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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Scientist Being Sentenced In Utah For Trade Theft

October 26, 2012 10:32 am | by Paul Foy, Associated Press

Federal investigators say the 42-year-old chemist emailed a secret drug recipe from a Utah company to a brother-in-law in India. They say the relative planned to undercut prices charged by Logan-based Frontier Scientific Inc. for a rare organic chemical with applications ranging from prescription drugs to solar cells and batteries.


Feds Probe Taurus, Sable For Stuck Throttles

October 26, 2012 10:30 am | by The Associated Press

Federal safety regulators are investigating some older-model Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans because the throttles can stick. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 50 complaints about sticky throttles in the cars from the 2000 through 2003 model years. The probe affects an estimated 310,000 cars that have four-valve, three-liter V-6 Duratec engines. No crashes or injuries have been reported.


Porsche Gain Gives VW A Q3 Profit Boost

October 26, 2012 10:28 am | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer

German automaker Volkswagen AG saw net profit rise 58 percent in the third quarter thanks to an accounting boost from its takeover of Porsche. Operating earnings excluding the merger effects fell, however, and the company cautioned about an uncertain economic environment for the rest of the year.


Ford To Shut More Plants As Europe Losses Grow

October 25, 2012 1:58 pm | by Robert Barr, Associated Press

Ford pressed ahead Thursday with its plan to slash production in Europe, announcing another plant closure and 1,500 more job cuts, as it warned that annual losses in the region will exceed $1.5B this year and next. Ford is struggling in Europe, like many major carmakers, because there are too many plants, labor costs are relatively high, and demand for cars is sliding due to the economic crisis.


After Government Lifeline, Peugeot Finds 600 Jobs

October 25, 2012 1:56 pm | by The Associated Press

Hours before a high-stakes meeting with the government, Peugeot Citroen says it has found a company able to take over the site of the auto plant it wants to close and hire 600 of the workers whose jobs were on the block. The announcement comes a day after France offered Peugeot a  $9.1 billion lifeline in loan guarantees but demanded influence in decision-making.


Mitsubishi Overcharges Defense Ministry Since 1970

October 25, 2012 1:53 pm | by The Associated Press

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has overcharged the Defense Ministry and others since around 1970 at the latest by reporting longer-than-actual working hours spent for ordered projects, an investigation by the Board of Audit of Japan showed Thursday.


Boeing Benefits From Faster Airplane Deliveries

October 25, 2012 1:52 pm | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

Boeing is cranking out planes faster, and it's paying off. The big U.S. aerospace company is on track to meet delivery targets for the year, and on Wednesday raised its profit guidance and reported a better-than-expected profit for the third quarter.


China's BYD Sending Electric Cabs To London

October 25, 2012 1:51 pm | by The Associated Press

Chinese automaker BYD Co. is sending 50 electric cabs to London in a boost to China's struggling makers of all-electric vehicles. BYD and cab company Green Tomato Cars Ltd. announced this week they will start trial use of 50 of BYD's e6 sedans in late 2013. They said it will be the British capital's first all-electric fleet.


Strikes Dent Hyundai Motor's 3Q Profit

October 25, 2012 1:49 pm | by Youkyung Lee, AP Business Writer

Hyundai Motor Co. suffered a fall in third-quarter profit from the previous quarter after strikes dented vehicle production, but its stock jumped Thursday after the carmaker said annual output would exceed forecasts. South Korea's largest automaker estimated that its global vehicle production in the final three months of this year would reach 1.2 million vehicles, including 540,000 vehicles at factories in South Korea.


Bailout, Layoffs: New Pain Ahead For EU Carmakers

October 24, 2012 2:28 pm | by Lori Hinnant, Associated Press

The extent of the European car industry's troubles was laid bare when France's government tossed a financial lifeline to the continent's No. 2 automaker, Peugeot Citroen, and Ford said it would shut a Belgium plant, cutting 9,500 jobs. Experts say France's $9.1 billion bailout, a three-year loan guarantee, represents a desperate attempt to avoid the sort of layoffs that companies like Ford are slowly accepting as inevitable.


GE CEO: Economic Trends Still Mostly Positive

October 24, 2012 2:25 pm | by The Associated Press

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt says overall economic trends continue to be positive, but business is volatile in the aftermath of the recession. Immelt appeared on CNBC Wednesday in a joint interview carried live with investor Warren Buffett.


Judge Approves Solyndra Bankruptcy Plan

October 24, 2012 2:24 pm | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer

A Delaware judge is overruling government objections and approving a bankruptcy exit plan for failed solar power company Solyndra LLC. Under the plan approved Monday, the Department of Energy stands to recover little if any of a $528 million loan to Solyndra from the Obama administration.


Honeywell Buying Saia Burgess Controls For $130M

October 24, 2012 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press

Technology and manufacturing company Honeywell International Inc. said Wednesday it agreed to buy Saia Burgess Controls for $130 million. Honeywell said the company makes programmable controllers, touch screen panels, counters and timers used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and energy-management systems.


New Machinery Ready At Steelmaker Gerdau's Plant

October 24, 2012 2:21 pm | by The Associated Press

Steelmaker Gerdau is unveiling new machinery at a Michigan steel facility as part of the company's ongoing expansion. The company on Wednesday is marking the completion of construction of a continuous caster at its North American special steel facility in Monroe, about 35 miles southwest of Detroit.


BASF Plant Being Constructed In Ascension Parish

October 24, 2012 2:20 pm | by The Associated Press

BASF is building a formic acid production plant in Ascension Parish that will create 20 new jobs. Gov. Bobby Jindal and company executives were at the groundbreaking Tuesday, at the company's 2,600-acre complex in Geismar, which is home to nearly two dozen chemical plants.


Ford Closes Belgian Plant In 2014; 9,500 Jobs Hit

October 24, 2012 10:31 am | by Raf Casert, Associated Press

Ford will close a car plant in Belgium — one of its main European factories — by the end of 2014, a move that will result in 4,500 direct job losses and 5,000 more among subcontractors. Half a century after construction on the Genk plant started, Ford told a management council there that production was winding down since slumping European sales has forced a restructuring of its plants.


Survey Shows China's Manufacturing Improving

October 24, 2012 10:29 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

China's manufacturing improved this month, adding to signs a recovery might be taking shape after a sharp slump in the world's No. 2 economy. A preliminary version of HSBC's monthly purchasing managers' index rose to a three-month high of 49.1 points on a 100-point scale, the bank said Wednesday.


Volkswagen Mulls New SUV For North America

October 24, 2012 10:28 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

German automaker Volkswagen AG is considering the introduction of a new midsize SUV for the North American market, and its existing Tennessee plant is a contender for building it. VW CEO Martin Winterkorn told reporters in New York on Tuesday that a decision on whether to build the new model will be made soon, but probably not before the end of the year.


Dow Chemical To Slash 2,400 Jobs, Close 20 Plants

October 24, 2012 10:26 am | by The Associated Press

The Dow Chemical Co. will eliminate about 2,400 jobs and close roughly 20 manufacturing facilities as part of a restructuring plan aimed at coping with slowing economic growth in Europe and elsewhere. The manufacturing giant said Tuesday that the job cuts amount to 5 percent of the company's workforce worldwide.


Nissan Plans To Build New Plant In Thailand

October 24, 2012 10:25 am | by The Associated Press

Nissan Motor Co. is considering an investment of some tens of billions of yen to build a new plant in Thailand, as part of its efforts to beef up production capacity in the Southeast Asian country, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.



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