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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Toyoda Apologizes To Chinese Consumers

March 1, 2010 5:39 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — Toyota President Akio Toyoda brought his damage-control campaign to the world's biggest auto market Monday, apologizing to Chinese customers for quality problems and stressing their importance to the Japanese automaker. Toyoda said he flew straight to Beijing from the United States to show his sincerity to Chinese customers after a string of vehicle recalls.

Chinese Manufacturing Growth Slows, U.S. Continues Climb

March 1, 2010 3:51 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Growth in China's manufacturing slowed in February amid efforts to curb overcapacity in some industries and cool inflation by tightening control over bank lending, two surveys showed Monday. The state-affiliated China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its purchasing managers index, or PMI, slipped to 52 in February from January's 55.

Toyota's Japan Sales Rise 53 Percent Despite Recall

March 1, 2010 3:42 am | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. saw its new car sales grow last month despite its massive global recalls, helping to buoy Japan's overall new vehicle sales from a year earlier, according to industry figures released Monday. Sales of Toyota passenger cars stood at 136,682 units in February, up 53 percent from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said.

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Regent Aerospace Opening Alabama Plant

March 1, 2010 3:21 am | News | Comments

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Regent Aerospace says it will open a new plant in Mobile that will create as many as 90 jobs in two years and hopes to build a new facility that will raise employment to 180 in a second phase. The Valencia, Calif.-based company overhauls aircraft seats and interiors.

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V-Vehicle 'Optimistic' About $320 Million Green-Car Loan

March 1, 2010 3:19 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A top official of V-Vehicle Co., which is planning to build a fuel-efficient vehicle in northeastern Louisiana, said Sunday that he is confident that the federal Energy Department will approve a $320 million loan — a key portion of the company's financing — by the end of March.

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Miss. Town Waits, Hopes For Toyota Plant Revival

March 1, 2010 3:17 am | by Holbrook Mohr, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

BLUE SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — Terry McShan isn't thinking about car sales analyses or excess capacity when he drives by the idle Toyota plant in northeast Mississippi. He's thinking about his little girl. Like most Mississippians, the 46-year-old father of one grown daughter and a 4-year-old girl was thrilled when Toyota announced plans in 2007 to build a plant in Blue Springs, a one-store town in the north Mississippi hills.

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Geneva Auto Show Spotlight Casts Long Shadows For 2010

March 1, 2010 3:15 am | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

MILAN (AP) — For most of the world's automakers, the Geneva Auto Show will be back-to-business with new model rollouts to put the gotta-have-it gleam back in consumers' eyes. For Toyota, that won't be enough. "Toyota is still in the middle of its global recalls, and new problems keep showing up.

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Riddle Me This, Small Business

February 26, 2010 9:13 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder, PCDworks | Articles | Comments

Many of you reading this column may work for a small business, or perhaps aspire to own one.  Congratulations. According to Henry Paulson, Alan Greenspan and seemingly everyone else along the beltway, small businesses are the key to this nation's recovery. Small businesses account for 52 percent of all the jobs in this country, and conventional wisdom says that if we can just get them to hire more people we can turn this thing around.

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Ventilation In Small Spaces

February 26, 2010 8:30 am | Product Releases | Comments

The VAF-Series ventilators from Americ (Elk Grove Village, IL) are designed for confined space applications. They are manufactured from durable, high-density polyethylene plastic, making them extremely lightweight and portable. Handles are located centrally for balanced maneuverability, and anti-skid rubber feet keep the ventilator in once place.

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Detect 'Mass'-ive Leaks

February 26, 2010 8:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

Vacuum Instrument Corp. (Ronkonkoma, NY) introduces a new series of helium mass spectrometer leak detectors with touchscreen GUIs for testing the integrity of vacuum systems. The touchscreen allows for greater control and monitoring, along with easy calibration with the MS-60’s built-in leak standard.

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Maintain Your Sensors Anywhere

February 26, 2010 8:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

The U-50 Series Multiparameter Meters from Gardco (Pompano Beach, FL) measure and display 11 parameters simultaneously with a newly-designed control unit. This unit features an easy-to-read LCD display and a one-handed operation. A shock resistant cover makes the unit ideal for industrial applications.

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High BTU Heaters From Space

February 26, 2010 8:21 am | Product Releases | Comments

Space-Ray (Charlotte, NC) has expanded its line of energy-efficient, low intensity gas-fired U-tube heaters to 21 different models, with capacities from 40,000 to 250,000 BTU/hour. The heaters are ideal for high air change environments and higher ceiling heights, such as machine or weld shops, maintenance facilities, and more.

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Ford Adding 700 Jobs At Ontario Plant

February 26, 2010 5:58 am | News | Comments

TORONTO — Ford's engine plant in Windsor, Ont., is expected to get more than 700 new jobs over five years. The Ontario government says it will contribute up to $81.2 million towards the plant, building on an earlier investment of $17 million that helped reopen the shuttered plant in 2008.

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Bidders Snap Up Equipment In Chrysler Auction

February 26, 2010 4:29 am | News | Comments

NEWARK, Del. (AP) — Hundreds of bidders from across the country have snapped up machinery, tools and other equipment from the closed Newark Chrysler assembly plant. More than 300 potential bidders gathered Thursday in the auditorium at Clayton Hall on the University of Delaware's Laird Campus and another 250 others were participating via a webcast.

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State Agencies Battle With EPA Over Mill's Colored Water

February 26, 2010 3:29 am | News | Comments

CANTON, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's water regulators are sticking up for a big paper mill in a dispute with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Friday that the state Division of Water Quality says Evergreen Packaging's mill in Canton cannot meet EPA demands that the plant do more to stop turning the Pigeon River dark.

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Sweater Factory Fire Kills 21 In Bangladesh

February 26, 2010 3:26 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A fire raced through a sweater factory near the Bangladeshi capital overnight, killing at least 21 people and injuring dozens more, police said Friday. All of the victims of Thursday night's fire, including 14 women, died of suffocation after they were pulled from the Garib & Garib Sweater Factory in Gazipur, district police Chief Moahammad Abdur Rashid said.

Toyota Likely To Miss Output Target By 20 Percent

February 26, 2010 3:22 am | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. is likely to miss its output target in North America by 20 percent due to slumping sales amid massive recalls, Japan's top business daily said Friday. Toyota's production in North America is now seen at 350,000 units from February to April, down by 20 percent from its original target, the Nikkei business daily said, citing no sources.

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Ford Invests $155 Million In Fuel-Efficient V-6

February 26, 2010 3:21 am | News | Comments

BROOK PARK, Ohio (AP) — The Ford Motor Co. announced Friday that it is investing $155 million and adding 60 jobs at an engine plant in suburban Cleveland to build a fuel-efficient V-6 engine for the 2011 Mustang. The engine built at Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1, is expected to help the Mustang lead its class in fuel efficiency with 30 miles per gallon on the highway and 305 horsepower, the Dearborn, Mich.

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Wal-Mart Pushes Suppliers To Drop Greenhouse Emissions

February 26, 2010 3:18 am | by Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants its suppliers to reduce 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2015. The world's largest retailer's push goes beyond its efforts to date to reduce its own emissions by designing more energy-efficient stores and pursuing alternative fuels for its fleet of trucks.

Dangerous 'Gas Blow' Caused 6 Deaths At Middletown Plant

February 26, 2010 3:17 am | by Stephanie Reitz, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — An industrial practice that involved the widespread release of natural gas at a Connecticut power plant shortly before it exploded is "inherently unsafe," and should be curbed to prevent similar incidents, a federal safety investigator said Thursday. Six people were killed in the Feb.

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