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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Shockingly Flexible

July 23, 2009 8:37 am | Articles | Comments

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) adds to its line of electrical wire with flexible service cord, available in sizes ranging from 18 to 10 gauge, for use in industrial applications. The new wire comes in two-, three-, or four-conductor configurations.

Functional And High-Resolution HMI Solution

July 23, 2009 8:34 am | Articles | Comments

Omron Electronics (Schaumburg, IL) extends its NS Series touch screen HMI’s with a 15-inch display that offers high brightness to enhance readability in indoor and outdoor applications. The NS15 offers built-in Modbus II, internet interfaces, and Ladder Monitor functionality to support industrial applications, from process control to material handling.

Boost Productivity in an Economic Downturn with Advanced Maintenance Practices

July 23, 2009 7:41 am | by Paul Michalicka , SKF USA Inc. | Articles | Comments

Boosting machine productivity and preventing downtime are always key objectives of any manufacturer, but they become critical imperatives during periods of economic downturn. Advanced maintenance and lubrication practices, supported by a new generation of powerful digital technology, can assist productivity initiatives by keeping rotating machines running longer and more efficiently.

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Ford Posts Surprise $2.8 Billion Profit In Second Quarter

July 23, 2009 4:26 am | by Kimberly Johnson & Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writers | Articles | Comments

Helped by a lightened debt load, Ford Motor Co. posted a surprise second-quarter profit of $2.8 billion Thursday, following the worst loss in company history a year earlier. Shares rose 10 percent. The net profit ends a string of four straight quarterly losses for the nation's second-largest automaker, which has gained U.

Bell Strike Over After Union OKs Contract

July 22, 2009 10:04 am | by Angela K. Brown, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

The nearly six-week strike at Bell Helicopter ended Wednesday after the union representing about 2,500 manufacturing workers approved a new four-year contract. United Auto Workers Local 218 members voted on a contract that Bell had presented during negotiations Tuesday.

AMT President: Small Manufacturing Needs Govt. Assistance

July 22, 2009 9:56 am | Articles | Comments

Testifying before the House Small Business Committee, Douglas K. Woods, President of AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology , told members of the committee that the effects of tax breaks and other provisions within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – the stimulus law – have so far been minimal on the struggling manufacturing industry.

Worker Commits Suicide Over Missing iPhone

July 22, 2009 8:15 am | by William Foreman, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

Chinese worker Sun Danyong was responsible for handling the prototypes of one of the world's hottest products — the iPhone. When one of the gadgets went missing and his company began investigating him, he jumped off his apartment building and killed himself.

Workers Lock Up Execs In New French 'Bossnappings'

July 22, 2009 5:25 am | by Angela Charlton, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

French factory workers angry over layoffs and cost cuts locked up their bosses at a Michelin tire plant and a U.S.-owned cigarette-paper mill in a new eruption of "bossnappings." The auto and auto parts industries have been particularly hard hit by cutbacks and a backlash by French workers during the country's worst recession in decades.

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Woman Found Dead At Calif. Food Processing Plant

July 22, 2009 5:15 am | Articles | Comments

A 40-year-old woman has been found dead in a machine at a Southern California food processing plant that is a major supplier for McDonald's restaurants. Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives say the woman's body was found early Tuesday at Golden State Foods in the City of Industry, an east Los Angeles suburb.

BMW Motorcycle Production at Berlin Plant

July 21, 2009 12:14 pm | Articles | Comments

This short video outlines the basic manufacturing process for BMW's motorcycles.

Reduce Noise, Vibration With Hydraulic Accumulators

July 21, 2009 10:23 am | by Ed Godin, Technical Services Manager, Global Accumulator Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation | Articles | Comments

Our government has established that 6 watts of vibration energy is the maximum sustainable operating condition a worker may be exposed to over a short period of time. In addition, OSHA has set 75 dB as the maximum noise level an operator can work in over a four-hour span. The truth is that these standards can be improved on to further ensure the health of workers and, potentially, to increase productivity at the same time.

Ferguson Box Saves Space

July 21, 2009 10:17 am | Articles | Comments

Ferguson Supply and Box manufactures and distributes custom and stock corrugated boxes, containers, displays, bags, packaging supplies, foam products, as well as graphic art and design services. With the company’s in-house structure and graphic design team, Ferguson has the ability to take a packaging concept from an idea to the retail shelf or safely into the customers’ hands.

AS/RS Provides Decade Of Uptime

July 21, 2009 10:13 am | Articles | Comments

In more than 10 years, the Automated Storage and Retrieval System installed at Hershey Creamery Company has not had a single down day. Back in 1997 the Hershey Creamery Company, manufacturer of Hershey’s Ice Cream, sought Westfalia Technologies, Inc. to design and build an automated warehousing system for its new ice cream distribution center in Middletown, PA.

