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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

AP Survey: Economists Warn Against More Fed Action

June 14, 2011 4:54 am | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The best cure for the economy now is time. That's the overwhelming opinion of leading economists in a new Associated Press survey. They say the Federal Reserve shouldn't bother trying to stimulate the economy — and could actually do damage if it did. The economists are lowering their forecasts for job creation and economic growth for the rest of this year, mainly because of high oil prices.

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German Authorities Investigate Fatal Goodyear Blimp Crash

June 14, 2011 4:51 am | by Melissa Eddy, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — The pilot of a Goodyear blimp screamed "I crashed the airship" before it burst into flames, a passenger who leapt to safety says. Photographer Joachim Storch told media that the blimp — The Spirit of Safety — missed its designated landing spot at Reichelsheim airfield in central Germany on Sunday evening, causing its engine to slam into the ground.

HP Shuffles Execs Before 'Another Tough Quarter'

June 14, 2011 4:50 am

PALO ALTO, California (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. is streamlining its executive ranks to improve its focus on customers rather than administration and put more operations directly under CEO Leo Apotheker's control. The world's largest maker of personal computers said Monday that it is eliminating its chief administrative officer position, meaning that Pete Bocian is leaving HP immediately.

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Nokia Wins Patent Suit Against Rival Apple

June 14, 2011 4:40 am | by Jari Tanner, Associated Press

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — Nokia Corp. on Tuesday notched a valuable win against rival Apple Inc., with the U.S. company agreeing to pay the Finnish handset maker a one-time sum to settle long-standing patent disputes as well as royalties for current licenses. Espoo-based Nokia said that the deal "will result in settlement of all patent litigation between the companies, including the withdrawal by Nokia and Apple of their respective complaints to the US International Trade Commission.

Obama Turns Back To Job Creation

June 14, 2011 4:36 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Beset by a grim employment picture, President Barack Obama on Monday pledged to ease the way for businesses to expand hiring and offered assurances to an anxious public that he is focused on creating jobs — the top political issue heading into the 2012 election and the Achilles heel of his presidency.

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Honda: Profits To Fall 63.5 Percent Amid Shortages

June 14, 2011 4:34 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Honda's profit for the fiscal year through March 2012 is expected to plunge 63.5 percent as vehicles sales slipped amid a parts shortage caused by the quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan. Honda Motor Co. gave the forecast Tuesday, more than a month later than usual. Like other Japanese automakers, the maker of the Odyssey minivan and the Fit compact needed more time to assess the aftermath of the March 11 disaster.

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Analysts: Solar Manufacturing Industry Burning Up

June 13, 2011 8:01 am | by Chris Kahn, AP Energy Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Solar shares rose Monday, with one analyst saying that demand is accelerating and that the sector is ripe for mergers and acquisitions. Rather than fewer orders for solar panels as has been feared because of declining subsidies and a poor economy, Brean Murray Carret & Co.

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Ford Loses $2 Billion Lawsuit Against Aggravated Dealers

June 13, 2011 7:53 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ford Motor Co. shares sank Monday after an Ohio judge said the automaker had to pay nearly $2 billion in damages to thousands of dealerships who participated in a 2002 class-action lawsuit. Ford has said it would appeal. THE SPARK: Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Peter Corrigan in Cleveland issued the ruling based on a Feb.

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VF Corp. Buys Timberland Co. For $2.2 Billion

June 13, 2011 7:44 am | by Mae Anderson, AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Clothing and footwear maker VF Corp., whose brands include Wrangler, Nautica and The North Face, said Monday it will buy boot and clothing maker Timberland Co. for more than $2.2 billion as it seeks to expand its outdoor offerings. VF plans to make Timberland part of its outdoor and actions sports business, and it said Timberland's headquarters will remain in Stratham, New Hampshire.

Honeywell Buys EMS Technologies For $506 Million

June 13, 2011 6:57 am

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Honeywell International Inc. said Monday that it had agreed to buy EMS Technologies Inc., which supplies communications equipment to the aerospace, defense and trucking industries, for about $506 million. Honeywell, the industrial conglomerate, is paying $33 per share in cash, a 33 percent premium to EMS's Friday closing price.

