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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Honda's Chinese Operations Halted By Strikes

May 28, 2010 4:29 am

TOKYO (AP) — Honda Motor Co. said Friday that production at three of its four plants in China remains suspended because of a lack of transmissions and engine parts caused by a strike at a parts maker, but will resume partially next week at the fourth. Workers demanding better wages went on strike at Honda Auto Parts Manufacturing Co.

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Albany Industries Adds 200 Furniture-Making Jobs

May 28, 2010 4:28 am

RIPLEY, Miss. (AP) — Furniture manufacturer Albany Industries is expanding its operation in Ripley in northeast Mississippi and could hire up to 200 more workers. The company, based in New Albany, Miss., tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that it has acquired the former Agracel facility in the North Ripley Industrial Park.

Congress Wants More Electric Car Credits, Infrastructure

May 28, 2010 4:27 am | by Stephen Manning, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government would provide grants to help cities build the infrastructure needed to support electric vehicles and to offer new tax credits for buyers of those cars under legislation introduced Thursday in Congress. The bills in the House and Senate are designed to smooth the way for the electric vehicles that are expected to start showing up at car dealerships in large numbers this fall.

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A College Degree Is Closer Than You Thought

May 27, 2010 11:58 am

DEARBORN, Mich. — The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and University of Phoenix have reached an agreement that will provide holders of SME certifications with articulation credits toward their college degree. This will enable them to expedite their time towards a degree through a prior learning assessment, potentially saving them as much as an entire semester in courses.

Tanker Deal Would Bring Boeing Jobs To Michigan

May 26, 2010 4:55 am

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — Boeing Co. says it will bring about 450 new jobs and $25 million in annual economic impact to Michigan if it wins the Pentagon's contract to build a new fleet of aerial refueling jets. The Chicago-based company said Tuesday components would come from Eaton Aerospace in Jackson and Grand Rapids, General Electric in Grand Rapids, Honeywell International in Boyne City, and LaSalle Electric Supply in Livonia.

EPA: Most Texas Refineries Break Clean Air Act

May 26, 2010 4:47 am | by Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press Writer

HOUSTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency moved Tuesday to end a long-running dispute with Texas over how the state regulates emissions, including cancer-causing toxins such as benzene and butadiene, from dozens of refineries that produce a third of the nation's gasoline and billions of dollars of petrochemicals.

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Nissan Breaks Ground On 1,300-Job Tenn. Battery Plant

May 26, 2010 4:25 am

SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) — Nissan North America Inc. is breaking ground on a lithium-ion battery plant as part of its plan to build electric cars and eventually create up to 1,300 jobs in Tennessee. The battery plant at Smyrna is part of a $1.7 billion investment in the new battery plant and initial production of the all-electric Leaf starting in 2012.

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J & J Promises Overhaul Of Shoddy Manufacturing

May 26, 2010 4:23 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday it has hired an outside consulting firm to help fix manufacturing problems that triggered a massive recall of children's medicines and which have drawn ire from federal lawmakers and regulators. The maker of Tylenol, Motrin and other medications laid out plans to restructure its manufacturing operations in the wake of the latest in a series of recalls that have tarnished the company's household brands.

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Foxconn's Full Disclosure: We Can't Fix Everything

May 26, 2010 4:21 am | by William Foreman, Associated Press Writer

SHENZHEN, China (AP) — The head of Foxconn bowed deeply several times and apologized Wednesday for a spate of suicides at the factory that makes Apple iPods and iPhones, promising the electronics giant will try to stop more deaths. But the usually media-shy executive, Foxconn Technology Group Chairman Terry Gou, cautioned there was only so much his company could do.

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Maintenance Worker Dies At Okla. Lime Plant

May 26, 2010 4:19 am

MARBLE CITY, Okla. (AP) — Authorities say an employee performing maintenance on a machine at a limeplant has been killed. Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart says his office received a call about 4 p.m. Monday of an industrial accident at the U.S. Lime & Minerals Inc. in Marble City.

