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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Economist: Michigan's Economy Ready To Rev Up

May 17, 2011 4:14 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's rebounding economy will add about 60,000 jobs annually for the next three years, a university economist predicted Monday. George Fulton of the University of Michigan said job growth will be steady but not spectacular, dropping the state's annual unemployment rate to 10 percent this year and 9 percent in 2013.

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Hemlock Could Invest $3 Billion In Tenn. Solar Plant

May 17, 2011 4:12 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Hemlock Semiconductor on Monday confirmed it is negotiating with Tennessee officials on an incentive package on a potential $3 billion expansion of its solar materials plant in Clarksville. The Hemlock, Mich.-based company issued its statement after a member of Gov.

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Chinese Look Toward Brazil For Cheap Business

May 16, 2011 9:57 am | by Marco Sibaja, Associated Press

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — China's commerce minister said Monday that his nation will ramp up investments in the South American country. Commerce Minister Chen Deming, however, didn't forecast by how much China's investments in Brazil would increase. In 2010, Chinese companies invested about $17 billion in Brazil, a dramatic rise from the approximately $300 million invested a year earlier, according to Brazilian economic think tank SOBEET, which tracked the inflows.

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Stronger Penalties For Negligent Ga. Food Processors

May 16, 2011 9:34 am

ATLANTA (AP) — Food processors in Georgia who don't conduct mandatory tests for contamination or hide the results would face thousands of dollars in fines under proposed regulations. Officials at the Georgia Department of Agriculture said Monday they are taking public comments on regulations implementing the fines, which were part of legislation passed by lawmakers.

Hyundai To Expand Ala. Plant, Add 210 Jobs

May 16, 2011 9:13 am

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Hyundai executives say the company is expanding its Alabama manufacturingplant in a move that is expected to add more than 210 jobs in Montgomery County. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama said Monday it will invest $173 million to enlarge and modify an engine plant at the complex.

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Germans Invest $1.4 Billion In Electric Cars On Autobahn

May 16, 2011 7:49 am

BERLIN (AP) — The German government says it wants to commit another €1 billion ($1.4 billion) in tax breaks and incentives to help fulfill its goal of having 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020. The Transport Ministry said Monday that a new proposal meant to boost the electric-car industry would be taken up by Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet this week.

Endeavour Blasts Off On Second-To-Last Launch

May 16, 2011 7:22 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Endeavour blasted off on NASA's next-to-last shuttle flight, thundering through clouds into orbit Monday morning as the mission commander's wounded wife, Gabrielle Giffords, watched along with an exhilarated crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands. NASA is winding down its 30-year-old shuttle program before embarking on something new.

What HP's Fiscal Results Mean For Computers

May 16, 2011 7:21 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. is scheduled to report its fiscal second-quarter results on Wednesday after the market closes. The results cover the quarter ended April 30. WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Any further declines in HP's services and personal computer divisions, both of which had unexpected revenue shortfalls last quarter.

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Global Survey Finds Strong Support for IP Rights

May 16, 2011 5:24 am

by Robert Holleyman in Intellectual Property Intellectual property rights — copyrights, patents and trademarks — provide the legal framework necessary for creative enterprise like commercial software development to flourish. But it is widely assumed that most people view IP rights as business and legal concepts with little relevance to their daily lives.

Feds Investigate Unexpectedly 'Lunging' Ford Freestyle

May 16, 2011 4:56 am

DETROIT (AP) — Federal safety officials are investigating complaints that the Ford Freestyle crossover vehicle can lunge unexpectedly when driving at low speeds or idling. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received 238 complaints involving 2005 through 2007 Freestyles.

Navy, Northrop, In Drone Arms War With China

May 16, 2011 4:52 am | by Eric Talmadge, Associated Press

YOKOSUKA, Japan (AP) — The U.S. is developing aircraft carrier-based drones that could provide a crucial edge as it tries to counter China's military rise. American officials have been tightlipped about where the unmanned armed planes might be used, but a top Navy officer has told The Associated Press that some would likely be deployed in Asia.

