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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Need Help Defusing A Bomb?

June 24, 2011 6:28 am | by Kevin Begos, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Need help defusing a bomb, mowing a lawn or scraping old paint? President Barack Obama might see robots that can do those tasks on Friday when he visits the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University. It's one of eight research centers at the school's Robotics Institute.

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Boeing Test Pilots Take 2,500-Mile Trip For Famous Pa. Sandwich

June 24, 2011 6:25 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The flight crew testing a next-generation Boeing jumbo jet made a long trip for a taste of Pittsburgh's most famous sandwich. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the crew manning a new $300 million 747-8 Freighter jet made the 2,500-mile test flight from outside Seattle to western Pennsylvania for a Primanti Bros.

Cheerios Turn 70, Are As Popular As Ever

June 24, 2011 4:48 am | by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Here's a little quiz for the breakfast table: What is the most popular cereal brand in American grocery stores? Hint: It's been General Mills' top name since 1951. Another hint: If you're a parent, you've vacuumed it from the minivan and under the high-chair cushion by the cupful.

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Trade Commission Delays Kodak Vs. Apple And RIM Case

June 24, 2011 4:43 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

ROCHESTER, New York (AP) — A federal agency said Thursday it will spend an extra week reviewing Eastman Kodak Co.'s potentially lucrative patent claim against tech giants Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd. The U.S. International Trade Commission, which oversees trade disputes, had been expected to issue a ruling Thursday but put off completing its investigation until June 30.

U.S. Economy Expanded Faster In Q1 Than Expected

June 24, 2011 4:34 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded a little faster at the beginning of the year than previously estimated. But the pace was still anemic and economists don't see that changing until later this year. The Commerce Department on Friday said the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the January-March quarter.

Rheem To Move 250 Ark. Jobs To Mexico

June 24, 2011 4:30 am

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Rheem Manufacturing Co. says it plans to shift about 250 jobs from its operation in Fort Smith to a plant in Mexico. Fort Smith is the company's air conditioning division headquarters. The company said Thursday it's expanding its plant in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, by more than 290,000 square feet and will begin producing residential products there that now are produced in Fort Smith.

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Businesses Shook Off April Slip, Rebounded In May

June 24, 2011 4:28 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses boosted their orders for machinery, electronics products and airplanes in May. The pickup suggests manufacturing is rebounding after the Japan crises made parts scarce and slowed production of some factory goods temporarily. Orders long-lasting manufactured products increased 1.

Obama Announces $500M High-Tech Manufacturing Incentive

June 24, 2011 4:23 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Imagining advances from lighter cars to smarter robots, President Barack Obama is announcing a $500 million project to spur high-technology manufacturing, a sector of U.S. industry that presidential advisers say has lost ground to such competitors as Germany and Japan. On Friday in Pittsburgh, Obama is to call for a joint effort by industry, universities and the federal government to help reposition the United States as a leader in cutting-edge manufacturing, including biotechnology, robotics and nanotechnology — the development of new materials at the molecular level.

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Wisconsin Initiative Showcases Profitable Sustainability

June 23, 2011 9:41 am

Innovative Pilot Program to Promote Sustainable Manufacturing to Generate a $54 Million Economic Impact Over Five Years Sustainability Fuels Savings, Growth and Competitive Advantage for 45 Participants Environmental and Financial Impacts Exceed Expectations, Program Delivers Substantial ROI for Manufacturers, State of Wisconsin    ___ MILWAUKEE — An innovative program to promote sustainable manufacturing in Wisconsin is projected to generate a five-year $54 million economic impact and significant environmental benefits, states a report released today by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) .

Elkhart Hit Again By Bankruptcy Of Norwegian EV Startup

June 23, 2011 9:05 am

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — The bankruptcy filing of an electric car manufacturer has clouded the future of a northern Indiana factory that was touted as an economic boost for an area hit hard by job losses in the recreational vehicle industry. Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore said a company official told the city's economic development director that the factory there wouldn't be affected by Norway-based Think Global's bankruptcy filing, but he remains concerned.

