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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Challenging Lighting Environments

May 3, 2013 8:00 am | by Rob Bresnahan, Larson Electronics LLC | Articles | Comments

Not all operating environments are the same and the differences in a location's environmental characteristics can have a significant impact on how lighting equipment performs. Differences in humidity, wetness, and temperature ranges, the presence of corrosives, and the presence of flammable or explosive gases and vapors can pose a serious challenge for electrical lighting.

The Hidden Cost Of Summer Heat

May 1, 2013 8:05 am | by Megan Browning, Big Ass Fans® | Articles | Comments

Industrial facilities aren’t typically built with the comfort of workers as a top priority. High ceilings, large open spaces, and sizeable mechanical obstructions can make cooling manufacturing and warehousing spaces difficult. Uncomfortable working conditions lead to heat-related illnesses and decreased productivity, which negatively affect the bottom line of the business.

Plant Maintenance Shutdown

May 1, 2013 8:00 am | by Grady Winston, Blogger & Entrepeneur | Articles | Comments

Think of a scheduled maintenance and plant shutdown project as spring cleaning on a huge scale. Also commonly known as a plant overhaul, the temporary shutdown of a production plant or factory is an enormous undertaking and one that requires careful and systematic planning prior to performing the task.

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Scan Before You Replace

April 30, 2013 8:05 am | by Brian Lambert, The Garland Company, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Thankfully, rather than simply doing a quick visual assessment of the roof and deciding it needs to be replaced, today’s roofing professionals can rely on several different non-destructive moisture tests to help make solid recommendations based on unbiased scientific information. The decision of when to repair, restore or replace a large commercial roof often involves a million dollars or more.

Anhydrous Ammonia, Ammonium Nitrate At AR Plant

April 29, 2013 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Of the 180 facilities in Arkansas that are listed as storing fertilizer, just one has both anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate, according to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. The two compounds were stored at a Texas fertilizer plant where a deadly explosion occurred April 17.

Climate Curtain Protects U.S. Glass Block Manufacturer

April 29, 2013 9:00 am | by Marcus Mohwinkel, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Goff’s Enterprises, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Pittsburgh Corning is a world leader in innovative glass block products for commercial, institutional, government and residential building applications. The company is the only U.S.-based manufacturer of glass block. The company needed to create a climate-controlled, low-dust environment. Further, the warehouse measured 100 feet wide by 400 feet long—but assembly operations required only a portion of the total area.

Chrysler To Invest $20M In Toledo Machining Plant

April 26, 2013 5:02 pm | by Chrysler Group LLC | News | Comments

Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it will invest $19.6 million in its Toledo Machining Plant in Perrysburg, Ohio, to increase capacity of the torque converter it’s machining for the nine-speed transmission. With this announcement, the Company’s total investments in its U.S. operations since June 2009 increase to over $5.2 billion.

Caterpillar Laying Off About 60 At IL Plant

April 26, 2013 5:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Caterpillar Inc. is laying off about 60 employees at a plant in central Illinois as the company deals with declining profits. The Journal Star in Peoria reports that Caterpillar said Thursday that it will lay off workers at a foundry in Mapleton starting in early May. The town is just south of Peoria, where Caterpillar is based.

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Big Brands Rejected Bangladesh Factory Safety Plan

April 26, 2013 10:26 am | by Julhas Alam, Kay Johnson, Associated Press | News | Comments

As Bangladesh reels from the deaths of hundreds of garment workers in a building collapse, the refusal of global retailers to pay for strict nationwide factory inspections is bringing renewed scrutiny to an industry that has profited from a country notorious for its hazardous workplaces and subsistence level wages.

MI Worker Killed At Nissan's TN Plant

April 26, 2013 10:22 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co. officials say an employee of a supplier died in a fatal accident at its vehicle assembly plant in Smyrna, Tenn. The employee of Lake Orion, Mich.-based Complete Automation was killed Thursday in the factory's paint plant. Bob Light, a spokesman for Complete Automation, said the employee was killed when a large electrical panel fell while it was being moved.

Boeing 737s Being Built At Highest Monthly Rate Ever

April 25, 2013 1:49 pm | by Boeing | Videos | Comments

The new CopaAirlines 737 symbolizes an important change in how the 737 is built. The world's best selling airplane, the Boeing 737, is now building at its highest rate ever. In Renton, Washington, the Boeing factory is now assembling 38 planes a month.

A Vegetable Packing Plant Saves Time And Money

April 24, 2013 8:00 am | by BDI | Articles | Comments

A national producer of canned fruits and vegetables had to halt production on its conveyor line whenever the type of product to be filled changed. For dry fill production, the setup uses gravity fillers, which are mounted under a vibrating hopper and rely on gravity to fill the cans.

Kalamazoo's Bell's Brewery Plans MI Plant

April 23, 2013 10:18 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Bells Brewery Inc. is seeking the Escanaba City Council's approval Thursday to buy property and build a manufacturing plant in the Upper Peninsula city. MLive.com reports that the Kalamazoo-based beer-maker on Friday offered $35,000 for 3.15 acres in the Whitetail Industrial Park. Bell's offer says it will build the plant within 18 months and says it will employ five people.