Chinese Press Get More Freedom In Food Safety Woes

May 16, 2011 4:31 am | by Alexa Olesen, Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — Toxic bean sprouts, filthy cooking oil, drug-tainted pork: The relentless headlines in Chinese media have churned up queasy feelings for months about the dangers lurking in the nation's dinner bowls. The stories are grim reading but show China's usually strict censors are allowing the press more latitude to help it monitor a food industry long riddled with problems.

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Helmet Manufacturer Hits Hard In Congressional Lobbying

May 16, 2011 4:28 am | by Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A major football helmet manufacturer has sharply increased its Washington lobbying this year, responding to a congressional push to come up with new safety standards for children's football helmets. Riddell, which makes helmets for both kids and adults and is the official helmet of the NFL, spent $80,000 in the first quarter of this year lobbying on new legislation that could lead to federal regulation of youth football helmets.

Chinese Battery Boss Detained For Widespread Lead Poisoning

May 16, 2011 4:25 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — The boss of a battery plant in eastern China was detained Monday after more than 300 people, including 99 children, were sickened by lead pollution, the government says. Fifty-three people were hospitalized after tests found that 332 residents in Deqing, near a factory making lead-acid motorcycle batteries, had elevated levels of lead in their blood, the local government said in a statement.

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Saab Inks Deal For Chinese Production With Pang Da

May 16, 2011 4:22 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Scrambling for a quick fix for its cash-strapped unit Saab, Spyker Cars NV on Monday signed a distribution deal with the Chinese company Pang Da, but postponed plans to start production in China to avoid regulatory issues. The Netherlands-based Spyker Cars said Pang Da will inject euro65 million ($92 million) for a 24 percent stake in Spyker, and the two will form a 50/50 joint venture for the distribution of Saab cars in China.

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A Year After Oil Spill, Pensacola Beach In Recovery

May 13, 2011 9:58 am | by Melissa Nelson, Associated Press

PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Pensacola Beach's famously white sands — coated in thick crude last year after the nation's worst offshore oil spill — are back to their original color, and tourist arrivals outnumber what they were before BP PLC's blown-out well spewed 172 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Talks On Mo. Manufacturing Incentives Stalemate

May 13, 2011 9:51 am | by David A. Lieb, Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The prospects for an overhaul of Missouri's economic incentive programs waned Friday as lawmakers neared the end of the last day of their 2011 session. Although negotiations continued, House and Senate members said they had yet to settle their differences on a package that would end or reduce many of the state's existing incentives for businesses, developers and residents while creating new tax breaks to attract international cargo shippers to the St.

LG To Appeal Ruling That Imports Hurt U.S. Business

May 13, 2011 9:44 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — LG Electronics Inc. said Friday that it will contest a finding that U.S. rivals such as Whirlpool Corp. are being hurt by imports of bottom-mount refrigerators from South Korea and Mexico. The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Friday that there is a "reasonable indication" that the U.

Who Will Buy Out Tyco International?

May 13, 2011 9:34 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Tyco International Ltd. rose in Friday trading after a news report said a potential buyer is speaking to private equity firms about partnering on bid for Tyco. THE SPARK: According to the New York Post, France-based Schneider Electric has contacted buyout firms about putting together a bid that could offer $30 billion or more for Tyco, which owns ADT security and a series of other fire protection and industrial companies.

ITC Rules Against Apple In Kodak Patent Claims

May 13, 2011 9:25 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

ROCHESTER, New York (AP) — Shares of Eastman Kodak Co. shot higher Friday after a judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission rejected Apple Inc.'s digital-camera patent claims against the photography pioneer. Kodak's technology does not infringe on Apple's patent rights, and one of the two patents in dispute is invalid, Robert Rogers Jr.

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