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Industrial Magnetics, Inc. Offers Free Plant Audit

July 21, 2009 6:14 am | Articles | Comments

Borne City, MI — Industrial Magnetics, Inc. (IMI) is offering a no-obligation plant survey to companies interested in evaluating how magnetic equipment can improve cycle times, reduce operating costs, purify product, or protect processing equipment from damage. IMI representatives can perform objective and measured strength testing of existing magnetic equipment, test end product for metal contaminant levels, identify key areas where magnets could enhance operating performance and offer a comparative and cost analysis for new or upgraded magnetic equipment.

Small And Portable Dust Control

July 20, 2009 6:10 am | Articles | Comments

Farr Air Pollution Control (Jonesboro, AK) has released its Gold Series GS4M Mini dust collector, ideal for use indoors because of its small footprint, especially where noise and space constraints are a concern. The unit controls emissions from small airflow applications, up to 2,000 cfm.

Double Dose of Deburring

July 20, 2009 6:08 am | Articles | Comments

Abtex Corp. (Dresden, NY) has expanded its Tri-Ten planetary head deburring system to include a return-to-operator (RTO) configuration. The new system is designed for applications requiring a small footprint and portability, and deburrs both sides of a part in a single pass.

Adjustable, Customizable, And Durable Dolly System

July 20, 2009 6:05 am | Articles | Comments

The new Hamilton panel dolly. The Hamilton Caster Truck Design Team (Hamilton, OH) announces a new panel dolly to transport slabs of granite, quartz, concrete, or other heavy materials. Hamilton Truck can customize the dolly to accommodate specific requirements, but standard features include: A lightweight, all-aluminum construction measuring 92” long x 24” wide x 43.

Ahead of the Bell: Manufacturing Sector

July 20, 2009 5:44 am | Articles | Comments

How investors react to second-quarter earnings from industrial companies is an open question, with share prices for several companies that have so far reported rising only barely, an analyst said late Sunday. Deutsch Bank-North America analyst Nigel Coe said shares on average increased slightly for companies such as General Electric Co.

Inventory Strength = Reduced Stress

July 17, 2009 12:01 pm | by Andy Kaiser - Yaskawa Electric America, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Hopefully this recent series of articles relating to variable frequency drive (VFD) selection are proving to be helpful and encouraging. In the three previous installments we have covered a large amount of material.

Police Arrest 1 In Cudahy Meatpacking Plant Fire

July 17, 2009 4:40 am | by CARRIE ANTLFINGER, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man and located another male who they believe may have launched a military illumination flare that caused a massive fire at a southeastern Wisconsin meatpacking plant.

Harley-Davidson To Cut 1,000 Jobs

July 16, 2009 4:59 am | by DAN STRUMPF, AP Auto Writer | Articles | Comments

Harley-Davidson Inc. said Thursday it is cutting 1,000 more employees and lowering its motorcycle shipment guidance as quarterly earnings continued to fall due to weaker sales. The Milwaukee-based maker of the famous heavyweight motorcycles said it plans to cut another 700 hourly and 300 salaried employees from its ranks as it copes with falling demand for its high-end bikes.

Wal-Mart To Announce Product Eco-rating System Today

July 16, 2009 4:13 am | Articles | Comments

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, plans to demand that all its suppliers measure the environmental cost of making their products so Wal-Mart can calculate and post an eco-rating for each item. The ambitious program, to be announced today, is likely to spur companies to redesign products from electronics to jeans, but it presents still more costs to contain as they pinch pennies to tackle the recession.

Ohio Worker Killed In Crane Accident

July 15, 2009 11:57 am | Articles | Comments

Authorities say a contract worker died after a boom from a crane fell on him at Appleton Papers in western Ohio. The accident happened Wednesday at the West Carrollton plant, which is temporarily shut down this week so that equipment can be serviced.

Iowa Town Recovering From Slaughterhouse Immigration Raid

July 15, 2009 11:53 am | Articles | Comments

Life in Postville wasn't easy before federal agents raided the area's largest employer and detained 389 people on immigration charges. The May 2008 raid on the Agriprocessors slaughterhouse came as the nationwide recession was deepening and the city was struggling to cope with some of the long-term economic problems many rural Midwestern communities face.

Consumer Prices Jump, Industrial Production Falls

July 15, 2009 11:47 am | Articles | Comments

Consumer prices shot up in June by the largest amount in 11 months, reflecting the biggest jump in gasoline prices in nearly five years. The Labor Department said Wednesday that inflation at the consumer level rose by 0.7 percent last month, slightly higher than the 0.

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