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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Fire Breaks Out At CA Plastics Company

July 27, 2011 5:17 am | by Adam Weintraub, Associated Press

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A six-alarm fire at a plastics company in the eastern San Francisco Bay area city of Fairfield sent black smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the air Tuesday, but no injuries were immediately reported. The fire broke out about 1:30 p.m. in a storage area at the Macro Plastics Inc.

Manufacturer Plans Move To Vacant Auto Factory

July 26, 2011 9:26 am

GRABILL, Ind. (AP) — A company that makes metal and plastic molded parts plans on moving into a closed auto parts factory in northeastern Indiana and potentially hire 400 workers in the next few years. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. announced Tuesday that R3 Composites Corp.

TN Plant Gets 4,300 Applications For 60 Jobs

July 26, 2011 9:23 am

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A new solar plant in southeastern Tennessee received more than 4,300 applications for its first 60 jobs. Wacker (VAHK'-er) Chemical Corp. spokesman Bill Toth said Monday that applicants who were not picked for the first jobs will be considered as hiring continues.

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Ford Plans Took Toll On 2Q Profit

July 26, 2011 9:22 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) — Ford's ambitious plans to grow in Asia took a toll on its second-quarter profit, with higher costs to design and sell new cars offsetting rising sales. The company earned $2.4 billion, or 59 cents per share, down 8 percent from $2.6 billion, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier.

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Heat Contributed To Death Of IN Worker

July 26, 2011 9:20 am

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — A coroner says a southern Indiana man who collapsed while working at a foundry died of a heart attack complicated by extreme heat. Authorities say 50-year-old Charles Hulse of North Vernon collapsed while at his work station at CE Systems Inc. in Columbus. Bartholomew County Chief Deputy Coroner Larry Fisher says Hulse was on medication for hypertension and high cholesterol.

Judge: Whirlpool Can Change Retirees' Benefits

July 26, 2011 9:18 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Whirlpool can change benefits for about 3,000 people who had retired from Maytag. Whirlpool bought Maytag in 2006 and later closed the Maytag corporate headquarters and a factory in Newton. Whirlpool had said it wanted to change the retirees' medical benefits to bring them in line with current Whirlpool employees.

Gun-Maker To Pay $600K In Gun-Death Lawsuit

July 26, 2011 9:16 am | by Denise Lavoie, AP Legal Affairs Writer

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts gun-maker has agreed to pay nearly $600,000 to the families of one man who was killed and another man who was wounded in a shooting involving a gun allegedly stolen from the company, a national gun-control group announced Tuesday. Danny Guzman, 26, was slain outside a Worcester nightclub in 1999.

NY Aluminum Plant Launches $200M Expansion

July 26, 2011 5:24 am

SCRIBA, N.Y. (AP) — An aluminum plant in northern New York has launched a $200 million expansion to meet rising demand for sheet aluminum for the auto industry, and expects to create 100 new jobs. Novelis's plant in Scriba, 33 miles northwest of Syracuse, currently employs 650 people.

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United Tech Wins $350M Japan Air Contract

July 26, 2011 5:23 am

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (AP) — United Technologies Corp. has won a maintenance contract worth up to $350 million to support Japan Airlines' fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft. United Technologies said Monday that its subsidiary, Hamilton Sundstrand Corp., would provide the maintenance for the fleet of 35 aircraft.

Nissan Plans $8B China Expansion

July 26, 2011 5:20 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Nissan announced an $8 billion expansion plan for China on Tuesday as part of a global strategy to focus on faster-growing emerging markets and reduce reliance on the United States. Nissan's plan with its local partner, Dongfeng Group, calls for opening new factories to meet surging demand and introducing 30 new models by 2015.

Worker Killed In Fall At VA Plant

July 26, 2011 5:19 am

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a worker who fell from a lift at a Walker Manufacturing plant in Harrisonburg. Harrisonburg Fire Department battalion chief Jeff Morris says the accident was reported at 2:42 p.m. Monday. Morris tells the Daily News-Record that the man fell from an 8-foot lift.

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Rockwell Wins $160M Air Force Contract

July 26, 2011 5:17 am

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Aviation electronic systems maker Rockwell Collins said Monday it has won a $160 million contract to update communications systems for U.S. Air Force jets that refuel aircraft. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, company will update the flight management system, displays, data communications and surveillance systems of the KC-10 tankers to meet future air traffic control requirements, Rockwell Collins said in a statement.

Chrysler Reports 2Q Loss Due To Bail Out Repayment

July 26, 2011 5:14 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler retreated to a loss for the second quarter, but only because the expense of shedding its government debt erased what would have been a modest profit. The company, just two years out of bankruptcy protection, maintained that there are healthy signs despite the loss.

NASA Admin: Hands-On Experience For Students Is Critical

July 25, 2011 9:29 am

WASHINGTON -- NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver will visit Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., on Tuesday, July 26, to meet with summer interns from Ball and United Launch Alliance (ULA). Garver will view demonstrations of student-built rockets and payloads and discuss how hands-on experience for students is critical to developing experience for science and technology-related jobs of the future.

Coastal Corrugated Plans $1.5M Expansion

July 25, 2011 9:26 am

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Packaging manufacturer Coastal Corrugated Inc. plans to expand its plant in South Carolina's Dorchester County, adding 26 jobs this year. State and local officials announced Monday that the company will add spend $1.5 million on a 40,000-square-foot expansion that's expected to be completed by December.

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Metals USA 2Q Net Income Soars

July 25, 2011 9:24 am

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Steel company Metals USA Holdings Corp. said its second-quarter net income jumped nearly tenfold compared with last year on higher sales and prices. The company said Monday its net income for quarter ended June 30 was $21.5 million, or 57 cents per share, compared with $2.

OSHA Investigating PA Plant Explosion

July 25, 2011 9:23 am

FARRELL, Pa. (AP) — A tanker truck loaded with more than 6,000 gallons of hydrogen exploded at a metals processing plant, burning the driver, injuring another worker and threatening an even larger storage tank. The blast occurred after 6 p.m. Sunday at the Duferco Farrell Corp. plant in Farrell, about 60 miles northwest of Pittsburgh near the Ohio border, said Mike Hrycyk, human resources vice president.

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BAE Wins $56M To Upgrade Marine Vehicles

July 25, 2011 9:21 am

The Associated Press BAE Systems PLC has won orders totaling $56.6 million to upgrade and maintain mine-resistant vehicles used by U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. The global defense contractor, based in London, said Monday that the awards comprise five distinct projects, all involving RG-33 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles: — $17.

Chrysler, UAW Talks Officially Begin

July 25, 2011 9:19 am

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — To help American carmakers stay in business, autoworkers grudgingly gave up pay raises and some benefits four years ago. Now that General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are making money again, workers want compensation for their sacrifice. Just how much they get is the central question hanging over contract talks that start this week between Detroit and one of the largest and most powerful U.

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UAW Wants Bigger Cut Of Detroit's Growing Profits

July 25, 2011 5:30 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union wants a bigger share of Detroit's newfound profits while the car companies hope to cut labor costs in contract talks that begin Monday. Workers agreed to give up pay raises and benefits to keep the companies in business as they headed for financial trouble starting four years ago.

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