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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Industry Giant GE Aims To Improve Fracking

May 28, 2013 10:11 am | by Kevin Begos, Associated Press | News | Comments

One of America's corporate giants is investing billions of dollars in the new boom of oil and gas drilling, or fracking. General Electric Co. is opening a new laboratory in Oklahoma, buying up related companies, and placing a big bet that cutting-edge science will improve profits for clients and reduce the environmental and health effects of the boom.

Cheetah Robot: Model Of Speed, Efficiency

May 23, 2013 8:00 am | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

The cheetah is not only the world's fastest land animal, it is also one of the most energy efficient, expending only what it needs to survive. It's that efficiency that engineers at MIT are working to emulate in a robotic cheetah, already clocked as the second fastest robot ever developed.

Tesla Shows Model S To Influence NC Auto Bill

May 22, 2013 2:11 pm | by Chris Kardish, Associated Press | News | Comments

North Carolina lawmakers and passersby stopped to take in a display of Tesla Motors' award-winning electric cars Wednesday as the company presses against a bill in the General Assembly that effectively outlaws Tesla's Internet-based sales model.

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Apple Case Seen As Possible Spur To Tax Action

May 22, 2013 10:19 am | by Marcy Gordon, Peter Svensson, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Now that tech favorite Apple Inc. has been dragged front and center into the debate over the U.S. tax code, lawmakers are hoping that the spotlight on such a high-profile company could be the catalyst for Congress to take action to close loopholes or reform the law.

Tesla Shares Pull Back After Huge Gains

May 22, 2013 10:17 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Tesla Motors fell more than 5 percent in early trading Tuesday, a brief decline amid huge gains this month after the electric car maker posted its first quarterly profit. And shares in the Palo Alto, Calif., company retook some of that lost ground by early afternoon. Tesla's stock price had jumped 74 percent between May 8, when first-quarter earnings were announced, and May 14, when it hit a 52-week high of $97.12.

Connecting The Back Office To The Plant Floor

May 22, 2013 8:05 am | by Karie Daudt, Director of Marketing, TURCK | Articles | Comments

Though industrial Ethernet has been evolving for many years, it is quickly becoming the foundation for many manufacturing applications. Industrial Ethernet provides the connectivity and communication that today’s applications demand for productivity and efficiency improvement.

High-Tech Startup Wades Into Gun Control

May 21, 2013 2:18 pm | by Martha Mendoza, AP National Writer | News | Comments

A high-tech startup is wading into the gun control debate with a wireless controller that would allow gun owners to know when their weapon is being moved — and disable it remotely. The technology, but not an actual gun, was slated to be demonstrated Tuesday at a wireless technology conference in Las Vegas and was shown to The Associated Press in advance.

Is Apple Losing Its Cool?

May 21, 2013 1:22 pm | by CNN | Videos | Comments

Google has released a spate of new products, but tech giant Apple still leads—today—says business reporter Rocco Pendola. Now accused of losing it's innovative edge, Pendola says Apple needs to release the next new gadget within the next year and questions whether CEO Tim Cook is the right leader for the job.

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Canada Trying To Lure Silicon Valley Tech Workers

May 20, 2013 2:35 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Canadian government launched an aggressive campaign to lure Silicon Valley tech workers frustrated by U.S. visa policies northward, just as Congress wrestles with a long-sought overhaul of America's immigration system. Canada's minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism arrived in the San Francisco Bay area for a  visit aimed at snapping up talent for Canada's high-tech economy by offering startup entrepreneurs a visa.

Manufacturing Gangnam Style

May 20, 2013 8:05 am | by Stacey Wagner, Manager, Workforce Systems Development, NIST MEP | Blogs | Comments

Baxter’s ability to work side by side with human counterparts has many people worried.  What if he and his robotic buddies stop dancing and take over all the manufacturing jobs?  What if people – and the wonderful human qualities they bring to manufacturing – become passé?

Flying Car Prototypes Grounded After Crash

May 17, 2013 12:47 pm | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

The Transportation Safety Board says the U.S. manufacturer of flying cars has grounded all five of its prototypes until it can determine a cause for a recent crash in B.C. One of the Maverick flying cars crashed near a Vernon elementary school last week, leaving a pilot and a passenger with minor injuries.

Building U.S. Manufacturing Strength

May 17, 2013 11:19 am | Articles | Comments

Douglas K. Woods, President of The Association For Manufacturing Technology, discusses the state of U.S. manufacturing, job development, and what the industry can expect going forward. While today’s manufacturing industry is more sophisticated and high tech than ever before, he says, the industry still needs to address some critical issues to be successful in the future.

