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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Boeing Wins $1.6B MOD Contract

August 22, 2011 5:35 am

RIDLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa./PRNewswire/ -- Boeing has received a $1.64 billion (1 billion pounds Sterling) contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to provide 14 new CH-47 Chinook helicopters and associated support for the first five years to the Royal Air Force (RAF). The new-build CH-47 Mark (Mk)-6 Chinooks are part of the MOD's Strategic Helicopter Vision to modernize its helicopter force structure, and will expand the RAF fleet to 60 Chinooks.

No Injuries In Hormel Facility Explosion

August 22, 2011 5:32 am

BELOIT, Wis. (AP) — Beloit fire officials say an air compressor exploded at a Hormel Foods Corp. production facility, leading to a fire that caused an estimated $50,000 in damage. No injuries were reported. The fire department says the incident was reported Thursday about 3 p.m.

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Ford, Toyota To Work Together On Hybrid SUVs

August 22, 2011 5:31 am

DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) — Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. have decided to work together on a gas-electric hybrid engine to power pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. The companies signed a deal Monday to share development costs, saying they want to make the technology more affordable for customers and bring it to market faster.

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Fargo Man Dies After Being Crushed By Bin

August 22, 2011 5:28 am

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A man who became pinned under a large metal bin in Fargo's industrial park has died from his injuries. The Forum newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/mTfNqf ) that 49-year-old Noren Ellingson sustained a traumatic brain injury in the workplace accident on Tuesday, Ellingson died Thursday at a Fargo hospital.

Charging Stations Move Electric Cars Out Of City

August 19, 2011 6:42 am | by Jeff Barnard, AP Environmental Writer

Charging stations that can fill the batteries of an electric car in 30 minutes or less are moving from the city to the country. A $2 million federal stimulus grant will finance 22 fast-charging stations in smaller cities in the northwestern corner of the state, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

Hewlett-Packard To End Mobile Businesses

August 19, 2011 6:40 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard says it will end its tablet computer and smartphone businesses, and it is considering selling its PC business. HP has been rumored for six months to have been in talks to spin off or sell its PC business. But the smartphone and tablet announcement was surprising.

WI Gets $918K Grant To Help 325 Laid-Off Workers

August 19, 2011 6:39 am

HUDSON, Wis. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Labor is providing a $918,010 grant so Wisconsin can provide services to about 325 workers being affected by layoffs in western Wisconsin. The National Emergency Grant is being awarded to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Boeing Gives Guarantees To Brazil In Fighters Bid

August 19, 2011 6:37 am

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Boeing Co. says it will provide a full transfer of technology to Brazil if the U.S.-based company wins a $5 billion fighter-jet bid. The president of Boeing Military Aircraft tells Brazil's Senate that the South American country would be able to fully produce the F-18 Super Hornet if it purchases the planes from Boeing.

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Survey Suggests Economy Slowing In Midwest, Plains

August 19, 2011 6:35 am

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The economy in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states appears to be slowing down as concerns about the nation's financial health grow, according to a new monthly survey of bankers released Thursday. The overall Rural Mainstreet index for the region dipped below 50 for the first time this year, hitting 49.

Former Auto Plant Workers Get $6M Settlement

August 19, 2011 6:31 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Toyota Motors and the corporation that ran California's only auto manufacturing plant before it shut down last year have agreed to pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of former workers who claimed they were illegally denied severance benefits. Seven workers who were on medical leave in the six months before the Fremont-based New United Motor Manufacturing plant closed had alleged that NUMMI managers and Toyota violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by refusing to pay them incentive bonuses that were offered to employees who worked during that period.

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CAT Plans KS Plant

August 19, 2011 5:02 am

WAMEGO, Kan. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. plans to expand a manufacturing plant in eastern Kansas, so it will be able to meet the growing demand for its construction and mining equipment. Caterpillar said Thursday it plans to add a new 40,000-square-foot building to its existing plant in Wamego, Kan.

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American Axle To Close Last Buffalo Plant

August 19, 2011 5:00 am

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (AP) — American Axle & Manufacturing says it will close its only remaining Buffalo-area plant when the current labor contract expires next February. About 90 jobs will be lost. The Detroit-based auto parts supplier cites a shift in consumer demand toward vehicles that don't use parts made at the plant and the closing of assembly plants supported by the facility.

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German Quaprotek Plans TN Plant

August 19, 2011 4:58 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A German company has announced plans for a manufacturing plant that will create more than 120 jobs over five years in Lauderdale County. State officials said Wednesday that Quaprotek USA will produce metal parts for vehicles, engines and power trains, investing $22 million in an existing 63,000-square-foot building in Ripley.

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Car Dealers Fear Economy Could Scare Off Buyers

August 19, 2011 4:55 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — Jeff Swanson was in the market for a new car just a few weeks ago. Then the stock market went crazy. So Swanson, 25, decided to keep his 10-year-old Pontiac Grand Prix for at least another year. Gyrations in stocks and talk of a weakening economy rattled Swanson's confidence about taking on another payment, even though his new job running a home for mentally disabled people seems to be secure.

New Boeing 747-8 Freighter Certified For Entry Into Service

August 19, 2011 4:52 am

SEATTLE, PRNewswire - Boeing (NYSE: BA) received U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification Friday for the new 747-8 Freighter, passing two of the final landmarks on the airplane's journey to entry into service. The FAA granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate (ATC) and an Amended Production Certificate for the 747-8 Freighter, while the EASA also granted the company an ATC for the airplane.

PA Metal Worker Dies After Explosion

August 19, 2011 4:50 am

STOYSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania scrap metal worker has died of burns he suffered when he was cutting a lock off a large steel box that he didn't know contained at least 50 pounds of explosive black powder. Fifty-year-old George Rininger, of Hooversville, died at a Pittsburgh hospital on Saturday, a day after he was injured while working for Kantner Iron and Steel in Stoystown.

Cree Buys Ruud Lighting For $525M

August 18, 2011 9:16 am

DURHAM, N.C (AP) — LED lighting maker Cree Inc. said it has bought Ruud Lighting Inc., which makes outdoor LED lighting, for about $525 million. Cree said the purchase price consists of $372 million in cash, $211 million in stock and $85 million to retire outstanding debt, offset by about $143 million in future tax benefits related to the acquisition.

Paper Maker Says Its LA Plant Caused Fish Kill

August 18, 2011 9:14 am | by Alan Sayre, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Paper producer Temple-Inland Inc. took responsibility Wednesday for a huge fish kill on the Pearl River that borders Louisiana and Mississippi, blaming a discharge from one of its paper mills. In a statement, Austin, Texas-based Temple-Inland apologized "for the impact this issue at the mill has had on the Pearl River.

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Carpet Firm Announces GA Layoffs

August 18, 2011 9:12 am

DALTON, Ga. (AP) — Executives of Dalton-based Shaw Industries say the carpet company is laying off employees at plants in the northwest Georgia cities of Ringgold and Eton. The Daily Citizen reports (http://bit.ly/n7O8dn) that company officials declined to say how many workers are affected.

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Philadelphia Fed Reports Lower Manufacturing Activity

August 18, 2011 9:10 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic region contracted in August by the most in more than two years, adding to fears that the U.S. economy is weakening. Those fears sent financial markets tumbling in morning trading. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's survey of regional manufacturing activity fell to a reading of negative 30.

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