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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

New Tech Makes Cars Safer, Easier To Drive

July 8, 2013 1:14 pm | by AssociatedPress | Videos | Comments

Automakers have developed new technologies that are making cars safer, more efficient, and easier to drive. From auto-braking to lane-centering, the cars practically drive themselves. Andrew Whydell, product planning executive with TRW Global Electronics, says that this technology is going to become increasingly more common in the U.S. in the next two to three years.

Scientist Pleads Guilty In PA Trade Secrets Case

July 3, 2013 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A scientist working on solar cell technology has pleaded guilty to several counts in an indictment that charges he stole trade secrets from his employer and tried to take them to a competitor in China. Tung Pham, 48, pleaded guilty in federal court in Philadelphia to seven counts of wire fraud, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Ford's Advanced Prototyping

July 3, 2013 12:21 pm | by fordvideo1 | Videos | Comments

Ford engineers are developing a highly flexible, first-of-its-kind, patented technology to rapidly form sheet metal parts for low-volume production applications. Once fully developed, the technology (Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology, or F3T) will allow for lower costs and ultrafast delivery times for prototypes – within three business days versus conventional methods that take anywhere from two to six months.

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Nothin' But Blue Skies

July 3, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

After a car maker or a steel mill wears out a factory, extracts all the tax breaks a treasury will bear, and accumulates more obligations to its workers than the stockholders will bear, it flees town like a deadbeat husband, leaving a worn-out, exploited patch of land no else will touch. An industrial city follows the same life cycle as a boxer, or a prostitute.

GM, Honda To Collaborate On Fuel Cell Vehicles

July 2, 2013 10:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co. are joining forces to develop hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The two companies said Tuesday they plan to develop new hydrogen storage and fuel cell technologies by 2020. They will also push for more hydrogen fueling stations.

Chinese Firm Accused Of Stealing U.S. Software

June 28, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's largest wind turbine company and three people are accused of stealing trade secrets from a U.S. software company, the Justice Department announced Thursday. An indictment handed up in Wisconsin alleges Sinovel Wind Group and the three individuals stole proprietary wind turbine software technology from Devens, Mass.-based AMSC, formerly known as American Superconductor Inc., cheating the American company out of more than $800M.

Badminton Robot A Study In Energy Efficiency

June 27, 2013 8:03 am | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

Belgian scientists are developing a badminton-playing robot to demonstrate how new software can optimize energy efficiency in production machines. Scientists say if they can reduce the energy consumption of these machines, they will be able to significantly reduce the energy consumption of mankind. Reuters' Tara Cleary reports.

IEA: Global Renewable Energy Growing Fast

June 26, 2013 2:20 pm | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

Renewable energy is growing fast around the world and will be the second biggest source of electricity, after coal, by 2016, according to a five-year outlook published Wednesday by the International Energy Agency. Developing countries are building more wind, solar and hydro-electric power plants to meet rising power demand and combat local pollution problems.

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Conversation Robot Ready For Outer Space

June 26, 2013 10:03 am | by Azusa Uchikura, Associated Press | News | Comments

The world's first space conversation experiment between a robot and humans is ready to be launched. Developers from the Kirobo project, named after "kibo" or hope in Japanese and "robot," gathered in Tokyo Wednesday to demonstrate the humanoid robot's ability to talk.

OMG…It’s A Tesla

June 26, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

How many electric cars are on the U.S. market today? I can think of the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt – and, of course – the Tesla Model S. Despite these other zero-emission vehicles (that are also a bit more affordable), Tesla always tops this list.

IMTSTV: Manufacturing With Darwin, Moore, & Metcalfe

June 25, 2013 12:30 pm | by IMTSTV | Videos | Comments

IMTSTV's Penny Brown got a chance to speak with Steve Fritzinger, NetApp's Virtualization Alliance Manager, Java Author, and Economics Writer, about the current state of the manufacturing industry. Fritzinger explains how competition and technology are driving the industry's pace, and why companies must adapt to this change if they want to survive. He also speaks about the future of manufacturing jobs in America.

June 2013: Taking Manufacturing High Tech

June 24, 2013 2:32 pm | Digital Editions | Comments

Check out some of the latest in high tech manufacturing, including the manufacturing software environment and its growing ability to gather and analyze more data, manufacturing automation's march to dominate the plant floor, the importance of reliable material handling information to track the plant of the future, and the cost-saving implications of monitoring and managing facility energy usage.

NASA Officials Debut The 'Vertical Weld Center'

June 24, 2013 1:53 pm | by Kevin McGill, Associated Press | News | Comments

NASA officials publicly unveiled a new, three-story-tall cylindrical structure Friday that is a key component in constructing heavy-lift rockets for the nation's space program. It's called the "vertical weld center." The heavy metal framework holds state-of-the-art automated welding equipment, around which the Boeing Co. will build a major component of rockets for NASA's new Space Launch System: the "core stage" of the SLS rockets.

