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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Cutbacks To Make 'Snail Mail' Slower

December 6, 2011 4:36 am | by Hope Yen, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Already mocked by some as "snail mail," first-class U.S. mail will slow even more by next spring under plans by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to eliminate more than 250 processing centers. Nearly 30,000 workers would be laid off, too, as the post office struggles to respond to a shift to online communication and bill payments.

Recliner Maker Plans MS Expansion

December 6, 2011 4:35 am

BALDWYN, Miss. (AP) — Reclining furniture manufacturer Southern Motion has announced it is moving into a vacant 192,500-square-foot building in Baldwyn for a new line of upholstered recliners. Southern Motion President Roger Blandolf says in a statement that the move represents an investment of $3 million and will create 150 new jobs over the next three years.

WI Firm Reverses 1-Way Flow Of Shoes From Asia

December 6, 2011 4:33 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (AP) — There's a good chance the shoes you're wearing right now were made in China. Now an American shoemaker wants to put the shoe on the other foot, by persuading the Chinese to wear shoes made in the USA. The Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp., whose high-end shoes have been worn by U.

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Navy Spending $12M On Biofuels Order

December 6, 2011 4:31 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Navy is spending $12 million to buy 425,000 gallons of fuel made from cooking oil and algae that will be used to power vessels and ships in a training exercise. The government ordered the fuel from a joint venture between poultry producer Tyson Foods Inc.

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China Braces As European Crisis Adds To Strains

December 6, 2011 4:27 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer

HONG KONG (AP) — Europe's festering debt crisis is adding to strains on China just as the country is pricking its property bubble and facing a manufacturing downturn, limiting the ability of the world's No. 2 economy to prop up global growth. Leaders in Europe are navigating a crucial week as they work to find a breakthrough at a summit Friday to avoid the disintegration of the euro common currency and the global financial panic that could ensue.

Probe Finds Elaborate Cover-Up At 'Rotten' Olympus

December 6, 2011 4:24 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — A panel probing an accounting scandal at Japan's Olympus Corp. said Tuesday an elaborate scheme to cover up $1.5 billion of investment losses was orchestrated by a group of top executives who were "rotten to the core." The panel also credited the company's ex-CEO, Michael Woodford, for bringing the deception at the camera and medical equipment maker to light.

State, College To Help Fill Jobs At Yogurt Plant

December 5, 2011 8:42 am

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Representatives with the Idaho Department of Labor and College of Southern Idaho plan to visit the headquarters of New York-based Agro Farma to learn what kind of skills workers will need at a Chobani yogurt plant that will create 400 jobs when it opens sometime next year in Twin Falls.

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GE Signs $300M Saudi Arabia Gas Turbines Deal

December 5, 2011 8:40 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Monday that it signed a $300 million deal for natural gas turbines with Saudi Arabia's state-run utility as it expands six power plants. GE has supplied nearly 200 turbines to Saudi Electricity Co. over the last five years. In the latest deal, the utility will buy 13 turbines and related technical services.

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Toyota To Start Shipping U.S.-Built Camry To Korea

December 5, 2011 8:37 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Toyota said Monday that it plans to export U.S.-built Camry sedans to its distributor in South Korea. The Japanese automaker said it expects to initially export about 6,000 vehicles, which will be assembled at the automaker's plant in Georgetown, Ky. The Camry is one of Toyota's top-selling cars, both in the United States and globally.

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Stealthy Cellphone Software Stirs Outcry

December 5, 2011 8:35 am | by Jordan Robertson, Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Technology bloggers are asking if our cellphones are spying on us after a security researcher said a piece of software hidden on millions of phones was recording virtually everything people do with them. Amid a broad outcry, Sen. Al Franken is calling for an investigation.

U.S. Factory Orders Fall For Second Month

December 5, 2011 8:32 am | by Derek Kravitz, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies decreased their overall orders to U.S. factories in October for the second straight month, evidence that the economy remains weak despite other signs of improvement. The Commerce Department said Monday that total factory orders fell 0.4 percent. September's modest 0.

Subaru, Honda Recall Vehicles Due To Brake Issues

December 5, 2011 8:29 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Subaru of America is recalling three of its car models and Honda Motor Co. is recalling some motorcycles, all because the brakes can malfunction. The Honda recall covers 126,000 GL-1800 motorcycles from the 2001 to 2012 model years. A problem with a secondary brake master cylinder can cause the rear brake to drag, possibly causing a crash or fire.

President Appointed To New Atlas Copco Quality Air Division

December 5, 2011 4:56 am

Horst Wasel, currently President of the Specialty Rental division within Atlas Copco Compressor Technique, has been appointed President of the recently created Quality Air division, effective January 1, 2012. Horst Wasel, President of Atlas Copco's new Quality Air division “Horst has a vast experience in air and gas treatment from his previous functions in a customer center, in the Specialty Rental division and Gas and Process product companies.

Cargill To Cut Up To 2,000 Jobs

December 5, 2011 4:33 am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Food-industry conglomerate Cargill Inc. said Friday it will cut up to 2,000 jobs to reduce expenses in a weak economy. Cargill, which has 138,000 employees, said most of the cuts will occur in the next six months. "These are difficult decisions but are necessary to better position the company for continued growth," said spokesman Mike Fernandez.

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Ford Plant Produces Last Vehicle This Month

December 5, 2011 4:31 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — From Model T cars to Ranger pickup trucks, the last vehicle is expected to roll off the line this month at the Ford plant in St. Paul. Thousands of employees have built more than 6 million vehicles in St. Paul since the plant was finished in 1925. At its peak in the 1970s, the plant employed more than 2,000.

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Samsung Can Sell Disputed Devices In U.S., For Now

December 5, 2011 4:27 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge has blocked Apple Inc.'s attempt to prevent Samsung Electronics Co. from selling certain smartphones and tablets in the U.S. because they allegedly infringe iPhone and iPad patents. Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court in San Jose on Friday denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung.

Boeing Flips Switch On Solar Array

December 5, 2011 4:26 am

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Boeing Co. has flipped the switch on the solar power array on the roof of its new South Carolina assembly plant. Officials of Boeing and South Carolina Electric & Gas on Friday dedicated the 10-acre project which officials say is the largest rooftop solar installation in the Southeast, ranked by production capacity.

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Electric Car Maker Aptera Closes Its Doors

December 5, 2011 4:24 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

Electric car maker Aptera Motors is closing after failing to woo enough investors to bring a new sedan to market. Aptera CEO Paul Wilbur said the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company closed its doors Friday and laid off all 30 of its employees. The company was hoping to get a $150 million loan from the Department of Energy but needed to raise matching funds, Wilbur said.

Saab In Talks With Youngman, Chinese Bank

December 5, 2011 4:21 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish Automobile, the owner of Saab, said Monday it is in talks with an unnamed Chinese bank and an auto company about getting them to buy stakes to help the troubled car brand. Swedish Automobile, or Swan, said the negotiations with the bank and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co.

China Manufacturing Contracts In November

December 2, 2011 6:25 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's manufacturing contracted in November for the first time since early 2009, as weak export orders and a slowing economy at home sapped demand for most products, a government survey shows. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said Thursday that its monthly purchasing managers index fell an greater-than-expected 1.

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