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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Vinyl Is Better

October 16, 2009 11:36 am | Product Releases | Comments

Hi-Tec announces the release of the Sidewinderbarrier, which adds a vinyl wall of protection at sensitive points in the factory or other strategic locations. The 6” x 6” Sidewinderbarrier tower is bolted to the floor, and when needed, one can pull the vinyl panel to a distance of 12 to 18 feet.

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5-In-1 Industrial Marking

October 16, 2009 11:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

The EasyMark 5-in-1 Tooling Kit from Mate Precision Tooling (Anoka, MN) is a thick turret application tooling system for machines with a bottom stroke forming feature. The system can be set up to automatically perform any of the following five marking applications: Write numbers, dates, and other important information — no penetration or metal removal is involved.

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Buck Tradition, Go Flange-Mount

October 16, 2009 11:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

The TS8 Disconnect Module from the Rittal Corporation (Urbana, OH) turns any single door TS8 modular freestanding industrial enclosure into a flange-mount disconnect enclosure. The module installs in place of a standard TS8 sidewall and interlocks with the enclosure door to function as any conventional disconnect door would.

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Indestructible Keyboards

October 16, 2009 11:34 am | Product Releases | Comments

iKey (Austin, TX) introduces the DT-102-SS industrial keyboard, a rugged touchpad keyboard manufactured from stainless steel. The keyboard has been designed to meet NEMA 4X and IP68 specifications, allowing it to withstand rain, snow, splashing water, hose-directed water, and even dogs .

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Tyson To Reopen Independence, Iowa Plant

October 16, 2009 4:41 am | News | Comments

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — Tyson Foods has announced plans to reopen its plant in Independence in 2010 to produce pet treats. The plant was closed in 2006 by the poultry and meat processor, costing about 400 workers their jobs. The Iowa Economic Development Board approved incentives, including a $400,000 forgivable loan, intended to get the Independence plant up and running.

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AMD Sales Rise For Laptop Demand

October 16, 2009 4:39 am | by Jessica Mintz, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Advanced Micro Devices Inc. lost money in the third quarter but said Thursday that sales were stronger than expected, adding to mounting evidence that consumer spending is fueling a turnaround in the personal computer market. AMD sells about 20 percent of the world's computer microprocessors, which are the brains inside PCs.

Ex-Ford Engineer Stole Secrets, Ran To China

October 16, 2009 4:08 am | by Ed White, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — An engineer copied thousands of electronic documents and stole trade secrets before quitting Ford Motor Co. for a new job in China, authorities said Thursday in announcing criminal charges.> Xiang Dong Yu, also known as Mike Yu, was arrested Wednesday in Chicago after traveling from China, the U.

China Seeks To Set Global Iron Ore Price

October 16, 2009 3:54 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — China, the world's biggest steel producer, is pushing to replace the benchmark arrangement long used by the industry to price iron ore imports with one giving it a bigger say. China sought price cuts from miners of up to 40 percent this year following two years of increases totaling more than 100 percent.

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Dell To Move N.C. Jobs To Mexico

October 16, 2009 3:49 am | News | Comments

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Production at the North Carolina plant that Dell Inc. is closing in Winston-Salem will be moved to Mexico and other countries, according to a federal document. The High Point Enterprise reported Friday that Dell indicated in a Trade Adjustment Assistance Act petition that the work that has been done in Winston-Salem will be given to third-party providers in Mexico and other countries.

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Timken, UAW Shake Hands On 4-Year Contract

October 16, 2009 3:44 am | News | Comments

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Timken Co., which makes ball bearings and transmission products, says it has a tentative four-year contract agreement with leaders of a United Steel Workers local that covers 2,300 workers in Canton. The current contract was extended to Oct. 31 to allow time for a ratification vote later this month by members of USW Local 1123, Timken said.

