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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

A Lift In Technology

May 21, 2009 10:28 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

The technology behind Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. (TMHU)'s hybrid concept lift truck combines an IC engine, electric generator, and battery. The lift truck shifts automatically between battery and engine mode, simultaneously recharging the battery during operation. It’s no question that lift trucks are getting smarter—and with this, user capabilities and access to information becomes better.

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Combating Animal Rights Extremists

May 20, 2009 10:18 am | by Philip Lobo, Communications Director, Animal Agriculture Alliance | Articles | Comments

If you are processing meat, milk or eggs, the goal of these groups is to shut down your facility. A recent survey, funded by Vegetarian Times, indicated that just over 3 percent of Americans say they follow a vegetarian-based diet. Approximately, 0.5 percent claim to be vegans, consuming no animal products at all.

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Leaving Little GTO In The Past

May 20, 2009 9:42 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

h4 { font: bold 14px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000; } .byline { font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 4px; } .caption { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 4px; } .sup { position: relative; bottom: 2px; font-size: smaller;" } The first family car I remember from my childhood was a sea green Pontiac LeMans.

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Success Is Based On People

May 20, 2009 8:50 am | by Mike Collins, Author of Saving American Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

  Remember when the trade journals had long articles about the factory of the future? It was going to be an automatic factory with robots and all types of computers and software that would run 24 hours a day without lights. The subtle assumption was that we would eventually eliminate our labor problems through automation.

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Energizing Efficiency

May 20, 2009 7:51 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO | Articles | Comments

How internal practices, workflow and finished products at Yaskawa’s new facility all share in the yields of a greater, common focus. A new facility has provided the ability to refine work cell layouts, as can be seen by this horseshoe configuration. There can be a variety of reasons for a company to move its operations.

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Daimler Acquires Stake in Tesla

May 19, 2009 7:07 am | Articles | Comments

Daimler AG has acquired an equity stake of nearly 10 percent of Tesla Motors Inc. This investment deepens the relationship between the inventor of the automobile and the newest member of the global auto industry.

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Steelworkers Urge Leaders to Reject Auto Plans That Close Plants

May 19, 2009 6:25 am | Articles | Comments

The United Steelworkers (USW) today urged Congress and the Administration to reject any taxpayer-supported plan to restructure automobile companies that would export jobs instead of strengthen the domestic industry.

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GM, UAW In Dispute Over Imports And Plant Closures

May 18, 2009 10:46 am | by TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer | Articles | Comments

Critical concession talks between General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers are being overshadowed by a public spat about the automaker's plans to import vehicles from other countries while it closes 16 U.S. factories.

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F-35 Fighter Jets Needed By 2015 Deadline

May 15, 2009 5:33 am | by DONNA BORAK, AP Business Writer | Articles | Comments

The chief of naval operations said Thursday on-time delivery of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s next-generation Joint Strike Fighter will be critical in closing the gap of the fighter jets needed to match current and future threats.

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Industrial Production Falls By Least In 6 Months

May 15, 2009 5:17 am | by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer | Articles | Comments

The nation's industrial production fell in April by the smallest amount in six months, fresh evidence that the pace of the economy's decline is slowing. Output by U.S. factories, mines and utilities fell by 0.

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Wholesale Prices Rise 0.3 Percent In April

May 14, 2009 7:35 am | by MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer | Articles | Comments

Wholesale prices rose more than expected in April as the biggest jump in food costs in more than a year offset a second monthly decline in the price of energy products. The Labor Department said Thursday that wholesale prices climbed 0.

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VW, Kia Rev Up In The South While Detroit Idles

May 14, 2009 6:59 am | by BILL POOVEY, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

Volkswagen AG executives celebrate raising the first walls of their $1 billion assembly plant here Thursday, giving them a chance to smile amid the auto industry's global despair. When construction is finished and VW starts making a new mid-size sedan in 2011, Chattanooga's biggest catch will be 2,000 jobs at the plant and thousands of others at suppliers and other related businesses.

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Your Pay Just Dropped 11 Percent

May 14, 2009 6:51 am | by by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

I like statistics that back up what I already know. The ones that let you say, “See, I told you we were in a recession,” or “Only 12 year-old kids are on MySpace.” Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics released figures showing changes in productivity and labor costs during the first quarter of 2009.

Hold Drums Securely Without Damage

May 13, 2009 12:18 pm | Articles | Comments

The MORcinch from Morse is an entirely new type of drum holder, featuring a unique cinching action that adjusts to almost any drum size. Designed to be more secure, the MORcinch embraces almost the entire girth of drums, evenly distributing the weight to maximize security of the grip and minimize stress points that can cause drum sidewall damage.

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Pivot Drive Rotates To Almost Any Position

May 13, 2009 12:13 pm | Articles | Comments

QC Industries’ new Automation Series low profile belt conveyors offer Pivot™ rotatable drives that can be quickly and easily rotated to almost any position. The drives can be positioned to avoid products on the conveyor belt or obstructions caused by integrated machines.

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Inspect, Analyze And Improve Yield Rates

May 13, 2009 12:08 pm | Articles | Comments

The Keyence CV-5000 Vision System can transfer over 16 ultra high definition images (2431 × 2050 pixels) per second using the high speed 5 megapixel camera — 11 times faster than previous models. The system allows for the simultaneous use of 14 different models, including the ultra-compact standard and Mega Pixel, as well as the high speed standard (640 × 480 pixels) and high speed 2 Mega Pixel (1600 × 1200 pixels), which can transfer images in 4.

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Toolholder Cart Promotes 5S

May 13, 2009 12:02 pm | Articles | Comments

Huot’s new ToolScoot Tree is the latest addition to their lineup of CNC toolholder carts, designed to transport a variety of V-flange and HSK CNC-toolholders. Securing the necessary spanner wrenches, toolholders, collets and cutting tools in one central location makes the ToolScoot Tree ideal for 5S applications.

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Explosions, Smoke At Wis. Chemical Plant Fire Force People From Homes

May 12, 2009 8:18 am | by TODD RICHMOND, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

Dozens of residents stayed away from their homes Tuesday while crews waited for a chemical plant fire to burn itself out. The fire broke out at Columbus Chemical Industries' warehouse late Monday, and three explosions rocked the building just after firefighters arrived, Acting Fire Chief Mark Kenevan said.

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Guy Catches 13-Foot Shark

May 7, 2009 6:53 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

We’ve had plenty of debates over swine flu in the office over the past week—mostly spurred by the sudden cropping up of alcohol-based hand sanitizer bottles throughout our workspace. The whole floor smells like a distillery. “Apparently there is some virus going around,” we joke as we slather this slick substance onto our hands.

Continuous Improvement Drives Index Performance

May 7, 2009 5:54 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

As anyone who has ever been associated with Lean or Six Sigma methodologies will tell you, the key to greater efficiencies is not just changing or correcting poor approaches, but striving for continuous improvement in all facets of an operation or function. It’s an on-going fundamental that is never ending.

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