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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

NC Plant Workers To 911: 'ConAgra Just Blew Up'

June 16, 2009 6:04 am | by MIKE BAKER, Associated Press Writer

Emergency tapes released Monday show workers dialed 911 in a frenzy after escaping an explosion that killed three workers at a Slim Jim processing plant, with one panicked woman telling dispatchers: "ConAgra just blew up!" The 15 audio tapes portray the early moments after the blast rocked the sprawling facility in Garner, a few miles south of Raleigh, where 300 people were working.


Understand, Maintain & Service Your Torque Wrench

June 15, 2009 12:09 pm | by Brad Mountz, Mountz, Inc.

In the maintenance and manufacturing world, tightening, controlling, or measuring torque of fasteners is imperative for production efficiency and quality control. With inadequate torque, a fastener can vibrate or work loose. Conversely, if the torque is too high, the fastener can break, strip, or adjoining parts may fail causing premature malfunction, warranty, or other liability.


VFD Innovation As A Key To Success

June 15, 2009 10:40 am | by Andy Kaiser, Yaskawa Electric America, Inc.

Summer is upon us, and although orders may be slightly down compared to this time last year, your customers are no less demanding and your production schedules are no less critical in maintaining and growing your business. Capital projects have come under scrutiny and the maintenance budget has probably been reviewed and reduced as well.


Laser Pros Reduces Dimensions, Bulk

June 15, 2009 5:47 am

Located in Rhinelander, WI, Laser Pros International (LPI) is one of the world’s largest distributors of laser printer parts and accessories. The company has grown tremendously since its origin in 1990 when it began out of president Steve Spencer’s home.


Vision Simplifies Laser Welding

June 15, 2009 5:41 am

Trumpf Laser GmbH Co. KG, based in Schramberg, Germany, develops and manufactures machines and systems equipped with solid-state lasers, that are then deployed in sectors such as automotive or medical technology. One particular industrial application area is precision welding of small components made of different metals.


Cessna Aircraft Announces 1,300 New Layoffs

June 12, 2009 6:26 am

Cessna Aircraft Co., the nation's largest builder of corporate jets, has announced an additional 1,300 layoffs. The number means the company will have slashed its work force in half since the recession began. Cessna said Friday the cutbacks will affect all the company's facilities.


Boeing To Establish Thermoplastic Composites Research Centre

June 12, 2009 5:29 am

The Netherlands - Officials from Boeing, Royal Ten Cate, Stork Fokker and the University of Twente signed an agreement today to establish the Thermoplastic Composites Research Centre (TPRC) at the University of Twente in The Netherlands. Reasons for pursuing research into thermoplastic composites technologies are that they can offer cost-efficient fabrication and assembly processes and have environmental advantages.


Metal Company To Close Iowa Plant & Move To Mo.

June 11, 2009 6:12 am

Detroit Tool Metal Products says it's closing its plant in Fort Madison and consolidating operations at one central facility at its headquarters in Lebanon, Mo. The company in a statement on Thursday says the Iowa plant would close by the end of the year in an effort to cut costs and become more competitive.


Harley-Davidson Names Hund As Financing President

June 11, 2009 6:04 am

Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. said it has named Lawrence G. Hund president and chief operating officer of its financial services division. Hund, 53, replaces Perry Glassgow as president of Harley-Davidson Financial Services Inc.


Ratchet Wrench Revolution

June 10, 2009 12:53 pm

Revolution is the world’s first ratcheting open-end wrench. The ratcheting feature allows sequential strokes without the need to remove and reposition the wrench, and the three point touch grab helps to maintain grip even with badly worn hexagonal nuts. According to the company, safety is also promoted by the Revolution because less repositioning reduces the chance of contacting a neighboring hazard or a dangerous moving object.


Lead Free Valve Won't Scald You

June 10, 2009 11:31 am

Bradley has added a point of use valve to its Navigator® line: a lead-free 3/8” compression thermostatic mixing valve (TMV). The only lead free 3/8” compression TMV on the market, it contains less than 0.25 percent lead content and meets lead free requirements as defined by CA AB 1953, which, according to the company, makes the valves even safer for commercial applications and better for the environment.


Magnets Catch Metal And Drop In Price

June 10, 2009 10:37 am

Industrial Magnetics, Inc. has revamped its Ceramic & Rare Earth Plate Magnet line to include new features, more products and price reductions on many of the exposed pole, flush face and spout magnet models.   The company’s plate magnets are designed for magnetic separation in angled chute applications, with either above-the-flow or below-the-flow installation.


Maneuverable Cart Doubles As AGV

June 9, 2009 10:53 am

Creform Corporation has released the Warehouse Picking Cart, designed to improve lean practices by efficiently moving parts or boxes from one manufacturing station to another. Its maneuverability also allows it to be used for warehouse order picking and kitting.


Divers Find Large Tail Section From Air France Jet

June 8, 2009 7:55 am | by ALAN CLENDENNING, Associated Press Writers

Brazilian divers found a large tail section from an Air France jet on Monday, one of the biggest pieces yet recovered from wreckage that is helping narrow the search for Flight 447's black boxes. A U.


Russian Plant Owners Shamed Into Paying Owed Wages

June 8, 2009 7:40 am | by CATRINA STEWART, Associated Press Writer

A pulp and paper mill part-owned by billionaire Oleg Deripaska agreed Monday to compensate about 2,000 workers who have been struggling to feed their families since the plant on the shores of Lake Baikal closed last year.


Diodes Raises Sales Outlook As Demand Improves

June 8, 2009 7:23 am

Semiconductor parts maker Diodes Inc. hiked its sales estimate for the second quarter Monday, saying demand is picking up, especially in Asian countries. Diodes now projects sales to come in 22 percent to 30 percent higher than the first quarter, meaning sales of $95.


Some Airplane Black Box Design Features

June 5, 2009 5:59 am | by Slobodan Lekic, Associated Press Writer

"Black boxes" — or, more precisely, the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder — came into general use in civil aviation during the 1950s. They have evolved over the years and today's generation are highly sophisticated digital devices able to withstand intensely high temperatures — and, in the world's deepest oceans, crushing water pressures. They are housed in extremely strong metal boxes designed to be resistant to all but the most violent impacts.


Recycled Tires Could Be Hazardous

June 4, 2009 10:40 am | by RITA BEAMISH, Associated Press Writer

For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has endorsed the recycling of ground-up tires to cushion the surfaces of children's playgrounds and sports fields — the same material used for the Obama family's new White House playground.


$7 Million Education Grant For Displaced Workers

June 4, 2009 9:35 am | by COLIN FLY, Associated Press Writer

A $7 million federal grant program to help train laid-off autoworkers and other unemployed people for new careers may not seem like much, but Education Secretary Arne Duncan said it was money immediately available and more help will be on the way.


Ford Spends $125 Million To Bail Out Parts Supplier

June 4, 2009 9:28 am

Ford Motor Co. will provide $125 million or more in debtor-in-possesion financing to Visteon Corp. as the automotive parts supplier reorganizes under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday, Visteon, which filed for bankruptcy protection last week, said its former parent company would provide aid and also take assignment of Visteon's asset-backed loans under a revolving credit facility.



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