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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

WSU Expert: Boeing Uncertainty Slows Economy

November 28, 2011 4:39 am | by Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press

The uncertainty surrounding the Boeing Co.'s plans for its Wichita defense facility will reverse two or three months of economic progress and recovery, according to an expert at Wichita State University. Jeremy Hill, the director of the university's Center for Economic Development and Business Research, said Boeing's announcement that options being reviewed as part of a study include "the potential closure of the Wichita site" will spook consumers and businesses.

AT&T, Telekom Press Ahead With T-Mobile Deal

November 28, 2011 4:35 am | by The Associated Press

Deutsche Telekom and AT&T vowed Thursday to press ahead with the planned sale of the German company's T-Mobile USA unit to the U.S. cell phone operator despite concerns raised by American authorities. Nevertheless, AT&T said it plans to take a pretax accounting charge of $4 billion in the current quarter to reflect the break-up fees that would be due to Deutsche Telekom if regulators block the deal.

Feds Probe New Battery Fires In Chevrolet Volt

November 28, 2011 4:34 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is investigating new fires involving the lithium-ion batteries in General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt to assess the fire risk in the electric car after a serious crash. One Volt battery pack that was being closely monitored following a government crash test caught fire Thursday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement Friday.


CLC Plans $16.5M VA Expansion

November 23, 2011 7:38 am

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Commonwealth Laminating & Coating Inc. is planning a $16.5 million expansion of its manufacturing operation in Henry County. Gov. Bob McDonnell says in a news release that the expansion will create 40 jobs. The company manufactures solar-control window films and precision high-performance coatings.

Toyota N. American Production Normal For 2 Weeks

November 23, 2011 7:36 am

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. will continue to run a normal production schedule at its North American factories for at least the next two weeks, including overtime, the automaker said Wednesday. Toyota said it will make decisions on future production based on parts supplies. Toyota had begun cutting overtime in North American plants in October due to parts shortages from catastrophic flooding in Thailand, but the company's factories continued to run Monday through Friday on two shifts.


City Drops Immigration Case Against Mercedes Exec

November 23, 2011 7:33 am

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Authorities said Wednesday they dropped a charge against a German Mercedes-Benz executive who was arrested under Alabama's new crackdown on illegal immigration after a police officer caught him driving without identification required by the law. While Tuscaloosa police arrested the man last week for not having proper citizenship documents while driving a rental car in the city, city attorney Tim Nunnally said in an email the charge was dismissed after the man later provided the documents in municipal court.


Chinese Electric Bus Maker Plans ID Factory

November 23, 2011 7:30 am

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Chinese maker of electric buses said it hopes to move its U.S. office to Boise this year and could eventually manufacture some of its vehicles in southwestern Idaho. Zonda USA, the small liaison of Zhongda Industrial Group in the United States, isn't saying just where or when a manufacturing plant would be built or how many jobs such a move would create.


APS Planning New Solar Plant In AZ

November 23, 2011 7:26 am

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Public Service has unveiled plans to develop a new solar plant in Yuma that will provide 17 megawatts of power, or enough for 4,250 homes. The Yuma Sun ( ) reports the plant site is in east Yuma on property provided by the utility company.


Midsize Car Sales Shrink As Buyers Go Small

November 23, 2011 7:24 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — You can't drive far without seeing a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord or Ford Fusion. Midsize sedans have been America's favorite cars for decades. That's changing. More people are choosing small cars like the Chevrolet Cruze and even smaller ones like the Honda Fit because they're worried about gas prices and car payments.

Nokia Siemens To Lay Off 17,000 Worldwide

November 23, 2011 4:25 am | by Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia Siemens Networks is slashing 17,000 jobs worldwide by 2013 — nearly 23 percent of its work force — as it strives to cut costs by euro1 billion ($1.35 billion). The mobile infrastructure company said Wednesday the measures are part of "an extensive global restructuring program," which includes streamlining the organization to improve long-term competitiveness and profitability.

Gates Back On Stand In $1B Microsoft Antitrust Trial

November 23, 2011 4:22 am | by Paul Foy, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Microsoft's Bill Gates insisted that changes to Windows 95 that undermined a rival word processor were meant to protect the Windows operating system from crashing and not to hurt a competitor. Gates completed a second day of testimony Tuesday defending his company against a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit filed by Novell Inc.

More People Seeking Unemployment

November 23, 2011 4:19 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits ticked up slightly last week after two months of steady declines. But the increase isn't enough to reverse the downward trend. The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell to its lowest level since April.

October Durable Goods Orders Fell 0.7 Percent

November 23, 2011 4:15 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell for a second straight month in October. While much of the weakness came from a big drop in demand for commercial aircraft, a key category that tracks business investment spending fell by the largest amount since January.

Brownback To Fight For Boeing Jobs

November 23, 2011 4:14 am

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says he and the state's congressional delegation want to meet with Boeing Defense officials to understand why the company would consider leaving Wichita. Boeing has said it's studying the future of the plant, including a possible closing.


FCC Chair Opposes AT&T Takeover Of T-Mobile

November 23, 2011 4:11 am | by Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has come out against the merger of cellphone giant AT&T and T-Mobile USA. Julius Genachowski made his position known in a document he circulated to fellow commissioners Tuesday. Genachowski recommended sending AT&T Inc.

NASA To Launch 'Dream Machine' To Explore Mars

November 22, 2011 8:58 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — As big as a car and as well-equipped as a laboratory, NASA's newest Mars rover blows away its predecessors in size and skill. Nicknamed Curiosity and scheduled for launch on Saturday, the rover has a 7-foot arm tipped with a jackhammer and a laser to break through the Martian red rock.

Deere Division Breaks Ground For MO Plant

November 22, 2011 8:56 am

STRAFFORD, Mo. (AP) — A division of Deere & Co. is breaking ground for a new facility in southwestern Missouri expected to create 55 jobs over five years. Officials said Monday that the state is offering an economic incentives package that includes $511,000 in tax credits over the next five years.


TN Glass Plant Could Lay Off 100 Workers

November 22, 2011 8:54 am

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) — A glass plant in Kingsport could lay off as many as 100 employees when it shuts down one of two production lines early next year. AGC Flat Glass spokesman Chris Correnti told the Kingsport Times-News the company had planned to rebuild one of the plant's furnaces in the spring, but now those plans are on hold (http://bit.


Economy Grew At 2 Percent Rate In Third Quarter

November 22, 2011 8:52 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew more slowly over the summer than the government had earlier estimated because businesses cut back more sharply on restocking of shelves. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2 percent in the July-September quarter, lower than an initial 2.

Potential Solyndra Buyers Show Little Interest

November 22, 2011 8:48 am

WILMINGTON, Delaware (AP) — A California solar panel manufacturer that received a half-billion dollar loan from the U.S. government before declaring bankruptcy said Tuesday it's been unable to attract real interest from potential buyers to take over its operations. Instead, Solyndra LLC is looking at a piecemeal sale of its assets, with separate auctions for its machinery and equipment, real estate and intellectual property.


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