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Tesla Gets Supercharged

June 24, 2013 1:20 pm | by TeslaMotors | Videos | Comments

Supercharging enables Tesla Model S drivers to travel long distances, for free, indefinitely, says Tesla CEO Elon Musk. In addition to the expansion of the Supercharger network itself, Tesla has improved the technology behind the Superchargers to significantly speed up the amount of time it takes to charge the Model S, in some cases cutting charging time in half.

First Apple Computer Could Fetch $500K At Auction

June 21, 2013 1:55 pm | by Verena Dobnik, Associated Press | News | Comments

It's the kind of electronic junk that piles up in basements and garages — an old computer motherboard with wires sticking out. But because it was designed and sold by two college dropouts named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, it could be worth more than half a million dollars.

Gov't Delays Requiring Rearview Cameras In Cars

June 21, 2013 10:17 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Obama administration is again delaying regulations on whether new cars and trucks must come equipped with rearview cameras to protect against drivers backing over people in blind spots behind their vehicles, a victory for automakers who say requiring the cameras is too costly.

Retaining Your Number One Asset: Employees

June 21, 2013 8:08 am | by Maria Ferrante, Vice President, Education & Workforce Development, PMMI | Articles | Comments

There is one absolute that applies to every company, independent of industry: You cannot expect to operate efficiently without dedicated and skilled employees. When looking at the manufacturing industry specifically, finding a highly skilled workforce has proven to be one of the greatest challenges.

The Kill Decision Shouldn't Belong To A Robot

June 20, 2013 12:04 pm | by TED | Videos | Comments

As a novelist, Daniel Suarez spins dystopian tales of the future. But on the TEDGlobal stage, he talks us through a real-life scenario we all need to know more about: the rise of autonomous robotic weapons of war. Advanced drones, automated weapons, and AI-powered intelligence-gathering tools, he suggests, could take the decision to make war out of the hands of humans.

Car Quality Dinged By Tech Glitches, Says Survey

June 20, 2013 10:35 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Car buyers increasingly want high-tech features like voice recognition and navigation. But they're not very forgiving of the car company when those systems fail. The top complaints in J.D. Power's closely-watched survey of new vehicle owners, released Wednesday, involved technologies that drivers are clamoring for.

Form 1 3D Printer Hands On Demo

June 20, 2013 8:04 am | by TechCrunch | Videos | Comments

John Biggs invites TechCrunch into his workshop to give a nice rundown and demo of the Form 1 3D Printer. Differing from the MakerBot, which uses an additive process, Form 1 has a resin and laser process. The result is more precise sculptures.

Flexible Transportation Design

June 20, 2013 8:02 am | by EPFL | Videos | Comments

EPFL scientists have imagined a new modular transportation system. Modules are either loaded on a train or clipped under a flying wing, allowing more flexibility for people or freight transportation. Called "Clip-Air," this concept opens the door to a wide range of new research opportunities in the context of flexible transportation.

Unmanned Aircraft Struggle To Shed 'Drone' Image

June 19, 2013 2:19 pm | by Sarah DiLorenzo, Associated Press | News | Comments

Unmanned aircraft have helped rescue stranded hikers, worked to contain wildfires and gathered data at nuclear accidents. One helped a Russian tanker find its way through Arctic ice to bring oil to a stranded Alaskan community. These remote-controlled planes have many more potential peacetime uses.

Tesla Model S Recalled For Rear Seat Latch Issue

June 19, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tesla is recalling as many as 1,228 of its Model S vehicles, citing a problem with a rear seat latch in the electric sports sedan. The company says no injuries or customer complaints have been reported. Chairman and CEO Elon Musk said in a blog entry Wednesday that the strength of a mounting bracket for the rear, left seat latch may be weaker than intended.

VT, Quebec Announce Electric Car Corridor

June 18, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Starting this fall, people who drive electric vehicles should be able to travel the 138-mile route between Burlington, Vt. and Montreal without worrying they'll run short of a charge thanks to a planned electric vehicle charging corridor, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and Quebec Premier Pauline Marois announced in Montreal.

U.S. Official: Solar Plane To Help Ground Energy Use

June 18, 2013 10:06 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The plane parked outside the airport looks more like a giant exotic insect or maybe an outsized toy. When it's in flight, there's no roar of engines. It's strangely quiet. And as it crisscrosses the U.S., the spindly plane doesn't use a drop of fuel. Day, and even night, it flies on the power of the sun.

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