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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Anderson Tissue Plant To Add About 200 Jobs

September 27, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press

A tissue make in Anderson is working on an expansion that is expected to add at least 200 jobs. First Quality Enterprises is clearing land at its plant for a third tissue-making machine, the Anderson Independent-Mail reported. Anderson County economic development authorities said they could not talk about the company's plans.

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Japan Car Parts Makers In Price-Fixing Plea

September 26, 2013 2:29 pm | by Pete Yost, Associated Press

Nine Japanese auto parts manufacturers and two of their executives will plead guilty and pay $740 million in criminal fines for conspiring to fix the prices of more than 30 products sold to many of the world's largest automakers operating in the U.S., the Justice Department announced Thursday.

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U.S. Unemployment Aid Applications Near 6-Year Low

September 26, 2013 2:27 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 305,000, the second-lowest level in six years. Steady declines in applications show that very few companies are laying off workers. The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average declined 7,000 to 308,000, the lowest since June 2007.

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Gov't Sells More GM Shares, Cuts Stake To 7 Percent

September 26, 2013 2:25 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

The U.S. government is starting another phase of selling off its General Motors stock after cutting its stake in the automaker to just over 7 percent. The Treasury Department says it still owns 101.3 million GM shares. It got 912 million shares, a 60.8 percent stake in the company, in exchange for a $49.5 billion bailout of GM in 2009.

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Nissan Recalls 908,900 Vehicles For Sensor Problem

September 26, 2013 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press

Nissan Motor Co. recalled 908,900 vehicles around the world Thursday for defective accelerator sensors that could cause the engine to stall. The recall affects the Serena minivan, Infiniti M luxury model, X-trail sport utility vehicle and other models, the automaker said. No accidents have been reported related to the problem.

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Shell Abandons Western Slope Oil-Shale Project

September 26, 2013 2:21 pm | by The Associated Press

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has become the latest company to abandon efforts to turn Western Slope oil-shale into oil, joining a long line of companies in a boom and bust cycle in the region. The company said energy markets have changed since the project started in 1982, and the company no longer wants to continue efforts to turn oily shale rock into liquid by heating the rock and pumping out the oil.

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Toyota To Export Corollas To Latin America In 2014

September 26, 2013 2:19 pm | by The Associated Press

Toyota says it will begin sending U.S.-built Corolla sedans to 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean starting next year. The world's biggest car maker said Thursday that production of the U.S.-built vehicles is set to start at its Tupelo, Miss., plant in April 2014. 

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U.S. Study Puts iPhone 5S Production Costs At $191

September 25, 2013 2:34 pm | by The Associated Press

While the iPhone 5S includes a handful of new features that set it apart from Apple's previous model, the actual cost to make the phone hasn't changed very much, according to a new study. An IHS Inc. teardown of the new smartphone found that the components that make up a 16-gigabyte iPhone 5S cost $190.70. Manufacturing costs add another $8, bringing the total production cost to $198.70.

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IN Industrial Space In High Demand

September 25, 2013 2:30 pm | by Joseph S. Pete, The Times

The amount of vacant space in northwestern Indiana warehouses, factories and business parks has sunk to the lowest level in more than two decades. The region's industrial vacancy rate has fallen to 7.24 percent, one of the lowest rates that market has seen, according to a commercial real estate organization. The rate has been steadily dropping from its peak of 12.1 percent at the end of 2009.

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GM's $4.5B In Notes Will Cut High-Interest Debt

September 25, 2013 2:28 pm | by The Associated Press

General Motors will sell $4.5 billion in bonds to reduce debts owed to union-run trusts that pay health care bills for the company's U.S. and Canadian retirees. The company said Tuesday that it will spend $3.2 billion from the bond sale to buy 120 million shares of GM preferred stock from a U.S. trust that provides health care to retired members of the United Auto Workers union.

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Delivery Of First China Jetliner Delayed Again

September 25, 2013 2:26 pm | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press

The delivery date of China's long-delayed first commercial jet airliner has been pushed back again, the manufacturer said Wednesday, the latest setback for China's ambitions to challenge market leaders Boeing and Airbus. Originally promised for 2007, the plane was most recently expected late this year, but Comac Chairman Jin Zhuanglong said it will now be ready in mid-2014.

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Nation's Largest Wind Farm Proposed For TX

September 25, 2013 2:24 pm | by The Associated Press

A Dallas-based wind-power developer has proposed an array of as many as 650 wind turbines for 190 square miles of the Texas South Plains. Tri Global Energy LLC announced plans for Hale Community Energy on Tuesday. The vast wind farm would extend from Abernathy over much of eastern Hale County on land Tri Global says is controlled by more than 340 owners and has more than 450 shareholders.

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Expansion Planned For Window Film Plant In VA

September 25, 2013 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press

Eastman Chemical Co. plans to invest $40 million over the next three years to expand its manufacturing operation in Henry County, creating 25 jobs. Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the planned expansion on Wednesday. The facility acquired by Eastman last year manufactures window films for the automotive and architectural markets and employs about 500 people.

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Orders For Long-Lasting Factory Goods Up Slightly

September 25, 2013 10:15 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

Companies placed slightly more orders in August for U.S. long-lasting manufactured goods, stepping up demand for cars, trucks and machinery. Even with the gain, business spending on factory goods may not be strong enough to accelerate economic growth in the July-September quarter.

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Bangladesh Factories Shut Amid Workers' Protests

September 25, 2013 10:13 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press

Police in Bangladesh used batons, rubber bullets and tear gas Wednesday to stop ongoing protests by garment workers demanding higher wages, while factory owners feared they may miss shipments to the United States and Europe. The fifth day of protests in two industrial districts near Dhaka, the capital, forced authorities to close more than 100 factories for the day, police and news reports said.

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Shell Considering $12.5B Plant In Ascension Parish

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

Shell Oil Co. announced Tuesday that it has settled on Ascension Parish to possibly build a $12.5 billion natural gas to liquids plant that would create 740 direct jobs. No final decision has been made on whether to construct the facility on a site near Sorrento, about 30 miles from Baton Rouge. The company says it will decide after engineering studies and environmental permitting are done.

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Nestle Adding Production Line At IN Plant

September 25, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press

Nestle USA says it will spend $72 million to add a new production line to the central Indiana plant where it makes several beverage products. The expansion project will start up a seventh production line at the factory along Interstate 69 in Anderson. The company says it will be making more of its Boost and Carnation Breakfast Essentials drinks at the plant. 

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Hastings Plant Cited For Several Safety Violations

September 25, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press

A federal agency is proposing nearly $133,000 in fines for a Hastings cold storage plant, alleging more than a dozen safety violations. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says in a news release that workers were exposed to anhydrous ammonia at the Nebraska Cold Storage Inc. plant.

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FTA To Strengthen 'Buy America' Program

September 25, 2013 9:59 am | by U.S. Department of Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration announced a new Interagency Agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NIST that will make it easier for manufacturers and transit agencies to identify domestically made products, such as steel and iron components that comply with FTA’s “Buy America” rules requiring that at least 60 percent of the components must be manufactured in the United States. 

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Google Pays $24.5M For Former Gatorade Plant

September 24, 2013 2:32 pm | by The Associated Press

Google Inc. paid $24.5 million for the former Gatorade plant in Pryor — a fraction of the $180 million spent on the facility when it opened five years ago, according to the commercial real estate firm handling the transaction. B Richard Ellis/Oklahoma confirmed the purchase price Monday to the Tulsa World.

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