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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Apple Audits Find Countless Abuses Among Suppliers

February 16, 2011 3:46 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Apple Inc. says its audits found labor, safety and other abuses by its suppliers in 2010, though it praised Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn for saving lives through its handling of a spate of suicides at its factories in China. The findings, outlined in Apple's annual supplier responsibility report, prompted local reports Wednesday to decry the "high price" paid by Chinese workers who assemble hit gadgets like the iPod and iPad.

China To Put Stranglehold On Rare Earths Market

February 16, 2011 3:42 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China plans to tighten control over rare earths producers and restrict output in a five-year development strategy, the Cabinet said Wednesday, amid concern abroad about plans to reduce exports of the exotic minerals used in high-tech goods. A Cabinet statement promised to "reasonably set annual quotas for production and export" but gave no details.

GM Recalls 50,000 Cadillacs For Handling Issues

February 16, 2011 3:35 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors says it is recalling more than 50,000 Cadillac CTS vehicles worldwide to fix a loose joint that could cause a rear wheel to become unstable, making it hard for drivers to steer. GM says the recall affects more than 44,000 CTS vehicles in the United States from the 2009 and 2010 model years.

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Engine Battle Forces GOP To Choose Favorite Manufacturer

February 16, 2011 3:34 am | by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's campaign against a costly alternative engine for the Pentagon's next-generation fighter jet faces a critical vote in the GOP-controlled House, its fate to be decided by more than 90 freshmen lawmakers who previously haven't had to choose sides between two major defense companies.

Factory Output Jumps For Fifth Straight Month

February 16, 2011 3:31 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Factories produced more goods for the fifth straight month in January as strong auto sales spurred demand for new cars and trucks. But overall industrial production fell for the first time in 19 months. The Federal Reserve says output by the nation's factories, mines and utilities dipped 0.

Mitsubishi Gets $34 Million Incentive For Memphis Factory

February 16, 2011 3:31 am | by Adrian Sainz, Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mitsubishi Electric will receive more than $34 million in tax incentives for building a $200 million high-voltage power transformer factory that is expected to create 281 jobs in Memphis, documents show. Mitsubishi Electric Power Products announced plans Monday to build the plant on 140 acres at an industrial park near the Mississippi River.

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China's Car Imports Doubled In 2010, With SUVs In Charge

February 15, 2011 4:12 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's imports of foreign cars nearly doubled last year, with Japanese and German models most in favor among buyers looking to upgrade their vehicles, an industry association said Tuesday. The quasi-official China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said car imports jumped 93 percent last year from 2009 to 813,600 vehicles.

First 'Man Vs. Machine' Jeopardy Battles Ends In Draw

February 15, 2011 3:59 am | by Frazier Moore, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — In the "Jeopardy!" battle of man vs. machine, man and machine were neck-and-neck on Monday. Human player Brad Rutter and the supercomputer named Watson ended an initial round tied at $5,000. The other challenger, human Ken Jennings, was far behind with $2,000. Rutter (the show's all-time money-winner with $3.

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U.S. Retail Sales Rise 0.3 Percent Despite Weather

February 15, 2011 3:44 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. shoppers pushed retail sales up for a seventh straight month although the increase was the weakest since June. Retail sales increased 0.3 percent last month to $318.6 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Demand rose at department stores, electronic stores and auto dealerships.

GM CEO: China Is Our New 'Crown Jewel'

February 15, 2011 3:43 am | by Tini Tran, Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — China will play a much bigger role in General Motors Co.'s plans including clean energy vehicles as it moves to capitalize further on rapid growth in the world's largest auto market, the company's CEO said Tuesday. Calling China "the crown jewel in the GM universe," Chief Executive Daniel Akerson said the automaker plans to launch more than 20 new or redesigned cars in China over the next two years.

Boeing: Biofuel-Based Aviation Here By 2015

February 15, 2011 3:41 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Boeing Co. hopes aviation biofuels will be practical for the market by around 2015, but it's going to take a lot of work. Richard Wynne, Boeing Commercial Airplane's director of environment and aviation policy, told reporters Monday that the company is working with others throughout the industry toward having 1 percent of all aviation fuel come from non-petroleum sources by then.

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Ecuador Fines Chevron $9.5 Billion For Contamination

February 15, 2011 3:40 am | by Frank Bajak and Gonzalo Solano, Associated Press

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — An Ecuadorean judge ruled Monday in an epic environmental case that Chevron Corp. was responsible for oil drilling contamination in a wide swath of Ecuador's northern jungle and ordered the oil giant to pay $9.5 billion in damages and cleanup costs. The amount — $8.

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Nokia CEO Under Heavy Fire For Microsoft Alliance

February 14, 2011 3:56 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Investors have panned his shake-up strategy and employees are not happy. Now,Nokia Corp.'s Stephen Elop, the first non-Finn to lead the world's largest maker of phones, is in a hurry to justify his decision to ditch the company's smart-phone software in favor of a former employer's, Microsoft.

IBM's Supercomputer Ready To Take On Humans

February 14, 2011 3:50 am | by David Bauder, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — When he was mowing down opponents en route to a record of 74 wins in a row on the game show "Jeopardy!" Ken Jennings often seemed more machine than man. Now television viewers can see him going up against a real machine. On Monday, "Jeopardy!" will begin airing two matches spread over three days between Jennings, Brad Rutter (the show's all-time money-winner with $3.

Energy Drink Manufacturers Under Fire For Health Risks

February 14, 2011 3:46 am | by Lindsey Tanner, AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) — Energy drinks are under-studied, overused and can be dangerous for children and teens, warns a report by doctors who say kids shouldn't use the popular products. The potential harms, caused mostly by too much caffeine or similar ingredients, include heart palpitations, seizures, strokes and even sudden death, the authors write in the medical journal Pediatrics.

Drinking More Beer Can Save The World

February 14, 2011 3:41 am | by John Curran, Associated Press

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Before he started "saving the earth, one beer at a time," all inventor Eric Fitch knew about home brewing was that it could make quite a mess. Once, he accidentally backed up the plumbing in his apartment building by dumping into his garbage disposal the spent grain left over from his India Pale Ale home brew.

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Japan: Yes, China Is The Bigger Economy

February 14, 2011 3:31 am | by Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Japan confirmed Monday that China's economy surpassed its own as the world's second largest in 2010 and said a late-year downturn was its first quarterly contraction in more than a year. Japan's economy expanded 3.9 percent in the calendar year in the first annual growth in three years.

GM's Workers To Get $4,000 In Profit-Sharing

February 14, 2011 3:27 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. will pay more than $189 million in profit-sharing to 48,000 U.S. hourly workers and millions more in performance bonuses to salaried employees, according to a person briefed on the matter. The company, less than two years out of bankruptcy protection, will pay most hourly workers more than $4,000 each as compensation for the company's strong financial performance last year, the person said.

Reid Announces Customized Industrial Products

February 11, 2011 11:02 am

Muskegon, Michigan — Reid Supply Company has an exhaustive catalogue of industrial supplies, but no supplier can carry every conceivable piece of industrial equipment down to the individual component. This is why Reid Supply announces its own state-of-the-art precision  tool components  and machining company to create industrial products on demand for clients, via their sister company Total Quality Machining (TQM).

Uncertainty Is Certain

February 11, 2011 5:03 am

Introduction Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium defines “uncertainty” as the level of knowledge of the past and current conditions that allows one to describe the existing state and predict a future outcome. Anyone who claims to have a clear picture of the past and current state and thinks they can predict the future is wrong.

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