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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Sertco Plans Expansion In OK

July 15, 2011 4:48 am

OKEMAH, Okla. (AP) — Wellhead gas compression equipment manufacturer Sertco Industries Inc. says it's expanding its operations in Okemah and plans to add 15 new workers by the end of the year. The company says it's working with the city of Okemah on the $2.25 million expansion, which will add 12,100 square feet of assembly space, 3,600 square feet of office space and 2,000 square feet of paint booth space.

SC Welcomes Be Green Packaging

July 15, 2011 4:46 am

RIDGELAND, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is officially welcoming a company to Jasper County that plans to create at least 175 jobs. Haley is scheduled to attend a welcoming ceremony Thursday afternoon for Be Green Packaging. The California-based packaging company announced in April that it plans to open a manufacturing and distribution center in Ridgeland next year.

Third Worker Dies After Metal Plant Fire

July 15, 2011 4:44 am

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — A third employee of a Middle Tennessee metal powders plant has died, following a May fire at the facility Fred Tuttle died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Thursday evening, according to WTVF-TV, which quoted a hospital spokesperson. Tuttle was one of five people who were injured — three of them critically — in a May 27 fire at the Hoeganaes (HAY'-gan-ehz) plant in Gallatin.

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U.S. Economy Held Back By High Gas Prices, Slow Hiring

July 15, 2011 4:42 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, Derkek Kravitz, AP Economics Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A mixed slate of reports Thursday showed the U.S. economy is being held back by high gas prices and sluggish hiring. Economists are forecasting a pick-up in growth in the second half of the year. But the latest data revealed only faint signs of a turnaround. The Commerce Department said retail sales ticked up only 0.

OSHA Investigating Deadly Accident At Bar S Foods Plant

July 15, 2011 4:40 am

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — Lawton police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating a deadly accident at a Bar S Foods plant. Authorities received an emergency call late Tuesday that an employee was trapped in machinery. Bar S officials say Michael Raper was cleaning an auger when he fell into it.

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Thermo King To Close Louisville Plant

July 14, 2011 9:03 am

LOUISVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Executives with the parent company of Thermo King in the small Georgia town of Louisville say they will close the plant, which employs 235 people, by next year. The Augusta Chronicle reports that Ireland-based Ingersoll-Rand will move the Georgia plant's manufacturing line to a Thermo King facility in Hastings, Neb.

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Town Awaits Word On Wrangler Plant Destroyed By Tornado

July 14, 2011 9:01 am

Tom Smith, AP HACKLEBURG, Ala. (AP) — Marion County Commissioner Don Barnwell said rumors about the future of a Wrangler distribution plant that was wiped out by the tornado that hit Hackleburg have everyone "scared to death." "It seems like every day there is a new rumor popping up," said Barnwell, who lives in Hackleburg and represents the town and surrounding area.

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MN Shutdown Shuts Down Georgia-Pacific Plant

July 14, 2011 8:58 am

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The Georgia-Pacific plant in Duluth has been shut down because it can't replenish its water supply from Lake Superior during the government shutdown in Minnesota. That means nearly 150 employees are off the job for the duration of the shutdown because the state Department of Natural Resources has suspended the company's water use permit.

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Samsung Says Cancers Unrelated To Work

July 14, 2011 8:57 am

Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer YONGIN, South Korea (AP) — A study commissioned by Samsung into cancers among six of its semiconductor workers found they were unrelated to exposure to chemicals on the job but the electronics giant is not yet releasing the full results. U.

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Fewer Americans Applying For Unemployment

July 14, 2011 8:54 am

Christopher S. Rugaber, Derek Kravitz, AP Economics Writers WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, an encouraging sign that the job market may be slowly improving. The number of applications dropped by 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 405,000, the Labor Department said, the lowest level in almost three months.

Fire At Buffalo Plant Still Burning

July 14, 2011 8:53 am

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A four-alarm fire has consumed a Buffalo, N.Y., plant that makes industrial lubricants, sending up plumes of thick, black smoke and leading firefighters to warn residents to keep their windows closed. The fire started before 6 a.m. Wednesday at the Niagara Lubricant Co.

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Tyson Cited For Violations In NE

July 13, 2011 9:07 am

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued 10 violations against a Tyson Foods Inc. meatpacking plant in northeast Nebraska. The federal agency on Tuesday cited the Dakota City plant for one repeat and nine serious violations following safety and health inspections initiated in May.

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Oil-Dri Completes $9M Expansion

July 13, 2011 9:03 am

BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. (AP) — A multi-million-dollar expansion of Oil-Dri Corp. of America plant in Blue Mountain Production Co. will mean 20 new jobs. Chicago-based Oil-Dri, the world's largest manufacturer of cat litter, will manufacture a new line of Cat's Pride cat litter at the Blue Mountain facility On Tuesday, company officials celebrated the completion of a $9 million project and the addition of 20 jobs at the Blue Mountain plant.

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Chrysler Recalls Ram Pickup Trucks

July 13, 2011 9:01 am

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler is recalling more than 242,000 Ram pickup trucks because of a problem in the steering system. The recall affects certain Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups from the 2008 to 2011 model years. The Ram is Chrysler's best-selling vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that a part near the left wheel can fracture and cause loss of steering control, leading to crashes.

GE Head: No Magic Potion To Job Creation

July 13, 2011 8:59 am

Susanne M. Schafer, Associated Press GREENVILLE, Sourth Carolina (AP) — The chairman of President Barack Obama's jobs and competitiveness council said Wednesday there is no magic potion to jobs creation, but the panel is devising pragmatic plans to put people back to work. General Electric Co.

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Russian Steelmaker Gets Loan For MI Plant

July 13, 2011 8:57 am

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. Energy Department says it has loaned $730 million to the North American arm of one of Russia's largest steel companies to modernize its Detroit-area plant. The government and Severstal North America on Wednesday officially announced plans to upgrade and expand facilities in Dearborn that make steel for the auto industry.

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Crews Battle Fire At Buffalo Plant

July 13, 2011 8:54 am

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Firefighters in Buffalo continue to battle a stubborn blaze at a plant that manufactures industrial lubricants. Buffalo media outlets report that the fire started before 6 a.m. Wednesday at the Niagara Lubricant Co. in the city's Black Rock neighborhood. Thick black smoke spewed from the three-story structure several hours after the fire started.

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Toyota Strengthens Japanese Production

July 13, 2011 4:53 am

Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's president said the car maker plans to take 100 percent ownership of two auto-assembly companies it partly owns and combine one of them with two other subsidiaries in an effort to strengthen Japanese manufacturing. Toyota Motor Corp.

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Electric Boat To Lay Off Workers

July 13, 2011 4:51 am

GROTON, Conn. (AP) — Electric Boat has notified workers that it plans to lay off 104 employees at its Groton shipyard. A spokesman for the Groton-based division of General Dynamics Corp. says the layoffs reflect a projected softening of the workload for carpenters, machinists and pipefitters.

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Fire Breaks Out At Buffalo Plant

July 13, 2011 4:49 am

July 13, 2011 BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Firefighters are battling a fire at a plant in Buffalo that manufactures industrial lubricants. Buffalo broadcast media outlets report that the blaze started before 6 a.m. Wednesday at the Niagara Lubricant Co. located in the city's Black Rock neighborhood.

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