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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Regulators Probe Ford Truck Steering Issue

May 13, 2013 2:25 pm | by The Associated Press

U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that problems with steering-gear boxes are causing a loss of control in some Ford trucks. The probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers an estimated 340,000 F250 and F350 Super Duty Trucks from the 2008 model year.


Drug Manufacturer Agrees To $500M Penalty

May 13, 2013 2:23 pm | by Eric Tucker, Associated Press

A subsidiary of an Indian pharmaceutical company has agreed to pay $500 million in ines and civil penalties for selling adulterated drugs and lying about tests to federal regulators, the Justice Department said Monday. The guilty plea by Ranbaxy USA Inc. represents the largest financial penalty by a generic drug company for violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which prohibits the sale of impure drugs, prosecutors said.


Leaving Bangladesh? Not An Easy Choice For Brands

May 13, 2013 2:18 pm | by Anne D'Innocenzio, Jonathan Fahey, AP Business Writers

Bangladesh offers the global garment industry something unique: Millions of workers who quickly churn out huge amounts of well-made underwear, jeans and T-shirts for the lowest wages in the world. But since a building collapse April 24 killed at least 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh in one of the deadliest industrial tragedies in history, the country has gone from one of the industry's greatest assets to one of its biggest liabilities.


March U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Up

May 13, 2013 1:34 pm

March U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $507.91 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was up 30.4 percent from February and up 3.2 percent when compared with the total of $491.96 million reported for March 2012. With a year-to-date total of $1,278.05 million, 2013 is down 5.0 percent compared with 2012.


AP: Cars Made In Brazil Are Deadly

May 13, 2013 10:08 am | by Bradley Brooks, Associated Press

The culprits are the cars themselves, produced with weaker welds, scant safety features and inferior materials compared to similar models manufactured for U.S. and European consumers, say experts and engineers inside the industry. Four of Brazil's five bestselling cars failed their independent crash tests.


Chrysler Recalls Almost 470,000 Jeep SUVs

May 13, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press

Chrysler is recalling 469,000 Jeep SUVs worldwide because they can shift into neutral without warning on startup. The recall affects 2005 to 2010 Grand Cherokees and 2006 to 2010 Commanders. U.S. safety regulators say cracks in a circuit board can cause a faulty signal as the SUVs are being started. If the vehicles shift into neutral they can roll away.


Next Step: Signatures For AR Steel Plant

May 13, 2013 10:04 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer

Arkansas' chief economic development official expects construction on the proposed $1.1 billion Big River Steel plant near Osceola to begin by the fall — though a portion of its financing and final permissions from state regulators are still pending.


Bangladesh To Raise Pay For Garment Workers

May 13, 2013 10:03 am | by Farid Hossain, Associated Press

Bangladesh's government plans to raise the minimum wage for garment workers after the deaths of more than 1,100 people in the collapse of a factory building focused attention on the textile industry's dismal pay and hazardous working conditions.


Government Sells 58.4M Shares Of GM Stock

May 13, 2013 10:01 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

The government has sold another piece of its stake in General Motors Co. The Treasury Department said Friday in its April report to Congress that so far this year it has sold 58.4 million shares of GM stock and earned net proceeds of $1.6 billion.


Foreign Automakers Join Tokyo Motor Show

May 13, 2013 10:00 am | by The Associated Press

A total of 18 foreign automakers will participate in the Tokyo Motor Show starting in November, but the "Big Three" U.S. automakers will skip the event, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said. While General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC will be absent from the 43rd annual event for the third consecutive year, 17 European automakers, such as Volkswagen AG and BMW AG of Germany, will participate in the event.


Texas Launches Criminal Probe Into Plant Explosion

May 10, 2013 2:04 pm | by Angela K. Brown, Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press

Texas law enforcement officials on Friday launched a criminal investigation into the massive fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people last month, after weeks of largely treating the blast as an industrial accident. The announcement came the same day a paramedic who helped to evacuate residents the night of the explosion was arrested on a charge of possessing a destructive device.


All Nippon Airways To Add Boeing 787 Routes

May 10, 2013 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press

All Nippon Airways Co. is planning to start flying the Boeing 787 to Taipei and Shanghai in addition to three other cities abroad previously served by the U.S. manufacturer's advanced aircraft, after it resolves the battery issue and resumes services on June 1.


Williams Delays Gas Plant Addition

May 10, 2013 2:00 pm | by The Associated Press

Plans for a new addition to a gas processing plant in western Colorado are being pushed back, but officials say it has nothing to do with a leak of hydrocarbons recently discovered coming from a pipeline near the facility. A Williams spokesman told the Grand Junction Sentinel the expansion is being delayed until 2016 because of the decline in local drilling levels.


Homebuilders Can't Find Enough Qualified Workers

May 10, 2013 1:59 pm | by Alex Veiga, AP Real Estate Writer

U.S. builders and the subcontractors they depend on are struggling to hire fast enough to meet rising demand for new homes. Builders would be starting work on more homes — and contributing more to the economy — if they could fill more job openings. In the meantime, workers in the right locations with the right skills are commanding higher pay.


Deal: Dubai Company Plans To Build GA Plant

May 10, 2013 1:57 pm | by The Associated Press

Gov. Nathan Deal says a company based in Dubai plans to build a manufacturing plant in Murray County with the goal of creating 200 jobs over the next three years. Deal said Wednesday the expansion planned by Mattex "speaks to the continued revitalization of the floor covering industry in northwest Georgia."


Nissan Profit Up 46 Percent On Strong Sales

May 10, 2013 1:55 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

Nissan's fiscal fourth quarter profit jumped 46 percent on stronger sales and a favorable exchange rate that offset declines in China over a bitter territorial dispute. Nissan Motor Co. reported Friday a January-March profit of 110 billion yen ($1.1 billion), up from 75.3 billion yen the same period the previous year. Quarterly sales gained 6 percent to 2.87 trillion yen ($28.7 billion).


U.S. Officials Probe Corvette Headlamp Problem

May 10, 2013 10:26 am | by The Associated Press

U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that the low-beam headlights can go dark without warning on some Chevrolet Corvettes. The probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers more than 103,000 Corvettes from the 2005 through 2007 model years.


North Dakota Tops Nation In Rate Of Worker Deaths

May 10, 2013 10:25 am | by The Associated Press

North Dakota has the highest rate of worker deaths in the nation, due in large part to the oil boom in the western part of the state in recent years, according to a new report from the AFL-CIO. There were 44 worker deaths in North Dakota in 2011, for a rate of 12.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.


Wearable Robots Getting Lighter, More Portable

May 10, 2013 10:23 am | by Carla K. Johnson, AP Medical Writer

The technology has many nicknames. Besides "wearable robot," the inventions also are called "electronic legs" or "powered exoskeletons." This version, called Indego, is among several competing products being used and tested in U.S. rehab hospitals that hold promise for people recovering from strokes or afflicted with multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.


Ford Shareholders Reject Stock Proposal

May 10, 2013 10:21 am | by The Associated Press

Ford Motor Co. shareholders are again rejecting a proposal to dilute the Ford family's control over the company. At its annual meeting in Wilmington Thursday, Ford said 67 percent of shareholders voted against the proposal to make each Ford share worth one vote.



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