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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Toyota NUMMI Layoffs Cost California $2.3 Billion

March 4, 2010 4:10 am | News | Comments

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A new report says it will cost California taxpayers $2.3 billion to replace jobs lost from the closure of a factory that makes Toyota cars and trucks. The report released Wednesday also says the layoffs that result from closing Fremont-based New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.

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ConAgra To Close Damaged Slim Jim Plant

March 3, 2010 11:24 am | by Mike Baker, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. said Wednesday it will close a Slim Jim production facility in North Carolina that was damaged during a deadly explosion last year, cutting hundreds of jobs in North Carolina while adding capacity in Ohio. The Omaha, Neb.-based food manufacturer said the Garner site will close in late 2011 and production will transition to a facility in Troy, Ohio.

Tweeting For Popcorn

March 3, 2010 10:36 am | Articles | Comments

Every once in a blue moon, someone comes up with a machine that’s utterly… worthless. Well, worthless but cool. A couple of guys hooked a hopper filled with popcorn to an Archimedes’s screw that only turns when someone uses the #popcorn hashtag on our favorite social media website, Twitter.

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Aww, Shucks!

March 3, 2010 10:35 am | Articles | Comments

Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame meets up with some oyster shuckers to learn the ins-and-outs of a dirty business. If you thought your job was tough, just think about shelling out thousands of oysters a day for $0.50 a pound. 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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The Shredder's Endless Appetite

March 3, 2010 10:27 am | Articles | Comments

SSI has built one of the world’s toughest shredders, capable of handling almost anything they toss into its ever-hungry jaws. In this video, the Monster takes on everything from George Foreman grills to football helmets. 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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Are Sodas The New Cigarettes?

March 3, 2010 10:25 am | Articles | Comments

After the death of the federal bill imposing additional taxes on sweetened beverages, California state senate majority leader Dean Flores discusses the possibility of imposing the tax on the state level. What do you all think? Should consumers be penalized for consuming soda (as they are with cigarettes), or does this all come down to personal freedom and responsibility? Visit msnbc.

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Big Bonuses Don't Equal Big Results

March 3, 2010 10:13 am | Articles | Comments

Daniel Pink, former speechwriter for Al Gore, makes a “case” for a revolution in the way Americans do business: our old ideas of big rewards for big success are blatantly false. Pink points to a number of studies that have demonstrated how people engaged in creative work perform better without the added stress of meeting specific, performance-based rewards.

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Lawmakers Mull Overhaul Of Auto Safety Regulations

March 3, 2010 6:28 am | by Ken Thomas and Stephen Manning, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — After skewering top Toyota executives in three congressional hearings, lawmakers and federal safety officials will now decide if the auto industry needs new regulations to ensure that the company's huge safety recalls aren't repeated. Hearings over two weeks in the Senate and House focused mostly on Toyota's foot-dragging on problems of sudden unintended acceleration and whether the Transportation Department's safety division failed to hold the company accountable for big safety problems that have been linked to 52 deaths.

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Senators: Stop Stimulus, Investment In Foreign Manufacturers

March 3, 2010 6:26 am | by Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of Democratic senators is urging the Obama administration to suspend an economic stimulus program aimed at financing renewable energy, complaining that money is going to projects that are creating jobs in foreign countries. The four senators, led by Chuck Schumer of New York, wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday to request a moratorium on the Recovery Act program.

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Nissan Recalling 540,000 Vehicles For Loosening Brakes

March 3, 2010 6:12 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. is recalling about 540,000 pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and minivans to fix problems with brake pedals and fuel gauges. Most of the recalled vehicles are in the U.S., with smaller numbers scattered across the globe. The brake pedal recall affects 179,000 vehicles in the U.

