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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Google Rumored To Manufacture Glass In U.S.

April 4, 2013 1:02 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

Google Glass, the search engine giant's latest venture into the hardware market, has been rumored to be manufactured inside the U.S. The Financial Times claims Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn will make the first run of Google Glass in Santa Clara, but when Mayor Jamie Matthews reached out to both companies, he got no response.

Chevy Power: Wild Or Practical

April 3, 2013 4:24 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

At the New York Auto Show, General Motor's Chevrolet division unveiled two new performance models. The Camero Z28 is a stripped-down track car for the extreme enthusiast while the Chevy SS is a more refined sedan for the everyday driver.

BlackBerry Hasn't Ruled Out A New PlayBook Tablet

April 3, 2013 1:45 pm | by David Friend, The Canadian Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins hasn't ruled out taking another swing at the tablet industry, after earlier versions of its PlayBook failed to catch on with consumers. "We're thinking about it," the head of the smartphone maker said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press. "But we're thinking about it also in the context of BlackBerry 10."

Tesla Unveils Financing Program

April 3, 2013 10:22 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. says it has joined with two banks to finance a 10 percent down payment on its new Model S sedan. The company also will give buyers the option to sell the car back to Tesla after three years at a value guaranteed by the automaker. The financing program makes buying the car similar to leasing it, Tesla said in a statement.

Why Global Carmakers Are Feeling Good

April 2, 2013 1:37 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The auto market is up, the worldwide economic recovery continues, and auto manufacturers seem to be doing well. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says there is "much more excitement" thanks to profits in the auto industry despite the bad economy in Europe.

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.

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.

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