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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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.

If Cars Could Talk, Accidents Might be Avoidable

May 2, 2013 1:36 pm | by Ted | Videos | Comments

When we drive, we get into a glass bubble, lock the doors and press the accelerator, relying on our eyes to guide us -- even though we can only see the few cars ahead of and behind us. But what if cars could share data with each other about their position and velocity, and use predictive models to calculate the safest routes for everyone on the road? Jennifer Healey imagines a world without accidents.

Care-O-Bot, The Future Of Home Help For Seniors

May 2, 2013 9:11 am | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

Scientists at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart have unveiled a third generation robot prototype, designed to assist the elderly in their homes. The 'Care-o-bot 3' is equipped to detect, grasp and carry ordinary household objects on command, and bring a measure of independence to the aged and infirm.

The Death Of Innovation, The End Of Growth

May 2, 2013 9:11 am | by Ted | Videos | Comments

The U.S. economy has been expanding wildly for two centuries. Are we witnessing the end of growth? Economist Robert Gordon lays out 4 reasons U.S. growth may be slowing, detailing factors like epidemic debt and growing inequality, which could move the U.S. into a period of stasis we can't innovate our way out of. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Erik Brynjolfsson.

The Key To Growth? Race With The Machines

May 2, 2013 9:11 am | by Ted | Videos | Comments

As machines take on more jobs, many find themselves out of work or with raises indefinitely postponed. Is this the end of growth? No, says Erik Brynjolfsson -- it’s simply the growing pains of a radically reorganized economy. A riveting case for why big innovations are ahead of us … if we think of computers as our teammates. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Robert Gordon.

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The Next Killer Manufacturing Technology App

May 1, 2013 11:57 am | by IMTSTV | Videos | Comments

Today, there is an extensive amount of data produced relative to the manufacturing process.  However, this data is typically “trapped” in equipment used in the production of products or the operation of the facilities or it is recorded on paper where it cannot be easily analyzed. The purpose of MTConnect is to “unlock” this data and provide it in a format that can be used by software applications. 

NE Lawmakers Debate Approaches To Wind Energy

April 30, 2013 1:42 pm | by Grant Schulte, Associated Press | News | Comments

Lawmakers have advanced a bill intended to attract more wind-energy companies to Nebraska as long as residents receive some of the benefits. The measure would make it easier for renewable energy firms to qualify for sales-tax exemptions under an existing state program — the Rural Community-Based Energy Development Act — that was created to encourage wind-energy projects.

Ford To Enter Myanmar With Showroom By August

April 30, 2013 10:09 am | by Erika Kinetz, Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. announced its entry into Myanmar on Tuesday, saying it plans to open the nation's first sales and service showroom for new vehicles by August. Myanmar's vehicle market has been stunted by decades of international sanctions and strict import controls put in place by the military junta that ruled for nearly 50 years, handing out import licenses to a few favored tycoons.

Scan Before You Replace

April 30, 2013 8:05 am | by Brian Lambert, The Garland Company, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Thankfully, rather than simply doing a quick visual assessment of the roof and deciding it needs to be replaced, today’s roofing professionals can rely on several different non-destructive moisture tests to help make solid recommendations based on unbiased scientific information. The decision of when to repair, restore or replace a large commercial roof often involves a million dollars or more.

Wooden Solar Cells Shine Light On Cleaner Power

April 29, 2013 2:11 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

Researchers at Georgia Tech University have developed an organic solar cell made of wood. The biodegradable, transparent films are designed to replace the layers of glass or plastic found in conventional solar cells, heralding the possible development of solar panels that are 100 percent recyclable. Reuters' Ben Gruber reports.

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Boeing: New Battery System Ensures 787 Safety

April 29, 2013 10:15 am | by Yuriko Nagano, Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing Co.'s chief engineer for the 787 Dreamliner said Saturday that changes to the lithium-ion battery system are fully sufficient to ensure the aircraft's safety, although the company has been unable to find the cause of the original battery failures earlier this year that led to groundings of the plane worldwide since mid-January.

GM Wants Tough Punishment In Hybrid Secrets Theft

April 26, 2013 5:02 pm | by Ed White, Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors Co. wants a long prison sentence next week for a former employee and her husband who were convicted of stealing hybrid vehicle technology for potential use by competitors in China. Trade secrets were found on at least seven computers owned by ex-GM engineer Shanshan Du and Yu Qin, according to prosecutors.

Technology And The Digital Revolution

April 26, 2013 5:02 pm | by NBC News | Videos | Comments

The story of Silicon Valley Silicon Alley is a tale of two digital cities competing for national dominance. Google's Jared Cohen and New York City's Chief Digital Officer Rachel Hunt join the NOW panel to talk about the age of American innovation.

Robot Swarms Seen As Guardians Against Future Threats

April 25, 2013 9:09 am | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

Researchers at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta are programming robots to work together. The scientists believe that in the future, robotic swarms could play an important role in assessing threats at high profile events like the Boston Marathon where two deadly bombs went off last week. Reuters' Ben Gruber has more.

A Mini Robot, Powered By Your Phone

April 25, 2013 9:06 am | by Ted | Videos | Comments

Your smartphone may feel like a friend—but a true friend would give you a smile once in a while. At TED2013, Keller Rinaudo demos Romo, the smartphone-powered mini robot who can motor along with you on a walk, slide you a cup of coffee across the table, and react to you with programmable expressions.

Need To Repair A NASA Spacecraft? 3D Print It

April 25, 2013 9:04 am | by CNET | Videos | Comments

Engineers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ames Research Center have begun experimenting with 3D printers for some spacecraft design. CNET's Sumi Das visits one of its newly open workshops, which is filled with state of the art equipment.

What's Next For Apple?

April 25, 2013 8:00 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

It's certainly one of the most talked about stocks, so what is it going to take to turn Apple's profits around? Apple's profits fell 18 percent to $9.5 billion in the second quarter. As profit margins decrease on iPads and iPhones, pressure increases on Apple to enter a new product category.

Rugged Computers Enable True Workforce Mobility

April 24, 2013 10:35 am | by Dale Kyle, CEO of Handheld US | Articles | Comments

Wirelessness alone doesn't make for truly usable mobile devices — just ask the professionals who’ve dropped cell phones into water, vibrated tablets to death on their dashboards, or watched PDA screens shatter as they hit the ground. To continue to drive true workforce mobility, data devices need to be compact, connectable, quick and able to withstand whatever they encounter — whether that’s a river, a sandstorm or a warehouse floor.

U.S. To Seek Limits On Car Touchscreens

April 23, 2013 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. traffic safety regulators are expected to propose stronger measures to keep drivers from being distracted by in-car touchscreens. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator David Strickland have scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to address distracted driving.

4Sight Signs Strategic Technology Agreement With Panama Government

April 23, 2013 11:36 am | by 4Sight Technologies | News | Comments

Through an agreement with The National Authority for Government Innovation, 4Sight will help the Government of Panama continue its mission to achieve technological excellence by improving interoperability of systems, optimizing processes, advancing quality control and continuous improvement, and facilitating Business Intelligence.

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.

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