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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Ford Unveils 2013 Ford Fusion

January 25, 2012 4:12 am | by Jenna Fryer, AP Auto Racing Writer

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Ford on Tuesday became the first manufacturer in NASCAR to unveil its 2013 car, rolling out a Fusion that closely resembles what fans can buy off the showroom floor. "The NASCAR Nation is made up of car enthusiasts, and NASCAR fans certainly love to pull for a brand or make of car second only to being able to pull for their favorite driver," said NASCAR President Mike Helton.

Obama Addresses Growing Income Gap

January 25, 2012 4:09 am | by Ben Feller, AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring the American dream under siege, President Barack Obama delivered a populist challenge Tuesday night to shrink the gap between rich and poor, promising to tax the wealthy more and help jobless Americans get work and hang onto their homes. Seeking re-election and needing results, the president invited Republicans to join him but warned, "I intend to fight.

House Committee Challenges Gov't Response On Volt

January 25, 2012 4:05 am | by Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A GOP-led House committee is challenging the Obama administration's investigation into Chevy Volt batteries that caught fire last year, raising questions about whether the government's partial ownership of General Motors Co. created a conflict of interest. "Questions have been raised as to whether or not GM receives special deference from the administration because of its status as a ward of the state," said the report by the Republican staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform prepared in connection with a hearing Wednesday.


Siemens 4Q Net Profit Falls 17 Percent

January 24, 2012 8:28 am | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Industrial equipment maker Siemens AG said Tuesday that net profit fell 17 percent to €1.46 billion ($1.89 billion) in the final quarter of 2011 due to delays in major wind-power and rail projects, and as the uncertain global economic outlook hurt orders.

Texas Instruments To Close Plants In Japan, Houston

January 24, 2012 8:26 am

NEW YORK, Jan. 23 (Kyodo) — Texas Instruments Inc. said Monday it will shut down two plants, in Hiji in Japan's Oita Prefecture and in Houston, Texas, within the next 18 months, expecting the closures to cost about $215 million in costs. The U.S. chipmaker said the two plants, both running for over 30 years, need a major upgrade of facilities, but it prefers shifting production to larger and more advanced facilities.


New Genzyme Factory Receives FDA Approval

January 24, 2012 8:24 am | by The Associated Press

French drugmaker Sanofi's Genzyme unit said Tuesday the Food and Drug Administration has approved a new Massachusetts manufacturing plant to make the Fabry disease treatment Fabrazyme, a move that will help relieve a supply crunch. Genzyme said the plant in Framingham also received European regulatory approval last week.


Obama To Take On Economy In State Of Union

January 24, 2012 8:22 am | by Erica Werner, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is ready to reclaim the spotlight with a plea for economic fairness in a State of Union address that opposition Republicans panned in advance as a rehash of old ideas. Obama delivers his third State of the Union address Tuesday in a capital and country shot through with politics, with his re-election campaign well under way and his potential GOP opponents lobbing attacks against him daily as they scrap for the right to take him on.

Dutch Court Refuses To Ban Samsung Sales

January 24, 2012 8:19 am

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch appeals judges ruled Tuesday that Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablet is not a copy of Apple's popular iPad, handing the Korean consumer electronics maker its latest legal victory over its American rival. The Hague Appeals court ruling upheld a lower court's refusal to grant Apple Inc.


Serbia Offers Help To U.S. Steel

January 24, 2012 8:18 am | by Dusan Stojanovic, Associated Press

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia's government will try to avert the closure of its single biggest exporter, U.S. Steel Serbia, despite poor financial results, officials said Tuesday. The government will form a special team that will offer an "action plan" to help the Pittsburgh-based giant maintain production and keep its work force of over 5,000 people in its factory in Smederevo, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Belgrade, deputy Prime Minister Verica Kalanovic said.


