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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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.

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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.'

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'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.

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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.

Business As Usual For South Korean Tech Giants

April 12, 2013 4:03 pm | by ReutersTV | Videos | Comments

While the world waits for the next big provocation from North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un, across the de-militarized border to the South, it's business as usual. Even if rising threats from North Korea were to disrupt production for Samsung or LG in the South, it would have limited impact on the global supply chain. Reuters' Jon Gordon explains why.

Goodbye Fluorescent Bulb? Philips Says Yes.

April 11, 2013 2:11 pm | by Toby Sterling, Associated Press | News | Comments

If you've worked in an office, you're probably familiar with the soft glow of fluorescent tubes drifting from the ceiling. If Europe's Philips brand is right, those lamps could soon be history. Royal Philips NV, the Dutch consumer appliances giant, said Thursday that it has developed an LED light that will soon be far more efficient than the best fluorescents on the market.

AL Joins Automotive Technology Innovation Effort

April 11, 2013 2:08 pm | News | Comments

The state of Alabama has joined an alliance of Southern states working to bolster the region's effort to develop technology in the automotive manufacturing industry. The state has joined the Automotive Accelerator Alliance, which already includes Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi.

Bombardier's Dogfight With Airbus & Boeing

April 11, 2013 12:33 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Bombardier's CEO, Pierre Beaudoin, talks about the company's expansion in the mid-size jet sector and what that means in terms of competition with Airbus and Boeing. Bombardier's C-series is the company's entry into mainline jets. Fortune's Adam Lashinsky reports.

The Emergence Of "4D Printing"

April 11, 2013 9:27 am | by Ted | Videos | Comments

3D printing has grown in sophistication since the late 1970s. TED Fellow Skylar Tibbits is shaping the next development, which he calls 4D printing, where the fourth dimension is time. This emerging technology will allow us to print objects that then reshape themselves or self-assemble over time. Think: a printed cube that folds before your eyes, or a printed pipe able to sense the need to expand or contract.

How To Benefit From Mobile, From The Floor To The Field

April 9, 2013 4:30 pm | Articles | Comments

Yes, there’s a place for mobile in manufacturing. Seven, actually. Today’s mobile solutions can help your business run more profitably and predictably, by putting the right tools and information right where they’re needed. Load tablets with videos, manuals and instructions to deliver the training and education employees need, where they need it most — on the floor.

Google Target Of Microsoft-Led Antitrust Complaint

April 9, 2013 2:09 pm | by Juergen Baetz | News | Comments

A group of companies led by Microsoft have called on European authorities to launch an antitrust investigation into Google and its hold over mobile internet usage on smartphones. The "FairSearch" initiative claims Google is acting unfairly by giving away its Android operating system to mobile device companies on the condition that the U.S. online giant's own software applications are prominently displayed.

Fisker's 80 Percent Staff Cut May Send Luxury Co. Under

April 8, 2013 1:05 pm | by Bloomberg | Videos | Comments

Fisker Automotive, a maker of luxury plug-in cars seeking investors to fund operations, said it's firing about 80 percent of its workforce after failing to secure a deal with an automotive partner. Cory Johnson reports on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West.

Manufacturing American Efficiency

April 5, 2013 2:35 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

The majority of today’s LED solutions are not produced in America. And for the first five years of doing business, that was true for NEUTEX Advanced Energy Group as well. Headquartered in Houston, NEUTEX has become one of a list of companies that have recently moved operations to the U.S. from overseas. Today, the company is developing its Houston presence as it positions itself as a leading manufacturer of LED lighting.

Race To Build Driverless Cars Is In Full Throttle

April 5, 2013 9:44 am | by Rick Montgomery, The Kansas City Star | News | Comments

To call Tim Sylvester a road builder misses the point. The streets he intends to build are embedded with electronic sensors that may keep cars of the future from speeding, veering and crashing. A few blocks from Sylvester's Integrated Roadways office in Kansas City, doctoral candidate Amol Khedkar is toiling on his own prototype for a software system that would let cars talk to one other.

5 Ways Manufacturers Can Take Advantage Of The Industrial Internet

April 5, 2013 8:08 am | by Cindy Waxer | Blogs | Comments

Big data is not just for predicting election outcomes and mapping genomes. General Electric (GE) is betting on the so-called Industrial Internet — a term they coined — to help manufacturers boost performance, streamline processes and better compete in the global marketplace.

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