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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

CarMax CEO: Auto Recovery Won't Be Full-Throttle

June 29, 2010 4:40 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — CarMax Inc. CEO Tom Folliard is expecting the recovery of the worst U.S. auto sales market in decades is going to be slower than some others foresee. The head of the Richmond-based used car dealership chain told shareholders at its annual meeting in Richmond that customers are starting to return and sales are improving, but not at pre-recession levels.

Tesla's IPO Opens At $17, Now Known As 'TSLA'

June 29, 2010 4:37 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Tesla Motors Inc. said Monday its shares were priced at $17 each, above what it expected. The electric car startup plans to launch its initial public offering of stock on Tuesday. The Palo Alto, Calif., company is offering 13.3 million shares, meaning it raised $226.1 million at the $17-a-share price.

Foxconn Plans 300,000-Worker Plant Amid Criticism

June 29, 2010 4:35 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Foxconn Technology, a supplier to Apple Inc., looks ready to build a huge new factory in north-central China despite the company's own misgivings about city-sized manufacturing facilities after a spate of suicides among its young migrant work force. The company plans to recruit some 300,000 workers for the new plant, to be located in the Henan city of Hebei, according to a notice seen Tuesday on a local government website.


FAA Lackadaisical On Boeing Cockpit Fires

June 29, 2010 4:34 am | by Joan Lowy and Joshua Freed, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. federal aviation officials have known for years that cockpit window heaters in some Boeing planes catch fire. But they haven't required airlines to fix the problem, even after dozens of incidents that unnerved pilots and, in some cases, forced emergency landings. Pilots have complained about heaters that burned, smoldered or sent electric currents dancing across cockpit windows since at least 2002, according to an Associated Press search of a NASA aviation safety database.

Will The Oil Spill Slip Up Our Economic Recovery?

June 28, 2010 5:15 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The BP oil spill has hammered the fishing and tourism industries along the Gulf of Mexico. But it appears the economic damage to the rest of the United States will be limited. Analysts say the spill will reduce economic growth by only about one-half of 1 percentage point this quarter, and even less during the second half of the year.

Machinery Exec Convicted For $11 Million Bribe

June 28, 2010 5:12 am

BERLIN (AP) — A former executive at German truck and machinery maker MAN SE was convicted of bribery Monday for paying millions of euros (dollars) to secure a contract in Kazakhstan. Heinz Juergen Maus, the former head of the MAN Turbo AG unit, was given a two-year suspended sentence and will have to pay a euro100,000 fine.

Congress Addresses Industrial Natural Gas Dangers

June 28, 2010 4:40 am | by Stephanie Reitz, Associated Press Writer

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The circumstances around the fatal Middletown power plant explosion will be the focus of separate hearings Monday by a congressional subcommittee and a federal safety advisory board. Members of both groups are traveling to Connecticut from Washington, D.C.


Kysor/Warren To Hire 200 Georgians

June 28, 2010 4:39 am

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Refrigeration equipment manufacturer Kysor/Warren is expanding its Columbus operations and plans to add about 200 employees. The company says the new hires are needed to meet an increase in demand this year. Kysor/Warren makes commercial refrigeration systems and display cases for supermarkets and is seeking to hire mostly manufacturing workers.


Obama-Touted Ohio Steel Mill Breaks Ground

June 28, 2010 4:37 am

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — A steel company is officially beginning work on a new Ohio mill talked up by President Barack Obama during an appearance last month. A groundbreaking Monday was expected to bring Gov. Ted Strickland and other officials to V&M STAR in Youngstown. V&M's parent company is spending $650 million to add a 1 million-square-foot mill to its Ohio facility, a project the firm says will create as many as 750 temporary and permanent jobs.


Can 'Iron Man' Sell The Electric Car?

June 28, 2010 4:36 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Tesla Motors Inc. begins selling stock to the public on Tuesday. The sale's success depends on how much investors are willing to bet on a car company that has never made a profit, sells a single vehicle and expects to lose money until at least 2012. As for the car, it's electric — a kind of vehicle Americans have shown almost no appetite for — and it's very pricey.


