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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

Trade Deficit Rose In Jan., Could Help Manufacturers

February 11, 2011 3:57 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The trade deficit widened in December as rising oil prices pushed the value of imports up faster than U.S. exports. The deficit increased 5.9 percent in December to $40.6 billion, the Commerce Department reported Friday. U.S. exports of goods and services rose to $163 billion, a 1.

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GM, Chrysler White-Collar Workers See Green

February 11, 2011 3:53 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Most of the 26,000 white-collar workers at General Motors Co. will get performance bonuses of 4 to 16 percent of their base salaries this year, but payments to a small number could be 50 percent or more, the company confirmed late Thursday. Chrysler Group LLC also will give bonuses to white-collar workers, with payments expected on Friday.

Food Safety Law Helps Protect Whistleblowers

February 11, 2011 3:49 am | by Steve Karnowski, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Food industry workers who become whistleblowers gained protection against retaliation from their employers with a little-noticed provision in the sweeping food safety law President Barack Obama signed last month. The Food Safety and Modernization Act is best known for sections that aim to prevent foodborne illnesses, allow the Food and Drug Administration to order recalls and make it easier to trace contaminated food to its source.

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Lincoln MKZ A 'Successful' Test Of Hybrid Demand

February 11, 2011 3:43 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Car buyers usually have to pay a premium of $5,000 or more for the hybrid version of a car. So when Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln MKZ hybrid went on sale last fall for the same price as the gas version, it became a test case for hybrid demand. The verdict: More people will choose the hybrid when price isn't a factor, but not too many more.

Tech Firm: Chinese Hackers Stole IP From Western Companies

February 11, 2011 3:41 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Hackers operating from China stole sensitive information from Western oil companies, a U.S. security firm reported Thursday, adding to complaints about pervasive Internet crime traced to the country. The report by McAfee Inc. did not identify the companies but said the "coordinated, covert and targeted" attacks began in November 2009 and targeted computers of oil and gas companies in the United States, Taiwan, Greece and Kazakhstan.

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Goodyear Lays Off 1,900 Tennessee Workers

February 11, 2011 3:34 am

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. reported Thursday its revenue rose 14 percent in the fourth quarter but it lost $177 million as it absorbed costs for its planned closure of a plant in Union City, Tenn. Its adjusted earnings and revenue beat Wall Street expectations, and shares surged $1.

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FBI Raids Detroit Offices Of Japanese Auto Parts Supplier

February 9, 2011 3:45 am

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The FBI has raided the suburban Detroit offices of the Japanese auto parts supplier Takata Corp. A subpoena and search warrant were served Tuesday at the offices of TK Holdings Inc. in Auburn Hills. Takata spokeswoman Alby Berman tells WXYZ-TV she's unsure of the reason for the raid.

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GM's Hourly Workers Could Get Highest-Ever Bonuses

February 9, 2011 3:42 am

DETROIT (AP) — Hourly workers at General Motors Co. could get $3,000 or more in profit-sharing this year, their biggest checks ever, according to a newspaper report Tuesday. The Detroit company, just a year and a half out of bankruptcy protection, made $4.2 billion in the first three quarters of this year and is expected to post a fourth-quarter profit in the coming weeks.

'Reshoring' Group Aims To Bring Manufacturing To Illinois

February 9, 2011 3:39 am

In his Jan 25, 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama focused on the need to create jobs, especially manufacturing and technical jobs, and the challenge of doing so in an increasingly competitive world.  The Illinois Reshoring Initiative today announces its program to apply the principles of the national Reshoring Initiative to revitalize Illinois manufacturing by reshoring: bringing back many of the most desirable jobs that have been lost to decades of offshoring.

GM: Chinese Sales Reach Month-To-Month High

February 9, 2011 3:33 am

SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors Co. says its vehicle sales in China, the world's largest auto market, hit a monthly record high of 268,071 in January, though year-on-year growth was sharply lower. GM said Wednesday that its sales in China in January rose 22.3 percent from a year earlier, a much smaller increase than the 97 percent growth seen in January 2010, when sales totaled 219,192 vehicles.

Consultant Gets 2 1/2 Years For Stealing 'Gorilla' Glass

February 9, 2011 3:30 am

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A California consultant drew a reduced 2 1/2-year prison sentence Tuesday for conspiring to steal highly valuable flat-panel-glass blueprints from Corning Inc. and turn them over to a rival business in Taiwan. Yeong Lin, 70, of Fountain Valley, Calif., pleaded guilty in June 2007 to a federal charge of theft of trade secrets.

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Gov't: No Electronic Flaws Caused Toyota Crashes

February 9, 2011 3:26 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Electronic flaws weren't to blame for the reports of sudden, unintended acceleration that led to the recall of thousands of Toyota vehicles, the government said Tuesday. Some of the acceleration cases could have been caused by mechanical defects — sticking accelerator pedals and gas pedals that can become trapped in floor mats — that have been dealt with in recalls, the government said.

Boeing Begins Production At MidAmerica Assembly Plant

February 8, 2011 4:05 am

MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — The Boeing Corp. says it has begun production at its new military aircraft assembly plant at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah. The Chicago-based aerospace giant announced Monday that it has 14 employees at work at the building that was formerly the airport's 50,000-square-foot warehouse.

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