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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Dell In $24.4B Founder-Led Deal To Go Private

February 5, 2013 1:30 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Slumping personal computer maker Dell is bowing out of the stock market in a $24.4 billion buyout that represents the largest deal of its kind since the Great Recession dried up the financing for such risky maneuvers. The complex agreement announced Tuesday will allow Dell Inc.'s management, including founder Michael Dell, to attempt a company turnaround away from the glare and financial pressures of Wall Street.

Toyota 2.0? Miss Reliable Gets A Makeover

February 5, 2013 12:11 pm | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

The Crown, Toyota's oldest sedan still in production is a symbol of proud tradition. It's conservative evolution over the years has been typical for a company known more for being reliable than racy. But it's newest version is a sign of changes to come.

New BlackBerry To Be Released In U.S. In Mid-March

February 5, 2013 10:08 am | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

The chief executive of Research In Motion said he's disappointed the new BlackBerry won't be released in the United States until mid-March, but he said early data suggests sales in the U.K. are above expectations. Thorsten Heins said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press that he was disappointed in the mid-March U.S. release date. But he said the U.S. and its phone carriers have a rigid testing system.

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Beer To Help Power Alaska Brewery

February 4, 2013 1:43 pm | by Joshua Berlinger, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Alaskan Brewing Co. is going green, but instead of looking to solar and wind energy, it has turned to a very familiar source: beer. The Juneau-based beer maker has installed a unique boiler system in order to cut its fuel costs. It purchased a $1.8 million furnace that burns the company's spent grain — the waste accumulated from the brewing process — into steam which powers the majority of the brewery's operations.

How Has Manufacturing Fared In The Second Half?

February 1, 2013 8:00 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Anyone who watched the Super Bowl last year likely caught a glimpse of Clint Eastwood proclaiming that it was “halftime in America.” The country had been knocked down: The housing bubble had burst and top U.S. automakers – employing thousands of American workers – had sought a government bailout.

Industrial inspection cameras

Thermal Imagers: A Priceless Investment

January 31, 2013 3:29 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Industrial inspection cameras have revolutionized the predictive maintenance industry. From the many types of cameras available, thermal imagers are ones that have claimed their place in a manufacturer’s predictive maintenance arsenal. Once an instrument too expensive for the average facility, today’s technology has advanced thermal imagers to the point of necessity.

Elliott

A New Industrial Revolution

January 31, 2013 3:08 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Pennsylvania is a growing energy leader in the United States, becoming a net exporter of natural gas in 2011. They have seized opportunities the Marcellus Shale boom has provided, and expanded into global leaders in natural gas—and are making the region known for its industrial innovation and talent, truly fueling a new industrial revolution.

RIM Changes Name To BlackBerry, Unveils Phones

January 31, 2013 1:55 pm | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

After lengthy delays, Research In Motion Ltd. has unveiled its first two phones with the new BlackBerry 10 system. The Q10 will have a physical keyboard, while the Z10 has only a touch-screen keyboard. RIM says it will also change its name to BlackBerry to maintain a single brand. It will have the ticker symbol "BBRY" on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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The New Horizon In Tech

January 30, 2013 2:40 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

As devices get smaller and smaller, tech companies are looking for the next innovation that will keep consumers coming back for more. IBM Fellow and Vice President of Innovation Bernie Meyerson offers five new innovations that could change our lives within the next five years.

Judge Rejects Apple's Patent Damages Demands

January 30, 2013 1:40 pm | by Paul Elias, Associated Press | News | Comments

A judge rejected Apple Inc.'s demand to increase the $1.05 billion in damages a jury ordered Samsung Electronics Inc. to pay its fiercest rival in the smartphone market. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh also rejected demands from both companies to conduct another trial on different issues over claims that the South Korean company unfairly used technology controlled by Apple to build its iPads and iPhones to market knockoff products.

Ford, Daimler, Nissan To Research Hydrogen Cars

January 28, 2013 2:04 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford is joining with Daimler and Renault-Nissan to speed development of cars that run on hydrogen, with hopes of bringing a vehicle to market in as little as four years. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles generate electricity after a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is stored in special high-pressure tanks, and the only emissions are water vapor and heat.

Crucial, Long-Overdue BlackBerry Makeover Arrives

January 28, 2013 1:58 pm | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone is promising a speedy browser, a superb typing experience and the ability to keep work and personal identities separate on the same phone, the fruit of a crucial, long-overdue makeover for the Canadian company.

igus competition

Plastic Plain Bearing Competition

January 28, 2013 12:03 pm | by igus® | News | Comments

Plastic plain bearing specialist igus® has just launched its manus competition for the sixth time. The last contest, which ran in 2011, received over 300 entries from all over the world. The manus competition seeks innovative and challenging applications that use self-lubricating, maintenance-free polymer bearings to improve technology and reduce costs. Winners will receive cash prizes totaling over 11,000 USD.

