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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

A Taxing Proposition for Medical Manufacturers

June 25, 2010 6:56 am | by by Kim Ukura, Associate Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Although the health care reform bill was signed months ago, everyone seems to still be riffling through the pages trying to figure out what it means and where it’s probably gone wrong. Earlier this month the AP reported that  medical device manufacturers are “bristling”  over a stipulation in the health care law that would add a tax of 2.

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A Bittersweet Lesson

June 25, 2010 6:55 am | by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) reports that the sugar industry, in particular, has had a long love affair with both combustible dust and lackadaisical housekeeping methods. In fact, this trend dates as far back as 1925. In a 2006 study, the CSB identified 281 combustible dust fires and explosions between 1980 and 2005 that claimed 119 workers’ lives and injured 718.

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States Share In $173 Million Computer Chip Antitrust Case

June 25, 2010 4:54 am | News | Comments

DENVER (AP) — Colorado and 32 other states will share a $173 million antitrust settlement with computer chip makers. Attorney General John Suthers said Thursday the states have settled a lawsuit accusing six manufacturers of artificially pushing up the price of dynamic random access memory chips, or DRAM chips.

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J & J Does Not Have Backup For Recalled Medicine

June 25, 2010 4:37 am | News | Comments

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it will probably not have supplies for some 40 varieties of medications recalled earlier this year until at least 2011, after closing a key manufacturing site. In late April, J&J's McNeil unit recalled a variety of children's and adult over-the-counter medicines due to numerous manufacturing problems at its Fort Washington, Pa.

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The Skinny On Idaho-Built Solar Panels

June 25, 2010 4:27 am | News | Comments

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A company formed by Boise-based Micron Technology Inc. and Origin Energy of Australia says it plans to start making extremely thin but highly efficient solar cells that will be available next year. Transform Solar officials say the so-called sliver solar cells will be made at a plant in Boise where Micron once made computer chips, and the cells will be combined into solar panels at another plant owned by Micron in Nampa.

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Immigrants To Unemployed: 'Come On, Take Our Jobs'

June 25, 2010 4:24 am | by Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a tongue-in-cheek call for immigration reform, farm workers are teaming up with comedian Stephen Colbert in a challenge to unemployed Americans: Come on, take our jobs. Farm workers are tired of being blamed by politicians and anti-immigrant activists for taking work that should go to Americans and dragging down the economy, said Arturo Rodriguez, the president of the United Farm Workers of America.

Whirlpool's Evansville Plant Closes, Heads To Mexico

June 25, 2010 4:23 am | News | Comments

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The Whirlpool Corp. plant in Evansville that has been the site of protests over its closure is producing its final refrigerators. The plant's production line is shutting down Friday, meaning the loss of some 600 jobs. About 450 other workers were laid off in March when Whirlpool ended its second production shift.

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Boeing's 787 Fleet Grounded By Poor Workmanship

June 25, 2010 4:21 am | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. says it inspecting all of its 787 jets because after finding that some have improperly installed parts in a section of the tail. In a statement late Thursday Boeing says it had "identified a workmanship issue" with the horizontal tail, also called a stabilizer. Shims and fasteners weren't installed correctly, the aircraft maker said.

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Survey Shows CEOs Plan To Boost Payrolls

June 23, 2010 5:29 am | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of CEOs planning to ramp up hiring is at the highest level since mid-2007, according to a survey that suggests big U.S. companies are growing more confident about the economic recovery. The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of big U.S. companies, said Wednesday its survey shows 39 percent of chief executives expect to boost their payrolls in the second half of 2010.

Rigger Stands Trial Following Deadly Crane Collapse

June 23, 2010 4:54 am | by Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — A reckless rigger's safety shortcuts caused a crane collapse that killed seven people, a prosecutor said as the rigger's manslaughter trial began Tuesday. His lawyer said the rigger was being unfairly blamed for bad decisions that set up a vulnerable tower of metal. William Rapetti wiped tears from his face as the prosecutor recounted the March 2008 disaster, one of the nation's deadliest crane accidents, in a Manhattan courtroom crowded with relatives and lawyers representing those killed and hurt.

