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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Govt. Slow-Moving On Standards Overhaul For Deadly Blinds

March 4, 2010 4:12 am | by Christine Simmons, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — When 3-year-old Brandyn Coppedge became entangled on a window blind cord, it took less than a minute for the toddler to strangle. His father says the safety device designed to prevent such a tragedy had broken, but the window blind was never recalled. "They need to make the product safer," said Navy Chief Petty Officer Phillip Coppedge, who lives in Norfolk, Va.

Toyota NUMMI Layoffs Cost California $2.3 Billion

March 4, 2010 4:10 am

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A new report says it will cost California taxpayers $2.3 billion to replace jobs lost from the closure of a factory that makes Toyota cars and trucks. The report released Wednesday also says the layoffs that result from closing Fremont-based New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.

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ConAgra To Close Damaged Slim Jim Plant

March 3, 2010 11:24 am | by Mike Baker, Associated Press Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. said Wednesday it will close a Slim Jim production facility in North Carolina that was damaged during a deadly explosion last year, cutting hundreds of jobs in North Carolina while adding capacity in Ohio. The Omaha, Neb.-based food manufacturer said the Garner site will close in late 2011 and production will transition to a facility in Troy, Ohio.

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Lawmakers Mull Overhaul Of Auto Safety Regulations

March 3, 2010 6:28 am | by Ken Thomas and Stephen Manning, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — After skewering top Toyota executives in three congressional hearings, lawmakers and federal safety officials will now decide if the auto industry needs new regulations to ensure that the company's huge safety recalls aren't repeated. Hearings over two weeks in the Senate and House focused mostly on Toyota's foot-dragging on problems of sudden unintended acceleration and whether the Transportation Department's safety division failed to hold the company accountable for big safety problems that have been linked to 52 deaths.

Senators: Stop Stimulus, Investment In Foreign Manufacturers

March 3, 2010 6:26 am | by Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of Democratic senators is urging the Obama administration to suspend an economic stimulus program aimed at financing renewable energy, complaining that money is going to projects that are creating jobs in foreign countries. The four senators, led by Chuck Schumer of New York, wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday to request a moratorium on the Recovery Act program.

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Nissan Recalling 540,000 Vehicles For Loosening Brakes

March 3, 2010 6:12 am

DETROIT (AP) — Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. is recalling about 540,000 pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and minivans to fix problems with brake pedals and fuel gauges. Most of the recalled vehicles are in the U.S., with smaller numbers scattered across the globe. The brake pedal recall affects 179,000 vehicles in the U.

540 Minn. Steelworkers Recalled For April Restart

March 3, 2010 6:11 am

HIBBING, Minn. (AP) — More steelworkers are returning to Hibbing Taconite as the idled plant prepares for an April restart. Frank Jenko, president of United Steelworkers Local 2705, confirmed Tuesday that more workers are back. Jenko says by mid-March the majority — if not all — of Hibbing Taconite's 540 hourly employees should be back.

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Engineer Deaths Won't Stop Tesla's Model S Plans

March 3, 2010 6:10 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press Writer

GENEVA (AP) — The death of three Tesla engineers in a plane crash last month was a heavy blow for the tight-knit Californian electric car maker, but it is holding onto its plan of producing and selling the new Model S within three years, its chief designer said Wednesday at the Geneva Motor Show.

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Hyundai Rumored To Be Moving Production To Georgia

March 2, 2010 10:58 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Hyundai auto supplier Jay Mid-South says the Korean automaker is planning to move production from Montgomery to Georgia, triggering layoffs at the Gadsden company. Jay Mid-South division manager Brent Taylor tells the Birmingham News in a Tuesday story that production of the Santa Fe will be done at the new Kia plant just across the Alabama state line.

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Cummins Laying Off 200 At Columbus, Ind. Plant

March 2, 2010 10:54 am

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — Diesel engine maker Cummins Inc. is laying off nearly 200 workers at its Columbus MidRange Engine Plant in response to a drop in orders by Chrysler Group LLC. The Columbus-based company said Tuesday that the 194 layoffs will take place after Friday, cutting the plant'semployment to about 400 and paring its two shifts to one.

