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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S.'s Biggest Nuclear Bomb Dismantled

October 26, 2011 5:29 am | by Betsy Blaney, Associated Press

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — The last of the nation's biggest nuclear bombs, a Cold War relic 600 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was dismantled Tuesday in what one energy official called a milestone in President Barack Obama's mission to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

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Toyota Trims Japan Output Due To Thai Flooding

October 26, 2011 5:27 am

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. is trimming production this week at its group assembly plants in Japan due to a shortage of parts from suppliers in Thailand, where severe flooding has disrupted its supply chain. Toyota official Shiori Hashimoto said Wednesday that Japan's biggest automaker has suspended overtime work from Monday to Friday at four Toyota factories and seven group companies that assemble cars and trucks.

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U.K. Hands Lockheed Martin $1B Contract

October 26, 2011 5:24 am | by Cassandra Vinograd, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has won a 642 million pound ($1 billion) contract to upgrade Britain's Warrior armored vehicles, a decision the British Ministry of Defense said Tuesday would support 600 jobs around the country. Lockheed Martin U.K. said it was delighted to get the contract, and described the upgrades as critical to maximizing the government's investment in Warrior vehicles.

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Chrysler Contract Approval Likely As Voting Ends

October 26, 2011 5:21 am

DETROIT (AP) — It looks like Chrysler's new four-year contract with the United Auto Workers union will be approved by workers. Local union president Mark Dickow says factory workers at a Ram truck plant in Warren, Mich., near Detroit voted 70 percent in favor of the deal on Tuesday.

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Boeing Reports $1.1B 3Q Profit

October 26, 2011 5:18 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

Boeing Co. cut its forecast for deliveries of its two newest jets on Wednesday, even as it reported a $1.1 billion third-quarter profit that was well above expectations. Boeing now says it will deliver 15 to 20 of its new 787s and 747-8s this year. That's 10 fewer than Boeing's previous estimates.

Companies Focus On Worker Health To Cut Costs

October 26, 2011 5:14 am | by Tom Murphy, AP Business Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — More employers are giving workers the option to tame health insurance costs for next year if they provide a blood sample and reveal details about their health habits. As they present employees with benefits options for 2012, some companies also are offering lower rates to those who quit smoking, lose weight or take other measures to improve their health.

Ash Grove Cement To Furlough MT Workers Again

October 25, 2011 9:51 am

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Ash Grove Cement Co. says it plans to furlough workers at its manufacturing plant in Montana City for a third straight winter because of poor economic conditions that continue to affect the industry. The company, based in Overland Park, Kan., said in a news release Monday the furloughs will affect fewer workers than in previous years, with roughly 220 on the national furlough list, compared to 500 in 2010.

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DuPont Reports 23 Percent Increase In 3Q Earnings

October 25, 2011 9:49 am | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Chemical maker DuPont says strong demand for its agricultural products helped boost third-quarter net income by 23 percent. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. on Tuesday reported net income of $452 million, or 48 cents per share, for the period ended Sept. 30. That's up from $367 million, or 40 cents per share, for the same period a year ago.

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Nissan Aims For No. 1 In Green Vehicles

October 25, 2011 9:48 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. is aiming to be the world's No. 1 in green cars, targeting cumulative sales of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2017 with alliance partner Renault SA of France. The Japanese maker of the Leaf electric car announced Monday its six-year strategy, planning a plug-in hybrid by the fiscal year ending March 2017 and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent per vehicle compared with 2005 levels.

Sodium-Sulfur Battery Sales Halted After Fire

October 25, 2011 9:45 am

NAGOYA, Oct. 25 (Kyodo) — NGK Insulators Ltd. has suspended sales of its sodium-sulfur batteries until the cause of a fire in September at Mitsubishi Materials Corp., one of the batteries' corporate users, can be identified, company officials said Tuesday. NGK Insulators is the sole firm worldwide that manufactures sodium-sulfur batteries, known for its capability to store large volumes of electricity.

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OSHA Cites Grenada Stamping $113K

October 25, 2011 9:41 am

GRENADA, Miss. (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Grenada, Miss., company for 26 safety violations and has proposed penalties of $113,400. OSHA officials say in a news release that the penalties against Grenada Stamping and Assembly Inc., doing business as Ice Industries Grenada, come from an April inspection following a work-related amputation at the plant.

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Report: Ford's Quality Is Slipping

October 25, 2011 9:40 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Quality should be Job 1 at Ford again. The brand's ranking fell 10 spots in Consumer Reports' annual auto reliability survey, hurt by glitchy touch screens and transmissions. It now ranks 20th out of 28 major brands, based on a survey of the magazine's subscribers.

Americal Crystal, Worker Talks Resume

October 25, 2011 5:27 am | by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — American Crystal Sugar Co. and its locked-out union workers headed back to the negotiating table Monday, but refused to talk about the results. A federal mediation service in Minneapolis said talks between the company and the union representing about 1,300 workers would resume, but didn't disclose the place and time.

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AR Joist Facility Completes $4M Upgrade

October 25, 2011 5:26 am

HOPE, Ark. (AP) — A manufacturer has reopened a factory in Hope and announced Monday it plans to hire as many as 178 workers now that a $4 million upgrade is complete. New Millennium Building Systems, which makes steel joists at the plant, has hired 58 workers and said it plans to hire up to 120 more.

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DEP Gives Approval To PA Tire-Burning Plant

October 25, 2011 5:24 am

MEADVILLE, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued an air-quality permit for a $350 million tires-to-energy plant planned in northwestern Pennsylvania. Monday's permit was the final regulatory approval needed for Crawford Renewable Energy to begin building the plant about 10 miles south of Meadville at the Keystone Regional Industrial Park in Greenwood Township.

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U.S. Steel Earns $22M In 3Q On Higher Prices

October 25, 2011 5:22 am

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Steel said Tuesday it earned a profit of $22 million in the third-quarter as steel sold for higher prices. The company lost $51 million in the year-ago quarter. That marks two straight profitable quarters for U.S. Steel, which had suffered through an eight-quarter losing streak.

2 Injured In PA Industrial Furnace Blast

October 25, 2011 5:20 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Two workers were injured in an explosion at a Pittsburgh railcar parts factory where another man died in an industrial accident over the summer. WTAE-TV reports the workers were injured Monday afternoon in a furnace explosion at McConway & Torley. They were hospitalized in good condition.

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Execs Admit Guilt In Price-Fixing Case

October 25, 2011 5:18 am

DETROIT (AP) — Two executives from a Japanese auto parts maker have admitted in a U.S. court that they conspired to fix prices of parts their company sold to auto companies, which may have raised car prices. Furukawa Electric Co. is to pay a $200 million fine, which the Justice Department said last month is among the largest it has won.

Fabrinet Thai Facilities Remain Shuttered

October 24, 2011 9:31 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Manufacturing company Fabrinet said Monday that it expects its Chokchai plants in flood-hit Thailand to remain shuttered through the rest of the quarter. Fabrinet, based in Bangkok, provides services and parts for optical, electro-mechanical and electronic manufacturing companies.

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Dayton Welcomes Immigrants As Policy Point

October 24, 2011 9:29 am | by Dan Sewell, Associated Press

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — On the same afternoon thousands of Hispanics in Alabama took the day off to protest the state's strict new immigration law, Mexican-born Francisco Mejia was ringing up diners' bills and handing containers piled with carnitas to drive-thru customers on the east side of Dayton.

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