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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Company Plans $1.5B Nitrogen Fertilizer Plant

May 10, 2013 10:18 am | by The Associated Press

State and local leaders in Grand Forks announced Thursday plans to build a new $1.5 billion nitrogen fertilizer production facility northwest of Grand Forks. Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown were joined by others in announcing that Northern Plains Nitrogen intended to build the new facility.

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Jury Finds 3 Guilty Of Weapons Plant Break-In

May 9, 2013 2:16 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

An 83-year-old nun and two fellow protesters were convicted Wednesday of interfering with national security when they broke into a nuclear weapons facility in Tennessee and defaced a uranium processing plant. It took a jury about 2 ½ hours to find the three protesters guilty of a charge of sabotaging the plant and second charge of damaging federal property in July the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge in July.

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Tesla Model S Gets Consumer Reports' Top Score

May 9, 2013 2:15 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

The Tesla Motors Inc. Model S electric car has tied an older Lexus for the highest score ever recorded in Consumer Reports magazine's automotive testing. The Model S, which starts at $62,400 after a federal tax credit, scored 99 points on a scale of 100 in the magazine's battery of tests.

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Van Maker Backed By Energy Dept. Shuts Down

May 9, 2013 2:13 pm | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press

A Michigan company that received a $50 million federal loan to make vans for the disabled has stopped production and laid off its 100 workers. Vehicle Production Group, or VPG, suspended operations in February after its finances dipped below a minimum level required as a condition of the federal loan.

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Japanese Auto Parts Maker To Add 200 NC Jobs

May 9, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press

A Japanese auto parts manufacturer plans to add more assembly lines and hire another 200 workers at an existing North Carolina factory by the end of 2016. Gov. Pat McCrory's office said Wednesday that ASMO North America's Greenville plant already employs more than 530 people who produce parts for front wipers and for radiator fan motors.

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Honeywell Closing York Plant, Idling Over 100

May 9, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press

Honeywell plans to close a plant in eastern Pennsylvania by the first quarter of next year, idling more than 100 workers. The Honeywell Process Solutions plant in York makes products used in the natural gas industry. The company specializes in energy efficiency products.

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U.S. Wholesale Stockpiles Up In March

May 9, 2013 2:09 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

Wholesale businesses stepped up their restocking of supplies in March, but their sales fell sharply. The Commerce Department said Thursday that stockpiles held by wholesalers rose 0.4 percent in March compared with February, when they had fallen 0.3 percent.

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Defendants: No Remorse For Weapons Plant Break-In

May 8, 2013 2:31 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

An 83-year-old nun and two other protesters accused of defacing a Tennessee nuclear weapons plant said Wednesday they have no remorse for their actions and were pleased to reach one of the most secure parts of the facility. Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed testified on their own behalf during their federal trial on charges related to the July intrusion at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.

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Two Hospitalized After Sandblasting Plant Explosion

May 8, 2013 2:28 pm | by The Associated Press

Two people are hospitalized in Tulsa after an explosion outside a sandblasting plant in Eufaula. McIntosh County Sheriff Kevin Ledbetter told reporters the two were injured in the blast at Ford Sandblasting in west Eufaula shortly after noon Tuesday. Officials say the two suffered burns in the blast but their names and conditions were not immediately released.

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Cyberattacks A Growing Irritant In U.S.-China Ties

May 8, 2013 2:27 pm | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press

A bill introduced in the Senate on Tuesday would require the president to block imports of products using stolen U.S. technology or made by companies implicated in computer theft. Washington's sudden focus on Chinese hacking comes after rising complaints from U.S. businesses about theft of trade secrets.

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China Reports Stronger April Trade Growth

May 8, 2013 2:25 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

China reported stronger April trade but analysts said export data were inflated and its shaky recovery might be weaker than it looks. Exports rose 14.7 percent over a year earlier, up from March's 10 percent growth, customs data showed Wednesday. Imports gained 16.8 percent, up from the previous month's 14.1 percent.

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Germany Plans Tighter Control Of Managers' Pay

May 8, 2013 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press

The German government plans to give companies' shareholders a greater say in setting managers' pay. The proposal follows a similar decision by voters in neighboring Switzerland this year and comes as Germany prepares for national elections.

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United To Resume 787 Flights May 20

May 8, 2013 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press

United Airlines expects to start flying its Boeing 787s again on May 20. The 787s had been grounded because of concerns about smoldering batteries, but they have been returning to the skies. Ethiopian Airlines was the first to fly a 787 again, on April 27.

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Greenlee Expands Professional Tool Specialist Program With New Trucks

May 8, 2013 11:06 am | by Greenlee

Greenlee continues to expand its Professional Tool Specialist program with the launch of three additional trucks and trailers. The new vehicles will allow Greenlee specialists to further provide value-added services to end users, such as tool demonstrations, joint sales calls, technical support, and safety presentations.

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Ferrari To Sell Fewer Cars To Boost Exclusivity

May 8, 2013 10:12 am | by The Associated Press

Ferrari says it will limit sales of its high-performance street cars this year to below 7,000 units to protect the brand's aura of exclusivity. Chairman Luca Montezemolo says that means sales will decline overall by "more than 1 or 2 percent" from last year's sales of 7,318 cars. Sales in the first four months have risen 4 percent over last year.

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Appeals Court Strikes Down Union Poster Rule

May 8, 2013 10:11 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

In another blow to the nation's dwindling labor unions, an appeals court struck down a federal rule that would have required millions of businesses to put up posters informing workers of their right to form a union. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the NLRB violated employers' free speech rights in in trying to force them to display the posters or face charges of committing an unfair labor practice.

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GM To Open Cadillac Plant In China

May 8, 2013 10:08 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

General Motors Co. confirms that it's building a new Cadillac factory in China. GM will start building the $1.3 billion plant next month in Shanghai's Jinqiao zone. It will produce 150,000 vehicles per year. The auto maker recently received regulatory approval for the new plant.

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Investigation Retraces Lines Of TX Plant Blast

May 8, 2013 10:07 am | by Nomaan Merchant, Associated Press

Almost a month into their review of the deadly blast at a Texas fertilizer plant, investigators are hoping to draw a picture from the air of how the plant looked before the explosion and compare it to the 93-foot-wide crater that's there now.

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Subaru Invests $400M In Indiana Plant

May 8, 2013 10:05 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

Subaru said Wednesday it is investing $400 million to expand its Indiana factory and will add 900 workers to build the Impreza small car there in 2016. The plant now employs about 3,600 people and builds the Legacy and Outback cars and the Tribeca SUV. It also builds the Camry midsize car under contract with Toyota Motor Corp., the top shareholder in Subaru with a 16.5 percent stake.

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Siemens Launches Job Training Program For U.S. Vets

May 8, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press

A job training initiative is being offered in the Detroit area to help military veterans with engineering and manufacturing backgrounds transition to the civilian workforce. Siemens Corp. says the program was launched by Siemens' product lifecycle management software business in 22 cities across the country.

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