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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Augmented Reality… Too Much Technology?

October 3, 2012 8:17 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

 Is this next bit of technology worth exploiting in engineering? There are certainly applications to visualize a specific part within its associated surroundings or to simulate placing a part, making sure everything fits. There are certainly applications, but how practical, useful, or needed it is will remain to be seen. 

Isolate, Convert, Extend, & Connect

October 1, 2012 8:09 am | by Brian Foster, Product Manager, Serial & USB Product Lines, B&B Electronics | Articles | Comments

USB was a great leap forward. Its convenience, flexibility, and interoperability have simplified everything from cabling to device installation. Engineers can now connect up to 127 devices using a single port and add new peripherals without opening a computer to insert an expansion card. Devices are hot swappable; cables are interchangeable; and USB will even supply power to a downstream device. 

New Jaguar F-Type Looks To Glory Days, Tweaks Them

September 28, 2012 1:55 pm | by Lori Hinnant, Associated Press | News | Comments

Its predecessor is widely agreed to be among the most stunning sports cars ever - and Jaguar showed it was trying to go one better than the glory days of the 1960s with the new F-Type. The Indian auto company Tata bought Jaguar Land Rover for $2.3B in 2008, betting big that it could revive two venerable British brands that had lost a bit of luster over the decades.


A Third Of U.S. Public Fears Police Use Of Drones

September 28, 2012 10:03 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

More than a third of Americans worry their privacy will suffer if drones like those used to spy on U.S. enemies overseas become the latest police tool for tracking suspected criminals at home, according to an Associated Press-National Constitution Center poll.

Will 3D Printing Save The ‘TechBelt’?

September 28, 2012 8:12 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Articles | Comments

The “TechBelt” region has been hit hard by the recession, with numerous plant closures and the loss of manufacturing jobs. The I-80/I-79 corridor has nearly 32,000 manufacturers, and countless employees who have those “high-tech” skills that modern manufacturers need to thrive, but oftentimes, there simply isn’t enough work to go around.

California Governor Signs Driverless Cars Bill

September 26, 2012 10:26 am | by Terence Chea, Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Jerry Brown rode to Google headquarters in a self-driving Toyota Prius before signing legislation Tuesday that will pave the way for driverless cars in California. The bill by Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla will establish safety and performance regulations to test and operate autonomous vehicles on state roads and highways.

Engineering Spotlight: The Wheelift In Action

September 26, 2012 8:12 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers of airliners and fighter jets alike regularly need to lift loads between 35 and 75 tons, and with an incredible degree of precision. The capability to be partially or fully automated is also a major plus when it comes to the small tolerances in assembly that can make the difference between a plane that flies and once that doesn’t.

CA Governor To Sign Bill To OK Driverless Cars

September 25, 2012 2:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Jerry Brown plans to sign legislation Tuesday at the headquarters of Google Inc. that will pave the way for driverless cars in California. The bill by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, would establish safety and performance regulations to test and operate autonomous vehicles on state roads and highways.


Tesla Unveils Faster Electric Car Charging Station

September 25, 2012 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tesla Motors Inc. unveiled a solar-powered charging station on Monday that it said will make refueling electric vehicles on long trips about as fast as stopping for gas and a bathroom break in a conventional car. CEO Elon Musk said at a news conference at the company's design studio that the company's roadside Supercharger has been installed at six highway rest stops in California.

Toyota Plans Expanded Range Of Hybrids

September 24, 2012 10:09 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp. is boosting its green vehicle lineup, with plans for 21 new hybrids in the next three years, a new electric car later this year and a fuel cell vehicle by 2015 in response to growing demand for fuel efficient and environmentally friendly driving.

If The Climbing Shoe Doesn’t Fit, Design A New Foot

September 24, 2012 8:20 am | by Nick O’Donohoe, Morris Technologies | Articles | Comments

Specialized prostheses for competitive athletes who run, ski, and cycle can be more complex. Warden points out that the DMLS process is also perfect for producing medical products with even more critical geometries. A growing list of materials — including biocompatible plastics and metals — is enabling Morris engineers to consider laser sintering for a number of cutting-edge medical applications.

Construct Your Own Innovation Pipeline

September 21, 2012 8:17 am | by Mike Schmidt. Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Blogs | Comments

Whether it comes from a senior executive, a mid-level manager or new-hire, TIP allows ideas to be shared with a broad audience of potential collaborators through an online platform. Ideas move through a rate-and-review process, and the best and most promising ideas are developed further and considered for funding.

RIM Licenses Microsoft Patent

September 19, 2012 1:25 pm | News | Comments

Under the deal announced Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. will license patents to a filing system called exFAT. Microsoft says it improves upon older storage systems in dealing with larger files — such as those used for photos and video. Devices that use flash memory — namely, smartphones and tablet computers — will be able to handle files that are five times as large as the limit on older systems.


