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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Engineering Update #4: Robots Driven By Moths, Recycling Nike

February 14, 2013 11:51 am | Videos | Comments

In the latest episode of ECN 's Engineering Update: Scientists at the University of Tokyo have found inspiration for their autonomous sensory-driven robots by examining male silkmoths ... lookin' for love.

Laird Technologies Acquires Nextreme Thermal Solutions Technology

February 13, 2013 2:29 pm | by Laird Technologies, Inc. | News | Comments

Laird Technologies, Inc., a global leader in the design and supply of customized performance-critical components and systems for advanced electronics and wireless products, today announces the acquisition of Nextreme Thermal Solutions, Inc., the US based developer of thin-film thermoelectric technologies.

Humans And Robots Work Better Together Following Cross-Training

February 11, 2013 11:43 am | by Helen Knight, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Most existing research into making robots better team players is based on the concept of interactive reward. However, human studies carried out by the military have shown that simply telling people they have done well or badly at a task is a very inefficient method of encouraging them to work well as a team.

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Watson's Medical Expertise Offered Commercially

February 11, 2013 7:58 am | by Jim Fizgerald, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

The Watson supercomputer is graduating from its medical residency and is being offered commercially to doctors and health insurance companies, IBM said Friday. IBM Corp., the health insurer WellPoint Inc. and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center announced two Watson-based applications — one to help assess treatments for lung cancer and one to help manage health insurance decisions and claims.

Utility: Bad Device Caused Super Bowl Blackout

February 8, 2013 9:40 am | News | Comments

Officials of Entergy New Orleans say the device, called a relay, had been installed to protect the stadium from a cable failure between the company's incoming power line and lines that run into the stadium. Company officials said the device performed without problem during January's Sugar Bowl and other earlier events.

Sony Trims Quarterly Loss To $115M

February 7, 2013 8:07 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Sony Corp. is still struggling but managed to reduce its red ink for the latest quarter as the Japanese electronics and entertainment company aims for a comeback from record yearly losses. Sony on Thursday reported a 10.7 billion yen ($115 million) loss for the October-December quarter compared with a 158 billion yen loss a year earlier.

Fujitsu Cutting 5,000 Jobs

February 7, 2013 7:55 am | News | Comments

Struggling Japanese electronics maker Fujitsu is slashing 5,000 jobs, or nearly 3 percent of its global workforce, as it seeks to boost profitability by reshaping its computer-chip business and its overseas operations. Fujitsu said Thursday the job cuts will be completed by the end of this fiscal year next month, and will rely on early retirement, layoffs and other methods.

Outside Experts To Probe Super Bowl Power Outage

February 5, 2013 2:08 pm | by Kevin McGill and Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials of the Superdome and its utility company say they will hire outside experts to investigate why power failed for 34 minutes during the Super Bowl. The announcement by the stadium's management company, SMG, and Entergy New Orleans came two days after the outage halted play in the third quarter of the game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.

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Engineering Newswire 23: I Am Iron Woman

February 5, 2013 9:57 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Today on Engineering Newswire, we’re crafting magic arms, building Tony Stark’s cyber-weapon, and 3D printing for the BioCurious. 2-year-old Emma Lavelle was born with a congenital disorder called arthrogryposis. Emma’s parents turned to researchers at the Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children who had been hard at work on the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton, or WREX.

'Abnormality' Caused Super Bowl Power Outage

February 4, 2013 2:39 pm | by Kevin McGill and Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

As the Superdome's energy provider and stadium management try to determine what caused a 34-minute power outage at Sunday's Super Bowl, local officials are hoping the incident won't leave a black eye on the city or prevent the league's big game from coming back to town.

Jabil Circuit Buying Nypro For About $665M

February 4, 2013 11:26 am | News | Comments

Contract electronics manufacturer Jabil Circuit Inc. said Monday that it will buy Nypro Inc., which provides manufactured precision plastic products for customers in the healthcare, packaging and consumer electronics industries, for about $665 million.

Can Blackberry 10 Breathe New Life Into RIM?

January 31, 2013 9:29 am | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

Since 2006 the smartphone landscape has undergone seismic changes. Now, a former industry leader is looking to regain customers. Sumi Das reports RIM is making a gamble with their new Blackberry 10 operating system in a move to stay relevant.

Yokogawa And McAfee Partner To Enhance Security Industrial Control Systems

January 30, 2013 2:40 pm | by Yokogawa Corporation of America | News | Comments

Yokogawa Electric Corporation and McAfee today announced the signing of a partnership agreement to offer holistic and value-added IT security solutions for the industrial automation world. Building on Yokogawa’s and McAfee’s cyber security expertise, the partnership addresses the imperative of digital threats to industrial control systems.

