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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Chairman Defends Google, Mourns Jobs

November 8, 2011 8:32 am | by Sam Kim, Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Google chairman Eric Schmidt on Tuesday defended his company as a great innovator despite allegations from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that the Internet search giant stole ideas from Apple's iPhone. Schmidt also told reporters that he is still "very sad and recovering from the sense of loss" from Jobs' death last month and does not think it's right to comment on Jobs' words in Walter Issacson's biography.

Olympus Used Acquisitions To Cover Up Losses

November 8, 2011 8:24 am | by Eric Talmadge, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Olympus Corp. said Tuesday that top executives used acquisitions to hide massive losses, reversing denials of any wrongdoing as one of the largest accounting frauds in Japanese history tarnishes the nation's corporate image. Tokyo-based Olympus, which makes cameras and medical equipment, has been battered by a scandal over a $687 million payment for financial advice and expensive acquisitions of companies unrelated to its mainstay businesses.

Amerigon Posts 3Q Loss On Acquisition Costs

November 8, 2011 4:39 am

NORTHVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Amerigon Inc., which makes climate-controlled seats and other products for the auto industry, said Tuesday it posted a $1.6 million third-quarter loss because of costs stemming from a recent acquisition. But the Northville, Mich., auto supplier's revenue rose fourfold thanks to the acquisition of WET Automotive Systems AG, a German automotive thermal control and electronic components company that Amerigon acquired in May.

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MI Officials Hope To Grow Solar Jobs

November 8, 2011 4:37 am | by Barrie Barber

THOMAS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — On a farm field familiar with soybeans and corn, the hopes of Saginaw County's green industry could grow toward the sun. The land behind an old farmhouse is where economic development officials hope solar industry jobs sprout in the future: Great Lakes Solar Technology Park, on a 240-acre greenfield in Thomas Township.

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Worker Dies At SD Manufacturing Plant

November 8, 2011 4:35 am

CANTON, S.D. (AP) — A worker died at a manufacturing plant in the southeast South Dakota city of Canton when he became caught in a machine. Officials at Adams Thermal Systems Inc. did not immediately identify the man who died Monday morning or go into detail about the incident. Company spokesman Bryan Plowman says the employee had worked for a year and a half at the plant that makes cooling systems for vehicle engines.

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Smarter Honda Robot To Help In Nuclear Crisis

November 8, 2011 4:32 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

WAKO, Japan (AP) — Honda's human-shaped robot can now run faster, balance itself on uneven surfaces, hop on one foot and pour a drink. Some of its technology may even be used to help out with clean-up operations at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. Honda's demonstration of the revamped "Asimo" on Tuesday at its Tokyo suburban research facility was not only to prove that the bubble-headed childlike machine was more limber and a bit smarter.

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WA Considers Move For New Boeing Factory

November 8, 2011 4:30 am

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Spokane County commissioners are considering zoning changes that would allow Boeing to build a factory where a new version of the 737 called the 737 Max would be assembled. KREM reports (http://bit.ly/uJJ1eC) Greater Spokane, Incorporated, is pushing for a plant that would create 500 to 1,500 jobs.

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Toyota Quarterly Profit Drops 18.5 Percent

November 8, 2011 4:28 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota said its quarterly profit slid 18.5 percent to 80.4 billion yen ($1 billion) on plunging sales caused by parts shortages from the tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan and warned it faces a new challenge from flooding in Thailand. Toyota Motor Corp. declined Tuesday to give a forecast for the full financial year ending March 2012, citing uncertainties stemming from the Thai floods which have disrupted supplies of parts and prompted it to cut some car production.

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Ice Cream Maker Dippin' Dots Files For Bankruptcy

November 7, 2011 8:33 am | by Brett Barrouquere, Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Once the self-proclaimed "Ice Cream of the Future," Dippin' Dots is seeking federal bankruptcy protection, a move the company said is aimed at staving off foreclosure on more than $11 million in loans. The Paducah, Ky.-based company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization Thursday night, asking U.

