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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Boeing Acquires Combat Firm For $775 Million

June 30, 2010 4:47 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Boeing said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire combat engineering firm Argon ST Inc. for about $775 million in cash in a deal to expand its capabilities in intelligence gathering and warfare. Argon ST is a Fairfax, Va., company that develops a variety of systems used in surveillance, reconnaissance and combat.

Ford Repays $4 Billion Of Staggering Debt

June 30, 2010 4:28 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co., the only Detroit automaker to avoid bankruptcy protection, said Wednesday it will reduce its huge debt by another $4 billion as it continues to show signs of financial strength. The Dearborn, Mich., automaker will pay $3.8 billion in cash to a United Auto Workers trust fund that pays retiree health care bills, and it will pay out $255 million in dividends on preferred securities that had been deferred as the automaker worked its way through financial troubles.

Obama Visits Hard-Hit Wis. Manufacturing City

June 30, 2010 4:26 am | by Scott Bauer, Associated Press Writer

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — If President Barack Obama wants to see a community hard hit by the recession, there's not many places better in Wisconsin than where he's coming Wednesday. Obama invited the public to attend a round table discussion on the economy in Racine, a city suffering under 14.


Immigration Agents Raid Calif. Manufacturing Plant

June 30, 2010 4:25 am

FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — Federal immigration agents have taken 43 people into custody following a raid at a Fullerton manufacturing plant. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lori Haley says federal agents executed a search warrant Tuesday morning at Terra Universal Inc. Haley says the 43 people taken into custody are suspected of being in the country illegally.


U.S. Officials: Oil Spill Proves We Need 'Green' Energy

June 29, 2010 5:06 am | by Adam Schreck, AP Business Writer

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A senior American energy official said Tuesday the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico dramatically illustrates the need for investment into renewable sources of energy. David Sandalow, an assistant energy secretary, spoke during a visit to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, an OPEC member that is pumping some of its vast oil wealth into green technology.

ConAgra Consumes American Pie

June 29, 2010 4:52 am

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. said Tuesday it completed its acquisition of American Pie LLC, a maker of desserts and frozen dinners under the Marie Callender's and Claim Jumper brand names. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. American Pie makes pies, fruit cobblers and pie crusts under license from Marie Callender's and Claim Jumper.


CarMax CEO: Auto Recovery Won't Be Full-Throttle

June 29, 2010 4:40 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — CarMax Inc. CEO Tom Folliard is expecting the recovery of the worst U.S. auto sales market in decades is going to be slower than some others foresee. The head of the Richmond-based used car dealership chain told shareholders at its annual meeting in Richmond that customers are starting to return and sales are improving, but not at pre-recession levels.

Tesla's IPO Opens At $17, Now Known As 'TSLA'

June 29, 2010 4:37 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Tesla Motors Inc. said Monday its shares were priced at $17 each, above what it expected. The electric car startup plans to launch its initial public offering of stock on Tuesday. The Palo Alto, Calif., company is offering 13.3 million shares, meaning it raised $226.1 million at the $17-a-share price.


Foxconn Plans 300,000-Worker Plant Amid Criticism

June 29, 2010 4:35 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Foxconn Technology, a supplier to Apple Inc., looks ready to build a huge new factory in north-central China despite the company's own misgivings about city-sized manufacturing facilities after a spate of suicides among its young migrant work force. The company plans to recruit some 300,000 workers for the new plant, to be located in the Henan city of Hebei, according to a notice seen Tuesday on a local government website.


FAA Lackadaisical On Boeing Cockpit Fires

June 29, 2010 4:34 am | by Joan Lowy and Joshua Freed, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. federal aviation officials have known for years that cockpit window heaters in some Boeing planes catch fire. But they haven't required airlines to fix the problem, even after dozens of incidents that unnerved pilots and, in some cases, forced emergency landings. Pilots have complained about heaters that burned, smoldered or sent electric currents dancing across cockpit windows since at least 2002, according to an Associated Press search of a NASA aviation safety database.

