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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Boeing To Cut 2,160 Jobs At Wichita Plant

January 4, 2012 8:14 am | by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Faced with defense budget reductions, the Boeing Co. announced Wednesday it will close its defense plant in Wichita by the end of 2013. The closure will cost more than 2,160 workers their jobs and end the firm's presence in a city where it has been a major employer for generations.

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Factories, Builders Boost 2011 Economy

January 4, 2012 4:08 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturers ended 2011 with their best month of growth since the late spring. And the struggling construction industry spent more on projects for the third time in four months. The data bolstered hopes that the economy is gaining momentum and helped Wall Street start 2012 with a bang.

Dollar Weakens On Positive Manufacturing Data

January 4, 2012 4:06 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Positive manufacturing and construction data from the U.S. made traders more willing to buy riskier currencies Tuesday. The dollar fell against the euro, pound, yen and most other currencies. Economic reports out of Germany and China were also strong. A trade group of purchasing managers said Tuesday that its U.

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Brazil Employers Accused Of Slave-Like Conditions

January 4, 2012 4:03 am | by Stan Lehman, Associated Press

SAO PAULO (AP) — Nearly 300 employers in South America's biggest country submit workers to slave-like conditions, Brazil's Labor Ministry said Tuesday. The ministry said in a statement that its "dirty list" increased by 52 and now has a total of 294 employers, from big to small. Reporter Brasil, a non-governmental organization that monitors slave labor in Brazil and efforts to combat it, praised the government's drive to eradicate slave-like working conditions, but said much remains to be done to eradicate the practice.

Boeing Plans Employee Meeting Amid Closure Study

January 4, 2012 4:00 am

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A decision about the possible closure of the Boeing Co.'s defense plant in Wichita appeared imminent after a mandatory meeting for all employees was set for Wednesday at the facility. Boeing officials said in November that the company was studying whether to close the Wichita facility, which specializes in modifying commercial aircraft for military or government operations, in order to address Pentagon budget cuts.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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