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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Ex-NASA Engineer Gets Probation In Software Piracy

September 5, 2013 2:31 pm | by Randall Chase, Associated Press

A former NASA engineer who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a copyright infringement scheme led by two Chinese nationals was sentenced to probation. U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark credited Cosburn Wedderburn, 40, for his substantial assistance to federal authorities investigating the website called "Crack 99," which sold pirated, industrial-level software in which the access control mechanisms had been "cracked," or circumvented.

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VA Utility Top Bidder For Offshore Wind Leases

September 5, 2013 2:28 pm | by Steve Szkotak, Associated Press

Virginia Dominion Power submitted a successful $1.6 million bid Wednesday to lease nearly 113,000 offshore acres for the development of wind turbines that could power 700,000 homes. Virginia's largest utility beat out one other bidder, Apex Virginia Offshore Wind LLC of Charlottesville, in the nation's second lease sale of ocean bottom dedicated to the development of huge wind turbines.

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Automakers Report Sales Up Double-Digits

September 4, 2013 2:22 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Chrysler and General Motors all reported double-digit U.S. sales gains last month as strong sales of pickup trucks and small cars led the industry toward its best month in six years. Toyota posted the biggest gain, with sales up nearly 23 percent over August of last year. 

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UAW May Gain Southern U.S. Foothold

September 4, 2013 2:20 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

The prospect of the United Auto Workers gaining a new foothold at Volkswagen's plant in Tennessee worries some Southern Republicans, who say laws banning mandatory union membership have helped lure foreign automakers. But Volkswagen faces pressure from labor interests on its supervisory board to grant workers a stronger voice at the plant.

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Court Asked To Uphold BP Settlement Approval

September 4, 2013 2:17 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

Plaintiffs' attorneys who brokered a multibillion-dollar settlement with BP following the company's 2010 Gulf oil spill have asked a federal appeals court to uphold a judge's approval of the deal. Only a "paltry few objectors" have raised the "narrowest of concerns" about the settlement that U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier approved in December 2012, private lawyers said in a filing.

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Fiat Confirms Investment In Flagship Turin Plant

September 4, 2013 2:14 pm | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer

Italian carmaker Fiat, which controls Chrysler, will go ahead with investments in its flagship Mirafiori plant in Turin, where it will produce Maserati SUVs. Fiat confirmed the decision Wednesday, after signing a contract with seven unions on flexible work rules.

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Battery Maker Picks KY For Research Site

September 4, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press

Kentucky has landed its first major tenant at a battery research laboratory in Lexington as the state jockeys for a prominent role in developing next-generation automobiles. NOHMs Technologies Inc. said Wednesday it will locate research, product development and manufacturing operations at the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center.

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Lighting Company To Expand, Add Jobs In MS

September 4, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press

St. James Lighting is expanding its operations in Columbia, Miss., to create 20 new jobs. The announcement came Tuesday from the company and the governor's office. Officials say the $225,000 investment will meet a growing demand for its products. The company currently has 23 employees.

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Toyota Recalls 369,000 Vehicles Worldwide

September 4, 2013 10:20 am | by The Associated Press

Toyota is recalling 200,000 vehicles worldwide for a hybrid-system problem and another 169,000 vehicles for an engine bolt defect. Toyota Motor Corp. spokeswoman Shino Yamada said Wednesday there were no accidents related to either recall.

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China Scoops Up 220,000 Pounds Of Poisoned Fish

September 4, 2013 10:18 am | by Louise Watt, Associated Press

Authorities have scooped up around 100,000 kilograms (220,000 pounds) of dead fish they say were poisoned by ammonia from a chemical plant, environmental officials and state media said Wednesday, in a reminder of the pollution plaguing the country.

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NC Mattress Manufacturer Facing Federal Lawsuit

September 4, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press

A family owned mattress manufacturer in Thomasville is facing a federal lawsuit, saying the company subjected black employees to a racially hostile work environment. The lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Aug. 28 against Carolina Mattress Guild Inc. The EEOC wants a jury trial.

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U.S. Trade Deficit Widens To $39.1B

September 4, 2013 10:14 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

The U.S. trade deficit widened in July from a four-year low in June. American consumers bought more foreign cars and other imported goods, while U.S. companies exported fewer long-lasting manufactured goods. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the trade gap rose 13 percent to $39.1 billion. 

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Kodak CEO Talks Company's Future

September 4, 2013 10:12 am | by Bree Fowler, AP Technology Writer

Kodak emerged from bankruptcy protection Tuesday vastly different from the company of old. Gone are the cameras and film that made it famous. The company hopes to replace them with new technologies such as touch screens for smartphones and smart packaging embedded with sensors.

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Calsonic Kansei To Add 1,200 Jobs At TN Plants

September 4, 2013 10:10 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

Auto parts supplier Calsonic Kansei North America announced Tuesday it will add 1,200 jobs at its plants in Tennessee over the next three years. The Nissan subsidiary said it is investing $109 million at its facilities in Lewisburg, Shelbyville and Smyrna, and that total employment in the state will reach nearly 3,800 within three years.

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‘Super Cruise’ Takes On Real-World Traffic Scenarios

September 3, 2013 3:09 pm | by GM Media

Development of “Super Cruise,” Cadillac’s semi-automated driving system, is advancing to the next stage of development, including real-world driving assessment and trials. Cadillac projects this technology could make its way into production models later this decade.

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UAW, VW Meet On Representing TN Workers

September 3, 2013 2:32 pm | by The Associated Press

A German newspaper says United Auto Workers union officials met last week with Volkswagen to discuss representing workers at VW's Chattanooga, Tenn., plant. The Handelsblatt business daily says UAW President Bob King and five other officials were at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to meet with the employee relations chief.

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Microsoft Takeover Of Nokia Fans Fears In Finland

September 3, 2013 2:30 pm | by Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press

Nokia, the former star of the cellphone world, has seen its light further dimmed by the news Tuesday that Microsoft Corp. was acquiring its handset operations. "This is naturally a big day of change in Finland's industrial history," Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen told reporters in Helsinki Tuesday after Microsoft's 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion) deal was announced.

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Self-Driving Cars Could Be On U.S. Roads By 2020

September 3, 2013 2:29 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

Cars that drive themselves could be on U.S. roads by the end of this decade. But don't take your foot off the pedal just yet. Automakers, universities and others are at various stages in the development of autonomous cars. Google is testing some in California. 

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Toyota To Invest $90M In WV Plant

September 3, 2013 2:26 pm | by The Associated Press

Toyota Motor Corp. is investing $90 million in its Buffalo, W.Va. manufacturing plant. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Friday the automaker's investment will create about 80 jobs. Tomblin says Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia Inc. plans to increase production of 6-speed automatic transmissions by 20,000 per month by early 2015.

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Renault Wants To Eliminate COO Position

September 3, 2013 2:24 pm | by The Associated Press

French carmaker Renault is proposing a reorganization of its management structure to eliminate the position of chief operating officer after the person who held the post suddenly stepped down. Renault said it would instead add two new posts: chief competitive officer, who would be in charge of the product range, and chief performance officer, who would focus on market share and profitability. 

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