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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Reclaim Your Floor Space

April 8, 2010 6:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

FastPic Systems (Westbrook, ME) has developed the FastPic inventory management software, which allows manufacturers to manage and control inventory while processing transactions in real-time. When additional parts are needed, an operator can select the order to process in the FastPic software, and seamless integration of Shuttle VLMs allows the units to begin retrieving the required parts immediately.

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LEGO-Like Crane Kits

April 8, 2010 6:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

Demag Cranes & Components (Cleveland, OH) offers pre-engineered single girder crane kits in either top running or under running configurations that allow installers to do their own on-site assembly. The kits are shipped with all necessary components except the steel beams.

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Boeing: 787 Wing And Fuselage Stress Tests Complete

April 8, 2010 4:55 am | News | Comments

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Boeing Co. says the stress tests for its new 787 jetliner's wing and fuselage went as planned. On March 28, workers at Boeing's Everett, Wash., plant bent the wing of a special test 787 by 150 percent of the most extreme forces it would experience in flight — about 25 feet upward at the wing tip.

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Toyota Official: 'We Need To Come Clean'

April 8, 2010 4:09 am | by Ken Thomas and Larry Margasak, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five days before Toyota announced a massive recall, a U.S. public relations executive at the automaker warned colleagues in an internal e-mail: "We need to come clean" about accelerator problems, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday. "We are not protecting our customers by keeping this quiet," wrote Irv Miller, group vice president for environment and public affairs.

The Color Of Spinach

April 7, 2010 11:08 am | Articles | Comments

Tony Bordieri of State Garden, Inc., a MA-based processor of fresh produce, details how his company was able to preserve customer confidence and limit profit loss during the recent spinach recall. This video is an excerpt of a webcast that discussed maintaining profitability in the event of a recall, and can be downloaded for free at www.

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From Segways To Robotic Arms

April 7, 2010 11:07 am | Articles | Comments

Dean Kamen, well-known for inventing the Segway, visits Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report to show off the LUKE arm (yes, its named after Luke Skywalker and his unfortunate incident with Darth Vader). The robotic appendage was commissioned by the Department of Defense and DARPA, with the goal of accomplishing a simple mission: to provide amputees with the accuracy and touch sensitivity to pick up something as small as a raisin, or as fragile as a grape.

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The iPad — Will It Blend?

April 7, 2010 11:06 am | Articles | Comments

A tragedy? For many, absolutely. Amusing? At IMPO , we like to see product destruction in all its forms, whether or not it involves a highly-coveted new gadget. The people at Blendtec certainly seem to share that passion. 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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A Meat-Flavored Cocktail

April 7, 2010 10:48 am | Articles | Comments

At the end of a long day at work, sometimes the one thing that hits the spot is a nice drink. Whether it’s a bottle of Bud Light or some expensive scotch, we all have our favorites. Well, have you thought about meat-infused whiskey? One “mixologist” has. 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 Loses $4.3 Billion In Latter Half Of 2009

April 7, 2010 5:32 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says it lost $4.3 billion in the last half of 2009 as it struggled to emerge from bankruptcy protection, repay government loans and cope with a severe downturn in U.S. sales. However, the automaker says it still sees a chance of achieving profitability in 2010.

Show Off Your Data

April 7, 2010 5:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

The DXAdvanced R4 data acquisition and display station from Yokogawa (Newnan, GA) now features standard high capacity memory and a new option for pharmaceutical applications. The Advanced Security option delivers full compliance with FDA regulation 21 CFR Part 11, and is completmented with a multi-batch option.

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Geithner To Visit China Over Currency Control Debate

April 7, 2010 4:56 am | by Aijaz Ansari, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MUMBAI, India (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will visit Beijing for talks with a Chinese vice premier for economic affairs on Thursday, Geithner's spokesman said, in a sign the two sides are moving toward settling a dispute over China's currency controls. Geithner will meet with Vice Premier Wang Qishan, spokesman Andrew Williams said Wednesday, as the Treasury secretary ended a two-day visit to India.

China Threatens Shutdowns For Cadmium-Laced Products

April 7, 2010 4:42 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — Product safety officials in China are investigating jewelry makers and warning them against using cadmium after high levels of the cancer-causing metal were found in Chinese-made children's trinkets sold in the United States. Product safety watchdogs in several Chinese cities have told jewelry manufacturers they will be shut down if their products are found to contain cadmium, though none reached Wednesday would say whether they had found any cadmium products or closed any factories.

Eliminating Moisture In Electrical Cabinets

April 7, 2010 4:35 am | by David J.Connaughton, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Filtration and Separation Division | Articles | Comments

Moisture in electrical cabinets, control panels and motor compartments can affect plant efficiency and product quality, leading to significant downtime and expensive repairs. This is especially critical in food processing industries, since moisture can lead to mold and/or bacterial growth and create regulatory concerns.

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Firefighters Save Iowa Manufacturing Plant

April 7, 2010 4:28 am | News | Comments

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say quick action by firefighters prevented a disaster at a Fort Madison company. Crews managed to contain the fire to the room where it started early Tuesday at the Gregory Design and Manufacturing plant. The company designs and produces flat and automotive glass racks.

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Toyota Warned EU Regulators Of Defects Before U.S.

April 7, 2010 4:27 am | by Ken Thomas and Larry Margasak, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long before Toyota told U.S. regulators about sticking accelerator pedals, the Japanese automaker warned its distributors throughout Europe about similar problems, documents obtained by The Associated Press show. Concerns about sticking gas pedals and complaints from Toyota owners in the U.

Mitsubishi Plans Arkansas Wind Turbine Plant

April 7, 2010 4:26 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Mitsubishi said Tuesday it is aiming to produce wind turbines in Arkansas by next year at a new $100 million plant, a facility that signals the company is seeking to regain its U.S. customers. Company executives gathered with state and local officials to mark Mitsubishi's decision to build the plant, which will employ at least 400 people and help stem the tide of manufacturing jobs that have left the Fort Smith area.

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Officials: Upper Big Branch Mine Took Safety Second

April 7, 2010 4:18 am | by Tim Huber, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

JULIAN, W.Va. (AP) — The coal mine rocked by an explosion that killed at least 25 workers in the nation's deadliest mining disaster since 1984 had been cited for 600 violations in less than a year and a half, some of them for not properly ventilating methane — the highly combustible gas suspected in the blast.

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V-Vehicle Plans Second Bid At $320 Million Loan

April 6, 2010 10:26 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — V-Vehicle Co., a startup automaker planning to build its vehicle in northeastern Louisiana, will apply again for $321.1 million in government loans, but must come up with another $100 million in private investment and credit to satisfy federal concerns, the acting company head said Tuesday.

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What We Can Learn From Toyota

April 6, 2010 10:08 am | by Amanda Earing, News Editor, Manufacturing.Net | Articles | Comments

Toyota taught us how to build a successful lean production system, and now it’s teaching manufacturers what to do — or what NOT to do — when faced with massive recalls. Manufacturing.net sat down with Ron Atkinson, past president of the American Society for Quality and long-time auto manufacturing expert to discuss what we can learn from Toyota’s problems.

The Arm Strength You Always Wanted

April 6, 2010 10:01 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Positech Corporation (Laurens, IA) has redesigned its ReactionArm industrial manipulator under the Positech brand name. The ReactionArm is a pneumatic torque reaction arm that absorbs shock, torsional forces, and impact forces from power tools — this helps reduce carpal tunnel injury and cumulative trauma disorders.

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