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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Business Inventories Rose In April Despite Slowdown

June 9, 2011 9:23 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale companies added to their stockpiles in April for a 16th straight month, a sign that businesses were confident in future sales gains. However, fresh data since then has shown the economy has weakened, suggesting supply levels could shrink in the months to come. Inventories rose 0.

Alcoa: New Alloys Will Compete With Carbon Fiber

June 9, 2011 9:20 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. said Thursday that it has developed new alloys and engineering techniques that will give it a chance to compete against the non-aluminum parts increasingly used by airplane makers. Big planes have used aluminum for their skin and other parts for decades.

Opel: GM Is Not Putting Us Up For Sale

June 9, 2011 9:15 am

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — General Motors' European subsidiary Opel on Thursday firmly dismissed as speculation media reports that it's up for sale. Reports in Germany's Spiegel and Auto Bild publications saying it could be sold to a Chinese firm or to competitor Volkswagen AG are "pure speculation," the company said.

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Chinese Auto Sales Fall For Second Month

June 9, 2011 9:12 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's auto sales fell in May compared with a year earlier, as buyers wary of traffic quotas and rising fuel prices shunned showrooms, according to industry data released Thursday. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported that sales of passenger cars, including sedans, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles, slipped to 1.

Family Sues After Young Son Dies In Escalator Accident

June 9, 2011 9:09 am | by Mark Pratt, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — The family of a 4-year-old Massachusetts boy who died after falling from a mall escalator says in a lawsuit that the escalator was in a "dangerous and defective" condition that directly led to the child's death. The escalator's condition was in violation of state building codes, escalator safety standards and the industry standards established by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the parents of Mark DiBona of Dudley said in their suit filed Wednesday in Worcester Superior Court.

U.S. Economy Slows On Manufacturing Supply Troubles

June 8, 2011 9:15 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time this year, the economy slowed in several U.S. regions this spring. High gas prices weakened consumer spending, and the Japan crises reduced manufacturing output. Four of the 12 Federal Reserve bank regions suffered slower growth in April and May, compared with earlier this year, a Federal Reserve survey said Wednesday.

EU To Offer $300 Million To E. Coli-Affected Farmers

June 8, 2011 9:04 am | by Raf Casert, Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — Pressed hard by outraged farmers, the European Union farm chief on Wednesday increased his offer of compensation for the E. coli outbreak to €210 million ($306 million). EU Farm Commissioner Dacian Ciolos had initially proposed €150 million ($219 million) to the struggling farmers, who have tons of unwanted produce rotting in fields and warehouses as Europeans shun vegetables, fearing they are contaminated with a deadly strain of E.

The Re-Designed VW Passat: Almost American

June 8, 2011 9:02 am | by Ann M. Job, for The Associated Press

German automaker Volkswagen is making its mid-size Passat sedan affordable and accommodating for more American car buyers. The four-door, five-passenger, 2012 Passat is bigger than ever, with more back-seat legroom and a bigger trunk than in the Toyota Camry. Front-seat legroom of more than 42 inches is impressive, too, also exceeding Camry's.

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Ford Finalizes $1.4 Billion Russian Joint Venture

June 8, 2011 8:58 am

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. has finalized a deal with Russian automaker Sollers to build and sell cars and other vehicles in Russia, a key part of Ford's ambitious overseas growth plan. Ford said Wednesday that the two companies have lined up $1.4 billion in long-term financing from Vnesheconombank, the Russian development bank, for the 50-50 joint venture called Ford Sollers.

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Committee To Visit S.C. For Labor Lawsuit Against Boeing

June 8, 2011 8:55 am | by Meg Kinnard, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A congressional committee is traveling to South Carolina later this month to hold a hearing over a federal labor lawsuit that claims Boeing Co. moved manufacturing facilities from Washington state to avoid unionized workers. The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government planned to announce Wednesday that it will hold a June 17 hearing in North Charleston, home to Boeing's new 787 passenger aircraft assembly line.