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Airbus Soars Past Boeing With $72 Billion In Orders

June 23, 2011 8:54 am | by Greg Keller, AP Business Writer

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Airbus is trouncing Boeing in the race to be the world's biggest planemaker, claiming over $72 billion dollars worth of orders and commitments at the Paris Air Show, where the popularity of its new fuel-efficient jets twice broke records for the largest order ever. Airbus' success cast a long shadow over Chicago-based Boeing, which recorded only $22 billion in orders and commitments, and raised questions over the U.

Hoeganaes To Resume Production Despite Four Deaths

June 23, 2011 8:47 am

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — A Gallatin, Tenn., Hoeganaes chemical plant where four workers have died in fires this year will resume partial production this week. Officials at the Hoeganaes plant did not specify which day and said production in other areas of the facility is expected to restart over the coming weeks after reviews.

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Saab Runs Out Of Money To Pay 3,700 Employees

June 23, 2011 8:44 am | by Louise Nordstrom, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Saab, the Swedish car company renowned for its sometimes quirky designs, moved closer to bankruptcy Thursday after it conceded that it didn't have any money to pay employees' wages. After months of production stoppages and problems with paying suppliers, Saab said the situation is so dire that it won't be able to pay its 3,700 employees, raising doubts over how long the brand can survive.

Survey: New U.S. Cars Struggle With Quality

June 23, 2011 8:40 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Owners of cars that were new or redesigned for the 2011 model year are reporting more quality problems, partly because of glitches with the navigation screens, voice-activated systems and other technology packed into their dashboards. J.D. Power and Associates released its annual survey of new vehicle quality Thursday.

Rexel Launches Online Magazine Focused On Electrical Efficiency Issues

June 22, 2011 10:54 am

Dallas, TX — Rexel, one of the world’s leading electrical distributors, announced today that it has launched a new electrical efficiency online resource: www.electrical-efficiency.com . This new online magazine will offer diverse content on related regulation, solutions, projects, markets and major news worldwide.

Kawasaki Recalls Most Of Its Laid-Off Neb. Workers

June 22, 2011 9:50 am

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Kawasaki has recalled most of the workers who were laid off in the spring at its rail car production plant in Lincoln. The plant in March laid off 115 workers because of a parts error by a supplier in Japan. The error was complicated by the earthquake in Japan. The Lincoln Journal Star says Thursday that plant manager Mike Boyle says most employees have now returned to work.

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Ford To Offer Inflatable Seat Belts In More Vehicles

June 22, 2011 9:39 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer, Associated Press

Ford Motor Co. will offer inflatable rear seat belts in more of its vehicles starting next summer. Ford was the first in the industry to offer the belts, which are now available on the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV. The company plans to offer them on the Ford Flex, a seven-passenger crossover wagon, and two unnamed Lincoln vehicles.

Japan Nuke Plant To Pay $1 Billion To Displaced Neighbors

June 22, 2011 9:27 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — The owner of Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear plant will pay an estimated $1 billion (88 billion yen) to thousands of residents who evacuated homes near the radiation-leaking plant and don't yet know when they can return. Compensation Tokyo Electric Power Co.

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Federal Reserve Acknowledges Slow Recovery

June 22, 2011 9:17 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve acknowledged Wednesday that the economy is growing more slowly than it expected. But it said it will complete its $600 billion Treasury bond buying program by June 30 as planned and announced no further efforts to boost the economy. Ending a two-day meeting, the Fed repeated a pledge to keep interest rates at record lows near zero for "an extended period," a promise it's made for more than two years.

Airbus Bags Biggest Sale In Aviation History With A320neo

June 22, 2011 9:04 am | by Greg Keller and Slobodan Lekic, Associated Press

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Airbus racked up huge orders for its fuel-saving A320neo jetliner on Wednesday, even bagging the biggest single sale in aviation history, and overshadowing the arrival of Boeing's much-hyped and much-delayed 787 Dreamliner at the Paris Air Show. As airlines around the world worry about skyrocketing fuel prices, demand has surged for low-consumption planes.

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