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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GE-FANUC Finalize Dissolution Of Joint Venture

December 14, 2009 3:36 am

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — GE (NYSE: GE) and FANUC LTD announced today that the two companies have completed their agreement to dissolve the GE Fanuc Automation Corporation Joint Venture.  This agreement reverts the respective portions of the joint venture back to the parent company and allows each company to focus on its existing businesses and pursue growth in its respective core industry of expertise.

CAT Begins Chinese Joint Venture

December 14, 2009 3:35 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, said Monday that it signed a joint venture deal with a Chinese company to create a remanufacturing business. Caterpillar (China) Investment Co. Ltd. and China Yuchai International Ltd.'s Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Co.

Life After Bobcat's Dec. 23rd Shutdown

December 14, 2009 3:30 am | by Christopher Bjorke

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Twenty years on a job allows for some time to think. But for Scott Langemo, the past few weeks have been a time to reflect on his years as a tool and die machinist for Bobcat Co. and what comes next. "There's been a lot of reflecting on what I want to do with my life," he said.

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Yaskawa Expands Milwaukee-Based U.S. Operations

December 11, 2009 6:41 am

Waukegan, Ill. — Even during these difficult economic times, Yaskawa Electric America, Inc. has continued to increase its business in the Americas. To accommodate this growth with a continuing high level of customer service, Yaskawa recently expanded its U.S.-based operations. Earlier this year, Yaskawa moved into a new facility near Milwaukee, Wis.

Boeing 787 Through 'Final Gauntlet,' Ready For Test Flight

December 11, 2009 3:39 am

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. says the long-anticipated first flight of its new 787 jetliner could come as early as Tuesday. Boeing announced Thursday that its window for a first flight would open on Dec. 15 with the actual flight timing dependent on final internal reviews, taxi testing and Federal Aviation Administration documentation.

India Factory Output Continues Upward Momentum

December 11, 2009 3:31 am | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer

MUMBAI, India (AP) — India's factory output rose 10.3 percent in October from a year earlier as stimulus measures and domestic demand pushed Asia's third-largest economy into its 10th straight month of industrial expansion. Manufacturing output grew 11.1 percent, rebounding from a 0.

Greenhouse Cutting Bill Gets Revisions To Court Republicans

December 11, 2009 3:28 am | by Dina Cappiello and H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators trying to craft bipartisan climate legislation offered a revised proposal Thursday that would add incentives for building nuclear power plants and open the way for expanded oil and gas drilling off the nation's coastlines in hopes of attracting wider support.

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Hulking Airbus A400M Takes Graceful Maiden Flight

December 11, 2009 3:21 am | by Emma Vandore, AP Business Writer

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — The A400M military transport plane that has been causing Airbus and European defense ministers budgetary and logistical headaches finally took to the skies for its maiden flight on Friday. But even as the hulking gray airlifter took off from the Spanish city of Seville, defense officials are meeting on the sidelines of the event to decide how to continue with the much delayed and over budget project.

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Government Food Safety System 'Appalling'

December 11, 2009 3:14 am | by Garance Burke, Associated Press Writer

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A crucial part of the nation's rapid-reponse plan — the ability to trace food through the supply chain during an illness outbreak or bioterrorism attack — is seriously flawed, an independent watchdog agency has found. Federal auditors found that nearly half the food manufacturers they surveyed that are supposed to register with the Food and Drug Administration failed to give the agency accurate contact information, according to a report to be released Friday by the U.

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Lawmaker Wants Meatpacker Closed After Recall

December 10, 2009 10:36 am

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro wants to temporarily shut down a California beef processor that has recalled nearly 850,000 pounds of hamburger meat due to salmonella fears. The Connecticut Democrat says Fresno-based Beef Packers Inc. should be closed until investigators probe conditions that prompted the recalls, the most recent of which happened last Friday.

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Weak Economy Has One Advantage: Fewer Industrial Spills

December 8, 2009 8:58 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to pollution, the economic downturn could have an upside. The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday reported that toxic chemical pollution from the nation's industrial plants, mines and factories declined by 6 percent in 2008, the second year in a row that companies have reported releasing less pollution.

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Exec Pleads Guilty After Raid Reveals 600 Illegal Workers

December 8, 2009 7:48 am

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The only company official charged in the nation's largest workplace raid on illegal immigrants is scheduled to change his not guilty plea at a court hearing Wednesday. Jose Humberto Gonzalez had pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and identity theft charges, among others, related to the raid on Howard Industries in Laurel, Miss.

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New Jobs Down, Employers Afraid To Jump In

December 8, 2009 7:43 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Layoffs may be slowing, but employers are hesitant to take the next step that is key to reducing the unemployment rate: hiring more workers. That is likely to keep the competition fierce for those openings that do exist. There were about 6.3 unemployed people, on average, for each job opening in October, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday.

Obama: Let's 'Spend Our Way Out Of This Recession'

December 8, 2009 7:39 am | by Philip Elliott, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama outlined new multibillion-dollar stimulus and jobs proposals Tuesday, saying the nation must continue to "spend our way out of this recession" until more Americans are back at work. Without giving a price tag, Obama proposed a package of new spending for highway, bridge and other infrastructure projects, deeper tax breaks for small businesses and tax incentives to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient.

After Four Months, Orange Gel Spill Remains A Mystery

December 8, 2009 7:14 am

WEST UNION, W.Va. (AP) — Four months after a spill left 2 inches of orange gel on a Doddridge County stream, officials in West Union are still awaiting answers. The spill was on Buckeye Run in August, and Tapo Energy of West Union was cited. A cleanup crew vacuumed up 2,500 gallons of gel.

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Even Under Cap-and-Trade, U.S. Gas Cuts 'Insufficient'

December 8, 2009 6:31 am | by Charles J. Hanley, AP Special Correspondent

COPENHAGEN (AP) — This decade is on track to become the warmest since records began in 1850, and 2009 could rank among the top-five warmest years, the U.N. weather agency reported Tuesday on the second day of a pivotal 192-nation climate conference. Only the United States and Canada experienced cooler conditions than average, the World Meteorological Organization said, although Alaska had the second-warmest July on record.

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Vestas Temporarily Shuttering Windsor Turbine Plant

December 8, 2009 3:53 am

WINDSOR, Colo. (AP) — The Danish wind-turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S plans to halt production at its Windsor blade manufacturing plant in the first part of 2010. Vestas spokesman Peter Kruse says most, if not all, of the plant's 500 employees at the plant will be placed on furlough.

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EPA Q&A: What Cap-and-Trade Means To America

December 8, 2009 3:52 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press Writer

A big meeting in Copenhagen. A cap-and-trade bill in Congress. And now, a determination by the Environmental Protection Agency that global warming pollution is a threat to public health — a move that clears the way for the first-ever federal regulations targeting climate-changing emissions.

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Boeing, Airbus Split United Airlines Jet Order

December 8, 2009 3:47 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Airlines Writer

CHICAGO — United Airlines on Tuesday said it would buy its first new jets since 1998, splitting an order for 50 planes between Airbus and Boeing Co. United said it ordered 25 of Boeing's long-awaited 787 widebody jetliners and 25 of the Airbus A350. Delivery is expected between 2016 and 2019, around the same time the airline will retire Boeing 747 and 767 aircraft.

Shop Safe: Zhu Zhu Pets Non-Toxic, Says CPSC

December 8, 2009 3:35 am

by Justin Pritchard, Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zhu Zhu Pets robotic hamsters — one of the holiday season's hottest toy crazes — do not violate safety standards, federal toy regulators said Monday after a consumer group raised concerns over the presence of a heavy metal on one model.

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