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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

J&J Exec Retires Amid Another Recall Probe

September 17, 2010 4:37 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the Johnson & Johnson division responsible for most of the company's 11 product recalls announced her retirement late Thursday, shortly after a congressional committee probing the recalls invited her to a second hearing on the case. J&J, reeling from an unprecedented spate of recalls that includes more than 135 million bottles of infants' and children's Tylenol and other nonprescription medicines, said Colleen Goggins will retire on March 1 after almost 30 "successful and distinguished" years with the company.

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59 Alabama Pipemakers Laid Off

September 15, 2010 4:55 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — American Cast Iron Pipe Co. says it plans to lay off another 59 workers in Birmingham. The layoff announced Tuesday is the company's second in a little more than two months. The Birmingham News reports the Birmingham-based maker of iron and steel pipes used for water, oil and natural gas transmission says the layoffs will take effect Oct.

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U.S. Manufacturing Rises 0.2 Percent In August

September 15, 2010 4:51 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industrial production rose modestly in August and the manufacturing sector grew for the 12th time in 14 months. Output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities edged up 0.2 percent last month, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday. It rose 0.6 percent in July.

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Toyota Moves To Dismiss Acceleration Lawsuits

September 15, 2010 4:49 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has moved to dismiss hundreds of lawsuits over claims stemming from sudden acceleration in its vehicles. The auto giant filed a motion Tuesday with a federal court in Santa Ana, saying attorneys for Toyota drivers had failed to identify any defects in the vehicles.

Bristol-Myers Warned Of Subpar Practices In Puerto Rico

September 15, 2010 4:48 am | by David McFadden, Associated Press Writer

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned drug giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. of possible sanctions if it fails to correct "significant violations" of good manufacturing practices at one of its two plants in Puerto Rico. The drugmaker said it has already begun correcting problems mentioned in the warning letter that the U.

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China-U.S. Steel Deal Could Jeopardize National Security

September 15, 2010 4:47 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — A state-owned Chinese company signed an agreement Wednesday to invest in a Mississippi steel mill in a deal that has prompted complaints by some U.S. lawmakers that it might jeopardize national security. Anshan Iron & Steel Group Corp.'s investment is seen as a test of American willingness to accept Chinese investment.

Explosion Injures 6 At Military Flare Manufacturer

September 15, 2010 4:44 am | by Adrian Sainz, Associated Press Writer

TOONE, Tenn. (AP) — A fire was burning itself out Tuesday night after an explosion injured six workers at a manufacturing plant in southwestern Tennessee that makes flares for the military. Hardeman County Sheriff John Doolen said firefighters at Kilgore Flares Co. in Toone were monitoring the blaze because of the danger there could be another explosion.

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Taking A Turn For The Better

September 14, 2010 6:20 am

Manufacturing technology consumption in the United States is up nearly 59 percent when compared with 2009. Peter Borden, AMTDA president Manufacturing technology consumption in the United States totaled $266.08 million in July, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (AMTDA) and The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

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Retail Sales Crush Thoughts Of Double-Dip Recession

September 14, 2010 4:48 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Retail sales rose in August by the largest amount in five months, adding to evidence that a late spring economic swoon was temporary and not the start of another recession. Retail sales rose 0.4 percent last month, the best advance since March, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Corn Syrup Makers Seek New Name: Corn Sugar

September 14, 2010 4:46 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Marketing Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The makers of high fructose corn syrup want to sweeten up its image with a new name: corn sugar. The bid to rename the sweetener by the Corn Refiners Association comes as Americans' concerns about health and obesity have sent consumption of high fructose corn syrup, used in soft drinks but also in bread, cereal and other foods, to a 20-year low.

Mott's Workers Approve Contract After 4-Month Strike

September 14, 2010 4:39 am

WILLIAMSON, N.Y. (AP) — About 300 striking workers have approved a new labor contract with Mott's and will return next week to their jobs at the company's apple juice plant in western New York. Officials with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union say hourly employees at the Wayne Countyplant voted Monday 185 to 62 in favor of the contract and will return to work Monday, four months after they went on strike over proposed wage and benefit reductions.

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Kraft Facility Undergoes 'Flexible' Restart After Shooting

September 14, 2010 4:37 am

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Workers have returned to the Philadelphia Kraft Foods plant where a suspended employee fatally shot two co-workers and wounded a third last week. The Northeast Philadelphia plant reopened Sunday night, with counselors on hand to help employees cope with the aftermath of Thursday's shooting.

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Boeing Demolishes Plant 2, Home To 'Rosie The Riveter'

September 14, 2010 4:36 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE, Washington (AP) — The dilapidated factory that helped make Seattle a high-tech town is being demolished after 75 years, a casualty of time, technology and tails that grew too tall. Boeing Co.'s Plant 2, a sprawling but outdated building, gave birth to some of the world's most significant aircraft.

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Harley Workers Divided, Disgruntled Over Being 'Threatened'

September 14, 2010 4:31 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press Writer

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc.'s three Wisconsin unions have agreed to a contract with steep concessions. Now it's up to the company to confirm it won't move its production out of the state. Harley's board of directors was scheduled to review the voting results Tuesday from the unions, which all agreed to accept the new contract to save jobs.

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Sub-Zero Workers Accept 20 Percent Pay Cuts To Keep Jobs

September 13, 2010 4:46 am

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Union workers at Madison-based Sub-Zero/Wolf have agreed to a deal that will save their jobs, but with a 20 percent cut in pay and benefits over a year. Company vice president Chuck Verri tells the Wisconsin State Journal on Friday that the agreement runs through October 2018 and will save the jobs of about 200 workers.

OSHA Investigating Deadly Kan. Flash Fire

September 13, 2010 4:45 am

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Federal authorities have begun investigating a flash fire that killed one worker and injured another at a central Kansas business. The fire Wednesday at Woodwork Manufacturing in Hutchinson killed 46-year-old Kevin Lewis of Burrton. The Hutchinson News reports that the U.

Harley CEO Urges Wis. Workers To Accept Concessions

September 13, 2010 4:43 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press Writer

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The chief executive of Harley-Davidson Inc. has urged Wisconsin employees to approve an unpopular labor contract Monday, telling them the motorcycle company is prepared to move on without them if they turn it down. CEO Keith Wandell wrote a letter last week telling the workers it's up to them to decide whether they want to remain part of Harley's future.

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Kraft Shooter Fired For Co-Worker 'Feuds'

September 13, 2010 4:42 am | by MaryClaire Dale, Associated Press Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Kraft Foods plant worker who had been suspended for feuding with colleagues, then escorted from the building, returned minutes later with a handgun, found her foes in a break room and executed two of them with a single bullet each and critically wounded a third, police said Friday.

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Calif. Ponders Gagging 'Obnoxious' Motorcycles

September 13, 2010 4:40 am | by Daisy Nguyen, Associated Press Writer

CALABASAS, Calif. (AP) — The laid-back vibe of this affluent Los Angeles suburb gets a jarring wakeup on weekends when hundreds of motorcycles thunder through the Santa Monica Mountains, triggering car alarms, rattling windows and jolting alive barking dogs. "They rev their engines with complete disregard for the people who live here," complained neighborhood resident Tonia Aery.

Stimulus-Funded Car Batteries Roll Off Assembly Lines

September 13, 2010 4:37 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first wave of mass-produced advanced batteries funded by the Obama administration's economic recovery program is starting to roll off assembly lines, setting the stage for new hybrid and electric vehicles. So how will consumers respond? Fending off criticism of the $787 billion stimulus program, the administration has cited the battery industry as one of the success stories.

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