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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Number Seeking Unemployment Falls Below 400,000

July 29, 2011 5:00 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level since early April, a sign the job market may be healing after a recent slump. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications fell 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 398,000.

Police Investigating Blaze At Tire Plant

July 28, 2011 9:21 am

INDIANA, Pa. (AP) — Investigators searched a western Pennsylvania tire plant Thursday, a day after a reported explosion and fire in cold storage area of what a company official said is the oldest tire manufacturing plant in North America. The fire at Specialty Tires of America in Indiana, Pa.

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GE Aviation Plans $56M Expansion

July 28, 2011 9:18 am

ELLISVILLE, Miss. (AP) — GE Aviation, a unit of the General Electric Co., plans to spend $56 million to build a second manufacturing plant in Mississippi to produce advanced composite components for aircraft engines and systems. GE Aviation plans to employ 250 workers at the new Ellisville plant when full production is achieved around 2018.

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Workers Unionizing At IKEA's Only U.S. Plant

July 28, 2011 9:13 am | by Steve Szkotak, Associated Press

DANVILLE, Va. (AP) — Workers at IKEA's only U.S. factory overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to unionize amid complaints they have been paid less, injured more and treated worse than the thousands of Europeans who work for the Swedish furniture giant. The vote among workers at IKEA subsidiary Swedwood Danville was 221-69, according to IKEA and the union that will represent them in collective bargaining, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

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Officials Investigating Death Of Maintenance Worker

July 28, 2011 9:12 am

CALHOUN, Ga. (AP) — Federal officials are investigating the death of a Georgia maintenance worker who was hit in the head by a heavy machine at a Gordon County industrial plant. Gordon County Deputy Coroner Bo Nicholson says Shin Gyun Kim of Rossville taken by helicopter to a hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn.

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2,000 Delta Employees Taking Buyouts

July 28, 2011 9:10 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Airlines Writer

With high fuel prices slicing last year's profit in half, Delta Air Lines said 2,000 workers are taking voluntary buyouts, it will cut its fall schedule more than expected and it won't fly routes where it can't make money. Airlines have been raising fares to cover higher fuel bills. Delta's fuel cost rose 36 percent to $2.

Ford Can't Keep Up With Demand

July 28, 2011 9:08 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Ford can't make enough Focus cars to keep up with rising demand because of equipment problems that have caused a shortage of dashboards, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. Machinery that makes the skin that covers dashboards at a Ford parts factory outside Detroit works intermittently.

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MISUMI Adds Over 8,700 In-Stock Components

July 27, 2011 12:27 pm

MISUMI USA , Inc., a subsidiary of MISUMI Corporation, part of MISUMI Group, Inc ., has announced the addition of a significant number of frequently ordered components to its distribution center in Elk Grove Village, IL, near Chicago.  As the result of increasing demand for certain sizes and styles of many popular MISUMI mechanical and factory automation components, more than 8,700 items have been added to the local stock, effective immediately.

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Dennen Steel Starts Work On $7.4M Facility

July 27, 2011 9:07 am

IUKA, Miss. (AP) — Dennen Steel Corp., a contract stamping manufacturer of steel products, has broken ground for construction of a new 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Luka, Miss. The ground-breaking was held Wednesday at the construction site. Chairman and CEO Andrew Dennen said in a statement that the $7.

MS Job Picture Recovering After Flooding

July 27, 2011 9:04 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer

A month after flooding disrupted the economy along the Mississippi River, Mississippi's employment picture improved slightly in June even though the state had 1,700 fewer non-farm jobs than a year ago. The Department of Employment Security said Wednesday that 2,300 jobs vanished from May to June.

Boston Scientific Plans $150M China Expansion

July 27, 2011 9:03 am

NATICK, Mass. (AP) — Boston Scientific Inc. plans to spend $150 million in China over five years to expand operations and staff in the rapidly developing nation, the medical device maker said Wednesday. The company says its investment will include establishing a new manufacturing plant to serve China, and a training center where doctors can learn how to use medical technology.

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GM CEO Says European Car Business Not For Sale

July 27, 2011 9:01 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors' CEO says the company's European car business is not for sale. There have been numerous media reports that GM wanted to shed Opel. The struggling brand employs 18,500 workers and has manufacturing plants throughout Europe. High labor costs and sagging European sales caused a $1.

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Utah Mine Cited For Deadly Negligence

July 27, 2011 8:59 am | by Lynn DeBruin, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal report released Tuesday found management was negligent in a fatal Feb. 24 accident in which a man was trapped on a conveyer belt at a quartzite mine near Salt Lake City. Amy Louviere, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, said a fine will be levied against Bolinder Resources LLC, since the investigation concluded management "engaged in aggravated conduct constituting more than ordinary negligence.

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Demand For Durable Goods Fell In June

July 27, 2011 8:56 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses cut back on orders for aircraft, autos, heavy machinery and computers in June, sending demand for long-lasting manufactured goods lower for the second month in the past three. Orders for durable goods fell 2.1 percent last month, with the weakness led by a big drop in orders for commercial aircraft, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

IN Plant Building More Humvees For Military

July 27, 2011 5:30 am

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana factory is going to remain busy building Humvees that will go to Afghanistan's military. AM General says the contract with the U.S. Army will have the Mishawaka (mish-ah-WAH'-kuh) factory build 808 Humvees and 744 armored troop enclosures for the vehicles by the end of next February.

United Steelworkers Rejects Four-Year Contract

July 27, 2011 5:27 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The United Steelworkers have rejected a four-year contract covering 3,000 workers at Allegheny Technology Inc.'s Allegheny Ludlum specialty steel plans in western Pennsylvania and an ATI plant in Albany, Ore. The union and Pittsburgh-based ATI announced the tentative deal June 30, the day the last contract expired.

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OSHA Cites LA Foundry

July 27, 2011 5:24 am

PRAIRIEVILLE, La. (AP) — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Prairieville company for 41 alleged workplace safety violations. OSHA has proposed penalties of $158,200 against Pearce Foundry Inc. The agency says the alleged violations include exposing workers to silica above federal limits.

Boeing's 2Q Profit Rose 20 Percent

July 27, 2011 5:22 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

Boeing Co. says its second-quarter profit rose almost 20 percent as it delivered more commercial airplanes. The company raised its outlook for the full year. The big airplane maker and defense contractor also says it will not deliver as many of its new 787s and 747-8s this year as previously hoped.

Manufacturing Is One Of Strongest Sectors Of Economy

July 27, 2011 5:20 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses likely boosted their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods by a modest amount in June, helped by increases in demand for machinery. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect to see a 0.3 percent rise in orders for durable goods for June. The Commerce Department will release the new report at 8:30 a.

Fire Breaks Out At CA Plastics Company

July 27, 2011 5:17 am | by Adam Weintraub, Associated Press

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A six-alarm fire at a plastics company in the eastern San Francisco Bay area city of Fairfield sent black smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the air Tuesday, but no injuries were immediately reported. The fire broke out about 1:30 p.m. in a storage area at the Macro Plastics Inc.

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