540 Minn. Steelworkers Recalled For April Restart

March 3, 2010 6:11 am | News | Comments

HIBBING, Minn. (AP) — More steelworkers are returning to Hibbing Taconite as the idled plant prepares for an April restart. Frank Jenko, president of United Steelworkers Local 2705, confirmed Tuesday that more workers are back. Jenko says by mid-March the majority — if not all — of Hibbing Taconite's 540 hourly employees should be back.

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Engineer Deaths Won't Stop Tesla's Model S Plans

March 3, 2010 6:10 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

GENEVA (AP) — The death of three Tesla engineers in a plane crash last month was a heavy blow for the tight-knit Californian electric car maker, but it is holding onto its plan of producing and selling the new Model S within three years, its chief designer said Wednesday at the Geneva Motor Show.

Hyundai Rumored To Be Moving Production To Georgia

March 2, 2010 10:58 am | News | Comments

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Hyundai auto supplier Jay Mid-South says the Korean automaker is planning to move production from Montgomery to Georgia, triggering layoffs at the Gadsden company. Jay Mid-South division manager Brent Taylor tells the Birmingham News in a Tuesday story that production of the Santa Fe will be done at the new Kia plant just across the Alabama state line.

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Cummins Laying Off 200 At Columbus, Ind. Plant

March 2, 2010 10:54 am | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — Diesel engine maker Cummins Inc. is laying off nearly 200 workers at its Columbus MidRange Engine Plant in response to a drop in orders by Chrysler Group LLC. The Columbus-based company said Tuesday that the 194 layoffs will take place after Friday, cutting the plant'semployment to about 400 and paring its two shifts to one.

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Toyota's Pain Means Big Breaks For Big 3

March 2, 2010 10:21 am | by Dan Strumpf and Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota's pain is its rivals' gain. All major automakers but Toyota reported higher U.S. sales in February, and most took customers from their powerful Japanese competitor, which has been struggling with a series of massive safety recalls. Toyota Motor Corp. said its U.

Mountz, Inc. Acquires Mr. Metric Fastener Lines

March 2, 2010 8:49 am | News | Comments

San Jose, Calif. — Mountz, Inc. acquired all assets of Mr. Metric, Inc, a fastener importer and distributor located in San Jose, CA. The value of the deal was not disclosed. Mr. Metric will serve as the flagship brand name for all Mountz fastener products. Fastener products will be integrated into the Mountz logistics system and sold under the strong Mr.

Straightening Global Automotive’s Backbone

March 2, 2010 8:24 am | by Daniel P. Malone, Attorney, Dykema | Articles | Comments

Here’s the problem. Most nations still have their own unique automotive safety and environmental regulations. As a result of this regulatory diversity, a hot-selling car in one market cannot simply be sold in other markets; and a car certified as having met all regulations in, say the United States, cannot obtain approval for sale in other nations without first incurring substantial, additional costs.

Preemptive Disaster Planning

March 2, 2010 8:19 am | by Allen Melton and Jason Trahan | Articles | Comments

How would your company respond if your manufacturing plant were flooded? Or hit by a tornado? Or damaged by fire? Your likely response would be to discuss your company's business continuity plan (BCP) for these events … but what about the financial recovery? Many large food manufacturers have business continuity plans that detail procedures for ensuring employee safety, salvaging supplies and inventory and restoring operations should disaster strike.

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GM Won't Reopen Plants, Citing Expense

March 2, 2010 8:03 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. will not reopen any factories, even though it has shortages of several new models, the company's top sales executive said Tuesday. Vice President of Sales Susan Docherty told reporters on a conference call that GM needs to use its current factories to the maximum rather than taking the expensive step of reopening a closed plant.

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Feds Consider Brake Overrides In All New Cars

March 2, 2010 7:03 am | by Ken Thomas and Stephen Manning, Associated Press Writers | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday his agency may recommend that all new vehicles sold in the U.S. be equipped with brakes that can override the gas pedal. The idea seemed to be gaining support among lawmakers as Toyota officials returned for a third hearing on lethal safety defects.

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