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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Defense Secretary To Truckmakers: 'You Are Saving Lives'

November 13, 2009 3:15 am

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates commended workers at Oshkosh Corp. ( NYSE:OSK ), telling them Thursday that the military trucks they produce that are being used in Afghanistan are saving soldiers' lives. The newest trucks, designed to be agile enough to maneuver through the nation's rugged terrain yet strong enough to withstand the blasts of roadside bombs, began landing in Afghanistan last month.

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Engineers Compete For $400,000 In 'Astronaut Glove Challenge'

November 12, 2009 10:25 am

WASHINGTON /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Reporters and the public are invited to attend the 2009 Astronaut Glove Challenge on Nov. 19 at the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville, Fla., near NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The $400,000 prize challenge is a nationwide competition that focuses on developing improved pressure suit gloves for astronauts to use while working in the vacuum of space.

Toymaker Settles Suit Accusing CEO Of Harassment, Rape

November 11, 2009 11:11 am | by Mae Anderson, AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — German toy maker Steiff has settled an $80 million lawsuit filed in June accusing the company's CEO of conducting a yearslong campaign of unwelcome advances toward a U.S. marketing executive and raping her, a lawyer for the company said Wednesday. When the lawsuit was filed by Steiff marketing executive Jane Collins in June, CEO Martin Frenchen said the allegations were meritless.

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HP To Buy 3Com For $2.7 Billion

November 11, 2009 11:03 am

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. said Wednesday it has agreed to buy networking software and equipment maker 3Com Corp. in a deal the companies valued at $2.7 billion. HP also issued a preliminary report Wednesday for the three months that ended in October. On an adjusted basis, HP said it earned $1.

AK Steel Makes Ohioan Animals Happy

November 11, 2009 5:52 am

WEST CHESTER, Ohio /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — AK Steel's ( NYSE: AKS ) Coshocton, Ohio Works has received "Wildlife at Work" certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat. The certification recognizes the company for its ongoing environmental restoration efforts at the plant.

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Lockheed Martin Makes Stuff Blow Up Even Better

November 11, 2009 4:47 am

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) successfully completed its sixth flight demonstration in a recent test at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The JASSM-ER program is now six for six flight test successes. "JASSM-ER's test successes are a result of a dedicated team effort," said Col.

Ford To Use Straw-Reinforced Plastic In 2010 Flex

November 11, 2009 4:14 am

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F ), working with academic researchers and one of its suppliers, is the first automaker to develop and use environmentally friendly wheat straw-reinforced plastic in a vehicle. The first application of the natural fiber-based plastic that contains 20 percent wheat straw bio-filler is on the 2010 Ford Flex's third-row interior storage bins.

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Oshkosh Corp. Receives $438m Army Contract

November 11, 2009 4:05 am

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Oshkosh Corp. ( NYSE:OSK ) said Wednesday the U.S. Army ordered another 1,000 all-terrain vehicles that feature mine resistant ambush protection, an order worth $438 million. The order from the Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command Life Cycle Management Command is the fifth such award Oshkosh has received to supply the so-called M-ATVs, which seat four passengers plus one gunner and weigh 25,000 pounds.

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Chrysler Adding 1,000-Strong Temporary Shift

November 11, 2009 4:02 am

BELVIDERE, Ill. (AP) — Chrysler Group LLC has announced a temporary second shift will start Nov. 17 in a move to boost production of the Dodge Caliber by 10,000 units by the end of the year. Initial plans by Chrysler was to add the shift in October. The company postponed the move because of supplier shortages.

Retirees 'Living In Hell' After Coal Ash Spill

November 11, 2009 3:55 am | by Bill Poovey, Associated Press Writer

KINGSTON, Tenn. (AP) — Ten months after millions of cubic yards of coal ash spilled from a Tennessee Valley Authority dam, Gary Topmiller and his wife, Pam, said they are trapped in their home across the Emory River from the site and "living in hell." A retired millwright, Topmiller said Tuesday they are battling health problems and the TVA won't fairly compensate them so they can move from their 3-year-old house on the river and rebuild.