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IBM Sends Watson To College

January 30, 2013 8:09 am | by Michael Hill, Associated Press | News | Comments

Watson, the supercomputer famous for beating the world's best human "Jeopardy!" champions, is going to college.IBM is announcing Wednesday that it will provide a Watson system to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in New York state, the first time the computer is being sent to a university. Just like the flesh-and-blood students who will work on it, Watson is leaving home to sharpen its skills.

Raspberry Pi Receives 'Generous' Google Grant For Education

January 29, 2013 3:16 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Google Giving, a philanthropic department of the Internet search giant, has awarded the U.K.-based Raspberry Pi Foundation with a “very generous” grant to provide better educational tools for young students in the U.K. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt visited Cambridge this morning to help teach programming to a classroom of local students.

Fluke Corporation Recalls Digital Clamp Meters

January 29, 2013 10:19 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Fluke Corporation is voluntarily recalling certain Digital Clamp Meters because the printed circuit assembly inside these units may not be properly fastened to the test lead input jack. According to the company, this may result in inaccurate voltage readings, including a low- or no-voltage reading on an energized circuit.

Smartphone 4Q Sales Rise 36 Pct., Led By Samsung

January 25, 2013 4:33 pm | News | Comments

A new research report says worldwide shipments of smartphones climbed 36 percent during the fourth quarter as they supplanted personal computers and other gadgets on holiday shopping lists. IDC estimates 219 million smartphones were shipped during the final three months of last year.

NTSB: Boeing 787 Battery Shows Short-Circuiting

January 24, 2013 5:06 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | Airbus, Boeing | 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.

Rugged 7-Port USB 3.0 Hub Makes Fast Connections Easier

January 24, 2013 10:44 am | Product Releases | Comments

StarTech.com, a leading manufacturer of hard-to-find connectivity parts has announced the release of a rugged new 7-port USB 3.0 hub (ST7300USBM), which enables users to add multiple external USB 3.0 connection ports to a PC, server or thin client located within server rooms or industrial operating environments.

Data Translation Announces New Low-Cost Temperature DAQ Module

January 24, 2013 10:16 am | Product Releases | Comments

Data Translation, Inc., an industry leader in data acquisition, today announced the release of the DT9828 low-cost USB-powered module for temperature and voltage measurements. The DT9828 is first in a series of Peerless modules from Data Translation incorporating years of temperature measurement expertise.

Apple Shares Extend Losses On iPhone Fears

January 15, 2013 3:06 pm | News | Comments

Apple shares have been dropping steadily since September. But their decline this week was set off by reports in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei and The Wall Street Journal. They said Apple has slashed its orders for iPhone 5 parts because the device isn't selling as well as the company hoped. Both publications cited unidentified people familiar with the situation.

Techspray Features Full Line Of Water-Based Electronic Assembly Cleaners At Apex ‘13

January 15, 2013 11:49 am | Product Releases | Comments

Techspray, a leading manufacturer of precision cleaners for electronics, and industrial and electrical applications, will be featuring a full line of water-based cleaners for electronic assembly at Apex, booth #3201. These products expand Techspray beyond their traditional solvent products, yet fully leverage 40+ years’ experience in electronics cleaning.

Acumentrics Boosts RUPS Power Output For Harsh Environments

January 15, 2013 11:47 am | Product Releases | Comments

Designed for worldwide deployment in harsh physical and electrical environments, the Rugged-UPS™ ACG3000 from Acumentrics offers clean AC or DC power to protect communications and surveillance equipment from shutdowns or data loss. The ACG3000 produces 3000VA/2400W of nominal 115 VAC output from an input range of 80 VAC to 265 VAC / 47 Hz to 440Hz.

Can Robots Save Manufacturing Jobs?

January 15, 2013 10:54 am | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

Rodney Brooks, founder of Rethink Robotics, tells Steve Kroft that using robots can help lower labor costs and keep manufacturing in the U.S., which will ultimately boost employment. Brooks indicates that as overseas labor costs go up, robots will also lead the way in returning manufacturing jobs to the U.S.

Hemlock Laying Off Workers, Production Pushed Back

January 14, 2013 4:51 pm | News | Comments

Officials of the Michigan-based company said the company is laying off 300 of its 400 employees in Clarksville and 100 workers at its Michigan plant. The company announced in 2008 their plans to build the facility in Clarksville, Tenn. After years of construction, officials at the plant near the Kentucky border said last fall they had plans to begin production of polycrystalline silicon in 2013. 

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