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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

CAT's Global Sales On The Rise

September 20, 2011 9:09 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar's global heavy equipment sales rose 34 percent in August, with strong growth continuing despite the economic slowdown in the U.S. and Europe. The world's largest maker of mining and construction equipment, based in Peoria, Ill., provided an update on sales Tuesday in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CA Desert Spaceship Factory Completed

September 20, 2011 9:07 am

MOJAVE, California (AP) — Space tourism is closer to reality after the completion of an $8 million Mojave Desert production plant where the world's first fleet of passenger-ready spaceships will be built. Hundreds of public officials and reporters were invited Monday to tour the giant hangar where the White Knight and SpaceShipTwo craft will be built.

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Worker Aid Program Key To Passing Free Trade Deals

September 20, 2011 7:31 am | by Jim Abrams, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A half-century-old program that helps workers who lose their jobs to foreign trade holds the key to whether Congress may finally approve three long-delayed free trade agreements viewed by both the Obama White House and congressional Republicans as a way to invigorate the economy and create jobs.

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Driverless Car Navigates Berlin Streets

September 20, 2011 7:29 am | by Kirsten Grieshaber, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — It can talk, see, drive and no longer needs a human being to control it by remote. The car of the future — completely computer-controlled — is on the streets of Berlin. All summer, researchers from the city's Free University have been testing the automobile around the German capital.

Gov Promotes Detroit Workforce Partnership

September 20, 2011 6:46 am | by Jeff Karoub, AP Business Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday praised a partnership between a Detroit-based social and economic services agency and a manufacturing assembly company, saying it would be a role model for the jobs plan he plans to announce in November. Snyder spoke at the nonprofit group Focus: HOPE, which has teamed up with Auburn Hills-based Android Industries to assemble parts for the Chevrolet Volt, a rechargeable electric car with a small gas engine.

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Kansas Economy Sending Mixed Signals

September 20, 2011 6:28 am | by John Milburn, Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A mixed bag of statistics released in recent weeks suggests that Kansas, like the rest of the nation, is finding it difficult to get its economic engine firing on all cylinders. Despite rising state revenues, job growth remains flat while more residents are seeking public assistance.

Ariens To Increase Hiring In WI

September 20, 2011 5:46 am

BRILLION, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin outdoor power equipment manufacturer plans to hire 100 additional employees. Ariens Co. usually switches from lawn maintenance equipment to making snow blowers this time of year. But, president Dan Ariens says the company will be manufacturing both equipment lines this fall.

New Zinc Plant To Be Built In NC

September 20, 2011 5:41 am

SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) — A Pennsylvania company that extracts zinc from waste generated through steel mini mills said Monday it will build a new plant in Rutherford County that will generate 250 jobs. Horsehead Corp. will build a zinc production facility in Rutherford County near Forest City, Gov.

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GM Agrees To Deepen EV Cooperation With China

September 20, 2011 5:39 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors Co. agreed Tuesday to deepen cooperation with its flagship Chinese partner on development of electric vehicle know how amid pressure from Beijing to hand over proprietary technology. Investments and other details of the plan were not provided, and it was unclear if the agreement was the result of a renewed push by China to acquire advanced technology its own automakers still lack.

IBM Offers Concession In Antitrust Case

September 20, 2011 5:37 am | by Gabriele Steinhauser, AP Business Writer

BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. computer maker IBM Corp. on Tuesday offered to make it easier for competitors to provide maintenance services for its mainframe computers, a concession to get European regulators to close an antitrust probe. The European Commission, the European Union's competition watchdog, opened two investigations into whether IBM was abusing its dominant position in the market for mainframe computers in July 2010.

Feds Investigate Failing Ford Jacks

September 20, 2011 5:34 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are investigating service jacks sold with Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans because of reports that they can fail and cause the vehicle to fall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says on its website that in one case, a person working under a van was killed when it fell off the jack.

Tyson Pays $32M To Settle Wage Lawsuit

September 20, 2011 5:31 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tyson Foods Inc. is paying $32 million to settle a long-running dispute over whether it should compensate poultry plant workers for time they spend putting on and taking off protective clothing. In a consent decree filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ga., Tyson agreed to make payments averaging around $1,000 per worker to about 17,000 current and former employees around the country.

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Rumors Of Acquisition Boost Goodrich

September 19, 2011 9:30 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Goodrich Corp. soared on Monday as investors weighed rumors that United Technologies Corp. may want to buy the aerospace manufacturer. Goodrich shares jumped $11.38, or 12.3 percent, to $104.27 in morning trading. The stock closed up $6.41, or 7.4 percent, at $92.

Ralcorp Rejects $5B ConAgra Offer

September 19, 2011 9:28 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Cereal maker Ralcorp Holdings Inc. again rejected a $5.17 billion takeover bid from ConAgra Foods Inc. on Monday, which will likely put an end to any hopes of a deal. Last week ConAgra, which owns brands like Chef Boyardee, Orville Redenbacher's and Healthy Choice, said it was giving Ralcorp until 5 p.

Otis Elevator Brings Hope To SC

September 19, 2011 9:25 am | by Jim Davenport, Associated Press

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's jobless rate has done little but increase the last few years. Still, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley found some hope Friday as Otis Elevator announced it is bringing 360 jobs when it open a major East Coast plant. Haley posts the unemployment rate in every one of her Statehouse staff offices on copy paper.

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Tyco To Split Into 3 Companies

September 19, 2011 9:22 am | by Tom Murphy, AP Business Writer

Swiss manufacturer Tyco International Ltd. said Monday it plans to separate into three independent, publicly-traded companies, a move that will mark its second breakup since 2007. The company will create an ADT North America residential security business and separate companies for flow control products and commercial fire and security.

Lost iPhone Just One Headache For Apple Security

September 19, 2011 9:20 am | by Marcus Wohlsen, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Wanted: experienced security professional. Must have plan to thwart Chinese counterfeiters, protect secret blueprints from spies and keep workers from leaving super-secret unreleased smartphones behind in bars. A day after a recent report surfaced that an Apple employee had lost a prototype for a new but unreleased iPhone at a Northern California watering hole, two job listings appeared on Apple's website for managers of "new product security.

Boeing Warns Of Pilot Shortfall In Asia

September 19, 2011 9:16 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer

HONG KONG(AP) — Airplane maker Boeing Co. warned Monday that Asia faces a shortfall of new pilots needed to meet surging demand for air travel and that it will get harder to recruit because the profession isn't desirable anymore. Boeing predicts that the Asia-Pacific region will need 182,300 new pilots from 2011 to 2030, with about two-fifths of that demand coming from China.

CAT To Invest $200M In IL Plant

September 19, 2011 5:32 am

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. officials say one of the company's East Peoria manufacturing plants is undergoing $200 million in improvements. The Journal Star reports ( http://bit.ly/qD9rMX ) the plants is one of the oldest of Caterpillar's facilities in East Peoria. The company says the effort will improve production of tractors.

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FL Battery Plant With Stimulus Funding Opens

September 19, 2011 5:31 am

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — An innovative Saft battery plant built in large part with federal stimulus money and government incentives is up and running in Jacksonville. The facility opened Friday. It's billed as the world's most advanced automated lithium-ion factory. The $200 million plant is expected to create about 300 jobs.

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