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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

7 Workers Die Inside Mexico Brewery Tank

April 8, 2013 10:07 am | by Olga R. Rodriguez, Associated Press | News | Comments

Mexico City authorities say seven workers died while cleaning a tank at a Grupo Modelo brewery in Mexico City. A spokeswoman for city prosecutors says the accident occurred early Sunday and that investigators are looking into whether the workers died from inhaling toxic fumes. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to discuss the case.

How To Develop A Welder

April 5, 2013 3:49 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

According to a 2011 article in Welding & Gases Today , the welding industry is poised for significant growth over the next decade. But with well over 200,000 available welding jobs predicted, the industry is not exactly jumping for joy. In fact, this key area of metalworking has long been known for the skill gap it consistently faces. So what’s the problem, who will solve it, and – perhaps most importantly – how?

Understanding The True Value Of Anti-Seize

April 5, 2013 3:05 pm | by Michael Feeney, E.I.T., Henkel Corporation (Loctite® Brand Products) | Articles | Comments

Although the purpose of an anti-seize may be obvious due to its name, it is a subject not well understood and certainly under utilized. Anyone who has snapped the head off a bolt or screw would sympathize that a lot of time, blood, sweat, and maybe even tears, are wasted when anti-seize is an afterthought.


Manufacturing Makes America Strong

April 3, 2013 4:26 pm | by NAMvideo | Videos | Comments

Manufacturing makes America strong. It makes families and communities strong. It provides national security. It gives us energy security. And for the 12 million men and women who work in manufacturing, it gives us pride. Caterpillar, Inc. CEO & NAM Board Chairman Doug Oberhelman tells the story of manufacturing in America and the history of the National Association of Manufacturers.

April 2013 - BMW Reports Record Production

April 1, 2013 10:56 am | Digital Editions | Comments

In this issue, BMW Manufacturing reports record production volume, NEUTEX Advanced Energy Groups positions itself as a leading American manufacturer of LED lighting, industry experts talk the true value of anti-seize, manufacturers and distributors step up to tackle the skill gap in welding, and more.

The Virtual Plant Seen Through Standardized 3D HMI

March 29, 2013 8:05 am | by Chris Parkinson, Senior Engineer, HMI Technology Lead | Articles | Comments

HMI or Human Machine Interface – everybody has them. From physical pushbutton stations to sophisticated graphical interfaces with 3D representations of equipment – HMIs are the visible part of a controls and/or manufacturing intelligence system.

Q&A: On Equity (And Unions) At Nissan’s Miss. Plant

March 29, 2013 8:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Articles | Comments

Back in the early aughts, global automaker Nissan invested some $2 billion in 4.2 million square-foot vehicle assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi. Since May 27, 2003, the company has been producing as many as 10 different models there, and currently employs 4,350. However, the relationship between Nissan management and plant floor employees haven’t always been smooth. 

Transforming Business In Manufacturing

March 28, 2013 9:10 am | Videos | Comments

For manufacturers, competitive advantage lies in connecting equipment on the factory floor to backend systems to harness real-time data. Windows Embedded GM Barb Edson, Microsoft CTO for Manufacturing Rohit Bhargava, and ARC Advisory Group analyst Craig Resnick join GigaOM Research's Adam Lesser to discuss how intelligent systems drive operational efficiency and new business opportunities in manufacturing.

Using Permanent Magnet Technology To Create System Energy Savings

March 26, 2013 9:05 am | by Roman Wajda, Baldor's Industry Business Manager for Air and Unit Handling | Articles | Comments

At a time when energy efficiency is of utmost importance, recent developments in motor technology have changed the playing field within cooling tower HVAC systems. This new technology, a permanent magnet (PM), laminated frame direct drive motor allows for the removal of all the mechanical components such as gearboxes, drive shafts, disc couplings and existing motors.

Fighting To Reclaim Manufacturing In America

March 26, 2013 9:00 am | by Kristopher Settle, Energy Curtailment Specialists | Blogs | Comments

The industry is still a global juggernaut; producing 18.2 percent of all manufactured goods which tops the list globally (still over half a percent more than China). But quite frankly, ‘dominant’ would be one of the last terms to sum up the past fifteen years of  U.S. manufacturing, despite our strong presence.

Why Parts Fail Workshop

March 25, 2013 10:37 am | by Reliability Center, Inc. | Events

This training provides an understanding of how it is possible to make order out of chaos when things go wrong. The workshop is designed to teach attendees how to identify failure modes by reading fracture surfaces of parts such as bearings, shafts, fasteners, seals, belts, and other materials to determine physical root causes. This will provide the answer(s) to "what happened."

Tough Laws, Reduced Ranks—What Next For Unions?

March 25, 2013 10:14 am | by Sharon Cohen, AP National Writer | News | Comments

From a sprawling United Auto Workers hall outside Detroit, John Zimmick has seen factories close and grown men cry when their jobs disappear. Through all the economic uncertainties of life in auto country, there has been one constant: the union.

March 2013 iPurchase

March 20, 2013 11:44 am | Digital Editions | Comments

Walk through the latest trends in safety equipment and compliance issues relating to the manufacturing environment, including an analysis on investment requirements for meeting regulations, a look at how new PPE design elements translate to better adoption on the plant floor, a review of recent safety disasters, and an outline of resources that can help manufacturers continuously improve their safety programs.

Ryanair Gives Boeing A Boost With Big Order

March 19, 2013 9:40 am | by Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press | News | Comments

Ryanair has made the biggest-ever order of Boeing planes by a European airline, announcing Tuesday it will buy 175 aircraft in a major boost for the U.S. aerospace giant. Neither side disclosed the purchase price for the 737-800s, but budget carrier Ryanair said it did negotiate a bulk discount off the total list price of $15.6 billion.

Defense Contractor In PA Fights For Its Survival

March 19, 2013 9:37 am | by Lauren Boyer, York Daily Record/Sunday News | News | Comments

A manufacturer that once worked around the clock — trying not to wake its rural neighbors with evening test track runs — barely has enough work to sustain a second shift. And things are about to get worse. "When I said some areas are dark," Alice Conner said, "I meant it."

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