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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Manufacturing Expands At Six-Year High In April

May 3, 2010 4:24 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The manufacturing sector likely expanded in April at the fastest pace in nearly six years, analysts say. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expect the index from the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, rose to 60 in April from 59.

Turbine Maker Gets $7 Million In State, Federal Grants

April 30, 2010 4:53 am

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — The state and federal governments are providing $7 million to help a western Michigan company develop wind-energy products. Energetx Composites of Holland makes turbines. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. this week said it's giving $3.5 million and the U.S. Energy Department will match it.

Tomato Exec Faces More Felonies For Antitrust Violations

April 30, 2010 4:33 am | by Paul Elias, Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal authorities investigating an alleged tomato price-fixing plot involving some of the nation's biggest food chains broadened their case against the former owner of a California company Thursday with five more felony counts. The new charges, which add to seven counts pending from an earlier indictment, allege that Frederick Scott Salyer violated antitrust laws by fixing prices or rigging bids for the sale of tomato products to McCain Foods USA Inc.

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Massey Offers $3 Million To Families Of Killed Coal Miners

April 30, 2010 4:31 am | by Tim Huber, AP Business Writer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Massey Energy Co. is offering $3 million to each of the families of 29 men killed in an explosion at its Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia, the daughter of one of the victims said Thursday. The offer came a week earlier when Massey officials visited the family, said Michelle McKinney, daughter of Benny Ray Willingham.

McWane Cast Iron Idles Pipe Plant, 117 Workers

April 30, 2010 4:20 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — McWane Cast Iron Pipe Co. says it's temporarily shutting down its Birmingham water-pipe plant because continued weakness in housing construction has reduced demand. The shutdown will idle 117 workers. The plant hasn't been shut down since the late 1970s. It was built in 1921 and is the first of McWane's pipe, valve and hydro-fittings plants across North America.

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For A 'Green' Company, BP Wreaks Environmental Damage

April 30, 2010 4:18 am | by Chris Kahn, AP Energy Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil giant BP brands itself a friend of the environment, an energy company that goes "beyond petroleum." That image, worth billions of dollars, is being sullied by the company's inability to contain a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As the expanding oil slick threatens marshlands and wildlife along the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi, BP faces perhaps the biggest public relations challenge an oil company has experienced in the United States since the Exxon Valdez tanker disaster in Alaska in 1989.

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Lawmakers: Black Boxes For All New Cars

April 30, 2010 4:13 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — New cars and trucks would be required to carry black boxes to record crash information and automakers would pay fees to help fund the government's auto safety agency under a series of proposals in Congress in response to Toyota's massive recalls. The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday released a draft that could form the basis of legislation to strengthen vehicle safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Harley-Davidson Threatens To Abandon Wisconsin

April 29, 2010 11:29 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc. has warned its employees it may have to move its Milwaukee manufacturing operations if it can't cut millions of dollars in costs. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that company officials told employees Thursday there are significant "cost gaps" that must be filled.

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Two Ohio Cabinetry Plants Threatened With Closure

April 28, 2010 6:37 am

WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) — A major employer in southern Ohio's Pike County says it will close its two cabinetry plants if it can't find a buyer, putting more than 1,200 jobs at risk. Taylor, Mich.-based Masco Corp. said Tuesday that if there is no sale, the Mill's Pride cabinetry factories in Waverly and nearby Seal Township are likely to shut down by spring of next year.

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One Injured In Maryland Plant Explosion

April 28, 2010 6:32 am

WILLIAMSPORT, Md. (AP) — Washington County's emergency services director says a man has been airlifted to a Baltimore hospital after an explosion and fire at a paint manufacturing plant in Williamsport. Kevin Lewis said the blast shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday was contained to one room at the Rust-Oleum plant where the victim worked.

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Life Sentence Sought For Fraud, Illegal Immigrants

April 28, 2010 4:09 am | by Nigel Duara, Associated Press Writer

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A former kosher slaughterhouse manager who was convicted of financial fraud not only cheated a bank out of $26 million (€19.6 million), prosecutors claim, he also knowingly employed illegal immigrants. Sholom Rubashkin was never convicted of immigration violations and his attorneys dispute the allegations, but they still could be an issue at his sentencing hearing Wednesday on 86 financial fraud charges.

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U.S. Pushes China On 'Protectionist' Technology Policy

April 28, 2010 4:05 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Global technology suppliers face a looming Chinese deadline to reveal the inner workings of computer encryption and other security products in a move the United States and Europe say is protectionist. Suppliers must comply with the rules that take effect Saturday or risk being shut out of the billions of dollars in purchases that the Chinese government makes of smart cards, secure routers, anti-spam software and other security products.

Automakers Bending Over Backwards For Wealthy Chinese

April 28, 2010 4:02 am | by Anita Chang, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING (AP) — The businessman climbed into the Rolls Royce Phantom with the gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and sank his feet into wine-red carpet. He says he has a Mercedes S600 sedan and a Jaguar sports car at home but needs something for work. "I just have to consider whether it's too flashy.

Chinese Drywall Maker To Pay For Renovation

April 28, 2010 3:59 am | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday awarded more than $164,000 to a Louisiana family whose home was ruined by Chinese-made drywall and said the tainted material must be removed. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon's latest ruling comes less than a month after he awarded $2.

Boeing Delays 787 Parts Shipment

April 28, 2010 3:57 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. has asked the companies that make the large sections of its new 787 jetliner to hold back shipping the assemblies for two of the jets for about a month. Boeing Commercial Airplanes spokeswoman Yvonne Leach said Tuesday that 787 final assembly is continuing at its Everett plant and that the temporary delay won't affect work under way.

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Honda Sales Jump 28 Percent Against Toyota's Woes

April 28, 2010 3:53 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Honda posted a 72 billion yen ($774 million) profit for the January-March quarter in a reversal from red ink a year earlier as booming demand in China and India combined with a fledgling U.S. recovery to boost car sales. Honda Motor Co., Japan's No. 2 automaker, reported Wednesday that quarterly sales surged 28 percent from a year earlier to 2.

Obama: Invest In Clean Energy Technologies

April 27, 2010 9:55 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press Writer

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) — President Barack Obama says investments in clean energy technologies can help return jobs to the country's heartland and ensure that America doesn't fall behind other nations. Obama made the comments at a wind energy plant in Iowa that employs more than 600 workers with help from tax credits in last year's economic stimulus law.

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OSHA Nails Wis. Plant With $96,000 Fine

April 27, 2010 6:59 am

TOMAHAWK, Wis. (AP) — A company where a 2008 explosion killed three Wisconsin workers has been fined nearly $100,000. The fines stem from seven safety violations levied against Packaging Corporation of America. A federal safety agency noted the violations during an October inspection.

No 'Cover-Up' By Reformed Toyota

April 27, 2010 4:24 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's transport minister criticized Toyota on Tuesday as initially too slow in responding to its recall crisis, but said the automaker had learned its lesson and is getting quicker in announcing recalls. Seiji Maehara, who will meet U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood later this week during a trip to Washington, said the Japanese government is checking Toyota Motor Corp.

Ford Rakes In $2.1 Billion Profit

April 27, 2010 4:17 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it earned $2.1 billion in the first quarter, another sign the economy is improving as people spend more on big-ticket items like cars. The automaker expects to be solidly profitable this year, a year earlier than its previous guidance. Ford said its net income per share was 50 cents during the quarter.

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