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Practical Advice For Virtualizing Your Manufacturing Applications

April 23, 2013 8:05 am | by Frank Hill, Director of Manufacturing Business Development, Stratus Technologies | Articles | Comments

As manufacturers continue to increase plant automation, virtualization is gaining traction as a way to control costs, increase efficiencies, and drive better long-term planning. Virtualization, the practice of using a software layer to let one physical computing server run multiple applications on virtual machines, enables manufacturers to maximize their return on hardware investments while conserving real estate on the plant floor.

How Wearable Technology Is Transforming Facilities

April 23, 2013 8:00 am | by Mark Wheeler, Director of Supply Chain Solutions - North America, Motorola Solutions | Articles | Comments

Mobile devices are necessary tools to increase the efficiency and productivity of workers across many industries and markets, including the warehouse. But wearable, voice-directed and multimodal mobile technologies are helping to transform the warehouse environment at an even faster pace than standard mobile tools in other markets.

Safety Rules Limited For Small Fertilizer Plants

April 22, 2013 10:11 am | by Jack Gillum, Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press | News | Comments

There were no sprinklers. No firewalls. No water deluge systems. Safety inspections were rare at the fertilizer company in West, Texas, that exploded and killed at least 14 people this week. This is not unusual. Small fertilizer plants nationwide fall under the purview of several government agencies, each with a specific concern and none required to coordinate with others on what they have found.

Boeing Slows 747 Production On Weak Demand

April 19, 2013 4:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing says it will slow down production of its superjumbo 747-8 because of weak demand. Boeing builds two of the planes every month. It's slowing that rate to one and three-quarters per month. Boeing had warned that a slowdown was possible if demand didn't improve. Boeing has orders for 64 of the planes still to be built, including freighter and passenger versions.

Ozark Manufacturer Announces $26M Expansion

April 17, 2013 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

State officials say SGL Carbon will invest $26 million in the company's manufacturing plant in Ozark, where it will add a new workshop. SGL Carbon now employs 90 workers at its plant, which makes graphite electrodes that are used in a process to recycle steel scrap.

Rugged Tablet PC Requirements In Food Manufacturing

April 17, 2013 8:05 am | by Matt Miller, President, MobileDemand | Blogs | Comments

The food manufacturing industry defines the kind of variable, often-extreme working environment in which a rugged tablet PC thrives. Refrigerated areas must be at or below 45 degrees, freezers at or below zero, and hot food must remain at 140 degrees or just higher. Rugged tablets have to endure these highly variable temperatures and move among them as needed.

Bombardier Ramps Up CSeries Production

April 16, 2013 2:16 pm | by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press | News | Comments

Bombardier Aerospace doesn't expect to hire more foreign workers to build its new CSeries aircraft despite possible shortages in skilled labour in Canada. The aerospace giant has occasionally hired foreign engineers and temporarily uses its own employees from the U.S., China and Britain.

Okuma Launches “Tell Your Okuma Story” Campaign

April 16, 2013 11:49 am | by Okuma America Corporation | News | Comments

Okuma America Corporation announces the launch of its “Tell Your Okuma Story” campaign, designed to share success stories and best practices amongst users in the CNC machining industry. Okuma users are encouraged to write a brief synopsis or send in a candid video that relates their Okuma CNC machine experience.

Ingersoll Rand Photo Contest Reveals Rich History Of 80-Year-Old Products

April 12, 2013 3:31 pm | by Ingersoll Rand | News | Comments

Huston Wyeth of St. Joseph, Mo., submitted his company’s 1936 reciprocating air compressor and won a new Garage Mate Single-Stage Air Compressor. Floyd Hudson of Montoursville, Pa., entered his great-grandfather’s air hammer from the 1930s and won a new cordless drill.

ME Gun Manufacturer To Lay Off 110

April 12, 2013 10:05 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Defense contractor General Dynamics Corp. is laying off more than 100 workers at its gun manufacturing plant in Saco. Spokesman Karl Johnson says 110 workers representing nearly a third of the plant's work force have been notified that they'll be let go between June 14 and July 1.

Crash Course: Soft Foot Checks And Corrections

April 11, 2013 9:31 am | by LUDECA, Inc. | Videos | Comments

In this video LUDECA provides insights and instructions for solving various types of soft foot, demonstrating industry-leading techniques using laser alignment equipment. Soft foot is a condition that affects alignment and can shorten the life of machines.

North Korea Closes Shared Industrial Park

April 11, 2013 9:25 am | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

The latest threat from North Korea comes as President Kim Jung Un made good on his promise to close the Kaesong Industrial park. Kaesong is where 120 factories with North and South Korean workers are side by side. North Korea stands to lose $80 million in wages a year with Kaesong closed. CBS' Margaret Brennan reports.

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