Slaughterhouse Exec Gets 27 Years For Fraud

June 23, 2010 4:51 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa kosher slaughterhouse executive was sentenced Tuesday to 27 years in prison for financial fraud, a sentence legal experts called severe but not necessarily surprising as judges take tough stances on white-collar crime. Sholom Rubashkin, a former vice president of Agriprocessors Inc.

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Toshiba To Build Motors For Electric, Hybrid Vehicles

June 23, 2010 4:48 am | News | Comments

HOUSTON (AP) — Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday that it will begin building motors for electric and hybrid vehicles at its plants in Texas. The Japanese conglomerate made the announcement after Ford Motor Co. awarded it a contract to make drive motors for Ford hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

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Fresh Walkouts Halt Production At Toyota, Honda Plants

June 23, 2010 4:45 am | by Jay Alabaster, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Corp. said Wednesday they stopped production at some of their car assembly plants in southern China after parts suppliers were hit by more labor unrest. The fresh walkouts at the Japanese car makers are slowing output and adding to costs at a time when both companies have been ramping up production to meet strong demand.

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Procter & Gamble To Expand Gain Product Line

June 23, 2010 4:43 am | by Dan Sewell, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

CINCINNATI (AP) — Procter & Gamble Co. said Tuesday that it will expand its Gain brand from the laundry to the kitchen sink, the latest move by the world's largest consumer products company to market its megabrands in new ways and new places. At a Jefferies investor conference in Nantucket, Mass.

Ford Pulls Escape SUV From MO Assembly Plant

June 22, 2010 12:45 pm | News | Comments

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A union president says Ford will stop making the Escape at its Kansas City area plant near the end of next year. United Auto Workers local president Jeff Wright said Tuesday that Ford Motor Co. plans to build the next generation of the sport utility vehicle at a plant in Louisville, Ky.

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Pork Board Squeals Over Imaginary Unicorn Meat

June 22, 2010 12:42 pm | by Sarah Skidmore, AP Food Industry Writer | News | Comments

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — It's official: The National Pork Board says it knows unicorns don't exist. The industry group says it was only protecting its trademark when it issued cease-and-desist warning to online retailer ThinkGeek for calling a fake unicorn meat product "the new white meat.

Slaughterhouse Exec Faces 27 Years Over Immigration

June 22, 2010 5:04 am | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge is to sentence a former vice president of an Iowa kosher slaughterhouse to 27 years in prison and pay $27 million in restitution for financial fraud. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Linda R. Reade is to sentence former Agriprocessor's Inc. manager Sholom Rubashkin on Tuesday in Cedar Rapids.

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China: Stop Blaming Us For Domestic Troubles

June 22, 2010 4:55 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — China said world leaders should focus on overcoming economic difficulties together and not play the blame game at this weekend's summit of the Group of 20 leading economies, just days after Beijing announced greater flexibility for its currency. China's central bank loosened the yuan's peg to the dollar on Saturday.

Bangladesh Workers Join Chinese In Wage Protests

June 22, 2010 4:45 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — About 700 garment factories in Bangladesh were shut Tuesday after days of violent protests by tens of thousands of workers demanding better wages. The manufacturers decided late Monday to close their factories because they had no other way to avoid the anarchy in the major industrial hub outside the capital, according to an official at the Bangladesh GarmentManufacturers and Exporters Association.

FDA's Anti-Tobacco Regulation On Slow Burn

June 22, 2010 4:36 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Tobacco Writer | News | Comments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A year after a new law put tobacco regulation in the hands of the Food and Drug Administration, one thing is clear: It will likely be years before any of the most aggressive steps to reduce deaths from smoking might happen. When President Barack Obama signed the bill into law last June, anti-tobacco advocates suggested it could lead to a reduction in nicotine levels, a ban on menthol cigarettes or other aggressive moves.

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