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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

EPA: Most Texas Refineries Break Clean Air Act

May 26, 2010 4:47 am | by Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press Writer

HOUSTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency moved Tuesday to end a long-running dispute with Texas over how the state regulates emissions, including cancer-causing toxins such as benzene and butadiene, from dozens of refineries that produce a third of the nation's gasoline and billions of dollars of petrochemicals.

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Nissan Breaks Ground On 1,300-Job Tenn. Battery Plant

May 26, 2010 4:25 am

SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) — Nissan North America Inc. is breaking ground on a lithium-ion battery plant as part of its plan to build electric cars and eventually create up to 1,300 jobs in Tennessee. The battery plant at Smyrna is part of a $1.7 billion investment in the new battery plant and initial production of the all-electric Leaf starting in 2012.

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J & J Promises Overhaul Of Shoddy Manufacturing

May 26, 2010 4:23 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday it has hired an outside consulting firm to help fix manufacturing problems that triggered a massive recall of children's medicines and which have drawn ire from federal lawmakers and regulators. The maker of Tylenol, Motrin and other medications laid out plans to restructure its manufacturing operations in the wake of the latest in a series of recalls that have tarnished the company's household brands.

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Foxconn's Full Disclosure: We Can't Fix Everything

May 26, 2010 4:21 am | by William Foreman, Associated Press Writer

SHENZHEN, China (AP) — The head of Foxconn bowed deeply several times and apologized Wednesday for a spate of suicides at the factory that makes Apple iPods and iPhones, promising the electronics giant will try to stop more deaths. But the usually media-shy executive, Foxconn Technology Group Chairman Terry Gou, cautioned there was only so much his company could do.

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Maintenance Worker Dies At Okla. Lime Plant

May 26, 2010 4:19 am

MARBLE CITY, Okla. (AP) — Authorities say an employee performing maintenance on a machine at a limeplant has been killed. Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart says his office received a call about 4 p.m. Monday of an industrial accident at the U.S. Lime & Minerals Inc. in Marble City.

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Congress Prepares To Quadruple Oil Taxes

May 25, 2010 5:04 am | by Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to the massive BP oil spill, Congress is getting ready to quadruple — to 32 cents a barrel — a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade. The tax is levied on oil produced in the U.

Toyota Halts Lexus Sales, Waits For Replacement Parts

May 25, 2010 4:58 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has stopped sales of the Lexus LS sedan for about three weeks while it works to get parts to dealers to fix a problem with the vehicle's steering system, a spokesman said Monday. Toyota on Friday recalled about 3,800 2009 and 2010 LS 460 and LS 600h sedans in the U.

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Electric Boat To Add 450 Jobs, Invest $55 Million

May 25, 2010 4:51 am

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — Officials with submarine maker Electric Boat say the company will add 450 jobs at its Rhode Island facility over the next five years, and spend more than $55 million on new infrastructure as part of the expansion of the Virginia-class nuclear submarine program. Electric Boat president John Casey said Monday that this year alone the General Dynamics Corp.

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BP Responsible For Exxon Valdez Disaster, Too

May 25, 2010 4:34 am | by Naoki Schwartz, Associated Press Writer

Since a busted oil well began spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico a month ago, the catastrophe has constantly been measured against the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. The Alaska spill leaked nearly 11 million gallons of crude, killed countless wildlife and tarnished the owner of the damaged tanker, Exxon.

Toshiba Invests In American Nuclear Power

May 25, 2010 4:31 am

TOKYO (AP) — Nuclear power giants Toshiba Corp. and The Babcock & Wilcox Co. said Tuesday they will jointly invest $200 million to foster uranium enrichment technology being developed by USEC Inc. Tokyo-based Toshiba and B&W of Lynchburg, Virginia will contribute equally to the investment, which will be provided to USEC in three stages, the companies said in a statement.

