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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. High Court To Look At Daimler Appeal

April 23, 2013 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press

The Supreme Court says it will hear an appeal from automaker Daimler AG that seeks to shut down a U.S. lawsuit over allegations that its unit in Argentina played a role in that country's 'dirty war" in the 1970s. The justices said Monday they will review a federal appeals court ruling that allowed a lawsuit filed by 22 Argentines in California to proceed.


4Sight Signs Strategic Technology Agreement With Panama Government

April 23, 2013 11:36 am | by 4Sight Technologies

Through an agreement with The National Authority for Government Innovation, 4Sight will help the Government of Panama continue its mission to achieve technological excellence by improving interoperability of systems, optimizing processes, advancing quality control and continuous improvement, and facilitating Business Intelligence.


Energy Dept. Seizes $21M From Electric Car Maker

April 23, 2013 10:30 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press

The Obama administration has seized $21 million from troubled automaker Fisker Automotive Inc. just weeks after the company laid off three-fourths of its workers amid continuing financial and production problems. Fisker had received $192 million in federal loans before a series of problems led U.S. officials to freeze the loan in 2011.


NTSB Probes Safety Testing Of Boeing 787 Batteries

April 23, 2013 10:28 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press

As airlines prepare to resume flying Boeing's beleaguered 787 Dreamliners, federal investigators looked Tuesday at how regulators and the company tested and approved the plane's cutting-edge battery system, and whether the government cedes too much safety-testing authority to aircraft makers.


Survey: China Manufacturing Weakening

April 23, 2013 10:22 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

China's manufacturing growth decelerated this month, a survey showed Monday, adding to questions about the strength of the recovery in the world's second largest economy. HSBC Corp. said Tuesday the preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers index declined to 50.5 from March's 51.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 represent an expansion.


FL Gov. Making Strong Push For Tax Break

April 23, 2013 10:20 am | by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is making personal pitches to lawmakers in pushing for a late breakthrough to exempt manufacturers from paying sales taxes on equipment purchases, one of his legislative priorities this year. The governor is meeting with lawmakers to pitch his idea of boosting Florida's manufacturing sector by giving manufacturers a blanket exemption from paying a 6 percent sales tax on equipment purchases, allies said.


Kalamazoo's Bell's Brewery Plans MI Plant

April 23, 2013 10:18 am | by The Associated Press

Bells Brewery Inc. is seeking the Escanaba City Council's approval Thursday to buy property and build a manufacturing plant in the Upper Peninsula city. reports that the Kalamazoo-based beer-maker on Friday offered $35,000 for 3.15 acres in the Whitetail Industrial Park. Bell's offer says it will build the plant within 18 months and says it will employ five people.


Isuzu To Sell Remaining Stake In Poland Unit To GM

April 23, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press

Isuzu Motors Ltd. said Tuesday it will sell the remaining 40 percent stake in its plant-operating affiliate in Poland to General Motors Co. by the end of April. The U.S. automobile giant will raise its stake in Isuzu Motors Polska Sp. z.o.o. (ISPOL) to 100 percent from the current 60 percent it acquired from the Japanese truck maker in 2002. Financial terms were not disclosed.


American Crane Completes Engineering Addition, Begins Construction Of Manufacturing Building

April 22, 2013 5:24 pm | by American Crane & Equipment Corporation

American Crane & Equipment Corporation, a manufacturer of overhead electric cranes and hoists, has completed phase one of its two phase expansion, financed by PNC Bank with engineering provided by Boyer Engineering. The first phase of construction includes a 2,500 square foot engineering addition with 11 cubicles and 3 offices.

Clear Automation Received Sales Award From FANUC Robotics

April 22, 2013 4:37 pm | by Clear Automation

Clear Automation, a leading engineering integrator of robotic and machine vision systems, today announced it has received FANUC Robotics' award for Outstanding Sales Growth for 2012.Clear Automation has been an Authorized System Integrator of FANUC robots for 5 years.


Automakers Target Chinese Buyers At Auto Show

April 22, 2013 2:21 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

Global and Chinese automakers showcased family-friendly sedans and SUVs targeting coveted urban buyers at China's biggest auto show Saturday as competition intensifies in this huge but crowded market. China's vehicle sales rose 13 percent in March, blistering growth by Western standards but down from 45 percent in 2009.


Investors Who Stood By Boeing Reap Reward

April 22, 2013 2:17 pm | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

Investors who stood by Boeing during its 787 crisis have been rewarded. Some investors bailed out, spooked by the latest snag with a plane considered to be a key to Boeing's future. Others were confident that Boeing Co. would quickly fix the battery problem and raved about its long-term prospects.


MSC Completes Acquisition Of Barnes Group

April 22, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press

MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc. said Monday that it has completed its $550 million acquisition of the North American distribution business of Barnes Group Inc. MSC, which is based in Melville, N.Y., is a major distributor of metalworking and maintenance supplies to industrial customers. The company said the deal expands its service and product offerings for customers and establishes a significant presence in the Canadian market.


Court Denies Beechcraft Challenge Of Lost Contract

April 22, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press

Kansas airplane maker Beechcraft has lost a legal battle to halt work on a high-stakes Air Force contract awarded to rival Sierra Nevada Corp. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Friday denied Beechcraft's request for a temporary injunction. The contract for 20 planes for use in Afghanistan is worth more than $427 million. It could be worth as much as $1 billion, depending on future orders.


Haliburton Seeking Settlement Over Gulf Oil Spill

April 22, 2013 2:12 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 announced Monday that it is trying to negotiate a settlement over its role in the disaster, a focus of trial testimony that ended last week. Halliburton Chief Financial Officer Mark McCollum said during a conference call to discuss first-quarter earnings that talks were at an "advanced stage."


Canadian Company Plans SD Wind Tower Plant

April 22, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press

A Canada-based company plans to manufacture wind towers in a building it purchased in the eastern South Dakota city of Brandon. The Argus Leader reports that Marmen Inc. promotes itself as the largest wind tower manufacturer in North America. The company has said it plans to hire 200 people at the new plant.


Survey: U.S. Budget Tightening Not Hurting Business

April 22, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press

Washington's budget tightening is having a minimal effect on businesses, a survey of business economists released Monday shows. The National Association for Business Economics survey asks how higher taxes and lower government spending effected businesses in the first three months of 2013.


FAA Approves Resumption Of Boeing 787 Flights

April 22, 2013 10:13 am | by Joan Lowy, Joshua Freed, Associated Press

Boeing's beleaguered 787 could be flying again within a week after federal officials approved a fix for its batteries, even though the root cause of a fire on one plane and smoke on another still isn't known. The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it would send airlines instructions and publish a notice next week lifting the 3-month-old grounding order that day.


Safety Rules Limited For Small Fertilizer Plants

April 22, 2013 10:11 am | by Jack Gillum, Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press

There were no sprinklers. No firewalls. No water deluge systems. Safety inspections were rare at the fertilizer company in West, Texas, that exploded and killed at least 14 people this week. This is not unusual. Small fertilizer plants nationwide fall under the purview of several government agencies, each with a specific concern and none required to coordinate with others on what they have found.


Kobe Begins Mass Production At Expanded Plant

April 22, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press

Kobe Steel Ltd. said Monday it has begun mass production at its aluminum forging plant in Jiangsu Province, China, after completing expansions to double its output capacity and add melting and casting processes. Kobe Steel said the 4.5 billion yen expansion was driven by a growing demand for aluminum automotive suspensions due to rapid growth in the Chinese automobile manufacture industry and a trend toward lighter vehicles.



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