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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Illinois Tool Buys Chinese Kitchen Equipment Co.

July 3, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Industrial products and equipment maker Illinois Tool Works Inc. said Wednesday that it acquired a kitchen equipment maker that gives it access to China's cooking industry. Illinois Tool bought the company, Vesta, from the private equity firm Actis for an undisclosed sum.

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Auto Firm To Close Opelika, AL Plant

July 3, 2013 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An automotive industry firm is announcing plans to close its Opelika plant, which would put about 121 employees out of work soon. The Opelika-Auburn News reports that Benteler Automotive Corp. on Tuesday announced the closure of its facility at the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park.

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ND Synthetic Gas Plant To Resume Production

July 3, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Great Plains Synfuels Plant in western North Dakota is expected to restart this week after production was halted a month for maintenance work. Bismarck-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative says its plant near Beulah was shut down on June 1 for maintenance work pegged at $46 million.

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Zoetis To Expand NE Plant, Add 30 Jobs

July 3, 2013 2:00 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Animal health company Zoetis is planning to expand its Lincoln plant, so it can take over production of a drug currently made by another company. The expansion should add up to 30 jobs in Lincoln once the 19,000-square-foot addition is done in 2014.

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Ford's Advanced Prototyping

July 3, 2013 12:21 pm | by fordvideo1 | Videos | Comments

Ford engineers are developing a highly flexible, first-of-its-kind, patented technology to rapidly form sheet metal parts for low-volume production applications. Once fully developed, the technology (Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology, or F3T) will allow for lower costs and ultrafast delivery times for prototypes – within three business days versus conventional methods that take anywhere from two to six months.

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Toyota Recalling 185,000 Vehicles Globally

July 3, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 185,000 vehicles globally, mostly in Japan and Europe, for a glitch in the power steering. No accidents have been reported related to the problem. The recall covers 123,000 vehicles in Japan, including the Vitz compact, and 46,000 vehicles in Europe, including the Yaris, all produced between August 2010 and March 2012, Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said Wednedsay.

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U.S. Unemployment Benefit Applications Fall To 343K

July 3, 2013 10:07 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000 last week, a sign that employers are adding jobs at modest pace. The less volatile four-week average dipped 750 to 345,500, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

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U.S. Trade Deficit Widens To $45B In May

July 3, 2013 10:05 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit increased in May to the highest level in six months as a weak global economy depressed U.S. export sales while imports of autos and other nonpetroleum products hit an all-time high. The trade deficit rose to $45 billion in May, up 12.1 percent from April's $40.1 billion imbalance, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. It was the largest trade gap since November.

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Japan's Olympus Execs Found Guilty In Loss Coverup

July 3, 2013 10:03 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Tokyo court convicted Olympus Corp.'s former president and two other executives Wednesday for a yearslong cover-up of massive investment losses that damaged the credibility of corporate Japan. The Tokyo District Court said that former Olympus president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, an auditor and a third executive were guilty of violating securities laws and falsifying financial statements.

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GM Supplier Plans Opening Factory Near Fort Wayne

July 3, 2013 10:00 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A General Motors supplier plans to open a new facility near Fort Wayne and hire up to 160 workers in the next few years. Ground Effects LLC announced Wednesday it expected to spend about $3.4 million to lease and equip a facility where it will process bed liners and other accessories for GM's nearby pickup truck assembly plant.

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Honeywell Cleared To Restart Metropolis Plant

July 3, 2013 9:58 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal regulators have given a southern Illinois plant that helps make nuclear fuel the go-head to resume operations after a yearlong shutdown due to federally requested upgrades. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued the green light Tuesday to allow the Honeywell plant in Metropolis to again refine raw uranium ore into uranium hexafluoride that's later processed into fuel for commercial power reactors.

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Toyota Announces Voluntary Recall Of Yaris Vehicles

July 3, 2013 9:55 am | by Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. today announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 74 Model Year 2012 Toyota Yaris vehicles. In the involved vehicles, a relay in the Power Steering Control Module of the electronic power steering system could experience a short circuit due to insufficient distances between terminals in the relay and moisture contamination of relay coil windings.

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Leveraging Business And Manufacturing Intelligence

July 3, 2013 8:02 am | by James Montgomery, Product Manager, Apriso | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers cannot expect to sustain success with traditional decision making when facing today’s unprecedented shifts in markets, demands, technologies and opportunities. To maintain a leadership position and profit margins, companies must respond intelligently to more frequent, drastic and faster changes.

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Nothin' But Blue Skies

July 3, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

After a car maker or a steel mill wears out a factory, extracts all the tax breaks a treasury will bear, and accumulates more obligations to its workers than the stockholders will bear, it flees town like a deadbeat husband, leaving a worn-out, exploited patch of land no else will touch. An industrial city follows the same life cycle as a boxer, or a prostitute.

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Auto Sales Maintain Momentum, Led By Pickups

July 2, 2013 2:12 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

U.S. buyers snapped up new cars and trucks in June at a pace not seen since before the recession. Continuing demand for big pickups helped boost sales for Detroit's automakers. Ford said Tuesday that its sales rose 14 percent, while Chrysler's gained 8 percent and General Motors' rose 6.5 percent.

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Mazda To Bolster Fuel-Efficient Transmission Output

July 2, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Mazda Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will bolster its annual output capacity for the proprietary fuel-efficient Skyactiv transmission systems from the current 750,000 units to 1.14 million by next July. Mazda will start increasing production lines at a plant in Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, later this month.

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SEC: Illegal Stock Trades Before Dow-Rohm '08 Deal

July 2, 2013 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal regulators say an executive at Dow Chemical tipped a pal about the company's 2008 takeover of Rohm & Haas. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit Monday against then Dow Vice President Mack Murrell, his friend David Teekell, and a stockbroker.

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Grand Opening Held For Fargo Equipment Plant

July 2, 2013 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A North Dakota heavy equipment manufacturing company is showing off its $50 million expansion project. The Caterpillar Reman Drivetrain facility in West Fargo will help produce components for large off-highway trucks and other mining equipment.

Ethiopian Air Sees Record Profit Despite 787 Snafu

July 2, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines says that his company has pocketed a record profit despite the temporary grounding of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes. Tewolde Gebremariam told The Associated Press Monday that his company is expecting a record profit with 20 to 25 percent growth in revenue and number of passengers.

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Apple To Build Solar Plant To Power Data Center

July 2, 2013 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Technology giant Apple Inc. will pay for construction of an 18-megawatt photovoltaic solar plant in northern Nevada. The Fort Churchill Solar Array, to be built in Yerington, was included in a filing Monday by NV Energy Inc. with the Public Utilities Commission outlining the utilities integrated resource plan.

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