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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Smarter Honda Robot To Help In Nuclear Crisis

November 8, 2011 4:32 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

WAKO, Japan (AP) — Honda's human-shaped robot can now run faster, balance itself on uneven surfaces, hop on one foot and pour a drink. Some of its technology may even be used to help out with clean-up operations at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. Honda's demonstration of the revamped "Asimo" on Tuesday at its Tokyo suburban research facility was not only to prove that the bubble-headed childlike machine was more limber and a bit smarter.

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WA Considers Move For New Boeing Factory

November 8, 2011 4:30 am

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Spokane County commissioners are considering zoning changes that would allow Boeing to build a factory where a new version of the 737 called the 737 Max would be assembled. KREM reports (http://bit.ly/uJJ1eC) Greater Spokane, Incorporated, is pushing for a plant that would create 500 to 1,500 jobs.

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Toyota Quarterly Profit Drops 18.5 Percent

November 8, 2011 4:28 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota said its quarterly profit slid 18.5 percent to 80.4 billion yen ($1 billion) on plunging sales caused by parts shortages from the tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan and warned it faces a new challenge from flooding in Thailand. Toyota Motor Corp. declined Tuesday to give a forecast for the full financial year ending March 2012, citing uncertainties stemming from the Thai floods which have disrupted supplies of parts and prompted it to cut some car production.

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Ice Cream Maker Dippin' Dots Files For Bankruptcy

November 7, 2011 8:33 am | by Brett Barrouquere, Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Once the self-proclaimed "Ice Cream of the Future," Dippin' Dots is seeking federal bankruptcy protection, a move the company said is aimed at staving off foreclosure on more than $11 million in loans. The Paducah, Ky.-based company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization Thursday night, asking U.

Toyota Prius Remains Top Seller For 5th Month

November 7, 2011 8:31 am

TOKYO, Nov. 7 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid topped the passenger car sales rankings in October in Japan, maintaining its top slot for the fifth consecutive month, industry bodies said Monday. Honda Motor Co.'s Fit subcompact was second, while minicars made by Daihatsu Motor Co.

Hawker Beechcraft Workers Told Layoff Coming

November 7, 2011 8:28 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Workers at the Hawker Beechcraft Corp. aircraft finishing plant in Little Rock have been told to expect layoffs. Little Rock television station KATV (http://bit.ly/vpsP85) reported Friday that workers were given a letter that says to expect a layoff announcement on Nov.

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Economist Predicts Ripple Effect With Yogurt Plant

November 7, 2011 8:26 am

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A decision by New York-based Agro Farma to build its new western manufacturing plant for Chobani yogurt in south-central Idaho will create a large ripple effect with additional jobs, economist say. The ripple effect for Chobani is high because yogurt is made from milk, a top product of the region, said Jan Roeser, a regional economist with the Idaho Department of Labor.

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GM Blocks Technology In Proposed Saab Sale

November 7, 2011 8:24 am

STOCKHOLM (AP) — General Motors Co. on Monday said it won't allow two Chinese companies to use its technology if they go ahead with a planned purchase of Saab Automobile, a former GM unit. The announcement raises doubts about a rescue plan for the ailing Swedish brand, which is being reorganized under bankruptcy protection after running out of cash to pay suppliers and staff.

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Boeing 787 Lands Safely After Landing Gear Trouble

November 7, 2011 8:15 am | by Scott Mayerowitz, AP Airlines Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Boeing's new 787 wide-body plane, which just started carrying paying passengers, ran into its first technical glitch Sunday when the landing gear failed to deploy. The pilots of Japan's All Nippon Airways used "an alternate procedure that worked," according to Lori Gunter, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Boeing Co.

US Cellular: We Turned Down iPhone

November 7, 2011 4:38 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Cellular Corp., the country's sixth-largest cellphone company, on Friday said it had the opportunity to carry the iPhone but turned it down because the phone is too expensive. It's the first U.S. carrier to acknowledge turning down the phone. Consumers pay $200 for the base model of the iPhone 4S, but Apple charges carriers about $600 for it.

General Dynamics To Buy Force Protection For $360M

November 7, 2011 4:37 am

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — General Dynamics said Monday it has agreed to buy Force Protection Inc., which makes armored vehicles, in a deal worth about $360 million. Force Protection, which is based in Summerville, S.C., will become a part of General Dynamics Land Systems, the defense contractor's Sterling Heights, Mich.

Japan Unions Demand Lower Auto Taxes

November 7, 2011 4:35 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Surrounded by dozens of cardboard boxes packed with 4 million petition signatures, the presidents of major Japanese automakers demanded Monday the end of what they called exorbitant taxes on cars that threaten to hollow out manufacturing and wipe out jobs. The plea from the heads of Toyota Motor Corp.

Ford To Upgrade Glitch-Prone MyFord Touch

November 7, 2011 4:32 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) — Ford Motor Co., stung by falling quality ratings because of its glitch-prone MyFord Touch system, is planning a major upgrade that it hopes will fix the problems — and repair its own reputation. Early next year, Ford is sending flash drives with a software upgrade to approximately 250,000 U.

Most Unemployed No Longer Receive Benefits

November 7, 2011 4:30 am

B y Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The jobs crisis has left so many people out of work for so long that most of America's unemployed are no longer receiving unemployment benefits. Early last year, 75 percent were receiving checks. The figure is now 48 percent — a shift that points to a growing crisis of long-term unemployment.

GM Recalls 38,000 Pontiac G8s Over Air-Bag Issue

November 7, 2011 4:28 am | by The Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is recalling 38,400 Pontiac G8 models made in Australia to reprogram the front-passenger air-bag module. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Saturday that the air-bag modules for the 2008 and 2009 models might not comply with federal standards for head injury protection.

Textainer 3Q Profit Rises 50 Percent

November 4, 2011 9:21 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Textainer Group, which leases shipping containers, reported that its third-quarter net income jumped nearly 50 percent as the size of its fleet, the percentage of containers it leased and the rates it charged all increased. The Bermuda company posted earnings of $45.

India Reviews Bids In $11B Fighter Jet Deal

November 4, 2011 9:19 am | by Ashok Sharma, Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's Defense Ministry has begun reviewing competing bids from Eurofighter and Dassault for the purchase of 126 multi-role combat aircraft worth about $11 billion. Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said officials met with representatives of the European competitors on Friday and are expected to take six to eight weeks to pick the winning bidder.

Court Tosses $43M Award Against Ford

November 4, 2011 9:17 am | by Jim Suhr, Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court has reversed a jury's $43 million award against Ford Motor Co. for a fiery crash near Granite City that killed a man and disfigured his wife. John and Dora Jablonski in July 2003 were headed home to Florissant, Mo., when they were hit from behind.

Obama: Economic Recovery Is Too Slow

November 4, 2011 9:15 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press

CANNES, France (AP) — President Barack Obama said Friday the U.S. economy is growing "way too slow" but that leaders at a world summit have made progress at getting their countries on a firmer footing. "Put simply, the world faces challenges that put our economic recovery at risk," Obama said in a news conference at the meeting of the 20 major developed and emerging economies as he promoted a jobs theme central to his re-election campaign.

AT&T Extends Closing Date Of T-Mobile Deal

November 4, 2011 9:13 am

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T says the deal to buy T-Mobile USA may take until the middle of next year to close, three months later than originally envisioned, as it fights antitrust regulators. AT&T announced the $39 billion acquisition in March, saying it hoped to complete it in a year.

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