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Jobs report

Are things as good as they seem, or not? Headlines like “Hiring Steady As Employers Add 136-000 Jobs in September, Jobless Rate Dips to 3.5%” (NPR) arrive as encouraging and welcome news, and even deep dives into the data appear to show few fissures. But every opportunity brings its own challenges, so let us list […]

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Pension panics

GE slashes pensions –and more to come? In yet another move to cut costs and debt, General Electric Co announced Monday that it will freeze pensions for about 20,000 salaried U.S. employees. By 2021, 401(k) or comparable plans will be offered as alternatives. Some employees will be offered lump sum payments. In a press release […]

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Emergency unpreparedness

“Bad news comes in threes”  was an understatement this week for those of us who keep track of electrical hazards, accidents and disasters.  The recent news has featured one distressing electrical incident after another: On Monday,  10/7, a transformer exploded in a California restaurant, sending fireballs shooting through the air.  One restaurant worker suffered severe […]

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Really, PGandE ?!?

The troubled California utility can’t seem to get anything right This week’s swirling stories of unplugged Californians who were struggling to cope with PG&E’s planned power outage made the Golden State seem more like a dystopian nightmare than a movie star’s paradise. A few examples: From the San Francisco Chronicle – ‘I’m overwhelmed’: PG&E power […]

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John Goodenough, Nobel Prize winner

He developed something that literally lit up the world, but John Goodenough believes in keeping his accomplishments in perspective. Speaking of the now ubiquitous lithium-ion batteries that we wouldn’t know nearly as well, were it not for him, well – “They’ve made a lot of money for people, and they’ve been essential to the wireless […]

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Filling the motor capability gap

SPONSORED CONTENT from LAFERT NA by Matthew Temple, P. Eng — Outside Sales, Lafert NA   PM Motors for Motion Applications Permanent magnet motors are ideal for automated equipment applications where induction motor performance falls short of the mark, or servo motor cost and complexity is impractical. We at Lafert have developed a series of […]

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Emerson Electric – studying breakup possibilities

Changes ahead for one of America’s oldest and largest companies? Emerson Electric has announced its intention to undertake a “comprehensive review,” apparently in response to rumors that stakeholder hedge fund D.E. Shaw has designs on the company. Shaw is said to be pushing to split Emerson Electric up, possibly into two parts – its automation […]

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Out of gas but open for business

Get ready to charge – on the road and at home ON THE ROAD — RS Automotive in Takoma Park, Maryland, is the first gas station in the country to fully convert to electric. The operation’s owner, Depeswar Doley, told CNN that his teenage daughter convinced him that electric was the way to go. He  […]

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Kids who see a need and “Make It” happen

Anti-bully backpacks and microflush toilets (and, how’s your sump pump functioning?) A wifi-camera-enabled Anti-Bully backpack from middle-schooler Makai Paige, an above-ground microflush toilet to bring “sanitation to the world” from Michael Wilborne, and Louisa Wood’s sump pump warning system – meet  the finalists from Rockwell Automation’s “You Make It Challenge. ”  Described as “an innovation […]

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OEM’s on the move

Regal Beloit is among manufacturers closing Midwestern plants Cleveland Vibrator expands in Ohio, Sterigenics and Chicago Powdered Metal Products Co. have closed their Chicago area plants, Oregon’s Boardman Coal Plant will close next year,  food packager Constantia Colmar is closing its Pennsylvania plant in Colmar after 29 years of operations, and union workers at the […]

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