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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Reduce Fatigue With The Press Of A Button

June 24, 2009 11:05 am | Articles | Comments

Featuring optic sensors that require no force to actuate, the model TB-2 Start Bar reduces fatigue and injuries caused by repeatedly pressing a mechanical start switch. The angle and spacing of the sensors coincide with the natural motion of the operator's hands, reducing hand and wrist stress.

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Weigh Up Your Options

June 24, 2009 8:11 am | Articles | Comments

Rice Lake Weighing System’s new MotoWeigh™ line of legal-for-trade dynamic weighing equipment includes case weighers, checkweighers, conveyor scales, and in-process conveyors, in aluminum or stainless steel, for either dry or washdown environments.

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More Sockets, Wrenches And Turning Power

June 24, 2009 7:18 am | Articles | Comments

Snap-on® Industrial has expanded its line of ¾” Dr. Flank Drive® impact sockets and combination wrenches. The 3/4” Dr. Flank Drive impact sockets for shallow 6 point and shallow 12 point fractional sockets now incorporate sizes from 9/16” to 2-3/8”, and deep 6 point sockets extend from 9/16” to 2”.

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Clamp Down On Corrosion

June 24, 2009 6:08 am | Articles | Comments

NewAge® Industries’ line of nylon hose clamps now withstand temperatures ranging from –40°F to 302°F (–40°C to 150°C). The Kwik Clamps™  also feature a double row of teeth, designed to ensure a strong bond that will not vibrate loose, and they’re made from U.

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Boeing Again Delays Initial 787 Test Flight

June 23, 2009 6:39 am | by DANIEL LOVERING, AP Manufacturing Writer | Articles | Comments

Boeing Co. said Tuesday it has again delayed the first test flight of its long-awaited 787 jetliner, citing a need to reinforce part of the aircraft. The inaugural test flight of the 787, a next-generation aircraft built for fuel efficiency with lightweight carbon composite parts, was originally planned for late 2007.

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Grass Gets Greener

June 19, 2009 11:33 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Briggs & Stratton is by no means an unrecognized name in the outdoor power equipment industry. In fact, the world’s largest producer of air-cooled gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, developed the first lightweight aluminum engine in 1953, effectively planting the roots for the development of the mowers that now dominate today’s lawn and garden industry.

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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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