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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Deere Profits Soar 65 Percent On Strong Americas Sales

May 18, 2011 4:16 am

MOLINE, Illinois (AP) — Deere & Co. said Wednesday its fiscal second-quarter profit soared 65 percent because of strong demand for its agricultural equipment, especially in the United States, Canada and Brazil. The company also said it plans to invest $80 million in a new agricultural equipment manufacturing plant in northeast China to help meet increased demand in the region.

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Mack, Volvo To Pay $525 Million In Benefits Lawsuit

May 18, 2011 4:15 am

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Mack Trucks Inc. and its parent, AB Volvo, will pay $525 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by more than 9,300 retirees of the North Carolina truck maker after they challenged potential reductions to their lifetime health benefits. The Legal Intelligencer reported Tuesday that Senior U.

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Dim HP Outlook Puts Damper On Computer Industry

May 17, 2011 9:26 am

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — After its CEO warned of another tough quarter, Hewlett-Packard Co. cut its full-year outlook Tuesday citing to soft PC sales and the effects of the earthquake in Japan. HP said its net income for the latest quarter rose slightly, but investors focused on challenges ahead sent shares down 5 percent before the market opened Tuesday.

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83,000 Chickens Killed In Massive Barn Blaze

May 17, 2011 7:33 am

VERSAILLES, Ohio (AP) — Authorities estimate that about 83,000 chickens were killed in a barn fire at a western Ohio egg farm. WHIO-TV says about 70 firefighters were called out shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday to fight the fire near Versailles (vur-SAYLZ'). The barn is on a farm owned by Kissinger Brothers Poultry and was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.

GM Groundbreaking On First Electrical Motor Plant

May 17, 2011 7:28 am

WHITE MARSH, Md. (AP) — Groundbreaking is scheduled for a new electric motor manufacturing facility at General Motor's Powertrain Baltimore location. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and other officials will participate in Tuesday's ceremony for the facility that is expected to create about 190 jobs.

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Columbus Workers To Vote On Union Busting

May 17, 2011 7:24 am

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — A vote could soon be taken to decertify the union at Omnova Solutions, Inc., in Columbus, where some workers have been on strike for a year. The Columbus Dispatch reports a group of replacement workers have filed a request with the National Labor Relations Board to take a decertification vote.

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Lead Producer To Build New, Cleaner Miss. Plant

May 17, 2011 7:21 am | by Jim Salter, Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nation's largest lead producer plans to build a new plant in the eastern Missouri town and promises it will be far more environmentally friendly than its existing smelter there that has been the subject of scorn by environmentalists and regulators for decades. St.

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BAE Fined $79 Million In U.S. Arms Export Case

May 17, 2011 7:17 am

LONDON (AP) — Defense contractor BAE Systems PLC said Tuesday it has agreed to pay a fine of up to $79 million to settle an arms export controls case with the U.S. Department of State, the largest civil fine ever levied by the department. The State Department settlement of the civil case includes a possible $10 million reduction in the fine depending on the company's implementation of compliance measures.

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U.S. Factory Output Drops For First Time In 10 Months

May 17, 2011 4:41 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories in April produced fewer goods for the first time in 10 months. A shortage of parts from Japan forced auto makers to cut back output. The Federal Reserve says manufacturing production fell 0.4 percent in April. That follows nine straight monthly increases. But excluding the drop in activity at auto plants, factory production rose 0.

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Defense Contractor Pleads Guilty To Navy Bribery

May 17, 2011 4:33 am

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego-based defense contractor pleaded guilty Monday to offering bribes to a Navy official who, in return, placed $300,000 worth of orders from the company for military aircraft. Jesse Denome, owner of JD Machine Tech, Inc., admitted that from June 2004 to September 2005 he gave a Navy official a bicycle worth nearly $2,500, a model airplane engine worth $449 and made $18,000 in payments on the official's personal credit card.

Drug-Riddled Chinese Watermelons Turn Into 'Land Mines'

May 17, 2011 4:29 am | by Alexa Olesen, Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — Watermelons have been bursting by the score in eastern China after farmers gave them overdoses of growth chemicals during wet weather, creating what state media called fields of "land mines." About 20 farmers around Danyang city in Jiangsu province were affected, losing up to 115 acres (45 hectares) of melon, China Central Television said in an investigative report.

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Contest Celebrates The Silliest Warning Labels

May 17, 2011 4:18 am | by Jeff Karoub, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — Ballpoint pen-chewers, take note: The cap in your mouth can obstruct breathing if swallowed. Common sense? Apparently for speakers of French, Spanish and German. The warning appears only in the English section of the multilingual instructions from the pen manufacturer, according to the creator of the Wacky Warning Labels contest.

Economist: Michigan's Economy Ready To Rev Up

May 17, 2011 4:14 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's rebounding economy will add about 60,000 jobs annually for the next three years, a university economist predicted Monday. George Fulton of the University of Michigan said job growth will be steady but not spectacular, dropping the state's annual unemployment rate to 10 percent this year and 9 percent in 2013.

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Hemlock Could Invest $3 Billion In Tenn. Solar Plant

May 17, 2011 4:12 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Hemlock Semiconductor on Monday confirmed it is negotiating with Tennessee officials on an incentive package on a potential $3 billion expansion of its solar materials plant in Clarksville. The Hemlock, Mich.-based company issued its statement after a member of Gov.

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Chinese Look Toward Brazil For Cheap Business

May 16, 2011 9:57 am | by Marco Sibaja, Associated Press

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — China's commerce minister said Monday that his nation will ramp up investments in the South American country. Commerce Minister Chen Deming, however, didn't forecast by how much China's investments in Brazil would increase. In 2010, Chinese companies invested about $17 billion in Brazil, a dramatic rise from the approximately $300 million invested a year earlier, according to Brazilian economic think tank SOBEET, which tracked the inflows.

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Stronger Penalties For Negligent Ga. Food Processors

May 16, 2011 9:34 am

ATLANTA (AP) — Food processors in Georgia who don't conduct mandatory tests for contamination or hide the results would face thousands of dollars in fines under proposed regulations. Officials at the Georgia Department of Agriculture said Monday they are taking public comments on regulations implementing the fines, which were part of legislation passed by lawmakers.

Hyundai To Expand Ala. Plant, Add 210 Jobs

May 16, 2011 9:13 am

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Hyundai executives say the company is expanding its Alabama manufacturingplant in a move that is expected to add more than 210 jobs in Montgomery County. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama said Monday it will invest $173 million to enlarge and modify an engine plant at the complex.

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Germans Invest $1.4 Billion In Electric Cars On Autobahn

May 16, 2011 7:49 am

BERLIN (AP) — The German government says it wants to commit another €1 billion ($1.4 billion) in tax breaks and incentives to help fulfill its goal of having 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020. The Transport Ministry said Monday that a new proposal meant to boost the electric-car industry would be taken up by Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet this week.

Endeavour Blasts Off On Second-To-Last Launch

May 16, 2011 7:22 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Endeavour blasted off on NASA's next-to-last shuttle flight, thundering through clouds into orbit Monday morning as the mission commander's wounded wife, Gabrielle Giffords, watched along with an exhilarated crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands. NASA is winding down its 30-year-old shuttle program before embarking on something new.

What HP's Fiscal Results Mean For Computers

May 16, 2011 7:21 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. is scheduled to report its fiscal second-quarter results on Wednesday after the market closes. The results cover the quarter ended April 30. WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Any further declines in HP's services and personal computer divisions, both of which had unexpected revenue shortfalls last quarter.

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