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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

OECD: Europe Remains Threat To World Economy

May 29, 2013 2:18 pm | by Greg Keller, Associated Press | News | Comments

The recession in Europe risks hurting the world's economic recovery, a leading international body warned Wednesday. In its half-yearly update, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that protracted economic weakness in Europe "could evolve into stagnation with negative implications for the global economy."

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Amway Building $81M Facility In Michigan

May 29, 2013 2:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Amway Corp. is building an $81 million manufacturing and warehouse facility near the company's headquarters in West Michigan. The direct-sales giant on Wednesday announced the official start of construction of the 317,000-square-foot facility near its headquarters in Kent County's Ada Township.

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Unemployment Rates Fall In Nearly All U.S. Cities

May 29, 2013 2:16 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Unemployment rates fell in almost all large U.S. cities in April, helped by stronger hiring. The gains show the job market is improving throughout the country. The Labor Department said Wednesday that unemployment rates declined in 344 of the 372 largest metro areas. Rates rose in just 17 cities and were unchanged in 11.

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EU Greenhouse Gas Emissions Lowest To Date

May 29, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The EU's environmental agency says the 27-nation bloc's greenhouse emissions in 2011 were the lowest since it began monitoring them in 1990. The European Environment Agency says greenhouse gas emissions dropped 3.3 percent compared to 2010, and were 18.4 percent below 1990 levels. It cited a milder winter in 2011 as the main reason for the drop.

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Wind Tower Company To Employ 250 In SD

May 29, 2013 2:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Canada-based wind tower manufacturer that is setting up shop in the southeastern South Dakota city of Brandon says it hopes to start production this summer. Marmen Inc. is moving into a facility built by a U.S.-based wind tower company that never used it, and also expanding the plant.

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Hitachi Automotive To Expand GA Operations

May 29, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Inc. is set to expand its operations in Georgia's Walton County, creating 250 new jobs and investing $80 million, state officials announced Tuesday. The expansion will require an additional 290,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its current two buildings, Gov. Nathan Deal said in a written statement.

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China Factory Contraction Signals Fragile Recovery

May 29, 2013 1:47 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

China's economy, the third largest economy in the world, shows fresh signs of faltering, with an advance reading of manufacturing output shrinking for the first time in seven months. That may worry trading partners--but not its leaders.

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Wal-Mart To Pay $81.6M For Illegal Waste Disposal

May 29, 2013 10:07 am | by Greg Risling, Paul Elias, Associated Press | News | Comments

Ending an environmental investigation that lasted nearly a decade, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has pleaded guilty to improperly disposing of pesticides, fertilizer and other hazardous products and will pay a fine of $81.6 million. The company entered the guilty plea in federal court in San Francisco Tuesday to misdemeanor counts of violating the Clean Water Act and a law regulating pesticides.

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Kobe Steel To Close Kobe Blast Furnace

May 29, 2013 10:05 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Kobe Steel Ltd. said Wednesday it will close a blast furnace at its iron mill in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, and increase utilization ratios at two other blast furnaces in the same prefecture. The company said it will consider building a thermal power generation plant at the premises of the furnace to be closed in order to expand its power supply business.

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Lenovo Ramping Up Jobs At PC Manufacturing In NC

May 29, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Lenovo Group is ramping up its first American manufacturing operation for personal computers. The No. 2 computer maker said Tuesday its new production line near Greensboro is on track to meet its hiring target of about 115 jobs by the end of June.

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Omron To Sell Power-Saving Know-How

May 29, 2013 10:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Omron Corp., an industrial automation equipment maker, said Tuesday it will start selling in June power-saving solutions for precision machinery factories challenged by airborne dust and other problems, based on techniques employed at one of its factories.

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Toyota Starts Traffic Data Service For Businesses

May 29, 2013 10:00 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota is using live-time traffic information from 700,000 Toyota vehicles on Japanese roads to offer what it calls a "big data" service to local governments and businesses that helps drivers during disasters. Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday the 200,000 yen ($2,000) a month service will start June 3 in Japan.

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Tesla Shares Hit New All-Time High

May 29, 2013 9:59 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. spiked Tuesday on momentum from last week's stock-and-note offering that raised nearly $1 billion, general market increases, and the prospect of the company announcing a wider network of car charging stations.

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Does Your Storeroom Database Do This?

May 29, 2013 8:05 am | by Mike Dyson and James Rogers, Storeroom Solutions, Inc. | Blogs | Comments

Here’s a test. Go into your parts storeroom and try to find a part that you can’t match to any piece of equipment in your plant. It’s a very rare plant that doesn’t have a box of parts that no one is quite sure exactly where they go, but the storeroom is keeping, “just in case.”

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Creating Better Jobs For Manufacturing’s Comeback

May 29, 2013 8:00 am | by Ray Attiyah, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Definity Partners | Articles | Comments

Scan through the business section of the news, and you’re likely to see stories about the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing, about how companies are moving jobs back to the United States because of the rising cost of manufacturing in (and shipping to and from) China. Certainly good news for American manufacturers, but I would argue that this trend is not what the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing should be built on.

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EU Looks To Small Business To Help Unemployment

May 28, 2013 1:29 pm | by Sarah DiLorenzo, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

European leaders sounded the alarm on youth unemployment Tuesday and called for more help for businesses to help solve the problem that has left nearly one in four young people in Europe without a job. At a conference in Paris Tuesday, French, Italian and German ministers warned that if high youth unemployment is not addressed, young people will lose faith in their governments and the European Union.

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Odor Complaints Persist At WI Plant

May 28, 2013 1:27 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

New complaints about the odor coming from a Green Bay area plant that processes animal fats and food waste has some Brown County supervisors pushing harder to punish the owners if the matter isn't addressed soon. Supervisor Patrick Evans says the county has provided plenty of time for Sanimax to fix the odor problems.

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N. Korea Relaxes Controls On Salaries

May 28, 2013 1:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

North Korea relaxed state control of salaries last month, a government economist said, outlining a change in policy intended to boost production by giving companies latitude to provide workers with financial incentives. Ri Ki Song, a professor at the Institute of Economics at North Korea's Academy of Social Sciences in Pyongyang, said enterprises are now allowed to use some of their earnings to pay workers more.

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Germany: Merkel Vows To Avoid Trade War With China

May 28, 2013 1:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday she would use her country's economic clout to prevent the European Union from imposing punitive tariffs on some Chinese products to avoid a trade war. Germany will push for "very intense talks" between the EU and China to seek a negotiated solution as swiftly as possible, the leader of Europe's biggest economy told visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

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Businesses Uncertain Of Future Without Plant

May 28, 2013 1:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Businesses in Paducah are bracing for uncertainty in the wake of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant's expected closure at the end of the month. The shutdown will put more than 1,100 workers out of high-paying jobs with benefits. Kele Sports Depot shop owner Stephen Kelly said the plant has a trickle-down effect economically and the loss of jobs will be felt.

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