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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Boeing Awarded $98M Air Force Contract

August 18, 2009 6:33 am

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Boeing Co.'s McDonnell Douglas Corp. received a $98 million contract to provide integration and production services for the laser joint direct attack munitions systems on various aircraft, the Pentagon said late Monday. The deal from the Air Force would apply to aircraft purchased under foreign military sales.

Kia To Build 2011 Sorento At GA Plant

August 18, 2009 5:07 am

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Kia Motors America said Tuesday it will build the Sorento crossover at its manufacturing facility in West Point, Ga., making it the first vehicle to be built at the South Korean automaker's newly minted plant. Production is scheduled to begin at the plant — the automaker's first U.


Michigan Researchers Look At Rutabagas For Biofuel

August 18, 2009 5:05 am | by David Runk, Associated Press Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Researchers at Michigan State University are working to turn the rutabaga into an oil-producing powerhouse that could make the turnip-like vegetable a better source of biofuel than other food crops. The idea is that the rutabaga, which stores oil in its seeds like some other biofuel crops, could be genetically modified to churn out more oil and store it throughout the plant.


2 Large Solar Farms Slated For Southern California

August 18, 2009 4:57 am

ROSEMEAD, Calif. (AP) — First Solar Inc. and Southern California Edison said Tuesday they'll build two huge solar farms in Southern California. The power plants will be able to generate 550 megawatts of energy — enough to power about 170,000 homes, the companies said. Construction is expected to start in 2012 and end in 2015.


Survey Shows 'Big 3' Making Improvements

August 18, 2009 4:45 am

NEW YORK (AP) — All three U.S.-based automakers are doing a better job of satisfying their customers than they were a year ago, according to a recent survey. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC all posted significant gains in this year's American Customer Satisfaction Index released Tuesday by the University of Michigan.

GE And FANUC Announce Agreement To Dissolve Joint Venture

August 18, 2009 4:33 am

Charlottesville , VA — GE (NYSE: GE) and FANUC announced today that the two companies have agreed to dissolve the GE Fanuc Automation Corporation joint venture. This agreement would allow each company to refocus its investments to grow its existing businesses and pursue its respective core industry expertise.

Air Force Breathes New Life In Former GM Plant

August 18, 2009 4:30 am | by Rochelle Hines, Associated Press Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tinker Air Force Base officials gave political and business leaders and the media a look Monday at the new addition to the Tinker Aerospace Complex inside the shuttered General Motors Assembly Plant. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and state Treasurer Scott Meacham were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at the addition, where workers will repair and maintain engines from Air Force and Navy aircraft such as the TF33 and the F-117.


Tesla To Build Electric Car Parts In Palo Alto, CA

August 18, 2009 4:24 am

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Tesla Motors will open a new power train production facility and corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., as the electric-car maker moves to expand production after a recent award of government loans, the company said Tuesday. The three-building facility at the Stanford Research Park will build components for Tesla's electric vehicles as well as parts for other automakers.


GM Exploring Low-Cost Vehicle

August 17, 2009 12:21 pm

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. said Monday it would explore developing an inexpensive small vehicle for emerging markets to compete with Tata Motors' Nano compact car. The Nano, which went on sale in India last month for about $2,000, is forcing automakers such as GM to consider a way to bring automobiles to consumers in developing countries at an affordable price point.

Chrysler To Bring Fiat 500 To US, Built In Mexico

August 17, 2009 4:35 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Chrysler Group LLC is planning to build the Fiat 500 small car at a plant in Mexico, according to a report published Monday. The automaker could also build an engine for the 500 at a plant in Trenton, Mich., and is weighing building another compact car similar to the 500 in the U.


Poop-To-Power Plant Gets OK From Idaho Power

August 17, 2009 4:30 am

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Cargill Inc. has gotten the green light from the state Public Utilities Commission for a plan to supply Idaho Power Co. with 2.13 megawatts of electricity from the Minneapolis-based agricultural conglomerate's poop-to-power plant near Jerome. Cargill's cow manure digester at the 10,000-cow Bettencourt Dairy in Hansen in southern Idaho is scheduled to begin operation on Sept.


Clash At China Smelter After 100s Of Kids Poisoned

August 17, 2009 4:25 am | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press Writer

Villagers in northern China clashed with police outside a lead smelter blamed in the poisoning of more than 600 children, reports said Monday. Several hundred villagers tore down fences and blocked traffic outside the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co.


8 Dead, 54 Missing In Russian Hydroelectric Accident

August 17, 2009 4:20 am | by Nataliya Vasilyeva, Associated Press Writer

An accident during repair work at Russia's largest hydroelectric plant killed at least eight workers Monday, while 54 others were missing, investigators said. The explosion of a transformer caused the engine room to flood at the Sayano-Shushinskaya power station in southern Siberia, the Investigative Committee of the federal prosecutors office said.


Prescott, AR Plant To Cut 90 Workers

August 17, 2009 4:11 am

PRESCOTT, Ark. (AP) — Ninety workers will be laid off at the Firestone Building Products plant at the start of next month, company officials say. The cuts represent a 21-percent employee reduction at the Prescott plant, which makes a synthetic rubber compound for roofing. They follow the layoffs of 71 plant workers in April.


MI Cruisers Worry Days Of Classic Cars Are Over

August 17, 2009 4:07 am | by David Grant, Associated Press Writer

Jack Beller's blue 1966 Corvette has the classic big-block engine and the enormous carburetor that make putting the keys in the ignition a roaring ode to muscle car history. He and his classic ride have been coming to Saturday's Woodward Dream Cruise, billed by its sponsors as "the world's largest one-day celebration of car culture," since it began 15 years ago.

$1B In Battery Grants May Recharge MI Talent Base

August 17, 2009 4:03 am | by David N. Goodman & Jeff Karoub, Associated Press Writers

As a business professor and former auto executive in Michigan, Gerald Meyers has seen his share of former colleagues and students leave the state. The state's economy has been shrinking along with its struggling auto industry.


600 Children Positive For Lead Poisoning In China

August 14, 2009 5:21 am

The number of children sickened from lead poisoning has risen to more than 600 in a northern Chinese province where authorities shut a smelter earlier this week thought to have caused the contamination, state media reported. More than 80 percent of the 731 children living in the two villages near the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co.

New Arkansas Plant To Trade On Clean Energy

August 14, 2009 5:06 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer

A $180 million wood pellet plant to be built in Camden could chart a green future for the city still working to overcome the loss of its biggest employer nearly a decade ago. The Phoenix Renewable Energy facility is to occupy the site of the former International Paper mill.


Arkansas Plant To Trade On Clean Energy

August 14, 2009 5:06 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer

A $180 million wood pellet plant to be built in Camden could chart a green future for the city still working to overcome the loss of its biggest employer nearly a decade ago. The Phoenix Renewable Energy facility is to occupy the site of the former International Paper mill.


Airport Controller And Supervisor Suspended For NY Crash

August 14, 2009 4:57 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press Writer

A personal phone call and the absence of a supervisor during last week's collision over New York's Hudson River has led to two air traffic controllers being removed from duty, although officials said the actions probably had no impact on the tragedy.


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