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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

LDK Solar Cuts 3Q, Year Sales Outlook

November 15, 2011 9:13 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Chinese solar panel maker LDK Solar Co. Ltd. cut its forecast for third-quarter and full-year revenue far below Wall Street expectations because of weak prices for solar-energy equipment. The company said Monday that rapidly falling prices for its products would cause it to write down $45 million to $50 million in inventories and produce a gross margin between negative 3.

Recession Stalks Europe's Weakening Economy

November 15, 2011 9:11 am | by Carlo Piovano, Pan Pylas, AP Business Writers

LONDON (AP) — The European economy has stalled, and is likely to start shrinking soon, just when eurozone countries need help the most. Growth slowed nearly to a stop this summer, and a recession afflicting small countries like Greece and Portugal threatens to spread to some of Europe's stronger economies as financial market uncertainty erodes confidence among businesses and consumers.

Qatar Airways Buys 55 Airbus Planes After Impasse

November 15, 2011 9:07 am | by Adam Schreck, AP Business Writer

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Booming Gulf carrier Qatar Airways agreed to buy at least 55 Airbus planes Tuesday, just hours after its hard-bargaining boss blasted the European planemaker and said the multibillion-dollar talks were at an impasse. The deal announced by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker includes 50 A320neo narrow bodies and five A380 double-decker jumbos with options for more.

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Companies Paying Less For Energy, Autos

November 15, 2011 9:05 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies paid less for gas, new cars and other goods in October to drive down wholesale prices for the first time since June. Inflation pressures are easing largely because the costs of oil and other commodities have declined. The Producer Price Index dropped 0.

Ford To Unveil New High-Powered Mustang

November 15, 2011 9:02 am

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit muscle car horsepower race escalated Tuesday when Ford Motor Co. announced that the 2013 Shelby GT500 Mustang will have a 650-horsepower V-8 engine. The company will unveil the GT500 and a freshened version of the regular Mustang on Tuesday night at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

German Drug Maker Expands In CT

November 15, 2011 4:47 am

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. (AP) — Pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim is building a $65 million research and development center at its western Connecticut site. The News Times of Danbury reports (http://bit.ly/uoz4oH ) that the German drug maker broke ground in the Ridgefield-Danbury area Monday, a few months after it began construction of a $42.

Honda Brings Jobs To AL

November 15, 2011 4:46 am

LINCOLN, Ala. (AP) — Honda Manufacturing of Alabama officials say the company will hire 100 new employees by 2013 at the company's Lincoln plant. The announcement reported by The Anniston Star is part of an $84 million expansion plan to increase production capacity at the plant. Officials made the announcement Monday in celebrating the 10th anniversary of mass production at the plant.

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Hydraulic Pump Maker Adds Jobs In SC

November 15, 2011 4:44 am

FOUNTAIN INN, S.C. (AP) — An industrial hydraulic piston unit and pump manufacturer is adding 160 jobs at its Fountain Inn, S.C. facility. Bosch Rexroth Corporation officials said Monday that the company was investing $80 million in its existing plant over the next five years. In the works is a new building and a bridge to connect it to an existing facility.

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Electrolux Plans Cost Cuts Of $770M

November 15, 2011 4:42 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish appliance maker Electrolux AB plans to cut costs by around 5.1 billion kronor ($770 million) a year and review staffing levels in all regions because of a broad downturn in demand. Electrolux said Tuesday it has been "tangibly affected" by a decline in consumer confidence in Europe and North America, while increased costs for raw materials have also weighed on earnings.

Qatar Airways, Airbus Talks Stalled

November 15, 2011 4:39 am | by Adam Schreck, AP Business Writer

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Fast-expanding Gulf carrier Qatar Airways stunned the Dubai Airshow with an announcement on Tuesday that talks with Airbus over an expected major plane order have stalled. The government-backed carrier had been widely expected to place a multibillion-dollar Airbus order that would have likely included the company's new narrow-body A320neo and the double-decker A380.

