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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Iran Blames Covert Western Sabotage For Stuxnet Worm

October 5, 2010 4:51 am | by Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran claimed Tuesday that a computer worm found on the laptops of several employees at the country's nuclear power plant is part of a covert Western plot to derail its nuclear program. Iranian officials have suggested in recent days that the Stuxnet worm that has affected computers of employees at the Bushehr nuclear power plant could be a conspiracy to damage Iran's nuclear activities.

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Toyota To Sell Smart Grid System Alongside EVs

October 5, 2010 4:49 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is pairing its little known housing business with its expertise in green cars to sell computer systems that link homes, utilities and vehicles to reduce energy use. The world's biggest automaker said Tuesday the launch of its home smart grid system in Japan will coincide with its plug-in hybrid cars going on sale in early 2012.

BMW To Hire 600 More S.C. Workers

October 5, 2010 4:48 am

GREER, S.C. (AP) — BMW Manufacturing Co. says it will hire an additional 600 workers at its Greer plant to work as they are needed to assemble the company's vehicles. BMW told multiple media outlets on Monday it will hire the new employees at job fairs Oct. 13 and Oct. 20 at Spartanburg Community College's Tyger River Campus.

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Initiative Reinforces Manufacturing 'Skills' For Young Workers

October 5, 2010 4:47 am | by Eric Gorski, AP Education Writer

As the White House stages a first-of-its-kind community college summit Tuesday, the Obama administration is proposing that stronger partnerships between two-year public colleges and big-name U.S. employers such as McDonald's and The Gap will help better match workers with jobs during the economic recovery and beyond.

AP: U.S. Economic Stress Eased In August

October 5, 2010 4:42 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Mike Schneider, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's economic stress eased slightly in August thanks to lower foreclosure rates in the hardest-hit states, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country. But the improvement was meager, and it added to evidence of sluggish economic growth.

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Gov't Tightens Standards For 'Five Star' Passenger Cars

October 5, 2010 4:41 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Transportation Department is outlining changes Tuesday to the U.S. government's 5-Star Safety Rating System that will make it more difficult for new cars and trucks to earn top scores. Only two of the first 34 vehicles tested under the new program — the 2011 BMW 5 Series and a version of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata — received the top grade of five stars.

U.S. Car Sales Down Despite New Models

October 4, 2010 5:21 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — New models and Labor Day holiday promotions didn't do much to fire Americans' appetites for new cars in September. Sales at Chrysler and Ford rose slightly from August. They fell at General Motors and Honda and were flat at Toyota. Car companies say a recovery is still happening, but it's not as strong as they had hoped following a terrible 2009.

Apple Could Surpass Exxon As 'Most Valuable' Company

October 4, 2010 4:53 am | by David K. Randall, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Here's something to think about the next time you pick up a call on your iPhone: the device you're holding may soon be the signature product of the most valuable company in the world. Thanks to its line of gadgets that combine the ability to make calls, send email, read books, watch movies and listen to music, Apple Inc.

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China's Reliance On Rare Earth Metals Worries Washington

October 4, 2010 4:49 am

TOKYO (AP) — China's recent halt of exotic metal shipments to Japan amid a diplomatic spat has reverberated throughout the world's high-tech manufacturing hubs — now on heightened alert to the risks of relying on one country for materials that do everything from helping hybrid engines run to creating the color red in televisions.

Students Build, Battle Robots To Understand Manufacturing

October 4, 2010 4:47 am | by Lugene Hudson, Associated Press Writer

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) — The plan for being the best involves building a robot. At Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, the best stands for Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology. Students from various shops have been meeting with electronics instructor Barry Clever to construct a prototype operating robot.

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GE To Invest $68 Million In Indiana Plant

October 4, 2010 4:47 am

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — General Electric plans to invest $68 million to redesign side-by-side refrigerators made at an Indiana plant. Louisville, Ky.-based GE Appliances & Lighting told employees at the Bloomington plant Friday about the investment. It's part of an agreement with the union in May that includes a wage freeze and competitive wage structure for new employees.

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Manufacturing Growth Sparks Wall Street Recovery

October 4, 2010 4:45 am | by Stephen Bernard, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks started off October on a positive note following mostly good news on the economy. Shares of big manufacturing companies like Boeing Co., General Electric Co. and 3M Co. rose Friday after the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index showed that factory activity was still expanding in September, although not quite as fast as analysts had hoped and slightly slower than the month before.

Munire Furniture To Buy Abandoned Auto Parts Plant

October 1, 2010 5:05 am

GAS CITY, Ind. (AP) — A company plans to buy a closed auto parts factory in central Indiana and start producing children's furniture there this fall. Executives of New Jersey-based Munire Furniture joined Gov. Mitch Daniels and local officials Friday in announcing plans for the Gas City factory.

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J&J Execs, FDA Take Heat For 'Phantom' Recall

October 1, 2010 4:47 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson executives and the Food and Drug Administration both shouldered the blame Thursday for a secret recall in which hired contractors quietly bought up defective painkillers to clear them from store shelves. J&J Chief Executive William Weldon told House lawmakers the company "made a mistake" in conducting the so-called "phantom recall," which is one of a string of problems that have drawn congressional scrutiny In the same committee hearing, the FDA's deputy commissioner, Dr.

Weath Gap Hits Manufacturing Workers Hard

October 1, 2010 4:46 am | by Jim Fitzgerald and Vicki Smith, Associated Press Writers

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (AP) — A Wall Street adviser leaves early for work to avoid panhandlers at his suburban train station. In coal country, a suddenly homeless man watches from a bench as wealthy women shop for dresses. A down-and-out waitress sits glumly on her stoop across the street from a gleaming suburb.

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HP's New CEO Befuddles Investors, Wall Street

October 1, 2010 4:45 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co.'s board upset many investors when it forced out Mark Hurd as CEO nearly two months ago. Now, those directors appear to have baffled Wall Street with its selection of HP's new leader — Leo Apotheker, who lost his job running German business software maker SAP earlier this year after he didn't live up to expectations.

At Paris Auto Show, Gasoline Is Still King

October 1, 2010 4:44 am | by Colleen Barry and Greg Keller, AP Business Writers

PARIS (AP) — Hybrids and electric cars may get top billing. But at the Paris Auto Show, conventional engines are showing they have plenty of mileage left. New gas and diesel models have carbon emissions not far behind those of hybrids, and there's nothing old-fashioned about their small size and highly efficient internal combustion technology.

Economists Expect Manufacturing Growth In September

October 1, 2010 4:43 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Growth in the manufacturing sector likely continued in September but at a slightly slower pace, economists say. Makers of goods such as PCs, autos, furniture and factory machinery helped pull the economy out from the recession because of overseas sales and strong demand from businesses that needed to replenish their stockpiles of goods.

Boeing Receives $5.3 Billion Fighter Jet Order

September 29, 2010 3:39 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy is ordering $5.3 billion worth of F/A-18 Hornet aircraft from Boeing Co. Boeing says the order is for 124 aircraft to be delivered between 2012 and 2015. The order includes 66 Super Hornets and 58 of its new Growlers, which are two-seat jets equipped with radar-jamming equipment and other gear to knock out a wide array of electronic devices.

HP Paints Rosy Outlook Despite Missing A CEO

September 29, 2010 3:21 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. offered a rosy financial outlook Tuesday without giving any guidance on the biggest issue hanging over the world's largest technology company: the identity of its next CEO. The leading maker of personal computers and printers has been looking for a new leader since its board pressured Mark Hurd, its CEO of five years, to step down in an early August scandal revolving around allegations of sexual harassment and deceptive expense reports.

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