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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Fiat To Sell Doblo Van In U.S., Canada

September 9, 2011 8:51 am | News | Comments

ROME (AP) — Fiat SpA, which controls Chrysler, plans to sell its Doblo van in the U.S. and Canada starting in 2013. The Turin-based automaker said Friday the Fiat Doblo vehicles would be sold under the Ram brand. Fiat said it had signed a letter of understanding with its Turkish joint-venture partner Tofas for the export of 190,000 units under a seven-year-deal.

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Air Advocates Say Tougher Regulation Would Spur Jobs

September 9, 2011 8:49 am | by Dylan Lovan, Associated Press | News | Comments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Clean air advocates on Thursday criticized a decision by the Obama administration to scrap a proposed smog regulation because of the ailing economy, saying the stricter rule would create thousands of jobs in Kentucky and Tennessee. The federal Clean Air Act has encouraged technological advancement and economic growth since it was enacted in the 1970s, said Mary Gade, an environmental consultant.

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SC Alcoa Plant To Close Without Lower Power Rate

September 9, 2011 8:46 am | by Bruce Smith, Associated Press | News | Comments

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (AP) — Alcoa Inc. officials said Wednesday that the company's aluminum smelting plant in Goose Creek, S.C. consumes $4 million a week in power and will close at a loss of more than 600 jobs if they can't negotiate a lower rate with Santee Cooper, South Carolina's state-owned electric utility.

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GM Exec: Nation Needs To Live Within Its Means

September 9, 2011 8:45 am | by Tom Coyne, Associated Press | News | Comments

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The top executive at General Motors Co. says the nation needs to live within its means, saying both Social Security and Medicare need to be changed and improvements are needed in the public education system. GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson made the remarks during a talk Friday to about 300 University of Notre Dame students about leadership.

Feds Approve Loan Guarantee For CO Solar Plant

September 9, 2011 8:44 am | News | Comments

ALAMOSA, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Energy Department says it has finalized a $90.6 million loan guarantee for the construction of a solar generation project in southern Colorado. Charlotte-based Cogentrix plans to build the 30-megawatt facility near Alamosa. The Department of Energy said Friday that it would be one of the first utility-scale, high concentration photovoltaic generation facilities in the nation and the largest of its kind in the world.

Man Dies In Accident At CAT Plant

September 9, 2011 8:41 am | News | Comments

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) — A worker at the Caterpillar Inc. plant in South Milwaukee has died after he was injured in an accident at the facility. According to a statement from Caterpillar, the man was working in the weld shop area Thursday afternoon when he was struck by a welded structure as it was being moved.

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GM Thinks Small To Grow

September 9, 2011 6:13 am | Videos | Comments

GM is investing $500 million to retool one of its Michigan plants to do something the automaker has not done in two decades: produce a sub-compact car in the United States. The Chevrolet Sonic is set to hit showrooms this fall. 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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Americans Hungry For A Strong Manufacturing Sector

September 9, 2011 6:09 am | by Emily Stover DeRocco, President, The Manufacturing Institute | Articles | Comments

Americans maintain remarkably consistent views on the importance of manufacturing despite year after year of economic turbulence, according to a new survey from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, with 86 percent of respondents believing that America's manufacturing base is "important" or "very important" to their standard of living.

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Don't Drink The Water

September 9, 2011 6:03 am | by David Mantey, Editor, PDD | Blogs | Comments

A stunt by any other name would reek as foul. Recently, one of the few companies to remain living, however infamously, despite continuous bouts with bad press, made a splash in the news when a demonstration from the company’s CEO became a trite example of the company’s ignorance and arrogance.

Invisalign Maker To Move Overseas

September 9, 2011 5:08 am | News | Comments

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The maker of Invisalign clear braces for teeth will close its New Jersey facility next year, eliminating 119 jobs, and move operations overseas to cut costs. Align Technology Inc. expects to save about $4 million per year because of the moves, the company said Wednesday.

