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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Talk Of Mercury Ban Concerns Scientists

October 21, 2011 9:04 am | by Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — Scientists are warning officials negotiating a global treaty on mercury that banning the deadly chemical completely would be dangerous for public health because of the chemical's use in vaccines. The ban option is one of several proposals on the table for a meeting later this month in Nairobi, but a final treaty isn't expected until 2013.

GE's 3Q Profit Jumps 18 Percent

October 21, 2011 9:02 am | by Chris Kahn, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co.'s third-quarter profit rose 18 percent as its lending business continued to rebound. GE is a barometer of the economy because it reaches so many industries. It builds everything from jet engines to refrigerators, and its GE Capital lending arm is involved in a variety of businesses including credit cards and real estate.

Chrysler To Begin Layoffs At Ontario Plant

October 21, 2011 9:00 am | News | Comments

WINDSOR, Ont. — Chrysler will begin rotating layoffs next week at its minivan plant in Windsor, Ont. as it reacts to a supply problem with its new engines, the company said Friday. The automaker said production of the Pentastar 3.7-litre V-6 engine has slowed at a plant in Trenton, Mich.

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Finnish Metals, Engineering Workers Strike

October 21, 2011 8:58 am | by Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press | News | Comments

HELSINKI (AP) — About 30,000 Finnish metals and engineering industry workers began a strike Friday, expected to hit the country's vital export trade, with fears it could spread in two weeks' time. The industrial action came after unions and management rejected National Conciliator Esa Lonka's mediation proposal on wages and working conditions, following days of negotiations.

Equipment Finance Industry Confidence Improves in October

October 21, 2011 7:10 am | Articles | Comments

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) has released the October 2011 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Designed to collect leadership data, the index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $521 billion equipment finance sector.

Analyst: RIM Needs Touch Screens

October 21, 2011 6:17 am | Videos | Comments

Research in Motion needs to turn its focus to touch screens or risk losing more market share to Apple and Samsung, says Gartner Analyst Ken Dulaney. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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A Counter-Cyclonic Dust Collection System

October 21, 2011 6:13 am | Articles | Comments

Aerodyne has installed a new dust collection system for a manufacturer of specialty industrial chemical products for a unique project in which multiple attempts at efficient dust collection had previously failed. The chemical plant's proprietary process, which yields a highly valuable powdered nutritional supplement, had several challenges which led plant managers to seek a better solution.

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Why I Hate the Word 'Plan'

October 21, 2011 6:10 am | by Joe Flach, Consultant, Safe Harbor Consulting LLC | Articles | Comments

Business continuity, disaster recovery and crisis management professionals are challenged by the use of inexact and often confusing jargon. We use terms such as business continuity, disaster recovery, resiliency, hot site, warm site, cold site, recovery time objective, recovery point objective, business impact analysis, contingency plans, etc.

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NE Fiberglass Company Cited For Violations

October 21, 2011 5:16 am | News | Comments

MINDEN, Neb. (AP) — Federal labor officials want to impose nearly $170,000 in fines on a Nebraska fiberglass company for violations of safety and health standards. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Wednesday that America's Fiberglass Animals was cited for eight repeat and seven serious violations found during an inspection at its plant in Minden.

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Outokumpu Lays Off 1,300 Worldwide

October 21, 2011 5:14 am | News | Comments

HELSINKI (AP) — Finnish metals group Outokumpu Oyj says it will lay off 1,300 workers worldwide to cut costs and improve profitability. The world's second largest stainless steel maker said Thursday that the layoffs and streamlining operations are aimed at saving $140 million (euro100 million) by 2012.

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Few Americans Take Immigrants' Jobs In AL

October 21, 2011 5:12 am | by Alicia A. Caldwell, Jay Reeves, Associated Press | News | Comments

ONEONTA, Ala. (AP) — Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans. It hasn't worked out: Most show up late, work slower than seasoned farm hands and are ready to call it a day after lunch or by midafternoon.

Mitsubishi Fuso To Recall Trucks Again After Repair Error

October 21, 2011 5:09 am | News | Comments

TOKYO, Oct. 20 (Kyodo) — Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. will recall about 380 trucks for a third time to replace a defective part that prompted the first recall -- only to be reinstalled during a second recall to fix another problem, the transport ministry said Thursday. The trucks are part of about 46,000 trucks of the Super Great and The Great models which were recalled in 2005 and 2007 to change a defective clutch part...

Man Dies Of Injuries After Falling At WV Plant

October 21, 2011 5:06 am | News | Comments

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has died from injuries suffered in a fall at a Buckhannon wood products plant. The Inter-Mountain (http://bit.ly/pGSJjs ) reports that 44-year-old Mike Atkinson fell 40 feet to the bottom of a silo Monday while doing routine maintenance a the Weyerhaeuser plant, which was shut down at the time.

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U.S. Economy Shows Signs Of Health After Slump

October 21, 2011 5:04 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy appears slightly healthier than many had feared it was a few weeks ago, raising hopes that it can end the year on an upward slope. A raft of data Thursday show layoffs are trending down to a six-month low and factories in the Mid-Atlantic are growing again after contracting for two months.

Grizzly Oil Sands Automates Production

October 20, 2011 12:33 pm | Articles | Comments

Grizzly Oil Sands, an Alberta, Canada, independent oil sands company, has awarded a more than  $4 million order to Rockwell Automation and its Global Solutions team. Global Solutions will use the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx process automation system to help Grizzly produce more than 5,000 barrels of oil per day at the first phase of its Algar Lake Project.

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Like Hobos On The Outsourcing Train

October 20, 2011 12:31 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions, LLC | Articles | Comments

Outsourcing has been an enormously popular trend in manufacturing for the U.S. However, as popular as it is, and as much as it might make sense on paper, it doesn’t always produce the business benefit we seek.  Consider the change that outsourcing means to your business before you jump on the train with everyone else.

Saab Reorganization In Jeopardy

October 20, 2011 9:29 am | News | Comments

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The owner of Saab Automobile says the administrator of the cash-strapped car maker's reorganization under bankruptcy protection wants to terminate the process. Swedish Automobile N.V., the Netherlands-based company that owns Saab, said Thursday that lawyer Guy Lofalk will file an application to end the reorganization process to a Swedish court.

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U.S. Solar Firms File Trade Complaint Against China

October 20, 2011 9:28 am | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of seven U.S. solar panel companies filed a federal trade complaint Wednesday against Chinese companies they accuse of "dumping" solar products on global markets to depress prices. The U.S. solar companies filed their case with the Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission.

Ford: UAW Deal Raises Yearly Costs Minimally

October 20, 2011 9:25 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — A new contract between Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers union will raise the automaker's labor costs by less than 1 percent a year, reaching a company goal of holding costs fairly steady, executives said Thursday. The four-year deal will raise costs by $280 million this year and around $80 million per year after that, but the increases will be offset by higher factory efficiency, other wage and benefit...

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Fire Engulfs AR Fake Fingernail Factory

October 20, 2011 9:23 am | News | Comments

MAUMELLE, Ark. (AP) — A factory that produces artificial fingernails and related products in central Arkansas caught fire Thursday morning, prompting employees to evacuate the plant and several nearby small businesses. The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said 40,000 gallons of acetone was burning at the Onyx Laboratories plant in Maumelle, just north of Little Rock.

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