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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Navigate The Changing Market: FMA’s 2012 Annual Conference

January 26, 2012 8:54 am

Compelling and educational keynote addresses covering the vital role of manufacturing in the economy, new technology, and tactics to identify and target new markets and customers, highlight The FABRICATOR® 's Leadership Summit: 7th Annual Metal Matters, February 29-March 2, the premier conference for the metal fabricating industry.

Ex-Head Of Breast Implant Maker Arrested

January 26, 2012 8:35 am | by Jamey Keaten, Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — The former head of a French company at the center of a breast implant scandal affecting tens of thousands of women worldwide was arrested along with his former deputy Thursday in southeast France, officials said. Jean-Claude Mas, who founded and ran the now-defunct implant maker Poly Implant Prothese, was detained as part of a judicial investigation in the southeastern city of Marseille into manslaughter and involuntary injuries, an official said.

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CAT 4Q Profit Tops Wall St. View

January 26, 2012 8:33 am | by Bree Fowler, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit jumped 60 percent, boosted by pent-up demand for new equipment and continuing growth in developing countries. The performance of the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment is an indicator of the strength of the global economy.

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Leaders Look To China's Investments Abroad

January 26, 2012 8:31 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Chinese investment abroad is drawing scrutiny as global leaders increasingly look to China to prop up the world economy, even as some remain wary of the country's dominance. The head of one of China's biggest private equity firms said Thursday that foreign prejudice about Chinese investment is unfair and that Chinese investors are still learning a game that much of the world has been playing for decades.

PA Company Fined $93K For GA Plant

January 26, 2012 8:28 am

RYDAL, Ga. (AP) — A Pennsylvania company is being fined $93,000 for what federal officials say are safety and health violations at a Georgia manufacturing plant. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday that Morgantown, Pa.-based Morgan Corp. failed to provide welding screens for workers and did not give employees training on how to use hazardous chemicals, among other infractions.

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CA Poised To Vote On 'Clean Car' Regs

January 26, 2012 8:24 am | by Jason Dearen, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The head of California's air quality board on Thursday called proposed rules that would require automakers to build less-polluting cars and trucks by 2025 a historic move for a cleaner environment. California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols said she hopes the rules to require that vehicles emit about 75 percent less smog-producing pollutants will "lead the nation and the world.

IN Could Be 23rd Right-To-Work State

January 26, 2012 8:21 am | by Tom LoBianco, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — In the end, they just didn't have the votes. For two legislative sessions, Indiana Democrats fought the divisive labor measure known as right-to-work. They offered amendments aimed at changing the bill. They sought to put the issue before voters in a referendum.

Nissan Announces $2B Plant In Mexico

January 25, 2012 7:59 am

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. announced Wednesday it is investing $2 billion to build a new manufacturing plant in Mexico. It will be the Japanese company's third in the country, helping it serve markets throughout the Americas. Construction of the plant in the northern state of Aguascalientes will begin this summer and production should start by the end of next year, according to a company statement.

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Alcoa To Expand Alloy Production For Aircraft

January 25, 2012 7:56 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Alcoa will build a new plant in Indiana and expand two other facilities to increase production of aluminum-lithium alloys to meet rising demand from the aerospace industry. The aluminum company, which operates out of Pittsburgh, has begun work on a 115,000-square-foot plant near its current facility at Lafayette, Ind.

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Japan Posts First Trade Deficit Since 1980

January 25, 2012 7:54 am | by Eric Talmadge, Malcolm Foster, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — The devastating March tsunami and shift of manufacturing overseas plunged Japan's trade account into the red for the first time since 1980. Experts said the years of Japan running massive trade surpluses are likely over. The 2.49 trillion yen ($32 billion) deficit for 2011 reflected a surge in energy imports to cover shortfalls caused by the disaster.

Apple Doubles iPhone Sales In 1Q

January 25, 2012 7:53 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The iPhone is taking over Apple. For the first time, the device that changed how people use mobile phones, accounts for more than half of the behemoth company's sales. Apple Inc. on Tuesday said it sold 37 million iPhones in the last three months of 2011, vastly exceeding analyst estimates and propelling the company to record quarterly results.

