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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Volkswagen Profits $2.5 Billion On Asia, Argentina Sales

April 27, 2011 6:07 am

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automaker Volkswagen AG sharply increased net profit to euro1.71 billion ($2.5 billion) in the first quarter as stronger sales in emerging markets such as China, Argentina, and Russia more than made up for slumps in debt-stricken European countries. Earnings per share of euro3.

Apple Skirts Around Location-Tracking Concerns

April 27, 2011 5:01 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Inc. denied Wednesday that iPhones store a record of their users' movements for up to a year and blamed privacy concerns partly on a misunderstanding. A data file publicized by security researchers last week doesn't store users' locations, but a list of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in their general area, the company said.

Report: W. Va., Montana Among Deadliest States For Workers

April 27, 2011 4:55 am

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Union members from across West Virginia are gathering to remember fallen workers as a new report puts the state among the 10 worst for on-the-job fatalities. The West Virginia AFL-CIO planned to observe national Workers Memorial Day on Wednesday in Huntington at Local 317 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

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Chinese Drywall Supplier Pays Up $8 Million In Damages

April 27, 2011 4:50 am | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Chinese drywall supplier's insurers have agreed to pay up to $8 million to settle court claims against the company over damage to homes from the corrosive product, according to a proposed settlement filed Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in New Orleans must approve the deal between plaintiffs' attorneys, Interior/Exterior Building Supply and two of its three insurers.

Chrysler To Refinance Its Debt To U.S., Canadian Gov'ts

April 27, 2011 4:42 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Details are still being worked out, but Chrysler Group LLC on Thursday will make an announcement about a refinancing package that will repay its government loans, according to a person briefed on the matter. Final details are likely to be revealed Monday, when Chrysler releases its first-quarter financial results, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the company is still negotiating the package with banks.

Businesses Ordered More Manufactured Goods In March

April 27, 2011 4:36 am | by Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses increased their orders for heavy machinery, computers, autos and steel in March, boosting demand for long-lasting manufactured goods for a third straight month. Orders for durable goods rose 2.5 percent in March, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Nokia Slashes 7,000 Jobs Worldwide In Restructuring

April 27, 2011 4:31 am | by Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia Corp. said Wednesday it will slash 7,000 jobs worldwide, through both layoffs and outsourcing, as it strives to cut costs and catch up with its top rivals in the smartphone market. Most of the 4,000 layoffs, due by the end of 2012, will be in Denmark, Finland and Britain, Nokia said.

Refineries On Danger's Edge During Power Outage

April 26, 2011 7:28 am | by Juan A. Lozano, Associated Press

TEXAS CITY, Texas (AP) — Schools canceled classes and residents were urged to stay inside Tuesday after power outages shut down three Houston-area refineries, including BP unit where a 2005 explosion killed 15 people, and a Dow Chemical plant. Emergency officials were working to determine what caused the Texas City outages, which a spokeswoman for Texas New Mexico Power company said involved a "customer-owned equipment problem.

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Ford, 3M Successes Push Stock Markets Ever Higher

April 26, 2011 7:25 am | by Matthew Craft, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Stronger earnings reports from Ford and 3M helped drive stocks higher Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 101 points, or 0.8 percent, to 12,581. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 12 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,347. The Nasdaq composite rose 25 points, or 0.

3M Raises Expectations For Remainder Of 2011

April 26, 2011 6:56 am | by Samantha Bomkamp, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — 3M Co. is raising its earnings expectations for the year, saying higher sales around the globe will offset the disruption to its business in Japan from the earthquake there. The Maplewood, Minnesota maker of Post-Its and Scotch Tape now expects to earn between at $6.27 to $6.

Google Inspires Tinkerers With 'Garage' Workshops

April 26, 2011 5:32 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Amid all the free food and other goodies that come with a job at Google Inc., there's one benefit a lot of employees don't even know about: a cluster of high-tech workshops that have become a tinkerer's paradise. Workers escape from their computer screens and office chairs to weld, drill and saw on expensive machinery they won't find at Home Depot.

Nissan Recalls 200,000 SUVs For Snapping Steering Column

April 26, 2011 4:49 am | by The Associated Press

Nissan Motor Co. is recalling nearly 200,000 Pathfinder and Infiniti QX4 sport utility vehicles sold in the U.S. because of a problem that could cause the steering column to break and the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The recall, announced Monday, comes mere months after Japan's No. 2 automaker launched two other major recalls, including one that involved more than 2 million vehicles.

American Companies: Chinese Protectionism Is Rising

April 26, 2011 4:45 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese protectionism has increased since the 2008 global crisis and U.S. companies are being hurt by Beijing's policies aimed at developing its technology industries, a business group said Tuesday. A report by the American Chamber of Commerce in China adds to mounting complaints that Beijing is violating the spirit of its free-trade pledges by limiting market access and trying to shield its fledgling technology industries from competition.

Saab Inches Closer To Death Thanks To Spyker Cars

April 26, 2011 4:43 am

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Spyker Cars says conditions proposed by the European Investment Bank are stalling plans to secure financing for troubled automaker Saab. Spyker says it will meet EIB officials later Tuesday but is also considering other financial options with partners, including Chinese car manufacturers.

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Alcoa Hires 280 For Window- And Door-Making

April 26, 2011 4:38 am

CRANBERRY, Pa. (AP) — A company that makes windows and doors plans to hire 280 full-time and seasonal workers at its plant near Pittsburgh. Alcoa Inc. bought the window company, Traco Inc., in August. And now an Alcoa spokesman tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review the aluminum giant plans to add workers at Traco's plant in Cranberry, about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh.

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Volt, Leaf Get Top Electric-Car Safety Ratings

April 26, 2011 4:28 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf got top safety ratings in some of the first-ever tests of electric cars by an insurer-funded research group. Both cars earned top scores for front, side and rear-impact crashes and for rollover crash protection, according to results released Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Boeing's Woes May Have Been Caused By Faulty Riveting

April 26, 2011 4:26 am | by David Koenig and Joan Lowy, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Investigators trying to determine why the roof of a Southwest Airlines jet cracked open in flight have issued preliminary findings suggesting there may have been flaws in the riveting work when Boeing built the plane 15 years ago. The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that some of the rivets used to bind the Boeing 737's aluminum panels together were sunk in holes larger than the rivet shafts.

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Ford Posts Highest First-Quarter Profit In 13 Years

April 26, 2011 4:23 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford posted its best first-quarter profit in 13 years, as its new, more fuel-efficient vehicles reached showrooms during a surge in gasoline prices. New arrivals such as the Ford Explorer and Fiesta small car are selling well. Company profits are growing around the world.

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Cracking Boeing Jets Likely Flawed At Manufacturing

April 25, 2011 7:43 am | by David Koenig and Joan Lowy, Associated Press

Investigators trying to determine why the roof of a Southwest Airlines jet peeled open in flight this month are focusing on the manufacturing process at Boeing. Government and industry officials say investigators noticed that the stricken jet and five other Southwest planes that had cracks in their metal skins were all built at about the same time in the same Boeing plant.

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