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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Obama Proposes Energy Efficiency Tax Credits

February 4, 2011 3:58 am | by Ben Feller, AP White House Correspondent | News | Comments

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — President Barack Obama, turning briefly to his eclipsed domestic agenda Thursday, called on the nation's businesses to make fresh investments in clean energy technology that lay a foundation for long-term American prosperity. He proposed a new tax credit and other measures to encourage businesses to retrofit their plants and reduce costs — steps that he said would save $40 billion a year in utility bills.


Photo Of The Week: American Productivity

February 4, 2011 3:47 am | News | Comments

In this Jan. 26, 2011 photo, Terri Lewis installs a fan on a diesel engine on the Volvo truck assembly line at the Volvo plant in Dublin, Va. The work force was more efficient last year with productivity rising at the fastest pace in eight years while labor costs fell for a second straight year, something that hasn't happened in nearly five decades.


Prius Falls Hard From Top-Selling Spot In Japan

February 4, 2011 3:39 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Honda's Fit subcompact overtook Toyota's Prius gasoline-electric hybrid as Japan's top-selling car in January, its first return to that spot in nearly two years. The figures released Friday by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association show how the end of government subsidies for green cars have hurt sales of the Prius after holding the top spot in Japan for 20 straight months.


Wis. Meatpacker Settles Sex-Discrimination Lawsuit

February 4, 2011 3:36 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin meatpacking company has agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle a sex-discrimination lawsuit accusing it of rejecting 970 female applicants over a two-year period, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. Green Bay Dressed Beef LLC will pay the money in the form of back pay, benefits and interest, Labor Department spokesman Scott Allen said.

Thousands Fraudulently File For Electric Vehicle Credits

February 4, 2011 3:34 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Car companies like General Motors and Nissan are slowly rolling out rechargeable electric cars. But that didn't stop thousands of U.S. taxpayers, including prisoners and some IRS employees, from incorrectly claiming lucrative tax credits for the electric vehicles last year. A Treasury Department inspector general report says nearly 13,000 taxpayers erroneously claimed about $33 million in credits for plug-in electric and alternative vehicles during the first six months of 2010.

U.S. Adds 36,000 Jobs, Unemployment Falls To 9 Percent

February 4, 2011 3:31 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rate dropped sharply last month to 9 percent, based on a government survey that found that more than a half-million people found work. A separate survey of company payrolls showed a scant increase of 36,000 net jobs as snowstorms likely hampered hiring. That survey doesn't count the self-employed.

A Trailer For Your Plant

February 3, 2011 7:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

Wheelift Systems (Waverly, IA) has announced its space-saving, self-propelled trailers (SPT) in capacities to 100 tons. According to the company, the trailers are ideal for in-plant operation in congested, confined areas, and narrow intersection aisles. In addition, they include computerized independent steering, on-center rotating front axles, remote control operation, a low-profile design, and onboard power generation.


Everything You Need For Tube Fabrication

February 3, 2011 7:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

Parker Hannifin Corporation (Huntsville, AL) has created a package of tube fabrication tools for small bore tube assembly. The new package provides all the equipment necessary to successfully install tube fittings — both CPI and A-LOK — in various system applications, and includes benders, a cutter, a deburrer tool, a sawing vise with an integral hacksaw guide, and an inspection gauge.


High-Efficiency Pumps

February 3, 2011 7:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

The TSFR Series Magnetic Drive Rotary Vane Pumps from Clark Solutions (Hudson, MA) are designed for applications such as heat exchange and process loops, where many hours of operation are required. The TSFR Pumps are AC-powered, have four speed selections, and are rated for continuous flow to 1,000 l/h (264gph).


Burnishing Gets You LEED

February 3, 2011 7:17 am | Product Releases | Comments

Advance (Plymouth, MN) now offers battery and electric burnishers that meet requirements for sustainable cleaning equipment specified by LEED-EBOM, such as the Advolution 20BT battery burnisher and the Advolution 20XP electric burnisher. Both are available with active dust control, and operate at a sound level of less than 70 dBA.


