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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM Spins $1.2B Loss Into Positive Outlook

November 16, 2009 3:14 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says it lost $1.2 billion from the time it left bankruptcy protection through Sept. 30, far better than it has reported in previous quarters and a sign that the auto giant is starting to turn around its business. The company also says it will begin repaying $6.

FDA Challenges Makers Of Alcoholic Energy Drinks

November 13, 2009 5:03 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is challenging makers of alcohol-infused energy drinks to prove their beverages are safe, citing complaints that the products can cause dangerous behavior and injury. The FDA issued a letter to 30 beverage manufacturers, saying they have 30 days to show evidence that the combination of caffeine and alcohol is safe.

Tenn. Home To New 'Solar Way' And $1.2B Plant

November 13, 2009 3:50 am

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. and Tennessee officials on Thursday broke ground on a $1.2 billion plant and renamed the road leading to the sprawling facility "Solar Way." The plant will produce polysilicon, a raw material used to make solar cells and semiconductor devices.

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China Rejects $28 Billion In Steel Contracts

November 13, 2009 3:42 am

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have rejected $28 billion worth of steel and other proposed industrial projects as they try to curb chaotic overinvestment the government worries could lead to economic trouble, officials said Friday. Business groups and economists have warned that Beijing's huge stimulus might fuel a dangerous boom and bust.

World's Richest Men: 'Darkest Hour' Behind Us

November 13, 2009 3:31 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Capitalism is still alive and well, say the world's two richest men, despite lingering shocks from the longest, deepest recession since the Great Depression. "The financial panic is behind us," said famed investor Warren Buffett, who recently made what he called an "all-in wager" on the U.

Boeing Patches Up Faulty 787 Wings After Delays

November 13, 2009 3:23 am

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Boeing Co. ( NYSE:BA ) said Thursday it has finished fixing structural flaws in the first of its long-delayed 787 jetliners. The problem forced the company to postpone test flying the jet for a fifth time earlier this year. The Chicago-based airplane maker said the repair within the joint where the wings attach to the plane's fuselage is "a significant step" toward the first test flight of the aircraft, which has been delayed due to a series of production glitches and a two-month labor strike late last year.

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Manufacturers Face Shortage Of Highly-Skilled Workers

November 13, 2009 3:17 am

DEARBORN, Mich.— As employers across the country continue to shed hundreds of thousands of jobs, many manufacturers are facing an ironic dilemma. As they eliminate positions—mainly repetitive, assembly type jobs—they still have unfilled job openings for high-skilled workers. According to a recent survey conducted by Deloitte, The Manufacturing Institute and Oracle, “almost one-third of responding companies report some level of shortages today.

Defense Secretary To Truckmakers: 'You Are Saving Lives'

November 13, 2009 3:15 am

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates commended workers at Oshkosh Corp. ( NYSE:OSK ), telling them Thursday that the military trucks they produce that are being used in Afghanistan are saving soldiers' lives. The newest trucks, designed to be agile enough to maneuver through the nation's rugged terrain yet strong enough to withstand the blasts of roadside bombs, began landing in Afghanistan last month.

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Engineers Compete For $400,000 In 'Astronaut Glove Challenge'

November 12, 2009 10:25 am

WASHINGTON /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Reporters and the public are invited to attend the 2009 Astronaut Glove Challenge on Nov. 19 at the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville, Fla., near NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The $400,000 prize challenge is a nationwide competition that focuses on developing improved pressure suit gloves for astronauts to use while working in the vacuum of space.

Toymaker Settles Suit Accusing CEO Of Harassment, Rape

November 11, 2009 11:11 am | by Mae Anderson, AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — German toy maker Steiff has settled an $80 million lawsuit filed in June accusing the company's CEO of conducting a yearslong campaign of unwelcome advances toward a U.S. marketing executive and raping her, a lawyer for the company said Wednesday. When the lawsuit was filed by Steiff marketing executive Jane Collins in June, CEO Martin Frenchen said the allegations were meritless.

