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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

AFL-CIO President Sweeney Steps Down

September 14, 2009 4:51 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

September 14, 2009 PITTSBURGH (AP) -- John Sweeney, stepping down after 14 years at the helm of the AFL-CIO, urged union leaders Sunday to keep up the fight to reform health care and overhaul labor laws so workers can form unions more easily. "We're on the cusp of the greatest advance in labor law reform in 70 years, but we're taking heavy fire from the corporate captains of deceit," Sweeney told about 1,000 union members at the federation's convention.

EU Predicts Exit From Recession In 3Q

September 14, 2009 4:28 am | by Aoife White, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

September 14, 2009 BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Monday that the recession in the euro-zone and EU will likely have ended in the third quarter with the resumption of modest economic growth. In an update to its May forecast, the EU cast doubt on strength of the upswing, saying it won't change its prediction for the euro-zone and EU economies to shrink by 4 percent this year.

China Files WTO Complaint Over Obama's Tariffs

September 14, 2009 4:22 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

September 14, 2009 BEIJING (AP) — Beijing filed a World Trade Organization complaint Monday over new U.S. tariffs on Chinese tires, stepping up pressure on Washington in the latest in a series of trade disputes. The conflict is a potential irritant as Washington and Beijing prepare for a summit of the Group of 20 leading economies in Pittsburgh on Sept.

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Paralyzed Welder Gets A Lift

September 14, 2009 4:08 am | News | Comments

September 14, 2009 MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Jordan Kay is proving that no job is out of reach. Kay, a welder training in Minot, was in kindergarten when he was paralyzed in a car accident. His dream to become a welder in a mechanics shop might have been dashed but for the help and ingenuity of instructors at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton.

Pratt May Move CT Jobs To Japan

September 14, 2009 3:59 am | News | Comments

September 14, 2009 EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Pratt & Whitney says it's finished formal negotiations with the Machinists union but hasn't made a decision on the future of more than 1,000 employees in Connecticut. In a statement released Sunday, the jet engine maker says it's evaluating the union's proposal and an offer from the state.

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Breakthrough Value With Manufacturing Footprint Optimization

September 11, 2009 11:39 am | by Raj G. Konanahalli and Russ Dillion, AlixPartners LLP | Articles | Comments

September 15, 2009 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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The Real Cost Of This Recession

September 11, 2009 11:28 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder of PCDworks | Articles | Comments

September 15, 2009 It’s finally gotten to me. I have given up on innovation, invention, small business, hard work, and sacrifice as a means of rescue, and I don’t mean from our current economic tribulation; I mean rescue from the economic and social misery which has frayed the fabric of our country.

What Does 1 Million Miles Mean to America?

September 11, 2009 10:50 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

September 14, 2009 Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO I have to admit I was somewhat disappointed in the article I recently read on GM’s 1 million milestone in the company’s fuel cell test fleet vehicle experiment. While this is an impressive feat, I didn’t find the facts as uplifting as I’d hoped.

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Reinventing the Manufacturing Industry With PVM

September 11, 2009 10:35 am | by Paul Hogendoorn, president and co-founder of OES Inc. | Articles | Comments

September 11, 2009 Imagine: If an operator knew when a production process was unstable and fixed it immediately. If a machine automatically shut off or alerted someone when there was a setup error. If an error could be predicted before it even happened. Every so often a technological breakthrough reinvents the way manufacturing is done.

Fume Venting, Anywhere

September 11, 2009 8:46 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The Place-A-Vent Portable Fume Extractor (PFE) from Vent-A-Kiln (Buffalo, NY) is a continuation of the original wall-mounted Place-A-Vent fume extractor, and utilizes a high-pressure fan unit fabricated with 14-gage steel housing. A self-cleaning cast aluminum wheel keeps maintenance easy.

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E-Z Hooks And Picks

September 11, 2009 8:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

E-Z Red (Deposit on the Delaware, NY) offers the Universal Interchangeable 8-Piece hook and pick set, featuring an ergonomic chemical-resistant handle with quick-disconnect. The tools quickly and easily pull clips, rings, seals, cotter pins, washers, and other small parts.

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‘Best Practices’ For Plant Managers

September 11, 2009 8:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

Industrial Press (New York, NY) has released a book by Ramesh Gulati, titled “Maintenance and Reliability Best Practices,” designed to provide a thorough understanding of how plant managers can operate their machinery more reliably and at a lower cost. The easy-to-understand style allows readers of all kinds — from seasoned plant managers and product designers to students looking to break into the field — to follow and learn the information.

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XL Scrubber For Big Facilities

September 11, 2009 8:44 am | Product Releases | Comments

Advance US (Plymouth, MN) now offers the Condor XL, a 67-inch wide rider-scrubber with 100-gallon solution and recovery tanks. According to the company, the Condor XL can cover up to 100,000 square feet of open floor space on a single tank of solution, increasing productivity and reducing cleaning costs.

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Volkswagen To Invest $5.8b In China

September 11, 2009 6:48 am | News | Comments

September 11, 2009 FRANKFURT (AP) — German carmaker Volkswagen AG said Friday it wants to spend euro4 billion ($5.8 billion) in China between now and 2011 on new products and plant expansions to keep up with rising demand there. The company plans to make investments, including increasing capacity, at its Nanjing and Chengdu plants, where it hopes to produce two new models starting in 2012.

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SC Boeing Workers Vote To Reject Union

September 11, 2009 5:36 am | News | Comments

September 11, 2009 CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Workers at a South Carolina Boeing Co. plant have voted against continued representation by a union as the company considers the site for a second assembly line for its new 787 wide-body jetliner. Workers at the North Charleston plant, which makes fuselage sections for the 787, voted 199-68 Thursday against continued representation by the International Association of Machinists.

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Pfeiffer Foods Closes NY Salad Dressing Plant

September 11, 2009 4:47 am | News | Comments

September 11, 2009 WILSON, N.Y. (AP) — Pfeiffer Foods says it will close its western New York salad dressing plant this fall, putting more than 150 people out of work. Officials at Pfeiffer, a division of Columbus, Ohio-based T. Marzetti Co., confirmed Thursday that the company's plant in Wilson will close in November.

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China's Industrial Output Rises 12.3 Percent

September 11, 2009 4:39 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

September 11, 2009 SHANGHAI (AP) — China's recovery gained momentum in August as stimulus spending helped boost industrial output, investment and retail sales in the world's third-largest economy, offsetting a slump in exports. The National Statistics Bureau reported that industrial production rose 12.

CA Auto Dealers Appeal Strict EPA Emissions Standards

September 11, 2009 4:34 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

September 11, 2009 WASHINGTON (AP) -- Auto dealers and business leaders on Thursday appealed a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency that allowed California to establish the nation's first greenhouse gas standards for cars and trucks, setting the stage for a potential attempt to block the global warming rules.

Feds: WY Workplace Fatalities 3 Times Average

September 11, 2009 4:16 am | by Ben Neary, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

September 11, 2009 CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A federal official who's been studying Wyoming's high rate of workplace fatalities said the state needs to foster an environment where workers regard following safety procedures as proof of their professionalism, not as a sign of weakness.

GM Fuel Cell Demo Rolls To 1 Million Miles

September 11, 2009 4:07 am | by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

September 11, 2009 BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — General Motors Co. is now 1 million miles into its fuel cell experiment and company officials say having everyday people drive a test fleet of pollution-free cars has convinced them they are on the right track. The automaker on Friday said it passed the 1 million-miles-driven mark in its fuel cell Chevrolet Equinox vehicles, with about 5,000 people rotating in and out of more than 100 cars over the past 25 months.

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