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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Google Pumps $168 Million Into Massive Solar Array

April 12, 2011 4:45 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google Inc. is investing $168 million in an alternative power project that aims to produce enough solar energy to light 140,000 homes. The commitment announced Monday is part of the financing that BrightSource Energy needs to build solar power plant in California's Mojave Desert.

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Intel Dives Into Tablet Processor Business

April 12, 2011 4:37 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Intel Corp. has launched a new chip for tablet computers, as the world's most powerful semiconductor company aims to become a contender in the market for mobile chips. Intel's chips are in 80 percent of laptops and desktop PCs, but it's had less success getting its chips into smaller devices such as cellphones and tablets.

Worker Killed By Falling Granite At Ky. Manufacturer

April 12, 2011 4:32 am

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A piece of granite being moved at a Louisville business had fallen, pinning and killing a worker. The accident occurred Monday afternoon at KBR Manufacturing killing 50-year-old Sylvia Walters of Taylorsville, according to WAVE-TV in Louisville. Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell says other employees found Walters under the stone and called for help.

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Missouri Announces Investment In Advanced Manufacturing

April 12, 2011 4:30 am | by Chris Blank, Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A report Gov. Jay Nixon touted Monday as a five-year economic blueprint for Missouri recommends that the state promote the development of seven specific industries with a mixture of tax incentives, specialized job training and expanded infrastructure projects. The industries, announced previously, are advanced manufacturing, energy, bioscience, health sciences, information technology, financial and professional services, and transportation.

Misalignment Caused Massive N.D. Wind Turbine Failure

April 12, 2011 4:26 am | by Dale Wetzel, Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Experts said a North Dakota wind turbine's rotor and blades crashed to the ground because they weren't properly aligned with a power shaft atop the turbine's steel tower, which caused the rotor's connecting bolts to fail. The March 14 accident north of Rugby will prompt more frequent inspections of other turbines, said Scott Winneguth, director of wind plant engineering for Iberdrola Renewables Inc.

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Manufacturing Consumption Up 99 Percent Over Feb. 2010

April 12, 2011 4:19 am

Douglas K. Woods, President of AMT February U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $329.43 million, according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was down 10.

Honda Stops North American Production For Another Week

April 11, 2011 4:45 am

DETROIT (AP) — Honda Motor Co. says it will add a week to production slowdowns at its 11 North American auto plants. The company said in late March that it would shut down assembly lines for several hours a day because of parts shortages from Japan. Now Honda says the temporary shutdowns will be extended to the week of April 18.

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Sharp Suspends LCD Manufacturing Over Gas Shortage

April 11, 2011 4:44 am

TOKYO (AP) — Sharp Corp. has suspended domestic production of large-sized LCD panels because of a shortfall of industrial gas after a massive earthquake and tsunami. The Osaka-based company is one of the world's largest makers of LCD TVs and panels. Spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama says the company has decided to focus on making smaller panels — under 10 inches (25 centimeters) — because it has a stockpile of larger ones.

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How Old Is Too Old For An Airplane?

April 11, 2011 4:40 am | by Scott Mayerowitz, AP Airlines Writer

How old is too old for an airplane? Most travelers don't think twice about it — although there's something unsettling about easing into your seat and finding the armrest still has an ashtray built in. But fliers may be more worried than usual after a 5-foot hole opened in the roof of a 15-year-old Southwest jet earlier this month.

From Making Fords To... Nurdles?

April 11, 2011 4:24 am

by Josh Brown, Associated Press NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Where workers once assembled Ford pickups, they now will sort, package and ship plastic pellets. Billions of them. Hampton Roads, meet the nurdle. Nurdles, which range in size from a BB to a gum ball, come in various shapes and colors.

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Once-Busy Georgia Industrial Town, Now A Dead Zone

April 11, 2011 4:21 am

by Rodney Manley, Associated Press EAST DUBLIN, Ga. (AP) — Quitting time on Nathaniel Drive once meant traffic, bumper to bumper, from the bridge spanning the Oconee River into Dublin back to the textile plants that spun the fabric of a thriving local economy. Now, Nathaniel is a lonely, almost lifeless 3.

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Wis. Company Sends Massive Pump To Japan's Nuclear Plant

April 11, 2011 4:18 am | by Ray Henry, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — A massive Russian cargo plane roared into Atlanta on Friday to pick up one of the world's largest concrete pumps, which has been retrofitted to pour water on a Japanese nuclear power plant stricken by an earthquake and tsunami. The 190,000-pound (86,180-kilogram) pump designed by Wisconsin-based Putzmeister America Inc.

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Photo Of The Day: Firefighters Versus Plant Blaze

April 8, 2011 4:56 am

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire that broke out in a Czech plastic plant in Chropyne, about 250 km east of Prague, Czech Republic, on Friday, April 8, 2011. An official says more than a hundred firefighters have been battling a huge fire that hit the factory in the eastern Czech Republic.

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N.C. Company Hires 61 To Produce EV Batteries

April 8, 2011 4:37 am

EAST BEND, N.C. (AP) — EcoVolt Power Corp. says it is hiring 61 workers and investing $20 million in East Bend to produce environmentally-friendly automotive batteries. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Friday that the New York-based manufacturer should be shipping some 6 million automotive starter batteries annually from Yadkin County within three years.

Gov't Wants More E-85 Fuel At Pumps Nationwide

April 8, 2011 4:35 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government wants to increase production and use of a higher blend of ethanol fuel by giving financial help to gas stations that install more pumps for the fuel, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in advance of a formal announcement planned for Friday.

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HP: Former Exec Stole Trade Secrets For Oracle

April 8, 2011 4:32 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. has filed a lawsuit against a former executive over allegations he took trade secrets with him when he went to work for rival Oracle Corp. The case against Adrian Jones, who was a senior vice president in HP's server, storage and networking division in Asia, shows the growing rancor between the Silicon Valley technology titans.

Toyota To Resume Japanese Manufacturing, For Now

April 8, 2011 4:29 am | by Shino Yuasa, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will resume car production at all its plants in Japan at half capacity from April 18 to 27 after the March earthquake and tsunami forced it to halt manufacturing due to shortages of parts and power. Toyota, the world's No. 1 automaker, said production at its 18 plants will then halt from April 28 to May 9, a period that includes Golden Week holidays when factories would normally close.

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Fire, Explosions Rock Iowa Manufacturing Plant

April 8, 2011 4:27 am

HULL, Iowa (AP) — No one was hurt by explosions and a fire at a manufacturing plant in the northwest Iowa town of Hull. Authorities say the fire started inside the K & O Manufacturing Co., Inc., plant a little before 5 p.m. Thursday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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Boeing Surprised By 737 Fuselage Tears, Holes

April 6, 2011 4:58 am | by Bob Christie and Joan Lowy, Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — Boeing was surprised when a section of a Southwest jetliner's fuselage ripped open in flight because the plane wasn't old enough to be worrisome, a company official said Tuesday, as the airline cleared most of its older 737 planes to return to the skies. Southwest said it had inspected nearly all of the jets it grounded after the accident on Friday.

Toyota Sells Millionth Prius In U.S. Thanks To Pricy Gas

April 6, 2011 4:53 am

DETROIT (AP) — The Toyota Prius hybrid, once viewed as a science experiment for environmentalists, has become a mainstream vehicle in the United States, with the company selling more than a million of the cars nationwide. Toyota announced Wednesday that it had passed the million sales milestone, helped by brisk sales recently as U.

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