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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

In A First, Fuels Are Top U.S. Export

January 3, 2012 8:27 am | by Chris Kahn, AP Energy Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time, the top export of the United States, the world's biggest gas guzzler, is — wait for it — fuel. Measured in dollars, the nation is on pace this year to ship more gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel than any other single export, according to U.S.

Sanyo To Move More Work From AR Plant

January 3, 2012 4:05 am

FORREST CITY, Ark. (AP) — Sanyo Manufacturing Corp. will move more of its Forrest City operations to plants in Mexico and San Diego and reduce the number of workers remaining at the Arkansas factory. The plant had 650 employees making cathode ray tubes for use in televisions five years ago.


CA Company Cancels $177M Solar Plant

January 3, 2012 4:03 am

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A California-based solar power company is canceling plans to build a $177 million solar panel factory in Michigan, the chief executive said. When the project was announced in 2009, San Jose-based GlobalWatt Inc. said it would create 500 jobs. At that time, Saginaw was one of two communities in the running for the project.


As Ford Plant Waned, Workers Slow To Prepare

January 3, 2012 4:01 am | by Chris Williams, Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — When the last Ranger pickup truck rolled off the assembly line at the Ford Motor Co. plant here in December, it came five years after Ford announced plans to close the plant. And yet it managed to catch many employees unprepared for life's next step. It's a theme that's become all too familiar for union leaders at shuttered plants around the country who have watched workers cling too long to high-paying jobs.


Woman Sues Honda Over Mileage

January 3, 2012 3:58 am | by Linda Deutsch, AP Special Correspondent

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — A woman who expected her 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid to be her dream car wants Honda to pay for not delivering the high mileage it promised. But rather than joining other owners in a class-action lawsuit, she is going solo in small claims court, an unusual move that could offer a bigger payout if it doesn't backfire.

Fisker Recalls Karma Electric Car For Fire Risk

January 3, 2012 3:56 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even expensive electric cars get recalled sometimes. Fisker Automotive is recalling its 2012 Karma because of a potential coolant leak. The plug-in hybrid cars cost about $100,000. Fisker has sold about 50 of them and says 1,200 more are in production or waiting to be sold.

U.S. Auto Industry To Post Another Good Sales Year

January 3, 2012 3:54 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — After hitting a 30-year low in 2009, U.S. auto sales are poised for a second straight year of growth — the result of easier credit, low interest rates and pent-up demand for cars and trucks created by the Great Recession. The sales forecast bodes well for the industry's continued recovery and for the broader American economy.


Judge Allows AMR To Continue Boeing Purchases

December 22, 2011 8:32 am | by Samantha Bomkamp, AP Airlines Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — A bankruptcy judge says that the parent of American Airlines can go ahead with its previously scheduled deliveries of Boeing aircraft next year. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane ruled Thursday that AMR Corp. can continue the process of purchasing 32 Boeing planes.


OSHA Accuses WI Manufacture Of Violations

December 22, 2011 8:30 am

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A federal workplace-safety agency accuses a Waukesha, Wis. manufacturer of exposing its workers to safety hazards. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Acme Machell Co. for 22 alleged safety and health violations. The company makes rubber components for other products.

Gas Tubing Fires Linked To Lightning Spark Concern

December 22, 2011 8:28 am | by Kantele Franko, Associated Press

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Reports of lightning-related fires and gas leaks in at least a dozen states have sparked concerns about the use of flexible gas lines made of corrugated stainless steel tubing. The same type of lightning strikes is suspected of causing fires in four homes in central Ohio over a stormy 12-hour period this summer.

Economy Grew More Slowly In Summer Than Thought

December 22, 2011 8:26 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew more slowly in the summer than previously thought because consumers spent less than the government had first estimated. But economists expect growth in the current October-December quarter to be stronger. The Commerce Department says the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.

J&J Recalls Motrin Caplets, Again

December 22, 2011 8:23 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson has issued another recall of Motrin pain relievers, at least the sixth in two years. It's part of a string of more than two dozen recalls of consumer health products, prescription drugs and medical devices over 2 1/2 years.

Toyota Aims To sell 8.48M Vehicles In 2012

December 22, 2011 8:21 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is aiming for a comeback, targeting record global sales of 8.48 million vehicles in 2012 and an even bigger number in 2013, after being battered this year by the March disaster in Japan and flooding in Thailand. Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's top automaker, relinquished its title as the world's biggest in global vehicle sales for the first half of this year, sinking to No.

Oracle Misfires In 2Q, Raising Tech Worries

December 21, 2011 8:57 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Oracle stumbled in its latest quarter as the business software maker struggled to close deals, a signal of possible trouble ahead for the technology sector. The performance announced Tuesday covered a period of economic turbulence which has raised concerns that major companies and government agencies may curtail technology spending.

Deere Plans $113M IA Expansion

December 21, 2011 8:48 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Deere & Co. is moving ahead with a $113 million expansion at its plant in Ankeny in the wake of almost $10 million in tax incentives for the project. The Des Moines Register ( ) says the Moline, Ill.-based company confirmed plans Tuesday to expand the manufacturing capacity at the factory, which makes products primarily for cotton production.


Yaskawa To Open Robot Plant In China

December 21, 2011 8:45 am

KITAKYUSHU, Japan, Dec. 21 (Kyodo) — Yaskawa Electric Corp. said Wednesday it will open its first overseas robot manufacturing subsidiary in China in February to meet growing demand for robots in the local auto industry. The subsidiary, Yaskawa's fifth plant in China, will produce and sell welding robots for auto assembly on a 500,000-square-meter site in the eastern province of Jiangsu.


CAW Calls For Review Of CAT Purchase

December 21, 2011 8:44 am

TORONTO — Canada's largest private sector union is calling on Ottawa to review the purchase of Canada's only locomotive manufacturing plant by U.S.-based Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) back in 2010. The Canadian Auto Workers union says hundreds of jobs at the Electro-Motive plant in London, Ont.


Honda Scrambling To Revamp Civic

December 21, 2011 8:33 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

ROMULUS, Michigan (AP) — Honda is scrambling to revamp its Civic just eight months after a new version hit showrooms, and critics say it's an admission that the compact car fell short in quality and handling. The revamp, to come by the end of 2012, is rare because new models aren't usually overhauled for at least three years.

Labor Board Approves New Union Election Rules

December 21, 2011 8:30 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a win for organized labor, the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday approved sweeping new rules that would speed the pace of union elections, possibly making it easier for unions to gain members at companies that have long rebuffed them. Business groups quickly denounced the move, saying it limits the time that employers have to educate workers about the impact of joining a union.

Mueller Electric Company Acquired By Desco Corporation

December 21, 2011 5:01 am

Akron-based manufacturing operations and sales growth initiatives continue . Akron, Ohio, USA – Mueller Electric Company, Inc. ( ), a global manufacturer and distributor of test leads, cable assemblies, clips, connectors, custom cable assemblies and accessories for electronic component, factory automation, and test & measurement markets, announced its acquisition by Desco Corporation ( www.


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