Obama Takes On Hiring With Manufacturing Tours

June 13, 2011 6:49 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — President Barack Obama pledged Monday to push business-friendly policies on issues including free-trade agreements and worker pension funds as he sought to make good on promises to grow the economy and jobs by boosting competitiveness. "We know this is something we're going to have to work with everyone on, labor and business," Obama said as he sat with his jobs and competitiveness council, which met at an energy-efficient lighting plant in Durham, N.

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More Japanese Nuclear Workers Exceed Radiation Limits

June 13, 2011 6:45 am

TOKYO (AP) — Six more workers at Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant may have exceeded the radiation exposure limit, bringing the total to eight, the government said Monday. The health and labor ministry released the preliminary results of tests on how much radiation they had been exposed to as they worked at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

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OSHA Fines Tyson $70,000 For Deadly Silo Collapse

June 13, 2011 4:35 am

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Tyson Foods Inc. $70,000 in the wake of a fatal collapse at the company's Nashville, Ark., feed mill. The Texarkana Gazette reports OSHA cited Tyson earlier this month, saying a collapsed grain silo was "structurally unsound.

Spyker, Saab Becomes Chinese-Owned With New Investment

June 13, 2011 4:32 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Saab Automobile AB said Monday it has signed a nonbinding agreement with two Chinese companies, which will inject a total of euro245 million ($351 million) into Saab-owner Spyker Cars NV. Saab said Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. will invest euro136 million for a 29.

First Toyota Accelerator Lawsuit Gets Utah Court Date

June 13, 2011 4:29 am | by Andrew Dalton, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES. (AP) — After years of legal wrangling, the first of hundreds of lawsuits over acceleration problems against Toyota Motor Corp. has been scheduled for trial. A crash that killed two people in Utah will be the first lawsuit to be weighed in court, a federal judge said Friday. U.

China's Export Hub Home To Protests Over Police Abuse

June 13, 2011 4:25 am | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — Protesters in southern China's manufacturing hub torched emergency vehicles in an outburst of anger against police abuse of migrant workers, eyewitnesses said Monday. Sunday night's rioting followed three days of steadily growing unrest in the town of Xintang in Guangdong province, the linchpin of China's crucial export industry.

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Manufacturers Should Be Wary Of Formaldehyde, Styrene

June 13, 2011 4:21 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The strong-smelling chemical formaldehyde causes cancer, while styrene, a second industrial chemical that's used worldwide in the manufacture of fiberglass and food containers, may cause cancer, the National Institutes of Health says. The NIH said Friday that people with higher measures of exposure to formaldehyde are at increased risk for certain types of rare cancers, including those affecting the upper part of the throat behind the nose.

Harley-Davidson Embraces High-Tech Manufacturing

June 13, 2011 4:17 am | by Lauren Boyer, Associated Press

YORK, Pa. (AP) — A fleet of automated guided carriers — robotic smart carts — perform a mechanical ballet along the concrete floor of a building once solely reserved for making Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycles. By August, more than 100 of the orange go-cart-sized bots will snake through on five rows of thin magnetic tape, carrying in-process Trike, Touring and Softail motorcycles through a futuristic assembly line that can be reconfigured within days to meet production demand.

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Celebrating The Pioneers of American Industrial Design

June 10, 2011 8:58 am | by the U.S. Postal Service

The Pioneers of American Industrial Design stamp pane honors 12 of the nation’s most important and influential industrial designers — according to the United States Postal Service. Encompassing everything from furniture and electric kitchen appliances to corporate office buildings and passenger trains, the work of these designers helped shape the look of everyday life in the 20th century.

P&G Settles Diaper Rash Lawsuit For Millions

June 10, 2011 7:39 am | by Dan Sewell, AP Business Writer

CINCINNATI (AP) — Consumer products maker Procter & Gamble says it has agreed to settle a lawsuit by parents who claimed a new version of Pampers diapers caused skin rashes and other problems for their babies. P&G will pay attorney fees, estimated at $2.7 million, and $1,000 to each child of 59 plaintiffs, under terms subject to final approval in U.

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