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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Industrial Runoff Poisons Water For 10,000 In China

August 4, 2010 4:59 am | by Tini Tran, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Some 10,000 residents in a southern China town have been told not to drink tap water after tests showed it was contaminated by a heavy metal, a local official said Wednesday. Tests showed the amount of manganese in the water supply to some residents of Da'an town in Guangdong province was much higher than the maximum allowed by the government, said a town official who only gave his surname, Wang.

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DuPont To Make Better Car Batteries In Virginia

August 4, 2010 4:44 am | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The DuPont Co. says it is building a production facility in Virginia that will use new technology to improve the performance of batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles. The Delaware-based company said Tuesday that the facility in Chesterfield County, Va., will begin production early next year and will produce separators that can increase the performance and safety of lithium ion batteries.

Auto Sales Rise Over June, Most Experience Growth

August 4, 2010 4:38 am | by Dan Strumpf and Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Summer promotions and easier credit lured shoppers back to car buying last month, a relief to an industry worried about June's sales slowdown. Every major automaker except for Ford and Daimler said their July sales topped those in June. The biggest monthly sales gains were posted by Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, Subaru and Kia.

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Profit-Sharing Mill Rakes In Hard Work, Record Sales

August 4, 2010 4:28 am

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — After a record year at North Dakota's state-owned flour mill, workers are splitting up more than $1.2 million in profit-sharing payments. The Grand Forks mill has about 130 employees. Vance Taylor, its president and general manager, said profit-sharing checks averaging about $9,500 would be distributed at a company picnic Tuesday.

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Ford: UAW Concessions Have Created 2,000 Jobs

August 4, 2010 4:18 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Competitive contracts with the United Auto Workers union are helping Ford Motor Co. bring nearly 2,000 jobs back into its factories that would have gone to parts supply companies — some in other countries, the company said Wednesday. The Dearborn, Mich., automaker said the 2007 union master contract allows it to hire workers at $14 per hour, about half the hourly rate of current workers.

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After 107 Years, Harley-Davidson Could Leave Milwaukee

August 4, 2010 4:17 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — It's the roar that made Milwaukee famous — the distinctive throaty rumble of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. But that much-loved racket could be rumbling away to another state if the company cannot bring down its labor costs. Harley-Davidson warned employees in April that it will move its Wisconsin manufacturing operations elsewhere if it cannot cut millions of dollars at the factories that build the bikes known as "Milwaukee Iron.

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Toyota Earns $2.2 Billion, Shedding Safety Concerns

August 4, 2010 4:13 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota reported a quarterly profit of $2.2 billion, reversing from red ink a year earlier as the world's top automaker benefited from a global sales recovery that offset lingering doubts about the safety of its cars. The company, which makes the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid, raised its full year earnings forecast Wednesday, and said it now expects to sell 7.

Boeing Moves Programs To Okla. For Lower Costs

August 3, 2010 4:55 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Boeing Co. announced Monday it will move two defense programs and an expected 550 engineering jobs from California to Oklahoma City in the next two years. Boeing will move its C-130 Avionics Modernization program beginning in the first quarter of 2011. Its B-1 program is expected to move toward the end of 2012.

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BMW Earnings Surge On Automotive Recovery

August 3, 2010 4:27 am | by Geir Moulson, Associated Press Writer

BERLIN (AP) — Second-quarter earnings at luxury car maker BMW AG surged to €834 million ($1.1 billion) as better selling prices and robust demand in China helped drive a strong increase in revenues, the company said Tuesday. The company's April-June profit was above market expectations and up from €121 million a year earlier, while revenues climbed 18.

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Ford Scrambles To Upgrade Overshadowed Pickups

August 3, 2010 4:23 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co.'s 2011 heavy-duty pickups just came out in April, but already the company is boosting the power in their diesel engines and giving free upgrades to owners. Ford said it just wants to give its Super Duty trucks all the horsepower they're capable of. But there's another motive: The Super Duty's power was recently eclipsed by General Motors Co.

9 Killed During Shooting At Beer Distributor

August 3, 2010 4:22 am | by Stephen Singer, Associated Press Writer

MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — A warehouse driver who was asked to resign his job at a beer distributor went on a shooting rampage Tuesday morning that left nine people dead, including himself, and others wounded, company and state officials said. The number of dead was confirmed by a Connecticut government official who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

China's Fuel-Guzzling Economy Crushes Green Efforts

August 3, 2010 4:20 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Government efforts to make China's fuel-guzzling economy more efficient suffered a setback this year as surging growth drove a boom in steelmaking and other energy-intensive industries. Beijing is in the final year of a five-year campaign to cut energy intensity, or energy consumed per unit of economic output, by 20 percent to curb pollution and dependence on foreign oil and gas.

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HP Agrees To Settle On Kickback Case

August 3, 2010 4:19 am

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. said Monday that it has agreed in principle to settle a lawsuit by the Department of Justice, which alleged that HP and other technology companies paid kickbacks to Accenture PLC in exchange for recommendations for government work. HP denied "engaging in any illegal conduct.

Chinese Manufacturing Continues To Wind Down

August 2, 2010 4:30 am

BEIJING (AP) — Expansion of Chinese manufacturing activity slowed for the third month in July, as production, new orders and purchasing prices all declined, a survey showed Sunday. The state-affiliated China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its purchasing managers index, or PMI, fell to 51.

ISM Index Shows Slowing Of Manufacturing Growth

August 2, 2010 4:29 am

NEW YORK (AP) — As fears build that the recovery from the recession is petering out, analysts expect the manufacturing sector grew more slowly in July. A swell of production in factories has helped lead the rebound for about a year as exports increased and companies rebuilt their stocks of supplies and goods.

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CAT Chooses N.C. For Parts Plant, 500 Jobs

August 2, 2010 4:28 am

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. said Friday it will build a parts plant for large mining machines and it expects to employ about 510 full-time and contract workers in five years. Construction is scheduled to begin in November on the Winston-Salem factory where workers will machine, assemble, test and paint axle assemblies for large mining machines.

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Geely Completes Acquisition Of Volvo

August 2, 2010 4:27 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Geely Holding Group completed its acquisition of Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo unit Monday in a $1.5 billion deal that gives the small-but-ambitious Chinese automaker a global brand and huge management challenges. The legendary Swedish automaker is China's biggest foreign auto acquisition and an unusually large deal for a private Chinese company.

Huntsville-Built 'Hermes' Becomes A Help For Soldiers

August 2, 2010 4:25 am | by Kenneth Kesner, Associated Press Writer

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — There are eyes and brains on the table at Advanced Optical Systems, next to a big metal hand with a powerful grip. The rugged little cameras, black boxes of bristling circuit boards, LED beacons and the automatic cargo hook assembly housed in what looks like a desktop beer keg are part of the company's Hermes autonomous pickup and delivery system.

'Gorilla' Glass Gets Revived After 50 Years

August 2, 2010 4:24 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

CORNING, N.Y. (AP) — An ultra-strong glass that has been looking for a purpose since its invention in 1962 is poised to become a multibillion-dollar bonanza for Corning Inc. The 159-year-old glass pioneer is ramping up production of what it calls Gorilla glass, expecting it to be the hot new face of touch-screen tablets and high-end TVs.

Honda Posts Record Profit, Mazda Minimizes Losses

July 30, 2010 5:10 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Honda's quarterly profit ballooned to a record $3.2 billion while Mazda reduced its losses, rounding out a tale of recovery among Japanese automakers. Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. have also reported stronger results but the prospect of a continued recovery for the Japanese automakers remains shaky.

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