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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Toshiba Shows Four-Legged Robot For Nuke Disaster

November 21, 2012 10:11 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toshiba Corp. unveiled a robot Wednesday that the company says can withstand high radiation and help in nuclear disasters. But it remains unclear what exactly the new machine will be capable of doing if and when it gets the go-ahead to enter Japan's crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

GE Buys 2,000 Ford Plug-In Hybrids For Fleet

November 20, 2012 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

GE is buying 2,000 plug-in hybrid cars from Ford for its corporate fleet. Ford and GE announced the purchase Tuesday. GE has set a goal of converting half its fleet to alternative energy vehicles. With the Ford purchase, GE now has 5,000 alternative-fuel vehicles, or about 10 percent of its fleet.

Ford To Bring Smaller Engine To U.S. In 2014 Fiesta

November 20, 2012 10:09 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford is bringing its smallest engine to the U.S. in the race to meet stricter government fuel economy rules. The company says the 2014 Fiesta will be the first North American vehicle to get Ford's new 1-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine when it goes on sale next year. The 1-liter has been sold in the European version of the Focus sedan since March.

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IMTS Boosts Manufacturing Technology Orders

November 16, 2012 8:30 am | Articles | Comments

“In the 17 years that this data has been collected, there is only one other month that broke $600 million. Both of those were in months that reflected sales from IMTS, showing its strength as the largest manufacturing event in the Americas,” said Douglas K. Woods, AMT President.

Poland Is First In Europe To Get Dreamliner Plane

November 15, 2012 2:30 pm | by Vanesa Gera, Associated Press | News | Comments

Poland's national airline LOT welcomed its first Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" into its fleet Thursday, becoming the first European carrier to get the U.S. aircraft maker's newest plane. Many in this ex-communist country celebrated its arrival as a symbolic step in the country's speedy economic and technological development.

NTSB: Collision Safety Tech Should Be Standard

November 14, 2012 2:44 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The government should require automakers to make the latest collision prevention technologies standard equipment on all new cars and trucks, a move that could reduce fatal highway accidents by more than half, federal accident investigators said Wednesday. The technologies include lane departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and electronic stability control.

A Look At RIM's Much-Delayed BlackBerry 10

November 13, 2012 1:42 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The phones had been expected late this year. The delay means the phones will miss the holiday shopping season and come months after the launch of a new iPhone. The delay could make it even harder for RIM to regain market share lost to Apple's iPhone and devices running Google's Android operating software.

Ford: New 7-Seater Not A Minivan

November 13, 2012 10:32 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

It looks like a minivan. It has sliding doors like a minivan. So why isn't Ford calling its new seven-seater a minivan? For the same reason you don't wear mom jeans or listen to Barry Manilow: It's not cool. The Transit Connect Wagon will debut later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It's set to go on sale late next fall.

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LED Replacements Hit Stores Empty Of 100W Bulbs

November 13, 2012 10:31 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Sorry to see 100-watt bulbs disappear from stores because they were energy hogs? You can now get LED bulbs that roughly match the 100-watters for size and brightness, but use far less energy. Until recently, your only alternative was a compact fluorescent bulb. LEDs don't contain any volatile, hazardous substances and are durable. They also last longer.

RIM To Unveil New BlackBerry Phones In January

November 12, 2012 2:05 pm | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

Research In Motion said Monday that it will hold an official launch event for its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones on Jan. 30. The new phones are seen as critical to RIM's survival. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said Monday details on the much-delayed smartphones and their availability will be announced at the event.

Toyota Tests Cars That Communicate With Each Other

November 12, 2012 10:14 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota is testing car safety systems that allow vehicles to communicate with each other and with the roads they are on in a just completed facility in Japan the size of three baseball stadiums. The cars at the Intelligent Transport System site receive information from sensors and transmitters installed on the streets to minimize the risk of accidents in situations such as missing a red traffic light.

Enabling The Next Generation Operator

November 9, 2012 8:22 am | by Bernard Cubizolles, PhD. GE Intelligent Platforms | Articles | Comments

Operators today have multiple hats and roles causing a need for higher efficiency and mobility for operating and controlling assets across the plant. They need real time monitoring and control on new generation tablets and smart phones, with new intelligent applications to help bring the right knowledge to operator action.

Evolving Robot Safety Standards

November 8, 2012 4:18 pm | by Eric Esson, National Sales & Marketing Manager, Frommelt Safety Products | Articles | Comments

Several aspects of industrial safety standards are changing and require constant monitoring and a bit of common sense to keep current. Technological advances and alternative guarding methods are being devised every day, and companies should be doing everything within their power to eliminate the opportunity. A great place to start is by conducting thorough Risk Assessments and referencing current standards and regulations.

