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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Moody's Restores GM Debt To Investment Grade

September 23, 2013 2:28 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

A key ratings agency has restored General Motors' debt to investment grade status, eight years after the company lost the rating as it spiraled toward bankruptcy protection. The upgrade came on Monday morning, shortly after GM announced plans to buy back high-interest preferred stock from a union retiree health care trust fund for $3.2 billion.

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Survey: China Manufacturing At 6-Month High

September 23, 2013 2:26 pm | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing rose to a six-month high in September, in the latest sign that the world's second biggest economy is gradually recovering from a prolonged slowdown. The preliminary version of HSBC's purchasing managers' index released Monday climbed to 51.2 from 50.1 in August on a 100-point scale. Numbers above 50 indicate an expansion in activity.

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Lockheed Martin Awarded $4B Missile Defense Deal

September 23, 2013 2:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Lockheed Martin Corp. said Monday that it was awarded a $3.9 billion deal to provide missile defense equipment for the United States and the United Arab Emirates. The contract includes making up to 110 interceptors for the U.S. Army and 192 interceptors for the UAE. It will also make ground equipment for the UAE. Missile defense systems are able to detect and destroy any incoming missiles.

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Auto Suppliers To Bring At Least 350 Jobs To AL

September 23, 2013 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says two affiliated companies in the automotive supply field will build their first U.S. production facility in Tuscaloosa, creating at least 350 new jobs by 2016. Bentley announced the plans during a Monday morning news conference at the Tuscaloosa River Market in Tuscaloosa.

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Japan Isn't Trading Its Way Up

September 23, 2013 12:14 pm | by Reuters TV | Videos | Comments

The latest figures show Japan's exports climbing - so what's got the country's manufacturers feeling worse? Reuters' Yonggi Kang reports on the darker side of the country's trade picture and what exactly it takes to keep Japan's companies happy.

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Long, Strange Trip Ending For VW's Hippie Van

September 23, 2013 10:02 am | by Bradley Brooks, Stan Lehman, Associated Press | News | Comments

It carried hippies through the 1960s, hauled surfers in search of killer waves during endless summers and serves as a workhorse across the developing world, but the long, strange trip of the Volkswagen van is ending. Brazil is the last place in the world still producing the iconic vehicle.

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Worker Rescued After Getting Stuck In Tank Of Tar

September 23, 2013 10:01 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A worker at a Florida asphalt plant has been rescued after getting stuck in a tank of tar. The Florida Times-Union reports the 45-year-old man was using a steel cutter inside the tank Friday afternoon at Atlantic Coast Asphalt in Jacksonville.

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Unemployment Rates Rise In A Third Of U.S. States

September 23, 2013 9:58 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Employers cut jobs in 20 states last month, suggesting modest improvement in the job market this year is not enough to benefit all areas of the country. The Labor Department said Friday that 29 states added jobs, while Montana showed no net gain or loss in August. Unemployment rates rose in 18 states, fell in 17 and were unchanged in 15.

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Violence Continues Over Pay Hikes In Bangladesh

September 23, 2013 9:56 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press | News | Comments

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas Monday in the third day of clashes with thousands of garment workers demanding better minimum wages amid escalating tension over the country's main export business. Police said the violence mainly took place in the Gazipur and Savar Industrial zones, just outside the capital of Dhaka. 

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President Applauds Auto Mfg Resurgence

September 23, 2013 9:54 am | by Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama applauded the resurgence of auto manufacturing Friday at a Ford Motor Co. plant near Kansas City as he urged Congress not to hamper the nation's economic recovery with threats of a partial government shutdown. "We bet on the America worker, we bet on you and now that bet is paying off," Obama said. "You have trouble making (vehicles) fast enough."

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AR Proposed Steel Mill Lining Up Customers

September 23, 2013 9:51 am | by Chuck Bartels, Associated Press | News | Comments

Financing for a $1.1 billion steel mill planned for northeast Arkansas expects to be wrapped up by the end of the year, but until then backers will be lining up customers and suppliers. The Big River Steel plant, which is projected to employ more than 500 people, recently was approved for an air quality permit from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, pending resolution of any objections that are due before mid-October.

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5 Quick Questions: More Powerful Than ISO 14000 For Plant Floor Management

September 23, 2013 8:01 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is recognized as one of the most prestigious honors a U.S. company in the manufacturing sector can attain. We recently sat down with Woodbury University President Luis Calingo, member of the 2013 Board of Examiners for the award. He offers perspective on goals every company in this sector should strive for and the irony of cost cuts that are often made to employee training programs. 

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Electric O.D. Clamping Tool

September 20, 2013 4:52 pm | by ESCO Tool IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The Electric C-MILLHOG® O.D. Clamping End Prep Tool has a massive clamp that grips tubing from the outside, evenly distributing the holding power, to assure a chatter-free, precision end prep on both thin-wall and heavy-wall tubes.

Next-Gen Process Automation

September 20, 2013 4:50 pm | by Invensys | Product Releases | Comments

Because users can upgrade at their own pace, the Foxboro Evo system delivers the lowest total cost of automation and highest return on assets, says the company.

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Technician Series Toolboxes

September 20, 2013 4:48 pm | by Lista International Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

The toolboxes feature fully-welded drawer and construction housing, allowing them to stand up to the toughest environments and usage, says the company.

Belt Cleaner Tips

September 20, 2013 4:46 pm | by Martin Engineering | Product Releases | Comments

Introduced in direct response to customer input, the replaceable belt cleaner tips have increased wear life in secondary cleaners by as much as 50 percent, while cutting replacement labor time roughly in half, says the company.

TOPFLEX® 620 VFD

September 20, 2013 4:43 pm | by HELUKABEL | Product Releases | Comments

This flexible-PVC, XLPE-insulated power cable is ideal for applications with high voltage spikes and long cable runs due to its low capacitance.

HD Wearable Camera

September 20, 2013 4:41 pm | by VIEVU | Product Releases | Comments

The VIEVU2 is rugged and waterproof, encased in military grade anodized aluminum housing for durability and streams real-time HD video while connected to a Smartphone or Wi-Fi network.

VIBRA-STOP™ Thread Locker

September 20, 2013 4:39 pm | by STS/Tectorius™ | Product Releases | Comments

VIBRA-STOP overcomes traditional roadblocks that prevent thread lockers from being packaged in spray applicators, says the company.

M12™ Drilling, Fastening

September 20, 2013 4:36 pm | by Milwaukee Tool | Product Releases | Comments

The new tools will feature upgraded ergonomics with narrow, soft contoured grips for maximum comfort during prolonged use, and an all metal reversible belt clip to quickly and easily hang the tool.

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