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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Factory Output Rebounded, Recovered In May

June 15, 2011 8:03 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories rebounded in May to produce more business equipment and construction materials. The gains offset supply disruptions stemming from the Japan crises that have weighed on American auto companies. Factory production increased 0.4 percent last month, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

GOP Hopeful's Company Settles $33 Million Lawsuit

June 15, 2011 4:42 am | by Charles Babington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman was a top executive of a large chemical conglomerate that is paying $33 million to settle a lawsuit alleging price-fixing. Huntsman International LLC recently agreed to pay the money to settle a suit filed by several competitors.

Economists: Gas And Food Prices To Fall, Hiring To Rise

June 15, 2011 4:39 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber and Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are finally getting some relief from high gas and food prices. Wholesale food prices fell last month by the most in nearly a year, and gas prices keep dropping after peaking in May. A separate survey suggests CEOs are feeling more optimistic and will hire more in the second half of this year.

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Man Killed In Bedding Plant Roller Accident

June 15, 2011 4:31 am

WALLKILL, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say a 47-year-old man has died after getting trapped between two rollers of a mattress-bagging machine at an upstate New York bedding factory. Police tell the Times Herald-Record of Middletown that Jainarine Depoo of Wallkill was injured Tuesday afternoon at Corsicana Bedding in the Orange County town of Wallkill.

La. Chemical Plant Succumbs To Explosions, Inferno

June 15, 2011 4:28 am | by Molly Davis, Associated Press

NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) — A fire at a southern Louisiana plant where chemicals are blended and stored for oilfield operations is being allowed to burn itself out before investigators enter the facility to search for a cause. Tuesday afternoon's explosion and fire at the Multi-Chem Corp.

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Lockheed Martin To Cut 1,200 From Space Division

June 15, 2011 4:23 am

DENVER (AP) — Aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. plans to cut 1,200 employees in its space systems equipment division. The company said Tuesday that the cuts will be nationwide in America and trim the division's 16,000-person work force by nearly 8 percent. The company said middle management will be reduced by 25 percent.

Boeing Asks Judge To Dismiss NLRB Case

June 15, 2011 4:20 am | by Phuong Le, Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing on Tuesday asked a judge in Seattle to dismiss a case brought by the National Labor Relations Board that accuses the plane maker of breaking the law when it built a non-union production line in South Carolina. The complaint by NLRB acting general counsel Lafe Solomon accused Boeing Co.

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Aerospace Manufacturers Spared From Republican Cuts

June 14, 2011 9:29 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense cuts sought by House Republicans in fiscal 2012 are unlikely to hurt "modernization, readiness" or the bottom lines of top aerospace contractors, an analyst said Tuesday. In a plan released Monday, the GOP-controlled panel that approves defense budgets barely touched major programs and cut modestly from others compared to the president's budget request, Jeffries analyst Howard Rubel said in a research note.

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Stocks Shake Off Two-Week Slump, Rally To June High

June 14, 2011 9:25 am | by Chip Cutter, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are shaking off a two-week slump after retailers had better sales in May than analysts had predicted. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed back above 12,000, and all three major indexes are on track to have their best day so far in June. The government reported Tuesday that retail sales edged down 0.

GM, Magna Get Michigan-Approved Tax Incentives

June 14, 2011 9:15 am

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A state board has approved tax incentives for projects connected to General Motors and other companies in Michigan. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority on Tuesday approved an amended brownfield tax credit valued at $10 million for GM's Van Slyke complex in Flint. The new project is expected to retain up to 185 jobs.

Ford Announces $1.2 Billion Spanish Investment

June 14, 2011 9:04 am

MADRID (AP) — U.S. automaker Ford has announced an €812 million ($1.2 billion) investment for its plant in the Valencia region of eastern Spain. Ford Europe chief executive officer Stephen Odell said at an event in Valencia Tuesday the investment will create hundreds of jobs in a country with a 21 percent unemployment rate.

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FDA Finds Listeria In Atlanta Kellogg Plant

June 14, 2011 8:56 am

ATLANTA (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration found traces of listeria at a Kellogg Co. bakery in Augusta, Ga., during an inspection earlier this year. In a letter released Tuesday, regulators say that the pathogen was found in several spots along the production line that comes in direct contact with food.

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Siemens Board Member Charged With Millions In Bribes

June 14, 2011 8:51 am

Ex-Siemens manager charged in bribery case  BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors said Tuesday they have filed charges against a former member of Siemens AG's board over millions of dollars in alleged bribe payments in Argentina. Munich prosecutors said the former manager is charged with three counts of breach of trust.

AP Survey: Economists Warn Against More Fed Action

June 14, 2011 4:54 am | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The best cure for the economy now is time. That's the overwhelming opinion of leading economists in a new Associated Press survey. They say the Federal Reserve shouldn't bother trying to stimulate the economy — and could actually do damage if it did. The economists are lowering their forecasts for job creation and economic growth for the rest of this year, mainly because of high oil prices.

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German Authorities Investigate Fatal Goodyear Blimp Crash

June 14, 2011 4:51 am | by Melissa Eddy, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — The pilot of a Goodyear blimp screamed "I crashed the airship" before it burst into flames, a passenger who leapt to safety says. Photographer Joachim Storch told media that the blimp — The Spirit of Safety — missed its designated landing spot at Reichelsheim airfield in central Germany on Sunday evening, causing its engine to slam into the ground.

HP Shuffles Execs Before 'Another Tough Quarter'

June 14, 2011 4:50 am

PALO ALTO, California (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. is streamlining its executive ranks to improve its focus on customers rather than administration and put more operations directly under CEO Leo Apotheker's control. The world's largest maker of personal computers said Monday that it is eliminating its chief administrative officer position, meaning that Pete Bocian is leaving HP immediately.

Nokia Wins Patent Suit Against Rival Apple

June 14, 2011 4:40 am | by Jari Tanner, Associated Press

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — Nokia Corp. on Tuesday notched a valuable win against rival Apple Inc., with the U.S. company agreeing to pay the Finnish handset maker a one-time sum to settle long-standing patent disputes as well as royalties for current licenses. Espoo-based Nokia said that the deal "will result in settlement of all patent litigation between the companies, including the withdrawal by Nokia and Apple of their respective complaints to the US International Trade Commission.

Obama Turns Back To Job Creation

June 14, 2011 4:36 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Beset by a grim employment picture, President Barack Obama on Monday pledged to ease the way for businesses to expand hiring and offered assurances to an anxious public that he is focused on creating jobs — the top political issue heading into the 2012 election and the Achilles heel of his presidency.

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Honda: Profits To Fall 63.5 Percent Amid Shortages

June 14, 2011 4:34 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Honda's profit for the fiscal year through March 2012 is expected to plunge 63.5 percent as vehicles sales slipped amid a parts shortage caused by the quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan. Honda Motor Co. gave the forecast Tuesday, more than a month later than usual. Like other Japanese automakers, the maker of the Odyssey minivan and the Fit compact needed more time to assess the aftermath of the March 11 disaster.

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Analysts: Solar Manufacturing Industry Burning Up

June 13, 2011 8:01 am | by Chris Kahn, AP Energy Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Solar shares rose Monday, with one analyst saying that demand is accelerating and that the sector is ripe for mergers and acquisitions. Rather than fewer orders for solar panels as has been feared because of declining subsidies and a poor economy, Brean Murray Carret & Co.

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