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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Obama Warming To Congressional Job-Boosting Bill

December 4, 2009 3:56 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's options for spurring job growth may be limited by out-of-control budget deficits, but with the unemployment rate hovering at 10 percent he is warming to moves by his congressional allies for a jobs-boosting bill. Obama got some encouraging news Friday, with the government reporting that job losses in November fell to the smallest number since the recession's start and the jobless rate dropped, from 10.

Whitacre Names New North American Head For GM

December 4, 2009 3:52 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr. said Friday he is putting engineering chief Mark Reuss in charge of GM's North American operations in a management shakeup. Whitacre, in an address to employees Friday, also said he is recombining sales and marketing, placing them under Susan Docherty.

GM Shakes Up Management After Henderson Walks Out

December 4, 2009 3:45 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is set to announce another round of management changes at the troubled automaker that include new responsibilities for Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, two people briefed on the matter said Friday. Chairman and interim CEO Ed Whitacre Jr. will make the announcement in a video broadcast to company employees, the people said.

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Toyota Unfazed By 4 Million Vehicle Recall

December 4, 2009 3:35 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — The big danger for Toyota isn't the cost of the massive U.S. recall to replace gas pedals, but instead shrinking income from the surging yen, a top executive said Friday. Toyota Motor Corp. Executive Vice President Yukitoshi Funo acknowledged the cost was considerable for replacing gas pedals on about 4 million vehicles to prevent a problem of floor mats getting stuck and possibly causing sudden acceleration.

Build Anything With Flux-Cored Wire

December 4, 2009 3:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

Hobart Brothers (Chicago, IL) are offering their Fabshield XLR-8 self-shielded flux-cored wire, which excels in structural steel construction with high deposition rates and good impact strengths. The XLR-8 wire is formulated to have low diffusible hydrogen levels—less than 6.

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Plasma Cutter Lunchbox

December 4, 2009 3:24 am | Product Releases | Comments

Miller Electric Mfg. Co. (Appleton, WI) introduces the Spectrum 875, a compact plasma cutter in the 60-amp category, weighing in at just 52 lbs. and with dimensions of 13.75” by 8.5” by 18”, no more than a lunch box. Despite the compact size, the 875 offers a cut rating of 7/8” on mild steel at 10” per minute (ipm).

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Safe Lifting With Magnets

December 4, 2009 3:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

The SafeHold EPL Series Permanent Lifting Magnets from Eriez (Erie, PA) help lift and transfer steel or iron without slings, hooks, or cables, and without marring the surface. The lifting magnets require fewer operators and helpers, and when properly installed, provide greater safety than traditional material handling devices.

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Keep Your Welding Fingers

December 4, 2009 3:23 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The MagTab from Strong Hand Tools (Pico Rivera, CA) is designed to hold tabs in place before tack welding. The magnetic, adjustable V-shaped base of the MagTab allows the tool to securely hold against round, square, or angled surfaces, allowing any small metal part to be held in place.

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Britain's Corus Laying Off 1,700

December 4, 2009 3:20 am | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Corus, Europe's second-largest steel producer and a subsidiary of India's Tata Steel, said Friday it will lay off 1,700 workers in northeast England in January because a major customer has broken a contract. Corus said a consortium of four companies has ended a 10-year contract signed in 2004 to buy about 80 percent of the output from Redcar Blast Furnace, Lackenby steelmaking and the South Bank Coke Ovens.

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Taxing The Sweet Tooth

December 3, 2009 5:58 am | by by Krystal Gabert, Associate Editor , Food Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

I’m a skeptic at heart. I despise the word “epidemic.” The fake “trend” stories every week in the New York Times make me cringe. (Dear NYT , Just because somebody saw two hoodie-adorned twenty-somethings smoking pipes in Brooklyn does not make such behavior the latest craze sweeping Youngster Nation.

