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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM Adding 110 Jobs To Arlington SUV Plant

May 26, 2011 9:19 am

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — General Motors Co. is adding 110 jobs to a Texas factory and investing $331 million to expand the plant to make full-size sport utility vehicles. The Arlington, Texas, factory will make Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Cadillac Escalades. The plant, which currently has 2,400 employees, opened in 1954 and was expanded in 2001 to 3.

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Heinz: Income Is Up, But We're Cutting 1,000 Jobs

May 26, 2011 9:17 am | by Michelle Chapman and Sarah Skidmore, AP Business Writers

H.J. Heinz Co.'s global expansion efforts are paying off, driving its fourth-quarter net income up 16 percent. But the world's biggest ketchup maker said it needs to raise prices and cut jobs to continue its profitable path. The company, based in Pittburgh, announced Thursday that it will shed up to 1,000 jobs globally in fiscal 2012 as it closes five factories.

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Tesla Hopes To Raise $214M For Electric Crossover

May 25, 2011 9:42 am

PALO ALTO, California (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. says it plans to raise up to $214.3 million by selling common stock. A portion of the proceeds will be used to develop a crossover vehicle. Tesla plans to sell 5.3 million shares to the public, and up to 795,000 more to the underwriter, at $26 each, according to a regulatory filing.

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Open Valves Caused Middleton Plant Explosion

May 25, 2011 9:23 am

MIDDLETON, Mass. (AP) — An internal investigation has determined that an explosion at a Middleton chemical plant that sent four workers to the hospital was caused when two valves were left open, allowing a building to fill with flammable vapors that were ignited by an internal ignition source.

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Spacewalk Maintenance Delayed By Soap In Eye

May 25, 2011 9:16 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A spacewalking astronaut got soap in his eye and almost had to retreat into the safety of the International Space Station on Wednesday. Andrew Feustel said it stung "like crazy." But several minutes later, he said he was feeling better and the third spacewalk of shuttle Endeavour's final voyage continued as planned for about seven hours.

Google Throws $55 Million To The Wind

May 25, 2011 9:11 am

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google Inc. is throwing another $55 million to the wind. The Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet search giant is partnering with Citigroup Inc. to help finance the Alta Wind Energy Center wind farm in California's Tehachapi Mountains. Google has been investing hundreds of millions in wind energy as it seeks reliable new ways to power its massive server farms, or data centers, which are notorious power hogs.

Organic-Lovers Start Demanding DNA-Traceable Meats

May 25, 2011 9:05 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — First came organic, then free-range, then local. Now discerning diners with a penchant for spending a premium to know where food comes from are pushing DNA-traceable meat onto restaurant menus. The technology — which allows meat to be traced from the farm to the fridge — has been used in Europe and other countries for decades, but has been slow to catch on in America.

Whistleblowers Get Financial Incentives From SEC

May 25, 2011 8:54 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Whistleblowers who report corporate fraud or other misconduct to the government could receive sizable cash awards under new rules adopted Wednesday by federal regulators. Tipsters would be eligible if they give the Securities and Exchange Commission information that leads to an enforcement action resulting in more than $1 million in penalties.

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Americans Guzzle More Coffee Despite Bubbling Prices

May 25, 2011 4:43 am | by Christina Rexrode, AP Business Writers

NEW YORK (AP) — People are paying more to fuel up these days — on coffee. Coffee price increases have outpaced even the hike in gasoline prices the past year. A one-pound can of ground coffee sold for $5.10 in April, up 40 percent from $3.64 the year before, according to the Department of Labor.

U.S. Industrial Orders Fell 3.8 Percent In April

May 25, 2011 4:32 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses cut back on their orders for heavy machinery, computers, autos and airplanes in April, reducing demand for long-lasting manufactured goods by the largest amount in six months. Orders for durable goods fell 3.8 percent and a key category that serves as a proxy for business investment was down 2.

MGA, Mattel Battle In Court Over 'Bratz' Trade Secrets

May 25, 2011 4:29 am | by Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press

SANTA ANA, California (AP) — Attorneys from toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc. will try to persuade a federal judge Wednesday to award the company $177 million in punitive damages and more than $162 million in attorney fees and other costs after a jury found rival Mattel Inc. liable for misappropriation of trade secret in a closely watched trial.

Colt Defense Battles Competitors For Slim Rifle Contracts

May 25, 2011 4:25 am | by Richard Lardner, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly a decade, Colt Defense went without a lobbyist. The legendary gun maker based in West Hartford, Conn., had an exclusive deal to provide combat rifles to the U.S. military and didn't need a hired gun looking out for the company's interests in Washington. Times have changed.

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China Urges Safety After Deadly iPad Plant Explosion

May 25, 2011 4:20 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing urged Foxconn Technology Group and other Taiwanese companies on Wednesday to ensure safety in their mainland China factories after a fatal blast at a facility that makes Apple iPads. Last Friday's explosion at the facility owned by Foxconn, Apple's main manufacturing contractor, killed three employees.

GM To Add 2,500 Jobs At Detroit-Area Volt Plant

May 25, 2011 4:18 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it will add 2,500 jobs at a Detroit-area plant that now makes the Chevrolet Volt electric car. The company plans to invest $69 million in the Detroit-Hamtramck factory and add two shifts of workers so theplant can make the new Chevrolet Malibu midsize car and the Impala large sedan.

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Jury: Plane Maker Not Liable In Yankees Pitcher Death

May 24, 2011 9:54 am

NEW YORK (AP) — A jury has found that a Minnesota airplane manufacturer was not responsible for the crash of a small plane into a Manhattan apartment building that killed New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle (LY'-duhl) and his flight instructor. The Manhattan jury returned its verdict Tuesday after a one-month federal trial.

Gov't Dives Into EVs With Vehicle, Charger Purchases

May 24, 2011 9:38 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an effort boost use of electric vehicles, the Obama administration is installing charging stations for government vehicles in five cities, including Washington and Detroit. The General Services Administration plans to buy 116 plug-in electric vehicles, including 101 Chevrolet Volts, and will assign them to government agencies in five cities: Washington, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

Obama Sanctions Seven Foreign Firms For Iran Dealings

May 24, 2011 9:35 am | by Matthew Lee, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Tuesday hit seven foreign companies, including Venezuela' state-owned oil company and an Israeli shipping firm, with sanctions for doing business with Iran that helps fund its nuclear program. At the same time, the administration imposed separate sanctions on more than 15 people and companies in China, Iran, North Korea, Syria and elsewhere for illicit trading in missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.

Former Chrysler CEO To Head $100M Innovation Fund

May 24, 2011 9:22 am

TROY, Mich. (AP) — A southeastern Michigan technology association is partnering with former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda to help companies commercialize their ideas. LaSorda is the co-founder of a $100 million investment fund called Stage 2 Innovations that will be available to so-called second-stage companies.

Chrysler Repays Gov't Loans, Closes 'Painful Chapter'

May 24, 2011 9:18 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — With a few computer keystrokes in an office at its headquarters, Chrysler Group LLC sent $7.6 billion to the U.S. and Canadian governments on Tuesday, paying off most of the bailout money that saved the company from financial disaster just two years ago. The repayment — expected for weeks — is a huge step in the automaker's unlikely comeback.

VW Unveils Chattanooga Plant For U.S. Buyers

May 24, 2011 9:15 am

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Volkswagen is jumping into the U.S. auto market with a new Passat that is bigger, cheaper and built domestically in hopes of breaking into the competitive midsize sedan market. During a grand opening for their new plant in Chattanooga on Tuesday, the German automaker presented the 2012 Passat as the key to building U.

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