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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Cold Weather Straining China's Energy Resources

November 18, 2009 3:47 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Unusually cold weather has caused shortfalls of power and natural gas in Shanghai and parts of central China, local government reports said Wednesday. The surge in energy consumption due to the cold snap, which began last week, is typical of the challenges the country is facing as it struggles to meet demand from consumers whose growing earning power enables them to adopt more modern lifestyles.

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Feds Raid Gibson Guitars Over Hardwood Rumors

November 18, 2009 3:38 am | News | Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal agents on Tuesday raided a Gibson guitar manufacturing plant and seized guitars amid concerns about where the Nashville-based company obtains the fine woods that go into its instruments. Television stations reported that authorities seized wood guitars and other items, but no one was arrested.

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Hershey, Ferrero Consider Bids For Cadbury

November 18, 2009 3:32 am | by Robert Barr, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — Chocolate makers The Hershey Co. and Ferrero International SA said Wednesday they are considering a possible offer for Cadbury PLC, already the target of a hostile bid by Kraft Foods Inc. The move raises the possibility of a takeover battle for the British maker of Dairy Milk and Creme Eggs.

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Notes From The Real World

November 18, 2009 3:25 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder of PCDworks | Articles | Comments

To offer an alternative to my usual rant, this month I thought I'd share some hard-earned insights with those of you who have an insane itch to develop, manufacture, and sell your own products. Until now, I have been shielded from the vagaries of actually manufacturing something in the real world.

Integrated Motion, Integrated Solutions

November 17, 2009 11:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Rockwell Automation (Anaheim, CA) has announced a series of products and enhancements to provide closed- and open-loop drive control on EtherNet/IP with Integrated Motion. Users can now control the Allen-Bradley Kinetics 6500 servo drive and PowerFlex 755 AC drive on EtherNet/IP using Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) and CIP Sync technology, in addition to the RSLogix 5000 software.

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Measure Your Pressure

November 17, 2009 11:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Automation Products Group, Inc. (APG, Logan, UT) has released the PG7 Digital Pressure Gauge, which has been engineered for outdoor conditions. The PG7 is available with ranges from vacuum up to 500 psi, and from 0 up to 10,000 psi, at ±0.25 percent accuracy of full scale.

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Easily Deployed Vacuums

November 17, 2009 11:15 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The PIAB (Täby, Sweden) Modular Automation Tooling system allows users to construct vacuum-end effector tools to meet their exact needs with minimal design time. The PMAT is lightweight and easy to assemble on-site without welding or use of special tools, and features a swivel arm assembly with a choice of various functional attachments, including a PIAB vacuum pump.

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OnLine Programming Ups Versatility

November 17, 2009 11:14 am | Product Releases | Comments

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms (Charlottesville, VA) has announced the release of its latest VersaMax Micro Plus controller firmware revision 4.0. The new OnLine Programming feature enables the user to edit and download logic to the PLC without stopping it, which saves significant downtime and potential expense for lost productivity and scrap.

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Ford Fusion: Motor Trend's 'Car of the Year'

November 17, 2009 8:57 am | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The 2010 Ford Fusion is MOTOR TREND magazine's pick for its prestigious Car of the Year® award The Fusion bested a field of 23 contenders - including the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class - to win the prominent award Fusion is now among America's top 10-selling vehicles and the No.

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World's Fastest Computer Used For Science, Not Bombs

November 17, 2009 6:07 am | by Duncan Mansfield, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — At least for the moment, the world's fastest supercomputer is devoted to solving scientific questions that may save the planet — climate change, renewable energy, new medicines — rather than advances in nuclear weapons that might blow it up. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory's high-performance Jaguar XT5 computer, built by Seattle-based Cray Inc.

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Honeywell Nabs $11.4 Million "Smart Grid" Grant

November 17, 2009 5:33 am | News | Comments

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Honeywell (NYSE: HON ) today announced it has been awarded an $11.4-million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the largest single energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history. The grant, one of several awarded from a smart grid funding package under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), solidifies Honeywell's position as a key player in helping the U.

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No Tricks, Just Tofurkey

November 17, 2009 5:14 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Ever. In fact, I find watching sports and eating carbohydrates to be two of the most enjoyable activities in which to indulge during winter. Each year I pretend to help with the cooking, eat, doze, and then force my grown adult brothers to watch the cartoon version of Dr.

GE Pounces On Chinese Aerospace, Energy Markets

November 17, 2009 4:17 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Tuesday it is forming joint ventures with major Chinese groups that operate aerospace, energy and rail businesses. GE, which currently runs 36 wholly owned or joint venture companies in China, did not disclose the value of the deals. "These agreements share common themes — rapid growth potential, clean technologies and job creation," said General Electric Co.

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GE Establishes More Chinese Ventures

November 17, 2009 4:16 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Tuesday it is forming joint ventures with major Chinese groups that operate aerospace, energy and rail businesses. GE, which currently runs 36 wholly owned or joint venture companies in China, did not disclose the value of the deals. "These agreements share common themes — rapid growth potential, clean technologies and job creation," said General Electric Co.

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Woman Walks On Train Tracks, Nearly Dies, Sues

November 17, 2009 4:10 am | News | Comments

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Helen Gable was taking pictures on the railroad tracks in Tupelo in 2006 when a train nearly cut off her leg as she tried to get out of the way. Gable and her husband are suing the railroad company for nearly $6 million. Gable says the company should have posted trespassing signs to keep people away.

Mass. Residents Sue Over Chemical Explosion

November 17, 2009 4:05 am | News | Comments

DANVERS, Mass. (AP) — Two Massachusetts residents are suing a company that supplied chemicals they say were involved in huge explosion that damaged more than 270 homes and businesses in 2006. Deborah Riva, whose home was destroyed by the blast in Danvers, and Robert Corrieri, who lost his boat, want Salem Superior Court to grant class-action status to a lawsuit they filed Monday against Covington, Ky.

GAO: Employers Keep Workers Quiet On Injuries

November 17, 2009 3:53 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some employers are pressuring workers not to report illnesses and injuries, just one problem that has led to widespread underreporting of workplace safety issues, according to congressional investigators. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors often didn't interview workers to verify what employers claim when keeping tabs on accident and illness rates, the Government Accountability Office report released Monday states.

Coca-Cola Focuses On New Billion-Strong Middle Class

November 17, 2009 3:46 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Food Industry Writer | News | Comments

ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola Co. seeks to double its business in the next decade as it caters to the expected billion people worldwide who will join the middle class by 2020. The world's largest soft drink maker told analysts and investors at a meeting Monday that its systemwide revenue will reach $200 billion by 2020.

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Chinese Solar Panel Maker Finds Home In Arizona

November 17, 2009 3:33 am | by Terry Tang, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday announced plans for a Chinese-owned solar panel maker to build its U.S. headquarters and a manufacturing plant in the Phoenix area, propelling one of the nation's sunniest states toward a bigger global presence in the renewable energy industry. Suntech Power Holdings Co.

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Dell To Use Crushed Bamboo In Packaging

November 17, 2009 3:30 am | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Bamboo has sprouted all over. It's being used everywhere from floorboards to tableware to inline skates and T-shirts, as consumers increasingly seek out products considered gentler on the Earth. Now computer maker Dell Inc. is using the fast-growing member of the grass family as a replacement for paper, plastic and foam packaging materials.

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