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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Boeing Gets $4B Helicopter Pact From Army

June 11, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing has received a $4 billion, multi-year contract from the Army for 177 CH-47F Chinook helicopters. The Army has options to buy up to an additional 38 helicopters. Deliveries are expected to start in 2015. The order will bring the Army's CH-47F inventory close to its goal of 464 aircraft, including 24 for replacements.

GA Company To Set Up Shingle ME Plant

June 11, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Georgia-based company that manufactures cedar shingles is planning to locate a manufacturing plant in northern Maine that will create 78 new jobs. Gov. Paul LePage and Bryan Kirkey, CEO of Ecoshel, announced Tuesday that the shingle plant will be located at the former Levesque sawmill in Ashland.

Chevron CEO: Responding To Safety Concerns

June 11, 2013 12:25 pm | by Wall Street Journal | Videos | Comments

Chevron CEO John Watson discusses energy production in the wake of BP's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Watson says energy companies are taking a more proactive approach to safety, securing their systems, and operations before government regulators come knocking.

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How Iron Man Can Help Make It In America

June 11, 2013 8:05 am | by Mandy Mallott, Industrial Specialist, NIST MEP | Blogs | Comments

Communities investing in manufacturing and economic development apply the same techniques as Iron Man, working in a region, scanning the environment and applying resources (tax incentives, workforce development and infrastructure upgrades instead of repulsor rays) to come out on top with robust economic growth.

Electronic Water Treatment Reduces Fouling In Heat Exchangers

June 10, 2013 8:05 am | by Jan de Baat Doelman, President, Scalewatcher North America Inc. | Articles | Comments

The deposition of material on heat transfer surfaces is called fouling which significantly impacts the thermal and mechanical performance of heat exchangers. Fouling increases the overall thermal resistance and lowers the overall heat transfer coefficient of heat exchangers as well as impeding fluid flow, accelerating corrosion and increasing pressure drop across the heat exchanger.

What Manufacturers Can Learn From The Commandos

June 10, 2013 8:00 am | by Damian McKinney | Blogs | Comments

The world of manufacturing and the soldier seem very far apart at first glance, but they both operate in uncertain and rapidly changing environments. The workforce goes to work, while the military goes to war. Thankfully, in the work environment, people do not often die, but companies can fail and people’s livelihoods can be destroyed through bad decisions.

Locked Doors A Sign Of China Work-Safety Failings

June 4, 2013 1:52 pm | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press | News | Comments

A fire breaks out in a Chinese factory, and panicked workers discover one exit after another is locked. That describes not only the poultry plant fire that killed 119 people Monday, but a toy-factory blaze that left 87 workers dead 20 years earlier. The similarities between the two worst factory fires in China's history suggest that little has changed for industrial workers even as the country has transformed its economy.

Aircraft Part Maker To Bring 100 Jobs To SC

June 4, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Davis Aircraft Products said Monday it expects to hire 100 people to work in the new $5.5 million plant when it opens next spring in Andrews, S.C. The company will make tubing for airplanes at the new plant. Davis Aircraft Products CEO Bruce Davis says he appreciated the support he got from state and local officials as he decided where to put his new manufacturing plant.

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The ‘mini’ Future Of Education

June 4, 2013 8:00 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Connected to a laptop I can’t afford, on the far end of a tangle of cords, is an exposed circuit board peppered with objects I can name — resistors, diodes — but not explain. The computer itself is running software that I’m not capable of programming myself. But none of that matters, and, in fact, is part of an educational plan from National Instruments’ Academic Program.

Controlling Limescale Deposition & Industrial Fouling

June 3, 2013 8:05 am | by Jan de Baat Doelman, President, Scalewatcher North America Inc. | Articles | Comments

It costs U.S. industry billions of dollars a year to control and remove the limescale that builds up in industrial equipment such a heat exchangers, evaporative coolers, boilers, chillers and other water fed equipment. Limescale not only increases downtime, maintenance costs and causes the early renewal of capital equipment but also increases energy usage.

Painting Robots Speed Boeing 777 Production

May 30, 2013 2:23 pm | by Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times | News | Comments

Inside a sealed building in Boeing's Everett widebody-jet assembly plant, two robotic machines glide along tracks on either side of a 106-foot 777 wing laid flat, their heads reaching out like animatronic dinosaurs nibbling at the giant wing.

Motorola: 1st U.S.-Assembled Smartphones Coming

May 30, 2013 2:21 pm | by Will Weissert, Associated Press | News | Comments

Cellphone pioneer Motorola says it's opening a manufacturing facility that will produce the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S. — its new flagship device, Moto X. The Texas site was once used by fellow phone manufacturer Nokia, meaning it was designed to produce mobile devices, said Will Moss, a spokesman for Motorola Mobility, which is owned by Google.

Omron To Sell Power-Saving Know-How

May 29, 2013 10:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Omron Corp., an industrial automation equipment maker, said Tuesday it will start selling in June power-saving solutions for precision machinery factories challenged by airborne dust and other problems, based on techniques employed at one of its factories.

