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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Solar Powered Everything!

April 2, 2013 8:05 am | by Chris Rendall, Mechanical Engineer, PCDworks | Blogs | Comments

I’ve heard for years that “soon we’ll have solar panels on everything.” To be honest, I’ve never paid much attention to the hype because these magical solar panels that can fit on and inside everything never seemed to materialize commercially. But researchers seem to have made a real breakthrough in solar technology: thin, sticky, flexible solar panels that can stick to just about any surface or object imaginable.

First Solar Buys CA Power Project

April 1, 2013 1:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

First Solar said Monday that it has purchased a 150-megawatt power project in Southern California. Construction is expected to start this year and finish in 2014. The Tempe, Ariz., company said that the plant could generate enough electricity to power more than 60,000 average California homes.

WV Senate Eliminates Credit For Plug-In Cars

April 1, 2013 1:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The West Virginia Senate has voted 33-1 to eliminate the $7,500 tax credit that encouraged the sale of solar, electric, plug-in hybrid and other environmentally friendly alternative fuel vehicles. The tax credit will remain in place only for cars and trucks that run on natural gas, butane and propane.

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3D Printing Stocks: Fad Or For Real?

April 1, 2013 12:44 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

3D printing is a very hot sector, but is there a way for investors to play this trend? Turns out, there is. Recent IPO ExOne reported sales that topped forecasts, lifting shares of it and rivals 3D Systems and Stratsys. But this is still a new and risky market.

Q&A: The Evolution Of PLM

April 1, 2013 8:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Enterprise software can be a major point of complexity for manufacturers, particularly in the way it seems to change at an incredible speed. In order to help work through some of those changes in product lifecycle management (PLM) software packages, we spoke with Richard Mizuno, a partner at Kalypso. 

Steve Jobs' First Boss

March 29, 2013 2:03 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

When Steve Jobs adopted "think different" as Apple's mantra in the late 1990s, the company's ads featured Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Amelia Earhart and a constellation of other starry-eyed oddballs who reshaped society. Nolan Bushnell never appeared in those tributes, even though Apple was riffing on an iconoclastic philosophy he embraced while running video game pioneer Atari in the early 1970s.

Solar-Powered Plane Energizes Industry

March 29, 2013 1:25 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

Two pilots are preparing to fly across the U.S., powered only by the sun. CBS News' John Blackstone talks to the team looking to make aviation history. The plane's wings are as wide as a 747 and can fly day and night without a drop of fuel.

Boeing CEO Says 787 Is 'Very Close' To Flying

March 29, 2013 10:14 am | by Scott Mayerowitz, AP Airlines Writer | News | Comments

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said his company is "very close" to getting its troubled 787 Dreamliner jet back flying again. Two incidents involving batteries on 787s led the Federal Aviation Administration and regulators in other countries to ground the planes in January. Boeing is testing a redesign of the battery system.

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Japanese Automakers Show Off Luxury Offerings

March 28, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Japanese carmakers showcased their sports utility vehicles and luxury cars at the annual New York International Auto Show, which opened on Wednesday. Toyota Motor Corp. debuted the 2014 Highlander SUV with a redesigned exterior, increased interior space and three engine choices including a hybrid option.

Subaru Unveils Its First Hybrid

March 28, 2013 2:00 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Subaru is coming out with a gas-electric hybrid crossover SUV for the crunchy granola crowd that wants to save fuel but still haul kayaks to the river. The Japanese brand, which specializes in all-wheel-drive vehicles, unveils the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid on Thursday at the New York International Auto Show.

Mercedes, Tesla Team Up On Electric Car

March 28, 2013 1:12 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Mercedes' new B-class Electric Drive is powered by Tesla Motors' technology and has an electric range of up to 115 miles per charge. The B-class is basically a Mercedes Benz, but inside the batteries, electric motors, and the charging system all come from Tesla Motors.

Play With Smart Materials

March 28, 2013 9:12 am | by Ted | Videos | Comments

Ink that conducts electricity; a window that turns from clear to opaque at the flip of a switch; a jelly that makes music. All this stuff exists, and Catarina Mota says it's time to play with it. Mota leads us on a tour of surprising and cool new materials, and suggests that the way we'll figure out what they're good for is to experiment, tinker, and have fun.