Wearable Robots Getting Lighter, More Portable

May 16, 2013 8:02 am | by The Associated Press | Videos | Comments

A wheelchair may not be the only option for people who cannot walk on their own. So-called wearable robots are becoming lighter and more portable. The devices won't replace wheelchairs, which are faster. None of the devices are speedy enough, for example, for a paralyzed person to walk across a street before the light changes, said Arun Jayaraman of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, who is testing a number of similar devices.

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Top 10 Coolest Things At AMUG 2013

May 16, 2013 8:01 am | by IMTSTV | Videos | Comments

iSpy Jake Ervin attended the AMUG (Additive Manufacturing Users Group) Conference in Jacksonville, Florida this year. Vendors displayed some very exciting parts manufacturing with additive technology. Jake shows us the top 10 coolest parts exhibited at the event.

Ford Owners Sue: EcoBoost Engine Defective

May 15, 2013 10:16 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Three Ohio drivers are suing Ford Motor Co., claiming the company's six-cylinder EcoBoost engine is defective. The lawsuit says the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine can shudder, shake and then rapidly lose power while drivers are accelerating.

Bill Squeezing Out Tesla Passes NC Senate

May 14, 2013 2:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A bill backed by auto dealers that effectively blocks California's Tesla Motors Inc. from selling in North Carolina has passed the state Senate. The electric car manufacturer says the bill that passed the Senate unanimously Monday effectively bars it from selling to state residents through its Internet-based model.

BlackBerry CEO Unveils 'Slim, Sleek' New Version

May 14, 2013 2:20 pm | by Kyle Hightower, Associated Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. has unveiled a lower-cost BlackBerry aimed at consumers in emerging markets, stepping up its efforts to regain market share lost to Apple's iPhone and Android devices powered by Google's software.

GM: Supercomputers To Keep Recalls In Check

May 14, 2013 10:22 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

General Motors Co. says a new supercomputing data center and a fledgling shift to bring software development in-house should help it limit the size of future safety recalls. The Detroit automaker, which formally opened the giant data storage center in suburban Warren, Michigan, said the changes are examples of how it is moving faster to cut costs and serve its customers better by bringing more computer technology inside the company.

Building Apple's iPhone Doesn't Pay Like It Used To

May 13, 2013 11:52 am | by ReutersTV | Videos | Comments

Apple's legendary profit margins may be challenged if the firm releases its long-rumored low-end iPhone later this year. But the ones really feeling the pinch will be its suppliers. Apple does none of its own production and relies on Asia's contract makers - the biggest of the bunch being Foxconn. Foxconn draws an estimated 60 to 70 percent of its business from work commissioned by Apple.

David Vs. Goliath – Stealing Innovation

May 10, 2013 4:06 pm | by Mike Collins, Author, Saving American Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

The right thing to do is to enforce invention and innovation rights. These rights create jobs, economic benefits, and profits for our society, while our patent-piracy tolerance destroys the economic benefits we seek. If an American-made business model is destroyed by the cannibalistic capitalism of our marketplace, what products can survive to create jobs in our society?

Grainger CEO Talks Tools for Tomorrow

May 10, 2013 4:04 pm | Articles | Comments

As the required skill set for advanced manufacturing continues to evolve, many resources emerge to address workforce development needs in the industry. James Ryan, CEO of industrial distribution leader, Grainger, sat down with IMPO to discuss ways in which technical education has been a continued priority for his business — and why the skilled trades have more to offer than many people realize.

By The Numbers

May 10, 2013 3:42 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

 Conveying equipment can’t just keep getting faster – it has to get smarter as well. Learn how market conditions, design elements, and maintenance issues work together to create positive trends in the conveyor industry. 

Google Glass: A First Real Life Look

May 10, 2013 12:34 pm | by ABC News | Videos | Comments

ABC News' Joanna Stern shares what life is like behind Google's connected glasses.  With 16 gigabytes of storage, a 5 megapixal camera, Bluetooth radio, and more, Google Glass is making it's debut into the real world.    

Wearable Robots Getting Lighter, More Portable

May 10, 2013 10:23 am | by Carla K. Johnson, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

The technology has many nicknames. Besides "wearable robot," the inventions also are called "electronic legs" or "powered exoskeletons." This version, called Indego, is among several competing products being used and tested in U.S. rehab hospitals that hold promise for people recovering from strokes or afflicted with multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.

Why Manufacturers Need To Bulletproof Their Virtualized IT Environments

May 10, 2013 8:00 am | by Frank Hill, Stratus Technologies | Articles | Comments

Today, many popular manufacturing applications are certified for virtualization and with good reason. The benefits of virtualization, including cost control, higher productivity, and better long-term planning, are indisputable. Yet, some manufacturing engineers and plant IT departments are missing out on these benefits because they think virtualization involves too much risk — a point of view that is not entirely without merit.

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