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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Medtronics To Lay Off Up To 2,000 Workers

February 22, 2011 3:31 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Medtronic, the world's largest medical device maker, said Tuesday it will lay off up to 2,000 workers as part of a restructuring effort amid sluggish sales of its implants. The company said the cuts are aimed at achieving "long-term sustainable growth" and will reduce its work force by 4 to 5 percent.

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One Sign Of Recovery: Businesses Are Borrowing Again

February 22, 2011 3:28 am | by Pallavi Gogoi, AP Business Writer

Martin Foil's company sells yarn that winds up in clothes from the Gap, Ralph Lauren and American Apparel, and business is growing. He's buying new machines and hopes to hire as many as 200 workers this year. When he decided to expand into a shuttered yarn factory in North Carolina, he borrowed $11 million recently from Wells Fargo to buy it.

Electrolux Bringing 225 Jobs To Augusta, Ga.

February 18, 2011 5:36 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — One of the world's largest appliance manufacturers is bringing 225 customer service jobs to Augusta. Electrolux is spending $2.5 million to renovate an existing facility for its North American major appliances expanded customer care center. According to a statement released by Gov.

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Ill. Pork Plant Job Openings Draw 2,000 Applicants

February 18, 2011 5:29 am

RANTOUL, Ill. (AP) — Almost 2,000 people have apllied for what will be about 150 jobs at an eastern Illinois pork processing plant expected to reopen this spring. James Jendruczek is the president of J&A Investors. The firm owns a company called Trim-Rite Foods Inc. that will operate the plant in Rantoul.

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Calif. Company Develops Robotic 'Hummingbird'

February 18, 2011 5:26 am

MONROVIA, Calif. (AP) — A California company says it has demonstrated controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight by a camera-equipped micro aircraft that flies like a hummingbird. Monrovia-based AeroVironment on Thursday released video of the remotely controlled Nano Hummingbird it developed for the U.

Ford Teams Up With Sollers To Sell Cars In Russia

February 18, 2011 5:20 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Ford Motor Co. plans to team up with a Russian automaker to make and distribute cars in the country. The announcement came shortly after Italian automaker Fiat SpA backed out of a potential partnership with the same Russian company. Fiat and Russian automaker Sollers had signed a memorandum of understanding last year to produce up to 500,000 vehicles a year in Russia in a bid to become the country's second-largest car maker.

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Chinese Stealth Fighters Have 'Long Road' To Superiority

February 18, 2011 3:59 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will retain a far bigger fleet of top-end fighter planes than China for years to come despite Beijing's early test of a Stealth-style jet that has stoked concern over its military buildup, the U.S. defense chief said Thursday Defense Secretary Robert Gates told lawmakers that China faces a "long road" before deploying its J-20 stealth fighter in any numbers, and predicted a continuing "huge disparity" compared with America's fleet of low-observable aircraft.

Are Employers Weeding Out The Chronically Jobless?

February 18, 2011 3:40 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Are some companies weeding out job applicants just because they are unemployed? After news accounts about the practice and requests from concerned lawmakers, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has jumped in, trying to figure out whether it's a widespread tactic that could violate federal job discrimination laws.

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Ex-Chrysler Dealers Sue Gov't Over Bailout Closures

February 18, 2011 3:37 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of car dealers who lost their businesses in Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy sued the government Thursday, claiming their dealer franchises were closed without adequate compensation. The 64 former Chrysler dealers said in the lawsuit that the Treasury Department violated their constitutional rights by failing to compensate them for taking their auto businesses.

China On 'High Alert' For More Tainted Milk

February 18, 2011 3:33 am | by Alexa Olesen, Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — China has warned dairy producers that inspectors are on alert for fresh milk tainted with the industrial chemical melamine and another toxic substance extracted from leather scraps. Both additives — melamine and hydrolyzed leather protein — would make dairy products made with watered-down milk appear to have normal amounts of protein.

Oregon Exports Surged In 2010, Thanks To China

February 18, 2011 3:31 am

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Exports from Oregon increased last year, led by high-tech sales and record shipments to China. Foreign sales jumped 19 percent to nearly $17.7 billion while exports to China, the state's biggest foreign customer, accounted for more than $4 billion of that total, The Oregonian reported.

Intel Chief Joins White House Job-Creation Council

February 18, 2011 3:23 am | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Casting about for innovative job-creation ideas, President Barack Obama is naming one of his critics to an advisory council responsible for finding new ways to promote economic growth and bring jobs to the U.S. Obama will name Intel Corp. CEO Paul Otellino to the jobs and competitiveness council during a visit to the company's semiconductor manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, on Friday, a White House official said.

Vandals Attack Toyota Cars Over Outsourcing Claims

February 18, 2011 3:18 am

CHICAGO (AP) — Police say three men accused of vandalizing seven Toyota vehicles at the Chicago Auto Show told them they were angry about U.S. jobs being shipped overseas. Prosecutors say 20-year-old Richard Data, 28-year-old Edmund Grzeszkiewicz (GREZH'-kuh-wits), and Bryan Kjellman (KYELL'-man), all of the Chicago suburb of Orland Park, were charged Thursday with criminal damage to property.

Boat Owners, Manufacturers Fear Ethanol-Tinged Gas

February 17, 2011 8:29 am | by Derek Harper, Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Gasoline may soon include more ethanol, but people who work on boats and small engines say they fear the change will lead to many more damaged engines and costly repair bills. Even though the federal Environmental Protection Agency did not approve the blend for many types of engines, some may still inadvertently fuel their craft at a station that sells it.

Manufacturing Technology Up 85% In 2010

February 17, 2011 4:59 am

Douglas K. Woods, AMT President December U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $446.76 million, according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool  Distributors’ Association.  This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was up 40.

Apple Audits Find Countless Abuses Among Suppliers

February 16, 2011 3:46 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Apple Inc. says its audits found labor, safety and other abuses by its suppliers in 2010, though it praised Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn for saving lives through its handling of a spate of suicides at its factories in China. The findings, outlined in Apple's annual supplier responsibility report, prompted local reports Wednesday to decry the "high price" paid by Chinese workers who assemble hit gadgets like the iPod and iPad.

China To Put Stranglehold On Rare Earths Market

February 16, 2011 3:42 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China plans to tighten control over rare earths producers and restrict output in a five-year development strategy, the Cabinet said Wednesday, amid concern abroad about plans to reduce exports of the exotic minerals used in high-tech goods. A Cabinet statement promised to "reasonably set annual quotas for production and export" but gave no details.

GM Recalls 50,000 Cadillacs For Handling Issues

February 16, 2011 3:35 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors says it is recalling more than 50,000 Cadillac CTS vehicles worldwide to fix a loose joint that could cause a rear wheel to become unstable, making it hard for drivers to steer. GM says the recall affects more than 44,000 CTS vehicles in the United States from the 2009 and 2010 model years.

Engine Battle Forces GOP To Choose Favorite Manufacturer

February 16, 2011 3:34 am | by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's campaign against a costly alternative engine for the Pentagon's next-generation fighter jet faces a critical vote in the GOP-controlled House, its fate to be decided by more than 90 freshmen lawmakers who previously haven't had to choose sides between two major defense companies.

Factory Output Jumps For Fifth Straight Month

February 16, 2011 3:31 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Factories produced more goods for the fifth straight month in January as strong auto sales spurred demand for new cars and trucks. But overall industrial production fell for the first time in 19 months. The Federal Reserve says output by the nation's factories, mines and utilities dipped 0.

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