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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Rising Yuan Won't Save U.S. Manufacturing

April 14, 2010 4:28 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite its latest public pushback, China is expected to soon let its currency rise against the dollar, a long-sought goal of U.S. manufacturers. For the U.S., that shift could boost exports and potentially raise the prices of imported Chinese goods. The undervalued Chinese currency has made Chinese goods cheaper for American consumers.

Man Killed By Polishing Machine

April 14, 2010 4:19 am

CUMMING, Ga. (AP) — A man working at a manufacturing plant in Forsyth County died Tuesday in an industrial accident after authorities say he became trapped in a machine that polishes heavy gauge metal. Authorities have not identified the 53-year-old man, who Capt. Jason Shivers of the Forsyth County Fire Department says died at the AP Specialty Metals plant on Grassland Parkway.

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Carpet Maker, Employees Reach $18 Million Settlement

April 13, 2010 8:40 am

by Kate Brumback, Associated Press Writer ATLANTA (AP) — One of the world's largest carpet makers has agreed to an $18 million settlement with employees who claimed the company hired illegal immigrants in an effort to reduce wages. U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy on Monday granted a motion by employees of Mohawk Industries Inc.

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Lexus SUV Deemed Unsafe

April 13, 2010 6:58 am | by Dan Strumpf , AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Consumer Reports has given the Lexus GX 460 SUV a rare "Don't Buy" warning, saying a problem that occurred during routine handling tests could lead to a rollover accident in real-world driving. In the latest blow to Toyota's reputation, the magazine said that during a test of the vehicle's performance during unusual turns, the rear of the vehicle slid until it was nearly sideways before the electronic stability control system kicked in.

China's President Rejects Calls To Re-Value Yuan

April 13, 2010 4:37 am

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Hu Jintao rebuffed U.S. calls to re-value China's currency, telling President Barack Obama that any tinkering with the yuan will be done by Beijing in accord with domestic interests. Hu defended China's policy of pegging the yuan to the dollar at a Monday meeting with Obama in Washington and said changes to the exchange rate would not come from U.

GM: Chevy Volt Glides Past 40-Mile Electric Range

April 13, 2010 4:33 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Real-world tests show that General Motors Co.'s rechargeable electric car can travel 40 miles on battery power as promised, company engineers said Monday. Engineers are testing six Volts that recently were made on a Detroit assembly line, driving them at the company's proving ground and on roads around Detroit.

AP: Economic Stress Eased In February As Jobs Return

April 13, 2010 4:12 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Mike Schneider, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Economic stress declined in the nation's most troubled areas in February as unemployment stabilized and the pace of foreclosures eased, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions in more than 3,100 U.S. counties. After peaking in January, economic stress dipped in February in half the states and half the 3,141 counties.

IBM Opens $30 Million Server Manufacturing Plant

April 13, 2010 4:11 am

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — IBM Corp. says it has opened a new $30 million manufacturing facility at its Poughkeepsie, N.Y., site to produce the next generation of mainframes and servers. The Hudson Valley facility officially opened Tuesday and will produce IBM's next line of System z mainframe computers and high-end Power Systems servers.

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Washington Approves Taxes On Soda, Candy

April 13, 2010 4:10 am | by Rachel La Corte, Associated Press Writer

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A multimillion-dollar revenue package that increases taxes on bottled water, soda, candy and mass-produced beer was approved by the Washington state Legislature as lawmakers finished their work to plug a $2.8 billion budget deficit. Just hours before the Legislature adjourned the special session, the Senate passed, on a 25-21 vote, the measure that makes up about $668 million of Democrats' nearly $800 million revenue package.

China Announces Massive Antidumping Taxes On U.S. Steel

April 13, 2010 4:08 am

BEIJING (AP) — China announced antidumping duties of up to 64.8 percent on U.S. and Russian steel used by the power industry Tuesday amid a series of disputes with the United States and other trading partners. Investigators also found U.S. producers of flat-rolled electrical steel received subsidies, the Commerce Ministry said.

