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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Perfect Experiences Are Ruining Tech Education

December 3, 2012 11:05 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

Better, and more polished, interfaces make it easier for more people to sit back and play iOS games or watch something on Netflix, they also create a dangerous abstraction — a distance between the user and the actual technology that functions it.

Couple Convicted Of Stealing GM Trade Secrets

December 3, 2012 10:15 am | by Ed White, Associated Press | News | Comments

A former General Motors engineer with access to the automaker's hybrid technology was convicted Friday along with her husband of stealing trade secrets for possible use in China. Shanshan Du won a transfer within GM in 2003 to be closer to the technology and then copied documents until she accepted a severance offer and left the company in 2005, prosecutors said.

Honda Gets A Do-Over; Revamps Civic To Fix Flaws

November 30, 2012 2:06 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Honda has made a quick U-turn. Just 19 months after its Civic compact hit showrooms and was slammed by critics, the company has revamped the car, giving it a sportier look and upgrading the interior. It's an unusual and costly do-over. But Honda — among the auto industry's most highly-regarded brands — was worried the car's flaws would hurt sales and market share, analysts say.

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My First Trade Show & The Digital Revolution

November 30, 2012 8:08 am | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor, Industrial Distribution | Blogs | Comments

For companies in modern America and across the globe, the digital revolution is every bit as unsettling today as the financial crisis was in 2008. The ways in which we interact today are so different from what we have encountered in the past. Social media has given corporations and their products a face of their own; a presence that people can interact with and relate to, for better or for worse.

7 Hot Cars At The LA Auto Show

November 28, 2012 2:03 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public Friday, and here are some of the most talked-about vehicles that will be making their world debuts at the event, including the Toyota RAV4, Honda Civic, Fiat 500e, BMWi3, Acura RLX, Chevrolet Sparks, and Ford Transit Connect Wagon.

Fiat 500 Adds Electric And Big Versions To Lineup

November 28, 2012 10:07 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The Fiat 500 is getting bigger and going electric. Two new versions of the Italian-styled mini-car are appearing at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week: The "500e" is the brand's first all-electric model in the U.S. while the "500L" comes with four doors and significantly more room than a regular model.

Chevy Small Car Drivers To Get iPhone's Siri

November 27, 2012 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Siri, the helpful voice of the iPhone, will work for drivers of two small Chevrolets starting early next year. Drivers of the Spark mini-car 1LT and 2LT models and the Sonic subcompact LTZ and RS models will be able to tell Siri to do a limited number of tasks through the cars' infotainment systems, Chevrolet announced Tuesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

GM Rolls Out New Electric Mini-Car

November 27, 2012 10:02 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

General Motors is giving its Chevrolet Spark a jolt of electricity. An all-electric version of the mini-car will debut this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It goes on sale this summer in California, Oregon, Canada and South Korea, where it's made. Other markets will follow.

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Q&A: The Future Of CAD

November 27, 2012 8:09 am | Articles | Comments

CAD is a very mature tool these days. The idea of 3D CAD has been around for two-and-a-half decades. A lot of companies have already moved to 3D CAD, and most of our customers are already using a 3D definition of the design as sort of a virtual prototype. What I see happening today is an effort to get more and more people to be able participate in either the definition or the consumption of that rich, digital definition.

Transforming The Relationship Between Manufacturers And The DoD

November 27, 2012 8:08 am | by Mitch Free, MFG.com Founder and CEO | Articles | Comments

The challenges of sourcing complex manufactured goods to support the Department of Defense (DoD) create significant obstacles for the U.S. manufacturing industry. While today’s manufacturing environment is notably global, opportunities exist to help strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base while improving supply chain security.

Japan Brands Fend Off Rivals At China Auto Show

November 26, 2012 10:22 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Global automakers and their Chinese rivals put on sleek displays of new cars at a major auto show Thursday in Guangzhou, the southern Chinese stronghold of Japanese brands that have been hard hit by tensions between Tokyo and Beijing. Nissan Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. were among the dozens of brands showcasing new vehicles at the auto show, the first major marketing event since the tensions flared in September.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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