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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

"Doomsday" Defense Cuts Loom Large

August 15, 2011 5:23 am | by Donna Cassata, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the dozen lawmakers tasked with producing a deficit-cutting plan, the threatened "doomsday" defense cuts hit close to home. The six Republicans and six Democrats represent states where the biggest military contractors — Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics Corp.

Toyota Recalls 33,380 Corollas

August 15, 2011 5:21 am

BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp.'s China subsidiary said Monday it will recall 33,380 Toyota Corolla EX sedans for repair to fix an engine computer malfunction. The company said the onboard computer controlling engine functions may fail when the computer case is exposed to static electricity, making it impossible to start the engine or causing the engine to stall.

Whirlpool May Cut 270 Workers

August 12, 2011 7:05 am

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A spokeswoman for Whirlpool Corp. says up to 270 employees may be laid off from the company's Fort Smith plant. Kristine Vernier released a statement Thursday saying up to 250 hourly and 20 salaried employees may be laid off. Vernier said the possible cutbacks are because of an expected reduced demand for side-by-side refrigerators and the softening of the economy.

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Osmotica Plans Manufacturing Center In GA

August 12, 2011 7:02 am

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal's office has announced that a pharmaceutical firm plans to open a research and development and manufacturing operation in Marietta. Deal says that Osmotica Pharmaceutical Corp. plans to create 156 jobs over five years. He said in a statement that the plans represent a $20 million investment over the next five years.

Machinists Win Union Election At United

August 12, 2011 7:00 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Airlines Writer

The union that represents ramp workers at United Airlines won an election on Thursday to cover more than 14,000 workers as it combines with Continental. It's a big win for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which just gained more than 7,300 Continental workers from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

DynCorp Wins $490M Navy Contract

August 12, 2011 6:58 am

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Privately held defense contractor DynCorp International said Thursday it won a deal worth up to $490 million for aircraft maintenance at a Navy facility in Maryland. The contract has a base year value of $92.8 million plus four option years. DynCorp will provide maintenance help at the Navy's air warfare center in Patuxent River, Md.

Exxon Reclaims Title Of Most Valuable Company

August 12, 2011 6:56 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon reclaimed the title of the most valuable company in America from Apple, thanks to an increase in the price of oil. Shares of Apple Inc., which makes the iPhone and iPad, rose 2.8 percent to $373.70. But Exxon Mobil Corp. shares had an even better day, rising 5.

PA Town Celebrates Birth Of Jeep

August 12, 2011 6:49 am | by Joe Mandak, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Thirty miles north of Pittsburgh, where industrial giants like U.S. Steel were just beginning to forge the metallic backbone of the nation's upcoming World War II machine, a tiny company that made even tinier cars developed the prototype for a vehicle that would revolutionize the way soldiers traveled: the Jeep.

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ConAgra To Close Popcorn Plant, Cut 95 Jobs

August 12, 2011 5:14 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. is closing its microwave popcorn plant in Hamburg, Iowa and cutting 95 jobs, a move the company says is needed to improve efficiency. The company, based in Omaha, Neb., says it will close the plant in October and move the operations to its other popcorn facilities.

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Four-Month Low In Unemployment Claims

August 12, 2011 5:12 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — After calamitous losses on Wall Street and fears of another recession, the economy got a dose of good news Thursday: The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell below 400,000 for the first time since April. Layoffs are easing in most states, and some economists are predicting mild improvement in job growth.

Chinese Bullet Train Maker Orders Recall

August 12, 2011 5:09 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese bullet train manufacturer announced a recall Friday of 54 trains in the latest embarrassment for a problem-plagued prestige project following a July crash that killed 40 people. The recall adds to growing signs official attitudes toward the bullet train are shifting and Beijing might scale back its rapid expansion of the high speed rail network.

Union Workers Rally Against Crystal Sugar Lockout

August 12, 2011 5:07 am | by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — Hundreds of American Crystal Sugar workers and others showed up in Moorhead with signs, banners and even guitars Thursday in a rally for employees who have been locked out for 11 days. About 1,300 union workers have been locked out of five sugar processing plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa in the company's first labor impasse in 30 years.

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Boeing Struggles To Keep Up With Demand

August 12, 2011 5:04 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

Boeing booked 19 new orders for its 777 and said on Thursday that it needs to build its commercial planes faster to keep up with demand. Boeing said unidentified customers ordered seven more of its 777s. Cathay Pacific ordered 12 of the planes late Wednesday. Boeing now has a backlog of 293 of its 777s and more than 3,400 of all civilian planes.

GM Recalls Impala, LaCrosse Models

August 12, 2011 5:02 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling some 2012 Chevrolet Impala and Buick LaCrosse models to fix safety problems. GM says 11,915 Impalas are being recalled in the U.S. and Canada because a power steering fluid hose gets too close to the catalytic converter. The hose can melt, and fluid can leak and start a fire.

HTC Buying Stake In Dr. Dre Headphone Maker

August 11, 2011 9:07 am

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. says it will pay about $300 million for a 51 percent stake in the U.S. maker of Dr. Dre headphones. HTC said Thursday its alliance with Dr. Dre's Beats Electronics LLC will provide a "flawless listening experience for our customers.

China Halts Bullet Train Manufacturing After Deadly Collision

August 11, 2011 9:03 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China has frozen approval of new railway projects and halted some bullet train manufacturing, stepping up an overhaul of its controversial high-speed network after a July collision that killed 40 people. The crash, along with delays on a new Beijing-Shanghai line blamed on equipment failures, embarrassed the communist government and fueled public anger at a bullet train network that critics say is dangerous and too costly.

A123 Will Make GM Electric Vehicle Batteries

August 11, 2011 9:02 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. said Thursday that battery maker A123 Systems Inc. will produce batteries to be used in future electric vehicles being sold in select global markets. The Detroit-based automaker said the battery packs will be built at A123 Systems' Livonia facility.

NAM Urges Admin to Stop New Ozone Standards

August 11, 2011 8:59 am

Washington, D.C. – Today, 35 state manufacturing associations joined the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in asking President Obama not to move forward with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The state associations cautioned the President that this proposal will create more uncertainty for manufacturers and increase compliance costs for each state, which will hurt job growth.

Fired Worker Injures Coworkers At NY Plant

August 11, 2011 8:57 am

MALTA, N.Y. (AP) — Police say a man fired from his job at an upstate New York computer chip plant construction site has been charged with assaulting four former co-workers, including one hit in the face with a fire extinguisher. The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office tells local media that 42-year-old Eddie Robinson Jr.

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U.S. Trade Deficit Widens To $53B

August 11, 2011 8:55 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — American producers sold fewer industrial engines, electric generators and farm products to the rest of the world in June, pushing the trade deficit to the highest level since 2008 and dealing another blow to an already struggling economy. The deficit rose 4.4 percent to $53.

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