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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The Dangers Of Unsecured Wireless Networks

April 25, 2011 7:32 am

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Lying on his family room floor with assault weapons trained on him, shouts of "pedophile!" and "pornographer!" stinging like his fresh cuts and bruises, the Buffalo homeowner didn't need long to figure out the reason for the early morning wake-up call from a swarm of federal agents.

Wis. Welcomes Robot-Controlled Medical Manufacturer

April 25, 2011 7:21 am

RACINE, Wis. (AP) — An Australian company that makes containers for needles and medical waste is opening a processing plant in Racine County. Daniels Sharpsmart has leased a 22,000 square-foot building in Yorkville. The company will install a sterilization system controlled by robots that alone will cost $1.

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iPhone Location Tracking Sets Off Privacy Firestorm

April 25, 2011 7:17 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — If you're worried about privacy, you can turn off the function on your smartphone that tracks where you go. But that means giving up the services that probably made you want a smartphone in the first place. After all, how smart is an iPhone or an Android if you can't use it to map your car trip or scan reviews of nearby restaurants? The debate over digital privacy flamed higher this week with news that Apple Inc.

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Johnson Controls Sees Earnings Climb 29 Percent

April 25, 2011 6:21 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Johnson Controls Inc.'s fiscal second-quarter earnings climbed 29 percent on higher revenue as each of its main business segments reported double-digit sales increases amid a recovering global economy. But the Milwaukee company, which makes auto parts and building climate control systems, forecast third-quarter earnings and revenue below Wall Street expectations, however.

Iran Uncovers Second Industrial Computer Virus

April 25, 2011 4:49 am | by Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has been hit by a second computer virus, a senior military official said Monday, suggesting it was part of a concerted campaign to undermine the country's disputed nuclear program. Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of an Iranian military unit in charge of combatting sabotage, said that experts discovered the "espionage virus," which he called "Stars.

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Merck To Add 150 Jobs At Durham, N.C. Plant

April 25, 2011 4:45 am

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A major pharmaceutical company will add 150 workers in Durham as it expands to produce chickenpox and other live-virus vaccines. The Herald-Sun of Durham reported Monday that Merck & Co.'s plant will begin making Varivax, a chickenpox vaccine recently approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

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GM Likely To Reclaim 'No. 1' Title From Toyota Soon

April 25, 2011 4:40 am | by Sharon Silke Carty and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is almost certain to claim the title of world's biggest automaker this year, retaking the top spot from Toyota, which has been hurt by production problems since the Japanese earthquake and still can't escape the shadow of major safety recalls. The No. 1 title, a morale booster for the winner's employees and managers, would cap GM's remarkable comeback from bankruptcy.

Global Automakers Unveil Cheap, Small Chinese Cars

April 25, 2011 4:37 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Some of the new Chinese cars unveiled at this week's Shanghai Auto Show are affordable for millions of buyers — a happy development for Beijing that might prove costly for the global automakers producing them. General Motors Co. unveiled the 630 sedan, the first model from its new Baojun badge developed with Chinese joint venture partners.

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Toyota's Production Fell 62.7 Percent After Earthquake

April 25, 2011 4:30 am | by Shino Yuasa, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's car production in Japan plummeted a staggering 62.7 percent in March due to a parts supply crunch following the earthquake and tsunami. Toyota Motor Corp., the world's top-selling automaker last year, said Monday its domestic production in March was 129,491 vehicles — the lowest since 1976 when Toyota began maintaining production figures.

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Ford Expected To Unveil More Profits, Less Debt

April 25, 2011 4:29 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S.-based automaker, is scheduled to report first-quarter results before the market opens on Tuesday. Ford had a very successful 2010, earning $6.6 billion, more than double what it made in 2009 and its largest profit since 1999. The company also cut the staggering debt it amassed to stay in business and avoid bankruptcy protection during the recession.

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Snap-on Income Rose 53 Percent On High Demand

April 22, 2011 4:57 am

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Tool manufacturer Snap-on Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter net income rose 53 percent as demand for its tools rose in all business segments. The company said net income increased to $56.2 million, or 96 cents per share, from $36.8 million, or 63 cents per share. Sales rose 11.

Kia To Hire 700 Georgians For Optima Production

April 22, 2011 4:40 am | by Kate Brumback, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Kia Motors announced plans Thursday to begin manufacturing the Optima midsize sedan at itsplant in Georgia, a move expected to add about 700 jobs at the complex. Production on the 2012 Optima is set to begin in the third quarter of this year, Kia Motors said. The plant in West Point currently employs about 2,300 people and the work force is expected to grow to nearly 3,000 by year's end, according to the company.

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Boeing Accused Of Illegally Retaliating Against Union

April 22, 2011 4:38 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

Federal labor regulators are accusing Boeing Co. of illegally retaliating for a 2008 union strike by adding a non-union assembly line in South Carolina for its new 787 passenger jet. The complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board said the remedy should include moving the South Carolina assembly work back to Washington state, where it would be under union jurisdiction.

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Samsung Files Retaliatory Lawsuit Against Apple

April 22, 2011 4:33 am

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. said it is suing Apple Inc. for patent rights violations, only days after Apple sued Samsung for the same reason. Samsung is accusing Apple of violating its rights to 10 smartphone and computer patents. The company filed lawsuits Thursday in Seoul, Tokyo and Mannheim, Germany.

Japanese Automakers Begin To Test Cars For Radiation

April 22, 2011 4:31 am

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automakers have begun checking the level of radiation on cars to be exported from the country in a bid to ease worries among foreign consumers, an industry group said Friday. The automakers will inspect radiation inside cars and on tires before shipment, said Hirokazu Furukawa, a spokesman for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

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Toyota: Production Won't Normalize Until November

April 22, 2011 4:29 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's global car production, disrupted by parts shortages from Japan's earthquake and tsunami, won't return to normal until November or December — imperiling its spot as the world's top-selling automaker. President Akio Toyoda apologized to customers for the delays due to the March 11 disasters that damaged suppliers in northeastern Japan, affecting automakers around the world.

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Boeing Plans Massive Solar Array For S.C. Plant

April 20, 2011 4:56 am | by Bruce Smith, Associated Press

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Boeing Co. announced Tuesday that the roof of its new 787 jet assembly plant will be covered with solar panels and its South Carolina operation will be powered entirely with renewable energy. South Carolina Electric & Gas will install and maintain the thin panels that will cover the space of about eight football fields atop the massive assembly building.

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China's EV Rules Scare Away Foreign Automakers

April 20, 2011 4:50 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — The toylike electric cars at the Shanghai Auto Show are a glimpse of the high-tech automotive future China's leaders are pursuing — and a harbinger of possible disputes with its trading partners. Geely's two-seat McCar, Dongfeng's Shuaike microvan, the four-seat M1 REEV from Chery and others promise a range of more than 100 kilometers (60 miles).

Ford Unveils New Taurus, With Hands-Free Parking

April 20, 2011 4:43 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is revamping its Ford Taurus sedan with three new, fuel-efficient engine choices and a hands-free system that automatically parks the car. The 2013 Taurus has its debut Wednesday at the New York Auto Show and will go on sale next spring. The sixth-generation Taurus was a strong seller when it went on sale in the summer of 2009.

Elecrolux Chooses Charlotte For Vacuum-Making Expansion

April 20, 2011 4:36 am

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Vacuum manufacturer Electrolux North America will create 200 jobs in Charlotte over the next four years by consolidating positions from across the United States. Gov. Beverly Perdue announced the move, saying the company will spend $14 million in the expansion.

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