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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Samsung Seeks iPhone 4S Ban In Japan

October 17, 2011 5:44 am

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics is asking Japanese and Australian courts to block sales of Apple's new iPhone 4S in those countries. The preliminary injunctions Samsung filed Monday in Tokyo District Court and the Federal Court in Australia are part of an intensifying patent battle between the smartphone giants.

Majority Of Ford Workers Supporting New Contract

October 17, 2011 5:41 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Workers at some of Ford Motor Co.'s largest local unions have approved a new labor contract with the company, making it likely that the four-year deal will be approved when voting finishes on Tuesday. The United Auto Workers union said Sunday night that more than 90 percent of the 2,991 workers voting at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.

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Thailand Flooding Closes Factories

October 17, 2011 5:39 am | by Grant Peck, Thanyarat Doksone, Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) — Bangkok breathed easier Monday as barriers protecting the capital from Thailand's worst flooding in decades held firm, but authorities ordered a new evacuation in an industrial park north of the city, as the disaster's economic impact worsened. Authorities ordered the evacuation of the Nava Nakorn industrial estate, in Pathum Thani province just north of Bangkok, after water burst through one of several protective walls hurriedly constructed in the past few days.

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Factory Output Rises On Truck, Airplane Demand

October 17, 2011 5:37 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Factory output rose for a third straight month in September, a sign the economy is growing slowly. Manufacturers made more airplanes, trucks and home electronics to meet rising demand. The Federal Reserve says factory output increased 0.4 percent in September after gaining 0.

NHTSA Investigates Mini Engine Fires

October 17, 2011 5:33 am

DETROIT (AP) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into complaints of engine compartment fires that could affect 36,000 Mini Cooper "S'' models from the 2007 and 2008 model years. The federal safety agency said in documents posted on its website that it has received 12 complaints of fires.

Alpina Foods Breaks Ground On First U.S. Facility

October 14, 2011 9:22 am

BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — A South American yogurt maker has broken ground on a new manufacturing plant in western New York that will be the company's first facility in North America. Local media outlets report that executives from Bogota, Colombia-based Alpina Foods joined local officials Wednesday to break ground on the company's new yogurt manufacturing plant at a Genesee County business park in the town of Batavia, midway between Buffalo and Rochester.

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Oshkosh Corp., Union Continue Negotiations

October 14, 2011 9:20 am

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Labor negotiations are entering their third day between military-vehicle maker Oshkosh Corp. and United Auto Workers Local 578. Both sides are working toward a new five-year contract. Twice in recent weeks they agreed to tentative contracts and both times the union voted them down.

Old Cooper Tire Plant Sold For $8.5M

October 14, 2011 9:17 am

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — An Illinois real estate company has purchased the former Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Albany for $8.5 million. Court records say the transaction between Cooper and Hilco Real Estate LLC of North Brook, Ill., was completed Sept. 29. Ray Kaye, executive vice president of Hilco, confirmed the purchase Wednesday and says the company is already working with prospective tenants.

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American Crystal, Union Talks Set To Continue

October 14, 2011 9:14 am

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Negotiations between American Crystal Sugar Co. and its union workers are scheduled to resume later this month. A federal mediation service in Minneapolis announced Friday that talks have been scheduled for Oct. 24. The time and place was not disclosed. About 1,300 union workers have been locked out since Aug.

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Auto, Steel Workers Split Over S. Korea Trade Pact

October 14, 2011 9:10 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Many manufacturers and agribusinesses support a new trade deal with South Korea, one reason President Barack Obama and his counterpart from that nation are heading to suburban Detroit on Friday to tour a General Motors plant where cars are being built with South Korean parts.

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EPA Fines MRI Manufacturing For Hazardous Waste

October 14, 2011 9:08 am

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined medical device maker MRI Manufacturing and Research $30,000 for improper management of hazardous waste at its Tucson plant. The materials at MRI Manufacturing were industrial solvents used to make devices such as tubing for catheters.

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Carhartt Plans $11M Facility Upgrade

October 14, 2011 5:05 am

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Carhartt Inc. will invest more than $11 million to upgrade its Hopkins County facility and expects to add more than 150 employees to its existing workforce there of 550. Carhartt will upgrade technology, equipment and conveyor systems at the facility in Hanson, with work expected to be complete by 2014.

Pratt & Whitney Boosts Its Bet On Jet Engines

October 14, 2011 5:03 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

Pratt & Whitney is boosting its investment in jet engines for commercial planes, spending $1.5 billion to buy out Rolls-Royce from a joint venture that makes engines for the Airbus A320. At the same time, the move by Rolls essentially has the British engine-maker sitting out the current generation of smaller commercial planes and biding its time until later in this decade when the new generation comes along.

Thailand Flooding Continues To Halt Automakers

October 14, 2011 5:01 am

TOKYO, Oct. 14 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it has decided to extend its production suspension at its three plants in Thailand through Oct. 22 due to flooding that has disrupted its supply chain. While the flooding has not had a direct impact on its plants or employees, the automaker has decided to extend the production halt as some parts suppliers are experiencing delays, it said.

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Suzuki Accuses VW Of Breaching Alliance

October 14, 2011 4:57 am | by Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Suzuki Motor Corp. said Friday that Volkswagen AG has committed numerous breaches of their 2009 alliance to develop green cars and wants the German automaker to return its Suzuki shares. Volkswagen owns 19.9 percent of Suzuki under a hybrid and electric car partnership inked two years ago that never got off the ground and has unraveled into a public feud.

GE Plans Largest U.S. Solar Factory

October 14, 2011 4:55 am | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. will build the largest solar factory in the U.S. near Denver. The company, which had announced in April it would build the factory, said Thursday it had selected Aurora, Colo., a suburb east of Denver, as the location. GE is a leader in manufacturing natural gas turbines and wind turbines, but it had mostly stayed away from solar until it acquired PrimeStar Solar, a small panel maker, earlier this year.

Metals Fall On Economic Uncertainty

October 14, 2011 4:53 am | by Christopher Leonard, AP Business Writer

Copper and platinum prices fell Thursday after the government reported that claims for unemployment benefits remained high last week. Prices of industrial metals are closely tied to economic growth. Signs of weakness in the economy, such as high levels of unemployment claims, tend to push their prices lower.

Wilson Trailer To Lay Off IA, MO Workers

October 13, 2011 6:58 am

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Wilson Trailer Co. is laying off 68 workers at its plants in Sioux City and Moberly, Mo., citing a slowdown in the national economy and bad weather in crop-producing states. The Sioux City-based company produces livestock, grain, flatbed and gooseneck trailers.

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KY Plant Hit With Record Air Quality Fine

October 13, 2011 6:52 am

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville environmental officials say a pigment-manufacturing plant in the city's Rubbertown district will pay a record $668,000 fine over air quality violations. The city Air Pollution Control District said Wednesday that Eckart America has agreed to pay the fine plus an unspecified amount to be determined.

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Ford, Chrysler Targeted For Misleading Advertising

October 13, 2011 6:49 am

TORONTO — A U.S. consumer group has filed complaints against two of the largest American automakers over advertising claims that their vehicles are made in the United States, even though they're assembled in Canada. The Made in the USA Foundation says it has filed two complaints with the U.

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