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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Organic-Lovers Start Demanding DNA-Traceable Meats

May 25, 2011 9:05 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — First came organic, then free-range, then local. Now discerning diners with a penchant for spending a premium to know where food comes from are pushing DNA-traceable meat onto restaurant menus. The technology — which allows meat to be traced from the farm to the fridge — has been used in Europe and other countries for decades, but has been slow to catch on in America.

Whistleblowers Get Financial Incentives From SEC

May 25, 2011 8:54 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Whistleblowers who report corporate fraud or other misconduct to the government could receive sizable cash awards under new rules adopted Wednesday by federal regulators. Tipsters would be eligible if they give the Securities and Exchange Commission information that leads to an enforcement action resulting in more than $1 million in penalties.

Americans Guzzle More Coffee Despite Bubbling Prices

May 25, 2011 4:43 am | by Christina Rexrode, AP Business Writers

NEW YORK (AP) — People are paying more to fuel up these days — on coffee. Coffee price increases have outpaced even the hike in gasoline prices the past year. A one-pound can of ground coffee sold for $5.10 in April, up 40 percent from $3.64 the year before, according to the Department of Labor.

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U.S. Industrial Orders Fell 3.8 Percent In April

May 25, 2011 4:32 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses cut back on their orders for heavy machinery, computers, autos and airplanes in April, reducing demand for long-lasting manufactured goods by the largest amount in six months. Orders for durable goods fell 3.8 percent and a key category that serves as a proxy for business investment was down 2.

MGA, Mattel Battle In Court Over 'Bratz' Trade Secrets

May 25, 2011 4:29 am | by Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press

SANTA ANA, California (AP) — Attorneys from toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc. will try to persuade a federal judge Wednesday to award the company $177 million in punitive damages and more than $162 million in attorney fees and other costs after a jury found rival Mattel Inc. liable for misappropriation of trade secret in a closely watched trial.

Colt Defense Battles Competitors For Slim Rifle Contracts

May 25, 2011 4:25 am | by Richard Lardner, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly a decade, Colt Defense went without a lobbyist. The legendary gun maker based in West Hartford, Conn., had an exclusive deal to provide combat rifles to the U.S. military and didn't need a hired gun looking out for the company's interests in Washington. Times have changed.

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China Urges Safety After Deadly iPad Plant Explosion

May 25, 2011 4:20 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing urged Foxconn Technology Group and other Taiwanese companies on Wednesday to ensure safety in their mainland China factories after a fatal blast at a facility that makes Apple iPads. Last Friday's explosion at the facility owned by Foxconn, Apple's main manufacturing contractor, killed three employees.

GM To Add 2,500 Jobs At Detroit-Area Volt Plant

May 25, 2011 4:18 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it will add 2,500 jobs at a Detroit-area plant that now makes the Chevrolet Volt electric car. The company plans to invest $69 million in the Detroit-Hamtramck factory and add two shifts of workers so theplant can make the new Chevrolet Malibu midsize car and the Impala large sedan.

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Jury: Plane Maker Not Liable In Yankees Pitcher Death

May 24, 2011 9:54 am

NEW YORK (AP) — A jury has found that a Minnesota airplane manufacturer was not responsible for the crash of a small plane into a Manhattan apartment building that killed New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle (LY'-duhl) and his flight instructor. The Manhattan jury returned its verdict Tuesday after a one-month federal trial.

Gov't Dives Into EVs With Vehicle, Charger Purchases

May 24, 2011 9:38 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an effort boost use of electric vehicles, the Obama administration is installing charging stations for government vehicles in five cities, including Washington and Detroit. The General Services Administration plans to buy 116 plug-in electric vehicles, including 101 Chevrolet Volts, and will assign them to government agencies in five cities: Washington, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

Obama Sanctions Seven Foreign Firms For Iran Dealings

May 24, 2011 9:35 am | by Matthew Lee, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Tuesday hit seven foreign companies, including Venezuela' state-owned oil company and an Israeli shipping firm, with sanctions for doing business with Iran that helps fund its nuclear program. At the same time, the administration imposed separate sanctions on more than 15 people and companies in China, Iran, North Korea, Syria and elsewhere for illicit trading in missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.

Former Chrysler CEO To Head $100M Innovation Fund

May 24, 2011 9:22 am

TROY, Mich. (AP) — A southeastern Michigan technology association is partnering with former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda to help companies commercialize their ideas. LaSorda is the co-founder of a $100 million investment fund called Stage 2 Innovations that will be available to so-called second-stage companies.

Chrysler Repays Gov't Loans, Closes 'Painful Chapter'

May 24, 2011 9:18 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — With a few computer keystrokes in an office at its headquarters, Chrysler Group LLC sent $7.6 billion to the U.S. and Canadian governments on Tuesday, paying off most of the bailout money that saved the company from financial disaster just two years ago. The repayment — expected for weeks — is a huge step in the automaker's unlikely comeback.

VW Unveils Chattanooga Plant For U.S. Buyers

May 24, 2011 9:15 am

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Volkswagen is jumping into the U.S. auto market with a new Passat that is bigger, cheaper and built domestically in hopes of breaking into the competitive midsize sedan market. During a grand opening for their new plant in Chattanooga on Tuesday, the German automaker presented the 2012 Passat as the key to building U.

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Deere Announces Another $60 Million Chinese Investment

May 24, 2011 5:06 am

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Deere & Co. will spend $60 million to build a new engine manufacturing plant in China for its agricultural, construction and forestry equipment. Deere's new engine plant will near several of the Moline, Ill., company's other facilities in Tianjin, China. Tuesday's engine plant announcement is the second investment in China that Deere has announced in the past week.

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German Manufacturers Try To Kill Of Nuclear Power

May 24, 2011 4:50 am | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's most powerful industrial sectors said Tuesday they are backing government plans to abolish nuclear power within about a decade, but warn that blackouts and other risks could arise from the decision. "We believe that it is possible to replace nuclear power by 2022 or a date in that range," said Christopher Gruenewald, head of energy and climate policy for the Federation of German Industry group that represents the nation's manufacturers.

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Old General Motors To Sell New GM Stock, Warrants

May 24, 2011 4:46 am

DETROIT (AP) — The company that got stuck with General Motors Co.'s debts and bad assets will begin selling stock and warrants in the new GM, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday. Motors Liquidation Co. said in the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the stock and warrants being sold starting Tuesday are worth a total of $5.

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Ford Could Woo Japanese Buyers Amid Tsunami Troubles

May 24, 2011 4:33 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Ford sees a big chance to snatch buyers away from Japanese automakers battling production delays caused by the March earthquake and tsunami, and vehicles in the works could help deliver it growth in a long-difficult market. "The opportunities for Ford in Japan have never been greater," Ford Japan Chief Executive Tim Tucker said Tuesday of the products planned for Japan.

South Korean Police Raid, Break Up In-Plant Strike

May 24, 2011 4:25 am

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Police in South Korea are breaking up a strike at an auto parts manufacturer that has caused production disruptions for the country's automakers. Police official Seo Jung-pil said Tuesday that about 1,000 police raided a Yoosung Enterprise Co. factory in Asan, south of Seoul, where some 500 workers had been on strike since May 18.

Chrysler To Repay $7.5 Billion Loan On Tuesday

May 24, 2011 4:22 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Michigan (AP) — Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said Monday that his company will save $300 million in interest a year when it repays $7.5 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans on Tuesday. Chrysler plans to announce the repayment at a Detroit-area auto assembly plant on Tuesday afternoon.

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