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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Taiwanese Firm Raided After Shipping Machines To North Korea

September 7, 2010 4:57 am | by Debby Wu, Associated Press Writer

Taiwanese investigators raided a local company after it shipped banned machinery to North Korea via a Chinese firm with ties to Pyongyang's military, a Taiwanese official said Tuesday. The owner of the Taiwanese company, Ho Li Enterprises, said that two computer-controlled machine tools used in the manufacture of engines were shipped to North Korea earlier this year, but said he was unaware he had broken the law.

Kia CEO Resigns After 100,000-Vehicle Recall

September 7, 2010 4:40 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The top executive at Kia Motors has resigned after the company recalled more than 100,000 vehicles worldwide over defective wiring, the automaker said Tuesday. Chung Sung-eun, vice chairman and CEO of South Korea's No. 2 automaker, stepped down on Friday, according to company spokesman Michael Choo.

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Honeywell's 2,100-Worker Nuke Plant Breaks Ground

September 7, 2010 4:39 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled this week at the site of a privately developed plant in south Kansas City where non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons will be built. The facility being built for Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies will employ 2,100 people and replace the current Honeywell plant at the Bannister Federal Complex, also in south Kansas City.

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When Manufactuing Jobs Return, They Will Be High-Skill

September 7, 2010 4:37 am

NEW YORK (AP) — American workers faced a sobering reality as they celebrated the U.S. holiday of Labor Day at a time of high unemployment, scant hiring and a widespread loss of job security: economists foresee fewer moderately paid factory supervisors, postal workers and office administrators.

Obama Proposes $200 Billion In Business Tax Breaks

September 7, 2010 4:31 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will call on Congress to pass new tax breaks that would allow businesses to write off 100 percent of their new capital investments through 2011, the latest in a series of proposals the White House is rolling out in hopes of jump-starting economic growth ahead of the November elections.

Federal Agents Visit Epicenter Of Salmonella Outbreak, Again

September 1, 2010 4:54 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, the two Iowa farms at the center of a salmonella outbreak and massive egg recall, have been visited by federal agents again. Spokeswomen for the farms said the agents who arrived Tuesday worked for the Food and Drug Administration.

Ad Agency Drops Harley-Davidson Due To Slow Sales

September 1, 2010 4:52 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Marketing Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc.'s main ad agency for more than three decades has dropped the struggling motorcycle maker in favor of new business. Ad agency Carmichael Lynch, a unit of Interpublic Group, said many factors went into the decision, including the fact that the Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker has slashed its marketing spending in recent years amid slumping sales.

Heinz 1Q Income Rises 13 Percent

September 1, 2010 4:39 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) — H.J. Heinz Co.'s fiscal first-quarter net income jumped 13 percent, largely on stronger sales in Asia. The foodmaker best known for its signature ketchup said Wednesday that it earned $240.4 million, or 75 cents per share, for the quarter that ended in late July. That's up from $212.

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Chinese Manufacturing Rebounds In August

September 1, 2010 4:37 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Chinese manufacturing growth improved and auto sales rebounded in August, suggesting the world's second-biggest economy may not be slowing as quickly as feared. Two surveys released Wednesday showed production, new orders and purchasing prices all rose in August, with the HSBC purchasing managers index — a seasonally adjusted index designed to measure the performance of the manufacturing economy — rising to its highest level in three months, at 51.

Hyundai Shifts SUV Production To Kia Plant

September 1, 2010 4:36 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hyundai Motor America said Tuesday it will shift manufacturing of its Santa Fe SUV beginning this fall from its plant in Alabama to one in Georgia run by Kia Motor Manufacturing, a move aimed at boosting production of Hyundai's popular Sonata sedan. The automaker plans to increase production of the Sonata at the plant in Montgomery, Alabama, said Hyundai Motor America spokesman Chris Hosford.

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Family Sues Nestle Over Bottled Water Death

September 1, 2010 4:34 am

FRANKLIN, Ind. (AP) — The family of a woman who died after a pallet of bottled water fell on her at a Kroger store in central Indiana is suing the water bottler, arguing a new eco-friendly bottle design might have contributed to the accident. The lawsuit filed by the husband of 32-year-old Lori Keen is pending in federal court in Indianapolis.

Delays Cripple Solar Projects On Public Land

September 1, 2010 4:33 am | by Jason Dearen, Associated Press Writer

ROACH DRY LAKE, Nev. (AP) — Not a light bulb's worth of solar electricity has been produced on the millions of acres of public desert set aside for it. Not one project to build glimmering solar farms has even broken ground. Instead, five years after federal land managers opened up stretches of the Southwest to developers, vast tracts still sit idle.

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HP Agrees To Pay $55 Million For Kickbacks

August 31, 2010 4:58 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Justice says Hewlett-Packard has agreed to pay $55 million to settle claims it paid kickbacks to companies so that they would recommend its products to federal agencies. Hewlett-Packard Co. has already announced earlier this month it will take a charge of 2 cents per share in the third quarter to settle the claims.

As Automakers Recover, Incentives Become Rare

August 31, 2010 4:28 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — For years, Americans shopping for cars were treated to all sorts of deals and incentives, especially at the end of summer. Think Cash for Clunkers, which paid up to $4,500, or promotions that offered employee discounts to everyone. Those days are over. Deals are getting more scarce because automakers, newly lean and profitable, are holding the line on those profit-eating promotions.

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U.S. Likely To Accuse China Of Aluminum Protectionism

August 31, 2010 4:27 am | by Foster Klug, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Analysts say the Obama administration, under congressional pressure to take a tough stance on Chinese trade policies, is expected to declare that China unfairly helped its aluminum industry. The finding, which could spark higher import duties, was anticipated Tuesday as the White House attempts to strike a delicate balance ahead of November congressional elections that will be dominated by the weak U.

Muslim Meatpackers Sue Over Corporate Intolerance

August 31, 2010 4:26 am | by Timberly Ross, Associated Press Writer

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Somali Muslim workers at a meatpacking plant in Grand Island were denied prayer time and faced harassment and even termination for asking to pray, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit filed on behalf on more than 80 Somali Muslims says JBS Swift & Co.

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Deere Sells Wind Energy Business For $900 Million

August 31, 2010 4:25 am

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Deere & Co. will sell its wind energy business to a subsidiary of Exelon Corp. for $900 million, the company said Tuesday, potentially signaling an active merger and acquisition period ahead for the power industry. With energy prices persistently low due to a grinding economic recovery, stakes in the power industry have begun to shift.

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Ford's Louisville Workers To Get First Overtime Since 2005

August 31, 2010 4:24 am

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant will see its first extended overtime in years leading up to a layoff of up to a year for factory retooling. Company and union officials told The Courier-Journal that Ford Motor Co.'s production of the 2010 Explorer will employ workers on most Fridays in September and October and two Saturdays in October.

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Consumer Spending Rises In July, Economists Still Worried

August 30, 2010 5:17 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans spent last month at the fastest pace in four months, helped by a jump in demand for automobiles. Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in July after three lackluster months, the Commerce Department said Monday. Spending fell 0.1 percent in April, rose a tiny 0.1 percent in May and was flat in June.

Raytheon Lands $55 Million Navy Contract

August 30, 2010 5:02 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Raytheon Co. has landed a $55.4 million Navy contract related to the production of a test site for the Aegis missile-defense system, the Department of Defense said Friday. The contract modifies and earlier contract to exercise an option for the production of an Aegis ashore test site transmitter and fire control system.

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