GE Profits Fall 44 Percent In 3Q

October 16, 2009 3:41 am | by Stephen Manning, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The continued woes at General Electric's big financial unit fueled a big drop in its third-quarter earnings, outweighing signs of improvement in its divisions that make heavy machinery and other industrial equipment, the company said Friday. GE posted a 44-percent decline in profit to $2.4 billion, or 23 cents per share, hurt by much lower earnings at its GE Capital arm, which loans money to businesses ranging from credit cards to shopping centers.

The Self-Lubricating Machine

October 15, 2009 4:48 am | Articles | Comments

A simple, self-lubricating machine. Now, if it could do something other than lubricate itself, the people at MIT who built it might be on to something. Wouldn't it be great if all our machines took this great care of themselves? Do you have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider ? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in a future deployment? Email me at Joel.

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Making The Ultimate Office Weapon: Rubber Bands

October 15, 2009 4:33 am | Articles | Comments

We use them. We love them. Good 'ol rubber bands. Perfect for flinging at co-workers, or even just holding a pack of index cards together. Whatever floats your boat. But I bet you've never thought about how the stretchy brown things are made. I, for one, did not know latex came straight from a tree, just like maple syrup.

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Mechanical Walkthrough: The Differential

October 15, 2009 4:06 am | Articles | Comments

We all experience the engineering prowess of our car's differential every day when we head off to work, go errands, or, for some, hit the apex just right. But do we really understand how it works? This video, as old as it is, features an excellent step-by-step explanation of how the differential works.

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Building Airplanes, One Lego At A Time

October 15, 2009 3:51 am | Articles | Comments

Most children spend countless hours building Lego airplanes that just fall apart after their inaugural flight. These enthusiasts? They built a Lego factory that builds its own airplanes. Beat that. These dedicated Lego builders take no shame in the $12,000 they poured into the project, nor the 2,000 man hours it took to complete.

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A Historical Tour Of Autonomous Robots

October 14, 2009 12:01 pm | Articles | Comments

Take a tour of domestic robots throughout history. Now that we're approaching a time where autonomous, human-interacting, robots will take over the home, how long until industrial robots offer the same type of complex decision-making processes? We've already featured a video on the necessity for industial robots that can interact with humans ( Our Robot Future ), but the question begs to be asked again: why are industrial robots so unfriendly to their human co-workers? Should there be a movement in manufacturing toward robotics that is self-aware, do not harm people, and yet do its task just as efficiently? Via ROCKETBOOM .

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The Bowling Ball-Tossing Industrial Robot

October 14, 2009 10:23 am | Articles | Comments

Innovation is key to our industry, so here at IMPO we like to showcase ways that individuals and companies are doing something unique with the tools that get used every day to make the products we all know and love, even if they're a little off-beat. The guys from Mana Energy Potions program a KUKA industrial robot to hurl heavy objects like a medieval trebuchet.

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Take Back Your Facility

October 14, 2009 6:47 am | Articles | Comments

Managing storage space is critical in the effort to maximizing your productivity. In most storage facilities, a whopping 60 percent of floor space is wasted on aisles. So how do you add more SKUs to the same amount of square footage? What do you do when you run out of space? The Compact Storage Systems are a solution.

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EPA Puts Down Foot With Texan Heavy Industry

October 14, 2009 4:42 am | by John McFarland, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DALLAS (AP) — For 15 years, environmentalists have complained that state regulations have allowed the powerful oil and chemical industries to skirt Clean Air Act standards in Texas, the nation's foremost producer of industrial air pollution. But the Environmental Protection Agency last month scrapped several aspects of the state's air-pollution permitting program, including "flexible" permits that have allowed about 140 plants and refineries to exceed toxic emissions limits in the short term as long as they complied to overall federal averages in the long term.

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U.S. Steel Exports Surpass Imports

October 14, 2009 4:37 am | News | Comments

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A steel industry trade group said the United States exported more steel than it imported in August for the first time in more than 50 years. But another group said that assessment was based on a selective reading of government data. The American Institute for International Steel said late Monday that government data indicated U.

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