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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Industrial Production Rose 1 Percent In July

August 17, 2010 4:23 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industrial production rose in July on the strength of U.S. manufacturing, as auto factories stayed open and businesses replaced worn-out equipment. Output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased 1.0 percent last month, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.

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Death Toll In Fireworks Blast Rises To 19

August 17, 2010 4:21 am

BEIJING (AP) — The death toll from a massive explosion at a fireworks factory in northeast China rose Tuesday to at least 19 workers, with five still missing. Up to 50 people were working at the fireworks factory in the Heilongjiang province city of Yichun when it was rocked by the explosion Monday, damaging nearby buildings and sparking secondary blasts, according to a statement on the local government's website.

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14 Protestors Arrested At Honeywell's Kansas City Plant

August 17, 2010 4:19 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Fourteen protesters have been arrested at the construction site of a Kansas City plant that will make parts for nuclear arms. The Kansas City Star reports Monday's arrests came as about 75 people locked arms and marched onto the excavation site. The $685 million Honeywell plant is being built in southern Kansas City.

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GM Recalls 250,000 Crossovers For Unlatching Seat Belts

August 17, 2010 4:18 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors is recalling nearly 250,000 crossover vehicles worldwide to inspect second-row seat belts that could be damaged and not latch. GM says the recall affects 2009-2010 models of the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook. Most of the recalled vehicles are in the United States but some are also in Canada, Mexico and elsewhere.

Obama Touts Wis. Battery Plant As America's Future

August 17, 2010 4:16 am

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (AP) — President Barack Obama says a Milwaukee-area battery plant represents the country's future in renewable energy. Obama visited ZBB Energy Corp. in Menomonee Falls on Monday morning. The company makes batteries and fuel cells that get used in renewable-energy products.

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UAW Halts Vote At Indy GM Plant

August 16, 2010 7:53 am

August 16, 2010 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The United Auto Workers union has decided not to go ahead with a vote on a new wage-cutting contract for a General Motors stamping plant in Indianapolis that is facing sale. UAW Local 23 bargaining chairman Gregory Clark says members won't vote on the proposed contract, which would cut base wages from $29 per hour to $15.

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Air Products Closer To Airgas Takeover

August 16, 2010 7:49 am

August 16, 2010 ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Air Products and Chemicals,Inc. said Monday it has reached an agreement with staff at the Federal Trade Commission on the terms of a consent decree for its $5.5 billion takeover of rival Airgas, Inc. The decree allows Air Products to acquire Airgas if it divests of certain assets, including Airgas's liquid bulk and onsite supply of atmospheric gases.

China Overtakes Japan For Number 2 Economy

August 16, 2010 7:45 am

August 16, 2010 Tomoko A. Hosaka, AP TOKYO (AP) — Japan lost its place as the world's number two economy to China in the second quarter as receding global growth sapped momentum and stunted a shaky recovery. Gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of just 0.4 percent, the government said Monday, far below the annualized 4.

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Russian Official Blames Wheat Shortage On Global Warming

August 16, 2010 7:42 am

August 16, 2010 David Nowak, AP MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's heat wave, drought and wildfires — which have killed dozens of people and destroyed millions of acres of wheat — are another indication that global warming is causing more weather extremes around the world, a Russian official stated.

Technology Companies Earn Big Despite Economy

August 13, 2010 11:30 am | by The Associated Press

Here is a summary of recent earnings reports for selected technology companies and what they reveal about the state of spending and the overall economy: July 13: Intel Corp. reports its largest quarterly net income in a decade as the chipmaker benefits from a stronger computer market and more sophisticated factories.

Source: GM Will File For IPO This Week

August 13, 2010 11:28 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is likely to file paperwork next week that describes its plan to sell shares to the public, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. The Detroit automaker had planned to file the papers on Friday but delayed the move to build distance between the filing and two major announcements it made on Thursday, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the company is not commenting publicly on the stock sale.

Procter & Gamble To Use Sugarcane-Based Packaging

August 13, 2010 5:11 am

CINCINNATI (AP) — Consumer products makers Procter & Gamble Co. said Thursday that it will use a plastic derived from sugarcane in the packaging of some of its products. P&G said the material will be used for Pantene Pro-V, Covergirl, and Max Factor products. The plastic is made from a process that converts sugarcane into high-density polyethylene.

Man Dies In Hutchinson, Kan. Industrial Accident

August 13, 2010 4:40 am

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Hutchinson police say a 30-year-old man died when a part from a boiler fell on him. The man, whose name was not released, died Thursday night at Superior Boiler Works. Police Sgt. Eric Buller says the employee was working alone in area of the plant when the accident occurred.

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GM Welcomes New CEO, Readies Public Offering

August 13, 2010 4:36 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — In a signal moment for the turnaround of the American auto industry, General Motors is edging toward a public stock sale, and its profits are now solid enough that the demanding CEO will step aside, saying his work is done. GM said Thursday that it made $1.3 billion from April through June, its second straight quarter in the black and a complete reversal from last year, when it was forced into bankruptcy and the U.

Hewlett-Packard Implicated In International Bribery Plot

August 13, 2010 4:35 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. said Thursday it is cooperating with U.S. and German authorities investigating allegations that three company executives used bribes to win a contract to sell computer gear to the Russian prosecutors' office. German prosecutors have been looking into whether the executives, plus at least six accomplices who did not work for the company, paid bribes totaling 8 million euros (about $10.

Xcel Accused Of Ignoring Safety After Fire Killed 5

August 13, 2010 4:34 am

DENVER (AP) — A draft report on a tunnel fire that killed five workers at a Colorado hydroelectric plant accuses Xcel Energy Inc. and contractor RPI Coating Inc. of ignoring worker safety. The draft says that a lack of planning for hazardous work and inadequate contractor selection were among problems that contributed to the accident Oct.

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Donkeys And Elephants Agree To Overhaul Food Safety

August 13, 2010 4:33 am | by Kevin Freking, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of senators said Thursday they have reached agreement on legislation designed to enhance the safety of the nation's food supply, setting the stage for the full Senate to take up the measure later this year. The bill would give the Food and Drug Administration the power to order a food recall rather than merely request one.

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June Technology Consumption Rises 35.8 Percent

August 12, 2010 7:25 am

Douglas K. Woods, AMT president June U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $241.47 million, according to AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology — and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was up 35.

Most Vocal Enemies Of Climate Bills Are Major Polluters

August 11, 2010 4:56 am | by Cathy Bussewitz, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Texas-based oil companies that are the primary backers of a November ballot effort to suspend California's global warming law are among the state's biggest polluters, according to a report issued Tuesday by two groups advocating for inner-city residents. Valero Energy Corp.

Auto Parts Company Opens Ind. Plant, Closes In Ohio

August 11, 2010 4:44 am

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Officials say an auto parts company plans to reopen a closed factory in northeastern Indiana while it is shutting down an Ohio plant. The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reports that Continental Structural Plastics expects to spend at least $9.1 million on upgrades to the Huntington factory and perhaps have 350 workers there by 2012.

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