Boeing 4Q Profit Up As Deliveries Take Off

January 25, 2012 7:51 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Quicker deliveries of Boeing's commercial airplanes helped it report a 20-percent jump in fourth-quarter profits, and offset sluggish growth in its defense business. However, its shares fell because of a weaker 2012 earnings outlook than analysts expected. Boeing Co.

U.S. Regulator: 'We Pulled No Punches' On Volt

January 25, 2012 7:48 am | by Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government "pulled no punches" in investigating battery fires in the Volt, General Motors' prized electric car, the head of the federal auto safety agency told Congress on Wednesday. At a combative House hearing, Republicans questioned whether the government's partial ownership in the automaker created a conflict of interest for the Obama administration in the Chevrolet probe, which began after a test car caught fire in June, three weeks after a side-impact test.

Erdrich Plans $39M GA Auto Plant

January 25, 2012 4:19 am

DUBLIN, Ga. (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal says a $39 million German automotive plant will open in Dublin. The Courier Herald in Dublin reports that Munich-based Erdrich Umformtechnik GmbH & Co.KG will bring 178 jobs to the area. The 130,000-square-foot metal stamping facility will be Erdrich's first U.

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Hino To Recall Dutro, Dyna, Toyoace Trucks

January 25, 2012 4:16 am

TOKYO, Jan. 25 (Kyodo) — Hino Motors Ltd., a Toyota Motor Corp. subsidiary, said Wednesday it will recall the Hino Dutro trucks as well as the Toyota Dyna and Toyoace trucks it supplied to Toyota for sale with the Toyota badge to fix defective horns that may not work. In a report filed with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Hino said a total of 17,369 units in seven models, including the Dyna 200 and the Toyoace G25, will be recalled for free replacement of the steering wheels and nuts that have caused the problem.

Norwegian Carrier Buys 222 Boeing, Airbus Planes

January 25, 2012 4:14 am | by Bjoern H. Amland, Karl Ritter

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Budget carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA on Wednesday said it has ordered 222 new aircraft from Boeing and Airbus in separate deals with a combined worth of $127 billion in list prices. The total order, which includes 122 Boeing 737 aircraft and 100 Airbus A320 planes for delivery starting in 2016, is the largest ever aircraft purchase in Europe, Norwegian Air Shuttle said.

Ford Unveils 2013 Ford Fusion

January 25, 2012 4:12 am | by Jenna Fryer, AP Auto Racing Writer

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Ford on Tuesday became the first manufacturer in NASCAR to unveil its 2013 car, rolling out a Fusion that closely resembles what fans can buy off the showroom floor. "The NASCAR Nation is made up of car enthusiasts, and NASCAR fans certainly love to pull for a brand or make of car second only to being able to pull for their favorite driver," said NASCAR President Mike Helton.

Obama Addresses Growing Income Gap

January 25, 2012 4:09 am | by Ben Feller, AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring the American dream under siege, President Barack Obama delivered a populist challenge Tuesday night to shrink the gap between rich and poor, promising to tax the wealthy more and help jobless Americans get work and hang onto their homes. Seeking re-election and needing results, the president invited Republicans to join him but warned, "I intend to fight.

House Committee Challenges Gov't Response On Volt

January 25, 2012 4:05 am | by Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A GOP-led House committee is challenging the Obama administration's investigation into Chevy Volt batteries that caught fire last year, raising questions about whether the government's partial ownership of General Motors Co. created a conflict of interest. "Questions have been raised as to whether or not GM receives special deference from the administration because of its status as a ward of the state," said the report by the Republican staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform prepared in connection with a hearing Wednesday.

Siemens 4Q Net Profit Falls 17 Percent

January 24, 2012 8:28 am | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Industrial equipment maker Siemens AG said Tuesday that net profit fell 17 percent to €1.46 billion ($1.89 billion) in the final quarter of 2011 due to delays in major wind-power and rail projects, and as the uncertain global economic outlook hurt orders.

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