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GM Chief Engineerer 'Really Happy' To Keep Opel

November 11, 2009 3:51 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — When General Motors Co.'s board halted the sale of the company's European car business last week, no one was happier than the automaker's chief engineer. Engineers with the Ruesselsheim, Germany-based Opel have designed the basics of GM's new compact and midsize cars that are sold across the globe, and they do much of the company's research on safety and electric vehicles.

BPA Leads To Sexual Problems In Chinese Workers

November 11, 2009 3:43 am | by Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Male factory workers in China who got very high doses of a chemical that's been widely used in hard plastic bottles had high rates of sexual problems, researchers reported Wednesday. Heavy exposure to BPA, or bisphenol A, on the job was linked to impotence and lower sexual desire and satisfaction, according to the study, which adds to concerns about BPA's effects on most consumers.

GM Committed To Paying Back Taxpayer Loans

November 11, 2009 3:36 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors Co. remains committed to repaying its billions of dollars in government loans, though it's too soon to say when that will happen, the automaker's chairman said Tuesday. "Can GM pay back its loans? You bet," Ed Whitacre said during an address at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas.

World Bank: U.S. Unemployment To Hold Back Economy

November 11, 2009 3:30 am | by Alex Kennedy, Associated Press Writer

SINGAPORE (AP) — Stubbornly high joblessness threatens to trigger loan defaults and drag on consumption next year, hobbling a U.S. economy struggling to rebound from recession, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Wednesday. Zoellick warned that the U.S. unemployment rate, which jumped to a 26-year high of 10.

Procter & Gamble Consolidating, Moving 700 Jobs

November 10, 2009 4:03 am

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Procter & Gamble Co. ( NYSE:PG ) is centralizing some research and development operations, affecting some 700 jobs. P&G says it expects most of the affected employees in southwest Ohio and Massachusetts to transfer to new locations, but will work on alternatives for those who can't move.

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1,250 Twin Cities Janitors Axed In Immigration Probe

November 10, 2009 3:49 am | by Amy Forliti, Associated Press Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Roughly 1,250 Twin Cities janitors with suspect employment documents were fired from their jobs in October as their company carried out an audit prompted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an immigration attorney said Monday. The janitors worked for ABM Industries Inc.

Emulex Sues Broadcom For Defamation, Antitrust Issues

November 10, 2009 3:41 am

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Emulex Corp. ( NYSE:ELX ), which makes data storage equipment, said Monday it has filed a lawsuit against chip designer Broadcom Corp. ( NYSE:BCRM ), alleging violations of federal antitrust laws. Emulex's suit alleges that Broadcom, based in Irvine, Calif., acted in an uncompetitive manner, made defamatory statements and engaged in acts of unfair competition in violation of seven separate statutes.

Hawker Beechcraft To Power Down Kansas Operation

November 10, 2009 3:34 am

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Airplane maker Hawker Beechcraft Corp. announced Monday that it will close its Salina operation. The company, one of the nation's leading business jet manufacturers, said in a news release that it informed its Salina employees and the International Association of Machinists leadership Monday morning.

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Man Jailed For Selling Uncertified Parts To Boeing

November 10, 2009 3:23 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles businessman has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in federal prison for selling uncertified aircraft manufacturing parts that were used to make Boeing 737 airplanes. Prosecutors say 74-year-old Duane Lepire was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty in April to fraud for selling commercial-grade rubber gaskets that were not approved for aviation manufacturing.

Germany Gets Bossy Over Opel's Future

November 10, 2009 3:18 am

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed General Motors Co. on Tuesday to present a "reliable concept" for the future of its European unit Opel, adding that GM should produce most of the funding. GM last week called off the planned sale of a majority of Opel, based in Germany, to a consortium of car parts maker Magna International Inc.

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