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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

HP Paints Rosy Outlook Despite Missing A CEO

September 29, 2010 3:21 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. offered a rosy financial outlook Tuesday without giving any guidance on the biggest issue hanging over the world's largest technology company: the identity of its next CEO. The leading maker of personal computers and printers has been looking for a new leader since its board pressured Mark Hurd, its CEO of five years, to step down in an early August scandal revolving around allegations of sexual harassment and deceptive expense reports.

Kid's Science Kits May Be No More Thanks To CPSC

September 29, 2010 3:16 am | by Jennifer C. Kerr, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the tools that teachers use to get kids jazzed about science — hands-on science kits — could face an uncertain future amid a debate on safety. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been mired for weeks in deliberation as it writes guidelines on what makes a product a "children's product.

Caterpillar To Build Mini Excavators In China

September 29, 2010 3:13 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest marker of construction and mining equipment, said Wednesday it plans to open a new facility in Wujiang, China, to build mini hydraulic excavators. The company currently supplies Chinese customers with mini excavators produced at a facility in Xuzhou, China, and with machines produced in Sagami, Japan.

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Iowa-Based AMS 'Anxious' To Build Electric Cars

September 29, 2010 3:12 am

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Webster City company is close to beginning production of electric vehicles. AMS Inc. owner Joe Fleming says the firm is about two weeks away from producing the autos and is putting final preparations in place. The Webster City Freeman Journal reports Tuesday that the company will start out assembling about 38 cars a week and increase that to about 100 cars a week in December.

Warehouse Shooter Quarreled With Woman He Shot 11 Times

September 29, 2010 3:09 am

CRETE, Neb. (AP) — Investigators say the man who shot three co-workers at a cold-storage warehouse in southeast Nebraska and then fatally shot himself had argued with the woman he shot 11 times. The Saline County Sheriff's office released an update Tuesday on its investigation of the Sept.

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Hershey Approves $200 Million Expansion Project

September 29, 2010 3:07 am

HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) — Chocolate maker Hershey has gained township approval for a $200 million expansion project that would shift production from a century-old plant to a modern facility nearby. Derry Township supervisors on Tuesday approved the final land development plans for the 243,000-square-foot expansion at a plant in West Hershey.

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India's Economy Primed To Grow 10 Percent A Year

September 28, 2010 4:47 am | by Vijay Joshi, Associated Press Writer

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — India's economy could easily grow 10 percent a year if the government makes dramatic improvements to infrastructure, boosts productivity and improves education standards, a top Indian policymaker said Tuesday. At a time when developed countries are barely growing, India expects to achieve a growth rate of 8.

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California Bans Cadmium In Children's Jewelry

September 28, 2010 4:45 am | by Justin Pritchard, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California became the largest U.S. state to limit the toxic metal cadmium in children's jewelry on Monday, effectively creating a new national standard ahead of promised federal action. Lawmakers and public health officials have worried that kids who suck or bite jewelry containing cadmium — a known carcinogen — could suffer long-term poisoning, including problems with their kidneys and bones.

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RIM Announces 'Enterprise-Ready' Mobile Tablet

September 28, 2010 4:44 am | by Andrew Vanacore, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The company that gave us the BlackBerry — still the dominant phone in corporate circles — thinks its business customers will have room in their briefcases for at least one more device: the PlayBook. Research in Motion Ltd. showed off the tablet for the first time Monday and is set to launch it early 2011, with an international rollout later in the year.

Oracle Sues Chip Makers Over Price-Fixing

September 28, 2010 4:42 am

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Oracle Corp. is suing Micron Technology Inc. in federal court, saying the semiconductor maker and other companies artificially inflated prices for microchips. Oracle says Micron and other conspirators, including South Korea's Hynix and Samsung and Germany's Infineon, artificially inflated prices above what Oracle's Sun Microsystems business should have paid for them.

