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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Virginia Exports Are Rising, Thanks To Manufacturing

June 20, 2011 9:32 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Exports of goods and services in Virginia are growing and having a large impact on the state's economy. Virginia exports increased 8 percent in 2010 to $29 billion, ranking it as the 22nd-largest exporting state in the U.S., according to recent data from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's international trade office.

Boeing Announces $11 Billion In Jet Orders

June 20, 2011 9:11 am | by Jamey Keaten, Associated Press

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Boeing Co. announced more than $11 billion worth of orders and commitments for 56 jets on Monday as the Paris Air Show, the industry's main event of the year, got under way. The Chicago-based aerospace and defense giant opened a day of one-upmanship with traditional rival Airbus by announcing Qatar Airways had ordered six 777 jets in a $1.

CAT Sees Another Strong Month Of Sales In May

June 20, 2011 9:10 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, Caterpillar Inc., reported another strong month of global sales growth in May when sales improved 52 percent over last year. Still, the results were slightly weaker than the recent months. The company provided an update on its sales Monday in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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FDA Plan Hopes To Increase Import Safety

June 20, 2011 9:07 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. food and drug regulators would share more information with their foreign counterparts as part of a multifaceted strategy to police the safety of millions of imported goods. A Food and Drug Administration report issued Monday lays out a long-term plan to deal with the flood of imports to the U.

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Last N.H. Paper Mill: We Will Survive, Succeed

June 20, 2011 4:54 am | by Kathy McCormack, Associated Press

GORHAM, N.H. (AP) — A cheaper source of fuel, a dedicated sales team and workforce, and an investment in a tissue machine will help the last paper mill in New Hampshire's North Country succeed, state and mill industry representatives say. The changes come to the mill in Gorham as the papermaking industry fights growing competition from overseas plants in recent years.

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Blaze At Vacant Camden Plant Forces Evacuation

June 20, 2011 4:49 am

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A blaze erupted at a vacant chemical plant just before sunrise Sunday in one of the country's poorest cities, causing the building to partially collapse and forcing firefighters to evacuate nearby homes. The fire at Concord Chemical Inc. in Camden, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, comes more than a week after fires at an abandoned tire factory and a downtown warehouse.

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Boeing, Airbus Get Competing Multi-Billion Dollar Deals

June 20, 2011 4:44 am | by Jamey Keaten, Associated Press

Qatar Airways orders Boeing planes in $1.7B deal   LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Boeing Co. announced the first big-ticket order in its rivalry with Airbus at the start of the Paris Air Show on Monday, saying Qatar Airways has ordered six 777 jets in a $1.7 billion deal. The upstart, fast-growing Gulf carrier is buying extended versions of the long-range jet, the 777-300, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said during a news conference alongside Boeing's commercial aircraft chief.

Celebrating 120 Years Of Pa. Bologna-Making

June 20, 2011 4:37 am | by Brad Rhen, Associated Press

WEAVERTOWN, Pa. (AP) — For nearly 120 years, Lebanon bologna has been made at a small plant in a tiny village just north of Lebanon. Located along Weavertown Road in North Lebanon Township, the plant was originally built in 1893 by Daniel Weaver, who began making Weaver's Lebanon Bologna in 1885.

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GE Reaches Tentative Agreement With Biggest Unions

June 20, 2011 4:34 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Corp. said Monday that it agreed on tentative labor deals with two of its biggest unions after a month of talks. The conglomerate's agreements with IUE-CWA and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America are subject to review by union negotiating committees and ratification by union members by June 30.

Defunct Soda CEO Pleads Not Guilty In $806 Million Fraud

June 20, 2011 4:30 am | by Joe Mandak, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The former chief executive of a defunct western Pennsylvania soft-drink maker is scheduled to change his not guilty plea to charges that he perpetrated an $806 million bank fraud then allegedly sold or tried to sell millions of dollars' worth of gold, jewels and other valuables he's accused of buying with money stolen from the company.

GM To Unveil Mich.-Built Chevy Sonic At Under $15,000

June 17, 2011 9:38 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors said Friday that pricing for its new Chevrolet Sonic will start at just under $15,000 when the sub-compact car hits dealer lots this fall. Base models of the 2012 Sonic will start at $14,495 including the destination charge, but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees.

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Worker Killed In Calif. Sewer Plant Explosion

June 17, 2011 9:20 am

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a water tank explosion that killed a worker at a sewage treatment plant in Redding. The Shasta County coroner's office says 54-year-old Fred Crumb died Thursday afternoon after suffering critical head injuries in the explosion. The Redding Record-Searchlight reports that Crumb was critically injured when the explosion blew the top off a 4,500-gallon steel tank at the Clear Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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French Authorities Investigate Two More E. Coli Cases

June 17, 2011 8:53 am | by Cecile Brisson, Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — French authorities are investigating two new suspected cases of E. coli linked to hamburger patties that have already sickened seven children, the health minister said Friday. Health authorities have ordered a recall of 10 tons of the frozen beef patties produced in France and sold by the German supermarket chain Lidl, but say there is no link to a deadly outbreak of the virus in neighboring Germany.

Lawyers Prepare Defense In Xcel Criminal Case

June 17, 2011 8:02 am

DENVER (AP) — The criminal trial over the deaths of five workers at a Colorado hydroelectric plant has reached the half-way point. Federal prosecutors rested their case against Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy and a subsidiary on Thursday, allowing company lawyers to begin presenting their case Friday.

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GM To Invest $65 Million In N.Y., Tenn. Plants

June 17, 2011 7:59 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it will invest $65 million in two plants and create or retain 163 jobs at those sites so it can make more four-cylinder engines. GM will add capacity at its Tonawanda, NY, plant to make engines for its Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers. It will invest $33 million there and create or retain 100 jobs.

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Manufacturing To Lift Economy Out Of Slump

June 17, 2011 7:57 am | by Tali Arbel, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — A private research group said the economy is rebounding from its spring slump and should grow modestly through the fall. The Conference Board said Friday that its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.8 percent last month. That's an improvement from April, when the index dropped 0.

CAT To Expand Texas Plant With $130 Million Investment

June 17, 2011 7:55 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. says it will expand its hydraulic excavator plantcurrently under construction in Victoria, Texas, and add 100 more jobs to the original plans for 500 employees. Caterpillar announced the $130 million, 850,000 square foot plant in August.

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Plastic Manufacturer To Invest $6 Million In Va. Plant

June 17, 2011 5:03 am

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Plastics manufacturer Presto Products Co. is expanding its operations in Halifax County, creating 22 jobs over the next three years. Gov. Bob McDonnell said Friday that the company will invest $6 million to add five new manufacturing lines. Presto is a supplier of products ranging from private label food and disposer bags to packaging closures, soil stabilization materials and specialty stretch films.

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HP Sues Oracle In Friend-Turned-Foe Scenario

June 17, 2011 4:50 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. has sued its friend-turned-foe Oracle Corp. in another sign of how badly the relationship between the information technology big shots has frayed. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, accuses Oracle of behaving illegally in deciding that future versions of its database software won't support a particular line of HP servers.

Kentucky Jobless Rate Drops Below Double Digits

June 17, 2011 4:20 am | by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's jobless rate in May dipped below double digits for the first time since early 2009, but high gas and food prices coupled with supply disruptions from Japan that hit manufacturing "weighed down" the job market, a state labor official said Thursday. The unemployment rate fell to 9.

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