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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

UAW, VW Meet On Representing TN Workers

September 3, 2013 2:32 pm | by The Associated Press

A German newspaper says United Auto Workers union officials met last week with Volkswagen to discuss representing workers at VW's Chattanooga, Tenn., plant. The Handelsblatt business daily says UAW President Bob King and five other officials were at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to meet with the employee relations chief.

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Microsoft Takeover Of Nokia Fans Fears In Finland

September 3, 2013 2:30 pm | by Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press

Nokia, the former star of the cellphone world, has seen its light further dimmed by the news Tuesday that Microsoft Corp. was acquiring its handset operations. "This is naturally a big day of change in Finland's industrial history," Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen told reporters in Helsinki Tuesday after Microsoft's 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion) deal was announced.

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Self-Driving Cars Could Be On U.S. Roads By 2020

September 3, 2013 2:29 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

Cars that drive themselves could be on U.S. roads by the end of this decade. But don't take your foot off the pedal just yet. Automakers, universities and others are at various stages in the development of autonomous cars. Google is testing some in California. 

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Toyota To Invest $90M In WV Plant

September 3, 2013 2:26 pm | by The Associated Press

Toyota Motor Corp. is investing $90 million in its Buffalo, W.Va. manufacturing plant. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Friday the automaker's investment will create about 80 jobs. Tomblin says Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia Inc. plans to increase production of 6-speed automatic transmissions by 20,000 per month by early 2015.

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Renault Wants To Eliminate COO Position

September 3, 2013 2:24 pm | by The Associated Press

French carmaker Renault is proposing a reorganization of its management structure to eliminate the position of chief operating officer after the person who held the post suddenly stepped down. Renault said it would instead add two new posts: chief competitive officer, who would be in charge of the product range, and chief performance officer, who would focus on market share and profitability. 

U.S. Probes Nissan Pathfinder Fluid Leak

September 3, 2013 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press

U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that transmission cooler lines can leak fluid in some 2013 Nissan Pathfinders and Infiniti JX models, leading to a sudden loss of transmission power. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received reports of problems from five owners of Pathfinders. No injuries have been reported. The probe covers an estimated 110,000 cars.

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FabEnCo Awards First LIFE Scholarship

September 3, 2013 1:19 pm | by FabEnCo

FabEnCo, Inc., a leading manufacturer of self-closing safety gates, announced today that Walter Smith from Southeastern Oklahoma State University was the first recipient of the FabEnCo “LaCook Investment for Excellence” (LIFE) in Occupational Safety & Health Scholarship. Walter received his award during ASSE’s 120th Annual Conference & Exposition held in Atlanta, Georgia, in June.

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Hackers Find Weaknesses In Car Computer Systems

September 3, 2013 10:21 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

As cars become more like PCs on wheels, what's to stop a hacker from taking over yours? Hackers have shown they can slam a car's brakes at freeway speeds, jerk the steering wheel and even shut down the engine — all from their laptop computers.

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NH's New Law Protecting Auto Dealers Is Challenged

September 3, 2013 10:19 am | by Rik Stevens, Associated Press

Farm and heavy equipment manufacturers including John Deere have sued to block a new law that gives New Hampshire auto dealers new protections in their contracts with them. The companies say the so-called Auto Dealers Bill of Rights, which takes effect Sept. 23, improperly lumps them in with automakers.

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Toyota To Boost U.S. Transmission Production

September 3, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press

Toyota said Friday that it will spend $102 million to increase U.S. production of transmissions. The company said that it will boost its automatic-transmission assembly and machining capacity at its Buffalo, W. Va., plant, as well the capacity at its powertrain plant and Bodine Aluminum casting facilities in Missouri and Tennessee.

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Ammonia Leak Kills 15 People In Shanghai

September 3, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press

At least 15 people were killed Saturday after liquid ammonia leaked from a refrigeration unit at a cold storage plant in China's financial hub of Shanghai, the local government said. Twenty-five people were injured in the accident, which happened at a plant in the Baoshan district of the east coast city, the Shanghai government Information Office said. Five of the injured were in serious condition.

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Nordex To Repay $2.5M To AR After Layoffs

September 3, 2013 10:13 am | by The Associated Press

Nordex USA Inc. is repaying more than $2.5 million it received in incentives after announcing it would halt production on its wind turbine plant in Jonesboro and lay off 40 workers. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission announced Friday that the company would repay $2.31 million to the state and $204,814 to Jonesboro that it had received for the wind turbine plant. 

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Ford Recalls 370,000 Cars

September 3, 2013 10:11 am | by The Associated Press

Ford is recalling 370,000 cars due to potential corrosion to their steering shaft that may result in loss of steering. No incidents or injuries have been reported. The cars include 2005 to 2011 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Cars. About 355,000 are in the U.S. and 15,000 in Canada.

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Wes Pringle Named President Of Fluke Corporation

August 29, 2013 3:02 pm | by Fluke Corporation

Wes Pringle has been named President of Fluke Corporation. Pringle, who has been serving as President of Fluke Industrial, is now responsible for all Fluke global businesses, including Fluke Calibration, Fluke Biomedical and Fluke Automation. Pringle succeeds Barbara Hulit, Fluke President since 2004.

Americans Love Driving Less

August 29, 2013 2:34 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press

Driving in America has stalled, leading researchers to ask: Is the national love affair with the automobile over? After rising for decades, total vehicle use in the U.S. — the collective miles people drive — peaked in August 2007. It then dropped sharply during the Great Recession and has largely plateaued since.

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Report Outlines 'Lost Decade' For NY Workers

August 29, 2013 2:32 pm | by Michael Virtanen, Associated Press

A new report on New York's economy calls the last 10 years a "lost decade" for typical workers, with median wages dropping almost 7 percent for men and about 1 percent for women. The Fiscal Policy Institute said the recovery from the Great Recession shows more underemployment despite the state restoring overall jobs lost in the downturn.

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MD Police Raid Turns Up Fake Apple Products

August 29, 2013 2:30 pm | by The Associated Press

Maryland State Police say raids at Arundel Mills Mall turned up hundreds of counterfeit Apple products for sale at a store and kiosk. Police say troopers served search warrants at the Cyberion store and the ST Tech Pros kiosk last week and found hundreds of counterfeit Apple Inc. products being sold as authentic factory replacements. 

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WestJet Plans To Buy 65 737 Max From Boeing

August 29, 2013 2:28 pm | by The Associated Press

Canadian airline WestJet plans to buy 65 of the new fuel-efficient 737 Max aircraft from Boeing as it looks to modernize its fleet. Boeing said Thursday that the pending order is valued at $6.3 billion at current list prices.

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U.S. Sugar Producers Receive Good News

August 29, 2013 2:24 pm | by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press

Questions about low sugar prices, dry growing conditions, discolored product and a bloated North American market due in large part to Mexican exports had American Crystal Sugar Co. officials reeling in recent weeks. But CEO David Berg told employees about plans by Mexico's soft drink industry to buy more of its own cane sugar so less of it will be sold elsewhere, an issue that has frustrated U.S. executives.

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Report: 38,600 Clean Energy Jobs Announced In Q2

August 29, 2013 2:18 pm | by E2

Companies and communities across the United States announced at least 58 clean energy and clean transportation projects in the second quarter of 2013 that could create as many as 38,600 jobs, according to a report released by the nonprofit business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

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