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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Toyota Working On Rare Earth-Free Electric Motor

January 17, 2011 3:28 am

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp., maker of the popular Prius hybrid car, is developing a new type of electric motor to cut its dependence on rare earth metals and lower costs, a company spokesman said Monday. The new technology will help free the world's No. 1 automaker from relying on China, which produces 97 percent of the global output of rare earths needed for many high-tech products, including the current generation of hybrid gasoline-electric motors.

J&J Recalling 47 Million Packages Of Prescription Drugs

January 17, 2011 3:24 am

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Friday it is recalling nearly 47 million packages of Tylenol, Sudafed and other nonprescription drugs manufactured at a Pennsylvania facility that has already been subject to a series of massive recalls, battering the company's household brand.

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Intel Profits, 'Pulse' Of Technology Sales, Gets Stronger

January 14, 2011 4:02 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sales of server chips saved Intel Corp.'s fourth quarter, as net income jumped 48 percent mainly on strong demand from corporations. Yet the sour economy and the rise of smaller and sleeker gadgets such as the iPad have hurt consumers' appetite for new PCs, depressing that part of Intel's business.

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OSHA Fines U.S. Steel For Coke Plant Explosion

January 14, 2011 3:57 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Federal officials have fined U.S. Steel and a subcontractor a total of $175,000 for safety violations found after a coke plant explosion injured at least 15 workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Thursday it cited the companies following a probe of the July 14 explosion at the Clairton Coke Works near Pittsburgh.

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Industrial Production Hits 5-Month High In December

January 14, 2011 3:48 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industrial production rose in December by the largest amount in five months, providing the economy with solid momentum heading into the new year. Activity at the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased 0.8 percent last month, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Industrial production was up in every month but one in 2010.

Renault Suspends Executives In Industrial Espionage Case

January 14, 2011 3:29 am | by Greg Keller, Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — Renault said Thursday it has filed a criminal complaint in connection with a suspected case of industrial espionage at the French car maker that has rocked France's industrial sector. The complaint "against persons unknown" follows Renault's discovery of "serious misconduct detrimental to the company" and in particular to its "strategic, technological and intellectual assets," the car maker said in a statement.

U.S. Trade Deficit Drops To Lowest Point In 10 Months

January 14, 2011 3:26 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit edged down to the lowest point in 10 months as exports, helped by a weaker dollar and rising foreign demand, climbed to the highest level in more than two years. The trade deficit narrowed to $38.3 billion in November, down 0.3 percent from October's revised $38.

Ford Says Raises Are Out, Bonuses Are In

January 14, 2011 3:22 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. will give bonuses but not pay raises to its U.S. and Canadian white-collar workers as the company tries to keep its costs down to stay competitive with other global automakers. Spokeswoman Marcey Evans said Ford surveyed 21 peer companies, including General Motors and Chrysler, and determined that its salaries are competitive.

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GM's CEO: We're A Year Behind On R&D

January 12, 2011 4:04 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — A big cut in research and development spending while General Motors was in bankruptcy protection set the company's new product plans back by about a year, its top executive told reporters Tuesday. Chairman and CEO Daniel Akerson said GM is working to accelerate vehicle plans that were postponed when R&D spending was cut to $5 billion per year as the company was trying to save money during its 2009 stay in bankruptcy protection.

Photo Of The Day: Scenes From Detroit

January 12, 2011 3:54 am

A Volvo electric C30 is shown after being crashed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) The Audi exhibit is shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) The floor of the North American International Auto Show is shown in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan.

Nissan Spends $118 Million To Restructure Miss. Plant

January 12, 2011 3:41 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday that production of its 2012 NV commercial van will begin Jan. 19 at its expanded plant in Canton, Mississippi, marking its first venture into the U.S. commercial vehicle market. The NV offering will be aimed at commercial van customers through a network of about 240 Nissan commercial dealers, with sales set to begin in the spring.

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Geithner Continues Year-Long Scolding Of China's Currency

January 12, 2011 3:35 am | by Marin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — China's currency is substantially undervalued and Beijing is moving too slowly to fulfill its promise to let it rise, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday. Geithner said it's in China's own interests to accelerate the pace of currency reform. He said the undervalued yuan is increasing the risk of inflation that will harm Chinese growth.

Dana Holding To Pay Toyota $25 Million For Faulty Frames

January 12, 2011 3:28 am

MAUMEE, Ohio (AP) — Dana Holding Corp. said Wednesday it will pay $25 million as part of a settlement with a subsidiary of the automaker Toyota Motor Corp. for warranty claims related to frames produced by Dana's former structural products business. Dana plans to take a fourth-quarter charge as a result.

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Solar Maker Gets $58 Million From Mass., Shutters Plant

January 12, 2011 3:25 am | by Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Writer

BOSTON (AP) — A solar panel manufacturer that benefited from $58 million in state aid to open a factory at a former Massachusetts military base is closing the plant and laying off 800 workers. Evergreen Solar Inc. announced Tuesday it is shutting down the Devens plant by the end of the 2011 first quarter.

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Detroit's Automakers Are All Smiles After Dismal Past

January 12, 2011 3:22 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Jeff Karoub, Associated Press Writers

DETROIT (AP) — The sunny yellow Ford C-Max minivan that greets visitors at this year's Detroit auto show says it all. After taking a pounding during the recession, the U.S. auto industry is full of optimism, and a strong mix of new products will greet buyers as they return to dealerships. "Looking around at what's at the show, we've never been happier," said Mike Jackson, the CEO of AutoNation Inc.

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November Tech Consumption Up 81 Percent Over 2009

January 11, 2011 5:24 am

Peter Borden, AMTDA President November U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $318.18 million, according to AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association, and AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was down 17.

Intel Ponies Up $1.5 Billion For Nvidia's Patent Goldmine

January 11, 2011 3:43 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Intel Corp.'s decision to pay Nvidia Corp. $1.5 billion for the right to its patents highlights the seismic shifts the semiconductor industry is undergoing. The licensing deal announced Monday comes as both companies are adapting to the new rules of the consumer electronics world, as mobile devices are changing the way chips are made.

Ford To Hire 7,000 U.S. Workers By 2012

January 11, 2011 3:36 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says it will add more than 7,000 workers in the U.S. over the next two years, including 750 engineers with expertise in batteries and other advanced technology, as it begins producing several new vehicles. The company plans to hire 4,000 manufacturing workers this year.

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Detroit Auto Show, Day 2: Toyota's Aging Lineup

January 11, 2011 3:31 am | by Sharon Silke Carty, AP Auto Writer

Toyota's biggest problem: Aging lineup  DETROIT (AP) — It would be easy to think Toyota's biggest problem is its damaged reputation caused by sudden acceleration recalls, millions in government fines and massive lawsuits and settlements. But what's hurting the company most is an aging lineup of boring cars.

AMD's CEO Fired Unexpectedly After Staging Comeback

January 11, 2011 3:28 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Advanced Micro Devices Inc. forced out its CEO Dirk Meyer in a surprise twist of fate for a technologist who inherited the chip maker when it was in tatters and won fans on Wall Street for steering it through a wrenching turnaround. AMD is a heavyweight in the computer industry as the world's No.

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