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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Detroit Steel Plant Ablaze

October 20, 2009 4:43 am

RIVER ROUGE, Mich. (AP) — An industrial fire is sending thick, black smoke into the air southwest of Detroit. James Buford, Wayne County's director of homeland security and emergency management, says the fire began around 9 a.m. Tuesday at a steel plant. Buford says fire crews from Detroit and surrounding communities were responding to the fire.

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Baby Food Recalled For Botulism Threat

October 20, 2009 4:37 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Plum Organics of Emeryville, Calif., is recalling some of its apple and carrot portable pouch baby food because of concerns over possible botulism contamination. The product was sold individually throughout the country at Toys-R-Us and Babies-R-Us stores. The recalled product is sold in 4.

GM Investing $364 Million In Indiana Plant

October 20, 2009 4:32 am

MARION, Ind. (AP) — General Motors Co. says it's investing $364 million in its Marion Metal Center in Indiana and will employ about 230 workers transferring from plants in Michigan and Ohio. The automaker announced the expansion Monday. It says the plant already employs about 115 people who worked at a plant in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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Chinese Employer Of Ford Backstabber Concerned

October 20, 2009 4:27 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Beijing Autos, one of two Chinese companies that employed a former Ford Motor engineer arrested in the U.S. for allegedly stealing trade secrets, said Tuesday it is watching the case, but relies on its own designs and technology. The statement issued by Beijing Automotive was the first official comment from China on the Oct.

DuPont Posts Profit After Massive Cost-Cutting

October 20, 2009 4:22 am | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer

DOVER, Delaware (AP) — DuPont offset falling sales and prices using cost cuts and reported larger third-quarter profits Tuesday. All major chemical makers, including Wilmington-based DuPont Co., were hit first by soaring crude and energy costs last year, and then plummeting sales both in the U.

Caterpillar Profits Fall 53 Percent

October 20, 2009 4:15 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar says its profit plunged in the latest quarter as construction companies bought fewer of its big yellow-and-black machines. But the company says it sees rebounding demand worldwide and it lifted its profit outlook for the year. Caterpillar has struggled with waning demand since the global economy deteriorated late last year.

IBM Exec Put Out To Pasture After Charges

October 20, 2009 4:06 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — IBM Corp. put a top executive on leave Monday after he was charged in an insider trading scandal for allegedly leaking secrets about IBM's earnings and financial dealings with corporate partners. The company said Robert Moffat, a senior vice president and cost-cutting maven who was considered a possible candidate to succeed CEO Sam Palmisano, no longer serves as an officer of the company.

G.I. Joe Battles For 8.8 Percent Profit Increase

October 19, 2009 7:19 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Hasbro Inc., the nation's second-biggest toymaker, saw profit rise nearly 9 percent in the third quarter as the company trimmed costs amid a slight decline in sales. Hasbro also was upbeat about the holidays, saying Monday that results are picking up so far in the fourth quarter.

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Feds Want Dow To Fess Up To Dioxin Spill

October 19, 2009 5:19 am

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — Federal and state officials say they're seeking public comment on a proposed deal with Dow Chemical Co. on designing a cleanup of dioxin contamination near a plant in Midland. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Quality say the comment period begins Monday and runs through Nov.

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Whirlpool Considers Recalling Workers At AR Plant

October 19, 2009 4:50 am

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — The Whirlpool Corp. refrigerator factory in Fort Smith is preparing to add production and may call back 150 employees who were laid off. The plant now employs between 900 and 1,000 people, far fewer than the 4,600 it had in 2006 before moving part of its production to Mexico.

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Spanish Unions Reject Magna Offer

October 19, 2009 4:49 am

MADRID (AP) — Spanish unions have rejected Magna's latest offer concerning the future of an Opel plant targeted for job cuts and will vote on calling a strike, a labor representative said Monday. Jose Juan Arceiz, leader of a committee representing workers at the Opel auto plant near Zaragoza, told AP that talks last week with Magna had yielded some progress but unions still deemed Magna's offer as not enough.

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One Worker Dead After Explosion At WI Plant

October 19, 2009 4:48 am

COLUMBUS, Wis. (AP) — One person has died in an explosion and fire at a manufacturing plant in Columbus. Fire officials say the maintenance employee was killed while using a hand-held grinder on some floor bolts at American Packaging Corp. Sunday about 6 p.m. Fire Chief Randy Koehn (KEEN) says sparks ignited some vapors, causing the explosion and fire.

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ABB Expects $1 Billion Q3 Profit

October 19, 2009 4:47 am

ZURICH (AP) — Swiss-based electrical engineering company ABB Group said Monday it expected third-quarter net profit of around $1 billion after booking charges for an alleged price fixing fine, higher taxes and restructuring costs. ABB officially announces its quarterly results on Oct.

Boeing's Rotorcraft Union Ratifies Raises

October 19, 2009 4:46 am

RIDLEY PARK, Pa. (AP) — Union workers at Boeing Co.'s Rotorcraft plant near Philadelphia have ratified a new five-year contract with the aircraft maker that will give them raises of 2 percent to 4 percent a year and a lump-sum payment of $3,500 in the first year, the company and the union said Sunday.

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Tyson To Reopen Independence, Iowa Plant

October 16, 2009 4:41 am

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — Tyson Foods has announced plans to reopen its plant in Independence in 2010 to produce pet treats. The plant was closed in 2006 by the poultry and meat processor, costing about 400 workers their jobs. The Iowa Economic Development Board approved incentives, including a $400,000 forgivable loan, intended to get the Independence plant up and running.

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AMD Sales Rise For Laptop Demand

October 16, 2009 4:39 am | by Jessica Mintz, AP Technology Writer

SEATTLE (AP) — Advanced Micro Devices Inc. lost money in the third quarter but said Thursday that sales were stronger than expected, adding to mounting evidence that consumer spending is fueling a turnaround in the personal computer market. AMD sells about 20 percent of the world's computer microprocessors, which are the brains inside PCs.

Ex-Ford Engineer Stole Secrets, Ran To China

October 16, 2009 4:08 am | by Ed White, Associated Press Writer

DETROIT (AP) — An engineer copied thousands of electronic documents and stole trade secrets before quitting Ford Motor Co. for a new job in China, authorities said Thursday in announcing criminal charges.> Xiang Dong Yu, also known as Mike Yu, was arrested Wednesday in Chicago after traveling from China, the U.

China Seeks To Set Global Iron Ore Price

October 16, 2009 3:54 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — China, the world's biggest steel producer, is pushing to replace the benchmark arrangement long used by the industry to price iron ore imports with one giving it a bigger say. China sought price cuts from miners of up to 40 percent this year following two years of increases totaling more than 100 percent.

Dell To Move N.C. Jobs To Mexico

October 16, 2009 3:49 am

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Production at the North Carolina plant that Dell Inc. is closing in Winston-Salem will be moved to Mexico and other countries, according to a federal document. The High Point Enterprise reported Friday that Dell indicated in a Trade Adjustment Assistance Act petition that the work that has been done in Winston-Salem will be given to third-party providers in Mexico and other countries.

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Timken, UAW Shake Hands On 4-Year Contract

October 16, 2009 3:44 am

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Timken Co., which makes ball bearings and transmission products, says it has a tentative four-year contract agreement with leaders of a United Steel Workers local that covers 2,300 workers in Canton. The current contract was extended to Oct. 31 to allow time for a ratification vote later this month by members of USW Local 1123, Timken said.

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