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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

WA Governor Courts Boeing In Interstate Competition

September 29, 2009 4:17 am | by Curt Woodward, Associated Press Writer

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington's governor is stepping up public efforts to court the Boeing Co., part of a high-stakes interstate competition for the second assembly line of the company's long-delayed 787 jetliner. In a report released Monday, Gov. Chris Gregoire detailed what she called the business case for building a second 787 line in Washington state.

Harley's MV Agusta Unveils New Models

September 28, 2009 12:14 pm | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group unveiled its first new models in 10 years on Monday, saying its purchase by motorcycle giant Harley-Davidson Inc. last year is beginning to pay off. The two new bikes — new versions of its Brutale sport bikes — are geared toward younger, affluent riders interested in MV Agusta's sporty performance rides.

Wife Wants To Unseal Evidence In Cintas Dryer Death

September 28, 2009 12:07 pm | by Justin Juozapavicius, Associated Press Writer

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The widow of a Cintas Corp. worker who fell into an industrial dryer and died in 2007 wants a federal judge to unseal for public viewing more than 90 percent of the evidence in her lawsuit against the nation's largest uniform supplier. Amalia Diaz Torres claims in a motion filed last week that the Cincinnati-based company is abusing the court's protective order by marking much of the case evidence as "confidential," forcing key documents and depositions to be blacked out.


Moog Acquires GE Aviation Asset For $90m

September 28, 2009 12:01 pm

EAST AURORA, N.Y. (AP) — Aircraft systems maker Moog Inc. said Monday it completed its acquisition of a GE Aviation Systems flight control product line for $90 million. The deal was made in cash, with funds from the company's revolving credit facility, Moog said in a release. The GE business, based in Wolverhampton, England, designs and makes flight control actuation for commercial and military programs, including for the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A330.

21st Century 'Land' Rush: Alternate Energy Across The West

September 28, 2009 9:39 am | by Paul Foy, Associated Press Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Want some solar energy with your geothermal? In Utah, state officials are fielding various combinations of energy proposals, a list that includes solar and geothermal installations and an energy storage project that would turn salt caverns into a kind of giant battery.


Chinese Drywall Makers Likely To Ignore Suits

September 28, 2009 9:33 am | by Cain Burdeau, Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Lawyers representing homeowners and homebuilders who used drywall suspected of causing corrosion and possible health risks say they expect Chinese companies that made the wallboard to ignore hundreds of lawsuits filed against them in U.S. courts. So, who's going to be on the hook for any damages courts might award? That's the pivotal question for lawyers as they pursue about 300 lawsuits in U.

Kraft Considers Hostile Bid For Cadbury

September 28, 2009 4:52 am

LONDON (AP) -- Kraft Foods Inc. is poised to launch a hostile bid for British candy maker Cadbury PLC, The Observer said Sunday, citing unnamed sources. Kraft earlier this month made a $16.7 billion stock-and-cash proposal that was rebuffed by the U.K. confectionary company. Cadbury has repeatedly said it is not interested in a takeover but the U.

Analyst: Success For Chrysler-Fiat Would Be 'A Herculean Feat'

September 28, 2009 4:45 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler thinks its future may be in a new lineup of smaller cars based on models from Italian partner Fiat. The question is how to make them for Americans put off by stiff suspensions, firm seats and — perish the thought — not enough cupholders. The problem is further complicated because Americans generally are plumper and taller than Western Europeans, and they're used to driving fatter and longer cars on wider roads.


Clean Energy Bill Could Create 5,000 SD Jobs

September 28, 2009 4:17 am | by Roger Larsen

HURON, S.D. (AP) — Transitioning to a clean energy economy with passage of an energy bill pending in the Senate would create 5,000 South Dakota jobs, break the nation's dependence on oil and help solve the climate crisis, the state director of Repower South Dakota said Wednesday. Wind turbine blade manufacturer Knight & Carver stands to double or triple its current 60-employee base should the measure pass.


MN Pig Iron Plant Fights For American Steel

September 28, 2009 4:16 am | by Peter Passi

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The sea of vehicles crowding the approach to Mesabi Nugget bespeaks the project's scale. Somewhere between 600 and 700 contractors are on the job most days, working to launch the Iron Range's newest taconite processor. At the peak of activity, about a month ago, upwards of 800 tradespeople were working to construct the $270 million plant that will transform taconite into pig iron.


