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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Whirlpool Recalls 400 For Production Demands

December 16, 2009 3:49 am

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — The Whirlpool Corp. says 400 laid-off workers at its Fort Smith refrigerator plant are being called back to work. The company said Tuesday that production demands prompted the call-backs. The plant now employs between 900 and 1,000 people, far fewer than the 4,600 it had in 2006 before the company moved part of its production to Mexico.


Senate Nixes Prescription Imports To Appease Drug Makers

December 16, 2009 3:44 am | by Alan Fram, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate rejected a plan Tuesday to allow Americans to import low-cost prescriptions from abroad, handing drug makers a victory that may help secure passage of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The vote on the amendment by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., was 51-48 in favor, but 60 votes were needed to prevail under a special rule.


Korean Car Part Builder Hiring 200 In Coffee County, Ala.

December 16, 2009 3:36 am

ELBA, Ala. (AP) — A Korean automotive parts manufacturer says it will operate in Coffee County, bringing 200 new jobs to Elba. The Dothan Eagle reports that Koo-Ryong Jung, chairman of the company, which has 22 plants in Korea, India, China and Malaysia that employ 44,000 workers, made the announcement on Tuesday.


FTC Files Antitrust Suit Against Intel

December 16, 2009 3:23 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission is suing Intel Corp., accusing the world's biggest chip maker of using its size to snuff out competition. The FTC says Intel, which makes the microprocessors that run personal computers, has shut rivals out of the marketplace. In the process, the FTC says Intel has deprived consumers of choice and stifled innovation in the chip industry.

Copenhagen Debate Stall As U.S. Balks On Climate Change

December 16, 2009 3:18 am | by Charles J. Hanley, AP Special Correspondent

COPENHAGEN (AP) — Danish police fired pepper spray and beat protesters with batons outside the U.N. climate conference on Wednesday, as disputes inside left major issues unresolved just two days before world leaders hope to sign a historic agreement to fight global warming. With the talks clearly deadlocked, Connie Hedegaard, former Danish climate minister, resigned from the conference presidency to allow her boss, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen to preside as world leaders from 115 nations streamed into Copenhagen.


Boeing's 787 A 'Joy To Fly'

December 16, 2009 3:12 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press Writer

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The first flight of Boeing's new 787 jetliner brought no surprises — exactly what pilots, engineers and company officials had anxiously sought for the long-delayed aircraft. "The airplane responded just as we expected," Randy Neville, one of the two pilots, said after touchdown Tuesday at Seattle's Boeing Field.

Whitacre: GM Will Repay Federal Loans By June

December 15, 2009 4:39 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. plans to pay all of its $6.7 billion in government loans by the end of June, Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre Jr. said Tuesday. The automaker plans to make quarterly installments starting this month with a $1.2 billion payment, Whitacre said. He said GM could repay the loan sooner but that hasn't been decided.

GE Aviation Expands Mississippi Operations By 350

December 15, 2009 3:54 am

BATESVILLE, Miss. (AP) — GE Aviation is expanding its operation in the northern Mississippi city of Batesville. Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday that the company will add 350 jobs over the next several years. The plantalready has more than 100 workers. The plant makes composite components for the GEnx jet engine, which will power Boeing's new 787 and 747-8 aircraft.


Man With 'Popcorn Lung' Settles Explosive Lawsuit

December 15, 2009 3:40 am

DENVER (AP) — A suburban Denver man believed to be the only consumer to develop "popcorn lung" from regularly eating microwave popcorn and its artificial butter flavoring has settled his claims against a flavor developer. Documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Denver say Wayne Watson has settled claims against FONA International Inc.

Poll: Climate Bills Help, Not Hurt, Jobs And Economy

December 15, 2009 3:33 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans believe steps taken to reduce global warming pollution will help the U.S. economy than say such measures will hurt it. It's a sign the public is showing more faith in President Barack Obama's economic arguments for limiting heat-trapping gases than in Republican claims that the actions would kill jobs.


