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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Prosecutor: Greed Led To Deadly NH Plant Explosion

September 30, 2013 2:22 pm | by Lynne Tuohy, Associated Press

The owner of a New Hampshire gunpowder plant where two workers were killed in a May 2010 explosion was motivated by profit and greed and did not take adequate precautions to ensure employee safety, a prosecutor said in his opening argument as the trial began Monday for the Vermont man authorities blame for the fatal blast.

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Judge Hears Claims BP Lied To U.S. About Oil Spill

September 30, 2013 2:20 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

A trial over BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resumed Monday with a judge hearing claims that the company lied to federal officials and withheld information about the amount of crude spewing from its blown-out well. The focus of this second phase of the trial is on the company's response to the disaster, and billions of dollars are at stake because the two sides disagree over how much oil spewed into the Gulf in 2010.

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Global Study: World Not Ready For Aging Population

September 30, 2013 2:17 pm | by Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press

The world is aging so fast that most countries are not prepared to support their swelling numbers of elderly people, according to a global study going out Tuesday by the United Nations and an elder rights group. The report ranks the social and economic well-being of elders in 91 countries, with Sweden coming out on top and Afghanistan at the bottom.

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Mazda To Recall About 200,000 Mazda6 Cars

September 30, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press

Mazda Motor Corp. has issued a recall on 198,671 units of the Mazda6 car produced between February 2008 and this August in the United States for potentially defective latches that could allow a door to open while the car is in motion, a Mazda official said.

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Workmanship Blamed For 2011 Tear In 737's Roof

September 30, 2013 10:32 am | by Gene Johnson, Associated Press

A National Transportation Safety Board report blames shoddy workmanship for an in-flight tear in the roof of a Southwest Airlines plane in 2011. The Boeing 737-300 was en route from Phoenix to Sacramento, Calif., on April 1, 2011, when a 5-foot-long gash opened in the fuselage.

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Union Approves Contract Extension At Oshkosh Corp.

September 30, 2013 10:30 am | by The Associated Press

Union workers at Oshkosh Corp. have given the company what it says it needs to make a competitive bid on a military contract worth billions of dollars. United Auto Workers Local 578 voted Sunday to extend the contract five years after it expires in 2016. The extension protects more than 2,500 jobs at the Fox Valley's largest manufacturer.

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Trial Set For VT Owner Of NH Gunpowder Plant

September 30, 2013 10:27 am | by Lynne Tuohy, Associated Press

The owner of a New Hampshire gun powder plant where two workers died in a 2010 explosion will argue in court that he cannot be guilty of manslaughter and negligent homicide because he was at a gun show in North Carolina when the fatal explosion occurred. The trial of 64-year-old Craig Sanborn, of Maidstone, Vt., starts Monday in Coos Superior Court in Lancaster.

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Photo Of The Day: Car Buffs And Vintage Chevys

September 30, 2013 10:25 am | by Grant Schulte, Associated Press

A handful of barely driven vintage Chevrolets fetched more than half a million dollars on Saturday at an auction that drew thousands of car buffs from around the world to a small northeast Nebraska town. Bidders and gawkers crowded shoulder-to-shoulder for the auction in a muddy field just west of Pierce, a town of about 1,800. 

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Texas Lockheed Plant Awarded $3.4B Contract

September 30, 2013 10:23 am | by The Associated Press

The Department of Defense has awarded a $3.4 billion contract to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in North Texas to build fighter planes for the U.S. military and also foreign services. Under the terms of the contract, the Lockheed plant in Fort Worth will expand its manufacturing of various models of the F-35 fighter plane.

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China Manufacturing Growth Slower Than Expected

September 30, 2013 10:22 am | by The Associated Press

Chinese manufacturing activity ticked up more slowly than expected in September. A survey by HSBC Corp. released Monday showed that manufacturing activity in the world's No. 2 economy expanded slightly this month, rising to 50.2 from August's 50.1. The index uses a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 indicate contraction.

