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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Caterpillar Asks For Better U.S.-China Relationships

January 21, 2011 3:32 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar is urging a stronger trade relationship between the U.S. and China on the heels of the Chinese president's visit to the U.S. The Peoria, Ill., company, the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, said Friday it inked a memorandum of understanding as part of the U.

GM's New Product Chief: Time To Move Faster, Get Safer

January 21, 2011 3:25 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — The new chief of product development at GM holds what is arguably the most important job in the company: coming up with cars and trucks that people want. There also are a few extra goals on Mary Barra's list: Make the stuff faster and raise its quality. Barra, a 30-year veteran of General Motors, was named head of global product development on Thursday.

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S.C. Gov. Faces Lawsuit For Anti-Union Comments

January 21, 2011 3:24 am | by Jim Davenport, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is facing her first big lawsuit after saying the state would try to keep unions out of the Boeing Inc. plant in North Charleston. The lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Charleston by the International Association of Machinists and AFL-CIO asked for a court order telling Haley and her director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to butt out and remain neutral in matters concerning union activities.

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Apple's 1Q Finances Predictably Dazzle Investors

January 19, 2011 3:57 am | by Jessica Mintz, AP Technology Writer

Apple Inc.'s stellar holiday-quarter results were enough to make investors forget, at least for the moment, that CEO Steve Jobs is taking another medical leave of absence. The company was able to boost production of iPads faster than analysts predicted, and shoppers bought iPhones as fast as Apple could make them, helping drive the company's fiscal first-quarter net income up 78 percent from the prior year.

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Ford Retains 3,750 Jobs At K.C. Plant With Massive Investment

January 19, 2011 3:48 am

DETROIT (AP) — Ford will retain nearly 3,750 jobs and build a new vehicle at a Missouri plant that was in danger of closing. Ford is ending production of the Escape SUV later this year at the Claycomo plant near Kansas City. It will make the new Escape in Louisville, Kentucky. The company won't say which new product is coming to the Missouri plant.

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Hackers Face Years In Jail For Stealing iPad E-Mails

January 19, 2011 3:45 am | by David Porter, Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Two men who authorities say were competing to impress their fellow hackers were arrested Tuesday on federal charges they stole the e-mail addresses of more than 100,000 Apple iPad users, including politicians and media personalities. The theft and the AT&T security weakness that made it possible were revealed months ago, and U.

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Obama To Find Common Ground With China's Jintao

January 19, 2011 3:33 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is lavishing the grandest of White House welcomes on Chinese President Hu Jintao as the leaders of the world's two top powers try to find common ground on economic and security issues without alienating their domestic audiences. With many Americans blaming China at least in part for the high U.

Deere To Invest $100 Million In Indian Plants

January 19, 2011 3:30 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Deere & Co. said Wednesday that it will spend about $100 million to build a new factory in India and expand an existing tractor plant in an effort to keep up with anticipated demand there. John Deere India has been the largest exporter of agricultural machinery from India for the past 5 years.

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Mass. Recovers $13M From Tax Credit-Stealing Manufacturer

January 19, 2011 3:23 am | by Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts expects to recover about $13 million from the abrupt shutdown of a solar panel manufacturer that had received tens of millions in state aid, a top Patrick administration official said Tuesday. Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki said the $13 million includes a portion of the grants and benefits the state offered Evergreen Solar to encourage it to build its plant in Devens.

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Apple Won't Skip A Beat Without Jobs At The Helm

January 18, 2011 3:55 am | by Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — If the past is any indication, Tim Cook's mastery of inventory management and his high expectations of employees should leave Apple Inc. in good hands while its charismatic leader, Steve Jobs, takes a medical leave of absence. Apple said Monday that Cook, the chief operating officer, will take charge of the iPhone and iPad maker as Jobs focuses on his health.

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Boeing Delays 787 Again, Expects 3Q Deliveries

January 18, 2011 3:45 am

CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing Co. is pushing back the delivery date for its new 787 until at least July. The jet has been delayed several times already. Its most recent delivery target was for next month. But an electrical fire on a test plane in November put a halt to flight testing. Another delay has been widely expected ever since the fire.

Obama Works To Squash Job-Limiting Laws

January 18, 2011 3:41 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taking another step toward mending his relationship with the business community, President Barack Obama will order a review of federal regulations with an eye toward getting rid of those that stifle job creation and hurt economic growth The president planned to sign an executive order Tuesday telling federal agencies to look for rules that place an unreasonable burden on businesses.

Manufacturers To Focus On Chinese IP Theft, Not Currency

January 18, 2011 3:32 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies have long demanded that China let its currency rise to make U.S. exports cheaper. But as President Hu Jintao visits Washington this week, U.S. companies are stressing other goals: Stopping the theft of intellectual property. And getting a fair chance to win government contracts.

German CEO Fired After Calling Own Product 'A Stupid Idea'

January 18, 2011 3:29 am

BERLIN (AP) — A German company involved in the building of European navigation system Galileo says it has removed its chief executive after he was quoted in a cable obtained by WikiLeaks as describing the project to a U.S. official as "a stupid idea." OHB-System AG said late Monday that the supervisory board decided to revoke Berry Smutny's appointment as CEO.

UAW: Let Us Branch Out To Foreign Automakers

January 18, 2011 3:25 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The future of the United Auto Workers union is directly tied to its ability to sign up workers at U.S. plants owned by foreign-based car companies, the union's leader said Monday. In a speech to union members, UAW President Bob King laid out in stark terms the importance of the union's work to organize a plant owned by a Japanese, South Korean or German competitor to the Detroit Three.

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U.S., China Clash On 'Cooperative' R&D Projects

January 17, 2011 3:44 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — In late 2009, President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao announced an ambitious array of joint clean energy research projects touted as a mark of a maturing relationship and an alliance to fight climate change. A year after Obama's visit to China, the envisioned partnership has largely evaporated.

GM Expands Recall On 2011 SUVs For Locking Axles

January 17, 2011 3:36 am | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors is expanding an earlier recall of some 2011 model-year trucks and SUVs to fix a problem that could cause the vehicles' rear axles to lock. The recall, originally announced in December, now covers 26,751 Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC trucks and SUVs. The models affected are: Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Cadillac EXT, Chevrolet Avalanche, Colorado, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe; and GMC Canyon, Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL.

Deere CEO's Income Tripes During First Year

January 17, 2011 3:32 am | by Josh Funk, AP Business Writer

The compensation for Deere & Co.'s CEO nearly tripled in 2010 as Samuel Allen completed his first full year in the top job at the world's largest maker of agricultural equipment, but Allen's $12.3 million compensation remains less than his predecessor received in 2009. Predecessor Robert Lane received compensation worth $14 million in his last year leading the company.

The Unemployed: Looking For Work, Not A Dream Job

January 17, 2011 3:30 am | by Jenny Munro, Associated Press

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Forty-five-year-old J.P. Stathakis never thought he'd find himself in the legion of the unemployed, but there he was, a graduate of The Citadel, sucked under in the recession's tidal wave in 2009. Now he is thankful for his job on the maintenance crew at Borg Warner in Seneca, where he operates a forklift, among other duties.

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Toyota Working On Rare Earth-Free Electric Motor

January 17, 2011 3:28 am

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp., maker of the popular Prius hybrid car, is developing a new type of electric motor to cut its dependence on rare earth metals and lower costs, a company spokesman said Monday. The new technology will help free the world's No. 1 automaker from relying on China, which produces 97 percent of the global output of rare earths needed for many high-tech products, including the current generation of hybrid gasoline-electric motors.

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