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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Businesses Worry About A Prolonged Shutdown

October 2, 2013 10:06 am | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, Scott Mayerowitz, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

As the government's partial shutdown enters a second day, most companies across the country are doing business as usual. Yet concern is rising that a prolonged shutdown would cause some work at private companies to dry up and consumers to lose faith in the U.S. economy.

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BlackBerry Says Rework Costs Have Quadrupled

October 2, 2013 10:04 am | by David Friend, The Canadian Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry says the cost of reworking its operations will likely be four times as much as it estimated earlier this year and may turn out to be even be higher than that. According to financial report documents filed with regulators, the smartphone maker expects to book US$400 million in charges from a variety of factors before the end of May 2014.

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Mercedes-Benz To Build New Factory In Brazil

October 2, 2013 10:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz says it will build a new plant in Brazil to produce its C-class sedan and GLA compact sport-utility vehicle. The German automaker says in a Tuesday statement that the company will make an initial investment of 500 million reals ($224 million) to build the plant in the city of Iracemapolis in Sao Paulo state.

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BP Executive Defends Spill Response Tactics

October 2, 2013 10:00 am | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A BP executive who led the company's efforts to halt its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico testified Tuesday that his decisions were guided by the principle that they shouldn't do anything that could make the crisis even worse. James Dupree, BP's first witness for the second phase of a trial over the deadly disaster, said his teams worked simultaneously on several strategies for killing the well that blew out in April 2010.

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The Importance Of Metal Fabrication Management

October 2, 2013 8:02 am | by Mike Bowlby, Owner, Mack Hils Metal Fabrication | Blogs | Comments

Successful metal fabrication companies are always on a mission to improve their lead times to cut down on operating costs and to increase customer satisfaction. Many managers may try to analyze what the company does or doesn’t need, or which of the available suppliers might be cheaper and/or faster, yet provide them with their company’s specific needs without sacrificing quality in their products. 

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Supply Chain Strategies And The Future Of American Manufacturing

October 2, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

China’s overwhelming manufacturing cost advantage over the U.S. is shrinking fast. Within three years, a Boston Consulting Group analysis concludes that rising Chinese wages, higher U.S. productivity, a weaker dollar, and other factors will virtually close the cost gap between the U.S. and China for many goods consumed in North America. 

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New Report: U.S. Trade Deficit With China Costing $37B In Lost Wages Annually

October 1, 2013 3:30 pm | News | Comments

A new study by the Economic Policy Institute finds that a growing trade deficit with China has cost the U.S. billions of dollars in lost wages. In 2011 alone, unbalanced trade with the People’s Republic resulted in lost U.S. wages of $37.0 billion. The EPI study cites 2.7 million U.S. jobs lost between 2001 and 2011 due to the trade gap with China, and over 2.1 million of those jobs were in the manufacturing sector. 

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Toyota Acceleration Trial Draws To A Close

October 1, 2013 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A jury could begin deliberating as early as Tuesday to determine whether Toyota Motor Corp. should be held liable for the death of a California woman who was killed when her Camry apparently accelerated and crashed despite her efforts to stop.  

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NC Man Gets 7 Years For Selling Fake Airbags

October 1, 2013 2:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Union County man accused of selling thousands of counterfeit airbags has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Prosecutors say Igor Borodin sold more than 7,000 airbags on eBay that he obtained from Chinese manufacturers. Borodin, 27, pleaded guilty last October to trafficking in counterfeit airbags and delivering hazardous materials for air transportation.

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OSHA Cites Manufacturer After Fatal Forklift Accident

October 1, 2013 2:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal officials have cited an upstate New York manufacturer for 16 safety violations after a fatal forklift accident. National Pipe and Plastics, Inc. of Vestal has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for serious violations of workplace health and safety standards.

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GM, Toyota, VW Sales Stall Out In September

October 1, 2013 2:13 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Sales fell at General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen in September, an odd month that appears likely to snap a 27-month streak of gains for the American auto industry. But Ford and Chrysler appeared to have outperformed the industry, with sales on the rise.

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American Crystal Sugar To Default On USDA Loan

October 1, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

American Crystal Sugar will default on a government loan of $71.2 million under a program that provides relief when a glut of sugar on the market depresses prices. David Berg, the company's president and CEO, said that forfeiting the sugar put up as collateral was the best option, given the very low prices that sugar is fetching.

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Bridgestone Drops Plan To Close Italian Car Tire Plant

October 1, 2013 2:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Bridgestone will keep running its passenger car tire plant in Italy, dropping an earlier plan to close it in 2014, on the condition that the plant's productivity and costs improve, the Japanese firm's European arm said. An agreement was signed by all stakeholders including local institutions, the Ministry of Welfare and trade unions to implement a plan for the plant to focus solely on tires for general use, Bridgestone Europe NV/SA said.

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Subaru's Crash Avoidance Tech Ranks First

October 1, 2013 1:17 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released the results of its first crash avoidance test for several car models. Both the Subaru Outback and Legacy received the highest ratings, while the Infiniti JX performed poorly.       

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Human Error Reduction Strategies

October 1, 2013 11:56 am | by Reliability Center, Inc. | Events

Human Error Reduction Strategies© - provides attendees with the requisite skills and knowledge necessary to provide a rigorous understanding of human performance that will result in significantly reduced human errors and improved operational excellence in the workplace. This will answer the question "Why" it happened. 

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Government Shutdown Begins

October 1, 2013 10:18 am | by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press | News | Comments

Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a protracted dispute over President Barack Obama's signature health care law reached a boiling point, forcing some 800,000 federal workers off the job. Obama readied a midday statement to the nation as Democrats and Republicans maintained a blame-each-other duel on Capitol Hill.

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Bozeman Company Cited For Safety Violations

October 1, 2013 10:17 am | by Matt Volz, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Bozeman company that produces brass casings for ammunition manufacturers and individuals who load their own ammunition faces a possible $45,500 fine for failing to protect its employees from lead exposure, federal workplace safety regulators said Monday.

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BMW Recalls 176K Vehicles Over Power Brake

October 1, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German carmaker BMW is recalling 176,000 vehicles from the model years 2012 to 2014 over a problem with the power brake system. The company says in rare cases an interruption in the oil supply to a part can mean the loss of power braking assist. The brakes will still work, but the driver would have to press harder on the pedal.

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Hattiesburg, MS Sues Hercules Over Pollution

October 1, 2013 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The City of Hattiesburg is suing Hercules Inc. and parent company Ashland Inc., claiming groundwater contamination from a closed factory may leach into the city's water supply. The city filed suit Thursday in federal court in Hattiesburg.   

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Merck To Cut 8,500 More Jobs

October 1, 2013 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The drugmaker Merck said Tuesday that it plans to cut another 8,500 jobs as part of a plan to reduce its annual costs by about $2.5 billion by the end of 2015. In addition, Merck will move its headquarters from Whitehouse Station, N.J., to existing facilities in Kenilworth, N.J.

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