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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Malawi Child Workers With 2 Pack A Day Habit

August 24, 2009 4:25 am | by Raphael Tenthani, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) — Children picking tobacco in the fields of Malawi for consumers far beyond the African country's borders are being poisoned as they absorb up to two cigarette packs' worth of nicotine each day, a children's rights organization said Monday, The "extremely high levels of nicotine poisoning" produces not only nausea, headaches, dizziness, difficulty in breathing and other symptoms but "long-lasting changes in brain structure and function," London-based Plan International said in a report.

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WI Officials Battle Mercury Marine Non-Union Threats

August 24, 2009 4:16 am | News | Comments

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — Officials in Wisconsin were working to keep Mercury Marine from moving its manufacturing operations to Oklahoma after union workers rejected a package of wage and benefit concessions the boat engine maker said was necessary. Leaders of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local 1947 did not release the tally from Sunday's vote but said it was "overwhelming" to reject what Mercury Marine called its final offer.

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Unbeatable Breakers

August 21, 2009 10:43 am | Product Releases | Comments

Altech (Flemington, NJ) introduces a new version of its UL508 manual motor controllers, featuring a reinforced housing for improved durability. The product also offers both box and ring tongue terminals as standard in addition to a clear cover for easy tagging. The breakers are offered in 6 trip curves in ampere ratings from 0.

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Take Out The Trash

August 21, 2009 9:58 am | Product Releases | Comments

VAC-U-MAX (Belleville, NJ) has designed the Bag Compactor, which can be connected directly to the side of the bag dump station so an operator can insert an empty bag directly into the bag compactor. The new design offers a “mail box” front door for standalone use, fork lift slots for portability, and all-pneumatic operation, and a 5,000 pound compression force.

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High-Efficiency Circulator

August 21, 2009 9:57 am | Product Releases | Comments

WILO (Melrose Park, IL) introduces a line of high-efficiency circulators: the Stratos. The line can reduce consumption by up to 80 percent over single-speed pumps by incorporating electronic commutated motor (ECM) technology and a variable speed drive, resulting in greater efficiency than asynchronous motors.

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Trimming The Fat

August 21, 2009 9:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

Precision AirConvey (Newark, DE) has developed the TrimPAC Velocity trimming system, which automatically captures continuous edge trim at the press, slitter, or die cutter and directs waste material into a container. The trimmer is ideal for manufacturers dealing with paper, film, foil, or laminate in a variety of widths and thicknesses.

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Be A Sharpshooter

August 21, 2009 9:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

Balluff (Florence, KY) has introduced Sharpshooter, a vision-based sensor at a low price point. The new Sharpshooter adds 360° part rotation recognition, in addition to an output logic that can link together any number of tools. An updated version of the free ConVis configuration and emulation software comes with the sensor, adding DHCP functionality to remotely assign IP addresses.

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Russian Plant Deemed Unsafe In 1998, Infrastructure Failing

August 21, 2009 9:03 am | by Nataliya Vasilyeva | News | Comments

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities were reportedly warned back in 1998 that Siberia's massive Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power plant had fallen into serious neglect and was unsafe. On Friday, 47 people were confirmed dead and dozens were still missing after an explosion Monday at the plant — an accident that has revealed the dangers of Russia's creaking infrastructure.

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MN Ethanol Plant Fined For Lake Dumping

August 21, 2009 8:26 am | News | Comments

WINNEBAGO, Minn. (AP) — Owners of an ethanol plant in Winnebago have agreed to pay a $100,000 fine after pleading guilty to a federal charge of violating the Clean Water Act. Corn Plus also agreed to make a $50,000 contribution to benefit Rice Lake. Federal and state pollution officials charged the company Aug.

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Safety They’ll Want To Wear

August 21, 2009 6:21 am | Product Releases | Comments

caption Gateway Safety (Cleveland, OH) has developed a line of StarLite GUMBALLS, PPE-compliant protective eyewear that feature ten different, vibrantly-colored designs. Workers can pick the “flavor” that represents their personal energy or a color that accents their look for the day with blueberry, cherry red, cotton candy, orange, lemon yellow, lime green, grape, vanilla, mocha brown, and black licorice temples, all with clear lenses.