Toyota Prius Remains Top Seller For 5th Month

November 7, 2011 8:31 am

TOKYO, Nov. 7 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid topped the passenger car sales rankings in October in Japan, maintaining its top slot for the fifth consecutive month, industry bodies said Monday. Honda Motor Co.'s Fit subcompact was second, while minicars made by Daihatsu Motor Co.

Hawker Beechcraft Workers Told Layoff Coming

November 7, 2011 8:28 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Workers at the Hawker Beechcraft Corp. aircraft finishing plant in Little Rock have been told to expect layoffs. Little Rock television station KATV (http://bit.ly/vpsP85) reported Friday that workers were given a letter that says to expect a layoff announcement on Nov.

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Economist Predicts Ripple Effect With Yogurt Plant

November 7, 2011 8:26 am

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A decision by New York-based Agro Farma to build its new western manufacturing plant for Chobani yogurt in south-central Idaho will create a large ripple effect with additional jobs, economist say. The ripple effect for Chobani is high because yogurt is made from milk, a top product of the region, said Jan Roeser, a regional economist with the Idaho Department of Labor.

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GM Blocks Technology In Proposed Saab Sale

November 7, 2011 8:24 am

STOCKHOLM (AP) — General Motors Co. on Monday said it won't allow two Chinese companies to use its technology if they go ahead with a planned purchase of Saab Automobile, a former GM unit. The announcement raises doubts about a rescue plan for the ailing Swedish brand, which is being reorganized under bankruptcy protection after running out of cash to pay suppliers and staff.

Boeing 787 Lands Safely After Landing Gear Trouble

November 7, 2011 8:15 am | by Scott Mayerowitz, AP Airlines Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Boeing's new 787 wide-body plane, which just started carrying paying passengers, ran into its first technical glitch Sunday when the landing gear failed to deploy. The pilots of Japan's All Nippon Airways used "an alternate procedure that worked," according to Lori Gunter, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Boeing Co.

US Cellular: We Turned Down iPhone

November 7, 2011 4:38 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Cellular Corp., the country's sixth-largest cellphone company, on Friday said it had the opportunity to carry the iPhone but turned it down because the phone is too expensive. It's the first U.S. carrier to acknowledge turning down the phone. Consumers pay $200 for the base model of the iPhone 4S, but Apple charges carriers about $600 for it.

General Dynamics To Buy Force Protection For $360M

November 7, 2011 4:37 am

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — General Dynamics said Monday it has agreed to buy Force Protection Inc., which makes armored vehicles, in a deal worth about $360 million. Force Protection, which is based in Summerville, S.C., will become a part of General Dynamics Land Systems, the defense contractor's Sterling Heights, Mich.

Japan Unions Demand Lower Auto Taxes

November 7, 2011 4:35 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Surrounded by dozens of cardboard boxes packed with 4 million petition signatures, the presidents of major Japanese automakers demanded Monday the end of what they called exorbitant taxes on cars that threaten to hollow out manufacturing and wipe out jobs. The plea from the heads of Toyota Motor Corp.

Ford To Upgrade Glitch-Prone MyFord Touch

November 7, 2011 4:32 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) — Ford Motor Co., stung by falling quality ratings because of its glitch-prone MyFord Touch system, is planning a major upgrade that it hopes will fix the problems — and repair its own reputation. Early next year, Ford is sending flash drives with a software upgrade to approximately 250,000 U.

Most Unemployed No Longer Receive Benefits

November 7, 2011 4:30 am

B y Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The jobs crisis has left so many people out of work for so long that most of America's unemployed are no longer receiving unemployment benefits. Early last year, 75 percent were receiving checks. The figure is now 48 percent — a shift that points to a growing crisis of long-term unemployment.

GM Recalls 38,000 Pontiac G8s Over Air-Bag Issue

November 7, 2011 4:28 am | by The Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is recalling 38,400 Pontiac G8 models made in Australia to reprogram the front-passenger air-bag module. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Saturday that the air-bag modules for the 2008 and 2009 models might not comply with federal standards for head injury protection.

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