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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

3M Investing $90 Million To Expand Illinois Plant

June 21, 2011 4:44 am

CORDOVA, Ill. (AP) — 3M is investing $90 million to expand its plant in the western Illinois community of Cordova. Officials from 3M broke ground Monday on the expansion, which is designed to help the company meet increasing demand for its next generation of technologies. Pat Thornton is the plant's site manager, and Thornton tells the Quad-City Times that the decision to expand in Cordova is "a vote of confidence" in the plant's employees.

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NLRB To Propose Sweeping New Union Rules

June 21, 2011 4:37 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Labor regulators are set to propose sweeping new rules Tuesday that would dramatically speed up the time frame for union elections, a move that could make it easier for struggling unions to organize new members, and cut the time businesses have to mount anti-union campaigns. A copy of the planned rules, to be announced by the National Labor Relations Board, was obtained by The Associated Press.

Toyota To Hire 4,000 Temporary Japanese Workers

June 21, 2011 4:30 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota said it will hire 3,000 to 4,000 temporary workers in Japan to be ready for a recovery in vehicle production as automakers bounce back from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Toyota Motor Corp. will start recruiting the factory workers in July, as production is now gradually recovering and expected to surge by October, company spokesman Shigehiko Okamura said Tuesday.

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Franklin Electric To Move 125 Jobs To Mexico

June 21, 2011 4:28 am

BLUFFTON, Ind. (AP) — Franklin Electric Co. Inc. said it plans to close an Oklahoma City factory and move the equivalent of 125 jobs, primarily to a facility in Linares, Mexico. Franklin Electric, which makes systems and components used to move water and automotive fuels, said it will move some of the 260,000 annual man-hours of work to another Oklahoma City facility.

Soda CEO Changes Course, Pleads Guilty To Fraud

June 20, 2011 9:57 am | by Joe Mandak, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The former CEO of a defunct Pennsylvania soft drink company pleaded guilty to tax evasion, mail fraud and money laundering for using two sets of books to obtain $875 million in credit for the company. Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh say the scheme orchestrated by 51-year-old Gregory Podlucky, of Ligonier, resulted in $628 million in losses to various lenders and equipment companies that did business with Latrobe-based Le-Nature's Inc.

Could A Nationwide Wireless Network Cripple GPS?

June 20, 2011 9:45 am | by Joelle Tessler, AP Technology Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — LightSquared, a Virginia-based company that plans to build a nationwide wireless broadband network, is proposing to adapt its network so as not to interfere with GPS systems. The company plans to move some of its operations to a different slice of airwaves and to transmit signals at lower power levels to ensure that its network would not interfere with GPS systems that rely on nearby wireless spectrum.

Virginia Exports Are Rising, Thanks To Manufacturing

June 20, 2011 9:32 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Exports of goods and services in Virginia are growing and having a large impact on the state's economy. Virginia exports increased 8 percent in 2010 to $29 billion, ranking it as the 22nd-largest exporting state in the U.S., according to recent data from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's international trade office.

Boeing Announces $11 Billion In Jet Orders

June 20, 2011 9:11 am | by Jamey Keaten, Associated Press

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Boeing Co. announced more than $11 billion worth of orders and commitments for 56 jets on Monday as the Paris Air Show, the industry's main event of the year, got under way. The Chicago-based aerospace and defense giant opened a day of one-upmanship with traditional rival Airbus by announcing Qatar Airways had ordered six 777 jets in a $1.

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CAT Sees Another Strong Month Of Sales In May

June 20, 2011 9:10 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, Caterpillar Inc., reported another strong month of global sales growth in May when sales improved 52 percent over last year. Still, the results were slightly weaker than the recent months. The company provided an update on its sales Monday in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

FDA Plan Hopes To Increase Import Safety

June 20, 2011 9:07 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. food and drug regulators would share more information with their foreign counterparts as part of a multifaceted strategy to police the safety of millions of imported goods. A Food and Drug Administration report issued Monday lays out a long-term plan to deal with the flood of imports to the U.