Top Five Reasons For Self-Driving Cars

March 28, 2013 9:08 am | by CNETTV | Videos | Comments

Self-driving cars are inevitable. They eliminate the most commonly defective component in cars today: people. Brian Cooley reports for CNET on the top 5 reasons for self-driving cars based on the ills they cure like drunk-driving and accidents.

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Spirit Of Carroll Shelby Lives In 2013 Mustang

March 27, 2013 2:01 pm | by Ann M. Job, For The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nearly a year after race car driver and car designer Carroll Shelby died, his spirit lives on in a 2013 Ford Mustang with the most powerful series production V-8 in the world and unmistakable Shelby Mustang styling. With a top speed of 200 miles per hour, the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Coupe is breathtaking, even daring, to drive.

Jeep Takes A Radical New Turn With Cherokee

March 27, 2013 10:12 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The Jeep Cherokee is back, with a surprising design that could win some new buyers but lose some old fans. The 2014 Cherokee midsize SUV makes its debut Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show. The remake is so radical that observers might not realize it's a Jeep.

ORNL, Consortium Working On Cheaper Carbon Fiber

March 26, 2013 2:10 pm | by Travis Loller, Associated Press | News | Comments

A consortium of about 40 companies is working with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop a cheap form of carbon fiber that can be used to replace steel in manufacturing. The lab used a $35 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a manufacturing demonstration facility to improve carbon fiber technology.

GM In Next Phase Of Hoped-For Buick Revival

March 26, 2013 9:46 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

General Motors Co. is making an attempt to shake up Buick's image as a car for older buyers with freshened up versions of its Regal midsize sports sedan and the LaCrosse large luxury car. GM unveils the pair Tuesday ahead of the New York auto show.

Zero Hope For BlackBerry?

March 25, 2013 1:32 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Shares of BlackBerry, the company formerly known as Research In Motion, plunged after the lackluster U.S. launch of its new Z10 smartphone and the stock was downgraded by Goldman Sachs. Blackberry stock has been volatile over the last few weeks, and the new phone doesn't seem to be helping.

Honda Accord, Now With Blind-Spot Camera

March 22, 2013 5:11 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

These days, lot of cars have cameras all around to use while you're driving but on the 2013 Accord, Honda has finally produced a camera you can use while you're driving down the highway. Honda has introduced the new Accord with the first-of-its-kind camera that allows drivers to check blind spots.

Bosch To Abandon Solar Energy Business

March 22, 2013 5:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German engineering company Bosch said Friday that it is abandoning its solar energy business, because there is no way to make it economically viable amid overcapacity and huge price pressure in the industry. The solar power industry has been hit by falling subsidies, weaker sales and increasingly stiff price competition, especially by Chinese manufacturers.

BlackBerry CEO: iPhone Is Outdated

March 22, 2013 10:11 am | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple's iPhone is outdated, according to the chief executive of BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd. Thorsten Heins made the comment Thursday on the eve of the much-delayed launch of the new touchscreen BlackBerry in the United States. AT&T begins selling the Z10 touchscreen BlackBerry on Friday, more than six weeks after RIM launched the devices elsewhere.

New Network Communication Technologies Enhance Motor Feedback Systems

March 22, 2013 9:08 am | by Vikram Phadke, SICK Product Specialist - Encoders | Articles | Comments

Over the past 25 years, improvements to motor feedback technology have allowed servo system manufacturers to reduce costs and provide products that are simpler, more reliable, and more accurate. New network communications technologies are now enabling the next set of breakthrough innovations in feedback device technology.

Elon Musk: The Mind Behind Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity ...

March 20, 2013 5:09 pm | Videos | Comments

Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a man with many plans. The founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX sits down with TED curator Chris Anderson to share details about his visionary projects, which include a mass-marketed electric car, a solar energy leasing company, and a fully reusable rocket.

Ex-NASA Contractor Arrested On Plane To China

March 19, 2013 9:34 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Chinese national who worked at NASA's Langley Research Center has been arrested on a plane bound for Beijing on charges of lying to federal agents. Bo Jiang made his initial appearance Monday in Norfolk federal court. It wasn't immediately clear whether Jiang had an attorney.

Oji, Mitsubishi Chemical Develop Transparent Paper

March 18, 2013 4:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Oji Holdings Corp. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. said Monday they have succeeded in making sheeted transparent paper by thoroughly thinning down plant-fiber material to enable the world's first mass production of such product. The two companies will work to put the transparent paper into practical use around 2016 or 2017.

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