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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Man Injured In Warehouse Explosion

September 12, 2011 5:24 am

NIAGARA, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say a plant worker was injured when thousands of pounds of aluminum powder exploded in a warehouse in western New York, sparking a fire that caused minor damage to the building. Niagara County Sheriff's officials said the Stollberg, Inc. worker was treated at Mt.

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Fiat To Sell Doblo Van In U.S., Canada

September 9, 2011 8:51 am

ROME (AP) — Fiat SpA, which controls Chrysler, plans to sell its Doblo van in the U.S. and Canada starting in 2013. The Turin-based automaker said Friday the Fiat Doblo vehicles would be sold under the Ram brand. Fiat said it had signed a letter of understanding with its Turkish joint-venture partner Tofas for the export of 190,000 units under a seven-year-deal.

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Air Advocates Say Tougher Regulation Would Spur Jobs

September 9, 2011 8:49 am | by Dylan Lovan, Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Clean air advocates on Thursday criticized a decision by the Obama administration to scrap a proposed smog regulation because of the ailing economy, saying the stricter rule would create thousands of jobs in Kentucky and Tennessee. The federal Clean Air Act has encouraged technological advancement and economic growth since it was enacted in the 1970s, said Mary Gade, an environmental consultant.

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SC Alcoa Plant To Close Without Lower Power Rate

September 9, 2011 8:46 am | by Bruce Smith, Associated Press

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (AP) — Alcoa Inc. officials said Wednesday that the company's aluminum smelting plant in Goose Creek, S.C. consumes $4 million a week in power and will close at a loss of more than 600 jobs if they can't negotiate a lower rate with Santee Cooper, South Carolina's state-owned electric utility.

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GM Exec: Nation Needs To Live Within Its Means

September 9, 2011 8:45 am | by Tom Coyne, Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The top executive at General Motors Co. says the nation needs to live within its means, saying both Social Security and Medicare need to be changed and improvements are needed in the public education system. GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson made the remarks during a talk Friday to about 300 University of Notre Dame students about leadership.

Feds Approve Loan Guarantee For CO Solar Plant

September 9, 2011 8:44 am

ALAMOSA, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Energy Department says it has finalized a $90.6 million loan guarantee for the construction of a solar generation project in southern Colorado. Charlotte-based Cogentrix plans to build the 30-megawatt facility near Alamosa. The Department of Energy said Friday that it would be one of the first utility-scale, high concentration photovoltaic generation facilities in the nation and the largest of its kind in the world.

Man Dies In Accident At CAT Plant

September 9, 2011 8:41 am

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) — A worker at the Caterpillar Inc. plant in South Milwaukee has died after he was injured in an accident at the facility. According to a statement from Caterpillar, the man was working in the weld shop area Thursday afternoon when he was struck by a welded structure as it was being moved.

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Invisalign Maker To Move Overseas

September 9, 2011 5:08 am

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The maker of Invisalign clear braces for teeth will close its New Jersey facility next year, eliminating 119 jobs, and move operations overseas to cut costs. Align Technology Inc. expects to save about $4 million per year because of the moves, the company said Wednesday.

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American Crystal Says No Issues With Fill-Ins

September 9, 2011 5:06 am

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A spokesman for American Crystal Sugar Co. says there have been no issues with inexperienced replacement workers hired to take over harvesting duties this week. About 1,300 regular workers have been locked out since Aug. 1 after the union and management could not agree on a contract.

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Gov Says Too Many Workers Die On Job In WY

September 9, 2011 5:04 am

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Gov. Matt Mead says too many workers die on the job in Wyoming and the state needs to keep working to improve its workplace safety. The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reports that the number of occupational fatalities in the state rose to 34 last year.

Haley: SC Unemployment Tied To Grads, Retirees

September 9, 2011 5:02 am | by Jim Davenport, Associated Press

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Thursday said recent college graduates, cash-strapped retirees, laid-off middle-aged workers and skills shortfalls are at the heart of the state's nearly worst-in-the-nation unemployment rate. Haley, speaking at her hometown Rotary Club in Lexington, also said she wants to require drug testing for people who get the unemployment benefits they've earned while working.

OSHA Cites Manufacturer For Potentially Fatal Violations

September 9, 2011 4:59 am

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Federal workplace safety regulators have proposed $176,000 in fines for potentially fatal safety violations at a Concord manufacturing plant. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Thursday it was proposing the fines for 16 violations at Stowe Woodward LLC's plant.

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FBI Investigates Solar Firm That Got $535M U.S. Loan

September 9, 2011 4:55 am | by Jason Dearen, Kiven Freking, Associated Press

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — FBI agents executed search warrants Thursday at the headquarters of California solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, which received more than $500 million in federal loans before filing for bankruptcy last week. Blue-jacket-clad agents swarmed the company's headquarters in Fremont as part of an investigation with the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General into the manufacturer once touted by President Barack Obama as a beneficiary of economic stimulus, FBI spokeswoman Julianne Sohn said.

Brunswick To Expand Boat Plant

September 8, 2011 8:28 am

NEW YORK MILLS, Minn. (AP) — The Brunswick Corp. has announced plans to expand its Lund Boats plant in New York Mills. Brunswick, which owns and operates Lund Boats, plans to add 22,000 square feet to the western Minnesota plant. The company says demand has been high for both the Crestliner and Lund boat brands.

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Man Hit With Environmental Charges At KY Plant

September 8, 2011 8:27 am

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — A Wisconsin man has been charged with tampering with environmental monitors, then covering it up at a southern Kentucky secondary aluminum production plant. A federal grand jury in Bowling Green on Wednesday charged 59-year-old Daniel Evanoff of Plymouth, Wis.

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UAW, Ford, Chrysler Far Apart In Talks

September 8, 2011 8:25 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Ford, Chrysler and the United Auto Workers remain far apart in labor talks with just a week left before their contracts expire, two people briefed on the talks said Wednesday. Negotiators for the two companies and the union have started serious talks on wages in the past few days, even though the union's contracts with all three Detroit carmakers expire at 11:59 p.

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Unemployment Applications Increasing

September 8, 2011 8:24 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits ticked up slightly last week, evidence that the job market isn't improving. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 414,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The report suggests companies aren't significantly increasing layoffs, despite weak economic growth.

Boeing Plans 5,000 Planes For China

September 8, 2011 8:22 am

CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing Co. on Wednesday raised its estimate for the number of new planes that the Chinese market will need over the next 20 years. Boeing said it expects China will need 5,000 new commercial planes worth $600 million over the next 20 years. Last year it predicted that China would need 4,330 new planes valued at $480 billion over the 20-year period starting in 2010.

Saab Denied Bankruptcy Protection

September 8, 2011 8:20 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Swedish court on Thursday rejected car maker Saab's application for creditor protection, paving the way for possible bankruptcy filings from labor unions. The ruling by the Vanersborg District Court, which can be appealed, is the latest setback for cash-strapped Saab as it scrambles to solve a liquidity crisis that has left it teetering on the brink of collapse.

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Ohio Paper Company Files For Chapter 11

September 7, 2011 9:55 am

MIAMISBURG, Ohio (AP) — Paper producer NewPage Corp. said Wednesday that it is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while it restructures. The privately held Ohio-based company said it expects to continue operating its U.S. business as usual and has commitments for $600 million in financing led by J.

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