BP And Kuwait Begin Joint Venture For Chinese Oil

September 28, 2009 4:12 am

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Oil giant BP PLC is interested in teaming up with Kuwait in a planned $9 billion joint venture refinery project in southern China, a senior Kuwaiti official said Monday. Hussein Ismail, president of the state-owned Kuwait Petroleum International, told the official Kuwait News Agency that "preliminary talks" with the British oil giant have begun, and that BP was evaluating the 300,000 barrel per day facility's site in southern China's Guangdong province.


IL-Based Abbott To Buy Solvay Pharma For $6.6b

September 28, 2009 4:11 am | by Damian Troise, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Abbott Laboratories is buying the pharmaceutical business of Belgian chemicals maker Solvay for $6.6 billion in a move to further expand internationally and add to its product portfolio. North Chicago, Ill.-based Abbott already holds U.S. marketing rights for Solvay's Trilipix and TriCor, drugs which raise "good" HDL cholesterol while reducing triglycerides and "bad" LDL cholesterol.

Air Force To Reopen $35b Boeing-Northrop Battle

September 25, 2009 4:47 am | by Donna Borak, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Air Force is poised to reopen the competition between rivals Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. for a troubled $35 billion tanker contract. The Pentagon has tried and failed twice to award a contract to replace its Eisenhower-era fleet of tankers that refuel military planes in flight.


Ford, UAW Talks 'A Delicate Balance'

September 25, 2009 4:37 am | by Kimberly S. Johnson, AP Auto Writer

PLYMOUTH, Mich. (AP) -- United Auto Workers union president Ron Gettelfinger said Thursday that while the group continues to discuss additional contract modifications with Ford Motor Co. both sides are working to maintain a good relationship. "It's a delicate balance," said Gettelfinger of Ford's desire to make changes and UAW workers' potential reluctance to agree to further concessions.


Chinese Startup To Build Hybrids In Alabama

September 25, 2009 4:29 am

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A group of Chinese investors plans to construct a large-scale plant to manufacture hybrid automobiles in northern Baldwin County near Mobile. Gov. Bob Riley and the chairman of Hybrid Kinetic Motors, Yung "Benjamin" Yeung said the company is expected to begin operations in 2013 and will create more than 5,000 jobs.


Magna Reconsiders Closing of Antwerp Plant

September 25, 2009 4:20 am | by George Frey, AP Business Writer

FRANKFURT (AP) — Magna International Inc. is considering whether to keep the former General Motors Co. plant in Antwerp, Belgium open despite initially saying the plant would be shuttered, a German weekly reported Friday. Germany's Der Spiegel said that Magna, a Canadian car parts company, and GM are considering whether to move production of a small GM SUV, that had been intended to be built in China, to the Belgium plant.


Durable Goods Down, Indexes Inconclusive

September 25, 2009 4:15 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders for goods expected to last at least three years fell unexpectedly in August due mainly to a drop in demand for commercial aircraft. The second decline in orders for durable goods in three months is evidence that any recovery in manufacturing will be slow and gradual.

Unilever Picks Up Sara Lee Franchises For $1.88b

September 25, 2009 4:12 am

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Consumer products giant Unilever NV said Friday it has agreed to buy businesses including the Sanex and Duschdas brands from Sara Lee Corp. for €1.28 billion ($1.88 billion) The businesses to be acquired, subject to regulatory approval, include Sara Lee's worldwide body care products business and its European detergents arms, which includes strong regional brands such as Radox bubble bath and Switzal, a maker of baby shampoo.

Ford To Spent $490m On Chinese Factory

September 25, 2009 4:07 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Friday it plans to spend $490 million on building a third assembly plant in China, ramping up production to meet surging demand in this fast-growing market as the U.S. automaker expands in Asia. The factory, to be built in the central Chinese city of Chongqing, will make the next-generation Focus compact car, which Ford plans to sell globally.


Sugar Refinery Ignored Explosive Dust Before Blast

September 25, 2009 4:04 am | by Rruss Bynum, Associated Press Writer

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Imperial Sugar Co. and managers of its Georgia refinery ignored known dangers of explosive dust for decades before a chain of dust-fueled fireballs erupted at the plant last year and killed 14 people, investigators said in a report Thursday. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which investigates industrial accidents, said it found written warnings of explosive dust hazards in refinery memos from the 1960s and that the deaths likely could have been prevented by routine housekeeping.



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