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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Analysis: No Sure Things In Economic Development

July 6, 2009 8:25 am | by ALAN SAYRE | Articles | Comments

The past few weeks in Louisiana have demonstrated there are certain things economic developers armed with the taxpayers' checkbook can accomplish, and others they can do little about, especially during the current recession.

Biofuels and Feedstocks: A Commercialization Outlook

July 6, 2009 8:23 am | by Jim Lane, Biofuels Digest | Articles | Comments

Of all the hydrocarbons and simple sugars that can be made from biomass, or recovered from fossil reserves, gasoline, diesel and natural gas remain the most important end-products and are likely to remain so for some time to come. Into that mix comes the advent of biofuels, and in recent years the arrival of what are variously termed “second-generation” or advanced biofuels.

Exelon Raises Hostile Bid For NRG Energy To $8 Billion

July 2, 2009 8:02 am | by MARK WILLIAMS | Articles | Comments

Exelon Corp. on Thursday sweetened its hostile takeover bid for NRG Energy Inc. by 12 percent to $8 billion in stock, citing newly identified cost savings along with NRG's recent deal for Reliant Energy's Texas retail business.

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U.S. Launches Workplace Immigration Crackdown

July 2, 2009 7:30 am | by Suzanne Gamboa | Articles | Comments

The Obama administration launched investigations of hundreds of businesses around the U.S. Wednesday as part of its strategy to focus immigration enforcement on the employers who hire illegal workers. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has begun notifying businesses of plans to audit their I-9 forms -- employment eligibility documents that employers fill out for every worker -- the agency told members of Congress in an e-mail Wednesday.

Collision Course

July 2, 2009 7:08 am | by Parmy Olson | Articles | Comments

Hugo Spowers is an inventor with a dream -- perhaps an impossible one. After nearly a decade of mighty labor and no little expense, he has built a hydrogen-fuel cell car--albeit one so tiny it's more like a buggy. If the money holds out, he intends to make 50 more of them and then test market the Riversimple Urban Car by leasing it out to residents in a British city center in just three years.

GE To Partner With USM In Composite Engine Project

July 2, 2009 6:11 am | by TIMOTHY R. BROWN | Articles | Comments

A $2.4 million state grant will be used by a General Electric Co. subsidiary and the University of Southern Mississippi for research on composite materials for an engine to power the Boeing 787 and 747-8 aircraft.

Pump Up Twice As Fast

July 2, 2009 5:35 am | Articles | Comments

The LT-960 dual tire inflator allows users to automatically inflate two tires at a time through the use of two four foot hoses with lock-on air chucks and a pre-settable regulator/gauge. The LT-960 is ideal for large truck tires. Learn more: www.ltitools.

Custom Dryers Offer Big Energy Savings

July 2, 2009 5:11 am | Articles | Comments

Van Air Systems recently announced the successful start-up of four model HB3000-S blower purge compressed air dryers by Intermountain Power Service Corporation (IPSC) at the Intermountain Power Project (IPP). The company projects that the dryers will yield an annual savings of approximately $225,000 attributed to reduced energy and maintenance costs.

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New, Free Software For Vision Inspection Systems

July 2, 2009 4:56 am | Articles | Comments

PPT VISION, Inc. recently released the IMPACT™ Software Suite 8.3, the latest installment of the company's vision software. IMPACT 8.3 pairs with smart camera technology to provide enhanced usability and inspection capabilities for challenging machine vision applications.

Control Multiple Gas Sensors

July 2, 2009 4:30 am | Articles | Comments

Detcon has introduced the Model 880-N4X, a PLC-based control and alarm system designed to monitor and control multiple gas detection sensors and other field devices. The main system is programmed as a Modbus master with two options available, the Model 880S-N4X for up to 32 addressable field devices, and Model 880A-N4X for up to 72 analog devices via Detcon’s DA4 Modules (4 channels per module, up to 18 modules).

Manufacturing Index Continues To Improve

July 1, 2009 6:26 am | by BY TALI ARBEL | Articles | Comments

A report on manufacturing activity shows the sector contracted less than expected in June, posting its best showing since last August and another sign that a recovery may be near. Manufacturing sectors overseas also are rebounding a bit, according to new reports, but other U.

GM Ends Joint Venture With Toyota At CA Plant

June 30, 2009 7:45 am | by DAN STRUMPF, AP Auto Writer | Articles | Comments

General Motors Corp. said Monday it is ending its joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp. at a Fremont, Calif., manufacturing plant, bringing to a close the first partnership of its kind between a U.S. and foreign automaker as GM continues to downsize under bankruptcy.

