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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Consumer Spending Falls 0.1 Percent In May

June 27, 2011 7:00 am

CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER,AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time in a year, Americans have stopped spending more. Consumer spending failed to budge from April to May, evidence that high gas prices and unemployment are squeezing household budgets. When adjusted for inflation, spending actually dropped 0.

Fiat And Chrysler Workers Join Global Union Network

June 27, 2011 4:50 am | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer

MILAN (AP) — As the Fiat and Chrysler automakers go global, so do their unions. Fiat and Chrysler unions worldwide this week agreed to join in a global network aimed at a constant flow of information and defining a common strategy. The unions said they may try to replicate a worldwide framework agreement for minimum union rights that exists at Volkswagen, Psa-Peugeot and Renault.

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Nissan Aims High For 8 Percent Global Marketshare

June 27, 2011 4:42 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn unveiled an ambitious six-year plan for growth Monday, including a target of boosting the carmaker's share of the global auto market to 8 percent. Nissan Motor Corp. hopes to reach the market share target in the fiscal year ending March 2017, in part by focusing on growth in countries such as China, Brazil, Russia and India.

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A Look Inside Harley-Davidson's 'Weird' History

June 27, 2011 4:32 am | by Carrie Antlfinger, Associated Press

In this June 7, 2011 photo is a mine vehicle, powered by a Harley motor, at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. The cart, which was created by a mine worker in northern California around 1926, is part of a new exhibit, "Collection X: Weird, Wild Wonders of the Harley-Davidson Museum," which runs through Aug.

U.S. Space Pioneer Charged With Aiding Iran

June 27, 2011 4:29 am | by Douglas Birch, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growing up in a provincial town in Iran, Nader Modanlo was fascinated by the flickering TV images of astronauts walking on the moon. As a teenager, he came to the United States, where he earned degrees in aerospace engineering, became a U.S. citizen and co-founded a pioneering satellite telecommunications company that at one point was worth up to $500 million.

Obama: Technology Will Fuel Manufacturing Jobs

June 27, 2011 4:22 am | by Jim Kuhnhnen, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says technological innovations such as robots can help pump jobs into the economy and spur growth in clean energy and advanced manufacturing. In his radio and Internet address Saturday, the president echoed a plan he unveiled in Pittsburgh Friday to join the federal government, universities and corporations and reignite American manufacturing with an emphasis on cutting-edge research and new technologies.

Chinese Order Could Help Saab Pay Its Employees

June 27, 2011 4:20 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Troubled car maker Saab Automobile AB has received a euro13 million ($18.4 million) car order from a Chinese company that could help pay this month's salaries, its owner Swedish Automobile AB said Monday. The company, previously known as Spyker Cars, claimed the deal with an unnamed Chinese company would provide the ailing car brand with enough funds to also pay back parts of its debt to suppliers.

Obama Ready For 'Renaissance In American Manufacturing'

June 24, 2011 7:33 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — President Barack Obama called on Friday for a "renaissance in American manufacturing" that would replace shuttered steel mills with plants producing robotics, nanotechnology and other high-tech advances. The president said this resurgence is how the country will create new jobs and stay competitive in a global marketplace where other countries are making great strides.

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Alcoa Gets $1 Billion Aluminum Deal From Airbus

June 24, 2011 7:15 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Alcoa Inc. has reached a multi-year deal to supply Airbus with aluminum sheet and plate products, the company said Friday. The agreement was brokered this week at the Paris Air Show. Specific financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal has a value of about $1 billion over its life, Alcoa said.

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GE To Invest $63 Million In Energy-Efficiency Companies

June 24, 2011 7:05 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. and its venture-capital partners say they will invest $63 million in 10 companies that provide technology such as energy-efficiency to the home. GE said Thursday that the investment is the second round of funding in a $200 million competitive program it calls "ecomagination.