Will The Oil Spill Slip Up Our Economic Recovery?

June 28, 2010 5:15 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The BP oil spill has hammered the fishing and tourism industries along the Gulf of Mexico. But it appears the economic damage to the rest of the United States will be limited. Analysts say the spill will reduce economic growth by only about one-half of 1 percentage point this quarter, and even less during the second half of the year.

Machinery Exec Convicted For $11 Million Bribe

June 28, 2010 5:12 am

BERLIN (AP) — A former executive at German truck and machinery maker MAN SE was convicted of bribery Monday for paying millions of euros (dollars) to secure a contract in Kazakhstan. Heinz Juergen Maus, the former head of the MAN Turbo AG unit, was given a two-year suspended sentence and will have to pay a euro100,000 fine.

Congress Addresses Industrial Natural Gas Dangers

June 28, 2010 4:40 am | by Stephanie Reitz, Associated Press Writer

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The circumstances around the fatal Middletown power plant explosion will be the focus of separate hearings Monday by a congressional subcommittee and a federal safety advisory board. Members of both groups are traveling to Connecticut from Washington, D.C.


Kysor/Warren To Hire 200 Georgians

June 28, 2010 4:39 am

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Refrigeration equipment manufacturer Kysor/Warren is expanding its Columbus operations and plans to add about 200 employees. The company says the new hires are needed to meet an increase in demand this year. Kysor/Warren makes commercial refrigeration systems and display cases for supermarkets and is seeking to hire mostly manufacturing workers.

Obama-Touted Ohio Steel Mill Breaks Ground

June 28, 2010 4:37 am

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — A steel company is officially beginning work on a new Ohio mill talked up by President Barack Obama during an appearance last month. A groundbreaking Monday was expected to bring Gov. Ted Strickland and other officials to V&M STAR in Youngstown. V&M's parent company is spending $650 million to add a 1 million-square-foot mill to its Ohio facility, a project the firm says will create as many as 750 temporary and permanent jobs.


Can 'Iron Man' Sell The Electric Car?

June 28, 2010 4:36 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Tesla Motors Inc. begins selling stock to the public on Tuesday. The sale's success depends on how much investors are willing to bet on a car company that has never made a profit, sells a single vehicle and expects to lose money until at least 2012. As for the car, it's electric — a kind of vehicle Americans have shown almost no appetite for — and it's very pricey.


Boeing Machinists Accept Contract, Avoid Strike

June 28, 2010 4:35 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Boeing workers in St. Louis have accepted a contract with the plane manufacturer, avoiding a strike that would have gone into effect Monday if the deal had been rejected. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said the contract passed Sunday by a vote of 1,237 to 838.


States Share In $173 Million Computer Chip Antitrust Case

June 25, 2010 4:54 am

DENVER (AP) — Colorado and 32 other states will share a $173 million antitrust settlement with computer chip makers. Attorney General John Suthers said Thursday the states have settled a lawsuit accusing six manufacturers of artificially pushing up the price of dynamic random access memory chips, or DRAM chips.

J & J Does Not Have Backup For Recalled Medicine

June 25, 2010 4:37 am

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it will probably not have supplies for some 40 varieties of medications recalled earlier this year until at least 2011, after closing a key manufacturing site. In late April, J&J's McNeil unit recalled a variety of children's and adult over-the-counter medicines due to numerous manufacturing problems at its Fort Washington, Pa.


The Skinny On Idaho-Built Solar Panels

June 25, 2010 4:27 am

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A company formed by Boise-based Micron Technology Inc. and Origin Energy of Australia says it plans to start making extremely thin but highly efficient solar cells that will be available next year. Transform Solar officials say the so-called sliver solar cells will be made at a plant in Boise where Micron once made computer chips, and the cells will be combined into solar panels at another plant owned by Micron in Nampa.



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