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Last N.H. Paper Mill: We Will Survive, Succeed

June 20, 2011 4:54 am | by Kathy McCormack, Associated Press

GORHAM, N.H. (AP) — A cheaper source of fuel, a dedicated sales team and workforce, and an investment in a tissue machine will help the last paper mill in New Hampshire's North Country succeed, state and mill industry representatives say. The changes come to the mill in Gorham as the papermaking industry fights growing competition from overseas plants in recent years.

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Blaze At Vacant Camden Plant Forces Evacuation

June 20, 2011 4:49 am

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A blaze erupted at a vacant chemical plant just before sunrise Sunday in one of the country's poorest cities, causing the building to partially collapse and forcing firefighters to evacuate nearby homes. The fire at Concord Chemical Inc. in Camden, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, comes more than a week after fires at an abandoned tire factory and a downtown warehouse.

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Boeing, Airbus Get Competing Multi-Billion Dollar Deals

June 20, 2011 4:44 am | by Jamey Keaten, Associated Press

Qatar Airways orders Boeing planes in $1.7B deal   LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Boeing Co. announced the first big-ticket order in its rivalry with Airbus at the start of the Paris Air Show on Monday, saying Qatar Airways has ordered six 777 jets in a $1.7 billion deal. The upstart, fast-growing Gulf carrier is buying extended versions of the long-range jet, the 777-300, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said during a news conference alongside Boeing's commercial aircraft chief.

Celebrating 120 Years Of Pa. Bologna-Making

June 20, 2011 4:37 am | by Brad Rhen, Associated Press

WEAVERTOWN, Pa. (AP) — For nearly 120 years, Lebanon bologna has been made at a small plant in a tiny village just north of Lebanon. Located along Weavertown Road in North Lebanon Township, the plant was originally built in 1893 by Daniel Weaver, who began making Weaver's Lebanon Bologna in 1885.

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GE Reaches Tentative Agreement With Biggest Unions

June 20, 2011 4:34 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Corp. said Monday that it agreed on tentative labor deals with two of its biggest unions after a month of talks. The conglomerate's agreements with IUE-CWA and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America are subject to review by union negotiating committees and ratification by union members by June 30.

Defunct Soda CEO Pleads Not Guilty In $806 Million Fraud

June 20, 2011 4:30 am | by Joe Mandak, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The former chief executive of a defunct western Pennsylvania soft-drink maker is scheduled to change his not guilty plea to charges that he perpetrated an $806 million bank fraud then allegedly sold or tried to sell millions of dollars' worth of gold, jewels and other valuables he's accused of buying with money stolen from the company.

GM To Unveil Mich.-Built Chevy Sonic At Under $15,000

June 17, 2011 9:38 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors said Friday that pricing for its new Chevrolet Sonic will start at just under $15,000 when the sub-compact car hits dealer lots this fall. Base models of the 2012 Sonic will start at $14,495 including the destination charge, but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees.

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Worker Killed In Calif. Sewer Plant Explosion

June 17, 2011 9:20 am

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a water tank explosion that killed a worker at a sewage treatment plant in Redding. The Shasta County coroner's office says 54-year-old Fred Crumb died Thursday afternoon after suffering critical head injuries in the explosion. The Redding Record-Searchlight reports that Crumb was critically injured when the explosion blew the top off a 4,500-gallon steel tank at the Clear Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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French Authorities Investigate Two More E. Coli Cases

June 17, 2011 8:53 am | by Cecile Brisson, Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — French authorities are investigating two new suspected cases of E. coli linked to hamburger patties that have already sickened seven children, the health minister said Friday. Health authorities have ordered a recall of 10 tons of the frozen beef patties produced in France and sold by the German supermarket chain Lidl, but say there is no link to a deadly outbreak of the virus in neighboring Germany.

Lawyers Prepare Defense In Xcel Criminal Case

June 17, 2011 8:02 am

DENVER (AP) — The criminal trial over the deaths of five workers at a Colorado hydroelectric plant has reached the half-way point. Federal prosecutors rested their case against Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy and a subsidiary on Thursday, allowing company lawyers to begin presenting their case Friday.

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