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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Pneumatic Actuators Sweep Away Manufacturer's Scrap-Metal Problems

March 15, 2001 4:16 am

In the metal stamping industry, one of the most critical operations is the removal of post-production scrap metal from the die. Scrap metal that is not removed can affect part quality and ruin the die, costing companies valuable resources to repair or replace dies. In the past, metal-stamping companies removed scrap by pushing it out of the way with a broom, a laborious, tedious process.

Self-Contained, Motorized Pulley Helps Potato Processors Make Perfect Fries

March 15, 2001 4:16 am

"For more than 19 years we have been using motorized pulleys to drive a rotating brush on our Automatic Defect Removal (ADR®) system" says Pete Smith, a product manager for Key Technology, Inc., Walla Walla, WA. A leading manufacturer of process automation and electro-optical inspection systems for the food-processing and pharmaceutical industries, Key Technology makes the ADR® 4, a unit that detects and eliminates blemished areas from raw potato strips, improving quality for makers of frozen french-fried potatoes.

Maintaining the Auto-Industry's Automated Edge

March 15, 2001 4:10 am | by Joy LePree, Contributing Editor

High-tech automated equipment supports today's automakers, but requires its own high-tech support from skilled maintenance teams to do the job. An automobile manufacturing plant is a technological site to behold. Orange sparks light up the factory as robotic welders swiftly perform their duty and smoothly send product down the line.


Fuel Cells Will Mean Extended, Pollution-Free Power for Tomorrow's Lift Trucks

February 13, 2001 7:24 am | by Jeff Colborn, Ph.D.President and CEO, Metallic Power

The zinc/air fuel cell is a new technology that will make it possible to run an electric lift truck for three shifts at a time, then be refueled as quickly and easily as pumping gasoline. No extra batteries, battery-hoisting equipment, or slow battery recharge and cooldown procedures are needed.



February 1, 2001 5:33 am

Though copper pipe has been used to carry water since the days of the Egyptians, it was not until the late 1920's that practical and economical thin-walled copper plumbing tube was developed to compete with iron pipe. Once developed, it did not take long for copper - an easily worked, corrosion-resistant product - to replace threaded iron pipe as the standard for many residential and industrial uses.

Uninterruptible Power Supply System Saves Downtime and Lost Materials for Carpet Manufacturer

January 30, 2001 8:03 am

The first placement of Caterpillar's 250 kVA Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system at a plastic extrusion plant in Charlotte, NC, proved to be a powerful success. In November 1999, Shaw Industries' Plant 25 installed the new UPS system on one of its four extrusion lines. The first power interruption occurred on Jan.


Tank Building: Tough Work That's Changed Little

January 30, 2001 8:01 am

Fisher Tank Co. president Leo Pasini describes tank building as "a tough business, a basic, U.S., old industry." In the 52 years Fisher Tank has been in the business of maintaining and building steel tanks for water, chemical and petrochemical-product storage, construction advances have been few. The most notable was the invention of automatic arc welders that travel around a tank to make horizontal welds.

How a respected, old-school tank builder with near-crippling insurance costs was turned around by a new president and his vision for safety-based excellence.

January 30, 2001 8:01 am | by Rick Carter Editor-in-Chief

Of the many cost-saving options used by modern manufacturers, cutting workers' compensation insurance premiums is not usually on the short list. And that's too bad because U.S. businesses spend plenty in this area. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, a Washington, D.C-based research group, all U.


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