Boeing Machinists Accept Contract, Avoid Strike

June 28, 2010 4:35 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Boeing workers in St. Louis have accepted a contract with the plane manufacturer, avoiding a strike that would have gone into effect Monday if the deal had been rejected. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said the contract passed Sunday by a vote of 1,237 to 838.


States Share In $173 Million Computer Chip Antitrust Case

June 25, 2010 4:54 am

DENVER (AP) — Colorado and 32 other states will share a $173 million antitrust settlement with computer chip makers. Attorney General John Suthers said Thursday the states have settled a lawsuit accusing six manufacturers of artificially pushing up the price of dynamic random access memory chips, or DRAM chips.

J & J Does Not Have Backup For Recalled Medicine

June 25, 2010 4:37 am

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it will probably not have supplies for some 40 varieties of medications recalled earlier this year until at least 2011, after closing a key manufacturing site. In late April, J&J's McNeil unit recalled a variety of children's and adult over-the-counter medicines due to numerous manufacturing problems at its Fort Washington, Pa.


The Skinny On Idaho-Built Solar Panels

June 25, 2010 4:27 am

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A company formed by Boise-based Micron Technology Inc. and Origin Energy of Australia says it plans to start making extremely thin but highly efficient solar cells that will be available next year. Transform Solar officials say the so-called sliver solar cells will be made at a plant in Boise where Micron once made computer chips, and the cells will be combined into solar panels at another plant owned by Micron in Nampa.


Immigrants To Unemployed: 'Come On, Take Our Jobs'

June 25, 2010 4:24 am | by Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a tongue-in-cheek call for immigration reform, farm workers are teaming up with comedian Stephen Colbert in a challenge to unemployed Americans: Come on, take our jobs. Farm workers are tired of being blamed by politicians and anti-immigrant activists for taking work that should go to Americans and dragging down the economy, said Arturo Rodriguez, the president of the United Farm Workers of America.

Whirlpool's Evansville Plant Closes, Heads To Mexico

June 25, 2010 4:23 am

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The Whirlpool Corp. plant in Evansville that has been the site of protests over its closure is producing its final refrigerators. The plant's production line is shutting down Friday, meaning the loss of some 600 jobs. About 450 other workers were laid off in March when Whirlpool ended its second production shift.


Boeing's 787 Fleet Grounded By Poor Workmanship

June 25, 2010 4:21 am

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. says it inspecting all of its 787 jets because after finding that some have improperly installed parts in a section of the tail. In a statement late Thursday Boeing says it had "identified a workmanship issue" with the horizontal tail, also called a stabilizer. Shims and fasteners weren't installed correctly, the aircraft maker said.


Survey Shows CEOs Plan To Boost Payrolls

June 23, 2010 5:29 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of CEOs planning to ramp up hiring is at the highest level since mid-2007, according to a survey that suggests big U.S. companies are growing more confident about the economic recovery. The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of big U.S. companies, said Wednesday its survey shows 39 percent of chief executives expect to boost their payrolls in the second half of 2010.

Rigger Stands Trial Following Deadly Crane Collapse

June 23, 2010 4:54 am | by Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — A reckless rigger's safety shortcuts caused a crane collapse that killed seven people, a prosecutor said as the rigger's manslaughter trial began Tuesday. His lawyer said the rigger was being unfairly blamed for bad decisions that set up a vulnerable tower of metal. William Rapetti wiped tears from his face as the prosecutor recounted the March 2008 disaster, one of the nation's deadliest crane accidents, in a Manhattan courtroom crowded with relatives and lawyers representing those killed and hurt.

Slaughterhouse Exec Gets 27 Years For Fraud

June 23, 2010 4:51 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press Writer

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa kosher slaughterhouse executive was sentenced Tuesday to 27 years in prison for financial fraud, a sentence legal experts called severe but not necessarily surprising as judges take tough stances on white-collar crime. Sholom Rubashkin, a former vice president of Agriprocessors Inc.



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