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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Alaska Asks ConocoPhillips To Reopen LNG Plant

September 18, 2013 9:52 am | by Dan Joling, Associated Press

The state of Alaska wants ConocoPhillips to reopen its mothballed Kenai Peninsula liquefied natural gas plant to provide an incentive for petroleum companies to explore and invest in Cook Inlet. In a letter to ConocoPhillips President Trond-Erik Johansen, acting Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash requested that the company apply for a three-year federal LNG export license for the plant at Nikiski.

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United Tech: Europe Improving, Military Parts Down

September 18, 2013 9:50 am | by Stephen Singer, AP Business Writer

Sharp cuts in U.S. military spare parts orders are hurting United Technologies Corp.'s helicopter maker, Sikorsky, the chief financial officer said Tuesday, although he was more optimistic about prospects in Europe. CFO Greg Hayes told investor analysts that automatic U.S. federal budget cuts beginning in March could take a bigger bite out of profit in 2014 than the company initially expected.

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Hartzell Air Movement Hires Operations Executive

September 17, 2013 4:44 pm | by Hartzell Air Movement

Hartzell Air Movement is pleased to announce that Neil Cordonnier has joined as Vice President of Operations. He will be focused on improvements in the operation using Six Sigma, lean techniques, and other process improvements. Prior to joining Hartzell, Neil worked as President of Ernst Metal Technologies.

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Business Leaders: It Makes Sense To Put Jobs In U.S.

September 17, 2013 2:23 pm | by Matt Gouras, Associated Press

Business leaders from Oracle Corp., Ford Motor Co. and The Boeing Co. said Tuesday their companies have found that it makes sense to bring jobs back to the United States — even to smaller cities in places such as Montana. Oracle President Safra Catz said her company has been centering its cloud computing division in the nearby mountain town of Bozeman.

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European Auto Sales Hit New Low

September 17, 2013 2:21 pm | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer

Car sales in Europe are still sagging despite the return of modest economic growth. For the first eight months of the year, passenger car sales in the European Union were off 5.2 percent to 7.84 million compared with the same period last year, the European Auto Manufacturers' Association said Tuesday. That's the lowest January-August figure since the group started keeping track in 1990.

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Survey: Sluggish Global Economic Recovery Ahead

September 17, 2013 2:20 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

A robust recovery for the global economy remains well out of reach. That's the view that emerges from a survey of economists just as the Federal Reserve is expected this week to reduce its stimulus for the U.S. economy. Europe has finally emerged from recession. Japan is growing after two decades of stagnation. And the United States is trudging ahead. 

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FDA Halts Drugs From Top Indian Drugmaker's Plant

September 17, 2013 2:18 pm | by Kay Johnson, Matthew Perrone, Associated Press

U.S. health regulators have placed a ban on imported drugs from a factory operated by India's largest pharmaceutical company, Ranbaxy Laboratories, due to manufacturing and quality control problems. The import alert, issued Friday by the Food and Drug Administration, effectively stops imports of 11 drugs from Ranbaxy's Mohali factory in Punjab province. 

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Layoffs Loom In MN Despite Boise Acquisition

September 17, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press

Dozens of layoffs are still expected at the Boise Inc. plant in International Falls, despite news the company is being acquired by Packaging Corp. of America. International Falls plant spokeswoman Lori Lyman tells WDIO-TV the acquisition doesn't change the loss of 265 local Boise jobs.

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Mattress Company To Relocate To MS, Hire 125

September 17, 2013 2:13 pm | by The Associated Press

A mattress maker will relocate its operations to a vacant facility near Tupelo, Miss., after lightning sparked a fire that destroyed its Double Springs, Ala., factory. Posturecraft Mattress Co. will open a plant in the former location of National Mattress Co. in Plantersville, with plans to hire 125 to 150 people, state Rep. Steve Holland says.

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GM Working On 200-Mile Electric Car, Exec Says

September 17, 2013 10:08 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

As automakers race to make cheaper electric cars with greater battery range, General Motors is working on one that can go 200 miles per charge at a cost of about $30,000, a top company executive said. Vice President of Global Product Development Doug Parks wouldn't say when or if such a car will be built, however.

