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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM September Sales Up 20 Percent

October 5, 2011 5:41 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co.'s U.S. sales rose 20 percent in September because of strong demand for full-size pickups and SUVs. Pickup and SUV sales are generally stronger in the fall, and GM and other companies were offering promotions on trucks. GM truck sales climbed 34 percent from September of last year, a much stronger increase than cars, which rose 12 percent.

Employers Picking Up The Tab For State Loans

October 5, 2011 5:39 am | by Kevin Freking, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — States that borrowed billions from the federal government to keep unemployment benefits flowing through the recession now have to start paying those loans back, and they're hitting businesses with new assessments and higher taxes to make that happen. In all, 27 states owe the federal government nearly $38 billion.

IN Investigating Ammonia Leak That Injured 4

October 5, 2011 5:37 am

GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — State investigators will investigate an explosion at a northern Indiana fertilizer plant that injured four people, including two who are in critical condition at a Fort Wayne hospital. Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Chetrice Mosley says investigators were headed Tuesday to T & T Fertilizer southwest of Goshen to investigate the accident.

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Samsung Tries To Block Sale Of New iPhone 4S

October 5, 2011 5:35 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung said it will file court injunctions in France and Italy seeking to block the sale of Apple's latest iPhone amid an intensifying patent fight between the smartphone giants. Samsung plans to file preliminary injunctions in Paris and Milan asking that courts block Apple's iPhone 4S from being sold in France and Italy, alleging patent infringement of wireless telecommunications technology, the company said Wednesday.

Aviation Company Plans Kansas Expansion

October 5, 2011 5:31 am | by John Milburn, Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A second aviation components manufacturer in a matter of weeks has announced expansion plans that will bring jobs to southeastern Kansas, a welcome development for the region of the state with the highest unemployment rate. Valent Aerostructures said Monday that it plans to build a 50,000-square-foot facility at its Fredonia plant by March 2012 and to expand its workforce from 55 employees to 100 over the next few years.

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MO Gov Hails New Ford Contract

October 5, 2011 5:28 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A contract deal that Ford Motor Co. reached Tuesday with the United Auto Workers will mean about a $1 billion investment and hundreds of new jobs for a suburban Kansas City Ford plant, and was hailed by Gov. Jay Nixon as a "historic" boost to manufacturing in the state.

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MO Window Maker Plans $11M Expansion

October 4, 2011 9:08 am

FREEBURG, Mo. (AP) — A central Missouri window manufacturer plans to spend more than $11 million on an expansion that could add 95 new employees. Gov. Jay Nixon traveled to the Quaker Windows headquarters in Freeburg on Tuesday to announce the company's expansion plans. The state is offering the company more than $350,000 of tax incentives over five years.

Flowserve To Buy Lawrence Pumps For $89M

October 4, 2011 9:06 am

DALLAS (AP) — Flowserve Corp., a pump maker and fluid handling company, is buying privately held Lawrence Pumps Inc. for about $89 million so that it can better serve some of its key markets. Lawrence Pumps' makes centrifugal pumps used primarily in the petrochemical and oil and gas industries.

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Sprint To Buy More Than 30M iPhones

October 4, 2011 9:04 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Sprint Nextel Corp. has committed to buying more than 30 million iPhones over the next four years, imposing a heavy burden on an already cash-strapped company, according to a report published Monday. The Wall Street Journal's online edition attributed the report to unnamed sources.

Ford To Pay Workers $6K Bonus In New Contract

October 4, 2011 9:01 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. will pay its U.S. factory workers a $6,000 signing bonus and add thousands of U.S. factory jobs as part of a four-year contract deal reached Tuesday with the United Auto Workers union. Most Ford workers will get profit-sharing checks instead of annual raises under the deal, starting with a payment of around $3,700 this year.

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Obama: No Regrets About Solyndra Loan

October 4, 2011 9:00 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Monday he does not regret a $528 million loan to a solar energy company that later collapsed, saying officials always knew a clean energy loan program would not back winners 100 percent of the time. "There are going to be some failures, and Solyndra's an example," Obama said in an ABC News interview, referring to a California solar panel maker that declared bankruptcy last month and laid off its 1,100 workers.

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Long-Lasting Goods Orders Up In September

October 4, 2011 8:58 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses ordered more computers, communications equipment and other big-ticket items in August, a hopeful sign for the slumping economy. Orders for capital goods, which are considered a good measure of business investment plans, rose 0.9 percent in August, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

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Cargill Lays Off Ground Turkey Production Workers

October 4, 2011 5:46 am

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — Cargill Inc. has laid off 130 people at its Springdale plant because the company hasn't been able to produce ground turkey since a recall last month. Cargill spokesman Mike Martin said Monday the company couldn't find work for all the employees assigned to that area since production stopped Sept.

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OSHA Orders WI Company To Pay $550K Fine

October 4, 2011 5:43 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered a Wisconsin grain company to increase safety training for grain bin employees and pay a fine of $550,000. Burlington-based Cooperative Plus Inc. was cited for 14 willful, 23 serious and two other safety violations in August 2010 for lacking proper equipment and procedures and exposing workers to the risk of being engulfed in storage bins.

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More Than 1,800 Thomas-Built Buses Recalled

October 4, 2011 5:41 am

HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — The parent company of High Point-based Thomas Built Buses says more than 1,800 buses are being recalled to repair a faulty part. The High Point Enterprise reported (http://bit.ly/oBVDiA) that the recall involves clamps on engines supplied for the buses by Cummins Inc.

Ford, UAW Reach Tentative Agreement

October 4, 2011 5:40 am

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says it will add 5,750 jobs and invest $4.8 billion in its factories as part of a new contract deal with the United Auto Workers union. Company Vice President of Manufacturing John Fleming tells reporters that most of the new hires will be at an entry-level wage, which will cut the company's labor costs.

Feds Investigate Saturn Safety Issues

October 4, 2011 5:37 am

DETROIT (AP) — The federal government is investigating the Saturn Ion midsize sedan after getting reports of a sudden loss of power steering. The investigation, opened Thursday, focuses on Ions from the 2004 through 2007 model years. GM sold more than 382,000 Ions during that time.

Chemical Mixing Sparks Massive TX Plant Fire

October 4, 2011 5:35 am | by Jamie Stengle, Associated Press

WAXAHACHIE, Texas (AP) — A fire sparked as workers mixed chemicals at a plant south of Dallas shot massive plumes of black smoke and bright orange flames into the sky Monday, forcing schoolchildren and residents to evacuate or take cover indoors to avoid possible exposure to dangerous gases.

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Deere To Invest $124M In Brazil Factories

October 3, 2011 9:39 am

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Farm and lawn machinery maker Deere & Co. said Monday it will invest $124 million to build two new factories in Brazil to supply growing demand for construction equipment in South America. The company said the factories will cost a total of about $180 million to build, and it will co-own one with Hitachi Construction Machinery Co.

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Delaware Tech Gets $5M Training Grant

October 3, 2011 9:37 am

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware Technical and Community College has been awarded a nearly $5 million federal grant to create job training programs in growing sectors that are seeking skilled workers. Several new programs will be created to educate students in renewable energy. Some funds will expand a manufacturing efficiency lab.

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