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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Inconvenient Sourcing Truths

August 11, 2009 8:20 am | by Josh Green | Articles | Comments

Josh Green This weekend, word spread that a major African supplier to Gap and Levi is suspected of harming people and the environment. According to a report in London’s Sunday Times , the Lesotho facility of Taiwan-based supplier Nien Hsing is dumping harmful chemicals into a river that serves as a source of drinking water.

GM Says New Volt To Get 230 MPG In City Driving

August 11, 2009 4:34 am | by Kimberly S. Johnson & Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

General Motors Corp. said Tuesday its Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car should get 230 miles per gallon (98 kilometers per liter) of gasoline in city driving, more than four times the current champion, the Toyota Prius. The Volt is powered by an electric motor and a battery pack with a 40-mile (65-kilometer) range.

Dynegy Sells Plants For $1 billion, 2Q Loss Widens

August 11, 2009 4:24 am | by Mark Williams, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

Power provider Dynegy will sell eight plants plus another under development for about $1 billion in cash and $500 million in stock as the company attempts to bolster its finances and reduce debt. Houston-based Dynegy reported Monday that its second-quarter loss widened by 27 percent as it wrote down the value of some of the plants it will sell to former development partner LS Power Associates and because of falling energy prices.

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GM Backs Out Of Mercury Cleanup Deal For Clunkers

August 11, 2009 4:15 am | by Ken Thomas,Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

As hundreds of thousands of clunkers head to the scrap yard, General Motors has dropped out of a partnership that collects toxic parts from recycled automobiles to prevent mercury pollution. Participants in the environmental program told The Associated Press the timing of GM's departure could undermine their work.

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NH Becomes 17th State To Enact Plant Closings Law

August 10, 2009 12:31 pm | by Norma Love, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) —New Hampshire became at least the 17th state to enact a law requiring large companies to inform workers and the state before mass layoffs or plant closings. Gov. John Lynch signed the New Hampshire Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act into law Monday. It requires that companies give at least 60 days' notice before shutting down a plant or laying off one-third or more of its workforce at one time.

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BAE Systems Awarded $2 Billion In Army Contracts

August 10, 2009 12:31 pm | News | Comments

BAE Systems has been awarded two U.S. Army contracts combined worth more than $2 billion for infrared technology systems, with the bulk of the work planned for facilities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The company planned a news conference Monday at its Lexington plant to announce the 5-year contracts and demonstrate the technology.

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Labor Sectretary: Green Jobs Hiring Will Pick Up

August 10, 2009 12:28 pm | by Oskar Garcia, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

Hiring in the alternative energy industry will pick up in the next 12 months, though it will take some time before so-called green-jobs will not become a bigger part of the U.S. job market, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Monday. "Once you start seeing more investments made in our economy recovering, as we stabilize and we get people back to work, then I think there'll be more interest in expanding," Solis said.

Reduce Injuries With A Portable Fume Vent

August 10, 2009 11:30 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Vent-A-Kiln (Buffalo, NY) has developed the Portable Fume Exhauster (Model PFE), an efficient solution for removing and ventilating fumes produced by welding, brazing, soldering, and plasma cutting. The Model PFE is a mobile version of the wall-mounted Model FE, and yet is a complete, self-contained unit which can be wheeled into any location.

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Smooth Operation

August 10, 2009 6:09 am | by Dan Leiss, President, Jenny Products Inc. | Articles | Comments

In today’s manufacturing environments, compressed air is often regarded as an important means towards completing everyday tasks. Used to power various tools and equipment, compressed air is essential to the daily operations of countless assembly, maintenance, and repair professionals. Incorporating several small day-to-day tasks into a preventative maintenance routine can make a difference in the life and repair cost of an air compressor.

Caught In The Jaws Of Change

August 10, 2009 6:00 am | by Michael Collins, MPC Management | Articles | Comments

A 1987 report “Technology and the American Economic Transition” from the Office of Technology Assessment predicted that “during the next two decades, new technologies, rapid increases in foreign trade, and the tastes and values of a new generation of Americans are likely to reshape virtually every product, every service, and every job in the U.

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"Up-To-The-Minute" Has Become "Too Slow"

August 10, 2009 5:11 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO The day my mom joined Facebook elicited a strange reaction in me: something wavering on dumbfounded pride. My mom was all grown up, graduating from some technological university I’d assumed she wasn't even aware of. The day she joined Twitter was borderline scary.

Danny Glover Joins Rally Of Striking Workers

August 10, 2009 5:00 am | News | Comments

Actor Danny Glover joined striking workers at a rally in Terre Haute Saturday. Glover said he was proud that the strikers refused to be victimized. The 63-year-old actor says he grew up in a union household and says the working class is one big family.

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"Cash For Clunkers" Hurting Salvage Yards, Dealers

August 10, 2009 4:54 am | News | Comments

The Cash for Clunkers program has been a boost to car sales, but the concerns of some salvage yard owners and car dealers show that not everyone is happy. Richard Harris, owner of Valley Auto Parts in Dayton, said the program's requirement that clunkers' engines and drivetrains be destroyed will lead to fewer parts and higher prices.

GM Has To Focus On Its Cars To Boost Sales

August 10, 2009 4:38 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Put the brakes on the apologies. Think about your brands. And give us a reason to buy your cars. That's what marketing gurus say General Motors Co. must do as it begins a massive overhaul of advertising worth more than $2 billion a year now that it's out of bankruptcy protection.

EBay, GM Set To Start Car-Selling Trial Tuesday

August 10, 2009 4:23 am | by Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

General Motors and eBay Inc. are expected to announce Monday that hundreds of the auto maker's California dealers will let consumers haggle over the prices of new cars and trucks through the online marketplace, as part of a previously disclosed trial.

Hydroelectric Plant A Job Creator In Western KY

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

A hydroelectric plant being built along the Ohio River in western Kentucky will eventually provide power for communities in a half-dozen states. The $416 million project on the Cannelton Locks and Dam will employ 200 to 400 construction workers, the Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro reports.

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Industrial Hemp Growth In Oregon Faces Challenges

August 10, 2009 4:10 am | News | Comments

Despite recent approval from state lawmakers, industrial hemp growth in Oregon faces a number of hurdles, including a less than ideal local climate and likely opposition from the Drug Enforcement Agency, an Oregon State University official said. Hemp and its close cousin, marijuana, were outlawed by the federal government in the 1930s.

Connecticut Factory Goes Up In Flames

August 10, 2009 4:03 am | News | Comments

Dozens of Connecticut firefighters have contained a blaze at a former cardboard package factory in Torrington. The four-alarm fire at the former Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. factory on Summer Street was reported at about 5 a.m. Monday. A portion of the building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

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Human 'Foot' In NY Recycling Plant Actually Bear Paw

August 7, 2009 12:30 pm | News | Comments

What authorities thought was a decomposing human foot found among recyclables at a western New York landfill really came from a bear. Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero said a worker found the object among trash Monday and notified authorities. Povero said it appeared to be a human foot but couldn't be positively identified.

Microprocessors Can Make Big Boiler Changes

August 7, 2009 10:17 am | Product Releases | Comments

Cleaver-Books (Milwaukee, WI) introduces SysteMAX, a microprocessor-based wireless control for boiler rooms. SysteMAX uses 64 I/O points for controlling multiple boilers, pumps, and dampers while matching system load. Also, the control can adjust boiler sequencing and firing rate based on real-time variances from outdoor temperature, supply/return temperatures, and flow.

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