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Congress Prepares To Quadruple Oil Taxes

May 25, 2010 5:04 am | by Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to the massive BP oil spill, Congress is getting ready to quadruple — to 32 cents a barrel — a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade. The tax is levied on oil produced in the U.

Toyota Halts Lexus Sales, Waits For Replacement Parts

May 25, 2010 4:58 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has stopped sales of the Lexus LS sedan for about three weeks while it works to get parts to dealers to fix a problem with the vehicle's steering system, a spokesman said Monday. Toyota on Friday recalled about 3,800 2009 and 2010 LS 460 and LS 600h sedans in the U.

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Electric Boat To Add 450 Jobs, Invest $55 Million

May 25, 2010 4:51 am

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — Officials with submarine maker Electric Boat say the company will add 450 jobs at its Rhode Island facility over the next five years, and spend more than $55 million on new infrastructure as part of the expansion of the Virginia-class nuclear submarine program. Electric Boat president John Casey said Monday that this year alone the General Dynamics Corp.

BP Responsible For Exxon Valdez Disaster, Too

May 25, 2010 4:34 am | by Naoki Schwartz, Associated Press Writer

Since a busted oil well began spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico a month ago, the catastrophe has constantly been measured against the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. The Alaska spill leaked nearly 11 million gallons of crude, killed countless wildlife and tarnished the owner of the damaged tanker, Exxon.

Toshiba Invests In American Nuclear Power

May 25, 2010 4:31 am

TOKYO (AP) — Nuclear power giants Toshiba Corp. and The Babcock & Wilcox Co. said Tuesday they will jointly invest $200 million to foster uranium enrichment technology being developed by USEC Inc. Tokyo-based Toshiba and B&W of Lynchburg, Virginia will contribute equally to the investment, which will be provided to USEC in three stages, the companies said in a statement.

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GE To Build First Freshwater Wind Farm Near Cleveland

May 25, 2010 4:30 am | by Meghan Barr, Associated Press Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) — General Electric Co. announced Monday that it plans to harness the power of winds blowing across Lake Erie by developing the world's first freshwater wind farm several miles offshore from downtown Cleveland. GE and the nonprofit Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., or LEEDCo, announced a partnership to develop five wind turbines about 6 miles north of Cleveland Browns stadium.

Supervisor Hid Child Laborers In Facility Basement

May 25, 2010 4:28 am

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A former supervisor at a kosher slaughterhouse raided by federal agents testified Monday that when child labor inspectors toured the facility, he took two workers he thought were underage and hid them in the basement. Former supervisor Brian Griffith testified Monday against former plant manager Sholom Rubashkin, who is being tried on 83 counts of child labor violations.

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China Promises Currency Reform, More U.S. Imports

May 24, 2010 5:00 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China promised currency reforms Monday as it opened a high-level dialogue with Washington but said it will decide the pace and pressed for an end to U.S. curbs on high-tech exports. President Hu Jintao made the pledge at the start of the two-day meeting, apparently trying to defuse a key irritant as officials began wide-ranging talks on financial market reforms, trade and reviving global growth.

Professor: Engineers Aren't What They Used To Be

May 24, 2010 4:41 am | by Amy Rolph

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Adam Bruckner has noticed a disturbing trend during his 38 years as a University of Washington professor of aeronautics engineering. His tests are less rigorous. His students, less prepared. Even the format of classes is changing, morphing into something that requires less manpower and smaller amounts of state money.

Oil Boom Manufacturing Experiencing Unfortunate Boom

May 24, 2010 4:40 am | by Kevin Spears

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Nearly a mile of newly made oil-containment boom, which provides a final and desperate line of defense against an enormous slick in the Gulf of Mexico, gets trucked out of a small factory in Cape Canaveral each day. "We're maxed out," said Sean Geary, sales manager at American Boom & Barrier Corp.

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