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Does Your Storeroom Database Do This?

May 29, 2013 8:05 am | by Mike Dyson and James Rogers, Storeroom Solutions, Inc. | Blogs | Comments

Here’s a test. Go into your parts storeroom and try to find a part that you can’t match to any piece of equipment in your plant. It’s a very rare plant that doesn’t have a box of parts that no one is quite sure exactly where they go, but the storeroom is keeping, “just in case.”

UV-/Light-Curing Adhesives Improve Manufacturing Productivity

May 24, 2013 2:12 pm | by Torsten Uske, President DELO Industrial Adhesives LLC, and Dr. Martin Kluke, Product Manager DELO Industrial Adhesives | Articles | Comments

The manufacturing world is constantly looking for processes that can accelerate production while lowering unit costs and improving product reliability. Each innovation must mesh with the overall production process to achieve high output levels.

Ford To End Auto Production In Australia In 2016

May 23, 2013 12:14 pm | by Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it will close its two Australian auto plants, ending production in the country in 2016, amid soaring manufacturing costs and plummeting sales. The closure of the U.S. automaker's plants in the state of Victoria will mean the loss of 1,200 jobs and will transform the company into an import-only brand in Australia.

Continuous Improvement: Real Improvement Or Mediocrity?

May 22, 2013 8:00 am | by Mark Latino, President, Reliability Center, Inc. | Blogs | Comments

Incremental improvements are more or less feel good measures that say to management “there was a problem and we did this to solve it.” In reality, most continuous improvements have come from technology advancements, not from employee performance advancements. Has the continuous improvement mentality caused manufacturing to settle for mediocrity?

Silicon Valley-Area Hub Becomes Factory Town

May 20, 2013 10:01 am | by Martha Mendoza, AP National Writer | News | Comments

In a busy factory, machinists move sheets of aluminum roll in the back door to be molded, stamped, twisted and notched into high-tech electric cars that sell for more than $60,000 each. Down the road in another plant, crews slice solar cells, place them under glass sheets and create panels that ship by the boxful to Europe.

Roof Recoating Enhances Workplace Safety

May 17, 2013 11:19 am | by Del Williams, technical writer | Articles | Comments

Many industrial facilities such as petrochemical plants must remain safely, efficiently operational with virtually no downtime, unplanned maintenance, or replacement for decades. To protect equipment from corrosion, traditionally three separate coatings are used, often in a zinc, epoxy, urethane combination. While this is common, it is far from optimal.

Crash Course: Spacer Shaft Alignment

May 16, 2013 8:03 am | by LUDECA Inc. | Videos | Comments

Misalignment between machines can cause unscheduled downtime, increased power consumption, and increased vibration. In this video, LUDECA focuses on spacer shaft alignments, describing the unique benefits, tolerances, and alignment methods specific to spacer shaft machines using laser alignment equipment.

Second Life For Boeing Airplanes

May 16, 2013 8:00 am | by Boeing | Videos | Comments

Boeing has earned a reputation for its commitment to environmental strategies, positioning itself as an industry leader in developing ways to lessen environmental impact. One example of that is through its aircraft recycling program. Take a look at some of the ways Boeing is providing a second life to reclaimed and certified airplane parts and materials.

2 Hurt In Explosions, Fire At WV Gas Plant

May 14, 2013 10:19 am | by Pam Ramsey, Associated Press | News | Comments

Two workers were injured Monday when highly flammable gas used in welding exploded at a West Virginia industrial site, officials said. Fire crews were sent at about 3:20 p.m. to Airgas, a distributor of specialty gases in Poca, outside of Charleston. Putnam County emergency management director Frank Chapman said the explosion involved about 50 tanks of acetylene that were at Airgas waiting to be refilled.

Mind The Gap

May 14, 2013 8:05 am | by Neil Mehltretter, System Design and Engineering Manager, Kaeser Compressors, Inc. | Blogs | Comments

Variable speed control compressors can be an important component of an optimized system provided that it is properly applied.  Variable speed is not, however, a simple panacea for instant compressed air system efficiency. The dynamics of the control must be understood and the machines properly sized.

AP: Cars Made In Brazil Are Deadly

May 13, 2013 10:08 am | by Bradley Brooks, Associated Press | News | Comments

The culprits are the cars themselves, produced with weaker welds, scant safety features and inferior materials compared to similar models manufactured for U.S. and European consumers, say experts and engineers inside the industry. Four of Brazil's five bestselling cars failed their independent crash tests.

That's A Wrap

May 10, 2013 3:38 pm | by Dan Schmidt, Business Development Manager, ITW Muller | Articles | Comments

Is the amount of load damage going up with the age of your stretch wrap equipment? Having trouble keeping up with production and the increasing number of SKUs and load configurations? Have a need to do more with less people and feel automation might be the answer? Would you save money on film and eliminate film breaks if you could just improve performance?

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