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Manufacturing Digital Revolution: Exit Clipboard, Enter iPad

November 8, 2012 3:50 pm | by Matthew Littlefield. President, LNS Research | Articles | Comments

Since users are driving demand and manufacturing software vendors continue to invest in stronger solutions, the market is expanding in terms of cross-functionality, user-friendliness, SaaS offerings, and interoperability. This time will be looked upon in history as a rapid expansion of business processing power.

Business On The Move, And Across The Globe

November 7, 2012 5:19 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

For many of us, mobility is not some massive undertaking, full of risk and implementation time, rather an opportunity to fire off a few time-sensitive emails from the airport or view the inventory levels in our warehouse when a customer asks us about delivery timelines. It's about visibility, efficiency, and actionable business transactions — and it's time we shine our light on the benefits rather than just the expenses.

Experts Raise Concerns Over Superhuman Workplace

November 7, 2012 2:20 pm | by Raphael Satter, Associated Press | News | Comments

Performance-boosting drugs, powered prostheses and wearable computers are coming to an office near you — but experts warned in a new report Wednesday that too little thought has been given to the implications of a superhuman workplace. Academics from Britain's leading institutions say attention needs to be focused on the consequences of technology which may one day allow — or compel — humans to work better, longer and harder.

Jobs Dwindle During Green Power Debate

November 5, 2012 10:21 am | by Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press | News | Comments

Romney and Obama prominently collided during the campaign over the fate of the tax credit. Romney has called for its expiration, while Obama supports its renewal. Amid the gridlock, Vestas has closed offices and laid off hundreds of U.S. workers. Wind businesses from South Carolina to Washington state also have cut jobs.

China Launches WTO Case Against EU Solar Subsidies

November 5, 2012 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China has filed a World Trade Organization case challenging subsidies provided by some European Union members to help promote the solar panel industry, adding to a flurry of trade disputes that Beijing is locked in with Europe and the United States.

Photos Show Second China Stealth Fighter Prototype

November 2, 2012 2:28 pm | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press | News | Comments

China has test flown a second model of a prototype stealth fighter, aviation experts said Thursday, in a sign of its aircraft industry's growing sophistication. Photos posted to the Internet Thursday showed the radar-avoiding aircraft airborne near the northeastern city of Shenyang with its landing gear still down.

New Elantra: Fuel-Sipping In Luxury

October 31, 2012 2:09 pm | by Ann M. Job, For The Associated Press | News | Comments

The new-for-2013 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback is a stylish, fuel-sipping, nimble car with surprisingly quiet interior and luxury touches that include a huge panoramic sunroof and a sliding center armrest. Despite the name, though, this new Hyundai is not that much of a GT, or Grand Tourer, in performance.

Windows 8 Inspires Computer Makers To Creativity

October 26, 2012 1:58 pm | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Can't decide if you want a PC or tablet? Now you won't have to. With the release of Windows 8, computer makers are doing their best to blur the boundaries with an array of devices that mash keyboards and touch screens together in different ways.

A Look At The Motorcycle Of The Future

October 26, 2012 1:12 pm | by Time | Videos | Comments

The C-1, built by Lit Motors, is meant to have the efficiency of a motorcycle with the protection of a car. It's a fully-enclosed, self-balancing motorcycle that has 220 miles-per-charge and goes from 0 MPH to 60 MPH in about six seconds. Have a look...

Scientist Being Sentenced In Utah For Trade Theft

October 26, 2012 10:32 am | by Paul Foy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal investigators say the 42-year-old chemist emailed a secret drug recipe from a Utah company to a brother-in-law in India. They say the relative planned to undercut prices charged by Logan-based Frontier Scientific Inc. for a rare organic chemical with applications ranging from prescription drugs to solar cells and batteries.

Developing The Workforce Of Tomorrow (Part 2)

October 26, 2012 8:12 am | by Patricia Riedl, Booz & Co.; Maria Ferrante, PMMI | Articles | Comments

For many years, manufacturing has been characterized as a less than desirable career choice, so the Gen Ys look at manufacturing as a last resort — or not an option at all. Parents are under the impression that jobs are not stable, pay is low and the environment is dirty. But the reality is that today’s manufacturing jobs require a highly skilled workforce to operate and maintain high tech, highly automated equipment.

Gov't To Examine Technology For Automated Cars

October 23, 2012 2:27 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, told an automotive gathering that automated vehicles are the next "evolutionary step" in safety technology. He said his agency has held extensive discussions with automakers and Google about what needs to happen before automated cars can be safely introduced to consumers.

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