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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

EPA Moves To Regulate Industrial Greenhouse Gases

May 14, 2010 4:25 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency moved Thursday to more tightly control air pollution from large power plants, factories and oil refineries, a step to limit emissions widely blamed for global warming. The EPA said it is completing a rule requiring large polluters to reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that they release into the air.

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Manufacturing Tech Consumption Up 33.7 Percent

May 13, 2010 10:52 am

March U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $258.00 million, according to AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association, and AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was up 58.

Ford Leads The Way For American Automakers

May 12, 2010 5:15 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Stephen Manning, AP Auto Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — During the depths of the auto industry's collapse a year ago, Ford told shareholders at its annual meeting that they might have to wait until 2011 before the company started making money again. It turns out they didn't have to wait that long. Thanks to well-reviewed cars and trucks, aggressive cost-cutting and goodwill from consumers for avoiding a taxpayer bailout, Ford Motor Co.

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'Green' Movement Hopes Oil Spill Will Spur Major Change

May 12, 2010 4:45 am | by Tamara Lush, Associated Press

VENICE, La. (AP) — In the weeks after an oil rig exploded and killed 11 men in the Gulf of Mexico, worried environmental groups scoured the water for oil plumes, set up animal triage centers and stretched boom across shorelines. Activists hope their involvement doesn't end there; maybe, they contend, this is the catalyst that America's green movement needs.

Nikon Workers Protest Over Gas Poisoning

May 12, 2010 4:29 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Officials in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi are investigating after workers from a factory of Japanese camera maker Nikon Corp. protested over the handling of an apparent gas poisoning incident. Local media reports said more than 50 workers at Nikon Imaging (China) Co.

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Trade Deficit Rises To 15-Month High

May 12, 2010 4:27 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit rose to a 15-month high as rising oil prices pushed crude oil imports to the highest level since the fall of 2008, offsetting another strong gain in exports. The larger deficit is evidence of a rebounding U.S. economy. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the trade deficit rose 2.

Remington Arms Plans Expansion, 100 New Jobs

May 12, 2010 4:22 am

ILION, N.Y. (AP) — About 100 new jobs are expected within the next year at a Mohawk Valley firearms manufacturing plant scheduled for a nearly $6 million expansion project. State and Herkimer County officials announced the new jobs and expansion Tuesday at the Remington Arms Co. plant in Ilion (IHL'-ee-uhn), 55 miles east of Syracuse.

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Foxconn Defends Labor Practices After Eigth Suicide

May 12, 2010 4:21 am

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's Foxconn Technology, a contract maker of the iPhone and other consumer electronics, insisted Wednesday its treatment of workers is world class after a female employee became the company's eighth Chinese worker to commit suicide this year. "We regret to see the recurrence of such incidents," Foxconn said in statement that came a day after a 24-year-old Foxconn factory worker surnamed Chu killed herself by jumping from her rented apartment in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

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GM Teams Up To Helm Hawaii's Hydrogen Car Project

May 12, 2010 4:20 am

HONOLULU (AP) — The Gas Co. and General Motors Co. have teamed up on a pilot project to test hydrogen refueling technology for fuel cell vehicles in Hawaii. The companies said Tuesday that the project will take advantage of The Gas Co.'s 1,000 miles of pipeline on Oahu and its ability to produce hydrogen at its plant at Campbell Industrial Park, which makes synthetic natural gas from byproducts of imported petroleum.

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U.S. Automakers Paying On Par With Foreign Rivals For Labor

May 11, 2010 4:46 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT — After years of paying their U.S. manufacturing workers more than their foreign rivals, Detroit's automakers are now paying the same amount as foreign companies and could even achieve a labor cost advantage in the next few years, an economist with the Center for Automotive Research said Monday.

LaHood Wants High-Speed Rail—If It's Manufactured In U.S.

May 11, 2010 4:37 am | by Jay Alabaster, Associated Press Writer

TSURU, Japan (AP) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took a ride Tuesday on the fastest passenger train in the world, a Japanese maglev, as part of Tokyo's sales pitch for billions of dollars in high-speed train contracts from the U.S. Washington is attempting to drive development of a new train network that will eventually span the country, but the U.

Toshiba Puts $14 Billion Bet On Chips, Nuclear Power

May 11, 2010 4:26 am | by Tomoka A. Hosaka, Associated Press Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toshiba Corp. unveiled an ambitious three-year agenda Tuesday, aiming to quadruple profits and spend $14 billion to amplify its strengths in semiconductors and nuclear power. The Japanese conglomerate's business right now is vast, spanning household appliances and computers to health care equipment and industrial machines.

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Textron To Build 423 Armored Cars For U.S. Army

May 11, 2010 4:23 am

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Textron Marine & Land Systems has agreed to build another 423 armored security vehicles for the U.S. Army. The Textron Inc. unit says the value of the contract is $461 million. The vehicles will be built at Textron's plant in New Orleans. The contract includes an option to buy up to 272 more vehicles at a price of up to $239 million.

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Ex-Auto Czar: U.S. Could Get Back $40 Billion Of GM Bailout

May 11, 2010 4:22 am | by Tim Martin and Tom Krisher, Associated Press Writers

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government could get back $40 billion of its $50 billion investment in General Motors Co., and the difference will have been well spent because it prevented mass job losses and at least a regional depression in the Midwest, the former head of the autos task force said Monday.

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Toyota Nets $1.2 Billion Profit In First Quarter

May 11, 2010 4:19 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota cruised back to profit in the latest quarter as the world's top carmaker cut costs and hitched a ride on the global auto sales recovery while fighting to salvage its reputation for quality. But the automaker's top executive and analysts alike said Toyota is still far from a full recovery while another potential blow to its image looms after U.

Oil Rig Cutoff Valves Unreliable Under Weak Regulation

May 10, 2010 5:01 am | by Jeff Donn and Seth Borenstein, Associated Press Writers

HOUSTON (AP) — Cutoff valves like the one that failed to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster have repeatedly broken down at other wells in the years since federal regulators weakened testing requirements, according to an Associated Press investigation. These steel monsters known as blowout preventers or BOPs — sometimes as big as a double-decker bus and weighing up to 640,000 pounds — guard the mouth of wells.

Wisconsin Tops Nationwide Cheese Production

May 10, 2010 4:52 am

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Federal statistics show that Wisconsin is still the nation's big cheese. Wisconsin produced 2.65 billion pounds of cheese last year. That accounted for a nation-best 26 percent of the U.S. cheese output in 2009. Wisconsin also produced 477 million pounds of specialty cheese last year.

Is Apple Smarter Than I Am?

May 10, 2010 4:48 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

It came to my attention last week that Apple had reached the distinguished honor of selling its one millionth iPad in just 28 days of the product’s market emergence. Not just an amazing figure for anyone, this feat is even outstanding for Apple—the teacher’s pet of technology.

Iowa Meatpacker Paid Disabled Workers 41 Cents Per Hour

May 10, 2010 4:40 am

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A federal report castigated a Texas company for abusing and underpaying several mentally disabled men who were housed in a ramshackle building while working at an Iowa turkey processing plant. The report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Henry's Turkey Service underpaid the men at least $1 million over three years, verbally and physically abused them, and committed several major violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Des Moines Register reported Friday.

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Chinese Auto Sales Dip From March, Still Show Big Growth

May 10, 2010 4:34 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — The surge in China's auto sales has begun to falter with growth in passenger car sales for April easing to just over half the previous month's increase. There were 1.11 million passenger cars sold in April, up 34 percent from a year earlier, the state-affiliated China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Monday.

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