HP To Buy 3Com For $2.7 Billion

November 11, 2009 11:03 am

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. said Wednesday it has agreed to buy networking software and equipment maker 3Com Corp. in a deal the companies valued at $2.7 billion. HP also issued a preliminary report Wednesday for the three months that ended in October. On an adjusted basis, HP said it earned $1.

AK Steel Makes Ohioan Animals Happy

November 11, 2009 5:52 am

WEST CHESTER, Ohio /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — AK Steel's ( NYSE: AKS ) Coshocton, Ohio Works has received "Wildlife at Work" certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat. The certification recognizes the company for its ongoing environmental restoration efforts at the plant.

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Lockheed Martin Makes Stuff Blow Up Even Better

November 11, 2009 4:47 am

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) successfully completed its sixth flight demonstration in a recent test at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The JASSM-ER program is now six for six flight test successes. "JASSM-ER's test successes are a result of a dedicated team effort," said Col.

Ford To Use Straw-Reinforced Plastic In 2010 Flex

November 11, 2009 4:14 am

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F ), working with academic researchers and one of its suppliers, is the first automaker to develop and use environmentally friendly wheat straw-reinforced plastic in a vehicle. The first application of the natural fiber-based plastic that contains 20 percent wheat straw bio-filler is on the 2010 Ford Flex's third-row interior storage bins.

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Oshkosh Corp. Receives $438m Army Contract

November 11, 2009 4:05 am

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Oshkosh Corp. ( NYSE:OSK ) said Wednesday the U.S. Army ordered another 1,000 all-terrain vehicles that feature mine resistant ambush protection, an order worth $438 million. The order from the Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command Life Cycle Management Command is the fifth such award Oshkosh has received to supply the so-called M-ATVs, which seat four passengers plus one gunner and weigh 25,000 pounds.

Chrysler Adding 1,000-Strong Temporary Shift

November 11, 2009 4:02 am

BELVIDERE, Ill. (AP) — Chrysler Group LLC has announced a temporary second shift will start Nov. 17 in a move to boost production of the Dodge Caliber by 10,000 units by the end of the year. Initial plans by Chrysler was to add the shift in October. The company postponed the move because of supplier shortages.

Retirees 'Living In Hell' After Coal Ash Spill

November 11, 2009 3:55 am | by Bill Poovey, Associated Press Writer

KINGSTON, Tenn. (AP) — Ten months after millions of cubic yards of coal ash spilled from a Tennessee Valley Authority dam, Gary Topmiller and his wife, Pam, said they are trapped in their home across the Emory River from the site and "living in hell." A retired millwright, Topmiller said Tuesday they are battling health problems and the TVA won't fairly compensate them so they can move from their 3-year-old house on the river and rebuild.

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GM Chief Engineerer 'Really Happy' To Keep Opel

November 11, 2009 3:51 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — When General Motors Co.'s board halted the sale of the company's European car business last week, no one was happier than the automaker's chief engineer. Engineers with the Ruesselsheim, Germany-based Opel have designed the basics of GM's new compact and midsize cars that are sold across the globe, and they do much of the company's research on safety and electric vehicles.

BPA Leads To Sexual Problems In Chinese Workers

November 11, 2009 3:43 am | by Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Male factory workers in China who got very high doses of a chemical that's been widely used in hard plastic bottles had high rates of sexual problems, researchers reported Wednesday. Heavy exposure to BPA, or bisphenol A, on the job was linked to impotence and lower sexual desire and satisfaction, according to the study, which adds to concerns about BPA's effects on most consumers.

GM Committed To Paying Back Taxpayer Loans

November 11, 2009 3:36 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors Co. remains committed to repaying its billions of dollars in government loans, though it's too soon to say when that will happen, the automaker's chairman said Tuesday. "Can GM pay back its loans? You bet," Ed Whitacre said during an address at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas.

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