Hyundai Offering Buyers $1.49 Gas Guarantee

June 30, 2009 7:09 am | Articles | Comments

Hyundai Motor America said Tuesday it will launch an incentive program that guarantees the price of gas at $1.49 a gallon for a year for U.S. consumers who buy or lease its vehicles by Aug. 31, as the automaker looks to win over customers uncertain about the direction of fuel prices.

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Caterpillar Unveils Hybrid Diesel-Electric Bulldozer

June 30, 2009 6:56 am | Articles | Comments

Caterpillar Inc. is launching a line of diesel-electric hybrid bulldozers it says will improve fuel efficiency 30 percent while maintaining the power the company's customers expect. According to Caterpillar, the D7E, which was 10 years in the making, is to go into production in East Peoria in October.

GE To Build Michigan Manufacturing Research Center

June 26, 2009 6:36 am | Articles | Comments

General Electric Co. said Friday it will build a $100 million manufacturing technology center in Michigan that will eventually employ more than 1,100 workers. The Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center will include a GE research and development facility with scientists and engineers who will develop manufacturing technologies for GE's renewable energy, aircraft engine, gas turbine and other products.

Lawmakers Vote To Continue Production Of F-22 Jets

June 26, 2009 5:53 am | by DONNA BORAK | Articles | Comments

Congressional supporters of an advanced jet fighter won battles Thursday to build more of the aircraft. But with the Obama administration threatening to veto the move, they're a long way from winning the war.

Report: China Likely To Reject Hummer Acquisition

June 26, 2009 5:45 am | Articles | Comments

China's planning agency is likely to reject a Chinese company's bid to acquire General Motors Corp.'s Hummer unit, in part because its gas-guzzling vehicles conflict with Beijing's conservation goals, state radio reported. The National Development and Reform Commission also is likely to say Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp.

GM Recalling 900 Workers In Michigan

June 25, 2009 6:15 am | by Tom Krisher AP Auto Writer | Articles | Comments

A bright spot has surfaced in a sea of negative auto sales statistics for General Motors Corp. The company said Friday it will recall 900 workers and restore the second shift at a factory near Lansing, Mich., because of increased sales of its Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia large crossover vehicles.

California Weighs Global Warming Fee On Industry

June 25, 2009 4:35 am | by SAMANTHA YOUNG, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

Nearly three years after California adopted its landmark global warming law, the state is poised to impose the nation's first statewide carbon fee on utilities, oil refineries and other industries. The money will go toward funding a regulatory bureaucracy that will oversee the law and ensure the state lowers its greenhouse gas emissions.

White House Threatens Veto Over F-22 Jet Fighters

June 25, 2009 4:14 am | by RICHARD LARDNER, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

Preparing for a possible showdown with Congress, the White House threatened on Wednesday to veto legislation authorizing a $680 billion military budget if it contains money for jet fighters the U.S. Defense Department does not want.

NC Regulators Investigating 10 Firms In Slim Jim Blast

June 24, 2009 12:50 pm | Articles | Comments

North Carolina safety regulators said Friday they are investigating 10 companies in the natural gas explosion that killed three people at a Slim Jim plant, including two cited in a lawsuit brought by injured workers.

Ford, Nissan, Tesla's Electric Plans Get $8B Jolt

June 24, 2009 12:36 pm | by KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writers | Articles | Comments

Cultivating the next generation of fuel-efficient vehicles, the Obama administration said Tuesday it would lend $5.9 billion to Ford Motor Co. and about $2.1 billion to Nissan Motor Co. and Tesla Motors Inc.

Reduce Fatigue With The Press Of A Button

June 24, 2009 11:05 am | Articles | Comments

Featuring optic sensors that require no force to actuate, the model TB-2 Start Bar reduces fatigue and injuries caused by repeatedly pressing a mechanical start switch. The angle and spacing of the sensors coincide with the natural motion of the operator's hands, reducing hand and wrist stress.

Weigh Up Your Options

June 24, 2009 8:11 am | Articles | Comments

Rice Lake Weighing System’s new MotoWeigh™ line of legal-for-trade dynamic weighing equipment includes case weighers, checkweighers, conveyor scales, and in-process conveyors, in aluminum or stainless steel, for either dry or washdown environments.

More Sockets, Wrenches And Turning Power

June 24, 2009 7:18 am | Articles | Comments

Snap-on® Industrial has expanded its line of ¾” Dr. Flank Drive® impact sockets and combination wrenches. The 3/4” Dr. Flank Drive impact sockets for shallow 6 point and shallow 12 point fractional sockets now incorporate sizes from 9/16” to 2-3/8”, and deep 6 point sockets extend from 9/16” to 2”.

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