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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Electrolux Commits To Giving Minority Contracts

January 18, 2012 4:15 am | by Adrian Sainz, Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Electrolux is committed to awarding contracts to local companies and firms owned by minorities and women for construction of its $266 million kitchen appliances manufacturing plant in Memphis, officials said Tuesday. Electrolux detailed the steps it is taking to give contracts for the construction project during a Tuesday morning news conference attended by the mayors of Memphis and surrounding Shelby County.

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IN Toyota Plant Produces 3 Millionth Vehicle

January 18, 2012 4:13 am

PRINCETON, Ind. (AP) — Workers at a Toyota Motor Corp. plant in southwestern Indiana are celebrating the plant's production of its 3 millionth vehicle. The Evansville Courier & Press reports (http://bit.ly/wI9gXY ) that workers marked the production milestone Tuesday by taking the silver Sienna minivan off the plant's assembly line for a media event.

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Russia Asks If U.S. Radar Ruined Space Probe

January 17, 2012 7:48 am | by Sofia Javed, Assocated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian space experts will look into the possibility that a U.S. radar station may have inadvertently interfered with the failed Mars moon probe that later plummeted to Earth, Russian media reported Tuesday. The state news agency RIA Novosti quoted Yury Koptev, former head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, as saying investigators will conduct tests to check if a U.

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IL Snack Supplier Plans New Life For Yarnell

January 17, 2012 7:46 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A Chicago snack food supplier has completed acquisition of an Arkansas ice cream maker and plans to make its products available to retailers across the state. In a statement released Monday, Schulze & Burch Biscuit Co. said its management will meet with retailers to present the Yarnell's Ice Cream Co.

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TV Production To Move To Detroit

January 17, 2012 7:42 am

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Minnesota electronics company plans to manufacture flat-screen televisions at a plant in suburban Detroit under a partnership with a Michigan-based business. Element Electronics plans to hire about 100 workers at the plant in Wayne County's Canton Township under the agreement with Lotus International Co.

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USM Shifts Focus After Govt Cancels Contracts

January 17, 2012 7:39 am | by James Haggerty

WYOMING, Pa. (AP) — WYOMING - After the government canceled five of the 10 contract orders it placed at USM Aerostructures Corp. in 2011, company President Ernesto Jurado decided to shift focus. "This year, we have no intention of going after government work," said Jurado, whose company makes parts for military jets and helicopters and whose customers include defense giants Boeing, Sikorsky and Lockheed-Martin.

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Average Age Of U.S. Autos Hits 10.8 Years

January 17, 2012 7:36 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — That clunker in America's driveway has reached a record old age, but there are signs that people may be growing confident enough in the economy to get a whiff of that fresh new car scent very soon. The average age of a car or truck in the U.S. hit a record 10.8 years last year as job security and other economic worries kept many people from making big-ticket purchases such as a new car.

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American Crystal Calls Union Offer 'Stunt'

January 17, 2012 7:33 am

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — American Crystal Sugar Co. on Monday rejected a proposal to end the cooperative's six-month lockout of its factory workers in three states, calling it a "publicity stunt" by the leadership of the union that represents them. Separately, the Moorhead, Minn.

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Malaysia Auto Sales To Grow After 2011 Drop

January 17, 2012 4:14 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Auto sales in Malaysia fell unexpectedly by 0.9 percent in 2011 but will rebound to grow a modest 2.5 percent this year, underpinned by a robust domestic economy, an industry group said Tuesday. Sales fell to 599,877 vehicles last year after production was disrupted by Japan's earthquake and tsunami in March and then by crippling floods in Thailand, said the Malaysian Automotive Association.

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Deere CEO Gets 35 Percent Pay Hike

January 17, 2012 4:11 am | by Josh Funk, AP Business Writer

Deere & Co.'s CEO got a 35 percent pay hike in 2011 as the world's largest maker of agricultural equipment continued to generate strong global sales and sizeable profits, according to documents filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company's filings show Samuel Allen received compensation worth $16.

