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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Late To The Chinese Market, Ford Aims To Catch Up

July 9, 2013 10:09 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Last year, Chinese consumers bought 19 million cars and trucks — 5 million more than consumers in the U.S. Ford's share of those sales was just 3 percent. Years of corporate chaos and financial trouble slowed Ford's entry into China as its rivals gained a foothold. Together, General Motors and Volkswagen control a third of China's market.

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Role Of Aircraft Automation Eyed In Air Crash

July 9, 2013 10:06 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The crash landing of a South Korean airliner in San Francisco has revived concerns that airline pilots get so little opportunity these days to fly without the aid of sophisticated automation that their stick-and-rudder skills are eroding. The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the accident, is a long way from reaching a conclusion as to its probable cause.

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Honda Starts Running New Domestic Auto Factory

July 9, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday it started operating a new automobile factory in Yorii, Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, its first new assembly plant in Japan in 23 years. The factory, capable of turning out 250,000 compact vehicles a year with a workforce of 2,000, will shortly start manufacturing the Fit compact car, a fully restyled model of which Honda will begin selling in September, it said.

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U.S. Safety Agency May Expand GM Recall

July 9, 2013 10:03 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. safety regulators may add nearly 5,000 cars to a recall of the Chevrolet Malibu Eco, Buick LaCrosse and Buick Regal sedans. In May, General Motors announced that it would recall more than 38,000 of the 2012 and 2013 cars because a defective generator control module could stall the engine or cause a fire. The cars have GM's eAssist gas-electric hybrid system.

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NC Chemical Plant Blocked In Anti-Fracking Protest

July 9, 2013 10:00 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Twelve activists who blocked a North Carolina chemical plant were arrested in a protest against the company's sale of products used in the natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Morganton Public Safety Chief Mark Tolbert said the protesters faced a variety of charges, including trespassing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

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Alcoa Posts $119M Loss On Restructuring Costs

July 9, 2013 9:58 am | by David Koenig, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Strong demand for lightweight aluminum in autos and airplanes is helping Alcoa Inc. cope with lingering weak metal prices. The company said its second-quarter loss was wider than a year ago, but excluding costs for closing smelters and other restructuring and legal expenses, the results slightly beat Wall Street expectations.

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Bremen Castings: Making Heavy Industry A Safer Place

July 9, 2013 8:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Bremen, Ind., is a small town of about 5,500 people roughly 15 minutes south of the South Bend/Elkhart area. And one of its major employers, Bremen Castings Inc. (BCI), has been around long enough, having been established in 1939, to gain a reputation of being one of the area’s best employers.

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‘Rightsourcing’ — A Better Procurement Model For Manufacturers

July 9, 2013 8:01 am | by Jack Daniels, President and CEO, EastBridge Engineering | Articles | Comments

The manufacturing community is currently enmeshed in an ideological debate over sourcing and procurement. There's vigorous — and at times emotional — argument surrounding strategies for insourcing, outsourcing, near sourcing or keeping it in-house. The argument really shouldn’t focus on the fervent and at times politically-tinged abstractions of what flag flies over the factory, but rather what’s best for your business.

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Experts: Boeing 777 Has 'Fantastic' Safety Record

July 8, 2013 2:06 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The crash of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 in San Francisco on Saturday is only the second major accident for the twin-engine, wide-bodied jet in the 18 years the model has been in service, aviation safety expert said. "The 777 has a fantastic record," said Tom Haueter, who retired last year from the National Transportation Safety Board, where he was the head of aviation accident investigations.

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Industry Panning Obama's Climate Change Push

July 8, 2013 2:04 pm | by Steve Peoples, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama's push to fight global warming has triggered condemnation from the coal industry across the industrial Midwest, where state and local economies depend on the health of an energy sector facing strict new pollution limits. But such concerns stretch even to New England, an environmentally focused region that long has felt the effects of drifting emissions from Rust Belt states.

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Manufacturers Turning To Nontraditional Schedules

July 8, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

More manufacturers are turning to nontraditional schedules as they look to boost production. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that manufacturers are turning to 12- and 10-hour shifts and 36-hour weekend shifts to keep assembly lines moving at efficient levels.

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Fiat Exercises Option To Buy More Chrysler Stock

July 8, 2013 2:00 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Italian automaker Fiat has exercised a third option to buy a small amount of Chrysler stock, but the sale won't go through until a U.S. court settles a dispute over the price. Fiat said Monday that it offered $254.7 million for another 3.3 percent of Chrysler's outstanding equity.

GA Starbucks Plant On Track For 2014 Completion

July 8, 2013 1:59 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Company officials say work on a huge new Starbucks Coffee Co. manufacturing plant in Augusta remains on schedule for an early 2014 completion date. Construction of the $172 million facility, which will produce Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, the coffee base for its Frappuccino beverages and many Starbucks ready-to-drink products, began in mid-July 2012.

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Solar Powered Plane Finishes Its Journey

July 8, 2013 1:57 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A solar-powered aircraft has completed the final leg of a history-making cross-country flight, gliding to a smooth stop at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. The Solar Impulse touched down at JFK at 11:09 p.m. Saturday, completing the final leg of the cross-continental journey that started in California in early May. For Saturday's final leg, the aircraft left Dulles International Airport a little before 5 a.m.

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New Tech Makes Cars Safer, Easier To Drive

July 8, 2013 1:14 pm | by AssociatedPress | Videos | Comments

Automakers have developed new technologies that are making cars safer, more efficient, and easier to drive. From auto-braking to lane-centering, the cars practically drive themselves. Andrew Whydell, product planning executive with TRW Global Electronics, says that this technology is going to become increasingly more common in the U.S. in the next two to three years.

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Temporary Jobs Are Becoming A Permanent U.S. Fixture

July 8, 2013 10:15 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Hiring is exploding in the one corner of the U.S. economy where few want to be hired: Temporary work. From Wal-Mart to General Motors to PepsiCo, companies are increasingly turning to temps and to a much larger universe of freelancers, contract workers and consultants. Combined, these workers number nearly 17 million people who have only tenuous ties to the companies that pay them — about 12 percent of everyone with a job.

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2 Koreas Talk At Border On Stalled Industrial Park

July 8, 2013 10:12 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Delegates from North and South Korea held talks Saturday on restarting a stalled joint factory park that had been a symbol of cooperation between the bitter rivals, but there was no word on whether any significant progress had been made as discussions went into the night.

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5 New Features That Could Be On Your Next Car

July 8, 2013 10:11 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Cameras that check around the car for pedestrians. Radar that stops you from drifting out of your lane. An engine able to turn off automatically at traffic lights to conserve fuel. Technology that saves lives — and fuel — is getting better and cheaper. That means it's no longer confined to luxury brands like Mercedes and Volvo. It's showing up in mainstream vehicles like the Nissan Rogue and Ford Fusion.

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China Officials' Negligence Blamed For Deadly Fire

July 8, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese authorities have filed criminal charges against nearly a dozen public officials blamed for the high death toll in a fire last month that killed 121 people in a poultry plant in the northeast. China's top prosecuting agency has charged 11 public officials with dereliction of duty, according to a report Friday in the agency's official publication, Jiancha Daily.

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Chrysler Recalling Minivans For Air Bag Defect

July 8, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler is recalling 282,000 minivans from the 2013 model year because the side air bags can deploy on the wrong side in a crash. Side air bags are supposed to deploy on the side of the vehicle that's involved in a crash. Chrysler says a software problem is causing its air bags to deploy on the opposing side of the vehicle.

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