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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Boston Scientific Guilty Of Fraud, Hit With $296M Fine

April 6, 2010 4:52 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Boston Scientific Corp.'s Guidant LLC division pleaded guilty Monday to two federal misdemeanor counts alleging it failed to properly disclose changes made to some implantable heart devices. The deal calls for Guidant to pay more than $296 million, which federal prosecutors called the largest criminal penalty ever assessed against a medical device company.

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Carbon Motors Hiring 1,500 In Eastern Indiana

April 6, 2010 4:44 am

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Hundreds of people attended information sessions to learn about possible jobs at a startup company planning to build high-tech police cars in eastern Indiana. Carbon Motors is awaiting approval of a $310 million federal loan before it starts hiring potentially 1,500 workers for the Connersville factory.

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25 Dead In W.Va. Coal Mine Explosion

April 6, 2010 4:43 am | by Lawrence Messina, Associated Press Writer

MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP) — Rescue teams planned to search again Tuesday for four workers missing in a coalmine where a massive explosion killed 25 in the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than two decades, though officials said the chances were slim that the miners survived, and the search may not be able to start again until evening.

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First Steel Beam Placed At Boeing's S.C. Dreamliner Plant

April 6, 2010 4:42 am

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Crews have reached another milestone as they build Boeing Co.'s new South Carolina plant. The Post and Courier of Charleston reports company executives were on hand Monday to watch the first steel beam placed for the plant which will build Boeing's 787 jetliner.

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Toyota Faces $16M Fine Over Recalls, Apparent Cover-up

April 5, 2010 11:44 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. faces a maximum penalty of more than $16 million, a record civil penalty against an automaker, for failing to promptly notify the U.S. government about defective gas pedals among its vehicles. Toyota has recalled more than 6 million vehicles in the U.S.

Ohio GM Plant Stays Strong By Thinking Small

April 5, 2010 4:24 am

PARMA, Ohio (AP) — A General Motors metal plant in Ohio has been able to stay strong by focusing on making small car parts that customers never see and are cheaper to ship, officials say. GM has spent $60 million installing new equipment and upgrading machines at the Parma Metal Center, which employs about 1,300.

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La. Manufacturer Sues To Force Use Of Its Product

April 5, 2010 4:21 am

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana company is suing city and parish officials to force them to use a road building material it manufactures. Bear Industries Inc. argues that its product, a calcium sulfate blend, would allow the city-parish to build roads more cheaply, saving taxpayers money.

Imperial Sugar Appeals $8.8M OSHA Fine, Denies Wrongdoing

April 5, 2010 4:17 am

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A hearing is scheduled for May 18 in Savannah on the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's attempt to fine Imperial Sugar Co. $8.8 million. Explosions and a fire killed 14 people and injured many others at Imperial's Port Wentworth, Ga. refinery in 2008. OSHA issued 124 citations at Port Wentworth.

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V-Vehicle Founder Ousted, Venture Capitalists Take Over

April 5, 2010 4:15 am

MONROE, La. (AP) — Founder Frank Varasano has been replaced as chief executive officer of V-Vehicle Co., the San Diego-based company created to build fuel-efficient cars, the company says. Ray Lane, a managing partner of V-Vehicle's largest investor — the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers LLP — is running the company while officials look for a full-time CEO, according to a brief statement released Friday.

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OSHA, CSB: U.S. Refineries Marred By Safety Violations

April 5, 2010 4:12 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. oil refineries have an ongoing problem with accidents that turn deadly, losing four times as much money from such incidents than refineries in the rest of the world, according to an insurance company report obtained Friday by The Associated Press. The problem is highlighted by a deadly string of explosions, including one that killed four people Friday at a Tesoro Corp.

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BMW Hiring 200 At Greer, S.C. Plant

April 5, 2010 4:10 am

GREER, S.C. (AP) — Automaker BMW Manufacturing Co. plans to hire about 200 temporary production and logistics workers at its South Carolina plant. The Greenville News reported last week that applicants need a stable work history, a high school diploma or GED and be capable of working 10-hour shifts.

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3 Dead, 4 Injured In Wash. Oil Refinery Explosion

April 2, 2010 4:55 am

ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) — Three people are dead and four critically injured after an explosion and fire at an oil refinery in Washington state shook homes and shot flames into the night sky. Tesoro Corp. says three people died in the fire at its refinery in Anacortes, Wash., about 70 miles north of Seattle.

Hiring Reaches 3-Year High, Manufacturing Continues Climb

April 2, 2010 4:43 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's economy posted its largest job gain in three years in March, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent for the third straight month. The increase in payrolls is the latest sign that the economic recovery is gaining momentum and healing in the job market is beginning.

Hyundai's Montgomery Plant Sets Monthly Production Record

April 2, 2010 4:29 am

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Montgomery's Hyundai plant reports that it produced more vehicles in March than ever before in a single month. A preliminary report says the plant produced more than 28,000 vehicles last month. That broke the plantrecord of 27,157 set in May 2007.

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French Workers Protest Plant Closure With Bomb Threats

April 2, 2010 4:27 am

CREPY-EN-VALOIS, France (AP) — Workers at a factory north of Paris are threatening to set fire to a huge gas tank to protest the planned closure of the factory. About 50 workers at Sodimatex, which makes car rugs, have been occupying the site in Crepy-en-Valois since Thursday. They want to pressure the company for better compensation.

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Last Corolla Rolls Off Nummi Assembly Line

April 2, 2010 4:25 am | by Brooke Donald, Associated Press Writer

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — California's sole auto plant shut down Thursday as the last car rolled off the assembly line and thousands of now unemployed workers walked out the doors, some crying. A red Toyota Corolla was the last of nearly 8 million vehicles that have moved through production at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.

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OSHA Fines Bimbo Bakeries $230,000

April 2, 2010 4:23 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — State regulators have fined Bimbo Bakeries more than $230,000 for violations of health and safety laws at three of its California plants. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health said Thursday that citations were issued at Bimbo Bakeries in Montebello, Escondido and South San Francisco.

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Accident Kills Two At Kansas Fertilizer Plant

April 2, 2010 4:22 am

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — An industrial accident at a Kansas fertilizer plant has left two workers dead and another injured. The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the MagnaGro International plant in Lawrence. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Chief Mark Bradford says a worker fell into a tank of a nonhazardous substance he wouldn't identify.

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Neb. CommScope Manufacturing Shut Down

March 31, 2010 8:17 am

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CommScope Inc. has announced it will close its Omaha plant late next year, eliminating about 400 manufacturing jobs. The Omaha plant, operating as a Connectivity Solutions Manufacturing Inc. subsidiary, manufactures parts used in cable networks. CommScope said Wednesday those operations would be relocated to its other U.

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GM, DOE Partner On Jatropha Biofuel Research

March 31, 2010 4:48 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. will spend the next five years working with federal authorities to study whether oil from a weed can become a sustainable source for biodiesel, the automotive company said Tuesday. The partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy will study whether the jatropha plant can be a dependable biofuel crop.

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