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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Not So Risky Business

April 24, 2009 7:24 am | by Andy Kaiser, Yaskawa Electric America, Inc.

A problem has been identified that needs a solution. You have also been given an additional requirement from management that the process identified needs to increase output by 30 percent over the original system. You have already searched the websites of some industrial VFD vendors, but you are still not sure about all the technology, terminology, and performance claims stated.

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Q&A with Ralph Keller from the Association for Manufacturing Excellence and Mike McDonald of Prime Advantage Corp.

April 24, 2009 6:49 am

Ralph Keller is President of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (www.ame.org), an organization dedicated to cultivating understanding, analysis and exchange of productivity methods and their successful application in the pursuit of excellence.

Is College The Answer?

April 24, 2009 6:04 am | by Mike Collins, author of Saving American Manufacturing

For the last 20 years the government mantra has been to get a college education in order to get ahead. Shop classes that used to be in every grade school and high school were replaced by computer labs to prepare the new knowledge workers for the future.

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A 360 Degree Change

April 24, 2009 5:21 am

McCormick Distilling started with small energy efficiency steps, which eventually led to a brand new, eco-friendly product, and a cleaner, greener plant. It’s often speculated that in a recessed economy, certain industries go unaffected. In fact, economic experts will highlight industries that actually benefit from the conditions—one of which, alcohol, is often cited as a booming business when times are tough.

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Rail Mounted Circuit Protection

April 23, 2009 9:32 am

Omega's new ASK series of DIN rail mounted fuse holders provide circuit protection for any industrial control system. Two standard fuse styles are supported: 14 × 51 mm (ASK 6) and 10 × 38 mm (ASK 4). Single pole, double pole, and 3 pole models are available with or without blown fuse indicators.

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Flood Light Increases Luminous Flux

April 22, 2009 8:20 am

The FLAT TEC luminaire fluorescent flood light for machining and industrial plant applications is the latest in the Waldmann Lighting line of products. Available in a built-up (1.65" in height) or flush version, its flat profile helps it fit into tight spaces.

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Explosion-Proof Motor For Hazardous Waste Compactor

April 22, 2009 8:11 am

KenBay has added a hazardous waste & explosion-proof model to its line of rotary arm compactors. According to the company, this RotoPac has the same small footprint and high 6-to-1 compaction ratio as its other models, but is now fitted with NEMA 4 boxes for electrical control components and hydraulic valves.

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Humans & Machines Unite

April 22, 2009 8:05 am

Pro-face America recently released its latest brochure, containing a range of standard, mid-range and high performance industrial PCs, plus open human-machine interface (HMI) solutions. Detailed specification are included for each system, as well as descriptions for the Pro-face system features.

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Exelon and SunPower to Develop Nation's Largest Urban Solar Power Plant

April 22, 2009 7:00 am

Exelon and SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA) (Nasdaq: SPWRB) today announced an agreement to develop the nation's largest urban solar power plant at a former industrial site on Chicago's South Side. The 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) facility is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

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Sweet Revenge With 110 MPG V-8 Engine

April 22, 2009 6:52 am

President/CEO Peter Collorafi of Revenge Designs Inc. (PINKSHEETS: RVGD), a specialty car designer and production assembler, is pleased to announce that an agreement has been signed with Mr. Douglas Pelmear, President/CEO of HP2G LLC, an Ohio based engine company with a 110 MPGe engine. HP2G LLC has designed, developed and built a proprietary V-8 engine called the HP2g.

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Inauguration of World's Largest LNG Facility

April 22, 2009 6:39 am

Emerson (NYSE:EMR) and its Emerson Process Management business congratulated Qatargas Operating Company Ltd. on its recent inauguration of the world's largest facility for producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Ras Laffan Industrial City. To capitalize on the growing demand for clean-burning natural gas, Qatargas is in the final stages of commissioning and startup of the largest LNG production "train" ever built.

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Smart Control Panel With Touchpad, LCD Screen

April 21, 2009 10:21 am

Blue Giant Equipment Corporation has released the Blue Genius™ Touch Control Panels, a new line of microprocessor-based technology for operating dock levelers, vehicle restraints, doors, communications lights, and safety accessories. A smart-touch keypad with multi-language visual display allows workers to manage all the connected loading dock equipment from one control panel, while an enhanced network communications bus provides more reliable high-speed communications.

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Petro-Canada Isolates Biodegradable, Non-Toxic Lubricants

April 21, 2009 9:18 am

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada – March 30, 2009: Petro-Canada today announced their new EcoSia brand, a suite of products from their current line-up which possess environmentally-friendly characteristics. The EcoSia line will make it easier for lubricant customers to identify those products that meet their environmental goals without compromising performance.

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Gallatin Tracks Compliance Through Software

April 21, 2009 5:41 am

Gallatin Steel, Ghent KY, is a joint venture between ArcelorMittal and Gerdau Ameristeel—with equal emphasis on safety, environment, and quality. This steel manufacturer has a Contract Strip Production facility capable of producing more than 1.4 million tons of hot band coils on an annual basis.

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World markets mixed after downbeat US news

April 15, 2009 11:54 am | by PAN PYLAS, AP Business Writer

World stocks were only modestly changed Wednesday as recent enthusiasm was offset by disappointing U.S. economic data, including an unexpected fall in consumer prices and a continued slump in industrial production. The Labor Department said consumer prices edged down 0.

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Industrial production drops more than expected

April 15, 2009 11:51 am | by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

Industrial production fell for the fifth straight month in March, the government said Wednesday, as companies cut output in order to clear stockpiles of goods. But economists expect that trend to moderate soon, as businesses bring inventories in line with slower sales.

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Auto industry on plug-in hybrids and electric cars

April 15, 2009 11:44 am

Several automakers are developing plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric cars that could help meet President Barack Obama's goal of putting 1 million plug-in hybrids on the road by 2015. Many industry officials say the goal is a worthy one but will be difficult to meet. A look at the work by some auto manufacturers: GENERAL MOTORS CORP.

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Encoders Go Wireless

April 9, 2009 8:06 am

BEI Industrial Encoders has released the SwiftComm wireless interface for encoders, designed for motion control applications. The encoders provide a wireless signal in real time over a secure network. According to BEI, the SwiftComm series is unlike other wireless technology such as Wi-Fi because of its fast boot-up and transmission time, which allow it to seamlessly interface with existing control systems.

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Caught On A Variety of Tapes

April 8, 2009 9:03 am

Mule-Hide has a number of maintenance and repair solutions that are available in various sizes. Its EPDM tapes come in 3” or 6” wide by 25’ long, and 3”, 6” or 12” wide by 25’ long. EPDM tape primer is also available in 1 gallon or 5 gallon containers.

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Wholesale inventories drop by most in 17 years

April 8, 2009 8:39 am | by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

Inventories dropped in February, but sales rose for the first time since the summer.  Wholesalers cut their inventories in February by the steepest amount in more than 17 years, but sales rose for the first time since the summer, encouraging signs that companies may be getting their inventories under control.

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