Investing In Labor Pays Off With Productivity

September 19, 2012 8:16 am | by Mike Schmidt. Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Keeping labor costs down has long been a preferred method for manufacturers around the globe to achieve sustained success and profitability. However, lately it seems manufacturers have found investing in efforts to raise workforce productivity to be a reasonable and desirable alternative.

Ford Hopes New Fusion Will Be Camry Killer

September 18, 2012 10:13 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford hopes the redesigned 2013 Fusion will finally be its Camry killer. The Fusion has become Ford's best-selling car since it went on sale in 2005, and it's one of the top sellers in the country. Ford hopes the sexier styling, improved fuel economy, and features like automatic parallel parking on the new Fusion will help it trounce the Toyota Camry.

Boeing Offers Clues On 787-10

September 14, 2012 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing Co. is getting closer to figuring out what the next version of its new 787 would look like, although it still hasn't decided for sure whether to build it. The aircraft manufacturer has been delivering the base model of the new 787 for a year now.

Q&A: Critical Innovation Trends And Technology

September 14, 2012 8:36 am | Articles | Comments

Milind Lakkad is the Global Head of Manufacturing at Tata Consultancy Services, a $10.17B global IT services organization. He recently spoke about the impact of emerging technologies and the four big innovation trends – mobile, social, big data, and cloud computing on the manufacturing world and how companies can address the new and varied technological needs within the industry.

A Manufacturing Opportunity

September 12, 2012 5:30 pm | Articles | Comments

In the past decade, America has lost 6 million manufacturing jobs; yet today, 600,000 jobs can’t be filled in America because manufacturers can’t find people with the right skills. When Americans are asked how they would create a thousand new jobs in their communities with a new business facility, manufacturing is their first choice.

Apple: New iPhone 5 Is Thinner, Lighter

September 12, 2012 2:20 pm | by Michael Liedtke, Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writers | News | Comments

Apple Inc. on Wednesday unveiled the iPhone 5, saying it's thinner and lighter than the previous model, even though it has a bigger screen. Apple marketing head Phil Schiller unveiled the year's most eagerly awaited phone at an Apple event in San Francisco.

Nissan Chief Pitches Electric Taxis To Hong Kong

September 12, 2012 10:17 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Nissan President Carlos Ghosn met Wednesday with Hong Kong's leader to pitch a proposal for the Japanese car maker to supply electric taxis to the southern Chinese city. Ghosn's visit with Leung Chun-ying is part of an effort to sell Nissan's electric taxi technology to cities around the world looking to upgrade their taxi fleets to more environmentally friendly models.

To Cloud Or Not?

September 11, 2012 8:08 am | by Don Lyman, CEO, Docassist | Articles | Comments

According to the July 2012 IDC Manufacturing Insights report, “Business Strategy: Cloud Computing in Manufacturing”, 22 percent of manufacturers worldwide have already implemented cloud-based computing systems, and an additional 45 percent of those surveyed are actively evaluating cloud deployments to replace internally-managed IT infrastructures over the next 24 months.

NTSB: Anti-Collision Aids Needed For Large Planes

September 7, 2012 10:05 am | by Jennifer C. Kerr, Associated Press | News | Comments

The National Transportation Safety Board wants to see ground collision warning systems on all large commercial airliners. The board recommended Wednesday that the Federal Aviation Administration require large airplanes to be equipped with collision avoidance tools, such as an on-board externally-mounted camera system that would give the pilot a clear view of the plane's wingtips.

VW Launches Lighter, More Fuel-Efficient Golf

September 5, 2012 2:08 pm | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Volkswagen is rolling out the latest version of its mainstay Golf hatchback in a key test of its ability to widen its lead over other mass market carmakers in Europe, lower manufacturing costs and overtake Toyota as the world's biggest carmaker.

Mitsubishi Motors To Premiere 1st Plug-In Hybrid SUV

September 5, 2012 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Wednesday it will unveil its new Outlander as the world's first plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicle during the Paris motor show starting Sept. 27. Carrying a 12-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, the model has a cruising range of over 880 kilometers and a fuel economy of 61 km per liter, the automaker said.

Murata Turns To Tiniest Device For Big Business

September 5, 2012 10:23 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Small is big for Murata: The Japanese electronics maker has developed the world's tiniest version of a component known as the capacitor. And that's potentially big business. Capacitors, which store electric energy, are used in the dozens, even in the hundreds, in just about every type of gadget — smartphones, laptops, parts for hybrid cars, medical equipment and digital cameras.

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