AMT Applauds Post Of Advisor To Obama Manufacturing Policy

February 3, 2011 4:49 am | News | Comments

Douglas K. Woods, AMT President McLean, Va. — AMT, The Association For Manufacturing Technology, applauds President Obama’s creation of a new post overseeing manufacturing policy. Ron Bloom was named Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy within the White House’s National Economic Council.

The Challenges Of Shutdowns-Turnarounds-Outages

February 3, 2011 4:37 am | by Kevin Duffy, Global Vice President of Operational Excellence at Kepner-Tregoe | Articles | Comments

The traditional view of operational STOs holds that they are maintenance and engineering events, which is a simplistic view held by many organizations. A more realistic and holistic perspective, however, recognizes that the impact and scope of STOs extend far beyond the maintenance and engineering functions, and can command significant capital and operating budgets.


Tech Companies Side With Egypt Protesters

February 3, 2011 3:54 am | Videos | Comments

It's been hard to avoid coverage about the massive protests happening in Egypt right now, or the news that the government effectively activated an internet "kill switch," which cut off protesters from spreading images and video to the outside world. In an effort to help foster a democratic, open society in Egypt, technology companies like Google, and groups like Tor, have initiated projects to help get the word out in a variety of ways.


Should The Gov't Regulate Our Salt?

February 3, 2011 3:29 am | Videos | Comments

For years, some have been pushing for more strict regulation on the amount of sodium that Americans consume on a daily basis. As everyone knows, a high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and countless other health risks. So, should the government step in and force fast food chains and food processors to tone down the salt? If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.


Steel Craftsmanship At Its Finest

February 3, 2011 3:27 am | Videos | Comments

From Steel , a short film from Michael John Evans, documents the process of building a custom steel bicycle at Soulcraft, owned and operated by Sean Walling. As always, we try to honor and appreciate those who perform great work, and we think this is an excellent example of why the U.S. still dominates the rest of the world in manufacturing.


A Party That Happens To Sell Shoes

February 3, 2011 3:27 am | Videos | Comments

Zappos, the online shoe retailer, is a unique company in a couple of ways. First of all, they like to say that they're a service company, and that they just happen to sell shoes. Imagine getting that kind of service at most companies. But more importantly, they offer a variety of perks—such as free lunches and ice cream—and they try to maintain a festive, positive atmosphere around the offices.


Chevron To Build A $1.4 Billion Plant In Mississippi

February 1, 2011 4:59 am | News | Comments

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Petroleum company Chevron Corp. said Monday that it will build a $1.4 billion lubricants plant in Pascagoula, Miss., a project that will create roughly 1,000 construction jobs over the next two years. The facility will extend Chevron's existing refinery in Pascagoula, which employs more than 1,600 workers.


Battle Over Calif. Global Warming Bill Cost $46 Million

February 1, 2011 4:56 am | by Don Thompson, Associated Press | News | Comments

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — More than $46 million was spent for and against a failed November ballot measure that would have suspended California's landmark global warming law, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday. Out-of-state oil companies and their supporters spent $10.5 million promoting Proposition 23, while opponents spent more than $36 million.

Drugs, Tupperware, Printers Lead To Profitable 2010

February 1, 2011 4:27 am | News | Comments

Pfizer beats views despite slight profit decline  NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit nearly quadrupled from a year ago when it was weighed down by restructuring charges, as revenue rose 6 percent, thanks to the addition of products from fellow drugmaker Wyeth, acquired late in 2009.

Intel Finds Design Flaw That Could Cost $1 Billion

February 1, 2011 4:02 am | News | Comments

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Intel Corp. on Monday said it has found a design flaw in a recently released chip, and is working with laptop makers to replace affected computers. Sales lost while the company rushes out a replacement chip, and the cost of replacing computers with the flawed chip, will cost the company $1 billion, it said.


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