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The Right Image

August 21, 2009 6:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

caption LumaSense Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) has announced the release of its new Mikron MikroSHOT thermal imaging camera. The MikroSHOT is the latest offering from LumaSense  Technologies’ Mikron Infrared thermal imaging product line. This handy and fully radiometric thermal imager allows for affordable pocket-sized portability with capabilities normally found in larger, more expensive thermal imagers.

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Screw And Nutdrivers In All Sizes

August 21, 2009 6:19 am | Product Releases | Comments

Channellock (Meadville, PA) has introduced 23 new and improved screwdrivers and nutdrivers to the CODE BLUE(Reg) line. Highlights of the improved line include: Seven  new slotted screwdrivers, measuring 3/16” x 4”, 3/16” x 6”, 3/16” x 8”, 1/4” x 1 1/2”, 1/4” x 4”, 1/4” x 6”, and 3/8” x 8”.

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High-Accuracy Pressure Regulator

August 21, 2009 6:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

Fairchild Industrial Products (Winston-Salem, NC) has designed a pressure regulator — the model M4100 — with a large diaphragm to provide accuracy for precision control in low-pressure applications like leak detection or tank blanketing. The M4100 shines in applications requiring accuracy within +/- 0.

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Chrysler Workers Wait For Answers From Italy

August 21, 2009 4:56 am | by Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — At a Jeep factory in Toledo, Ohio, workers fear that Chrysler's new Italian management will scrap one of the two models they make, costing some of them their jobs. The same anxiety is felt at Chrysler Group LLC plants around the country as Fiat SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne, who now controls the company, readies a new plan that will include cutting redundant models and adding smaller Fiats to the lineup.

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PA Gov. Fights to Keep Harley from Relocating

August 21, 2009 4:21 am | News | Comments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc. is reportedly considering Kansas City and three other towns for a new assembly plant. The Kansas City Star reported on its Web site that company officials met with city and economic development leaders Thursday about locating a second plant near the existing Harley plant north of town.

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Chinese Smelter 500 Yards From Schools Poisons 1,300

August 21, 2009 4:13 am | by Alexa Olesen, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — China has detained two factory officials after 1,300 children were poisoned by pollution from a manganese processing plant, days after emissions from a lead smelter in another province sickened hundreds. Both cases have sparked unrest and come amid growing anger in China over public safety scandals in which children have been the main victims.

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Toyota Increases Production At Multiple US Plants

August 21, 2009 3:56 am | News | Comments

ERLANGER, Ky. (AP) — Toyota said Friday that it will boost capacity at its engine plant in Huntsville, Ala., to allow it to produce four-cylinder engines for two additional North American assembly plants. The expansion will allow the Alabama plant to produce 216,000 four-cylinder engines annually.

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Workplace Suicides Surge 28 Percent

August 20, 2009 11:40 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Workplace suicides surged 28 percent last year, the Labor Department said Thursday, as experts said anxious workers watched colleagues depart in a rash of layoffs and faced survivor's guilt. At the same time, the agency's Bureau of Labor Statistics said the total number of workers who died on the job from any cause fell by 10 percent.

Cash For Clunkers To End Monday

August 20, 2009 11:32 am | by Stephen Manning, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's revived business at car dealerships, taken gas-guzzlers off the road and given a badly needed boost to struggling auto factories. By many measures, the government's Cash for Clunkers program has been a success. Yet as it winds down, there is another lasting image: the hasty planning and troubled execution that nearly derailed the program early on and, lately, has led some frustrated dealers to drop out amid long waits for the government money.

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Lifting To The Next Level

August 20, 2009 11:31 am | Product Releases | Comments

After 80 years of New Orleans’ humid summers, a distribution facility for Lafarge, one of the largest cement producers in the United States and Canada, was literally crumbling. So the company called in a team of maintenance experts to salvage the distribution facility.  David Soch and Emmett Moore quickly compiled a laundry list of maintenance problems, ranging from mechanical issues with the gates used to control the flow of cement, to changing the light bulbs that illuminated the truck loading area.

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