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GM Invests $49 Million In Indiana Plant

June 8, 2011 8:52 am

BEDFORD, Ind. (AP) — General Motors Co. is investing $49 million in its Bedford, Indiana, plant, a move that will help to create or keep 91 jobs. Wednesday's news is part of an effort GM announced May 10 to create or retain about 4,000 jobs by investing $2 billion in 17 factories in eight states.

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Air Filter Maker To Invest $7 Million In N.Y. Facility

June 8, 2011 5:04 am

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A North Carolina air filter manufacturing company says it will put its northeast production facility in upstate New York, creating 180 new jobs. State economic development officials say Flanders Corp. will invest $7 million in the Columbia County town of Greenport, near Albany.

Chrysler Could Face $200,000 In Worker Death Fines

June 8, 2011 4:40 am

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — State regulators have issued $200,000 in fines against Chrysler for safety violations found during the investigation of a worker's death at a central Indiana factory. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration's investigation began in January after 62-year-old Claude Brock Jr.

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China Gives State-Run Miner Monopoly On Rare Earths

June 8, 2011 4:36 am

SHANGHAI (AP) — China is giving its biggest, state-owned rare earths miner and producer a monopoly for the northern part of the country in reforms aimed at bringing the strategically important sector that's crucial to advanced manufacturing under tighter control. The Ministry for Industry and Information Technology said in a statement seen Wednesday on its website that Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech Co.

GM, Ford Scramble To Reassure Investors On Profitability

June 8, 2011 4:33 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors and Ford are trying to reassure investors that their sales and profits will keep growing despite a weaker U.S. economy and slower auto sales Carmakers have been hit with a string of bad news this spring, from the March 11 earthquake in Japan that left dealers short on cars to rising gas prices and unemployment.

Eight-Alarm Tears Through Abandoned R.I. Rubber Mill

June 8, 2011 4:29 am

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — A massive, eight-alarm fire tore through a 112-year-old mill in northern Rhode Island on Tuesday, leaving one firefighter injured, forcing some residents to be evacuated and leaving hundreds without power, officials said late Tuesday. Firefighters were called to a blaze at the former Alice Mills Rubber Manufacturing Plant in Woonsocket, just miles from the Massachusetts state line at about 7:30 p.

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Eight Workers Hurt, One Burned In Ariz. Intel Blast

June 8, 2011 4:24 am

CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say one employee is severely burned and three others are hospitalized after a substance ignited in a chemical-storage room at Intel's plant in Chandler. They say the flash fire occurred in a self-contained room containing petroleum-based solvents used for cleaning.

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Numerous Accidents Illuminate Perils Of 'Bounce Houses'

June 7, 2011 9:22 am | by Frank Eltman and John Seewer, Associated Press

OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (AP) — They look like harmless fun — fluffy, inflated castles, ships and slides filled with children jumping around carelessly, their parents letting their guard down a bit during playtime. But an accident that sent three of the huge toys aloft on a breezy afternoon on New York's Long Island, left a woman seriously injured and hurt 12 other people is drawing attention to the little-known hazards of the inflatable playthings sometimes called "bounce houses" and the inconsistent regulations covering them.

NJ Recycler To Turn 900 Illegal Guns Into Art

June 7, 2011 9:03 am | by Samantha Henry, Associated Press

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Workers at a recycling plant in northern New Jersey figuratively turned guns into plowshares Tuesday, accepting more than 900 illegal weapons that will be shredded and melted for use in the creation of a "Peace Angel" statue. The statue will be donated to the New York City Police Department's lower Manhattan headquarters.

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U.S. Challenges China's Subsidies In WTO Court

June 7, 2011 8:58 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. on Tuesday called for China to disclose all its government subsidy programs as Beijing backed down in a trade dispute between the world's two leading economies over clean energy technology. Washington filed a case with the World Trade Organization in December over grants provided by the Chinese government to wind turbine manufacturers that used key components made in China rather than purchasing imports.

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