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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Whisper-Quiet Compressors

October 20, 2009 11:09 am | Product Releases | Comments

Atlas Copco (Westfield, MA) announces the introduction of its redesigned oil-injected screw compressor range, the GA 5-11/GA 5-15 kW Variable Speed Drive (VSD). The new edition features an eight percent increase in free air delivery while keeping noise levels as low as 60 decibels.

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Horizontal Motion Conveying FAQ

October 20, 2009 11:05 am | Articles | Comments

Horizontal motion conveying is proving to be an alternative to vibratory conveying. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions that come up when investigating conveying processes for the dry-bulk and food processing industries.  How does a horizontal motion vibrating conveyor work without any vertical motion? In horizontal, zero-pitch, conveying, the translation comes from a differential or slower forward movement relative to the retraction, which is quick.

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A Case For The Apprentice

October 20, 2009 8:58 am | by Mike Collins | Articles | Comments

American manufacturers are realizing that we cannot compete with foreign manufacturers on price and cost reduction. We are going to have to compete using innovation and new products, which requires highly skilled workers. Many government programs talk about the need for high skilled and high performance employees, but they never seem to define high skills.

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Earning Its Recognition

October 20, 2009 7:49 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Energy savings sounds like a basic numbers game, but in TharpeRobbins’ experience, it’s all about perception. Its Own Rewards The Attleboro, MA-based employee recognition and awards company—manufacturing corporate gifts and tokens of achievement—recently announced that it has achieved zero discharge status with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

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The Fuel Sell

October 20, 2009 5:17 am | by by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Chem.Info | Blogs | Comments

It’s the culmination of over 40 years work, combining technology developed by NASA in the 1950s with cutting edge biofuel production techniques using purpose-built microorganisms. Coskata appears to be doing what no other cellulosic ethanol startup has done: Proving that the technology works on a large scale.

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Detroit Steel Plant Ablaze

October 20, 2009 4:43 am | News | Comments

RIVER ROUGE, Mich. (AP) — An industrial fire is sending thick, black smoke into the air southwest of Detroit. James Buford, Wayne County's director of homeland security and emergency management, says the fire began around 9 a.m. Tuesday at a steel plant. Buford says fire crews from Detroit and surrounding communities were responding to the fire.

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Baby Food Recalled For Botulism Threat

October 20, 2009 4:37 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Plum Organics of Emeryville, Calif., is recalling some of its apple and carrot portable pouch baby food because of concerns over possible botulism contamination. The product was sold individually throughout the country at Toys-R-Us and Babies-R-Us stores. The recalled product is sold in 4.

GM Investing $364 Million In Indiana Plant

October 20, 2009 4:32 am | News | Comments

MARION, Ind. (AP) — General Motors Co. says it's investing $364 million in its Marion Metal Center in Indiana and will employ about 230 workers transferring from plants in Michigan and Ohio. The automaker announced the expansion Monday. It says the plant already employs about 115 people who worked at a plant in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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Chinese Employer Of Ford Backstabber Concerned

October 20, 2009 4:27 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Beijing Autos, one of two Chinese companies that employed a former Ford Motor engineer arrested in the U.S. for allegedly stealing trade secrets, said Tuesday it is watching the case, but relies on its own designs and technology. The statement issued by Beijing Automotive was the first official comment from China on the Oct.

DuPont Posts Profit After Massive Cost-Cutting

October 20, 2009 4:22 am | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

DOVER, Delaware (AP) — DuPont offset falling sales and prices using cost cuts and reported larger third-quarter profits Tuesday. All major chemical makers, including Wilmington-based DuPont Co., were hit first by soaring crude and energy costs last year, and then plummeting sales both in the U.

Caterpillar Profits Fall 53 Percent

October 20, 2009 4:15 am | News | Comments

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar says its profit plunged in the latest quarter as construction companies bought fewer of its big yellow-and-black machines. But the company says it sees rebounding demand worldwide and it lifted its profit outlook for the year. Caterpillar has struggled with waning demand since the global economy deteriorated late last year.

IBM Exec Put Out To Pasture After Charges

October 20, 2009 4:06 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — IBM Corp. put a top executive on leave Monday after he was charged in an insider trading scandal for allegedly leaking secrets about IBM's earnings and financial dealings with corporate partners. The company said Robert Moffat, a senior vice president and cost-cutting maven who was considered a possible candidate to succeed CEO Sam Palmisano, no longer serves as an officer of the company.

Taking Them On, One Weld At A Time

October 19, 2009 12:33 pm | Articles | Comments

In 1972, Time published a special issue of their magazine, devoted to addressing the staus of women in the American workplace. One of the women they spoke to was Janie Cottrell, who had taken a liking to her welding class at school. At the age of 24, Janie couldn't get an interview because no male manager could possibly believe Janie had any talent in welding.

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The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

October 19, 2009 12:11 pm | Articles | Comments

Meet William Kamkwamba, author of the new book " The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind ," written with Bryan Mealer. At the age of 14, William Kamkwamba was a poor farmer in Malawi, a country blighted by years of drought and famine. After he was forced to drop out of school because his family could not afford to pay the fees, William was left to his own devices.

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Dog vs. Keyboard — The Ultimate Showdown

October 19, 2009 11:58 am | Articles | Comments

Many industrial components are designed and tested to withstand the rigors of the manufacturing plant, whether it's extreme temperatures, water, or intense shock and vibration. But have your components been tested to function under the terrifying dangers of the office dog? Reagan, iKey's in-house German Shepard, took the SLK-79 to task and gave it the rundown.

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Getting The Green Thumbs Up

October 19, 2009 11:32 am | by by Krystal Gabert, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

Two weeks ago, Newsweek released its 2009 Green Rankings , rating America’s 500 largest companies for environmental sustainability. Not surprisingly, food and beverage companies rated below the curve. In comparison with finance, insurance and tech companies, it seems rather intuitive that companies in the manufacturing sector would have a significantly greater impact on the environment.

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Lifting In Tight Spaces

October 19, 2009 11:01 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Tite-Space BST AGV Tugger from Creform Corporation (Greer, SC) is well suited for delivering to line-side assembly points when space is at a premium. With a minimum turning radius of 400mm, the Tite-Space slips easily into tight spots. Additional features include: A low-profile, sleek design with drive motor, 24 Volt DC power supply, and guidance sensors.

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Tough Flowmeters

October 19, 2009 11:01 am | Product Releases | Comments

Racine Vortex (Racine, WI) has released the RNS Series (Insertion) and RWS Series (Wafter) Vortex Steam Flow Meters, which are suitable for measuring non-condensing steam and saturated process stem and pressures up to 150 psi. Both meters have no moving parts and feature the HART communication protocol for ease of field programming and system integration.

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LEED Compliance, One Mop At A Time

October 19, 2009 11:00 am | Product Releases | Comments

From Hydro Systems (Cincinnati, OH) comes the Hydro ICS Touchless Cleaning System for use as a part of a facility’s daily cleaning regimen. The system can reduce energy consumption, water usage, and chemical consumption in addition to helping a facility meet GS-42 or LEED compliance.

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Weatherproof Encoding

October 19, 2009 10:58 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

TURCK (Minneapolis, MN) has announced a new line of Kübler robust magnetic linear encoders. The T8.LI20 and T8.LI50 are available with either a push-pull output or an RS422 interface and provide a voltage range from 4.8 to 30 VDC. The linear encoders are used with magnetic bands that are attached to the mounting surface and are protected by a stainless-steel cover.

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