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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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).

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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.

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.

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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.

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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”.

Clamp Down On Corrosion

June 24, 2009 6:08 am | Articles | Comments

NewAge® Industries’ line of nylon hose clamps now withstand temperatures ranging from –40°F to 302°F (–40°C to 150°C). The Kwik Clamps™  also feature a double row of teeth, designed to ensure a strong bond that will not vibrate loose, and they’re made from U.

Boeing Again Delays Initial 787 Test Flight

June 23, 2009 6:39 am | by DANIEL LOVERING, AP Manufacturing Writer | Articles | Comments

Boeing Co. said Tuesday it has again delayed the first test flight of its long-awaited 787 jetliner, citing a need to reinforce part of the aircraft. The inaugural test flight of the 787, a next-generation aircraft built for fuel efficiency with lightweight carbon composite parts, was originally planned for late 2007.

Consumers Could Get Up To $4,500 Toward New Car

June 19, 2009 9:36 am | by KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

Car shoppers could take advantage of government incentives worth up to $4,500 this summer to send their old gas guzzler to the scrap heap in favor of a more fuel-efficient new vehicle. President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law the "cash for clunkers" program, which was approved by the Senate on Thursday.

Oil Company Fires UK Workers Over Jobs Dispute

June 19, 2009 9:20 am | by RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press Writer | Articles | Comments

British contract workers walked off their jobs at British energy facilities Friday, part of an escalating dispute triggered by the employment of foreign workers. Tensions flared after French oil and gas company Total fired more than 600 contract workers Thursday for participating in a wildcat strike at its Lindsey Oil Refinery in northern England.

ConAgra Expects Insurance To Cover Explosion Costs

June 19, 2009 5:44 am | Articles | Comments

ConAgra Foods Inc. said Thursday a recent explosion at its Slim Jim plant in North Carolina which injured 38 workers and killed three people will not have a major impact on its fiscal 2010 financial results. "The company maintains comprehensive property and general liability insurance policies with very significant loss limits that it believes will provide substantial and broad coverage for the currently foreseeable losses arising from this accident," the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

GM To Cut Back NASCAR Support

June 18, 2009 8:44 am | Articles | Comments

General Motors has told NASCAR teams it is cutting back on its support in all of the sanctioning body's professional series. Among the teams already notified that they will lose funding are JR Motorsports, owned by Sprint Cup star Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Nation's Largest Solar Plant To Be Built In NM

June 18, 2009 7:59 am | Articles | Comments

Utility officials announced plans Thursday to build a giant solar energy plant in the New Mexico desert in what is believed to be the largest such project in the nation. The 92-megawatt solar thermal plant could produce enough electricity to power 74,000 homes, far exceeding the size of other solar plants in the United States.

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