Senate Dems Try To Punish Firms That Export Jobs

September 28, 2010 4:40 am | by Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer

UPDATE: 11:52am WASHINGTON (AP) — Tax legislation that would have punished U.S. firms that export jobs has failed in the Senate. The bill failed to reach the 60 votes required to advance in the 100-member chamber. Democrats held the vote Tuesday nonetheless to display their commitment to economic recovery just five weeks before the Nov.

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Chrysler Ends Suspensions, Fires Boozing Workers

September 28, 2010 4:39 am

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler Group LLC says it has fired 13 plant workers a Detroit TV station caught drinking alcohol and smoking what appeared to be marijuana during breaks. Chrysler manufacturing chief Scott Garberding told WJBK-TV in a Sept. 22 report that the automaker identified some of the workers from Detroit's Jefferson North plant on tape and was pursuing the others.

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After A Year-Long Shortage, Canned Pumpkins Return

September 27, 2010 4:58 am | by Sarah Skidmore, AP Food Industry Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Pumpkin lovers can relax: A nearly yearlong shortage of the canned stuff is over. That means an end to the hoarding, rationing and even pumpkin profiteering that have been going on since heavy rain ruined last year's harvest and caused a shortfall. But the country's top producer says this year's crop is healthy and cans are arriving in stores.

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Tenn. Court Eases Burden On Job Discrimination Lawsuits

September 27, 2010 4:57 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — In a decision that some legal observers found surprising, the state Supreme Court has reversed precedent and made it easier for workers to sue their employers when they believe they were fired illegally. The court ruled 3-2 this week that employers must prove that workers' claims of discrimination or retaliation are false or else face a trial, according to The Tennessean.

Nucor Creates Job Security Despite Deep Recession

September 27, 2010 4:54 am | by Shannon Spears Harris, Associated Press Writer

HICKMAN, Ark. (AP) — For employees at Nucor-Yamato Steel, there is plenty of incentive to get the job done right. The majority of their pay comes from production-based bonuses, and even though the recent financial downturn has had a negative effect on the amount of jobs available, Nucor-Yamato is proud of the fact that it has never once laid off an employee because of lack of work.

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'Stuxnet' Computer Worm Affecting Siemens PLCs

September 27, 2010 4:52 am | by Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A powerful computer code attacking industrial facilities around the world, but mainly in Iran, probably was created by experts working for a country or a well-funded private group, according to an analysis by a leading computer security company. The malicious code, called Stuxnet, was designed to go after several "high-value targets," said Liam O Murchu, manager of security response operations at Symantec Corp.

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Hyundai Recalls 139,500 Sonatas For Steering Defect

September 27, 2010 4:50 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hyundai Motor Co. said it is voluntarily recalling 139,500 Sonata sedans in the U.S. because of a manufacturing defect that could cause drivers to lose steering control. The recall affects 2011 models built between Dec. 11, 2009 and Sept. 10, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted on its website Sunday.

Even Now, Out-Of-Work Americans Won't Take 'Immigrant' Jobs

September 27, 2010 4:49 am | by Garance Burke, Associated Press Writer

VISALIA, Calif. (AP) — As the economy tanked during the past two years, a debate has raged over whether immigrants are taking jobs that Americans want. Here, amid the sweltering vineyards of the largest farm state, the answer is no. Most Americans simply don't apply for jobs harvesting fruits and vegetables in California, where one of every eight people is out of work, according to government data for a federal seasonal farmworker program analyzed by The Associated Press.

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Boeing Welds Final Beam In Massive S.C. Facility

September 24, 2010 4:32 am

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Another milestone has been reached in building a $750 million Boeing aircraft assembly plant on the South Carolina coast. Boeing officials on Friday plan a topping off ceremony at the North Charleston plant to mark the last steel beam being put in place for the frame of the plant where the company's new 787 jetliner will be built.

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Wall Street Celebrates Good August Manufacturing Report

September 24, 2010 4:31 am | by Stephen Bernard, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures rallied Friday as traders were encouraged that orders for manufactured goods excluding the volatile transportation sector rose sharply last month. A surprise jump in business confidence in Germany also tempered fresh worries about Europe's economy, driving stocks higher in Europe and the U.

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