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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Chinese Bullet Train Maker Orders Recall

August 12, 2011 5:09 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese bullet train manufacturer announced a recall Friday of 54 trains in the latest embarrassment for a problem-plagued prestige project following a July crash that killed 40 people. The recall adds to growing signs official attitudes toward the bullet train are shifting and Beijing might scale back its rapid expansion of the high speed rail network.

Union Workers Rally Against Crystal Sugar Lockout

August 12, 2011 5:07 am | by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — Hundreds of American Crystal Sugar workers and others showed up in Moorhead with signs, banners and even guitars Thursday in a rally for employees who have been locked out for 11 days. About 1,300 union workers have been locked out of five sugar processing plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa in the company's first labor impasse in 30 years.

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Boeing Struggles To Keep Up With Demand

August 12, 2011 5:04 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

Boeing booked 19 new orders for its 777 and said on Thursday that it needs to build its commercial planes faster to keep up with demand. Boeing said unidentified customers ordered seven more of its 777s. Cathay Pacific ordered 12 of the planes late Wednesday. Boeing now has a backlog of 293 of its 777s and more than 3,400 of all civilian planes.

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GM Recalls Impala, LaCrosse Models

August 12, 2011 5:02 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling some 2012 Chevrolet Impala and Buick LaCrosse models to fix safety problems. GM says 11,915 Impalas are being recalled in the U.S. and Canada because a power steering fluid hose gets too close to the catalytic converter. The hose can melt, and fluid can leak and start a fire.

HTC Buying Stake In Dr. Dre Headphone Maker

August 11, 2011 9:07 am

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. says it will pay about $300 million for a 51 percent stake in the U.S. maker of Dr. Dre headphones. HTC said Thursday its alliance with Dr. Dre's Beats Electronics LLC will provide a "flawless listening experience for our customers.

China Halts Bullet Train Manufacturing After Deadly Collision

August 11, 2011 9:03 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China has frozen approval of new railway projects and halted some bullet train manufacturing, stepping up an overhaul of its controversial high-speed network after a July collision that killed 40 people. The crash, along with delays on a new Beijing-Shanghai line blamed on equipment failures, embarrassed the communist government and fueled public anger at a bullet train network that critics say is dangerous and too costly.

A123 Will Make GM Electric Vehicle Batteries

August 11, 2011 9:02 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. said Thursday that battery maker A123 Systems Inc. will produce batteries to be used in future electric vehicles being sold in select global markets. The Detroit-based automaker said the battery packs will be built at A123 Systems' Livonia facility.

NAM Urges Admin to Stop New Ozone Standards

August 11, 2011 8:59 am

Washington, D.C. – Today, 35 state manufacturing associations joined the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in asking President Obama not to move forward with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The state associations cautioned the President that this proposal will create more uncertainty for manufacturers and increase compliance costs for each state, which will hurt job growth.

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Fired Worker Injures Coworkers At NY Plant

August 11, 2011 8:57 am

MALTA, N.Y. (AP) — Police say a man fired from his job at an upstate New York computer chip plant construction site has been charged with assaulting four former co-workers, including one hit in the face with a fire extinguisher. The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office tells local media that 42-year-old Eddie Robinson Jr.

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U.S. Trade Deficit Widens To $53B

August 11, 2011 8:55 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — American producers sold fewer industrial engines, electric generators and farm products to the rest of the world in June, pushing the trade deficit to the highest level since 2008 and dealing another blow to an already struggling economy. The deficit rose 4.4 percent to $53.

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Additional Shares Purchased In Tognum Takeover

August 10, 2011 9:37 am

Stuttgart/London – Daimler AG and Rolls-Royce Group plc have acquired additional shares in Tognum AG equivalent to 0.83 percent of its equity. Upon completion of the public tender offer, the two companies will have acquired at least 95 percent of Tognum’s shares through their joint venture, Engine Holding GmbH.

Harman Fiscal 4Q Proft Falls

August 10, 2011 9:34 am

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Speaker and headphone maker Harman International Industries Inc. said Wednesday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell to a fraction of what it was a year ago on tough comparisons to a prior-year period boosted by a $115.4 million profit from discontinued operations.

Aberdeen Plant Humming 24 Hours A Day

August 10, 2011 9:30 am | by Jacob Jones

ABERDEEN, Wash. (AP) — Little more than a low hum sounds from the tangle of steel pipes in the production area of the Imperium Grays Harbor biodiesel facility in Aberdeen, but the plant is churning around the clock. Workers in bright safety vests hustled to direct trucks during a recent visit.

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Pfizer Ending Manufacturing At TN Facility

August 10, 2011 9:28 am

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Pharmaceutical company Pfizer Global Supply is ending manufacturing and logistics operations at its Bristol, Tenn., facility, but the plant will continue its commercial and support operations. Pfizer is looking to consolidate plants after purchasing Bristol-based King Pharmaceuticals.

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Job Openings Rose In June

August 10, 2011 9:27 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers posted more job openings in June and layoffs fell, a sign that hiring could improve a bit in the coming months. The number of available jobs rose to 3.1 million, up from 3 million in May, the Labor Department said Wednesday. It was the highest total since March.

Raytheon Gets $32M U.S. Navy Contract

August 10, 2011 9:25 am

TEWKSBURY, Mass. (AP) — Defense contractor Raytheon Co. said Wednesday it received a $32.2 million contract from the U.S. Navy to design and develop a GPS-based system that coordinates a variety of systems on Navy ships. The program will support real-time positioning, navigation, and timing data services, including weapons, combat systems, and other command, control, communications and intelligence systems, Raytheon said.

Singapore Air Orders 8 Boeing Jets

August 10, 2011 5:41 am

SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore Airlines Ltd. says it has ordered eight Boeing jets for $2.3 billion to help bolster expansion plans. The carrier said in a statement Wednesday that the eight Boeing 777-300ERs are scheduled to be delivered in its 2013-2014 financial year and will be operated on medium- and long-haul routes.

Electric Boat Will Cut CT Jobs

August 10, 2011 5:39 am

GROTON, Conn. (AP) — The U.S. Navy's primary contractor for submarines says it will lay off 65 workers in October. Spokesman Robert Hamilton said Tuesday the Groton (GRAH'-tun), Conn.-based Electric Boat company regularly reviews its workforce requirements. He says it informed workers Monday.

Wholesale Inventories Rose In June For 18th Month

August 10, 2011 5:36 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale companies added more autos, machinery and computers to their stockpiles in June, pushing inventories up for the 18th consecutive month. Sales at the wholesale level rose 0.6 percent in June, the Commerce department said Wednesday. That followed a 0.3 percent drop in May.

China's Auto Sales Up 6.7 Percent

August 10, 2011 5:35 am

BEIJING (AP) — China's auto sales rose 6.7 percent in July but growth was well below the double-digit surge of the past two years, an industry group said Wednesday. Some 1.01 million passenger cars were bought in July in the world's biggest auto market by vehicle sales, according to the government-authorized China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

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