CPSC Recalls 50 Million Window Blinds

December 15, 2009 3:28 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government and the window covering industry on Tuesday recalled more than 50 million Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds because of the risk children may be strangled by the cords. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said five deaths and 16 near-strangulations from Roman shades have been reported since 2006, while three deaths connected to roll-up blinds have been reported since 2001.

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Spreads Its Wings... Today

December 15, 2009 3:14 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press Writer

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Weather permitting, Boeing Co. plans to finally get its new 787 jetliner into the air Tuesday, more than two years after it had intended. The test aircraft completed its ground tests during the weekend, including a 150-mph dash down the runway at Everett's Paine Field during which its nose gear briefly lifted off the pavement.

Cummins Engine To Cut 200 Indiana Workers

December 15, 2009 3:11 am

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — Cummins Engine Co. will lay off more than 200 workers in Columbus. Spokesman Mark Land said the company will idle off 195 workers at its fuel systems plant by Jan. 2 because of a decline in demand for heavy-duty truck engines. Land says customers have been buying more trucks with older engines instead of buying new and more expensive trucks that meet new government emissions standards that take effect on Jan.


Visible Hydrogen Sulfide Cloud Forces Evacuation Of 4,000

December 14, 2009 10:33 am | by Matt Leingang, Associated Press Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A gas leak at an oil recycling company forced about 4,000 workers to evacuate nearby office buildings for six hours Monday, sending one person to the hospital, authorities said. Firefighters who arrived at Heartland Petroleum LLC saw a gas cloud over the company, said Battalion Chief David Whiting.

GM-Rooted Flint Manufacturing Plant On Auction Block

December 14, 2009 10:25 am | by David Runk, Associated Press Writer

DETROIT (AP) — A Flint manufacturing and office complex that includes a building constructed in the 1920s by the founder of General Motors and that still houses his one-time office will be auctioned off Tuesday. The Great Lakes Technology Centre, as it's now known, will be auctioned off in four parts.


Cadbury Battles 'Derisory' Offer From 'Unattractive' Kraft

December 14, 2009 4:10 am | by Jane Wardell, AP Business Writer

LONDON (AP) -- Cadbury PLC revealed Monday it has received approaches from The Hershey Co. and Italy's Ferrero International SA as it launched a robust defense against a hostile 9.8 billion pound ($16.3 billion) from Kraft Foods Inc. Cadbury Chairman Roger Carr said the statements of intent from Hershey and Ferrero were too preliminary to start proper talks as he warned shareholders not to let Kraft "steal your company with its derisory offer.

Oregon RV Makers Hit The Road After Economic 'Tsunami'

December 14, 2009 4:00 am | by Tim Christie, AP Writer

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The fall of the recreational vehicle industry in Lane County was swift, relentless and brutal. A year ago at this time, local RV makers sent workers home for their customary holiday furloughs. Most workers never came back. Within months, two companies, Monaco Coach Corp.


Toyota To Sell Plug-In 'Affordable' Hybrids In 2011

December 14, 2009 3:43 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota showed its new plug-in hybrid Monday, available for leasing this month in Japan, the U.S. and Europe, and promised the green vehicle for sale to regular consumers in 2011 at an "affordable" price. The plug-in Prius is the first from Toyota Motor Corp. packed with a more powerful battery called lithium-ion that's different from the batteries used in Prius hybrids on roads today.

From Poultry Fat To Jet Fuel

December 14, 2009 3:40 am | by Amy Lorentzen

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A central Iowa plant could soon begin producing jet fuel from poultry fat. Bolingbrook, Ill.-based Elevance Renewable Sciences plans to build a $15 million plant in Newton, adding onto an existing biodiesel operation. The experimental operation plans to use plant oils and poultry fat as building blocks to replace petroleum-based chemicals used to make myriad products, including jet fuel, lubricants, adhesives and even cosmetics and candles.


GE-FANUC Finalize Dissolution Of Joint Venture

December 14, 2009 3:36 am

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — GE (NYSE: GE) and FANUC LTD announced today that the two companies have completed their agreement to dissolve the GE Fanuc Automation Corporation Joint Venture.  This agreement reverts the respective portions of the joint venture back to the parent company and allows each company to focus on its existing businesses and pursue growth in its respective core industry of expertise.


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