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Exxon Surpasses Apple as World's Most Valuable Co.

January 25, 2013 12:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Exxon has once again surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable company after the iPhone and iPad maker saw its stock price falter. Apple Inc.'s stock has been on the decline since its earnings report earlier this week. It dropped 2 percent Friday to $441.30 for a market capitalization of $414.5 billion. Exxon Mobil Corp. gained 13 cents to $91.48 and has a market capitalization of $417 billion.

NTSB: Boeing 787 Battery Shows Short-Circuiting

January 25, 2013 12:21 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner battery that caught fire earlier this month in Boston shows evidence of short-circuiting and a chemical reaction known as "thermal runaway," in which an increase in temperature causes progressively hotter temperatures, federal accident investigators said Thursday.

From The Start, Dreamliner Jet Program Was Rushed

January 25, 2013 10:09 am | by Scott Mayerowitz, AP Airlines Writer | News | Comments

The 787 Dreamliner was born in a moment of desperation. But once production started, the gap between vision and reality quickly widened. The jet that was eventually dubbed the Dreamliner became plagued with manufacturing delays, cost overruns and sinking worker morale.

Sony, NEC, Nissan May Merge Battery Business

January 25, 2013 10:01 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A state-backed corporate turnaround fund is encouraging Sony Corp., NEC Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. to merge their lithium-ion battery businesses in the face of intensifying international competition, sources close to the matter said Friday. The Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and the three companies are aiming to reach an agreement on the merger plan within fiscal 2013, they said.

Manufacturers Cutting White-Collar Jobs Now, Too

January 24, 2013 2:21 pm | by Bernard Condon, Paul Wiseman, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Manufacturers have been using technology to cut blue-collar jobs for years. Now, they're targeting their white-collar workers, too. Factory Automation Systems makes machines that help companies cut, bundle and load products faster and cheaper than humans can. But it didn't realize how much technology could help its own business until the Great Recession hit.

Toyota, BMW Working Together On New Battery Tech

January 24, 2013 2:14 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW Group are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles called "lithium-air" as their collaboration, first announced in late 2011, moves ahead in fuel cells, sports vehicles and other fields.

Is Innovation Booming Or Dead?

January 23, 2013 4:25 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

There's only a handful of things that have truly changed the way the human condition lives, says Time International Editor Jim Frederick. Indoor plumbing and the railway have created life as we know it, but has innovation now reached a wall? At a Time/CNNMoney panel at the World Economic Forum, CEOs talk about the state of innovation in the global economy.

Is Technology A Job Killer?

January 23, 2013 2:17 pm | by Bernard Condon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

To workers being pushed out of jobs by today's technology, history has a message: You're not the first. From textile machines to the horseless carriage to email, technology has upended industries and wiped out jobs for centuries. It also has created millions of jobs, though usually not for the people who lost them.

TN Volkswagen Plant Powers Up Solar Park

January 23, 2013 2:12 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

German automaker Volkswagen on Wednesday flipped the on switch for a new solar park at its Tennessee assembly plant. The 33-acre installation next to the Chattanooga plant has a capacity to produce more than 13 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. That's the equivalent of the amount of energy used by 1,200 area homes each year, according to Volkswagen.

Ontario Toyota Lexus Plant Gets $34M Seed Money

January 23, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

Toyota's Canadian manufacturing arm will receive nearly $34 million in seed money from Ottawa and Ontario as it builds a new assembly line at its plant in Cambridge, Ont. Ottawa will kick in $16.9 million from the Automotive Innovation Fund, while Ontario will match that with an investment from its Strategic Jobs and Investment Fund.

Are Batteries Holding Energy Tech Back?

January 23, 2013 10:31 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

As 21st century technology strains to become ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. It's why electric cars aren't clogging the roads and why Boeing's new ultra-efficient 787 Dreamliners aren't flying high. And chances are you have this little invention next to you right now and probably have cursed it recently: the infernal battery.

Can Apple Maintain Its Shine?

January 23, 2013 10:29 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

For many investors, Apple's best days are behind it. Competitors are catching up, they believe, and the latest iPhone is stumbling. The company's doubters have backed their conviction with billions of dollars. Last week, the stock fell below $500 for the first time in 11 months.

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