Ford Fiesta Spurs World's Biggest 'Tweetup'

December 3, 2009 5:03 am | News | Comments

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Fiesta Movement agents and their Twitter friends gathered at the Palladium in West Hollywood Tuesday night and set a new Guinness World Record for the "most attendees at a tweetup" Ford's Fiesta Movement Awards Celebration provided attendees with a sneak peek of the North American Fiesta in advance of its reveal at the Los Angeles Auto Show Fiesta Movement agents have traveled more than 1.

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What Floor? The Moon, Please

December 3, 2009 3:54 am | Articles | Comments

Space elevators — the final frontier. Kind of. See how a space elevator would revolutionize not only the way we get into space, but also the way us Earth-bound folk live. Not only would we have the capacity to ship large payloads into space, but we could build large solar arrays to catch the sun's energy.

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German Engineering And The Chainsaw Motorcycle

December 3, 2009 3:39 am | Articles | Comments

Leave it to the Germans. When you want to see the pinnacle of crazy engineering, go no further. A group of German gearheads have bolted 24 — yes, 24 — chainsaw engines, all working in unison, to a custom motorcycle frame. It's both beautiful and monstrous. But none of that would matter if it was mine.

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GM's Future? Getting Bossed By Hyundai

December 3, 2009 3:32 am | Articles | Comments

Just yesterday GM announced their CEO, Fritz Henderson, was leaving his position immediately, with then-chairman Ed Whitacre filling in the top role. While no one is particularly surprised by the decision, it does represent a significant shift in GM’s movement not only forward but — more importantly — up, back to its old position of being a global contender in the automotive industry.

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Fall Protection, Upgraded

December 3, 2009 3:25 am | Articles | Comments

When you have workers in elevated places, where falling is a distinct threat, a fall protection system is a no-brainer. But not all systems are the same. The people at SPANCO have conducted a series of tests between a standard wire rope system and a SPANCO rigid lifeline, and the results are pretty vivid.

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Gas Mask Bras And British Zombies: 2009's Worst Inventions

December 2, 2009 10:38 am | Articles | Comments

Every year, TIME reaches out and finds some of the best innovations, and we've already seen their opinion on 2009's best offering: NASA's Ares I rocket . But this year is the first they stopped spending so much time on the good stuff, in order to put the spotlight on the year's absolute worst inventions.

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Ford Gambling On Fiesta, Small Cars

December 2, 2009 3:48 am | News | Comments

December 2, 2009 DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co.'s big U.S. gamble on small cars begins Wednesday when it formally unveils American versions of the new Fiesta subcompact at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Ford is hoping that the Fiesta and the U.S. version of the European Focus will take sales from the competition as the market shifts toward well-appointed smaller, more efficient vehicles.

GM CEO Henderson Ousted By Board

December 2, 2009 3:36 am | by Ken Thomas and Tom Krisher, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

December 2, 2009 DETROIT (AP) — The leader of the new General Motors was done in by an old problem at the nation's largest car maker: Change wasn't happening fast enough. GM's board and CEO Fritz Henderson parted ways Tuesday, the board upset that the automaker's turnaround wasn't moving more swiftly and Henderson frustrated with second-guessing, two people close to the former CEO said.

ConAgra Fined For Deadly Slim Jim Explosion

December 2, 2009 3:29 am | by Emergy P. Dalesio, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

December 2, 2009 RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Workplace inspectors cited ConAgra Foods Inc. and a contractor for dozens of serious safety violations in the June explosion at a Slim Jim plant that killed four people, the state Labor Department said Tuesday. Most of the citations against ConAgra Foods and Energy Systems Analysts Inc.

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Harley Workers To Vote Between Job Cuts Or No Jobs

December 2, 2009 3:25 am | News | Comments

December 2, 2009 HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Workers at the Harley-Davidson plant in south-central Pennsylvania are poised to vote on whether to accept a labor contract that could keep the plant there. However, the contract up for a vote Wednesday also would pave the way for deep job cuts at the York plant.

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