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NAMII To Host A MFG Day Open House

September 27, 2013 3:14 pm | by NAMII

NAMII, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), proudly announces that to commemorate national Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) observed on October 4th, it is holding a Public Open House on the evening of Thursday, October 3rd. The public is welcome to this free special event and encouraged to attend, but registration is required.

Toyota Recalls 615,000 Sienna Minivans

September 27, 2013 2:57 pm | by The Associated Press

Toyota is recalling 615,000 Sienna minivans in the U.S. because they can inadvertently shift out of park and roll away. The recall involves Siennas from the 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 models years. Toyota said Thursday that the shift locking device can potentially be damaged.

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Toyota Exec: Pent-Up Demand For New Cars Will End

September 27, 2013 2:17 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

The boom in sales of new cars in the U.S. has been fueled by consumers replacing vehicles they kept through the recession. But a top auto industry executive says that the pent-up demand likely will be satisfied by late next year. Jim Lentz, Toyota's North American CEO, said demand for new cars from owners of older models could dry up sometime late in 2014. 

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Justice Department Spent Nearly $5M On Drones

September 27, 2013 2:15 pm | by Pete Yost, Associated Press

The FBI has been using drones to support its law enforcement operations since 2006 and has spent more than $3M on the unmanned aircraft, the Justice Department's internal watchdog said. The disclosure came in a new report by the Justice Department's inspector general, Michael Horowitz, who revealed that the department also has awarded $1.26M to at least seven local police departments and nonprofit organization for drones.

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Iconic Detroit Plant Could Be Sold For $21,000

September 27, 2013 2:12 pm | by The Associated Press

A former car plant that's a symbol of Detroit's industrial decline could be sold for as little as $21,000 after failing to get bids in an initial public auction. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press report the property is to be listed as a package of 42 parcels during the second round of the Wayne County treasurer's tax foreclosure auction, which starts Oct. 8.

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BlackBerry Posts Loss, Steep Revenue Drop For 2Q

September 27, 2013 2:10 pm | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press

BlackBerry said Friday that it is committed to completing a series of major changes quickly after posting a nearly billion-dollar loss and a 45 percent drop in revenue for the second quarter. The troubled smartphone company reported a loss of $965 million and revenue of $1.6 billion, in line with what it warned when it surprised the market by releasing dismal earnings projections last week and announcing 4,500 layoffs.

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Vestas Gets Major Order

September 27, 2013 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press, Vestas

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems has announced its biggest order in three years. The company has a contract for a Texas wind energy project that will mean more work for Vestas' Colorado plants, including its wind tower plant south of Pueblo. Vestas said Duke Energy Renewables has placed an order for two projects in southern Texas.

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Old Dutch Plant In Montreal Set To Close

September 27, 2013 2:03 pm | by Old Dutch, potato, chips, Montreal, Canada, plant, close, jobs

A 49-year-old potato chip plant built by Humpty Dumpty and now owned by Old Dutch was set to close Friday — affecting 216 workers in the Montreal area. Its U.S.-based company announced in May the plant had "reached the end of its economic life" and would close after Old Dutch failed to get a $20-million to $25-million subsidy from the Quebec government to renovate the plant.

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7 Cars Get Top Rating In High-Tech Safety Test

September 27, 2013 10:14 am | by The Associated Press

Seven midsize vehicles earned the top rating in a new insurance industry test of high-tech safety features designed to prevent front-end collisions. The Cadillac ATS and SRX, Subaru Legacy and Outback, Mercedes C-Class and Volvo S60 and XC60 won "superior" ratings in tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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Ahead Of Talks, Feds Find Millions For Broke Detroit

September 27, 2013 10:11 am | by Corey Williams, Associated Press

The federal fingerprint in efforts to fix Detroit is growing larger as the Obama administration has found millions of dollars in grant money to help the bankrupt city hire more police and firefighters, and clear out blighted neighborhoods. But considering the Motor City is at least $18B in debt, it will take a far larger infusion of cash or historic deals with bond holders, insurance companies and other creditors to correct the problem.

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