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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

CAT Picks 34-Year Veteran Oberherlman As New CEO

October 22, 2009 4:45 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, said Thursday that Douglas Oberhelman will become the company's CEO starting in July of next year. The Peoria, Ill.-based company said Oberhelman, 56, will succeed current Chief Executive Jim Owens on July 1.

Bailed-Out Companies Ordered To Slash Exec Compensation

October 22, 2009 4:39 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department on Thursday is expected to order seven companies that have not paid back last year's government bailouts to halve their top executives' average compensation. The cuts apply to the 25 highest-paid executives at banks and other companies that received the most assistance, with salaries being slashed by as much as 90 percent, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Disgruntled Meatpacker Tosses Glove Into Grinder

October 22, 2009 4:34 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say a cotton glove found in a meat grinder at a Des Moines meatpacking plant stopped production and led to an inspection of about 40,000 pounds of meat. Police have no motive for last Thursday's incident at Swan Packing Inc. But the plant's general manager, Jerry Rowles, blames a disgruntled employee who police have yet to identify.

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Mother Sues Louisville Slugger For Son's Death

October 21, 2009 4:58 am

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A woman is suing the maker of Louisville Slugger aluminum baseball bats over the 2003 death of her son, who was hit with a ball during a youth league baseball game. Opening arguments began Tuesday in Helena's district court. Debbie Patch says her teen son Brandon was pitching for the Miles City Mavericks when a ball hit by a Helena Senators batter struck him in the temple, causing a fatal injury.

Auto Task Force 'Shocked' By Detroit Mismanagement

October 21, 2009 4:43 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The shockingly poor financial management of General Motors and Chrysler weakened their case for a government bailout, but officials feared letting the automakers collapse would severely harm the U.S. economy, the former head of the Obama administration's auto task force says.

Sun Microsystems Cutting Up To 3,000 Jobs

October 21, 2009 4:37 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to eliminate up to 3,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its worldwide work force, as it awaits a takeover by Oracle Corp., a deal being held up by antitrust regulators in Europe. The layoffs Sun outlined Tuesday in a regulatory filing are the latest in a series of job cuts at the world's No.

Boeing Loses $1.6b In Midst Of 787 Mess

October 21, 2009 4:19 am | by Daniel Lovering, AP Manufacturing Writer

Boeing Co. lost $1.6 billion in the third quarter as charges from its delayed 787 and revamped 747 dragged down results. Those charges also forced the airplane maker to slash this year's profit forecast. Shares of the Chicago-based company fell $1.22, or 2.4 percent, to $50.67 in pre-market trade after results were announced Wednesday.

Fisker Deciding On Plant For Luxury Electric Cars

October 21, 2009 4:18 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fisker Automotive, a California-based startup manufacturer of luxury electric vehicles, plans to announce shortly the location of a U.S. manufacturing facility where it will build plug-in electric vehicles, its top executive said Tuesday. Henrik Fisker, the company's co-founder and chief executive, declined to elaborate on the site of the retooled plant but said in an interview that the company considered several existing factories.

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Excuse Me, Did You Forget Your 44 Tons of Rotting Meat?

October 21, 2009 4:12 am | by Carson Walker, Associated Press Writer

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The owner of a South Dakota packing plant who left behind 44 tons of rotting kosher bison meat when he relocated his business to Minnesota has agreed to pay part of the cost of cleaning up the mess, his attorney said. Mike Unke, an attorney for Ilan Parente, said his client will pay back some of the $11,151 in costs it took to clean up the Bridgewater Quality Meats plant after it closed in January 2008.

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Closing Of Bobcat Plant Bound To Spoil Christmas

October 21, 2009 4:09 am

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Bobcat Co. workers have been told production will end Dec. 23 at the company's Bismarck plant. Bobcat, which makes skid steer loaders and other light construction equipment, sent notices to its hourly workers this week. Spokeswoman Laura Ness Owens said the plant always has closed from Dec.

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Detroit Steel Plant Ablaze

October 20, 2009 4:43 am

RIVER ROUGE, Mich. (AP) — An industrial fire is sending thick, black smoke into the air southwest of Detroit. James Buford, Wayne County's director of homeland security and emergency management, says the fire began around 9 a.m. Tuesday at a steel plant. Buford says fire crews from Detroit and surrounding communities were responding to the fire.

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Baby Food Recalled For Botulism Threat

October 20, 2009 4:37 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Plum Organics of Emeryville, Calif., is recalling some of its apple and carrot portable pouch baby food because of concerns over possible botulism contamination. The product was sold individually throughout the country at Toys-R-Us and Babies-R-Us stores. The recalled product is sold in 4.

GM Investing $364 Million In Indiana Plant

October 20, 2009 4:32 am

MARION, Ind. (AP) — General Motors Co. says it's investing $364 million in its Marion Metal Center in Indiana and will employ about 230 workers transferring from plants in Michigan and Ohio. The automaker announced the expansion Monday. It says the plant already employs about 115 people who worked at a plant in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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Chinese Employer Of Ford Backstabber Concerned

October 20, 2009 4:27 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Beijing Autos, one of two Chinese companies that employed a former Ford Motor engineer arrested in the U.S. for allegedly stealing trade secrets, said Tuesday it is watching the case, but relies on its own designs and technology. The statement issued by Beijing Automotive was the first official comment from China on the Oct.

DuPont Posts Profit After Massive Cost-Cutting

October 20, 2009 4:22 am | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer

DOVER, Delaware (AP) — DuPont offset falling sales and prices using cost cuts and reported larger third-quarter profits Tuesday. All major chemical makers, including Wilmington-based DuPont Co., were hit first by soaring crude and energy costs last year, and then plummeting sales both in the U.

Caterpillar Profits Fall 53 Percent

October 20, 2009 4:15 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar says its profit plunged in the latest quarter as construction companies bought fewer of its big yellow-and-black machines. But the company says it sees rebounding demand worldwide and it lifted its profit outlook for the year. Caterpillar has struggled with waning demand since the global economy deteriorated late last year.

IBM Exec Put Out To Pasture After Charges

October 20, 2009 4:06 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — IBM Corp. put a top executive on leave Monday after he was charged in an insider trading scandal for allegedly leaking secrets about IBM's earnings and financial dealings with corporate partners. The company said Robert Moffat, a senior vice president and cost-cutting maven who was considered a possible candidate to succeed CEO Sam Palmisano, no longer serves as an officer of the company.

G.I. Joe Battles For 8.8 Percent Profit Increase

October 19, 2009 7:19 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Hasbro Inc., the nation's second-biggest toymaker, saw profit rise nearly 9 percent in the third quarter as the company trimmed costs amid a slight decline in sales. Hasbro also was upbeat about the holidays, saying Monday that results are picking up so far in the fourth quarter.

Feds Want Dow To Fess Up To Dioxin Spill

October 19, 2009 5:19 am

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — Federal and state officials say they're seeking public comment on a proposed deal with Dow Chemical Co. on designing a cleanup of dioxin contamination near a plant in Midland. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Quality say the comment period begins Monday and runs through Nov.

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Whirlpool Considers Recalling Workers At AR Plant

October 19, 2009 4:50 am

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — The Whirlpool Corp. refrigerator factory in Fort Smith is preparing to add production and may call back 150 employees who were laid off. The plant now employs between 900 and 1,000 people, far fewer than the 4,600 it had in 2006 before moving part of its production to Mexico.

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