American Crystal Says No Issues With Fill-Ins

September 9, 2011 5:06 am | News | Comments

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A spokesman for American Crystal Sugar Co. says there have been no issues with inexperienced replacement workers hired to take over harvesting duties this week. About 1,300 regular workers have been locked out since Aug. 1 after the union and management could not agree on a contract.

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Gov Says Too Many Workers Die On Job In WY

September 9, 2011 5:04 am | News | Comments

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Gov. Matt Mead says too many workers die on the job in Wyoming and the state needs to keep working to improve its workplace safety. The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reports that the number of occupational fatalities in the state rose to 34 last year.

Haley: SC Unemployment Tied To Grads, Retirees

September 9, 2011 5:02 am | by Jim Davenport, Associated Press | News | Comments

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Thursday said recent college graduates, cash-strapped retirees, laid-off middle-aged workers and skills shortfalls are at the heart of the state's nearly worst-in-the-nation unemployment rate. Haley, speaking at her hometown Rotary Club in Lexington, also said she wants to require drug testing for people who get the unemployment benefits they've earned while working.

OSHA Cites Manufacturer For Potentially Fatal Violations

September 9, 2011 4:59 am | News | Comments

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Federal workplace safety regulators have proposed $176,000 in fines for potentially fatal safety violations at a Concord manufacturing plant. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Thursday it was proposing the fines for 16 violations at Stowe Woodward LLC's plant.

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FBI Investigates Solar Firm That Got $535M U.S. Loan

September 9, 2011 4:55 am | by Jason Dearen, Kiven Freking, Associated Press | News | Comments

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — FBI agents executed search warrants Thursday at the headquarters of California solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, which received more than $500 million in federal loans before filing for bankruptcy last week. Blue-jacket-clad agents swarmed the company's headquarters in Fremont as part of an investigation with the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General into the manufacturer once touted by President Barack Obama as a beneficiary of economic stimulus, FBI spokeswoman Julianne Sohn said.

Manufacturing Needs Targeted Tax Cuts

September 8, 2011 11:58 am | Articles | Comments

175 companies in Standard and Poors 500 Stock Index have a new model for making money. They don’t have to hire people or even invest in new equipment or facilities. In 2010 The New York Times reported that revenue increased 7 percent but profits soared by 42 percent (seven times faster than revenue).

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From Axes To Wrenches

September 8, 2011 11:52 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel | Articles | Comments

The oldest known tools date back to two million years ago, to the earliest period of human development. Hand tools represent humans’ first steps in using things in the world to get what we want. These tools may have started as sticks and rocks, but have evolved into tools of efficiency, and are safer and stronger than ever before.

Sitting On The Bulls-Eye

September 8, 2011 11:47 am | by George F. Brown, Co-founder of Blue Canyon Partners | Articles | Comments

One of my all-time favorite Far Side cartoons showed a deer with a target on its chest. The caption has another deer commenting, “Bummer of a birthmark, Hal.” In our work with firms serving business markets, we’ve come across many organizations that feel they are the ones sitting squarely in the bulls-eye, with supply chain managers and competitors alike taking aim on an ongoing basis.

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Don't Let Employee Poaching Hijack Your Exit Plan

September 8, 2011 11:39 am | by Bob O’Hara, CPA/PFS/MST/CExP founder of O’Hara & Company | Articles | Comments

While the U.S. economy remains in a fragile state, statistics point to a resurgence of sorts in manufacturing, especially on high tech factory floors. In fact, manufacturers added 25,000 new jobs in April, the seventh month of gains in a row. While this is certainly encouraging news it also creates a serious problem – “baby boomer” business owners who are preparing to leave their businesses behind may find there isn’t enough trained and experienced talent to adequately fill their shoes upon succession… with the added concern that those who have “all the right stuff” may be lured away by rival companies.

ERP Trends That Can Affect Your Software Selection

September 8, 2011 11:30 am | by Dylan Persaud, Managing Director, Eval-Source | Articles | Comments

In order for organizations to capitalize on cloud computing and its benefits, there are new and emerging trends within the ERP cloud market that organizations should be cognizant of. These trends can affect IT strategy, architecture, and may even determine the specific software an organization selects.

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