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Benteler Steel/Tube Breaks Ground On New Plant

September 17, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press

Gov. Bobby Jindal and Benteler Steel/Tube marked the start of construction Monday with a groundbreaking on the company's new $975 million hot rolling seamless steel tube mill in Caddo Parish. The Paderborn, Germany-based company said the Louisiana site at the Caddo-Bossier Port was chosen from more than 100 possible locations due to its proximity to the North American oil and gas production market and the area's skilled workforce.

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Eiji Toyoda, Key Figure In Toyota's Rise, Dies

September 17, 2013 10:04 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

Eiji Toyoda, a member of Toyota's founding family who helped create the super-efficient "Toyota Way" production method, has died. He was 100. Toyoda, a cousin of the Japanese automaker's founder Kiichiro Toyoda, died Tuesday of heart failure at Toyota Memorial Hospital in Toyota city, central Japan, Toyota said in a statement.

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AFL-CIO Pushes For Waiver For IL Plants

September 17, 2013 10:00 am | by The Associated Press

A labor coalition wants Illinois' pollution control board to waive pollution controls at coal-fired plants being sold by Ameren Corp. The AFL-CIO is making its position known hours before the Illinois Pollution Control Board is set to meet in Springfield on Tuesday.

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Study: Methane Leaks From Gas Drilling Not Huge

September 17, 2013 9:59 am | by Kevin Begos, Seth Borenstein, Associated Press

Drilling and fracking for natural gas do not seem to spew immense amounts of the greenhouse gas methane into the air, as has been feared, a new study says. The findings bolster a big selling point for natural gas, that it's not as bad for global warming as coal. And they undercut a major environmental argument against fracking, a process that breaks apart deep rock to recover more gas.

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Detroit's Packard Plant Could Be Sold At Auction

September 17, 2013 9:56 am | by The Associated Press

A former car plant that's a symbol of Detroit's industrial decline could be sold at public auction after a developer missed deadlines to acquire the property. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press report Evanston, Ill.-based developer Bill Hults missed a Friday deadline to come up with $1 million. He's leading a group that wants to convert the Packard plant into a commercial, housing and entertainment complex.

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Employment Gap Between Rich, Poor Widest On Record

September 16, 2013 2:17 pm | by Hope Yen, Associated Press

The gap in employment rates between America's highest- and lowest-income families has stretched to its widest levels since officials began tracking the data a decade ago, according to an analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press.

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South Koreans Back At Reopened Inter-Korea Factory

September 16, 2013 2:14 pm | by Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press

North and South Koreans got back to work Monday at a jointly run factory park after a five-month shutdown triggered by rising animosity between the rivals, with some companies quickly resuming production and others getting their equipment ready. South Korean business owners who have lost millions of dollars because of the hiatus say they'll need several months to recover.

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Havana Sees New Life For Seedy Industrial Port

September 16, 2013 2:10 pm | by Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press

Havana's harbor has long been an unsightly jumble of piers left to crumble into piles of rusty, twisted rebar. Its dominant feature is a refinery smokestack across the bay that belches smoke and flame 24 hours a day. But lately demolition crews and towering cranes have been working double-time to finally tear down the ruined docks. 

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FTC Clears Honeywell Acquisition, With Conditions

September 16, 2013 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission cleared Honeywell International Inc.'s acquisition of Intermec Inc. on Friday, on one condition. Honeywell will have to license the patents needed to make two-dimensional bar code scanners to Italian rival Datalogic for 12 years. The FTC said that licensing the patents will resolve its charges that Honeywell's acquisition of Intermec is anticompetitive. 

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Suzuki Recalling Vehicles For Air Bag Defect

September 16, 2013 2:06 pm | by The Associated Press

Suzuki is recalling 193,936 cars and SUVs because of a defective air bag sensor in the front passenger seat. Grand Vitara SUVs from the 2006 through 2011 model years and SX4 small cars from the 2007 through 2011 model years are involved. Sensor mats measure passengers' weight and determine if the air bag should deploy. 

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