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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Ford Envisions Vehicles Interacting With Power Grids

August 19, 2009 3:59 am | by Kimberly S. Johnson, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday its future electric cars will "talk" to power grids across the country, allowing car owners to control when they charge vehicles and for how long. The nation's second-largest automaker released details of a two-year collaboration with 10 utility companies and the Department of Energy on the design of a system it hopes will drive greater interest in alternative energy vehicles.

GM Adds 60,000 Vehicles To Production, Re-Hires 1,350

August 18, 2009 9:49 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says it will add 60,000 vehicles to its production in the third and fourth quarters, spurred partly by demand from the government's Cash for Clunkers program. The automakers says it will bring back about 1,350 laid-off workers in the U.S. and Canada to bolster production at factories.

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Redefining Dairy

August 18, 2009 8:15 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO As someone who grew up in the rolling corn and hay fields of southeastern WI, I’ll proudly testify to the sentiment that permeates throughout this area. Combining a strong work ethic with a common sense approach has resulted in a collective that embraces both traditional and new ideas.

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Boeing Awarded $98M Air Force Contract

August 18, 2009 6:33 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Boeing Co.'s McDonnell Douglas Corp. received a $98 million contract to provide integration and production services for the laser joint direct attack munitions systems on various aircraft, the Pentagon said late Monday. The deal from the Air Force would apply to aircraft purchased under foreign military sales.

Kia To Build 2011 Sorento At GA Plant

August 18, 2009 5:07 am | News | Comments

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Kia Motors America said Tuesday it will build the Sorento crossover at its manufacturing facility in West Point, Ga., making it the first vehicle to be built at the South Korean automaker's newly minted plant. Production is scheduled to begin at the plant — the automaker's first U.

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Michigan Researchers Look At Rutabagas For Biofuel

August 18, 2009 5:05 am | by David Runk, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Researchers at Michigan State University are working to turn the rutabaga into an oil-producing powerhouse that could make the turnip-like vegetable a better source of biofuel than other food crops. The idea is that the rutabaga, which stores oil in its seeds like some other biofuel crops, could be genetically modified to churn out more oil and store it throughout the plant.

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2 Large Solar Farms Slated For Southern California

August 18, 2009 4:57 am | News | Comments

ROSEMEAD, Calif. (AP) — First Solar Inc. and Southern California Edison said Tuesday they'll build two huge solar farms in Southern California. The power plants will be able to generate 550 megawatts of energy — enough to power about 170,000 homes, the companies said. Construction is expected to start in 2012 and end in 2015.

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Survey Shows 'Big 3' Making Improvements

August 18, 2009 4:45 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — All three U.S.-based automakers are doing a better job of satisfying their customers than they were a year ago, according to a recent survey. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC all posted significant gains in this year's American Customer Satisfaction Index released Tuesday by the University of Michigan.

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GE And FANUC Announce Agreement To Dissolve Joint Venture

August 18, 2009 4:33 am | News | Comments

Charlottesville , VA — GE (NYSE: GE) and FANUC announced today that the two companies have agreed to dissolve the GE Fanuc Automation Corporation joint venture. This agreement would allow each company to refocus its investments to grow its existing businesses and pursue its respective core industry expertise.

Air Force Breathes New Life In Former GM Plant

August 18, 2009 4:30 am | by Rochelle Hines, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tinker Air Force Base officials gave political and business leaders and the media a look Monday at the new addition to the Tinker Aerospace Complex inside the shuttered General Motors Assembly Plant. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and state Treasurer Scott Meacham were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at the addition, where workers will repair and maintain engines from Air Force and Navy aircraft such as the TF33 and the F-117.

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Tesla To Build Electric Car Parts In Palo Alto, CA

August 18, 2009 4:24 am | News | Comments

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Tesla Motors will open a new power train production facility and corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., as the electric-car maker moves to expand production after a recent award of government loans, the company said Tuesday. The three-building facility at the Stanford Research Park will build components for Tesla's electric vehicles as well as parts for other automakers.

GM Exploring Low-Cost Vehicle

August 17, 2009 12:21 pm | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. said Monday it would explore developing an inexpensive small vehicle for emerging markets to compete with Tata Motors' Nano compact car. The Nano, which went on sale in India last month for about $2,000, is forcing automakers such as GM to consider a way to bring automobiles to consumers in developing countries at an affordable price point.

Voltage, Resistance, Capacitance, Oh My

August 17, 2009 12:07 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Extech Instruments (Waltham, MA) has developed the new EX840, the first-ever 1000A CAT IV clamp meter with built-in infrared thermometer with double-molded housing. The EX840 features non-contact IR temperature measurements with a laser pointer. Other features include: Measurements of AC/DC voltage, resistance, capacitance, frequency, diode, and continuity.

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Assume The Position

August 17, 2009 12:06 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Herkules Equipment Corp. (Walled Lake, MI) has designed a cart positioner for a plant’s F2 cart to reduce ergonomic issues that inevitably arise. Operators can easily raise and lower material on the cars to a desired height, reducing back strain and other potential injuries when loading or unloading.

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Fighting Back Against The Recession

August 17, 2009 5:26 am | by by Amy Radishofski, Features Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

The manufacturing sector has taken a beating by the recent economic downturn. While no industry has escaped unharmed, companies are beginning to fight back, according to the  2009 Manufacturing and Wholesale Distribution Survey  by RSM McGladrey. Does that mean there is some good news on the horizon? Well, sort of.

Chrysler To Bring Fiat 500 To US, Built In Mexico

August 17, 2009 4:35 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Chrysler Group LLC is planning to build the Fiat 500 small car at a plant in Mexico, according to a report published Monday. The automaker could also build an engine for the 500 at a plant in Trenton, Mich., and is weighing building another compact car similar to the 500 in the U.

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Poop-To-Power Plant Gets OK From Idaho Power

August 17, 2009 4:30 am | News | Comments

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Cargill Inc. has gotten the green light from the state Public Utilities Commission for a plan to supply Idaho Power Co. with 2.13 megawatts of electricity from the Minneapolis-based agricultural conglomerate's poop-to-power plant near Jerome. Cargill's cow manure digester at the 10,000-cow Bettencourt Dairy in Hansen in southern Idaho is scheduled to begin operation on Sept.

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Clash At China Smelter After 100s Of Kids Poisoned

August 17, 2009 4:25 am | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

Villagers in northern China clashed with police outside a lead smelter blamed in the poisoning of more than 600 children, reports said Monday. Several hundred villagers tore down fences and blocked traffic outside the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co.

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8 Dead, 54 Missing In Russian Hydroelectric Accident

August 17, 2009 4:20 am | by Nataliya Vasilyeva, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

An accident during repair work at Russia's largest hydroelectric plant killed at least eight workers Monday, while 54 others were missing, investigators said. The explosion of a transformer caused the engine room to flood at the Sayano-Shushinskaya power station in southern Siberia, the Investigative Committee of the federal prosecutors office said.

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Prescott, AR Plant To Cut 90 Workers

August 17, 2009 4:11 am | News | Comments

PRESCOTT, Ark. (AP) — Ninety workers will be laid off at the Firestone Building Products plant at the start of next month, company officials say. The cuts represent a 21-percent employee reduction at the Prescott plant, which makes a synthetic rubber compound for roofing. They follow the layoffs of 71 plant workers in April.

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