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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Toyota To Resume Japanese Manufacturing, For Now

April 8, 2011 4:29 am | by Shino Yuasa, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will resume car production at all its plants in Japan at half capacity from April 18 to 27 after the March earthquake and tsunami forced it to halt manufacturing due to shortages of parts and power. Toyota, the world's No. 1 automaker, said production at its 18 plants will then halt from April 28 to May 9, a period that includes Golden Week holidays when factories would normally close.

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Fire, Explosions Rock Iowa Manufacturing Plant

April 8, 2011 4:27 am

HULL, Iowa (AP) — No one was hurt by explosions and a fire at a manufacturing plant in the northwest Iowa town of Hull. Authorities say the fire started inside the K & O Manufacturing Co., Inc., plant a little before 5 p.m. Thursday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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Boeing Surprised By 737 Fuselage Tears, Holes

April 6, 2011 4:58 am | by Bob Christie and Joan Lowy, Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — Boeing was surprised when a section of a Southwest jetliner's fuselage ripped open in flight because the plane wasn't old enough to be worrisome, a company official said Tuesday, as the airline cleared most of its older 737 planes to return to the skies. Southwest said it had inspected nearly all of the jets it grounded after the accident on Friday.

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Toyota Sells Millionth Prius In U.S. Thanks To Pricy Gas

April 6, 2011 4:53 am

DETROIT (AP) — The Toyota Prius hybrid, once viewed as a science experiment for environmentalists, has become a mainstream vehicle in the United States, with the company selling more than a million of the cars nationwide. Toyota announced Wednesday that it had passed the million sales milestone, helped by brisk sales recently as U.

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Cisco CEO Apologizes For 'Unacceptable' Downfall

April 6, 2011 4:45 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers is calling his company's recent missteps "unacceptable" and is vowing to take "bold steps" to narrow Cisco's focus. A memo to employees that Cisco posted on its corporate blog Tuesday suggests that major changes are coming for the world's biggest maker of computer-networking gear, but it was short on specifics.

SpaceX To Build Biggest Rocket Since Moon Launch

April 6, 2011 4:38 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A high-tech entrepreneur unveiled plans Tuesday to launch the world's most powerful rocket since man went to the moon. Space Exploration Technology has already sent the first private rocket and capsule into Earth's orbit as a commercial venture. It is now planning a rocket that could lift twice as much cargo into orbit as the soon-to-be-retired space shuttle.

Ind. Modular Parts Maker To Invest, Add 110 New Jobs

April 6, 2011 4:36 am

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana modular parts manufacturer will create 110 new jobs and invest more than $9 million to expand its operations in Columbia City. The company known as 80/20 Inc. announced Tuesday it will add more than 90,000 square feet. It now has more than 250 workers in a 135,000-square-foot plant.

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Ill. Gov., CAT CEO Talk Business-Friendly Politics

April 6, 2011 4:32 am | by Zachary Colman, Associated Press

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Illinois is facing growing concerns among business leaders that its policies hurt the companies that drive its economy, the head of Caterpillar Inc. warned Tuesday as he met with Gov. Pat Quinn. The meeting was prompted by a letter that Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman sent to the governor about other states trying to lure his company after Illinois hiked its income tax.

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Big 3 Could Gain Marketshare In Earthquake Aftermath

April 5, 2011 4:47 am

NEW YORK (AP) — In a note to investors Monday, Barclay's Capital analyst Brian Johnson suggested that Detroit automakers could gain some sales in the coming months because of earthquake-related supply shortages at their Japanese rivals. THE OPINION: Johnson said Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co.

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Pringles Snapped Up By Diamond Foods For $1.5 Billion

April 5, 2011 4:37 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Diamond Foods Inc. is buying Procter & Gamble Co.'s Pringles chips business in a $1.5 billion deal, the biggest in a string that have given the maker of Pop Secret popcorn and Kettle chips a steadily growing share of the snack aisle. The deal also completes P&G's exit from all its major food businesses.

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R.I., Manufacturers Team Up To Stop Texting While Driving

April 5, 2011 4:35 am | by David Klepper, Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island may enlist some high-tech help in the fight against texting while driving: a device that jams most cell phone capabilities when a vehicle's engine is running. A state lawmaker has proposed legislation to require those caught texting while driving to install such a device.

GM Rewards CEO Akerson With $1.3 Million In Stock

April 5, 2011 4:33 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is rewarding its top executive with shares currently worth more than $1.3 million. In a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, GM said it gave Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson 42,360 stock units on March 31 as part of his compensation package.

Cummins Inc. To Hire 2,500 Workers This Year

April 5, 2011 4:30 am

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — Cummins Inc. says it plans to hire 2,500 workers in the U.S. this year. The Columbus-based engine manufacturer says it is hiring across the board to meet strong demand worldwide and in anticipation of an economic recovery. A company spokesman tells The Columbus Republic that it's too soon to know how many of the 2,500 jobs will be added in Columbus.

TI Buys National Semiconductor For $6.5 Billion

April 5, 2011 4:27 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Texas Instruments Inc. is buying National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in a marriage of two of the world's premier makers of analog chips, which are widely used in electronics to transform signals such as sound into digital form that computers can understand. In scooping up National Semiconductor, TI is getting a storied Silicon Valley company whose history stretches back more than 50 years and is known for its power-management chips.

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Developer Buys Abandoned Indiana Whirlpool Plant

April 4, 2011 5:02 am

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana commercial developer says it has bought more than 1 million square feet of a former Whirlpool Corp. plant. The Evansville Courier & Press reports Friday that The Kunkel Group Inc. has finalized the sale of about 1.2 million square feet of the 1.

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Half Of Chinese Dairies Have Licenses Revoked

April 4, 2011 4:37 am

BEIJING (AP) — Nearly half of all dairies in China are being shut down after having their licenses revoked, the government's quality inspection agency said Saturday, in the latest attempt to clean up the scandal-plagued dairy industry. The agency said 533 of the country's 1,176 dairy producers have been ordered to cease operations.

S&E Specialty Polymers Profits Off Of Previous Fraud

April 4, 2011 4:30 am | by Jack Minch, Associated Press

LUNENBERG, Mass. (AP) — Duane Shooltz walks into the room dressed in black and wearing a big smile on his face. It's late morning Thursday, and the production lines at S&E Specialty Polymers are shutting down for the weekend. Over in the laboratory, Ilia Charlat, the vice president of research and development, and technician Greici Freitas continue to work.

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Mulally Honored With $26.5 Million Salary, 'Edison' Award

April 4, 2011 4:24 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — The President and CEO of Ford Motor Co. received a pay package valued at $26.5 million in 2010, up 48 percent from 2009, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. Alan Mulally, 65, who was hired away from Boeing Co. in 2006 to rescue Ford, received a base salary of $1.

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Americans Buy More, Smaller Cars In March

April 4, 2011 4:21 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Americans bought smaller cars and sport utility vehicles in March, as higher gas prices made fuel efficiency a top priority and rising employment meant more first-time buyers bought a vehicle. The trends lifted U.S. sales of new vehicles by 17 percent from a year earlier to 1.

Rebar-Impaled Popcorn Plant Worker Recovering

April 4, 2011 4:19 am

FOREST CITY, Ill. (AP) — A 25-year-old male employee of a central Illinois popcorn plant is in fair condition after being impaled on some rebar. Douglas Herrman of the Forman Fire Protection District says the man "fell from a height" and was impaled at about 9 a.m. Friday. Herrman tells the Pekin Daily Times that it took crews about 15-20 minutes to remove the rebar using a hand-held saw.

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