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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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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Ford Idles Three Overseas Plants On Part Shortages

April 25, 2011 7:36 am

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says it has idled three overseas factories to conserve auto parts following last month's earthquake in Japan. Assembly plants in Pretoria, South Africa, and Nanjing, China, will be down this week. Spokesman Todd Nissen says the factories had been scheduled to shut down for a week later this year, but the downtime was pulled ahead.

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The Dangers Of Unsecured Wireless Networks

April 25, 2011 7:32 am

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Lying on his family room floor with assault weapons trained on him, shouts of "pedophile!" and "pornographer!" stinging like his fresh cuts and bruises, the Buffalo homeowner didn't need long to figure out the reason for the early morning wake-up call from a swarm of federal agents.

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Wis. Welcomes Robot-Controlled Medical Manufacturer

April 25, 2011 7:21 am

RACINE, Wis. (AP) — An Australian company that makes containers for needles and medical waste is opening a processing plant in Racine County. Daniels Sharpsmart has leased a 22,000 square-foot building in Yorkville. The company will install a sterilization system controlled by robots that alone will cost $1.

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iPhone Location Tracking Sets Off Privacy Firestorm

April 25, 2011 7:17 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — If you're worried about privacy, you can turn off the function on your smartphone that tracks where you go. But that means giving up the services that probably made you want a smartphone in the first place. After all, how smart is an iPhone or an Android if you can't use it to map your car trip or scan reviews of nearby restaurants? The debate over digital privacy flamed higher this week with news that Apple Inc.

Johnson Controls Sees Earnings Climb 29 Percent

April 25, 2011 6:21 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Johnson Controls Inc.'s fiscal second-quarter earnings climbed 29 percent on higher revenue as each of its main business segments reported double-digit sales increases amid a recovering global economy. But the Milwaukee company, which makes auto parts and building climate control systems, forecast third-quarter earnings and revenue below Wall Street expectations, however.

Iran Uncovers Second Industrial Computer Virus

April 25, 2011 4:49 am | by Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has been hit by a second computer virus, a senior military official said Monday, suggesting it was part of a concerted campaign to undermine the country's disputed nuclear program. Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of an Iranian military unit in charge of combatting sabotage, said that experts discovered the "espionage virus," which he called "Stars.

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Merck To Add 150 Jobs At Durham, N.C. Plant

April 25, 2011 4:45 am

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A major pharmaceutical company will add 150 workers in Durham as it expands to produce chickenpox and other live-virus vaccines. The Herald-Sun of Durham reported Monday that Merck & Co.'s plant will begin making Varivax, a chickenpox vaccine recently approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

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GM Likely To Reclaim 'No. 1' Title From Toyota Soon

April 25, 2011 4:40 am | by Sharon Silke Carty and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is almost certain to claim the title of world's biggest automaker this year, retaking the top spot from Toyota, which has been hurt by production problems since the Japanese earthquake and still can't escape the shadow of major safety recalls. The No. 1 title, a morale booster for the winner's employees and managers, would cap GM's remarkable comeback from bankruptcy.

Global Automakers Unveil Cheap, Small Chinese Cars

April 25, 2011 4:37 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Some of the new Chinese cars unveiled at this week's Shanghai Auto Show are affordable for millions of buyers — a happy development for Beijing that might prove costly for the global automakers producing them. General Motors Co. unveiled the 630 sedan, the first model from its new Baojun badge developed with Chinese joint venture partners.

Toyota's Production Fell 62.7 Percent After Earthquake

April 25, 2011 4:30 am | by Shino Yuasa, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's car production in Japan plummeted a staggering 62.7 percent in March due to a parts supply crunch following the earthquake and tsunami. Toyota Motor Corp., the world's top-selling automaker last year, said Monday its domestic production in March was 129,491 vehicles — the lowest since 1976 when Toyota began maintaining production figures.

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Ford Expected To Unveil More Profits, Less Debt

April 25, 2011 4:29 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S.-based automaker, is scheduled to report first-quarter results before the market opens on Tuesday. Ford had a very successful 2010, earning $6.6 billion, more than double what it made in 2009 and its largest profit since 1999. The company also cut the staggering debt it amassed to stay in business and avoid bankruptcy protection during the recession.

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Snap-on Income Rose 53 Percent On High Demand

April 22, 2011 4:57 am

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Tool manufacturer Snap-on Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter net income rose 53 percent as demand for its tools rose in all business segments. The company said net income increased to $56.2 million, or 96 cents per share, from $36.8 million, or 63 cents per share. Sales rose 11.

Kia To Hire 700 Georgians For Optima Production

April 22, 2011 4:40 am | by Kate Brumback, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Kia Motors announced plans Thursday to begin manufacturing the Optima midsize sedan at itsplant in Georgia, a move expected to add about 700 jobs at the complex. Production on the 2012 Optima is set to begin in the third quarter of this year, Kia Motors said. The plant in West Point currently employs about 2,300 people and the work force is expected to grow to nearly 3,000 by year's end, according to the company.

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Boeing Accused Of Illegally Retaliating Against Union

April 22, 2011 4:38 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

Federal labor regulators are accusing Boeing Co. of illegally retaliating for a 2008 union strike by adding a non-union assembly line in South Carolina for its new 787 passenger jet. The complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board said the remedy should include moving the South Carolina assembly work back to Washington state, where it would be under union jurisdiction.

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