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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Suit Against Thalidomide Maker Set For Australia

December 19, 2011 7:55 am

SYDNEY (AP) — Members of an Australian class action lawsuit who blame a German pharmaceutical company's anti-morning sickness drug, Thalidomide, for causing birth defects won the right on Monday to have their case heard in their own country. German drugmaker Grunenthal had requested that the lawsuit be heard in Germany, because the company and many of its witnesses are based there.

Pompeo: Boeing Tanker Work Going To Washington

December 19, 2011 7:38 am

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo said Monday that a senior official at the Boeing Co. has informed him the modification work on the Air Force refueling tankers will be done at the company's plant in Washington state rather than in Kansas, a decision that could mean the closure of the Wichita site.


AP: EPA Rules Threaten Older Power Plants

December 19, 2011 6:46 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced to shut down and an additional 36 might have to close because of new federal air pollution regulations, according to an Associated Press survey. Together, those plants — some of the oldest and dirtiest in the country — produce enough electricity for more than 22 million households, the AP survey found.


St. Paul Ford Plant Sees Final Truck Off The Line

December 19, 2011 3:51 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The last Ranger small pickup truck rolled off the line Friday morning, closing out an 86-year history of turning out Fords at the assembly plant along the Mississippi River and putting about 800 people out of work. A crowd of employees took photos and applauded as the last Ranger, a white sport model bound for the Orkin Pest Control fleet, was driven off the production line.


GM To Restart Cruze Production At OH Complex

December 19, 2011 3:42 am

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — The northeast Ohio GM plant that makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact car is scheduled to resume production after what the automaker says was a supplier issue. General Motors Co. halted work on Dec. 12 at the complex in Lordstown, near Youngstown. The Detroit-based automaker said Saturday that the supplier part issue was resolved and its third-shift workers are to report to work at their normal times Sunday night.


U.S. Gov't Accuses Aircraft Contractor Of Fraud

December 19, 2011 3:39 am

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — A Coos Bay company and its owner accused of defrauding the U.S. government by supplying defective and counterfeit aircraft parts have been indicted on fraud and money laundering charges. A grand jury named Kustom Products Inc. owner Harold Bettencourt, several members of his family and the company itself in an indictment in U.

Shuttered Neb. Ethanol Plant To Resume Production

December 19, 2011 3:33 am

MEAD, Neb. (AP) — A Kansas City, Mo.-based company plans to reopen a shuttered ethanol plant in eastern Nebraska in the next few months. The former E3 Biofuels plant started in June 2007 as one of the first in the nation to use methane gas from cow manure to power ethanol production.


Saab Files For Bankruptcy In Sweden

December 19, 2011 3:24 am

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Saab Automobile filed for bankruptcy on Monday, giving up a desperate struggle to stay in business after previous owner General Motors Co. blocked takeover attempts by Chinese investors. Saab CEO Victor Muller personally handed in the bankruptcy application to a court in southwestern Sweden, ending his two-year effort to revive the carmaker that over more than six decades has become known for its rounded sedans and quirky design features.


Siemens Hires Gen. McChrystal As Chairman Of New Division

December 19, 2011 3:14 am

BERLIN (AP) — German industrial giant Siemens AG says it has hired the former top American commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal as chairman of a new division that aims to secure more U.S. government contracts. The company said Monday that McChrystal will be board chairman of Siemens Government Technologies, Inc.

Kia Supplier To Create Jobs In GA

December 16, 2011 6:40 am

LaGRANGE, Ga. (AP) — A South Korea-based parts supplier will set up a manufacturing facility in LaGrange that will create 100 new jobs over three years. Gov. Nathan Deal on Friday said Daewon America will invest $14 million to expand an existing facility in LaGrange that would supply the nearby Kia auto plant.


RI Mayor Pushes For Job Training Funds

December 16, 2011 6:38 am

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The mayor of Providence is urging Congress not to cut funding for a jobs training program that connects unemployed workers with employers. Mayor Angel Taveras said Wednesday that proposals to slash funding for the Workforce Investment Act could undermine efforts to improve the state's economy.

Consumer Prices Were Unchanged In November

December 16, 2011 6:36 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices stayed flat in November, further evidence that inflation has cooled off. Energy costs dropped for the second straight month, which offset higher prices that Americans paid for food, clothes and medical services. Milder inflation offers some relief to consumers, who were hit earlier this year with a surge in gas and food prices.


Prosecutors To Search Olympus Offices

December 16, 2011 6:35 am

TOKYO, Dec. 17 (Kyodo) — Prosecutors plan to search the offices of Olympus Corp. by the end of next week on suspicion of falsification of financial reports in connection with the coverup of the company's massive investment losses, investigative sources said Friday. The planned search by the special investigative unit of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, likely to be conducted jointly with police and the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission, has been prompted by mounting allegations that the company's former executives led the accounting fraud.

Antitrust Watchdog Probes Honeywell, DuPont

December 16, 2011 6:32 am | by Gabriele Steinhauser, AP Business Writer

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's antitrust watchdog is investigating whether U.S. companies Honeywell and DuPont are colluding to restrict rivals from producing a key refrigerant for car air-conditioning systems that meets new environmental standards. The European Commission said Friday it has received complaints that the two companies entered into "development, licensing and production arrangements" that prevent rivals from also developing versions of a new refrigerant.

Settlement Reached In Gulf Chinese Drywall Cases

December 16, 2011 6:30 am | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Chinese drywall manufacturer has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to resolve court claims by thousands of Gulf Coast property owners who say the product corroded pipes and wires and otherwise wrecked their homes, the largest settlement of its kind so far.

CAT Sees 2012 Revenue Of At Least $63.8B

December 16, 2011 4:07 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. said it expects 2012 revenue of roughly $63.8 billion to $69.6 billion, and it reaffirmed its full-year 2011 guidance on Wednesday. The world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment said it expects a 2011 profit of about $6.75 per share on revenue of $58 billion, the same guidance it gave in October.

Coca-Cola Advances Plant Bottle Technology

December 16, 2011 4:05 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Coca-Cola Co. announced a deal Thursday with three biotechnology companies that it says will speed its development of plastic for its bottles that will be made entirely from plants. Beverage makers are trying to use new types of bottles to cut their environmental impact and lower their costs.


NC Hits Deadline For Alcoa's Jobs-For-License Deal

December 16, 2011 4:03 am | by Emery P. Dalesio, AP Business Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A recently created steel company and its big backer Alcoa Inc. set a Thursday deadline for local and state officials to drop opposition of Alcoa renewing a multi-decade license to operate four hydroelectric dams. Alcoa officials had warned that unless their route to a new license to operate the dams was cleared by midnight Thursday, Clean Tech Silicon and Bar LLC would take its estimated 250 production and 200 support jobs somewhere other than the former Alcoa aluminum smelting plant in Stanly County that once employed about 1,000.


U.S. Factory Output Declined Sharply In November

December 16, 2011 4:01 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing output fell in November for the first time in seven months. The decline was largely because factories made fewer autos. But production of home electronics, appliances and business equipment also dropped. Economists took the industrial production report from the Federal Reserve with a little caution.

Next-Generation RIM Phones Delayed

December 16, 2011 3:59 am | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. said Thursday that new phones deemed critical to the company's future will be delayed until late 2012. Mike Lazaridis, one of the company's co-CEOs, said the BlackBerry 10 phones will need a highly integrated chipset that will not be available until mid-2012, so the company can now expect them to ship late in the year.


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