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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Chemical Company Fined $150,000 For Acid Cloud

October 5, 2009 4:25 am

PETROLIA, Pa. (AP) — The U.S. Chemical Safety Board says a pump used without an electrical safety shut off caused an acid cloud that forced hundreds of western Pennsylvania residents to evacuate last year. Indspec Chemical Corp. faces more than $150,000 in state environmental and federal workplace safety fines for the leak in Petrolia on Oct.

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Chrysler's Italian Boss Unfazed By Low Market Share

October 2, 2009 5:00 am

DETROIT (AP) — The new Italian leader of Chrysler Group LLC says he is not alarmed by the automaker's market share decline and he expects to improve the company's U.S. share from this point forward. Fiat SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne, speaking to reporters Thursday while on a tour of Chrysler's headquarters with Italy's economic development minister, also said there are no plans to reverse a decision to close an assembly plant in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights.

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Bookmaker Closes Factory Because Nobody Reads Anymore

October 2, 2009 4:13 am

KIRKWOOD, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate New York book manufacturer is closing its doors after nearly a century in business. Vail-Ballou Press in Kirkwood will close in the next 90 days, eliminating 270 jobs. Vail-Ballou's parent company, The Maple Press Co. of York, Pa., cited a significant decrease in manufacturing demand during the recession as the reason for the shutdown.

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580 Jobs At Sparrows Point Steel Mill At Risk

October 2, 2009 4:12 am

DUNDALK, Md. (AP) — The union that represents 2,500 Sparrows Point steel mill workers says the plant's Russian owners' proposed restructuring could affect nearly a third of the work force. John Cirri, president of United Steelworkers Local 9477, said Thursday that Russian steel company Severstal's restructuring proposal details different ways about 580 jobs could be affected, including reductions, retirements or transfers.

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Toyota President Regrets Fatal Floormat Crash

October 2, 2009 3:58 am

by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's president said it was "extremely regrettable" an American family died in a crash in which a floor mat in one of the Japanese automaker's vehicles is suspected as the cause. "Four precious lives have been lost," Toyota Motor Corp.

Hyundai Marked As Biggest Automaker Threat

October 2, 2009 3:53 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Hyundai Motor Co. — not the up-and-coming Chinese, nor the leaner meaner Americans — is the automaker that has the Japanese seriously worried. Talk to any Japanese auto executive, and the official is likely to say the South Korean automaker is rapidly emerging as the most feared competitor to Japan's world-leading car companies.

Chips Conduct 16% Less August Sales

October 2, 2009 3:49 am

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Global sales of semiconductors fell 16 percent in August to $19.1 billion compared to a year ago, according to an industry report Friday. But chip sales rose by 5 percent from the previous month, with strength in all geographic regions, the Semiconductor Industry Association said.

Senator Backs Northrop, Blocks Boeing's $35b Contract

October 2, 2009 3:47 am | by Donna Borak, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate Republican who backs Northrop Grumman Corp.'s bid for a disputed $35 billion Air Force tanker contract wants to withhold funding until the service resolves a company gripe with the competition. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama filed an amendment Thursday that would require the Air Force to release pricing information of previous bids from both Northrop and its partner, Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co.

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Congress Battles Over Manufacturing Contracts For Military

September 30, 2009 4:56 am | by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — While ceding some ground to President Obama on high-profile weapons cuts, lawmakers are cutting money for training and spare parts to pay for other weapons Obama doesn't want and their own pet projects. The push-and-pull is playing out within a massive, $626 billion funding bill for the Pentagon that is being debated on the Senate floor.

Wal-Mart Sees Slow U.S. Recovery, Looks To China

September 30, 2009 4:42 am | by Eileen Ng, Associated Press Writer

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The chairman of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. warned Wednesday the global economic recovery will likely be lethargic, even as the retailing behemoth sees great growth potential in China and India. "The world recovery is going to be led by Asia although it's going to be very challenging.

