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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

BlackBerry Maker Tries To Soothe Angry Customers

October 18, 2011 5:43 am | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — The maker of the struggling BlackBerry tried to soothe tens of millions of frustrated customers Monday, offering more than $100 worth of free software to each one and giving some a month of technical support as compensation for last week's massive outage. But some BlackBerry users and experts cast doubt on whether the freebies from Research In Motion would be enough to keep people from abandoning the tarnished brand in favor of more popular smartphones.

Apple Supplier Faces Pollution Complaints In China

October 18, 2011 5:41 am

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A Taiwan-based company that supplies metal casings for Apple's Inc.'s MacBook series of laptops says it is shutting down some operations at its factory complex in eastern China following complaints of bad odors by residents. Catcher Technology Chairman Hung Shui-shu told reporters late Monday that Chinese authorities had ordered the company to close down some production lines in Suzhou city for inspection.

OSHA Fines Welding Shop $59K

October 18, 2011 5:37 am

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Stollings welding company is facing more than $59,000 in fines after federal investigators found more than two dozen safety violations. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the proposed penalties against Mollett Welding and Mine Service Inc.

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Harris Gets $66M Radio Order From U.S. Army

October 17, 2011 9:41 am

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — Military contractor Harris Corp. said Friday that it received a $66.3 million order from the U.S. Army to provide multiband "manpack" radios to support the modernization of battlefield communications systems. The system will allow for streaming video, collaborative chat, biometric enrollment and secure network connectivity.

$30M Turbine Plant Put On Hold

October 17, 2011 9:39 am

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — A project to build a $30 million wind turbine manufacturing plant at the Port of Muskogee has been put on hold. Eagle Claw Fabrication president Tom Word told the Muskogee Phoenix (http://bit.ly/nqgwPY) a sluggish economy and hesitation by private investors have slowed construction.

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Fly Adds 49 Planes To Fleet For $1.4B

October 17, 2011 9:36 am | by The Associated Press

Irish aircraft leasing company Fly Leasing Ltd. said on Monday that it closed its purchase on 49 planes for $1.4 billion, increasing its fleet to 109 aircraft. Fly bought the planes from Global Aviation Asset Management, an Australian leasing company. The planes are mostly Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s, with an average age of 7.

CT Firm Credits More Business To Robotics

October 17, 2011 9:32 am | by Lee Howard

WATERFORD, Conn. (AP) — Robert J. Marelli Jr., owner and president of the sheet-metal fabricator Seconn, looked five years down the road and didn't like what he saw. The average age for welders nationwide had hit 55, and Marelli knew it was only a matter of time before these workers would hit retirement age, leaving a gaping hole in a business he had spent eight years building up.

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Philips To Cut 4,500 Jobs As Profit Plunges

October 17, 2011 9:29 am

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Royal Philips Electronics NV, the world's largest lighting maker, said Monday it will slash 4,500 jobs after third quarter earnings fell sharply, hurt by a strong euro, weaker margins and more losses at its television division, which it intends to sell. Net profit was euro74 million ($102 million) from euro524 million in the same period a year ago, the company said.

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Apple Sells 4M iPhones In 3 Days

October 17, 2011 9:27 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple says it sold more than 4 million units of the new iPhone model in three days. It's selling more than twice as fast as the previous model did when it launched last year. Apple Inc. and its phone company partners started selling the iPhone 4S on Friday in the U.

Oshkosh Corp.'s Union Ratifies New 5-Year Contract

October 17, 2011 5:45 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) — After rejecting two previous contract deals, the union for production workers at Oshkosh Corp. easily ratified a new five-year contract Saturday after the maker of military vehicles abandoned a provision that would have allowed it to hire temporary workers. About 77 percent of members approved the deal, said Nick Nitschke, president of the United Auto Workers Local 578.

Samsung Seeks iPhone 4S Ban In Japan

October 17, 2011 5:44 am

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics is asking Japanese and Australian courts to block sales of Apple's new iPhone 4S in those countries. The preliminary injunctions Samsung filed Monday in Tokyo District Court and the Federal Court in Australia are part of an intensifying patent battle between the smartphone giants.

Majority Of Ford Workers Supporting New Contract

October 17, 2011 5:41 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Workers at some of Ford Motor Co.'s largest local unions have approved a new labor contract with the company, making it likely that the four-year deal will be approved when voting finishes on Tuesday. The United Auto Workers union said Sunday night that more than 90 percent of the 2,991 workers voting at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.

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Thailand Flooding Closes Factories

October 17, 2011 5:39 am | by Grant Peck, Thanyarat Doksone, Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) — Bangkok breathed easier Monday as barriers protecting the capital from Thailand's worst flooding in decades held firm, but authorities ordered a new evacuation in an industrial park north of the city, as the disaster's economic impact worsened. Authorities ordered the evacuation of the Nava Nakorn industrial estate, in Pathum Thani province just north of Bangkok, after water burst through one of several protective walls hurriedly constructed in the past few days.

Factory Output Rises On Truck, Airplane Demand

October 17, 2011 5:37 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Factory output rose for a third straight month in September, a sign the economy is growing slowly. Manufacturers made more airplanes, trucks and home electronics to meet rising demand. The Federal Reserve says factory output increased 0.4 percent in September after gaining 0.

NHTSA Investigates Mini Engine Fires

October 17, 2011 5:33 am

DETROIT (AP) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into complaints of engine compartment fires that could affect 36,000 Mini Cooper "S'' models from the 2007 and 2008 model years. The federal safety agency said in documents posted on its website that it has received 12 complaints of fires.

Alpina Foods Breaks Ground On First U.S. Facility

October 14, 2011 9:22 am

BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — A South American yogurt maker has broken ground on a new manufacturing plant in western New York that will be the company's first facility in North America. Local media outlets report that executives from Bogota, Colombia-based Alpina Foods joined local officials Wednesday to break ground on the company's new yogurt manufacturing plant at a Genesee County business park in the town of Batavia, midway between Buffalo and Rochester.

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Oshkosh Corp., Union Continue Negotiations

October 14, 2011 9:20 am

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Labor negotiations are entering their third day between military-vehicle maker Oshkosh Corp. and United Auto Workers Local 578. Both sides are working toward a new five-year contract. Twice in recent weeks they agreed to tentative contracts and both times the union voted them down.

Old Cooper Tire Plant Sold For $8.5M

October 14, 2011 9:17 am

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — An Illinois real estate company has purchased the former Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Albany for $8.5 million. Court records say the transaction between Cooper and Hilco Real Estate LLC of North Brook, Ill., was completed Sept. 29. Ray Kaye, executive vice president of Hilco, confirmed the purchase Wednesday and says the company is already working with prospective tenants.

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American Crystal, Union Talks Set To Continue

October 14, 2011 9:14 am

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Negotiations between American Crystal Sugar Co. and its union workers are scheduled to resume later this month. A federal mediation service in Minneapolis announced Friday that talks have been scheduled for Oct. 24. The time and place was not disclosed. About 1,300 union workers have been locked out since Aug.

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Auto, Steel Workers Split Over S. Korea Trade Pact

October 14, 2011 9:10 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Many manufacturers and agribusinesses support a new trade deal with South Korea, one reason President Barack Obama and his counterpart from that nation are heading to suburban Detroit on Friday to tour a General Motors plant where cars are being built with South Korean parts.

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