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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Safety At Deadly China Plant 'Extremely Chaotic'

June 7, 2013 11:02 am | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press

China's workplace safety agency said negligence among factory managers and government inspectors caused "extremely chaotic" work-safety conditions at a poultry plant where a deadly fire killed 120 workers this week. Safety exits were blocked at the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Co. plant and managers neglected to hold required safety drills or worker education, State Administration of Work Safety head Yang Dongliang said.

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Arraignment Set In Kevlar Trade Secrets Case

June 7, 2013 11:02 am | by The Associated Press

Attorneys for a South Korean company accused of stealing the Kevlar body armor recipe from the DuPont Co. are due in federal court in Virginia. Kolon Industries will be arraigned Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Richmond. Kolon is charged in a six-count federal indictment with theft of trade secrets, conspiracy to convert trade secrets and obstruction of justice.

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U.S. Employers Add 175K Jobs, Rate Up To 7.6 Percent

June 7, 2013 11:02 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in May, a gain that shows employers are hiring at a still-modest but steady pace despite government spending cuts and higher taxes. The unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in April, the Labor Department said Friday.

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GM CEO: Dividend, Share Buyback Possible

June 6, 2013 2:10 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson says the company's finances are sound enough to consider paying a dividend or even buying more stock from the U.S. government. The CEO, in comments after GM's annual meeting Thursday, also said the company first has to keep investing in new vehicles and equipment.

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Chrysler To Recall 630,000 SUVs Worldwide

June 6, 2013 2:09 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

Just two days after refusing a government request to recall 2.7 million older-model Jeeps, Chrysler has decided to do two other recalls totaling 630,000 vehicles worldwide. The automaker will recall more than 409,000 Jeep Patriot and Compass small SUVs across the globe from the 2010 and 2012 model years to fix air bag and seat-belt problems.

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Toyota To Exempt Workers With Young Kids From Nightshifts

June 6, 2013 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press

Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to exempt factory workers with preschool-age children from working nightshifts to support childcare, starting in September, sources familiar with the matter have said. The measure has already been introduced for some Toyota plant workers on a trial bases, kicking off October last year.

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Lenovo Marks First U.S. Manufacturing Plant

June 6, 2013 2:05 pm | by Emery P. Dalesio, AP Business Writer

Three business reasons — quicker, closer and custom — prompted computer maker Lenovo Group to open its first U.S. manufacturing operation in North Carolina instead of low-cost foreign locations like Mexico or China, its North American president said.

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Feds: Engineer Tried To Steal Firm's Trade Secrets

June 6, 2013 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press

Federal authorities say a Mahwah man was planning to go to India with a New Jersey company's stolen trade secrets for self-administered disposable pens. U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced Wednesday that 36-year-old Ketan Maniar, an Indian national, was charged with stealing trade secrets for his own economic benefit from a worldwide medical technology company headquartered in Franklin Lakes.

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U.S. Officials To Meet Over Cellphone Thefts

June 6, 2013 2:01 pm | by Terry Collins, Associated Press

Top law enforcement officials from San Francisco and New York plan to meet with some of the largest U.S. smartphone makers next week to help thwart the rise in cellphone thefts and robberies. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday that their meeting scheduled to take place in New York City on June 13 will be dubbed a "Smartphone Summit."

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Union Backers Protest OH Right-To-Work Bill

June 5, 2013 2:21 pm | by The Associated Press

Labor backers are making clear their opposition to a pair of bills aiming to strip Ohio unions of their power to compel membership and automatically collect dues. Hundreds showed up Tuesday at the Ohio Statehouse, where the first — and probably the last — hearing was being held on right-to-work legislation proposed by Republican state Reps. Kristina Roegner and Ron Maag.

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UT Study Shows Economic Impact Of VW Plant

June 5, 2013 2:20 pm | by The Associated Press

A research study by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville shows Volkswagen's assembly plant in Chattanooga is responsible for more than $643 million in annual income. The study also estimates that the plant increases state and local tax revenue by $53.5 million annually.

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ITC Rules For Samsung, Bans iPhone 4 Imports

June 5, 2013 2:19 pm | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

A U.S. trade agency on Tuesday issued a ban on imports of Apple's iPhone 4 and a variant of the iPad 2 after finding the devices violate a patent held by South Korean rival Samsung Electronics. Because the devices are assembled in China, the import ban would end Apple's ability to sell them in the U.S.

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U.S. Factory Orders Up 1 Percent In April

June 5, 2013 2:17 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

Orders to U.S. factories rose modestly in April as manufacturers rebounded from a weak March performance. Factory orders rose 1 percent in April compared with March when orders had dropped a sharp 4.7 percent, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The big swing reflected volatility in commercial aircraft orders, which were down sharply in March but surged 53.3 percent in April.

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GOP Senate Hopeful Calls For Corporate Tax Break

June 5, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez pressed for a cut in the corporate tax rate after a tour of textile-maker Polartec. The company has rebounded from a massive fire in 1995 that destroyed the plant, and two subsequent bankruptcies. It now faces new challenges brought on by the decline in defense-related business resulting from the winding down of foreign wars and the automatic federal budget cuts that went into effect in March.

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Toyota's IN Plant Adding Jobs

June 5, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press

Toyota says it is hiring slightly more new workers than first expected as it increases production at its southwestern Indiana factory. The automaker announced last year that it would add about 400 employees to the Princeton factory's workforce so it could build 50,000 more Highlander SUVs a year.

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Bosch Rexroth Receives 2013 “Jobs First” Governor’s ImPAct Award

June 5, 2013 11:53 am

Bosch Rexroth Corporation, which has a manufacturing campus in Bethlehem, PA, was honored with the Jobs First Award for the Lehigh Valley region for its job growth, commitment to sustainable business operations and for its collaboration efforts within its community.

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Apple Poised For Silicon Valley Hiring Spree

June 5, 2013 10:05 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

Apple expects to expand its Silicon Valley workforce by nearly 50 percent during the next three years, signaling the company's faith in its ability to keep coming up with hit products like the iPhone and iPad. The projections detailed in a report released Tuesday envision Apple hiring 7,400 more workers at its Cupertino, California, headquarters between now and the planned completion of a new office complex in 2016.

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Italy Appoints Administrator For Troubled Plant

June 5, 2013 10:03 am | by The Associated Press

The Italian government on Tuesday appointed a turnaround expert as administrator to oversee Europe's largest steel mill as part of an emergency decree to safeguard jobs while pushing ahead with an environmental cleanup at the plant linked to elevated cancer rates in the area.

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Eurozone Recovery Proves Elusive

June 5, 2013 10:01 am | by Pan Pylas, Associated Press

Several economic figures for the 17 EU countries that use the euro all showed the same thing Wednesday — there's no sign of a recovery from recession. Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, confirmed that the eurozone's economy as a whole shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter of the year from the previous three-month period, with most sectors declining.

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Study IDs Possible New WY Rare Earths Sources

June 5, 2013 10:00 am | by Mead Gruver, Associated Press

A new study by the Wyoming State Geological Survey has identified dozens of possible sources of rare earth metals in Wyoming in addition to deposits in the Bear Lodge Mountains that a company already has targeted for mining. State geologists gathered and analyzed 335 rock samples from around Wyoming over the past year, making use of $200,000 appropriated by the Legislature.

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