Consumers Give Economy A Boost

November 15, 2011 4:37 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers are giving a modest lift to the economy. They spent more on autos, electronics and building supplies in October to boost retail sales for the fifth straight month. The gains provide an encouraging start for the October-December quarter just as separate reports show wholesale prices are flattening and U.

Coca-Cola To Invest $2B In India

November 14, 2011 8:26 am

ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola Co.'s subsidiary in India says it plans to invest $2 billion in the country over the next five years as the beverage maker tries to make a bigger push in the key emerging market. Coca-Cola India said Monday that it plans to use the money to build up its infrastructure, develop its manufacturing abilities, invest in consumer marketing and expand distribution.

Formrite To Buy Thermo Fisher Plant

November 14, 2011 8:24 am

TWO RIVERS, Wis. (AP) — Formrite Companies Inc. says it has reached an agreement to purchase Thermo Fisher Scientific's steel cabinetry plant in Two Rivers. Thermo Fisher previously announced plans to close the plant and move its steel fabrication to Texas and Mexico. Formrite owner, president and CEO David Wage says the companies plan to close the sale by the end of the year, and then Formrite will begin moving all of its manufacturing operations to the new plant.

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States Weigh Benefits Of Utility Smart Meters

November 14, 2011 8:19 am | by Stephen Singer, Susan Haigh, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The cost of using an air conditioner — whether it runs during the peak time for electrical usage or during off-peak hours — is still the same for many electricity users across the country. The same goes for using a clothes dryer. Many utilities and state energy officials, some armed with federal stimulus money, think that should change and are advocating so-called "smart meter" technology in a growing number of states.

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Mayor Says Tire Plant Delayed

November 14, 2011 8:16 am

MACON, Ga. (AP) — The mayor of Macon says a tire manufacturer's plans to build a sprawling plant in Bibb County have been delayed. Mayor Robert Reichert tells The Telegraph (http://bit.ly/s9ODf6) that Gov. Nathan Deal met with representatives of the South Korean company on a recent oversees trip and learned that construction will not begin for at least two more years due to economic conditions.

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Analyst: Bills Rising Due To Overpriced Renewables

November 14, 2011 8:12 am | by Garance Burke, Jason Dearen, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dozens of renewable energy plants being built to meet California's tough global warming laws, including a major Spanish-owned solar plant in the Mojave Desert, are so overpriced they will increase consumers' energy bills for decades, according to the independent watchdog arm of the state's s utility regulator.

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U.S. Companies Feel European Crisis

November 14, 2011 8:10 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, Jonathan Fahey, Michael Liedtke, AP Business Writers

NEW YORK (AP) — The tremors from Europe's financial upheaval have reached U.S. shores, rattling consumers and companies. The consequences have been limited so far. Yet the United States and Europe are so closely linked that any slowdown across the Atlantic is felt here. U.S. makers of cars, solar panels, drugs, clothes and computer equipment have all reported effects from Europe's turmoil.

MSC Safety Catalog Reflects Customer Commitment

November 14, 2011 5:34 am

MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc. (Melville, NY), a leading distributor of safety products and services, is adding more than 500 new items and 33,000 skus to its new 2012 MSC Safety Catalog in response to strong customer demand. “Work accidents can cost our customers billions of dollars per year,” said Anthony Testa, MSC business manager for MRO.

China's Recalled Bullet Trains To Resume Service

November 14, 2011 4:27 am

BEIJING (AP) — Bullet trains on China's showcase Beijing-to-Shanghai line that were recalled over safety concerns following a deadly crash on another line will gradually resume service from this week, Chinese state media reported Monday. China's state-owned train maker, China CNR Corp.

Japan's Economy Rises Out Of Earthquake Slump

November 14, 2011 4:24 am | by Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's economy grew for the first time in four quarters in a comeback from the earthquake and tsunami disaster that already faces multiple global headwinds. The world's No. 3 economy expanded at an annualized rate of 6 percent in the July-September period, driven by exports, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report Monday.

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