AP: Evasion And Foreign Status Among Toyota's Tricks

April 12, 2010 4:21 am | by Curt Anderson and Danny Robbins, Associated Press Writers

MIAMI (AP) — Toyota has routinely engaged in questionable, evasive and deceptive legal tactics when sued, frequently claiming it does not have information it is required to turn over and sometimes even ignoring court orders to produce key documents, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Govt. Panel: Celebration Of Recession's End 'Premature'

April 12, 2010 4:19 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A panel of academics that date the beginnings and ends of recessions isn't ready to declare just yet when this downturn ended. The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday that although most barometers show improvements in the economy, it would be "premature" to pinpoint the end of a recession based on economic data seen so far.

Sharp Brings 3-D, Dorky Glasses Into Your Living Room

April 12, 2010 4:12 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Sharp is trying to play catch-up in 3-D TVs with powerful rivals Samsung and Panasonic with displays the Japanese electronics maker says are brighter and clearer. Osaka-based Sharp Corp., which makes Aquos brand liquid-crystal display TVs, initially played down the urgency of selling 3-D TVs, questioning whether consumers wanted them.

Ford's Rawsonville Plant To Manufacture Hybrid Batteries

April 12, 2010 4:11 am

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is expected to use a parts plant near Ypsilanti to supply hybrid vehicle battery packs. A letter dated March 30 and posted on the Web site of United Auto Workers union Local 898, which represents employees at Ford's Rawsonville plant, says the facility has been selected to build the components.

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Body Part Manufacturer In High Demand

April 12, 2010 4:09 am | by Holly Hollman

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) — Bill Turner's company manufactures products nobody wants to use, but people are thankful they are available if needed. If a wreck crushes bones in a motorist's back, Turner's company makes a metal implant doctors can insert in the spine to fuse to the remaining bones.

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GM's Chinese Sales To Top 3 Million By 2015

April 12, 2010 4:07 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors Co. said Monday demand in China is so strong that the company's annual sales may top 2 million vehicles this year — four years ahead of schedule — and could exceed 3 million by 2015. GM is counting on robust growth in China, India and other emerging markets to help offset weakness in its home U.

Perdue Accused Of Hiring Illegal Immigants In Lawsuit

April 9, 2010 6:59 am

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — Employees of Perdue Farms Inc. are accused in a class-action lawsuit of knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. The plaintiffs allege that Perdue has conspired to hire large numbers of illegal immigrants, driving down wages of legal workers below market levels. The complaint was filed in federal court in Alabama.

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800 Workers Strike Over Tightened Drinking-At-Work Policies

April 9, 2010 4:47 am

COPENHAGEN (AP) — Scores of Carlsberg workers walked off their jobs in protest Thursday after the Danish brewer tightened laid-back rules on workplace drinking and removed beer coolers from work sites, a company spokesman said. The warehouse and production workers in Denmark are rebelling against the company's new alcohol policy, which allows them to drink beer only during lunch hours in the canteen.

Race Car To Climb Mountain — Without A Driver

April 9, 2010 4:35 am | by Terence Chea, Associated Press Writer

SAN JOSE, California (AP) — It can traverse rough terrain, accelerate quickly and negotiate sharp turns like other high-performance sports cars, but there's one thing that sets this Audi coupe apart: It doesn't need a driver. The car, named Shelley, is the latest creation by Stanford University researchers who are developing technology that could help make driving safer and one day allow ordinary vehicles to drive on their own.

U.S.-China Relations Improving, Could Solve Currency Debate

April 9, 2010 4:32 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI, China (AP) — For months, economists have expected Beijing to start boosting the value of its currency about now to ease strains in its fast-growing economy. The big question: Would Chinese leaders put off changes to avoid looking weak in the face of mounting U.S. pressure for action? Washington has helped to defuse that conflict with conciliatory gestures including Thursday's impromptu visit to Beijing by U.

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