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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Smooth Operation

August 10, 2009 6:09 am | by Dan Leiss, President, Jenny Products Inc. | Articles | Comments

In today’s manufacturing environments, compressed air is often regarded as an important means towards completing everyday tasks. Used to power various tools and equipment, compressed air is essential to the daily operations of countless assembly, maintenance, and repair professionals. Incorporating several small day-to-day tasks into a preventative maintenance routine can make a difference in the life and repair cost of an air compressor.

Caught In The Jaws Of Change

August 10, 2009 6:00 am | by Michael Collins, MPC Management | Articles | Comments

A 1987 report “Technology and the American Economic Transition” from the Office of Technology Assessment predicted that “during the next two decades, new technologies, rapid increases in foreign trade, and the tastes and values of a new generation of Americans are likely to reshape virtually every product, every service, and every job in the U.

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"Up-To-The-Minute" Has Become "Too Slow"

August 10, 2009 5:11 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO The day my mom joined Facebook elicited a strange reaction in me: something wavering on dumbfounded pride. My mom was all grown up, graduating from some technological university I’d assumed she wasn't even aware of. The day she joined Twitter was borderline scary.

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Danny Glover Joins Rally Of Striking Workers

August 10, 2009 5:00 am | News | Comments

Actor Danny Glover joined striking workers at a rally in Terre Haute Saturday. Glover said he was proud that the strikers refused to be victimized. The 63-year-old actor says he grew up in a union household and says the working class is one big family.

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"Cash For Clunkers" Hurting Salvage Yards, Dealers

August 10, 2009 4:54 am | News | Comments

The Cash for Clunkers program has been a boost to car sales, but the concerns of some salvage yard owners and car dealers show that not everyone is happy. Richard Harris, owner of Valley Auto Parts in Dayton, said the program's requirement that clunkers' engines and drivetrains be destroyed will lead to fewer parts and higher prices.

GM Has To Focus On Its Cars To Boost Sales

August 10, 2009 4:38 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Put the brakes on the apologies. Think about your brands. And give us a reason to buy your cars. That's what marketing gurus say General Motors Co. must do as it begins a massive overhaul of advertising worth more than $2 billion a year now that it's out of bankruptcy protection.

EBay, GM Set To Start Car-Selling Trial Tuesday

August 10, 2009 4:23 am | by Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

General Motors and eBay Inc. are expected to announce Monday that hundreds of the auto maker's California dealers will let consumers haggle over the prices of new cars and trucks through the online marketplace, as part of a previously disclosed trial.

Hydroelectric Plant A Job Creator In Western KY

August 10, 2009 4:17 am | News | Comments

A hydroelectric plant being built along the Ohio River in western Kentucky will eventually provide power for communities in a half-dozen states. The $416 million project on the Cannelton Locks and Dam will employ 200 to 400 construction workers, the Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro reports.

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Industrial Hemp Growth In Oregon Faces Challenges

August 10, 2009 4:10 am | News | Comments

Despite recent approval from state lawmakers, industrial hemp growth in Oregon faces a number of hurdles, including a less than ideal local climate and likely opposition from the Drug Enforcement Agency, an Oregon State University official said. Hemp and its close cousin, marijuana, were outlawed by the federal government in the 1930s.

Connecticut Factory Goes Up In Flames

August 10, 2009 4:03 am | News | Comments

Dozens of Connecticut firefighters have contained a blaze at a former cardboard package factory in Torrington. The four-alarm fire at the former Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. factory on Summer Street was reported at about 5 a.m. Monday. A portion of the building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

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Human 'Foot' In NY Recycling Plant Actually Bear Paw

August 7, 2009 12:30 pm | News | Comments

What authorities thought was a decomposing human foot found among recyclables at a western New York landfill really came from a bear. Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero said a worker found the object among trash Monday and notified authorities. Povero said it appeared to be a human foot but couldn't be positively identified.

Microprocessors Can Make Big Boiler Changes

August 7, 2009 10:17 am | Product Releases | Comments

Cleaver-Books (Milwaukee, WI) introduces SysteMAX, a microprocessor-based wireless control for boiler rooms. SysteMAX uses 64 I/O points for controlling multiple boilers, pumps, and dampers while matching system load. Also, the control can adjust boiler sequencing and firing rate based on real-time variances from outdoor temperature, supply/return temperatures, and flow.

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Multiple Assets, One Monitoring Solution

August 7, 2009 10:14 am | Product Releases | Comments

Binmaster (Lincoln, NE) has developed its SmartBob C-50 Analog Expansion Console, which enables monitoring of multiple bins equipped with SmartBob2 or SmartBob-TS1 sensors from a single C-100 console. The C-50 is the latest addition to Binmaster’s cable-based inventory tracking system, which is designed to measure the level of powders, ganules, pellets, and dry bulk solids, in addition to liquids.

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Delta To Cut More Jobs

August 7, 2009 6:55 am | News | Comments

Delta Air Lines Inc., the world's biggest airline operator, is planning to cut more management and administrative jobs, but isn't saying how many, according to a recorded message and a memo from top executives. Chief Executive Richard Anderson said in a recorded message to employees Thursday that Delta has seen its revenue stream decline by billions of dollars because of the weak economy and the drop-off in demand for air travel.

Job Losses Slow To 247,000; Jobless Rate Dips

August 7, 2009 5:55 am | News | Comments

Employers throttled back on layoffs in July, cutting just 247,000 jobs, the fewest in a year, and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.4 percent, its first decline in 15 months. It was a better-than-expected showing that offered a strong signal that the recession is finally ending.

Save Time With Operator-Based Maintenance

August 7, 2009 5:41 am | by John L. Ross, Jr, Senior Consultant with Marshall Institute Inc. | Articles | Comments

Could you use an extra 50 to 100 maintenance technicians? If so, what would you do with them? Maybe they can be used to enhance your preventive maintenance (PM) program. Here’s how. I will admit that outwardly it would be controversial to suggest indiscriminately eliminating 20 percent of your existing preventive maintenance task! No kidding — literally hit the delete key on your computer and say good-bye to 1/5 of your work.

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Pumping Intelligence

August 6, 2009 10:31 am | Articles | Comments

ITT Goulds (Seneca Falls, NY) announces its Model 3196 process pump, which now features patented onboard pump intelligence. The 3196 has a stainless steel condition monitor, which is placed securely atop the power end to measure critical vibration and temperature readings.

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Mix It Up

August 6, 2009 10:24 am | Articles | Comments

Real Time Ware, Inc. (New Baltimore, MI) has developed the Model MFT 3000, a mixer for solutions requiring two or more components, including adhesives, powders, or liquids. The MFT 3000 inspects the solution during mixing to ensure the ratio of components is always within specification, which can be seen on the visual display.

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Reliable Electronics In Harsh Environments

August 6, 2009 10:23 am | Articles | Comments

Meltric Corporation (Franklin, WI) releases its DXN37C product line of plugs and receptacles featuring 37 electrical contacts. Each contact on the plug and receptacle can carry up to 5 amps at 220 volts, making the DXN37C suited for control applications. Meltric’s devices are ATEX-rated for use in zones 1 and 2 (gas) or zone 21 and 22 (dust) classified areas.

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AC Motor Testing, Safely

August 6, 2009 10:22 am | Articles | Comments

PdMA Corp. (Tampa Florida) introduces the MTAP3, which allows facilities to safely test energized AC electric motors and generators without opening the MCC or switchgear doors. A special cable connects the MTAP3 port to the tester, and the voltage is less than 5V, in order to comply with the latest OSHA and NFPA 70E guidelines for electrical work.

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