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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Consumers Could Get Up To $4,500 Toward New Car

June 19, 2009 9:36 am | by KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

Car shoppers could take advantage of government incentives worth up to $4,500 this summer to send their old gas guzzler to the scrap heap in favor of a more fuel-efficient new vehicle. President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law the "cash for clunkers" program, which was approved by the Senate on Thursday.

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Oil Company Fires UK Workers Over Jobs Dispute

June 19, 2009 9:20 am | by RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

British contract workers walked off their jobs at British energy facilities Friday, part of an escalating dispute triggered by the employment of foreign workers. Tensions flared after French oil and gas company Total fired more than 600 contract workers Thursday for participating in a wildcat strike at its Lindsey Oil Refinery in northern England.

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ConAgra Expects Insurance To Cover Explosion Costs

June 19, 2009 5:44 am | Articles | Comments

ConAgra Foods Inc. said Thursday a recent explosion at its Slim Jim plant in North Carolina which injured 38 workers and killed three people will not have a major impact on its fiscal 2010 financial results. "The company maintains comprehensive property and general liability insurance policies with very significant loss limits that it believes will provide substantial and broad coverage for the currently foreseeable losses arising from this accident," the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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GM To Cut Back NASCAR Support

June 18, 2009 8:44 am | Articles | Comments

General Motors has told NASCAR teams it is cutting back on its support in all of the sanctioning body's professional series. Among the teams already notified that they will lose funding are JR Motorsports, owned by Sprint Cup star Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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Price Cuts You Can Do Without

June 18, 2009 8:24 am | Blogs | Comments

Establishing the loyalty of your customers can be accomplished using many tactics—and I’ve seen a few very blatant attempts in the past week by way of financial incentives. But it seems not all cash breaks are sure fire ways to keep folks coming back: Apple recently announced a major reduction in price point on some of its more popular electronic items, including its older model 3G iPhones, to make way for the new model 3GS.

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Nation's Largest Solar Plant To Be Built In NM

June 18, 2009 7:59 am | Articles | Comments

Utility officials announced plans Thursday to build a giant solar energy plant in the New Mexico desert in what is believed to be the largest such project in the nation. The 92-megawatt solar thermal plant could produce enough electricity to power 74,000 homes, far exceeding the size of other solar plants in the United States.

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UAW Urges Support For 'Cash For Clunkers' Bill

June 18, 2009 7:46 am | by KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

The United Auto Workers union urged senators on Monday to reject any attempt to block a "cash for clunkers" proposal designed to generate new auto sales. The Senate is expected to consider the proposal this week to provide vouchers to consumers who turn in their gas-guzzling cars and trucks for the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles.

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GatorJaw Unveils New Website

June 18, 2009 7:08 am | Articles | Comments

The GatorJaw framework system—an aluminum extrusion using a one-piece fastener—has unveiled its new website. The home page of the site features an embedded Flash presentation of a cabinet framework, designed and made from GatorJaw, being assembled within a matter of minutes.

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GM To sell Saab To Small Swedish Company

June 16, 2009 6:32 am | by LOUISE NORDSTROM, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

Saab Automobile, General Motors Corp.'s struggling Swedish unit known for its family cars, was rescued Tuesday by a consortium led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB, a tiny company that produces only a dozen custom-made super cars a year.

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FuelCell Energy To Sell $24M In Shares

June 16, 2009 6:21 am | Articles | Comments

FuelCell Energy Inc. said Tuesday it has agreed to sell 6.7 million shares of common stock worth $24.2 million in a registered direct offering for $3.59 per share, 18 percent below Monday's closing price of $4.39 per share. The deal is expected to close Friday.

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NC Plant Workers To 911: 'ConAgra Just Blew Up'

June 16, 2009 6:04 am | by MIKE BAKER, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

Emergency tapes released Monday show workers dialed 911 in a frenzy after escaping an explosion that killed three workers at a Slim Jim processing plant, with one panicked woman telling dispatchers: "ConAgra just blew up!" The 15 audio tapes portray the early moments after the blast rocked the sprawling facility in Garner, a few miles south of Raleigh, where 300 people were working.

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Understand, Maintain & Service Your Torque Wrench

June 15, 2009 12:09 pm | by Brad Mountz, Mountz, Inc. | Articles | Comments

In the maintenance and manufacturing world, tightening, controlling, or measuring torque of fasteners is imperative for production efficiency and quality control. With inadequate torque, a fastener can vibrate or work loose. Conversely, if the torque is too high, the fastener can break, strip, or adjoining parts may fail causing premature malfunction, warranty, or other liability.

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VFD Innovation As A Key To Success

June 15, 2009 10:40 am | by Andy Kaiser, Yaskawa Electric America, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Summer is upon us, and although orders may be slightly down compared to this time last year, your customers are no less demanding and your production schedules are no less critical in maintaining and growing your business. Capital projects have come under scrutiny and the maintenance budget has probably been reviewed and reduced as well.

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Laser Pros Reduces Dimensions, Bulk

June 15, 2009 5:47 am | Articles | Comments

Located in Rhinelander, WI, Laser Pros International (LPI) is one of the world’s largest distributors of laser printer parts and accessories. The company has grown tremendously since its origin in 1990 when it began out of president Steve Spencer’s home.

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Vision Simplifies Laser Welding

June 15, 2009 5:41 am | Articles | Comments

Trumpf Laser GmbH Co. KG, based in Schramberg, Germany, develops and manufactures machines and systems equipped with solid-state lasers, that are then deployed in sectors such as automotive or medical technology. One particular industrial application area is precision welding of small components made of different metals.

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Cessna Aircraft Announces 1,300 New Layoffs

June 12, 2009 6:26 am | Articles | Comments

Cessna Aircraft Co., the nation's largest builder of corporate jets, has announced an additional 1,300 layoffs. The number means the company will have slashed its work force in half since the recession began. Cessna said Friday the cutbacks will affect all the company's facilities.

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Boeing To Establish Thermoplastic Composites Research Centre

June 12, 2009 5:29 am | Articles | Comments

The Netherlands - Officials from Boeing, Royal Ten Cate, Stork Fokker and the University of Twente signed an agreement today to establish the Thermoplastic Composites Research Centre (TPRC) at the University of Twente in The Netherlands. Reasons for pursuing research into thermoplastic composites technologies are that they can offer cost-efficient fabrication and assembly processes and have environmental advantages.

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Metal Company To Close Iowa Plant & Move To Mo.

June 11, 2009 6:12 am | Articles | Comments

Detroit Tool Metal Products says it's closing its plant in Fort Madison and consolidating operations at one central facility at its headquarters in Lebanon, Mo. The company in a statement on Thursday says the Iowa plant would close by the end of the year in an effort to cut costs and become more competitive.

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Harley-Davidson Names Hund As Financing President

June 11, 2009 6:04 am | Articles | Comments

Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. said it has named Lawrence G. Hund president and chief operating officer of its financial services division. Hund, 53, replaces Perry Glassgow as president of Harley-Davidson Financial Services Inc.

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Ratchet Wrench Revolution

June 10, 2009 12:53 pm | Articles | Comments

Revolution is the world’s first ratcheting open-end wrench. The ratcheting feature allows sequential strokes without the need to remove and reposition the wrench, and the three point touch grab helps to maintain grip even with badly worn hexagonal nuts. According to the company, safety is also promoted by the Revolution because less repositioning reduces the chance of contacting a neighboring hazard or a dangerous moving object.

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