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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

RIM Reveals New Generation Of BlackBerrys

October 18, 2011 9:16 am

SAN FRANCISCO — Just days after the worst service outage in its history, Research In Motion was expected to unveil a new generation of BlackBerrys Tuesday at a software developer's conference in San Francisco. RIM (TSX:RIM) has struggled through several major setbacks in recent months and the conference gives the Waterloo, Ont.

Fitch Lowers Fiat Credit Ratings On Chrysler Risk

October 18, 2011 9:14 am

MILAN (AP) — The Fitch ratings agency has downgraded the credit rating of Italian automaker Fiat SpA because of risks linked to its combination with U.S. automaker Chrysler Group LLC. Fitch said Tuesday that Fiat's own operations may be disrupted by financial difficulties at Chrysler at a time when Fiat is under pressure at its standalone business.

GM's China Sales Top 2 Million

October 18, 2011 9:12 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. said Tuesday that it has sold more than 2 million cars and trucks in China for the second straight year. The company reached the milestone on Tuesday, more than two weeks earlier than it hit the 2 million mark in 2010. GM said Buick sales are up 24 percent in China this year, with Chevrolet sales rising 18 percent and Cadillac sales up 73 percent.


Energy Costs Push Prices Up In September

October 18, 2011 9:09 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge in gas costs drove wholesale prices up in September by the most in five months. Economists cautioned that much of the increase was the result of one-time factors and said broader inflation remains modest. The Producer Price Index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, rose 0.

China Eastern Cancels Boeing 787 Order

October 18, 2011 9:08 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

Boeing is losing a major customer for its new 787. China Eastern Airlines Corp. says it has canceled an order for 24 of the planes worth more than $3 billion at list prices. Instead, the Hong Kong-based airline will take 45 new Boeing 737s worth about the same amount. China Eastern also says it will buy 15 new Airbus A330s, worth about $2.

Honeywell Plans $25M SC Expansion

October 18, 2011 5:48 am

GREER, S.C. (AP) — Honeywell is expanding its Greenville County operations to create 30 new jobs over the next five years. Gov. Nikki Haley announced Monday that Honeywell International Inc. is investing $25 million in its Greer facility. Officials say the company will install more efficient equipment at the plant, which repairs and overhauls propulsion engines for aerospace customers.


Harley's 3Q Profit More Than Doubles

October 18, 2011 5:46 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson's third-quarter profit more than doubled as the motorcycle maker's sales rose in the U.S. and worldwide. The Milwaukee company said Tuesday that it earned $183.6 million, or 78 cents per share, up from $88.8 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.

China's Economic Growth Slows Amid Cooling Efforts

October 18, 2011 5:45 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China's rapid economic growth eased in the latest quarter to a still-robust 9.1 percent amid government efforts to prevent overheating. Growth of the world's second-largest economy in the three months through September was down from the previous quarter's 9.5 percent and the lowest level in two years, data showed Tuesday.


BlackBerry Maker Tries To Soothe Angry Customers

October 18, 2011 5:43 am | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — The maker of the struggling BlackBerry tried to soothe tens of millions of frustrated customers Monday, offering more than $100 worth of free software to each one and giving some a month of technical support as compensation for last week's massive outage. But some BlackBerry users and experts cast doubt on whether the freebies from Research In Motion would be enough to keep people from abandoning the tarnished brand in favor of more popular smartphones.

Apple Supplier Faces Pollution Complaints In China

October 18, 2011 5:41 am

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A Taiwan-based company that supplies metal casings for Apple's Inc.'s MacBook series of laptops says it is shutting down some operations at its factory complex in eastern China following complaints of bad odors by residents. Catcher Technology Chairman Hung Shui-shu told reporters late Monday that Chinese authorities had ordered the company to close down some production lines in Suzhou city for inspection.

OSHA Fines Welding Shop $59K

October 18, 2011 5:37 am

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Stollings welding company is facing more than $59,000 in fines after federal investigators found more than two dozen safety violations. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the proposed penalties against Mollett Welding and Mine Service Inc.

Harris Gets $66M Radio Order From U.S. Army

October 17, 2011 9:41 am

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — Military contractor Harris Corp. said Friday that it received a $66.3 million order from the U.S. Army to provide multiband "manpack" radios to support the modernization of battlefield communications systems. The system will allow for streaming video, collaborative chat, biometric enrollment and secure network connectivity.

$30M Turbine Plant Put On Hold

October 17, 2011 9:39 am

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — A project to build a $30 million wind turbine manufacturing plant at the Port of Muskogee has been put on hold. Eagle Claw Fabrication president Tom Word told the Muskogee Phoenix ( a sluggish economy and hesitation by private investors have slowed construction.


Fly Adds 49 Planes To Fleet For $1.4B

October 17, 2011 9:36 am | by The Associated Press

Irish aircraft leasing company Fly Leasing Ltd. said on Monday that it closed its purchase on 49 planes for $1.4 billion, increasing its fleet to 109 aircraft. Fly bought the planes from Global Aviation Asset Management, an Australian leasing company. The planes are mostly Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s, with an average age of 7.

CT Firm Credits More Business To Robotics

October 17, 2011 9:32 am | by Lee Howard

WATERFORD, Conn. (AP) — Robert J. Marelli Jr., owner and president of the sheet-metal fabricator Seconn, looked five years down the road and didn't like what he saw. The average age for welders nationwide had hit 55, and Marelli knew it was only a matter of time before these workers would hit retirement age, leaving a gaping hole in a business he had spent eight years building up.


Philips To Cut 4,500 Jobs As Profit Plunges

October 17, 2011 9:29 am

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Royal Philips Electronics NV, the world's largest lighting maker, said Monday it will slash 4,500 jobs after third quarter earnings fell sharply, hurt by a strong euro, weaker margins and more losses at its television division, which it intends to sell. Net profit was euro74 million ($102 million) from euro524 million in the same period a year ago, the company said.

Apple Sells 4M iPhones In 3 Days

October 17, 2011 9:27 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple says it sold more than 4 million units of the new iPhone model in three days. It's selling more than twice as fast as the previous model did when it launched last year. Apple Inc. and its phone company partners started selling the iPhone 4S on Friday in the U.

Oshkosh Corp.'s Union Ratifies New 5-Year Contract

October 17, 2011 5:45 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) — After rejecting two previous contract deals, the union for production workers at Oshkosh Corp. easily ratified a new five-year contract Saturday after the maker of military vehicles abandoned a provision that would have allowed it to hire temporary workers. About 77 percent of members approved the deal, said Nick Nitschke, president of the United Auto Workers Local 578.

Samsung Seeks iPhone 4S Ban In Japan

October 17, 2011 5:44 am

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics is asking Japanese and Australian courts to block sales of Apple's new iPhone 4S in those countries. The preliminary injunctions Samsung filed Monday in Tokyo District Court and the Federal Court in Australia are part of an intensifying patent battle between the smartphone giants.

Majority Of Ford Workers Supporting New Contract

October 17, 2011 5:41 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Workers at some of Ford Motor Co.'s largest local unions have approved a new labor contract with the company, making it likely that the four-year deal will be approved when voting finishes on Tuesday. The United Auto Workers union said Sunday night that more than 90 percent of the 2,991 workers voting at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.



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