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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Large-Scale Agriculture Makes For Big Problems

September 10, 2010 4:13 am | by David Mercer, Associated Press Writer

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — From the first days of the recent recall of 550 million eggs from two Iowa farms, one issue about large-scale agriculture has been clear: When something goes wrong on a big farm, it's going to be a big problem. It's a point even some supporters of industrialized farming acknowledge.

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Manufacturers Of Cleaning Products Forced To Open Up

September 10, 2010 4:12 am | by Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Consumers curious — or concerned — about the chemicals in household cleaning products will get detailed rundowns under state plans to require manufacturers to detail their products' contents. The move to start enforcing a nearly 40-year-old state law and related regulations, apparently unique in the country, comes amid growing scrutiny of the chemicals that make up consumer goods.

Woman In Custody After Shooting At Kraft Plant

September 10, 2010 4:10 am | by Patrick Walters, Associated Press Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Minutes after a woman was suspended from her job at a Kraft Foods Inc. plant and was escorted out, she returned with a handgun and opened fire, killing two people and critically injuring a third before being taken into custody, police said. The shootings occurred shortly after 8:30 p.

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Harley Could Cut Wis. Jobs Despite Concessions

September 8, 2010 5:10 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson could cut hundreds of jobs at its engine factory in Menomonee Falls, even if union members give the motorcycle maker the concessions it says it needs to remain competitive. The proposed contract given to union workers for consideration cuts 200 jobs by the end of 2012.

Kia Announces New CEO In Mood Lighting Shuffle

September 8, 2010 4:42 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Kia Motors promoted the chief of its overseas operations to the company's top executive job after his predecessor resigned following a global recall of more than 100,000 vehicles due to defective wiring. The new boss, Lee Hyoung-keun, will retain his current responsibilities while also overseeing domestic business, global corporate planning and production and labor-management relations, Kia spokesman Michael Choo said Wednesday.

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Peanut Exec Back In Business After Two-Year Investigation

September 8, 2010 4:40 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The peanut industry executive whose filthy processing plants were blamed in a salmonella outbreak two years ago that killed nine people and sickened hundreds more is back in the business. Stewart Parnell, former president of the now-bankrupt Peanut Corp. of America, is working as a consultant to peanut companies as the federal government's criminal investigation against him has languished for more than 18 months, The Associated Press has learned.

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Obama To Unleash Trio Of Tax Cuts, R&D Credits

September 8, 2010 4:35 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to give anxious Democrats a boost ahead of the November elections, President Barack Obama is pitching a trio of economic initiatives Wednesday and voicing unwavering opposition to Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthy. With the tax breaks for the top two percent of income earners set to expire at the end of the year, the White House sees the issue as an opportunity to draw a stark contrast with Republicans.

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BP Partially Blames Self For Oil Spill

September 8, 2010 4:32 am | by Dina Cappiello, Harry R. Weber, and Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press Writers

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Oil giant BP PLC laid much of the blame for the rig explosion and the massive Gulf of Mexico spill on itself, other companies' workers and a complex series of failures in an internal report released Wednesday before a key piece of evidence has been fully analyzed. In its 193-page report posted on its website, the British company described the incident as an accident that arose from a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces.

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China Blackouts Factories, Villages To Meet Energy Targets

September 8, 2010 4:31 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese steel mills and mobile phone factories are being idled and thousands of homes in one area are doing without electricity as local governments order power cuts to meet energy-saving targets set by Beijing. Rolling blackouts and enforced power cuts are affecting key industrial areas.

Explosion At Ohio Auto Parts Plant Injures Nine

September 7, 2010 5:01 am

NORTHWOOD, Ohio (AP) — An explosion at an auto parts plant in northern Ohio has injured nine people. Authorities just outside Toledo say all the injuries appear to be minor. The explosion happened Tuesday morning at Faurecia (fahr-SEE'-uh) Interior Systems in Northwood. The company makes doors for a nearby Chrysler plant.

