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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Japan Taps U.S.-Made Robots For Reactor Clean-up

April 18, 2011 4:22 am | by Jacob Adelman, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — In this country of break-dancing androids and artificially intelligent pets, nuclear cleanup crews on the tsunami-ravaged northern coast are depending on U.S.-made robots to enter damaged reactor units where it is still too dangerous for humans to tread. Utility workers seeking to regain control of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are deploying robots from Bedford, Mass.

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CAT CEO's Pay Quadruples To $10.4 Million

April 18, 2011 4:20 am | by Josh Funk, AP Business Writer

Caterpillar Inc. quadrupled Doug Oberhelman's compensation last year when he was promoted to the top job at the world's largest maker of mining and construction equipment, but his $10.4 million compensation was less than half what the retiring chief executive received, according to an Associated Press review of a regulatory filing Friday.

ThyssenKrupp Exec Convicted Of Murder Over Plant Blaze

April 18, 2011 4:17 am

TURIN, Italy (AP) — A top ThyssenKrupp executive was convicted of murder in Italy on Friday for a 2007 plant blaze that killed seven workers in Italy, news reports said. The court in Turin sentenced ThyssenKrupp's CEO for Italy, Harald Espenhahn, to 16 1/2 years in prison, as had been requested by the prosecutors, ANSA and LaPresse news agencies said.

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Proterra Unveils First Greenville-Made Electric Bus

April 15, 2011 4:53 am

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — An electric bus manufacturer has publicly unveiled its first Greenville-made bus, sending the unit to Pennsylvania for further testing. Proterra LLC on Thursday sent its first bus to the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center at Penn State University to complete testing required to unlock federal subsidies for bus purchases.

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Illinois Man: I Didn't Take Military Tech To China

April 15, 2011 4:45 am | by David Porter, Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — An Illinois man pleaded not guilty Thursday to taking restricted military data from his former job at a New Jersey technology company and presenting it at two conferences in China last fall. Sixing Liu, wearing a green prison jumpsuit, did not speak during the brief hearing before U.

Recalls: Baby Boots, Industrial Heaters

April 15, 2011 4:39 am | by the Associated Press

The following recalls have been announced: ___ MONKEEZ & FRIENDS WRIST RATTLES AND BABY BOOTIES DETAILS: The knitted-yarn products were manufactured in China and imported by Midwest-CBK Inc. of Union City, Tenn. WHY: The pom-poms attached to the wrist rattles and booties can detach, posing a choking hazard.

Toyota To Remain At Half Capacity At Japanese Plants

April 15, 2011 4:33 am

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will maintain output at half capacity in Japan from May 10 to June 3 amid a supply crunch following the March tsunami disaster. The world's No. 1 automaker said it still remained unclear when the company would return to full production in Japan.

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U.S. Factory Output Rises For Ninth Straight Month

April 15, 2011 4:28 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories likely produced more goods in March for the ninth straight month, as businesses and consumers spent more money. Economists expect that the output of the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased 0.6 percent last month. That would be the biggest increase since December, when severe winter weather caused a spike in output by utilities.

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Ford Expands F-150 Recall To 1.2 Million Vehicles

April 15, 2011 4:25 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Ford bowed to pressure from regulators on Thursday and widened a recall of America's top-selling vehicle, the F-150 pickup, because its air bags can deploy at the wrong time. The recall now covers nearly 1.2 million F-150s built for the 2004 and 2005 model years and some built for 2006.

EU Fines P&G, Unilever Over Laundry Detergent Cartel

April 13, 2011 5:07 am | by Gabriele Steinhauser, AP Business Writer

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union regulators on Wednesday fined consumer products companies Procter & Gamble and Unilever a total of euro315.2 million ($456 million) for fixing prices of powdered laundry detergent together with Henkel in eight EU countries. Germany's Henkel AG escaped a fine because it blew the whistle on the cartel.

BRICS Gather, Discuss Plans For Taking On U.S., Europe

April 13, 2011 5:00 am | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — The leaders of the world's largest emerging economies gather this week in southern China for what could be a watershed moment in their quest for a bigger say in the global financial architecture. Thursday's summit comes at a crucial moment for the expanded five-member bloc known as the BRICS, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China, and, for the first time, South Africa.

Xerox CEO Awarded $10.6 Million In 2010 Pay

April 13, 2011 4:48 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Xerox Corp. awarded CEO Ursula Burns a compensation package last year that the company valued at $10.6 million, a 7 percent increase from the year before as Burns assumed the title of chairwoman and orchestrated the printer and copier maker's deeper push into technology services.

Subaru Stops Lafayette Production Line For Four Days

April 13, 2011 4:44 am

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Subaru of America is halting production on one of its Lafayette plant's production lines for four days due to a parts shortage caused by Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami. Subaru spokeswoman Jennifer McGarvey tells the Kokomo Tribune that the automaker will halt production on the plant's Toyota Camry line Friday, next Monday and on April 21 and April 25.

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GM Invests $100 Million In Fuel-Injection Innovations

April 13, 2011 4:39 am

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — General Motors Corp. is investing $100 million to manufacture fuel-injection technology at its Rochester plant in upstate New York, securing hundreds of existing jobs and creating 30 new ones. The automaker says Tuesday that the factory, which employs around 800 people, got the project over a sister plant in the Midwest.

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Airbus A380 Collision Proves Big Planes Are Troublesome

April 13, 2011 4:35 am | by Chris Hawley and Joan Lowy, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A frightening collision between one of the world's largest airliners and a commuter jet on a dark, wet tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport is underscoring worries about ground accidents as U.S. airports begin handling a new generation of giant planes. A total of 586 passengers and crew members were aboard the two aircraft Monday night when the left wing of an Airbus A380 operated by Air France clipped a Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jet flown by Comair, spinning the smaller plane nearly 90 degrees.

Trade Deficit Fell 2.6 Percent In February

April 12, 2011 4:59 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies sold fewer products overseas in February but the trade deficit narrowed because of a big decline in oil imports. The trade deficit fell 2.6 percent to $45.8 billion in February, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Exports, which had hit an all-time high in January, edged down 1.

Renault Fires Executive Over Fabrication Of Spy Threat

April 12, 2011 4:55 am | by Greg Keller, AP Business Writer

PARIS (AP) — One of Renault's top executives will lose his job amid a wide-scale corporate shakeout following a deeply embarrassing scandal that saw France's partially state-owned car maker falsely accuse three of its executives of espionage. In a statement Monday, Renault said Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata would be removed from his position and given unspecified duties within the Renault-Nissan alliance.

Google Pumps $168 Million Into Massive Solar Array

April 12, 2011 4:45 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google Inc. is investing $168 million in an alternative power project that aims to produce enough solar energy to light 140,000 homes. The commitment announced Monday is part of the financing that BrightSource Energy needs to build solar power plant in California's Mojave Desert.

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Intel Dives Into Tablet Processor Business

April 12, 2011 4:37 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Intel Corp. has launched a new chip for tablet computers, as the world's most powerful semiconductor company aims to become a contender in the market for mobile chips. Intel's chips are in 80 percent of laptops and desktop PCs, but it's had less success getting its chips into smaller devices such as cellphones and tablets.

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