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Toyota's Pain Means Big Breaks For Big 3

March 2, 2010 10:21 am | by Dan Strumpf and Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota's pain is its rivals' gain. All major automakers but Toyota reported higher U.S. sales in February, and most took customers from their powerful Japanese competitor, which has been struggling with a series of massive safety recalls. Toyota Motor Corp. said its U.

Mountz, Inc. Acquires Mr. Metric Fastener Lines

March 2, 2010 8:49 am

San Jose, Calif. — Mountz, Inc. acquired all assets of Mr. Metric, Inc, a fastener importer and distributor located in San Jose, CA. The value of the deal was not disclosed. Mr. Metric will serve as the flagship brand name for all Mountz fastener products. Fastener products will be integrated into the Mountz logistics system and sold under the strong Mr.

GM Won't Reopen Plants, Citing Expense

March 2, 2010 8:03 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. will not reopen any factories, even though it has shortages of several new models, the company's top sales executive said Tuesday. Vice President of Sales Susan Docherty told reporters on a conference call that GM needs to use its current factories to the maximum rather than taking the expensive step of reopening a closed plant.

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Feds Consider Brake Overrides In All New Cars

March 2, 2010 7:03 am | by Ken Thomas and Stephen Manning, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday his agency may recommend that all new vehicles sold in the U.S. be equipped with brakes that can override the gas pedal. The idea seemed to be gaining support among lawmakers as Toyota officials returned for a third hearing on lethal safety defects.

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China Plans 'Clean Energy' Overhaul Over 10 Years

March 2, 2010 5:43 am

SHANGHAI (AP) — China plans to have "clean energy" account for 15 percent of its total consumption under a 10-year renewable energy promotion program soon to be made public, a state-run newspaper cites the head of the country's National Energy Administration as saying. The government will spend billions of dollars on building nuclear and solar power plants, wind farms and on research into renewable energy technology, Zhang Guobao said in Tuesday's edition of the China Daily.

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IBM Cuts 1,500 Nationwide, Mum On Details

March 2, 2010 5:07 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — IBM Corp. cut more than 1,500 jobs across a number of divisions Monday, a sliver of the technology company's nearly 400,000 workers worldwide. IBM wouldn't comment. Documents submitted by laid-off workers to the Alliance(at)IBM, a labor union representing a small percentage of IBM employees, indicate that at least 1,518 jobs were cut.

DuPont Restarts Production At Idled Plant After Death

March 2, 2010 4:45 am

BELLE, W.Va. (AP) — DuPont says it's begun restarting its idled chemical plant in Belle. The company halted operations last month after a series of leaks, including one that led to the death of a worker. Spokesman Roger Hess said Tuesday most units that weren't involved in the leaks have been restarted.

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BAE Systems Guilty Of Conspiracy, Gets $400 Million Fine

March 2, 2010 3:36 am | by Pete Yost, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense company BAE Systems PLC pleaded guilty to conspiracy on Monday and a judge imposed a $400 million fine, among the largest in the Justice Department's efforts to combat overseas corruption in international business. The defense contractor knowingly failed to ensure compliance with legal prohibitions on foreign bribery.

GM Recalls 1.3 Million Compacts For Failed Steering

March 2, 2010 3:23 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is recalling 1.3 million Chevrolet and Pontiac compact cars sold in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to fix power steering motors that can fail. The recall affects 2005 to 2010 Chevrolet Cobalts, 2007 to 2010 Pontiac G5s, 2005 and 2006 Pontiac Pursuits sold in Canada and 2005 and 2006 Pontiac G4s sold in Mexico.

Ind. Auto Parts Maker To Add 285 Jobs

March 2, 2010 3:12 am

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Lear Operations Corp. plans to increase production at its northwestern Indiana factory and potentially add 285 jobs this year. The company announced Tuesday it would invest more than $2.2 million at the factory in Hammond to make seating for the Ford Explorer SUV. Southfield, Mich.

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