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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Heinz Adapts To New Economic Realities

November 18, 2011 8:17 am | by Sarah Skidmore, AP Food Industry Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — H.J. Heinz Co knows that every penny counts in this economy. The world's biggest ketchup maker's second-quarter profit fell yet narrowly beat expectations on an adjusted basis Friday as it focused on fast-growing emerging markets. But in struggling developed markets such as the U.

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Microsoft Asks Judge To Dismiss Antitrust Case

November 18, 2011 8:14 am

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A trial accusing Microsoft of antitrust violations resumes in federal court in Salt Lake City with the software giant asking a judge to dismiss the case brought by Utah's Novell Inc. Novell has spent a month arguing that Microsoft was trying to protect its Windows monopoly when it rejected the WordPerfect writing application for the Windows '95 rollout.

GE Invests $1B In Silicon Valley Software Hub

November 18, 2011 8:10 am

SAN RAMON, California (AP) — General Electric Co., a maker of power plants, jet engines and medical imaging equipment, said Thursday that it is investing $1 billion in a new software headquarters in Silicon Valley with plans to hire 400 software-related staffers to develop what it calls the "Industrial Internet.

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Metal Futures Plunge On Europe Worries

November 18, 2011 8:08 am | by Christopher Leonard, AP Business Writer

Metals prices fell sharply Thursday on fears that Europe's spreading financial crisis will slow the fragile U.S economic recovery. Traders were worried that a spiraling financial crisis in Italy, Spain and France could hurt U.S. banks. If that happens, it could slow growth and cut demand for industrial metals like copper and palladium.

Unemployment Applications Drop To 7-Month Low

November 18, 2011 8:03 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since early April, a sign that layoffs are easing and hiring may pick up. Weekly applications dropped by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

GE Surpasses Hudson PCB Dredging Target

November 18, 2011 4:24 am | by Michael Hill, Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Crews dredging PCBs from the upper Hudson River surpassed the year-end production goal set by federal regulators despite delays due to heavy rains and high water. General Electric Co. reports that it removed more than 363,000 cubic yards of sediment from the river this year before wrapping up dredging for the season on Nov.

Gov Says Energy Costs Won't Close SC Plant

November 18, 2011 4:21 am

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (AP) — Gov. Nikki Haley says energy costs will not lead to a shutdown of a plant in Berkeley County that employs about 640 people. Haley toured the Alcoa aluminum-smelting plant near Goose Creek on Thursday. Alcoa officials say they may have to close the plant if they can't get a reduction in the $4 million-a-week costs in electricity.

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Mazda To Provide Technology To Other Carmakers

November 18, 2011 4:19 am

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17 (Kyodo) — Mazda Motor Corp. said Thursday that it is prepared to supply other auto manufacturers with its technology that makes gasoline vehicles as fuel-efficient as gasoline-electric hybrid cars. Mazda President Takashi Yamanouchi also said in an interview in Los Angeles that the automaker plans to maintain domestic output despite harsh exporting conditions amid a strong yen, while expanding overseas production to meet growing demand abroad.

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Boeing Turns Around With New Orders, Planes

November 18, 2011 4:17 am | by Joshua Freed, Samantha Bomkamp, AP Airlines Writers

Boeing is starting to fly right. An Indonesian airline's commitment to buy $21.7 billion worth of new planes is the latest good news for the company after a year when some things could have gone better. Earlier this week, Emirates Airlines ordered $18 billion worth of 777s. Both deals come shortly after Boeing finally began delivering its two newest planes, the next-generation 787 and the latest version of the iconic 747.

Hoeganaes Corp. Says It Is Improving Safety

November 18, 2011 4:14 am | by Travis Loller, Associated Press

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — A Gallatin metal powders factory where five workers died in flash fires earlier this year said in a statement Wednesday that it is improving safety at the plant. The Hoeganaes (HAY'-gan-eez) Corp. issued its statement hours after the release of a highly critical investigative report by the U.

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GM Chief Says Public Is Past Anger Over Bailout

November 18, 2011 4:10 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — The American public has gotten past its animosity toward General Motors for taking a government bailout in 2009, the company's top executive said Thursday. Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said a poll taken last summer for GM by Washington public opinion firm Peter Hart Research Associates shows that more than 70 percent of Americans have a positive opinion of the company.

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Settlement Reached In Chinese Drywall Case

November 17, 2011 8:37 am | by Kevin McGill, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A settlement outlined Wednesday between a major manufacturer of Chinese-made drywall and homebuilders who used the tainted product in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi could affect anywhere from 800 to 1,500 homes, attorneys said. Lawyers called it a significant step toward resolving problems with some 10,000 buildings blamed on the drywall.

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Chu Says WH Did Not Contact Him On Solyndra Loan

November 17, 2011 8:34 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Thursday that no one from the White House ever contacted him to make a political decision on a half-billion-dollar loan to a California solar company that later went bankrupt. Testifying under oath on a widening controversy, Chu said he was unaware of his staff predictions in 2009 that Solyndra was likely to face severe cash-flow problems.

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Rambus Loses Antitrust Trial

November 17, 2011 8:31 am | by Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A jury denied Rambus Inc. billions of dollars in damages as it determined that chip-makers Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. didn't conspire to fix prices of memory chips in order to make products designed by Rambus more expensive. Rambus' stock sank 61 percent after losing its 7-year-old antitrust case in California Superior Court in San Francisco.

J&J Removing Toxins From Products

November 17, 2011 8:29 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Amid pressure from activists, Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday that it is continuing efforts to remove traces of two harmful chemicals from its baby products around the world. An international coalition of consumer and environmental groups has been pressing J&J since May 2009 to remove two potentially cancer-causing chemicals from products including its signature Johnson's Baby Shampoo, long advertised under the slogan "No More Tears.

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Forecasters See Little U.S. Growth In 2012-13

November 17, 2011 8:27 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. economy should grow only moderately over the next two years, generating just enough jobs to slowly reduce unemployment, University of Michigan economists said Thursday. The reserved assessment comes with the nation grappling with a sluggish job market and still-moribund housing market.

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Report: Company Didn't Act Before Deadly Fires

November 17, 2011 8:24 am | by Travis Loller, Associated Press

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — A federal investigation into flash fires that killed five people this year at a Gallatin metal powders plant found that multiple reports of earlier small fires did not spur the Hoeganaes (HAY'-gan-eez) Corp. to try to mitigate the hazard. It also found workers were given no training to help them understand the dangers they faced.

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GM To Cut Chevrolet Cruze Production

November 16, 2011 9:08 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. will shut down the plant that makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact car for a week because sales have slowed and Japanese competitors have now have ample supplies of competing small cars. The factory in Lordstown, Ohio, had been running around the clock with overtime shifts on Saturdays to keep up with strong Cruze sales during the summer.

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Study: Android Is Half Of Smartphone Sales

November 16, 2011 9:06 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The market share for smartphones running Google Inc.'s Android software doubled in the third quarter as more devices became available and Apple delayed release of a new iPhone, according to the research firm Gartner. Android had more than half of the worldwide smartphone market in the third quarter, up from 25 percent a year ago.

Titan Tire Discloses Plans For Plant

November 16, 2011 9:04 am

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The new owner of the closed Goodyear plant in Union City said Tuesday that it bought the factory and its assets for $9 million. Titan Tire Corp. posted a statement on its website Tuesday saying that it has not yet decided how it plans to use the 2.1 million-square-foot plant located on 480 acres of land other than to warehouse farm and off-road tires.

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