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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Toymaker Drops Legal Action Against Lego

January 20, 2012 5:46 am

MONTREAL — Toymaker Mega Brands Inc. said Friday it has dropped its legal action against rival Lego. The move comes after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that it won't block imports of Mega Brands products into the United States. Mega (TSX:MB) stock rose more than three per cent to $8.

Air Bags Presented As Skiing Safety Solution

January 20, 2012 5:44 am | by Eric Willemsen, Associated Press

KITZBUEHEL Austria (AP) — A high-tech air bag meant to improve safety in ski racing was presented by the International Ski Federation and the manufacturer on Thursday, two years before its planned introduction at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The D-air system inflates air bags under the race suit in case of a crash, helping to protect the skier's back, chest, shoulders and collar bones.

Fewer Layoffs, Lower Inflation Give Economy A Lift

January 20, 2012 5:42 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy is off to a fast start in 2012. The outlook for hiring has brightened as applications for unemployment benefits near a four-year low. Adding to the optimism, inflation remains low, business travel is up and the home market is showing slight gains after three dismal years.

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Safety Agency Calls For Checks On A380 Wings

January 20, 2012 5:40 am | by Geir Moulson, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Europe's air safety authority told airlines Friday to inspect nearly a third of the world's A380 superjumbo jets within about six weeks after Airbus found new cracks in metal brackets inside the wings. The European Aviation Safety Agency issued an airworthiness directive that called for "a detailed visual inspection" of the aircraft's so-called "wing rib feet" — the metal brackets that connect the wing's ribs to its skin.

Apple Starts Selling Interactive iPad Textbooks

January 20, 2012 5:37 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Inc. on Thursday launched its attempt to make the iPad a replacement for a satchel full of textbooks by starting to sell electronic versions of a handful of standard high-school books. The electronic textbooks, which include "Biology" and "Environmental Science" from Pearson and "Algebra 1" and "Chemistry" from McGraw-Hill, contain videos and other interactive elements.

GE 4Q Profit Falls, Sales Miss Estimates

January 20, 2012 3:52 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Friday its fourth-quarter earnings fell 18 percent as revenue declined after it sold its stake in the NBC network. Revenue of nearly $38 billion was lower than what Wall Street was banking on. Shares fell more than 2 percent in trading before the opening bell.

UN Sets Stage For Fast New Mobile Devices

January 20, 2012 3:49 am | by John Heilprin, Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — A United Nations telecom meeting has approved the next generation of mobile technology, which experts say will make devices 500 times faster than 3G smartphones and eliminate the wait time between the tap of a finger and the appearance of a Web page. The technology will be used immediately for planning changes to equipment but it could take two years to show up on consumers smartphone, tablets and other devices because of the time it takes to get to production, International Telecommunication Union spokesman Sanjay Acharya said Thursday.

Patent Attorney Testifies About Failed MO Factory

January 20, 2012 3:46 am | by David A. Lieb, Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A patent attorney who vouched for a Chinese artificial sweetener factory testified Thursday that he became aware of concerns about the Chinese site before a deal closed to finance the construction of a similar manufacturing plant in rural Missouri. Los Angeles attorney Michael Wise testified by video conference after being subpoenaed by a special Missouri House committee investigating the failure of Mamtek U.

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After Immigration Crackdown, Producers Mull Changes

January 20, 2012 3:43 am | by Kate Brumback, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — It's unclear whether farmers in Georgia and Alabama will face a shortage of workers due to tough new laws targeting illegal immigration, but some producers said they have begun changing their plans for planting and harvesting this year's crops. Some farmers said they might reduce the number of acres they plant or shift to less labor-intensive crops, while others are bracing for higher labor prices and have turned to new recruiting tools to attract workers.

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Unions See Super Bowl Leverage In Labor Battle

January 20, 2012 3:39 am | by Tom LoBianco, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Facing a legislative vote that would make Indiana a right-to-work state, alarmed union members are thinking about making their case on perhaps the nation's biggest stage — the Super Bowl. Labor activists are deciding whether to go ahead with protests that could include Teamsters clogging city streets with trucks and electricians staging a slowdown at the convention center site of the NFL village.

GM Retakes Title Of Top-Selling Global Automaker

January 20, 2012 3:37 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. has retaken the title of world's top-selling automaker, selling just over 9 million cars and trucks across the globe. The company said Thursday that it sold 9.03 million vehicles worldwide last year, up 7.6 percent from 2010. That's more than 1 million better than Japan's Toyota Motor Corp.

TN To Make Trade Mission To China, South Korea

January 19, 2012 8:37 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A state trade mission to China and South Korea in April will focus on Tennessee's medical device manufacturers and other health care companies. The state announced Wednesday that Commissioner Bill Hagerty of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development will lead the trip April 15 to 21.

Olympus To Revive Brand With Digital Camera

January 19, 2012 8:35 am

TOKYO, Jan. 19 (Kyodo) — Olympus Corp. plans to revive its once popular OM camera brand for its new digital mirrorless interchangeable lens camera this spring, industry sources said Thursday. The company is hoping that the new product will come to symbolize its recovery from the recent scandal involving its coverup of investment losses, they said.

GM CEO To Testify On Volt Fires

January 19, 2012 8:33 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors CEO Dan Akerson has agreed to testify before a U.S. House subcommittee about battery fires in Chevrolet Volt electric cars. Company spokesman Greg Martin says Akerson will speak to a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Jan.

Airbus Says New Cracks Found In A380 Wing

January 19, 2012 8:27 am

PARIS (AP) — Airbus found new cracks on metal brackets inside the wings of two A380 superjumbo jets after inspections launched following the 2010 incident in which a Qantas A380's engine disintegrated in flight, the company said Thursday. The cracks were found "on a limited number of non-critical brackets inside the wings of some A380s," Airbus said in a statement.

Former Trailblazer Kodak Files For Chapter 11

January 19, 2012 8:24 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Kodak's moment has come and gone. The glory days when Eastman Kodak Co. ruled the world of film photography lasted for over a century. Then came a stunning reversal of fortune: cutthroat competition from Japanese firms in the 1980s and a seismic shift to the digital technology it pioneered but couldn't capitalize on.

Ford Workers To Get Raises, Bonuses

January 19, 2012 8:22 am

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is showing confidence in its turnaround and the U.S. economy by giving pay raises and bonuses to 20,000 white-collar workers mainly in the U.S. and Canada. Workers got letters from President of the Americas Mark Fields last week saying they'll get 2.

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Currency Woes May Hurt Beverage Makers

January 18, 2012 8:39 am

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Pressure on beverage makers is intensifying because of the tough economy in Europe and the dollar's increasing strength against the euro, Citi analyst Wendy Nicholson said Wednesday. THE OPINION: Consumers in Europe are likely to continue to keep sales at a sluggish pace for beverage makers, Nicholson wrote in a research note.

Takeda Plans 2,800 Job Cuts

January 18, 2012 8:37 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., which recently bought Swiss drugmaker Nycomed, says it will cut 2,800 jobs, or about 9 percent of its workforce, over the next five years. Takeda says it will cut 2,100 jobs in Europe and 700 in the U.S., and it also plans to combine or eliminate some subsidiaries, mostly in Europe.

Moscow Threatens To Ignore U.S. Trade Rules

January 18, 2012 8:32 am | by Nataliya Vasilyeva, Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia will not abide by its World Trade Organization commitments with the U.S. unless Washington scraps a trade law that dates back to the Cold War, the foreign minister said Wednesday. The Jackson-Vanik law, which was passed in 1974 and denies Russia normal trade relations status, has been a political sticking point in the countries' trade relations for years.

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