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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

World Economy Needs China To Slow Growth Gradually

November 1, 2011 5:19 am | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's high-flying economy is starting to lose altitude. The big question is whether the world's economic superstar will shrink gradually — or so fast that it harms a fragile global economy. China's comedown is being engineered by its policymakers. They want to slow expansion just enough to cool inflation without sapping job growth.

Metal Prices Fall After Big October Rally

November 1, 2011 5:17 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Metals prices started the week lower as investors sold contracts to reap gains from this months' rally. Gold and silver fell Monday, as did industrial metals like copper and palladium. The price of copper shot up 15 percent last week and gold jumped nearly 7 percent.

Security Firm: Hackers Hit Chemical Companies

November 1, 2011 5:15 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Cyber attacks traced to China targeted at least 48 chemical and military-related companies in an effort to steal technical secrets, a U.S. computer security company said Tuesday, adding to complaints about pervasive Internet crime linked to this country. The targets included 29 chemical companies and 19 others that make advanced materials used by the military, California-based Symantec Corp.


Toyota Robots Help Sick, Elderly Move

November 1, 2011 5:13 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota unveiled its ambitions for high-tech health care Tuesday, displaying experimental robots that the auto giant says can lift disabled patients from their hospital beds or help them walk. The company aims to commercialize products such as its "independent walk assist" device sometime after 2013 — seeking to position itself in an industry with great potential in Japan, one of the world's most rapidly aging nations.

American Axle 3Q Profit Falls 36 Percent

October 31, 2011 9:17 am

DETROIT (AP) — American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc., a supplier to General Motors Co., said Friday that third-quarter earnings fell 36 percent, weighed down by costs related to closing two plants. The company's shares fell 43 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $9.51 in afternoon trading.


Smartphone Maker HTC Reports Profit Jump

October 31, 2011 9:16 am

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan smartphone maker HTC Corp. says its third quarter earnings grew 68 percent from the same period last year, with shipments reaching 13 million handsets. The company said Monday net profit for the July-September quarter amounted to New Taiwan dollars 18.

Workers Try To Turn Asian Carp Into Fertilizer

October 31, 2011 9:14 am

LASALLE, Ill. (AP) — Workers along the Illinois River are hunting for invasive fish to turn into organic fertilizer, fillets and other commercial products. The hope is to reduce the population of Asian carp threatening the Great Lakes. Originally imported to cleanse ponds in the South, Asian carp made it into Mississippi River waterways and have traveled north.


ITT Completes Split Into 3 Separate Companies

October 31, 2011 9:12 am

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — ITT Corp. said Monday that it has completed its breakup into three separate companies so that it can focus on its more profitable businesses. With the spinoffs complete, ITT said it is now a company that provides parts and services to the industrial, aerospace, transportation and oil and gas markets.


Japanese Manufacturers See Profit Halved

October 31, 2011 9:10 am

TOKYO, Oct. 31 (Kyodo) — Among 282 major Japanese companies which had released their earnings reports for the April-September term by last Friday, manufacturers logged a 50.3 percent year-on-yen plunge in net profit as the March 11 earthquake and tsunami affected production, SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

Honda To Cut U.S., Canada Production By Half

October 31, 2011 9:07 am | by Malcolm Foster, Tom Krisher, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — Parts shortages from three months of catastrophic flooding in Thailand have forced Honda to cut U.S. and Canadian factory production by 50 percent for the second time this year, the automaker said Monday. The cuts, which come just as Honda was recovering from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, will run from Wednesday at least through Nov.


Laid Off Cargill Workers Return In AR

October 31, 2011 5:35 am

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — The Cargill Inc. plant that was the subject of two recalls of ground turkey hasn't set a date for resuming production of the product but has brought back 40 of 130 workers the company laid off. The Springdale plant has about 1,200 employees and — at full production — processes 7 million pounds of finished turkey products each week, ranging from whole birds to turkey breasts to ground products.


Samsung Passes Apple In Phone Sales

October 31, 2011 5:32 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time, Samsung Electronics Co. shipped more smartphones in the latest quarter than tech industry darling Apple Inc. On the surface, this may look like a big upset in a world that gives the iPhone maker adulation and outsized expectations. The real reason, however, has more to do with timing and Samsung's variety of offerings and prices.

In CT, Manufacturing Jobs Go Begging

October 31, 2011 5:26 am | by Harlan Levy

MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — Lalit Radia and his wife, Bina, who moved recently to Glastonbury from India, were in the waiting room of GE Aviation's Parker Street plant on Thursday with applications for machinist jobs. Each has 10 years' experience in a paper and printing plant, and they're hoping to get two of the 10 machinist and welding jobs that GE Aviation's Parker Street and Adams Street plants have been trying to fill for several months without success.


GM Plans $215M MI Investment

October 31, 2011 5:23 am

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — General Motors Co. said Friday it will invest about $215 million in its Saginaw Metal Casting Operation for future engine block and head casting work. The move is expected to create or retain about 275 jobs, the Detroit-based automaker said. The Saginaw, Mich.


TDK To Cut 12 Percent Of Global Workforce

October 31, 2011 5:21 am

TOKYO, Oct. 31 (Kyodo) — Electronic parts maker TDK Corp. said Monday it will cut around 12 percent of its group-wide workforce within one to two years to streamline operations in the face of falling earnings. The planned cut of about 11,000 jobs is expected to reduce costs by 20 billion yen, said TDK, which had 88,449 workers on its payroll at home and abroad as of September 30.

Boeing To Build Spacecrafts

October 31, 2011 5:16 am | by Brendan Farrington, Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Boeing will announce an agreement with Space Florida on Monday to lease the hangar that housed the space shuttles to build similar craft that will bring people and cargo to space. The deal with the state's space agency will create 140 jobs in the next 18 months and 550 jobs by 2015 in an area that's lost jobs as the space shuttle program was retired earlier this year, according to Gov.

Indiana Company Lands Hybrid Van Contract

October 28, 2011 9:30 am

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) — The northern Indiana factory where AM General once made H2 Hummers could soon be building plug-in, hybrid cargo vans. Anderson-based Bright Automotive announced Friday it had signed an agreement for AM General to start building its Idea work van in 2013 or 2014 at the Mishawaka (mish-ah-WAH'-kuh) factory.

Feds Say Fined Toy Company Knowingly Violated Law

October 28, 2011 9:24 am

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal government slapped a hefty $1.3 million fine on a toy company that sold popular arts-and-crafts beads that were linked to a dangerous drug and sickened about a dozen children. The civil penalty, announced Thursday, marks the third largest toy-related fine issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Nexteer Announces $150M Investment In Saginaw

October 28, 2011 9:17 am

SAGINAW, Mich., Oct. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nexteer Automotive, a tier one automotive supplier committed exclusively to wheel-to-wheel advanced steering and driveline systems, today announced a $150 million investment at its Saginaw, Mich., operations. Increasing customer demand for fuel-efficient electronic power steering (EPS) technology is the driving force behind the investment, which will result in the retention of more than 1,000 jobs.


Consumers Up Spend Through Durable Goods

October 28, 2011 9:08 am

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans spent in September at three times the pace of the previous month, even though their incomes barely budged. They financed their spending binges by saving at the lowest level since the start of the Great Recession. Consumer spending rose 0.6 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Friday.


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