Test Your Pump Knowledge, Support Worldwide Heart Health

January 24, 2012 7:05 am

Where is the world's biggest brewery, and how much beer do pumps move through it each year? What is the largest cost component of owning a pump? More than 5,000 people representing 141 countries have answered questions like these, as ITT Goulds Pumps challenges players with its World of Pumps Quiz, an online series of questions aimed at raising awareness of the role industrial pumps play in modern life while generating company donations to teach first aid and CPR around the world.

Strongest Solar Storm Since 2005 Hitting Earth

January 24, 2012 4:13 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The sun is bombarding Earth with radiation from the biggest solar storm in more than six years with more to come from the fast-moving eruption. The solar flare occurred at about 11 p.m. EST Sunday and will hit Earth with three different effects at three different times.

Bosch To Buy SPX Corp Division For $1.15B

January 24, 2012 4:11 am

BERLIN (AP) — German engineering company Bosch said Tuesday that it plans to buy the automotive services division of U.S.-based SPX Corp. for about $1.15 billion in cash. Bosch said that SPX, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, agreed to sell its Service Solutions unit. The division develops, manufactures and sells tools, workshop equipment, and software for the global automotive market.

BMW To Recall Mini Models For Fire Risk

January 24, 2012 4:09 am

TOKYO, Jan. 24 (Kyodo) — BMW AG told the Japanese transport ministry Tuesday that it will recall a total of 15,933 Mini brand vehicles to replace free of charge defective electric water pumps used to cool their turbochargers, due to the risk of fire, the ministry said. In a report filed with the ministry, BMW said the nine models to be recalled, including the Cooper S series, were manufactured between November 2006 and January 2011, and warned that the flaw could lead the pump to short-circuit and catch fire.

Harley-Davidson Posts $105.7M Profit

January 24, 2012 4:07 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Iconic motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson posted a profit of $105.7 million for the fourth quarter, boosted by improved consumer confidence that prompted more riders to buy its often-pricy bikes. The profit contrasted with a loss in the same period a year ago. The company expects to ship more motorcycles this year.

Hyundai Production Halted At AL Plant

January 24, 2012 4:04 am

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Executives with Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama say they temporarily shut down production at the company's Montgomery plant after discovering a problem with the paint process. Company spokesman Robert Burns tells The Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.


Analysts: New Software Won't Save RIM

January 24, 2012 4:01 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — In the trend-setting North American market, BlackBerry phones have gone from must-have messaging toys to outdated clunkers —all in the space of a few years. The new CEO of Research In Motion Ltd., the company behind the phones, says it can claw its way back to the top with new software, but analysts are deeply doubtful.

Study Finds Tablet Ownership Soared

January 23, 2012 8:41 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tablets and e-readers were a popular gift over the holidays, so much so that the number of people who own them nearly doubled between mid-December and January, a new study finds. A report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project set to be released Monday found that 29 percent of Americans owned at least one tablet or e-reader as of the beginning of this month.

Loss Of Manufacturer Setback For Old Base

January 23, 2012 8:37 am | by David Sharp, Associated Press

BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) — The loss of hundreds of jobs that will fly to Wisconsin with Kestrel Aircraft Co. represents the first major setback for the redevelopment of Brunswick Naval Air Station, but there's no need to villainize the company because Maine failed to provide promised help, a redevelopment official said.

Neil Young Company Sued Over Fire

January 23, 2012 8:34 am

SAN CARLOS, Calif. (AP) — A company founded by Neil Young is facing a lawsuit over a fire in the San Francisco Bay Area that authorities say started in a vintage car the rocker had converted into a hybrid vehicle. The San Jose Mercury News reports ( that Unigard Insurance Co.

GE Expects Another Volatile Year

January 23, 2012 8:32 am | by Samantha Bomkamp

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. is bracing for another volatile year. The global conglomerate expects to see emerging markets from China to South America continue to grow while Europe falls into a recession. Its own results are also telling two different stories: Fourth-quarter profit improved when the results of sold-off businesses are excluded.


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