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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Tesla Rises As German Probe Finds No Defects

December 4, 2013 9:43 am | by The Associated Press

The electric car maker said late Monday that German regulators notified the company that they were closing their investigation into post-crash fires in Washington, Tennessee and Mexico and would take no further action.         

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NYC Train Derailment Airs Queries About Technology

December 3, 2013 1:52 pm | by Frank Eltman and Jim Fitzgerald, Associated Press

Safety officials have championed what's known as positive train control technology for decades, but the railroad industry has sought to postpone having to install it because of the high cost and technological issues. Investigators haven't yet determined whether the weekend wreck, which killed four people and injured more than 60 others, was the result of human error or mechanical trouble.

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Ethanol Maker Offered $6.3M For 65 Fuel Plant Jobs

December 3, 2013 1:45 pm | by Emery P. Dalesio, Associated Press

The plant operated by Biochemtex, a partnership headed by Italy-based Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi, plans to employ 65 people in three years near Clinton in Sampson County. The jobs will pay an average of $47,000 a year plus benefits, above the county average of $30,822.

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Employers Step In To Prevent Worker Burnout

December 3, 2013 1:33 pm | by Danica Kirka, Associated Press

Volkswagen turns off some employees' email 30 minutes after their shifts end. Goldman Sachs is urging junior staff to take weekends off. BMW is planning new rules that will keep workers from being contacted after hours.         

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Holiday Weekend Gives A Boost To Auto Sales

December 3, 2013 1:28 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

The holiday weekend was good to U.S. automakers, as sales reports indicate the auto industry is on track to beat strong sales numbers from a year ago. Chrysler's U.S. sales rose a surprising 16 percent in November, while General Motors posted a 14 percent gain. Toyota sales rose 10 percent, and Ford notched a 7 percent increase.

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Potash Corp. To Cut More Than 1,000 Jobs

December 3, 2013 1:25 pm | by The Associated Press

Potash Corp. is cutting more than 1,000 jobs, about 18 percent of its workforce, because of slumping demand for potash and phosphate, two key fertilizer ingredients.  The Saskatchewan-based company said Tuesday it will cut 440 jobs in Saskatchewan, 130 in New Brunswick, 350 in Florida, 85 in North Carolina, and 40 in other U.S. regions and Trinidad.

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Chicago Asks Residents To Report Petcoke Problems

December 3, 2013 1:20 pm | by The Associated Press

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has launched a new offensive against petroleum coke that's been piling up on the city's far southeast side. He's asking residents to call 311 or send an e-mail if they see evidence that petroleum coke — called "petcoke" — is blowing off the piles. Petcoke is a powdery black byproduct of oil refining that can be burned in power plants.

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At 11Th Hour, Congress Debates Plastic Gun Ban

December 3, 2013 9:48 am | by Alan Fram, Associated Press

Congress is racing toward renewing a 25-year-old prohibition against firearms that can evade metal detectors and X-ray machines, just days before the ban expires. But with 3-D printers increasingly able to produce plastic weapons, many Democrats, gun control advocates and law enforcement officials say the restrictions must be tightened.

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Mohawk Valley Firm Gets $47M Arms Contract

December 3, 2013 9:43 am | by The Associated Press

Congressman Richard Hanna says Remington Outdoor Company has been awarded a $47 million contract to produce more than 50,000 R4 carbine rifles for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.                   

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Forest Labs To Cut 500 Jobs In $500M Restructuring

December 3, 2013 9:36 am | by The Associated Press

Forest Laboratories says it plans to cut about 500 jobs as part of a plan to trim $500 million in costs over the next two years. The moves come less than three months after former Bausch & Lomb leader Brenton Saunders replaced longtime CEO Howard Solomon at the helm of Forest Laboratories Inc.

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Gov't Proposes More Steps To Store Fukushima Water

December 3, 2013 9:33 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press

Officials on the Industry Ministry's contaminated water panel also said that the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant could run out of storage for contaminated water within two years if current plans are not fully workable. A draft report proposed covering the ground with asphalt to reduce rain inflow, building giant tanks and other steps.

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Universal Truckload To Pay $123M For Westport Axle

December 3, 2013 9:30 am | by The Associated Press

Universal Truckload Services Inc. said Monday that it will pay $123 million in cash for Westport Axle Corp., which provides parts assembly, packaging and distribution services for makers of cars, heavy trucks and recreational vehicles.    

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Suits Filed Against Ky. Glass Plant Operators

December 3, 2013 9:27 am | by The Associated Press

One lawsuit alleges the plant operators "illegally, recklessly or negligently" dumped hazardous substances outside the boundaries of the property. The lawsuit also said contamination spread through at least a 5-mile radius around the facility, exposing people to increased risk of cancers, kidney failure and damage to the central nervous system.

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Volvo To Test Self-Driving Cars

December 2, 2013 2:43 pm | by The Associated Press

Swedish-based Volvo Car Group has joined the race to develop self-driving cars, saying it plans to build 100 such vehicles in a pilot project. The Chinese-owned automaker said Monday it will test its "autonomous" cars on 30 miles (50 kilometers) of selected roads in the Swedish city of Goteborg, starting in 2017.

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Dow Chemical Looking To Spin Off, Sell 40 Plants

December 2, 2013 2:29 pm | by The Associated Press

Dow Chemical is looking to spin off or sell about 40 manufacturing plants from its business as it continues to move away from cyclical commodity products.The company said Monday that it expects those deals to happen within the next one to two years. Almost 2,000 workers will be affected by the moves.

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Amazon Sees Delivery Drones As Future

December 2, 2013 2:19 pm | by The Associated Press

Amazon.com is already cracking same-day delivery. Next up: getting your package delivered quicker than a pizza? The online retailer is working on a way to get customers their goods in 30 minutes or less — by drone.Amazon.com said it's working on the so-called Prime Air unmanned aircraft project in its research and development labs.

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Worker Found Dead At Inter-Korean Factory Park

December 2, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press

A South Korean man was found dead Saturday at a jointly-run factory park in North Korea, officials said. The 55-year old worker from a South Korean company that manufactures leather products and mobile phone accessories was found dead earlier that day, South Korea's Unification Ministry told reporters at a briefing.

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Saab Is Back: First Cars Produced Under New Owners

December 2, 2013 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press

For the first time in two and a half years, a new Saab sedan has rolled off the production line in Trollhattan in south-west Sweden.National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the Hong Kong-based company that bought Saab out of bankruptcy in September last year, on Monday presented its new 9-3 Aero.

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OSHA: Sentencing In Gunpowder Case Justified

December 2, 2013 1:58 pm | by Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health

Dr. David Michaels said, "[Craig] Sanborn recklessly ignored basic safety measures that would have protected their lives. His criminal conviction and sentence won't bring these men back to life, but it will keep him from putting workers' lives in peril."

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ThyssenKrupp Sells U.S. Steel Plant Biz For $1.55B

December 2, 2013 10:08 am | by The Associated Press

Following extended speculation over the deal, ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. said Friday they will jointly acquire the ThyssenKrupp Steel USA. The steel processing plant is based in Alabama.          

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