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GE To Build First Freshwater Wind Farm Near Cleveland

May 25, 2010 4:30 am | by Meghan Barr, Associated Press Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) — General Electric Co. announced Monday that it plans to harness the power of winds blowing across Lake Erie by developing the world's first freshwater wind farm several miles offshore from downtown Cleveland. GE and the nonprofit Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., or LEEDCo, announced a partnership to develop five wind turbines about 6 miles north of Cleveland Browns stadium.

Supervisor Hid Child Laborers In Facility Basement

May 25, 2010 4:28 am

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A former supervisor at a kosher slaughterhouse raided by federal agents testified Monday that when child labor inspectors toured the facility, he took two workers he thought were underage and hid them in the basement. Former supervisor Brian Griffith testified Monday against former plant manager Sholom Rubashkin, who is being tried on 83 counts of child labor violations.

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China Promises Currency Reform, More U.S. Imports

May 24, 2010 5:00 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China promised currency reforms Monday as it opened a high-level dialogue with Washington but said it will decide the pace and pressed for an end to U.S. curbs on high-tech exports. President Hu Jintao made the pledge at the start of the two-day meeting, apparently trying to defuse a key irritant as officials began wide-ranging talks on financial market reforms, trade and reviving global growth.

Professor: Engineers Aren't What They Used To Be

May 24, 2010 4:41 am | by Amy Rolph

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Adam Bruckner has noticed a disturbing trend during his 38 years as a University of Washington professor of aeronautics engineering. His tests are less rigorous. His students, less prepared. Even the format of classes is changing, morphing into something that requires less manpower and smaller amounts of state money.

Oil Boom Manufacturing Experiencing Unfortunate Boom

May 24, 2010 4:40 am | by Kevin Spears

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Nearly a mile of newly made oil-containment boom, which provides a final and desperate line of defense against an enormous slick in the Gulf of Mexico, gets trucked out of a small factory in Cape Canaveral each day. "We're maxed out," said Sean Geary, sales manager at American Boom & Barrier Corp.

Marble Manufacturer Fires Up Furnace For The Last Time

May 24, 2010 4:37 am | by Michael Sangiacomo

MARIETTA, Ohio (AP) — David McCullough will say a little prayer early Monday, fire up a massive gas furnace for perhaps the last time and do what he does best — produce pretty marbles. McCullough may have to work his magic on the furnace, which has sat idle for months in Jabo Inc.'s tiny factory near Marietta.

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300 Motts Workers Strike Over Wage, 401(k) Cuts

May 24, 2010 4:30 am

WILLIAMSON, N.Y. (AP) — About 300 workers at a Mott's apple juice plant in western New York have gone on strike over proposed wage and benefit reductions. The unionized hourly employees at the Mott's plant in Williamson, 20 miles east of Rochester, walked off the job Sunday after contract negotiations on Friday failed to reach an agreement.

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Will The Volt Recharge Detroit Automaking?

May 24, 2010 4:27 am | by Sharon Cohen, AP National Writer

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — He stands all day, bent over noisy machines, cutting giant sheets of steel and feeding them into monster-sized presses so powerful the concrete floor rumbles beneath his size-16 feet. This is how Steve Prucnell builds cars. In 22 years, the parts haven't changed much.

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Ford Investing $135 Million In Two Detroit Plants

May 24, 2010 4:26 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Two Ford Motor Co. factories near Detroit will see 170 additional jobs in the next two years as the automaker brings battery pack and gas-electric hybrid transmission assembly to the United States. The company said Monday it will create a "center of excellence" for electric vehicle development in the Detroit area, and it intends to add more than 50 engineers to work on the next generation of electric vehicles.

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Govt. Aims To Up Fuel Economy Ante Past 2016

May 21, 2010 4:36 am | by Erica Werner, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking to a day when cars and trucks use far less gasoline or none at all, President Barack Obama plans to order the government to prepare fuel efficiency standards for many years from now and renew its focus on electric-powered vehicles. Obama is also asking federal agencies to extend a national fuel-efficiency program to big rig and work trucks for the first time, beginning in 2014.

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