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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Toyota To Make Hybrid Components Overseas

September 19, 2011 5:28 am | News | Comments

NAGOYA, Sept. 17 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. is considering manufacturing key components for gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles at some of its overseas plants in the United States and Asia to improve its profitability hurt by the strong yen, company sources said Saturday. Production of such parts in the United States and Asian countries would expand the Japanese automaker's earlier plan to make hybrid components in China.

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OSHA Fines Company After Man Crushed By Bin

September 19, 2011 5:25 am | News | Comments

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Federal labor officials want to impose $7,000 in fines against a Canadian company after the August death of a worker at a Fargo industrial park. KFGO radio reports (http://bit.ly/oJXoOl ) that the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed the fines last week.

Obama Signs Major Patent Law Change

September 19, 2011 5:21 am | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press | News | Comments

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a major overhaul of the nation's patent system to ease the way for inventors to bring their products to market. "We can't afford to drag our feet any longer," he said. Passed in a rare display of congressional bipartisanship, the America Invents Act is the first significant change in patent law since 1952.

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UAW, GM Agree On New Contract

September 19, 2011 5:18 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union won $5,000 signing bonuses and the possibility of sweeter profit-sharing checks as part of a new four-year contract with General Motors Co., two people briefed on the talks said Saturday. The deal, which was reached late Friday, also includes a $2- to $3-per-hour pay raise for entry-level workers over the life of the contract and guarantees of more union jobs, the people said.

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Report: 610,000 Manufacturing Jobs Lost In Midwest

September 19, 2011 4:19 am | Articles | Comments

A new report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce confirms that the Midwest was the hardest hit region during the recession, primarily due to the region's industrial composition. Since the recession began in 2007, the Midwest has lost 610,000 jobs in manufacturing—nearly a third (31 percent) of all manufacturing jobs lost during the recession nationally.

The Fallacy Of People Problems And How To Resolve Them

September 19, 2011 4:15 am | by Dr. Jamie Weiss, Senior Consultant for Kepner-Tregoe (KT) | Articles | Comments

One of the most often cited statistics in pharmaceutical manufacturing is that 80 percent of all reportable deviations are “people problems,” deficiencies of human performance. Clients report similar internal estimates ranging from 40 to 90 percent. This statistic shows up in our studies of Corrective and Preventive Action or, CAPA processes and investigation reports.

Modular Drawer Storage Cabinets

September 16, 2011 8:24 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Lista International Corporation (Holliston, MA) offers modular drawer storage cabinets that have 50 percent more storage capacity than conventional shelving. Lista cabinets feature either a 440 pound or 165 pound capacity and are available in six different full sidewall heights for maximum cubic storage capacity.

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202 To Lose Jobs At MO Briggs & Stratton Plant

September 16, 2011 7:13 am | News | Comments

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (AP) — A large southeast Missouri employer is cutting more than 200 jobs. The Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic (http://bit.ly/neW1pb ) reports that lawnmower maker Briggs & Stratton Corp. said Thursday it will lay off 202 workers at the Poplar Bluff plant starting Oct.

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SC Electronics Plant To Cut 15 Percent Of Workers

September 16, 2011 7:11 am | News | Comments

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — An electronics plant in Rock Hill is releasing about 15 percent of its staff. The Herald of Rock Hill reported Friday that TE Connectivity has eliminated 57 jobs at the plant that makes electronic connectors. Company spokesman Mike Ratcliff says the reductions come because of a restructuring and a slowdown in business.

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Gov, GM Talk TN Expansion

September 16, 2011 7:05 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's office confirmed Thursday that the state is in talks with General Motors to expand production at the automaker's Tennessee plant. The state's economic development chief, Bill Hagerty, was in Detroit to meet with GM officials, as were mayors representing communities surrounding the Spring Hill plant that stopped assembling the Chevrolet Traverse in 2009.

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Alcoa To Invest $300M In New Jobs, Plant

September 16, 2011 7:02 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Alcoa Inc. will invest $300 million to expand and add 150 jobs to its Davenport plant to meet the growing demand for demand from the automotive industry as automakers work to meet federal guidelines for increasing gas mileage and lowering emissions, company officials announced Thursday.

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PA Unemployment Made Largest Jump In Two Years

September 16, 2011 7:00 am | News | Comments

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's unemployment rate increased substantially in August as the national economy slowed, jumping by the largest amount in more than two years, the state Department of Labor and Industry said Thursday. The jobless rate increased from 7.8 percent in July to 8.

UAW, GM Agreement May Be Near

September 16, 2011 6:57 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — It looks like the United Auto Workers union and General Motors Co. are nearing an agreement on a new contract. UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, the union's chief negotiator, told workers in an email update Friday that bargainers are getting "very close" to the framework of a deal.

Exec: GM To Profit In U.S. Despite Slowdown

September 16, 2011 6:25 am | Videos | Comments

General Motors will turn a profit on its U.S. operations even with vehicles sales at their current levels, says Steve Girsky, vice chairman of corporate strategy and business development. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Sikorsky To Trim Workforce Worldwide

September 16, 2011 5:40 am | by Susan Haigh, Associated Press | News | Comments

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced on Thursday that it is trimming its worldwide workforce of 18,000 by about 540 jobs to remain competitive in the helicopter design, manufacturing and service industry. Paul Jackson, the company's director of communications, called the move to cut about 3 percent of the workforce "a difficult decision.

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Locked-Out Armstrong Workers Reject Contract

September 16, 2011 5:19 am | News | Comments

MARIETTA, Pa. (AP) — Workers at a central Pennsylvania ceiling tile plant have overwhelmingly rejected the company's contract offer. Union workers have been locked out of the Armstrong World Industries plant in Marietta, Lancaster County since July 17. About 85 percent of the plant's 260 workers on Thursday voted 'no' to the contract offer on Thursday.

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General Dynamics Wins $1.8B Navy Contract

September 16, 2011 5:18 am | News | Comments

BATH, Maine (AP) — General Dynamics Corp. said Thursday that the U.S. Navy awarded its shipbuilding subsidiary a $1.8 billion contract to build the next two in a series of new destroyers. The so-called Zumwalt-class warships are scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2015 and 2018.

Air France Orders 50 Boeing, Airbus Planes

September 16, 2011 5:17 am | News | Comments

PARIS (AP) — Air France-KLM says it has ordered 50 long-haul planes from Airbus and Boeing and has the option to buy another 60. Europe's largest airline by passengers said Friday that the order was for Airbus' A350-900 and Boeing's 787-9 planes. The order is for 25 planes from each of the rival manufacturers and will be finalized by the end of the year.

Johnson Controls Shanghai Investigated For Lead Poisoning

September 16, 2011 5:12 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Shanghai's environmental watchdog ordered two factories in its suburbs to halt production pending an investigation into the source of lead poisoning among children in a nearby village. The Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said in a notice on its website Friday that it was studying lead emissions from the two factories, one of which is a large lead-acid battery plant run by U.

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Volkswagen Plans To Invest $85B In Tech

September 16, 2011 5:09 am | News | Comments

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen AG says it plans to invest €62 billion ($85.5 billion) in innovation and technology projects, primarily in Germany. Europe's largest automaker said Friday the investment between 2012 and 2016 will focus on the development of more environmentally friendly cars like hybrids and electric vehicles, new drive systems and the modularization of production.

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