Apple Takes Samsung Lawsuits To South Korea

June 24, 2011 6:35 am

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Apple Inc. is bringing its patent fight with Samsung Electronics Co. over smartphones and tablet computers to South Korea. Apple spokesman Steve Park said Friday that the company filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Seoul Central District Court. Apple sued Samsung in the United States in April.

Need Help Defusing A Bomb?

June 24, 2011 6:28 am | by Kevin Begos, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Need help defusing a bomb, mowing a lawn or scraping old paint? President Barack Obama might see robots that can do those tasks on Friday when he visits the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University. It's one of eight research centers at the school's Robotics Institute.

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Boeing Test Pilots Take 2,500-Mile Trip For Famous Pa. Sandwich

June 24, 2011 6:25 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The flight crew testing a next-generation Boeing jumbo jet made a long trip for a taste of Pittsburgh's most famous sandwich. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the crew manning a new $300 million 747-8 Freighter jet made the 2,500-mile test flight from outside Seattle to western Pennsylvania for a Primanti Bros.

Cheerios Turn 70, Are As Popular As Ever

June 24, 2011 4:48 am | by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Here's a little quiz for the breakfast table: What is the most popular cereal brand in American grocery stores? Hint: It's been General Mills' top name since 1951. Another hint: If you're a parent, you've vacuumed it from the minivan and under the high-chair cushion by the cupful.

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Trade Commission Delays Kodak Vs. Apple And RIM Case

June 24, 2011 4:43 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

ROCHESTER, New York (AP) — A federal agency said Thursday it will spend an extra week reviewing Eastman Kodak Co.'s potentially lucrative patent claim against tech giants Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd. The U.S. International Trade Commission, which oversees trade disputes, had been expected to issue a ruling Thursday but put off completing its investigation until June 30.

U.S. Economy Expanded Faster In Q1 Than Expected

June 24, 2011 4:34 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded a little faster at the beginning of the year than previously estimated. But the pace was still anemic and economists don't see that changing until later this year. The Commerce Department on Friday said the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the January-March quarter.

Rheem To Move 250 Ark. Jobs To Mexico

June 24, 2011 4:30 am

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Rheem Manufacturing Co. says it plans to shift about 250 jobs from its operation in Fort Smith to a plant in Mexico. Fort Smith is the company's air conditioning division headquarters. The company said Thursday it's expanding its plant in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, by more than 290,000 square feet and will begin producing residential products there that now are produced in Fort Smith.

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Businesses Shook Off April Slip, Rebounded In May

June 24, 2011 4:28 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses boosted their orders for machinery, electronics products and airplanes in May. The pickup suggests manufacturing is rebounding after the Japan crises made parts scarce and slowed production of some factory goods temporarily. Orders long-lasting manufactured products increased 1.

Obama Announces $500M High-Tech Manufacturing Incentive

June 24, 2011 4:23 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Imagining advances from lighter cars to smarter robots, President Barack Obama is announcing a $500 million project to spur high-technology manufacturing, a sector of U.S. industry that presidential advisers say has lost ground to such competitors as Germany and Japan. On Friday in Pittsburgh, Obama is to call for a joint effort by industry, universities and the federal government to help reposition the United States as a leader in cutting-edge manufacturing, including biotechnology, robotics and nanotechnology — the development of new materials at the molecular level.

Wisconsin Initiative Showcases Profitable Sustainability

June 23, 2011 9:41 am

Innovative Pilot Program to Promote Sustainable Manufacturing to Generate a $54 Million Economic Impact Over Five Years Sustainability Fuels Savings, Growth and Competitive Advantage for 45 Participants Environmental and Financial Impacts Exceed Expectations, Program Delivers Substantial ROI for Manufacturers, State of Wisconsin    ___ MILWAUKEE — An innovative program to promote sustainable manufacturing in Wisconsin is projected to generate a five-year $54 million economic impact and significant environmental benefits, states a report released today by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) .

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