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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Robots As Pharmacists?

May 9, 2013 8:03 am | by CNN | Videos | Comments

A robotic pharmacy at the UCSF Medical Center could be the next big thing for hospitals. The robot counts, dispenses and packages pills with perfect accuracy. Doctors at the Medical Center say the machine has been a game-changer – eliminating errors and mistakes.

Flying Disc-Throwing Robots Teach Kids Tech

May 9, 2013 8:02 am | by The Associated Press | Videos | Comments

Thousands of high school students from around the world have put their engineering skills to the test at an international robotics contest. "FIRST" is compared to a "Superbowl of the Mind" mixing math, science, and technology with competition.

Cyberattacks A Growing Irritant In U.S.-China Ties

May 8, 2013 2:27 pm | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press | News | Comments

A bill introduced in the Senate on Tuesday would require the president to block imports of products using stolen U.S. technology or made by companies implicated in computer theft. Washington's sudden focus on Chinese hacking comes after rising complaints from U.S. businesses about theft of trade secrets.

How Audi Sees The Future Of Cars

May 8, 2013 1:18 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

We've seen a number of concept cars from Audi, but when will we be able get behind the wheel of a fully plug-in electric car from Audi? Audi of America president Scott Keogh talks about Audi's technological breakthroughs in plug-in and self-driving vehicles.

NY Group Buys Tesla Property, Plans Science Center

May 7, 2013 2:24 pm | by Frank Eltman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A New York community group that raised $1.3M in a six-week online fundraising effort has purchased a laboratory once used by visionary scientist Nikola Tesla. "We're feeling very excited and gratified that we've reached this milestone," said Jane Alcorn, president of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, on New York's Long Island. Her group announced last week that it had finalized the purchase of the Tesla lab and property for $850K.

BMW Factory Goes Green

May 7, 2013 1:25 pm | by NBC News | Videos | Comments

BMW's South Carolina factory goes green, by producing more than 40 percent of its energy on site, and gaining recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency. BMW's changes make more money and increase efficiency at the facility. NBC's Chris Clackum reports.

Solar Plane Lands In AZ, First Leg Of U.S. Trip

May 6, 2013 10:18 am | by Bob Seavey, Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press | News | Comments

Alone in the single-seat cockpit and high above the American Southwest, pilot Bertrand Piccard could hear only his plane's gear box and the quiet whine of four electric motors. No noisy jet engines. He's flying Solar Impulse, considered the world's most advanced sun-powered plane.

An Opportunity For Intelligent Device Manufacturers

May 6, 2013 8:00 am | by Steve Schmidt, Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy, Flexera Software | Articles | Comments

Opportunity beckons intelligent device manufacturers. They must evolve their products from fixed function and disconnected systems to flexible and seamlessly connected devices. Making products smarter will provide a wide array of benefits.

Clean Technology Investors Shift Focus To Drilling

May 3, 2013 5:08 pm | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

A decade ago, large investors in so-called clean technology had a straightforward goal: finance companies that would help eliminate the world's dependence on oil, natural gas and coal. But as profits from wind, solar, biofuels and other alternatives consistently fell short of expectations — and as the fossil fuel business boomed — things got complicated.

Electric Car Maker CODA Files For Bankruptcy

May 2, 2013 2:17 pm | by Robert Jablon, Associated Press | News | Comments

Electric car maker CODA Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday after selling just 100 cars and said it plans to quit the auto business altogether. The Los Angeles-based parent of CODA Automotive filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court in Delaware. A consortium of debtors plans to acquire CODA for $25 million, according to a company statement.

Judge Gives Major Break In GM Theft Case

May 2, 2013 2:13 pm | by Ed White, Associated Press | News | Comments

A former General Motors engineer convicted of stealing thousands of pages of hybrid technology was sentenced Wednesday to just a year and a day in prison, far below the punishment sought by the government in a case that involved her husband and an alleged scheme to take the trade secrets to China.

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