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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Alcoa Offers NC Officials Jobs-For-License Deal

November 11, 2011 6:18 am

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Aluminum maker and energy company Alcoa Inc. said Thursday that it is making a $50 million promise to create hundreds of jobs for residents along the Yadkin River valley in a few years — but only if officials stop fighting a 50-year federal license to keep operating a series of dams that could generate billions of dollars in electricity sales.

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Starbucks Buys Juice Co., Plans Chain Of Health Stores

November 11, 2011 3:58 am

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Starbucks Corp. hopes to do for juice what it's done for coffee. The Seattle-based company that changed the way Americans drink their cup of Joe said Thursday that it acquired by juice maker Evolution Fresh Inc. for $30 million as part of a larger effort to move beyond just offering coffee.

Scandal-Hit Olympus May Become Buyout Target

November 11, 2011 3:44 am

TOKYO, Nov. 11 (Kyodo) — Having succeeded in building a strong presence in the medical equipment market, Olympus Corp. now faces the challenge of survival and may become a buyout target as its corporate value is being downgraded after admitting it hid past securities investment losses.

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China: ConocoPhillips Oil Spills Due To Negligence

November 11, 2011 3:33 am

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities said Friday that negligence by a ConocoPhillips subsidiary caused recent oil spills in Bohai Bay that have drawn intense criticism from marine authorities and environmentalists. The State Oceanic Administration said in a statement on its website that an investigation found there were shortcomings in ConocoPhillips China's systems and management and that the company failed to take necessary preventive measures after signs of a problem emerged.

Toyota Production In Japan To Return To Normal

November 11, 2011 3:30 am

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota says its vehicle production in Japan will return to near normal levels Nov. 21-25, and no longer be scaled back for supply shortages due to flooding in Thailand. Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday a decision for the following week is unclear. It said earlier this week production at its Thai plant, stopped from Oct.

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CAT To Expand Chinese Mining In $886M Deal

November 11, 2011 3:20 am

HONG KONG (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. said Friday its offer to buy a Chinese maker of mine safety machinery will help it expand in the world's biggest coal-producing country as it modernizes its mines. The proposed deal to buy Hong Kong-based ERA Mining Machinery Ltd. for as much as $886 million would also help Caterpillar expand sales of mining equipment to other countries, said Steve Wunning, who oversees the company's mining equipment business.

Gunman Kills 2 At Czech Airplane Plant

November 11, 2011 3:11 am

PRAGUE (AP) -- A gunman opened fire at an airplane plant in the Czech Republic, killing two people Thursday before committing suicide, police said. The shooting occurred inside the Aircraft Industries company in the eastern town of Kunovice, police spokeswoman Jana Bartikova said. Initial information suggested six people were wounded, Bartikova said, but regional rescue service spokesman Petr Olsan said only one woman sustained a head injury and had to be treated in a nearby hospital.

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WI Contractor Faces 5 OSHA Violations

November 10, 2011 6:53 am

MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) — A federal workplace-safety agency has cited a Manitowoc utility contractor for five alleged safety violations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the violations stem from trenching operations conducted by Vinton Construction Co. The citations carry proposed penalties of about $95,000.

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Orica Plant Closed Over Chemical Leaks

November 10, 2011 6:51 am | by Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian environment officials ordered Orica Ltd., the world's largest explosives maker, to shut down one of its plants Thursday, a day after the company was charged over a gas leak that exposed a community to a cancer-causing compound. The New South Wales state Environment Protection Agency said the Melbourne-based company's performance at the plant near the coastal city of Newcastle had been unacceptable.

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Airbus A350 Launch Delayed

November 10, 2011 6:49 am | by Greg Keller, AP Business Writer

PARIS (AP) — Airbus parent company EADS NV said Thursday it took a euro200 million ($273 million) charge in its third quarter accounts because of a new delay in the launch of its strategic long-range jet the A350XWB. The European aircraft manufacturer says the A350 lightweight composite jet will enter service during the first half of 2014, up to six months after it was previously expected to begin carrying passengers.

Crystal Sugar Workers Press For Jobless Benefits

November 10, 2011 6:47 am

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — More than 100 American Crystal Sugar Co. workers and their supporters rallied at the North Dakota Capitol on Monday. They want the North Dakota Legislature to allow the workers to be paid unemployment benefits. The Minnesota company locked out about 1,300 union-represented employees Aug.

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Thailand To Help Companies As Floods Spread

November 10, 2011 6:45 am | by Grant Peck, Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand on Thursday offered more help to businesses affected by a national flood crisis as the waters spread deeper into Bangkok and risked cutting off a major highway. The flooding since late July has killed 533 people and caused billions of dollars in damage, closing hundreds of inundated factories north of the capital.

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Unemployment Aid, Trade Gap Hit Lows

November 10, 2011 6:43 am | by Derek Kravitz, Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The outlook for American jobs and trade looked a little brighter Thursday, despite growing uncertainty overseas. The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell to a seasonally adjusted 390,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the fewest since April.

Quantum Storage Systems Plans New Distribution Center

November 10, 2011 4:11 am

Quantum Storage Systems , the Nation’s leading manufacturer and supplier of bins, bin storage systems, and wire shelving, is pleased to announce the January 2012 opening of its second largest U.S. wire shelving and carts distribution center. Located in Philadelphia, the new center will allow Quantum to better serve its Northeast distributors by providing considerable freight savings along with the support of a new regional sales manager, in conjunction with Quantum’s independent representatives in the area.

Coca-Cola Bottling 3Q Profit Falls 37 Percent

November 9, 2011 8:19 am

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Coca-Cola Bottling Co. said its third-quarter net income fell 37 percent despite a revenue increase as its costs rose more than 9 percent. The company reported net income for the quarter of $9.8 million, or $1.06 per share, compared with $15.5 million, or $1.

TN Exide To Lay Off 236 Employees

November 9, 2011 8:16 am

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Exide Technologies has announced it will lay off 236 employees at its battery-manufacturing plant in Bristol, Tenn., over the next 12 to 18 months. The company said Monday the fate of another 233 jobs will be decided in the next three months. Exide officials blamed the sluggish economy, according to the Bristol Herald Courier (http://bit.

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Industry Says Africa Is Fastest Growing Mobile Market

November 9, 2011 8:14 am | by Donna Bryson, Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Africa is the world's fastest growing mobile phone market, an industry group report said Wednesday, citing the continent's innovative uses for cell phones. Gertrude Kitongo uses hers as a radio, library, mini cinema, instant messenger and bank teller. She even makes calls on it.

A123 3Q Loss Widens As Costs Triple

November 9, 2011 8:12 am

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) — A123 Systems Inc., which makes lithium-ion batteries for cars, said Wednesday its third-quarter loss deepened as costs nearly tripled. A123 posted a loss of $63.7 million, or 51 cents per share, compared with a loss of $43.7 million, or 42 cents per share, for the same quarter last year.

Toyota To Make New Engines At China Plant

November 9, 2011 8:10 am

TOKYO, Nov. 9 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it has begun manufacturing a new four-cylinder engine at a joint venture company in Guangzhou, China, with the aim of meeting anticipated strong demand in China and increasing the autonomy of its operations there by localizing production.

$3.4M Grant To Help Laid Off Goodyear Workers

November 9, 2011 8:07 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a $3.4 million grant for re-employment and support services to about 850 laid-off workers at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Union City, Tenn. The National Emergency Grant, announced Tuesday in Washington, was awarded to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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