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Taiwanese Firm Raided After Shipping Machines To North Korea

September 7, 2010 4:57 am | by Debby Wu, Associated Press Writer

Taiwanese investigators raided a local company after it shipped banned machinery to North Korea via a Chinese firm with ties to Pyongyang's military, a Taiwanese official said Tuesday. The owner of the Taiwanese company, Ho Li Enterprises, said that two computer-controlled machine tools used in the manufacture of engines were shipped to North Korea earlier this year, but said he was unaware he had broken the law.

Kia CEO Resigns After 100,000-Vehicle Recall

September 7, 2010 4:40 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The top executive at Kia Motors has resigned after the company recalled more than 100,000 vehicles worldwide over defective wiring, the automaker said Tuesday. Chung Sung-eun, vice chairman and CEO of South Korea's No. 2 automaker, stepped down on Friday, according to company spokesman Michael Choo.

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Honeywell's 2,100-Worker Nuke Plant Breaks Ground

September 7, 2010 4:39 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled this week at the site of a privately developed plant in south Kansas City where non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons will be built. The facility being built for Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies will employ 2,100 people and replace the current Honeywell plant at the Bannister Federal Complex, also in south Kansas City.

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When Manufactuing Jobs Return, They Will Be High-Skill

September 7, 2010 4:37 am

NEW YORK (AP) — American workers faced a sobering reality as they celebrated the U.S. holiday of Labor Day at a time of high unemployment, scant hiring and a widespread loss of job security: economists foresee fewer moderately paid factory supervisors, postal workers and office administrators.

Obama Proposes $200 Billion In Business Tax Breaks

September 7, 2010 4:31 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will call on Congress to pass new tax breaks that would allow businesses to write off 100 percent of their new capital investments through 2011, the latest in a series of proposals the White House is rolling out in hopes of jump-starting economic growth ahead of the November elections.

Federal Agents Visit Epicenter Of Salmonella Outbreak, Again

September 1, 2010 4:54 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, the two Iowa farms at the center of a salmonella outbreak and massive egg recall, have been visited by federal agents again. Spokeswomen for the farms said the agents who arrived Tuesday worked for the Food and Drug Administration.

Ad Agency Drops Harley-Davidson Due To Slow Sales

September 1, 2010 4:52 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Marketing Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc.'s main ad agency for more than three decades has dropped the struggling motorcycle maker in favor of new business. Ad agency Carmichael Lynch, a unit of Interpublic Group, said many factors went into the decision, including the fact that the Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker has slashed its marketing spending in recent years amid slumping sales.

Heinz 1Q Income Rises 13 Percent

September 1, 2010 4:39 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) — H.J. Heinz Co.'s fiscal first-quarter net income jumped 13 percent, largely on stronger sales in Asia. The foodmaker best known for its signature ketchup said Wednesday that it earned $240.4 million, or 75 cents per share, for the quarter that ended in late July. That's up from $212.

Chinese Manufacturing Rebounds In August

September 1, 2010 4:37 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Chinese manufacturing growth improved and auto sales rebounded in August, suggesting the world's second-biggest economy may not be slowing as quickly as feared. Two surveys released Wednesday showed production, new orders and purchasing prices all rose in August, with the HSBC purchasing managers index — a seasonally adjusted index designed to measure the performance of the manufacturing economy — rising to its highest level in three months, at 51.

Hyundai Shifts SUV Production To Kia Plant

September 1, 2010 4:36 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hyundai Motor America said Tuesday it will shift manufacturing of its Santa Fe SUV beginning this fall from its plant in Alabama to one in Georgia run by Kia Motor Manufacturing, a move aimed at boosting production of Hyundai's popular Sonata sedan. The automaker plans to increase production of the Sonata at the plant in Montgomery, Alabama, said Hyundai Motor America spokesman Chris Hosford.

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