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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Where Are All The American Jobs?

December 28, 2010 4:34 am | by Pallavi Gogoi, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Corporate profits are up. Stock prices are up. So why isn't anyone hiring? Actually, many American companies are — just maybe not in your town. They're hiring overseas, where sales are surging and the pipeline of orders is fat. More than half of the 15,000 people that Caterpillar Inc.

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Ford To Expand Use Of Fuel-Saving Technology

December 27, 2010 6:12 am

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Monday that it plans to include its fuel-saving Auto Start-Stop technology — originally designed for and used in its gas-electric hybrids — in a wider range of vehicles sold in North America starting in 2012. The technology automatically shuts off the engine when a vehicle stops, which Ford says improves fuel economy at least 4 percent.

Educational Partnership Improves 'Steelworker for the Future'

December 27, 2010 5:34 am

BURNS HARBOR, Ind. (AP) — Andrew Sweeney said it wasn't part of his initial plan to work in the steel industry. Hired earlier this year as an electrical maintenance technician working at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, Sweeney said his thoughts changed once he enrolled in a training program that helped him snag a job with the world's largest steelmaker.

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Muncie Locomotive Plant Advertising Welding Positions

December 27, 2010 5:26 am

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A division of Caterpillar that plans to employ 650 people at a diesel-electric railroad locomotive plant in Muncie is looking for workers. Progress Rail Services has begun advertising for 70 welders and other positions through the state website www.indianacareerconnect.

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Ind. Ethanol Plant Begins Production After Bankruptcy Halts

December 27, 2010 5:16 am

MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (AP) — A company is ramping up production at an ethanol plant in southwestern Indiana that is now operating after construction work was halted for more than a year. Pekin, Ill.-based Aventine Renewable Energy produced its first ethanol on Nov. 30 at the Mount Vernon plant, which it started building in late 2007.

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For Japan, 2010 A Year To Forget

December 27, 2010 5:08 am

TOKYO (AP) — Japan has been overtaken by China as the world's No. 2 economy. Its flagship company, Toyota, recalled more than 10 million vehicles in an embarrassing safety crisis. Its fourth prime minister resigned in three years, and the government remains unable to jolt an economy entering its third decade of stagnation.

Hawker Beachcraft Decides To Stay Put In Kansas

December 22, 2010 3:51 am | by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft Corp. on Tuesday announced its commitment to keep its aircraft operations in Kansas for the next 10 years as part of a $45 million deal brokered with state and local officials. In return for an incentives package, Hawker Beechcraft has agreed to maintain its current aircraft lines and keep at least 4,000 jobs in the state during the next 10 years.

PPG Subsidiary Fined For Sending Nuclear Tech To Pakistan

December 22, 2010 3:31 am

SHANGHAI (AP) — A Chinese subsidiary of U.S.-based PPG Industries Inc. has pled guilty to violating U.S. export controls by exporting high-tech coatings to a nuclear reactor in Pakistan, the U.S. Commerce Department said. PPG and its wholly owned subsidiary PPG Paints Trading (Shanghai) Co.

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Airbus Warns Pilots About Potentially Deadly Malfunction

December 22, 2010 3:30 am

PARIS (AP) — Airbus has warned pilots about a dangerous potential malfunction of speed sensors on aircraft like the Air France A330 that crashed into the Atlantic last year, killing all 228 people aboard. The European jet maker on Monday sent the warning over the sensors, called Pitot tubes, to the roughly 100 operators of its A330 and A340-200 and A340-300 long-range, widebody aircraft.

Hyundai, VW Lead Pack For Safest Vehicles

December 22, 2010 3:27 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia and German car maker Volkswagen lead the insurance industry's annual list of the safest new vehicles, used by safety-minded consumers looking to buy a new car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recognized 66 vehicles on Wednesday with its "top safety pick award" for the 2011 model year, the most-ever awarded by the Virginia-based group.

Combustible Dust Explosion Injures Two At Georgia Plant

December 22, 2010 3:23 am

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Fire investigators say dust in the air at an animal vitamin plant led to an explosion that damaged the plant and left two workers injured. Jackson County firefighters responded to the blast at the Hoffman-La Roche/DCM Materials plant on Tuesday.

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NAM Names Jay Timmons President And CEO

December 22, 2010 3:20 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today announced that it has named Jay Timmons president and CEO, effective January 2011. Timmons has served as Executive Vice President at the NAM and will succeed former Michigan Governor John Engler in this position.   Timmons has extensive experience in government relations, public affairs, political campaigns and business.

GM Using Gulf Spill Oil Boom In Production Of Volt

December 21, 2010 3:57 am | by Harry R. Weber, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Boom from the BP oil spill is getting a new charge from the maker of the Chevrolet Volt electric car. General Motors says that instead of going to landfills, roughly 100 miles of plastic boom material will be converted into vehicle parts. The parts deflect air around the vehicle's radiator.

SEC To Investigate Hurd's Devastating Ouster From HP

December 21, 2010 3:42 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mark Hurd is facing more fallout from his ouster five months ago as CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's biggest personal computer and printer maker. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the circumstances of Hurd's forced resignation in August, a surprising exit that triggered an immediate $9 billion drop in HP's market value and involved allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate sharing of inside information.

Union Leaders Not Happy With Kohler Contract

December 21, 2010 3:38 am

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — Union workers at Kohler Co. have approved a new contract against the recommendation of their leaders. The contract passed with 62 percent of the vote. Vote totals were not made available immediately following the vote Sunday in Sheboygan. The contract calls for a 5-year pay freeze, and workers will pay more for health insurance.

Pfizer Recalls More Lipitor For Strange Odor

December 21, 2010 3:36 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Drug developer Pfizer Inc. on Tuesday recalled a batch of 19,000 bottles of the blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor, citing a consumer complaint about an "uncharacteristic" odor. The latest announcement marks the fourth such recall since August over similar issues. Pfizer said the bottles were supplied by an outside manufacturer, though it did not identify the party.

A Timeline Of Our Gas-Guzzling Nation

December 21, 2010 3:35 am | by the Associated Press

Experts say U.S. gasoline demand is at the start of a long-term decline following seven decades of mostly uninterrupted growth. Here are key moments marking the rise and fall: 1905 — Country's first gasoline filling station is built in St. Louis. 1946 — Gasoline demand rises 25 percent the year after World War II ends.

Toyota To Pay Record $32.4 Million Fine Over Recalls

December 21, 2010 3:34 am | by Ken Thomas and Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay the U.S. government a record $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis. The civil penalties will settle investigations into how Toyota dealt with recalls over accelerator pedals that could get trapped in floor mats and steering relay rods that could break and lead to drivers losing control.

Smartphone Makers Battling More In Court Than The Market

December 20, 2010 4:15 am | by Jessica Mintz, AP Technology Writer

SEATTLE (AP) — Competition among smart phone makers is heating up at retail, in advertising and, increasingly, in the courtroom as handset and software makers wield patent lawsuits to protect their turf and slow down their rivals. Just a few years ago, smart phones were mainly for office workers who needed to check e-mail after hours.

Caterpillar, UAW Halt Contract Talks

December 20, 2010 3:58 am

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Negotiators for Caterpillar Inc. and the United Auto Workers are taking a break for the holidays and plan to resume talks on a contract on Jan. 11. The contract covers about 9,500 workers at a number of sites around Illinois and in three other states. The two sides met Thursday for about two hours.

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