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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Judge Tosses $322M Asbestos Verdict

January 4, 2012 3:58 am | by Holbrook Mohr, Associated Press

JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — A Mississippi judge has thrown out a $322 million lawsuit verdict that had been hailed as the largest asbestos award for a single plaintiff in U.S. history. The case began to unravel last year after defense lawyers asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to remove the presiding judge because he allegedly neglected to disclose that his parents had been involved in similar asbestos litigation against one of the same companies.

Chrysler Caps Runaround With Strong December

January 4, 2012 3:57 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler's U.S. sales jumped 26 percent last year, capping a remarkable turnaround for a company that nearly collapsed in 2009. Chrysler Group LLC, now majority owned by Fiat SpA, sold 1.37 million vehicles last year, about 284,000 more than in 2010. It has introduced 16 new or revamped models in the past two years, vehicles that have fueled its recovery.

Industrial Fire Damages Trucks In AL

January 3, 2012 8:42 am

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (AP) — A wood processing company says a fire at a plant in northwest Alabama damaged eight big-rig trucks. Great Southern Wood Preserving says the blaze at its plant in Tuscumbia damaged tractors owned and operated by Greenbush Logistics, Inc. Muscle Shoals fire inspector Donald Ray Coons says an explosion occurred Sunday afternoon at Colbert County Industrial Park.


Worthington Industries Acquires Angus For $180M

January 3, 2012 8:39 am

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Metal products maker Worthington Industries Inc. announced Tuesday that it has acquired manufacturer Angus Industries for $180 million in cash. Angus, based in Watertown, S.D., designs and manufactures cabs and operator stations for heavy mobile equipment in agriculture, construction, mining and other markets.

Helen Of Troy Completes PUR Acquisition

January 3, 2012 8:36 am

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Helen of Troy Ltd. has closed on its acquisition of the water-purifier business PUR from Procter & Gamble Co., the company said Tuesday. "We expect to quickly integrate the PUR brands into our health care/home environment segment, where it is a natural fit.

GM Recalling Chevrolet Sonics

January 3, 2012 8:34 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is recalling more than 4,000 of its 2012 Chevrolet Sonic subcompact cars to check for missing brake pads. Some Sonics could be missing an inner or outer brake pad, which could increase stopping distance. GM said there are no known crashes or injuries related to the issue.


Manufacturing Grows At Fastest Pace In 6 Months

January 3, 2012 8:30 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing grew in December at the fastest pace in six months and hiring at U.S. factories picked up. The data helped bolster the view that the economy gained momentum at the end of last year. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday that its manufacturing index rose to 53.

In A First, Fuels Are Top U.S. Export

January 3, 2012 8:27 am | by Chris Kahn, AP Energy Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time, the top export of the United States, the world's biggest gas guzzler, is — wait for it — fuel. Measured in dollars, the nation is on pace this year to ship more gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel than any other single export, according to U.S.


Sanyo To Move More Work From AR Plant

January 3, 2012 4:05 am

FORREST CITY, Ark. (AP) — Sanyo Manufacturing Corp. will move more of its Forrest City operations to plants in Mexico and San Diego and reduce the number of workers remaining at the Arkansas factory. The plant had 650 employees making cathode ray tubes for use in televisions five years ago.


CA Company Cancels $177M Solar Plant

January 3, 2012 4:03 am

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A California-based solar power company is canceling plans to build a $177 million solar panel factory in Michigan, the chief executive said. When the project was announced in 2009, San Jose-based GlobalWatt Inc. said it would create 500 jobs. At that time, Saginaw was one of two communities in the running for the project.


As Ford Plant Waned, Workers Slow To Prepare

January 3, 2012 4:01 am | by Chris Williams, Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — When the last Ranger pickup truck rolled off the assembly line at the Ford Motor Co. plant here in December, it came five years after Ford announced plans to close the plant. And yet it managed to catch many employees unprepared for life's next step. It's a theme that's become all too familiar for union leaders at shuttered plants around the country who have watched workers cling too long to high-paying jobs.


Woman Sues Honda Over Mileage

January 3, 2012 3:58 am | by Linda Deutsch, AP Special Correspondent

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — A woman who expected her 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid to be her dream car wants Honda to pay for not delivering the high mileage it promised. But rather than joining other owners in a class-action lawsuit, she is going solo in small claims court, an unusual move that could offer a bigger payout if it doesn't backfire.

Fisker Recalls Karma Electric Car For Fire Risk

January 3, 2012 3:56 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even expensive electric cars get recalled sometimes. Fisker Automotive is recalling its 2012 Karma because of a potential coolant leak. The plug-in hybrid cars cost about $100,000. Fisker has sold about 50 of them and says 1,200 more are in production or waiting to be sold.

U.S. Auto Industry To Post Another Good Sales Year

January 3, 2012 3:54 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — After hitting a 30-year low in 2009, U.S. auto sales are poised for a second straight year of growth — the result of easier credit, low interest rates and pent-up demand for cars and trucks created by the Great Recession. The sales forecast bodes well for the industry's continued recovery and for the broader American economy.


Judge Allows AMR To Continue Boeing Purchases

December 22, 2011 8:32 am | by Samantha Bomkamp, AP Airlines Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — A bankruptcy judge says that the parent of American Airlines can go ahead with its previously scheduled deliveries of Boeing aircraft next year. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane ruled Thursday that AMR Corp. can continue the process of purchasing 32 Boeing planes.

OSHA Accuses WI Manufacture Of Violations

December 22, 2011 8:30 am

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A federal workplace-safety agency accuses a Waukesha, Wis. manufacturer of exposing its workers to safety hazards. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Acme Machell Co. for 22 alleged safety and health violations. The company makes rubber components for other products.

Gas Tubing Fires Linked To Lightning Spark Concern

December 22, 2011 8:28 am | by Kantele Franko, Associated Press

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Reports of lightning-related fires and gas leaks in at least a dozen states have sparked concerns about the use of flexible gas lines made of corrugated stainless steel tubing. The same type of lightning strikes is suspected of causing fires in four homes in central Ohio over a stormy 12-hour period this summer.

Economy Grew More Slowly In Summer Than Thought

December 22, 2011 8:26 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew more slowly in the summer than previously thought because consumers spent less than the government had first estimated. But economists expect growth in the current October-December quarter to be stronger. The Commerce Department says the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.

J&J Recalls Motrin Caplets, Again

December 22, 2011 8:23 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson has issued another recall of Motrin pain relievers, at least the sixth in two years. It's part of a string of more than two dozen recalls of consumer health products, prescription drugs and medical devices over 2 1/2 years.

Toyota Aims To sell 8.48M Vehicles In 2012

December 22, 2011 8:21 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is aiming for a comeback, targeting record global sales of 8.48 million vehicles in 2012 and an even bigger number in 2013, after being battered this year by the March disaster in Japan and flooding in Thailand. Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's top automaker, relinquished its title as the world's biggest in global vehicle sales for the first half of this year, sinking to No.


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