China Puts Brake On Industrial Overexpansion

September 30, 2009 4:33 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China announced sweeping curbs on surging investment in steelmaking, cement and other industries, warning that chaotic overexpansion was raising the danger of job losses and trouble for banks. Business groups and economists have warned that Beijing's huge stimulus might fuel a dangerous boom and bust.

Toyota Recalls 3.8m Cars For... Floor Mats?

September 30, 2009 4:24 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will recall 3.8 million vehicles in the United States, the company's largest-ever U.S. recall, to address problems with a removable floor mat that could cause accelerators to get stuck and lead to a crash. The recall will involve popular models such as the Toyota Camry, the top-selling passenger car in America, and the Toyota Prius, the best-selling gas-electric hybrid.

BAE Systems Under Midnight Deadline In Fraud Probe

September 30, 2009 4:18 am

LONDON (AP) — British defense contractor BAE Systems PLC faces a midnight deadline set by the Serious Fraud Office to agree to a settlement or potentially be prosecuted for alleged bribery, The Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday. The Serious Fraud Office declined to discuss the matter.

Oshkosh Corp. Lands $800m Pentagon Truck Contract

September 30, 2009 4:13 am

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — The defense division of Oshkosh Corp. has signed a roughly $800 million deal with the Pentagon to deliver nearly 2,500 new and rebuilt military vehicles. Oshkosh Defense said Tuesday it will provide more than 1,450 new trucks and trailers. It will also deliver more than 1,000 tactical trucks that have been restored to like-new condition after being damaged in warfare.

Northrop: Boeing Given 'Unfair' Edge In Tanker Contract

September 29, 2009 12:21 pm | by Donna Borak, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has given Boeing Co. an "unfair" advantage in the latest competition for a troubled $35 billion tanker contract, a Northrop Grumman Corp. executive said Tuesday. The Pentagon shared Northrop's pricing data from its previous bid with Chicago-based Boeing, but did not reveal Boeing's cost estimates to Northrop.

Toyota Issues Recall Of 3.8 Million Cars

September 29, 2009 11:42 am

TORRENCE, Calif., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ — Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. takes public safety very seriously. It believes its vehicles to be among the safest on the road today. Recent events have prompted Toyota to take a closer look at the potential for an accelerator pedal to get stuck in the full open position due to an unsecured or incompatible driver's floor mat.

Reid Supply Adds Plethora Of New Products

September 29, 2009 10:16 am

Muskegon, Michigan — Reid Supply Company, a Michigan-based, premier global distributor of industrial supplies , added over 20,000 new apparel and footwear products to its online offerings at ReidSupply.com. “We are very excited to add the new apparel and footwear category to our industrial product offerings”, says John Carrier, President of Reid Supply Company.

Peterbilt Shuts Down Idle Nashville Plant

September 29, 2009 5:18 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Peterbilt Corp. is permanently closing its truck plant in Nashville. The Tennessean quoted plant manager Larry Vessels who said the decision means the loss of about 390 jobs at the idled plant. Peterbilt manufactures over-the-road commercial trucks and said it will consolidate work at its plant in Denton, Texas.

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Kraft Sparks Anti-Government Protests In Argentina

September 29, 2009 4:45 am | by Vanessa Hand Orellana, Associated Press Writer

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- An effort by Kraft Foods Inc. to end a labor dispute at its Argentina factory has ignited a larger dispute between leftist groups and the government, as several thousand people marched to the presidential palace late Monday in solidarity with fired workers. Kraft spokesman Pedro Lopez Matheu said the plant in suburban Buenos Aires reopened Monday after police enforcing a court order evicted fired employees who had occupied the factory 40 days ago.

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China Agrees To GM Takeover of Delphi

September 29, 2009 4:39 am

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's Commerce Ministry has given a conditional green light for General Motors Co.'s plan to acquire portions of auto parts maker Delphi Corp. Among other things, the ministry banned GM and Delphi from exchanging trade secrets about Delphi's other customers. Delphi is required to ensure it supplies parts to other automakers in a timely, reasonably priced and fair way, the ministry said in a statement issued Monday.

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