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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Wooden Solar Cells Shine Light On Cleaner Power

April 29, 2013 2:11 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

Researchers at Georgia Tech University have developed an organic solar cell made of wood. The biodegradable, transparent films are designed to replace the layers of glass or plastic found in conventional solar cells, heralding the possible development of solar panels that are 100 percent recyclable. Reuters' Ben Gruber reports.

Boeing: New Battery System Ensures 787 Safety

April 29, 2013 10:15 am | by Yuriko Nagano, Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing Co.'s chief engineer for the 787 Dreamliner said Saturday that changes to the lithium-ion battery system are fully sufficient to ensure the aircraft's safety, although the company has been unable to find the cause of the original battery failures earlier this year that led to groundings of the plane worldwide since mid-January.

GM Wants Tough Punishment In Hybrid Secrets Theft

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

General Motors Co. wants a long prison sentence next week for a former employee and her husband who were convicted of stealing hybrid vehicle technology for potential use by competitors in China. Trade secrets were found on at least seven computers owned by ex-GM engineer Shanshan Du and Yu Qin, according to prosecutors.

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Technology And The Digital Revolution

April 26, 2013 5:02 pm | by NBC News | Videos | Comments

The story of Silicon Valley Silicon Alley is a tale of two digital cities competing for national dominance. Google's Jared Cohen and New York City's Chief Digital Officer Rachel Hunt join the NOW panel to talk about the age of American innovation.

Robot Swarms Seen As Guardians Against Future Threats

April 25, 2013 9:09 am | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

Researchers at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta are programming robots to work together. The scientists believe that in the future, robotic swarms could play an important role in assessing threats at high profile events like the Boston Marathon where two deadly bombs went off last week. Reuters' Ben Gruber has more.

A Mini Robot, Powered By Your Phone

April 25, 2013 9:06 am | by Ted | Videos | Comments

Your smartphone may feel like a friend—but a true friend would give you a smile once in a while. At TED2013, Keller Rinaudo demos Romo, the smartphone-powered mini robot who can motor along with you on a walk, slide you a cup of coffee across the table, and react to you with programmable expressions.

Need To Repair A NASA Spacecraft? 3D Print It

April 25, 2013 9:04 am | by CNET | Videos | Comments

Engineers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ames Research Center have begun experimenting with 3D printers for some spacecraft design. CNET's Sumi Das visits one of its newly open workshops, which is filled with state of the art equipment.

What's Next For Apple?

April 25, 2013 8:00 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

It's certainly one of the most talked about stocks, so what is it going to take to turn Apple's profits around? Apple's profits fell 18 percent to $9.5 billion in the second quarter. As profit margins decrease on iPads and iPhones, pressure increases on Apple to enter a new product category.

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Rugged Computers Enable True Workforce Mobility

April 24, 2013 10:35 am | by Dale Kyle, CEO of Handheld US | Articles | Comments

Wirelessness alone doesn't make for truly usable mobile devices — just ask the professionals who’ve dropped cell phones into water, vibrated tablets to death on their dashboards, or watched PDA screens shatter as they hit the ground. To continue to drive true workforce mobility, data devices need to be compact, connectable, quick and able to withstand whatever they encounter — whether that’s a river, a sandstorm or a warehouse floor.

U.S. To Seek Limits On Car Touchscreens

April 23, 2013 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. traffic safety regulators are expected to propose stronger measures to keep drivers from being distracted by in-car touchscreens. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator David Strickland have scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to address distracted driving.

4Sight Signs Strategic Technology Agreement With Panama Government

April 23, 2013 11:36 am | by 4Sight Technologies | News | Comments

Through an agreement with The National Authority for Government Innovation, 4Sight will help the Government of Panama continue its mission to achieve technological excellence by improving interoperability of systems, optimizing processes, advancing quality control and continuous improvement, and facilitating Business Intelligence.

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.

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Clear Automation Received Sales Award From FANUC Robotics

April 22, 2013 4:37 pm | by Clear Automation | News | Comments

Clear Automation, a leading engineering integrator of robotic and machine vision systems, today announced it has received FANUC Robotics' award for Outstanding Sales Growth for 2012.Clear Automation has been an Authorized System Integrator of FANUC robots for 5 years.

Investors Who Stood By Boeing Reap Reward

April 22, 2013 2:17 pm | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Investors who stood by Boeing during its 787 crisis have been rewarded. Some investors bailed out, spooked by the latest snag with a plane considered to be a key to Boeing's future. Others were confident that Boeing Co. would quickly fix the battery problem and raved about its long-term prospects.

Silicon Valley Has Nothing On Manufacturing

April 22, 2013 8:05 am | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, Product Design & Development | Blogs | Comments

Manufacturing floors don’t have Lego stations and pool tables – and yes, OSHA may take issue with throwing empty cans from the mini bar into the same bin as the scrap metal from the lathe, but that doesn’t mean that the industry has any fewer engineers flocking to it.

'SWAT Robots' Soon To Protect First Responders

April 19, 2013 10:18 am | by Clarke Canfield, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Maine company that's developed high-tech tanks for the military and Hollywood has a new contraption — a ballistic police shield that sits atop a miniature, remote-controlled tank-like vehicle made to protect first responders. Brothers Mike and Geoff Howe said the "SWAT robot" keeps SWAT teams and other first responders safe.

Engineering Answers: Fail Faster

April 19, 2013 8:00 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

As the market gap between hobbyist makers and professional engineers continues to close, desktop 3D printing is emerging as the next golden nugget in prototyping and small-scale manufacturing. MakerBot has been at the cusp of this revolution.

Turbos Vs. Superchargers

April 17, 2013 4:39 pm | by CNETTV | Videos | Comments

CNET walks through the difference between two high tech automotive trends, turbos and superchargers, to increase power with less fuel. Both turbos and superchargers are air pumps, they ram more air into the intake portion of the engine. And when more air goes in, that means the engine can combine more fuel with to get a bigger 'charge.'

'Smart Gun' Won't Work In The Wrong Hands

April 17, 2013 4:35 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

What if technology could keep guns out of the wrong hands? Some are developing 'smart guns' that may do just that. The New Jersey Institute of Technology has spent the last thirteen years developing a gun that analyzes a person's grip and only fires for its owner.

Auto Black Boxes In Every Vehicle By 2014?

April 17, 2013 2:14 pm | by AssociatedPress | Videos | Comments

Most drivers don't realize that over 90 percent of new cars are being made with a black box. Similar to a flight cockpit recorder, it is called an Event Data Recorder (EDS). It records everything that is happening in your car. At issue is your right to privacy.

China's LDK Solar Misses $23.8M Bond Payment

April 17, 2013 10:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

LDK Solar Co. said Tuesday that it failed to make a $23.8 million bond payment this week because of a "temporary cash-flow shortage" but negotiated to delay some of the obligation. Payment on the 4.75 percent convertible notes was due Monday. LDK said it agreed with two bondholders to delay $16.6 million in payments.

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.

GM To Roll Out New Line Of Smaller Pickups

April 16, 2013 2:20 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

General Motors plans to roll out a line of completely revamped midsize pickup trucks, with gas mileage and features designed to take sales from Toyota's market-leading Tacoma. The trucks will replace the aging Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Mark Reuss, GM's North American president, said Tuesday that the trucks will be able to do 95 percent of the work that a big truck can do.

Legos On The Plant Floor?

April 12, 2013 4:21 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

Maybe, in comparing the benefits of working on a plant floor against the benefits of working at Facebook, engineers chose the latter. Because let’s face it — OSHA wouldn’t be too happy to see a ping pong table alongside the stamping machine.

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