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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

HTC Says Ruling Finds It Violated Apple Patents

July 18, 2011 9:16 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. said it believes it has a strong case for an appeal of a U.S. International Trade Commission ruling that HTC violated two Apple Inc. patents. HTC said it does not yet have the full ruling and analysis to determine the details of the findings, but General Counsel Grace Lei said, "We are highly confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to defend ourselves using all means possible," in a release dated Saturday.

Businesses See Surge After New DUI Laws

July 18, 2011 9:11 am

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Companies that provide ignition-locking devices for vehicles are preparing for a surge in business after a new state law requiring more drivers to use them went into effect on July 1. The demand for ignition interlock systems began even before Kansas enacted the law that requires more people to install the devices after being convicted of drunken driving, The Salina Journal reported Monday.

GM Plans $328M Update For MI Plant

July 18, 2011 9:08 am

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — General Motors plans to spend $328 million to update a factory in Flint, Mich., to build the next generation of full-size pickup trucks. The investment will pay for equipment to build the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, which are due in showrooms early in 2013.

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Warehouse Worker Pinned Under Crate Dies

July 18, 2011 5:45 am

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Federal investigators are looking into a warehouse accident in which a worker was killed when she was pinned under a 1,500-pound crate. The San Antonio Express-News reported Friday that investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were dispatched to Con-Way Freight after 49-year-old Marissa Garcia was killed.

CO Wind Energy Company Plans First Plant

July 18, 2011 5:20 am

NEWTON, Kan. (AP) — A Colorado company that has developed a new kind of wind energy turbine will build its first manufacturing plant in south-central Kansas. Executives of New Millennium Wind Energy joined Gov. Sam Brownback and other officials in the city of Newton on Friday to announce the development.

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Whirpool Laying Off 350 IA Workers

July 18, 2011 5:15 am

AMANA, Iowa (AP) — Whirlpool Corp. is laying off 350 workers from its refrigerator plant in Iowa. Kristine Vernier, spokeswoman for the Benton Harbor, Mich.-based company, told KGAN-TV that 300 permanent workers and 50 summer workers are losing their jobs. Workers were told of the layoffs on Friday.

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Chemical Leak From CA Plant Costs City $1.5M

July 18, 2011 5:10 am

MERCED, Calif. (AP) — The Central California city of Merced will pay a $1.5 million settlement after a federal jury found that thousands of residents of a subdivision were potentially exposed to a cancer-causing chemical, a newspaper reported Friday. In March, the jury found that hazardous levels of hexavalent chromium had leaked from a manufacturing plant in Merced's Beachwood subdivision and spread into the air and water.

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PA Plant Locks Out Unionized Workers

July 18, 2011 5:07 am

MARIETTA, Pa. (AP) — A central Pennsylvania ceilings plant has locked out its 260 unionized employees, saying they failed to vote on the latest contract proposal by the company's deadline. Armstrong World Industries spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson told the (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era that Sunday's decision regarding workers at the Marietta plant was taken "very reluctantly.

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Hiring To Increase For Rest of 2011

July 18, 2011 5:05 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Economists increasingly see hiring picking up through the rest of 2011, even as they predict slower overall growth. The National Association for Business Economists quarterly survey found 43 percent of respondents say their firms will likely increase employment in the next six months, the highest number in a year.

Atlas Copco Acquires Spanish Manufacturer Gesan

July 15, 2011 8:36 am

Geert Follens, President of Atlas Copco Portable Energy, and Luis San Gil, former President of Gesan. Stockholm, Sweden: Atlas Copco SAE has acquired Grupo Electrógenos GESAN S.A. of Spain, a manufacturer of diesel and petrol generators sold through a global distributor network.

BDI Opens New Branches in ME, PA

July 15, 2011 7:33 am

BDI (Bearing Distributors Inc.), headquartered in Cleveland, OH, has opened a new branch in Easton, Maine. BDI Branch #20 is located at 104 Presque Isle Rd., Mars Hill, ME 04758. Overseeing the new Easton branch is Operations Manager Kevin P. Mitchell. “Our new Easton location supports a key existing customer in that market and also will enable BDI to expand its presence in Eastern Maine,” according to John Ruth, President, BDI-USA.

Daimler, Bosch Sign Deal For Electric Motors Joint Venture

July 15, 2011 7:04 am

Daimler AG and Robert Bosch GmbH have completed their negotiations and signed agreements on the establishment of a 50:50 joint venture for electric motors. These agreements are still subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities. The new company, which is to be set up under the name EM-motive GmbH, will develop and produce innovative electric motors – also known as traction motors – for electric vehicles.

Unilever Shuts CT Plant

July 15, 2011 7:01 am

CLINTON, Conn. (AP) — Unilever, which makes household products such as Dove soaps, Lipton tea and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, is shutting a Connecticut plant and laying off nearly 200 workers. WTNH-TV reported Thursday that the company said it will shut its Clinton plant by the end of next year and lay off 49 salaried workers and 135 hourly employees.

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Baldwin Hardware Closes Doors

July 15, 2011 7:00 am

READING, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania company that makes brass hardware is closing its doors after more than 50 years. About 160 people will lose their jobs with the closure of the Baldwin Hardware plant by the end of next year. Stanley Black & Decker has owned the Baldwin Hardware brand since 2003.

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American Will Finance 35 New Planes

July 15, 2011 6:58 am

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines said Friday that it will finance up to 35 new planes in the next three years under a sale-leaseback deal with aircraft-leasing company AerCap Holdings N.V. American had already ordered 26 of the Boeing 737 aircraft. The airline disclosed Friday that it exercised an option to buy three more, and the AerCap deal also covered six planes to which American holds purchase rights.

EPA Fines Consolidated Industries

July 15, 2011 6:55 am

CHESHIRE, Conn. (AP) — Federal environmental officials say a Connecticut aerospace and marine manufacturer faces a fine of nearly $176,000 for allegedly violating clean air and right-to-know laws. The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that Consolidated Industries Inc.

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U.S. Auto Production Down

July 15, 2011 6:53 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. auto factories produced fewer goods in June than the previous month, and overall factory production was flat. It marked the third straight month of weak output slowed by supply chain disruptions caused by the Japan crisis. The Federal Reserve reported Friday that factory production was unchanged last month following a tiny 0.

Reliance Steel To Buy Continental Alloys

July 15, 2011 4:50 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. reached a deal to buy Continental Alloys & Services Inc. and some affiliated companies for an undisclosed sum, the company said Thursday. Continental, based in Houston, is a materials management company focused on steel and alloy pipe, tube and bar products, along with the manufacturing of various tools designed for energy service companies.

Sertco Plans Expansion In OK

July 15, 2011 4:48 am

OKEMAH, Okla. (AP) — Wellhead gas compression equipment manufacturer Sertco Industries Inc. says it's expanding its operations in Okemah and plans to add 15 new workers by the end of the year. The company says it's working with the city of Okemah on the $2.25 million expansion, which will add 12,100 square feet of assembly space, 3,600 square feet of office space and 2,000 square feet of paint booth space.

SC Welcomes Be Green Packaging

July 15, 2011 4:46 am

RIDGELAND, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is officially welcoming a company to Jasper County that plans to create at least 175 jobs. Haley is scheduled to attend a welcoming ceremony Thursday afternoon for Be Green Packaging. The California-based packaging company announced in April that it plans to open a manufacturing and distribution center in Ridgeland next year.

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