc.), all within one mobile product. The Inspector can wirelessly connect to a central server, downloading the latest routes and uploading collected data.


China Can't Make Decision On Rare Earths Exports

April 1, 2011 4:54 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — China said Thursday it will increase this year's production quota for rare earths but gave no sign it might reverse plans to cut exports of the exotic metals needed by high-tech industry. China accounts for most rare earths production and has alarmed global manufactures by reducing exports of the ores as it tries to develop its own producers of lightweight magnets and other high-tech goods that use the metals.


ISM Index: 20th Straight Month Of Manufacturing Growth

April 1, 2011 4:37 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing activity probably increased in March for the 20th straight month, though at a slightly slower pace than the previous month. Economists forecast that the Institute for Supply Management's index of manufacturing activity will edge down to 61.

EU Appeals Own Victory Against U.S. Subsidies For Boeing

April 1, 2011 4:31 am | News | Comments

GENEVA (AP) — The European Union is appealing its own victory in a trade ruling against U.S. planemaker Boeing Co. by asking the World Trade Organization to toughen its condemnation of American subsidies for Boeing-made aircraft. The ruling published Thursday based on EU complaints concluded Boeing received at least $5 billion in subsidies between 1989 and 2006 that were prohibited under international trade rules.

Unemployment Falls To 8.8 Percent With 216,000 Jobs

April 1, 2011 4:27 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March and companies added workers at the fastest two-month pace since before the recession began. The Labor Department reported Friday that the economy added 216,000 new jobs last month, offsetting layoffs by local governments.

U.S. Car Sales Hit Double-Digit Increase In March

April 1, 2011 4:24 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. sales of cars and trucks are expected to rise at a double-digit rate in March as worries about higher gas prices and supplies of Japanese cars prompted some shoppers to buy new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The number of new vehicles sold likely rose 17 percent to 1.24 million, compared with a year earlier, according to Edmunds.

One Dead, Three Injured In Texas Chemical Blast

April 1, 2011 4:21 am | News | Comments

PORT ARTHUR, Texas (AP) — One person is dead and three others are hurt after an explosion and flash fire at a Southeast Texas chemical plant. The incident happened about 2:15 p.m. Thursday at the KMTEX plant near Port Arthur. A statement issued by Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Rod Carroll says witnesses report a worker was welding on a pipeline containing coal tar solvent when it exploded.


Video Release: Smaller Air Conditioners

March 31, 2011 5:36 am | Product Releases | Comments

MovinCool (Long Beach, CA) has developed a video to highlight the features and benefits of their CM Series ceiling-mounted packaged air conditioners.


Even, Precise Bolt Tensioning

March 31, 2011 5:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

The hydraulic bolt tensioners from Enerpac (Sydney, Australia) help facilitate faster, safer, and more precise maintenance and fabrication operations, according to the company. The GT-Series bolt tensioners, in capacities up to 320 tons at 1,500 bat, are suited where operators want to achieve known and accurate bolt loads across multiple applications.


Fully-Sealed Connectors For Tough Jobs

March 31, 2011 5:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

Molex Incorporated (Lisle, IL) has announced the Multi-Drop Sealed Connector and Cable System, a modular connector system for the transfer of both power and data/signal in a multi-drop configuration. The system is fully sealed to IP66 and IP67 ratings, and can be customized to meet any requirements for internal and external data/signal and power applications.


Capture Better Audio In Loud Places

March 31, 2011 5:34 am | Product Releases | Comments

Olympus (Center Valley, PA) has developed the new DM-620 PCM audio recording device featuring a three-microphone TRESMIC system designed to capture low frequency sound for premium recordings. The device also features a “scene select” option, noise cancelation, a zoom microphone, and a low-cut filter.


Leaders Are Needed In Compliance Crises

March 31, 2011 4:36 am | by The QA Pharm, Anonymous Industry Insider and Contributor to Pharmaceutical Processing | Articles | Comments

When an organization is faced with the task of transforming from non-compliance complicity to embracing standards and discipline, a central figure that rallies the troops must step forward. It’s a most unfortunate ailment of epidemic proportions that the approach taken by many when addressing underlying CGMP compliance issues is effectively based in a checklist mentality — a to-do list.

Lean Manufacturing Demands Intelligent AP Automation

March 31, 2011 4:35 am | by Dan Hunstad, Senior Systems Analyst, Metafile Information Systems | Articles | Comments

The accounting process is the lifeblood of every manufacturing organization, and therefore deserves to be treated with the same priority placed on contributors to the production line. By definition, Lean manufacturing is intended to reduce the waste of time and resources that do not directly add value to the business.

Re-Kindling Your Passion

March 30, 2011 11:40 am | by by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

I’ve always been a diehard fan of the printed page, whether it’s a hardback novel or the glossy pages of a magazine. That passion is a large part of why I’m in the publishing business now. In many ways, there’s nothing better than sitting down with a good book and feeling the pages between your fingers.



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