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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

iRobot Receives $5.1M Order From US Army

August 12, 2009 5:24 am | News | Comments

Robot maker iRobot Corp. said Wednesday it received a $5.1 million order from the U.S. Army for its bomb-disposal robots. The order calls for 14 of the company's iRobot PackBot 510 robots with spare parts. The robot is used by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan to help investigate dangerous areas where explosive devices might be present.

Kraft Worker Gets 2 Years In Tomato Corruption Probe

August 12, 2009 5:22 am | News | Comments

A former buyer for Kraft Foods Inc. will spend more than two years in jail for accepting bribes from a Central California supplier of the company's tomato products. Robert L. Watson of White Plains, N.Y., is the first defendant sentenced in the widespread corruption case involving Lemoore, Calif.

Wyoming Ranchers Struggling In Decade-Long Drought

August 12, 2009 5:00 am | by Matt Joyce, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

Wyoming's cattle population dropped 21 percent during the past decade as ranchers struggled through a persistent drought that gripped much of the state from 1999 until last year. The cattle count in Wyoming dropped from 1.66 million in 1998 to 1.

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New Egg Regulations To Cost $81 Million

August 12, 2009 4:57 am | News | Comments

New federal legislation designed to reduce the risk of salmonella in eggs will cost the industry $81 million, the United Egg producers trade group estimates. Several salmonella scares in recent years linked to other foods, such as peppers, tomatoes, cookie dough and peanut products have caused increased government scrutiny.

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Kia Says 2Q Profit Soars

August 12, 2009 4:27 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Kia Motors Corp said Wednesday that second-quarter net profit quadrupled to a record, boosted by weakness in the local currency and robust vehicle demand in South Korea. Kia Motors, South Korea's second-largest automaker, earned 347.1 billion won ($279 million) in the three months through June, the company said in a regulatory filing.

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CA Meat Plant Cited For Cow Mishandling

August 11, 2009 12:36 pm | by Garance Burke, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A California beef processor that voluntarily recalled tons of hamburger meat due to salmonella fears last week was slapped with animal handling citations last year in a government review of meatpacking plants, records show. At least 28 people in three western states have reported salmonella-related illnesses since last Thursday, when Fresno-based Beef Packers Inc.

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4 Cited After Chaining Selves To WV Agency Door

August 11, 2009 12:28 pm | by Tim Huber, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Police arrested four mining protesters who chained themselves to the front door of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection headquarters Tuesday. The protest was the latest in a string of actions targeting surface coal mining in Appalachia.

Quake Disrupts Corning Glass Plant In Japan

August 11, 2009 12:26 pm | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Corning Inc. said Tuesday its output of liquid-crystal-display glass will be lower than expected in the third quarter after an earthquake halted glass production at a plant in Japan. Operations at its factory in Shizuoka, southwest of Tokyo, "are currently suspended and we believe they will remain so for some time," said Corning's chief financial officer, James Flaws.

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WA Farmers Look To Mobile Slaughterhouse

August 11, 2009 12:24 pm | by Maurren O'Hagan | News | Comments

Walk into your neighborhood grocery and you'll likely find local apples, local cherries or local potatoes. What you're not likely to find is local beef — or, for that matter, local lamb or local pork. The "locavore" movement may be sweeping the nation, but there is a big gap when it comes to meat.

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Western PA Chemical Company Starting Idled Plant

August 11, 2009 12:22 pm | News | Comments

An idled chemical plant in western Pennsylvania is getting back to business this week, with all of its more than 250 workers expected back by next week. Indspec Chemical Corp.'s plant is in Petrolia, about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.

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Sweco Looks Up For Answers To Improving Its Painting Operation

August 11, 2009 9:31 am | Articles | Comments

Sweco, a manufacturer of industrial particle separation equipment, wanted to streamline its parts painting operation. The process includes blasting the many parts and components that go into the assembly of the company’s equipment with steel shot, then painting, and properly drying the parts after the primer or paint is applied.

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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.

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