Woman Demolishes UK Factory Where Dad Killed

January 17, 2012 4:08 am

LONDON (AP) — It was a daily reminder of the death of her father in a British industrial accident — but a mother of two says she feels relief after she was given the chance to demolish the factory where he was killed. Sarah Griffiths won a competition to lead the demolition Sunday of a tower owned by Campbell's Soup food manufacturer.

Olympus Probe Finds 5 Auditors Responsible

January 17, 2012 4:06 am | by Malcolm Foster, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — An internal investigation at Olympus Corp. found that five current and former auditors are responsible for a combined 8.38 billion yen ($109 million) in losses linked to the Japanese company's accounting scandal, and plans to sue them. The panel's report released Tuesday said it found two accounting firms hired by Olympus as external auditors, KPMG Azsa LLC and Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC, had not violated their fiduciary duties.

China's Economic Growth Lowest In 2 Years

January 17, 2012 4:04 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China appears on track to avoid an abrupt economic slowdown with possible global repercussions after growth eased to a still robust 8.9 percent in the last quarter of 2011. The expansion in the world's second-largest economy was the slowest in 2 1/2 years but December retail sales and factory output accelerated, data showed Tuesday.

Airbus Takes Record Orders In 2011, Beats Boeing

January 17, 2012 4:00 am | by Greg Keller, AP Business Writer

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — Airbus took in a record number of orders for new commercial aircraft last year as strong demand for its revamped single-aisle plane helped it best U.S. rival Boeing Co. in the race for orders for the fourth year running. The European jet maker said Tuesday that it took in 1,419 net new orders in 2011, worth $140 billion, well above Boeing's total of 805 aircraft.

ID Leaders Search For New Life For Potato Plant

January 16, 2012 8:04 am

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Eastern Idaho leaders say they're still working to find a new purpose for the J.R. Simplot potato processing plant in Aberdeen. The Simplot company announced last fall that it would close the plant in 2014, eliminating about 290 jobs. Former Pocatello Mayor Roger Chase told the Idaho State Journal (http://bit.

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China's Number Of Web Users Rises To 513M

January 16, 2012 8:03 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — The number of Internet users in China has surged past 500 million as millions of new Web surfers go online using mobile phones and tablet computers, an industry group reported Monday. The popularity of the Internet in China has driven the explosive growth of profitable Web companies and made fortunes for some Chinese entrepreneurs despite government controls on what the public can see online.

Motorola Says Receives Favorable Court Ruling

January 16, 2012 8:01 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. said Friday it has received a favorable initial determination in patent infringement litigation filed by Apple Inc. According to Motorola Mobility, an administrative law judge in the U.S. International Trade Commission issued an initial determination finding no violation for any of the three Apple patents listed in Apple's suit, which was filed in October 2010.

Malaysia's DRB-Hicom To Buy Carmaker Proton

January 16, 2012 7:58 am | by Eileen Ng, Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom Berhad said Monday it will buy national carmaker Proton in a 3 billion ringgit ($957 million) deal that could help revive Proton's flagging fortunes. DRB-Hicom said it would pay 1.29 billion ringgit ($412 million) for government investment arm Khazanah Nasional's 43 percent stake in Proton.

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Six Gadgets That Defined CES

January 16, 2012 7:55 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Cheaper tablets, thinner laptops and an array of sleeker TVs stood out at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. More than 140,000 people gathered there this week, for an event that's growing despite the absence of Apple and more recently, the decision by Microsoft to make this the last year it participates.

Antitrust Suits Target LA Pool Products Company

January 16, 2012 7:51 am | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana company that bills itself as the world's largest wholesale distributor of swimming pool products is becoming a target for plaintiffs' lawyers filing antitrust lawsuits. In November, Pool Corp. settled claims by the Federal Trade Commission that the Covington-based company used its "monopoly power" to eliminate would-be rivals by pressuring manufacturers not to sell their products to other distributors.

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