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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Siemens Spins Off Light Bulb Maker Osram

March 29, 2011 5:14 am | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Industrial engineering company Siemens AG said Tuesday it is shaking up its organizational chart, spinning off light bulb maker Osram and forging a new division that will focus on energy-efficient infrastructure projects in the world's cities. Osram GmbH will be sold off to investors in an initial public offering of shares later this year, said Munich-based Siemens, which makes a wide range of industrial equipment such as trains, power plants and medical diagnostic machines.

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Judge Rules With Boeing, Spirit In Age Discrimination Lawsuit

March 29, 2011 5:06 am | by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to reconsider his earlier ruling siding with The Boeing Co. and Spirit AeroSystems in an age discrimination lawsuit brought by former workers in the wake of Boeing's 2005 sale of its commercial airplane operations in Kansas and Oklahoma. U.

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Subaru Slows Production At Lafayette Plant Over Shortage

March 29, 2011 5:03 am

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Subaru of America is slowing production at its Lafayette plant because of a temporary auto parts shortage caused by Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami. Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. spokeswoman Jennifer McGarvey said Monday that the company will be reducing its Subaru production shifts to the first four hours of each shift this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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Nokia Sues Apple For Infringing 'Virtually All' Of Its Patents

March 29, 2011 5:01 am | by Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia is suing Apple in the United States for allegedly infringing patents in "virtually all" of its mobile phones, portable music players, tablets and computers, the Finnish company said Tuesday. The move is the latest in a string of lawsuits by Nokia and comes as the world's largest handset maker struggles to keep up with smartphone rivals like Apple.

Four Weapon-Smuggling Executives Plead Guilty

March 29, 2011 4:59 am | by Kristin M. Hall, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Four men accused of smuggling military weapons and parts, some of which were sold to Middle East nations, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court and have agreed to testify against a British firearms manufacturer who currently faces extradition from England.

S.C. Lawmakers Fight For Incandescent Lightbulbs

March 29, 2011 4:56 am | by Jim Davenport, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina lawmakers are taking a stand in favor of states' lights. With incandescent bulbs being phased out under federal law in favor of energy-efficient compact fluorescents, legislators want to exempt South Carolina from the measure, saying Washington has no business telling the state how to light its closets and countertops.

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Kodak Revives Patent Battle Against Apple, Wants $1 Billion

March 28, 2011 4:59 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A federal agency said Friday that it will review Eastman Kodak Co.'s high-stakes patent-infringement claim against technology giants Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd. The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., agreed to examine a judge's finding in January that Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry don't violate an image-preview patent the photography pioneer obtained in 2001.

GM Restarts Louisiana Pickup Plant After Part Shortage

March 28, 2011 4:54 am | by Alan Sayre, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — General Motors will resume regular production at its pickup plant in Shreveport on Monday, a week after the company shut it down and blamed a shortage of parts from Japan. Falling supplies of auto parts have disrupted car factories around the world ever since a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11.

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DIY Engineering With An Industrial-Strength Workshop

March 28, 2011 4:41 am | by Marcus Wohlsen, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In the tech-obsessed South of Market neighborhood that digital sensations like Twitter and Zynga call home, a newfangled workshop for would-be inventors blends a startup sensibility with the area's historic manufacturing roots to give geeks a chance to get out from behind the keyboard.

Chinese Factory Manager Arrested For Lead Poisoning

March 28, 2011 4:33 am

BEIJING (AP) — State media say a battery factory manager was arrested after 168 villagers living near the manufacturer in eastern China suffered lead poisoning. The official Xinhua News Agency says Ying Jianguo, general manager of Taizhou Suqi Storage Battery Co. Ltd., was taken into custody Friday in the city of Taizhou in Zhejiang province.

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Auto Industry Supply Issues To Get Much Worse

March 28, 2011 4:31 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach and Sharon Silke Carty, AP Business Writers

TOKYO (AP) — The auto industry disruptions triggered by Japan's earthquake and tsunami are about to get worse. In the weeks ahead, car buyers will have difficulty finding the model they want in certain colors, thousands of auto plant workers will likely be told to stay home, and companies such as Toyota, Honda and others will lose billions of dollars in revenue.

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CAT CEO Threatens To Leave Illinois In Letter To Gov.

March 28, 2011 4:28 am

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The chief executive of Caterpillar wrote a letter to Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn raising the possibility the heavy equipment company could move out of Illinois because of concerns that the direction the state is heading isn't favorable to business. In a letter to Gov.

UAW: GM Plans To Boost Hiring With 2,000 Recalls

March 25, 2011 4:46 am

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union says General Motors Co. plans to recall the last 2,000 of its laid-off workers by this fall, clearing the way for new hiring at its U.S. plants. The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press report that word about the jobs came Wednesday at a union meeting in Detroit that set goals for bargaining a new labor contract with automakers later this year.

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Jobless Benefits Drop, Signaling Growth-Heavy 2011

March 25, 2011 4:37 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, adding to evidence that layoffs are slowing and employers may be stepping up hiring. The number of people seeking benefits dropped by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 382,000 in the week ended March 19, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Bolt Failures Cause Blades To Fly Off Wind Turbine

March 25, 2011 4:35 am | by Dale Wetzel, Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Bolt failures caused a wind turbine's rotor and blades to fall from a tower in north-central North Dakota, and six other turbines have been shut down while their bolts are replaced, a state regulator said Thursday. Members of North Dakota's Public Service Commission, which oversaw the development of the 71-turbine wind farm, said Thursday they would seek more detailed information about how widespread the problems may be.

J&J Announces 20th Recall Since September 2009

March 25, 2011 4:28 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon unit is recalling a group of medical drainage products because of concerns about the sterility of the products. Ethicon, which makes sutures and other surgical products, said it received customer complaints that the sterile barrier in the product packaging was compromised.

U.S. Economy Grew 3.1 Percent At End Of 2010

March 25, 2011 4:23 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew a little faster at the end of 2010 than the government had previously estimated, boosted by more inventory building and business investment in plants and equipment. But rising oil prices will likely limit growth this year. The economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at an annual rate of 3.

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Nissan Considers Shifting Engine Production To U.S.

March 25, 2011 4:21 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. said Thursday it is considering moving some engine production from Japan to the U.S. because of earthquake damage to a Japanese plant, another illustration of how seriously the disaster has upended the global network of auto supplies. Car factories could face serious shortages of Japanese parts by the middle of next month unless Japan's auto industry can quickly restart its shuttered production following a devastating earthquake and tsunami March 11, experts say.

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UAW President Says Ford CEO's Pay Is Excessive

March 23, 2011 4:40 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — United Auto Workers President Bob King on Tuesday criticized the nearly $60 million in stock awards given to Ford CEO Alan Mulally earlier this month. King spoke at a union meeting that sets goals for bargaining a new labor contract with automakers later this year. "I think Alan Mulally is a great CEO, but I don't think any human being in the world deserves that much money," King said at the opening of a three-day UAW convention in Detroit.

Steve Jobs Deposed To Testify In Apple Antitrust Case

March 23, 2011 4:37 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, who is currently out on medical leave, will be deposed to testify in an antitrust suit related to its iPod music players and iTunes store. In a Monday filing in the U.S. district court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, Magistrate Judge Howard R.

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