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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Businesses Spending More On Equipment

November 2, 2009 3:34 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses are finally willing to spend more money on equipment, a healthy sign for the economic recovery. For the first time in nearly two years, companies ponied up more money for a category called "equipment and software" in the third quarter of the year. It isn't a huge growth rate — just 1.

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Ford Posts Surprise $1 Billion 3Q Profit

November 2, 2009 3:19 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford, the only Detroit automaker to dodge direct government aid and bankruptcy court, surprised investors with net income of nearly $1 billion in the third quarter and forecast a "solidly profitable" 2011. The automaker said Monday earnings were fueled by U.

Be A Video Historian

November 2, 2009 3:17 am | Product Releases | Comments

Longwatch, Inc. (Norwood, MA), developer of the Video Historian for Video MES applications, has announced support of the Wonderware ActiveFactory trend chart object. This allows users to link plant video directly Wonderware’s graphical data trends charts automatically.

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Get Coupled

November 2, 2009 3:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

The new EZ-Lock Spindle Coupling Kits from Brookfield Engineering (Middleboro, MA) are now available for the Helipath Stand, DIN Adapter, Thermosel, and the Vane Spindle Set. The Spindle Coupling allows technicians to easily attach and detach spindles, and features of the individual kits include: A UL Adapter for low viscosity materials.

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Flexible Safety

November 2, 2009 3:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

Gamewell-FCI (Northford, CT), a subsidiary of Honeywell, has expanded its Flex Series with two fire alarm releasing panels designed to offer flexible control of single- and dual-hazard agent-based suppression or deluge systems. Both panels are listed to Ul/ANSI-864 Ninth Edition standards for supplemental fire protection.

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Getting A Fix On Conveyors

November 2, 2009 3:11 am | Articles | Comments

Traditionally, conveyors are sensitive pieces of equipment needed frequent alignment, belt replacement, and lubrication. Because reconfigurable modular conveyors are maintenance-free, engineering departments are free to hang the systems without worry about taking down conveyors to work on them.

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United We Stand — Divided We ... Run?

November 2, 2009 3:07 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

It’s not a new problem, per se. The need to improve energy usage trends and implement more efficient approaches has been a relevant topic long before Al Gore invented Power Point presentations or President Obama campaigned on a pledge to overhaul our national grid. What is new is the debate surrounding the slew of potential solutions.

Look Cool While Welding

November 2, 2009 3:02 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Kimberly-Clark Professional (Roswell, GA) has added four new graphic designs to its Jackson-brand Halo X welding helmets. Welders can select the helmet design, auto darkening filter, and graphics to meet their specific needs and preferences. According to the company, individualized choices can help improve compliance, helping to ensure worker safety, maximizing performance, and enabling workers to exhibit a personal style on the job.

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GM Idles Delta Township Plant Due To Indian Strike

October 30, 2009 5:02 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors Co. will temporarily shutdown a plant that builds two of its crossover vehicles and reduce production at a transmission plant as a result of a parts shortage stemming from a strike at a supplier in India, according to a person familiar with the situation.

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Merck And Schering-Plough Clear FTC Approval

October 30, 2009 4:58 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. said Thursday they have won merger approval from the Federal Trade Commission and antitrust regulators in Switzerland and Canada. Merck hopes to close its $41.1 billion acquisition of Schering-Plough Corp. before the end of the year.

Egyptian Sues URS Corp. For 'Terrorist' Discrimination

October 30, 2009 4:53 am | News | Comments

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) — A former South Carolina worker at the Savannah River Site has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming racial and religious discrimination by co-workers. The Aiken Standard reported Friday that 41-year-old Al Zeiny sued his former employer in U.S. District Court in Aiken.

Machinists Union To Reevaluate Boeing Relationship

October 30, 2009 4:45 am | by Gene Johnson, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Matt Gettmann began working in finance at Boeing Co. last year, and it wasn't long before he found himself watching, stunned, as union members prepared for what became an eight-week strike. The work stoppage cost the company billions in deferred revenue and caused some of the delays in production of its new 787 at a time when Boeing was growing increasingly frustrated with labor squabbles.

More UAW Locals Reject Ford Contract

October 30, 2009 4:29 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Workers at two more United Auto Workers locals overwhelmingly rejected changes to their contract with Ford Motor Co. on Thursday, casting further doubt on whether the deal will be approved. Workers at a parts-making plant in Saline, Mich., west of Detroit, voted 75 percent against the deal, while research and engineering employees in Dearborn, Mich.

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BP Fined $87 Million By OSHA For Texas Explosion

October 30, 2009 4:21 am | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — British oil company BP PLC said Friday it is disappointed to receive a fine — expected to be a record $87 million — from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration over a 2005 explosion that killed 15 people at its Texas City refinery.

Manufacturing Footprint Optimization

October 29, 2009 12:31 pm | by Raj G. Konanahalli and Russ Dillion, AlixPartners LLP | Articles | Comments

Chances are, your competitors are quickly rightsizing their manufacturing footprint in response to today’s deteriorating global market conditions. Improving operations within facilities is likely not enough. In order for companies to be competitive in this economic environment as well as going forward, manufacturing footprint optimization (MFO) will need to be a strategic priority.

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Banging My Head Against The Wall

October 29, 2009 9:14 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Although it’s an instance that is becoming more and more rare as we grow older and our responsibilities increase, my friends and I like to get together on the occasional weekend night and spend hours at a long, lavish dinner out. We give ourselves time for wine and coffee and dessert, and do our best to catch up.

Keeping An Eye On Things

October 29, 2009 7:52 am | Product Releases | Comments

Invensys Operations Management (Plano, TX) announces the availability of its Avantis PRO 5.0 enterprise asset management (EAM) software that allows users to organize, track, and manage maintenance activity and costs over time. The new version of the EAM solution includes customizable screen views and improvements in data-type awareness, multi-column list controls, and maintenance entity value optimization.

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Get A Networkout

October 29, 2009 7:50 am | Product Releases | Comments

Opto 22 (Temecula, CA) has partnered with N-TRON Corporation to sell the company’s line of industrial Ethernet switches and wireless access points.  The N-TRON switches can operate in temperatures from -40 to 85°C, in addition to increased shock and vibration resistance.

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Designed To Be Struck

October 29, 2009 7:50 am | Product Releases | Comments

Snap-On Industrial (Kenosha, WI) has expanded its lines of heavy-duty striking wrenches and 1” Drive Flank Drive impact sockets. The striking wrenches range from 13/16” to 4-5/8” and feature the company’s Flank Drive design. A dense, rectangular beam helps maintain rigidity and transfers more power.

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No More Dust

October 29, 2009 7:49 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Proterra rider sweeper from Advance (Plymouth, MN) has a 64-inch dust-controlled sweeping path that features a five-stage dust-suppression system that captures at the main and side brooms. This helps minimize airborne dust and keeps manufacturing facilities free of particles.

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