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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

ABB Acquires Mincom For Better Software Offerings

May 9, 2011 7:03 am

Zurich, Switzerland — ABB, the global power and automation technology group, has agreed to acquire Mincom to broaden its software portfolio and establish the Group as a leader in enterprise asset management (EAM) software and services. ABB is acquiring the Brisbane, Australia-based company from Francisco Partners, a private equity group that invests in technology businesses, for an undisclosed sum.

Saab Taps Subaru Exec To Run North American Operations

May 9, 2011 5:08 am

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — Saab named an executive from Subaru on Monday to run its North American operations. The struggling Swedish automaker said Timothy Colbeck would be the president and chief operating officer overseeing its largest market. Colbeck has 25 years of U.S. auto industry experience with Subaru in sales, e-business, finance and other areas, Saab said.

How A 'Networker' Became A Spy For China

May 9, 2011 4:49 am | by Pauline Arrillaga, AP National Writer

Locked in a federal penitentiary in the Arizona desert, Tai Kuo spends his days helping with the cooking, teaching language classes and tennis, making new friends. The convicted spy, it seems, has become a mentor. This surprises no one. Not the prosecutors who charged him. Not his old friends or colleagues, some of whom stand behind him still.

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U.S., China To Discuss Trade, Currency, Human Rights

May 9, 2011 4:44 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's massive trade deficit with China, currency rates and human rights concerns will all be on the agenda when top officials from the United States and China sit down for high-level talks this week. The annual meetings will bring together top officials from both countries representing dozens of government agencies in the areas of trade and finance, and foreign policy.

Chinese Authorities Investigate Lead Poisoning Breakout

May 9, 2011 4:41 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Authorities are investigating heavy metals poisoning in a village in eastern China after discovering that dozens of people living near a lead battery plant were sickened. Local authorities in Deqing, a village near the scenic city of Hangzhou, west of Shanghai, said Monday they ordered that nearly 2,000 people be given free blood tests.

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Obama Turns Chatter Back To Economic Recovery

May 9, 2011 4:38 am | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is reassuring the public that jobs and the economy are his top priority. At the end of a historic and emotionally charged week that began with his nationally televised announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan during a raid by U.

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Toyota To Lose No. 1 Spot Sometime This Year

May 9, 2011 4:26 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp., which is likely to lose its spot as the world's No. 1 automaker to General Motors Co. later this year, reports its fiscal fourth quarter results Wednesday. WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Toyota's production capacity was sorely hurt by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11.

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Apollo-Soyuz-Era Spacesuit Fetches $240,000 At Auction

May 6, 2011 9:32 am

NEW YORK (AP) — A Russian spacesuit worn during the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project skyrocketed to $242,000 at a New York City auction. Bonhams had estimated it at $100,000 to $150,000. The auction house didn't disclose the buyer of the Sokol K pressure suit. The Apollo-Soyuz marked the first multinational manned spaceflight.

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Markets Surge At News Of Forecast-Busting Jobs Numbers

May 6, 2011 9:30 am | by Pan Plyas, AP Business Writer

LONDON (AP) — A forecast-busting U.S. jobs survey on Friday eased concerns that the world's largest economy was slowing down, sending stocks and the dollar higher. Worries about the U.S. recovery's pace had grown over the past few days following a run of soft economic data. Commodity prices took the brunt of the sell-off amid worries of waning demand for crude, metals and raw materials.

Japan Seeks More Nuclear Plant Shutdowns

May 6, 2011 9:13 am | by Shino Yuasa, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Japan urged a power company Friday to suspend all three reactors at a coastal nuclear plantwhile a seawall and other structures are built to ensure a major earthquake or tsunami does not cause a second radiation crisis. The move came as the government is conducting a safety review of all Japan's 54 nuclear reactors after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left more than 25,000 people dead and missing on the northeast coast.

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GM's Chinese Sales Drop 5 Percent As Growth Cools

May 6, 2011 8:56 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors Co. and its joint ventures sold 203,367 vehicles in China in April, down nearly 5 percent from a year earlier as growth cools in the world's largest auto market. GM said Friday that sales by its flagship venture Shanghai GM rose 7.4 percent to 96,219 vehicles in April.

Superior Industries Exec Pleads Guilty To Wire-Fraud

May 6, 2011 8:53 am

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A former finance executive at the Superior Industries plant in Fayetteville has pleaded guilty to a federal wire-fraud charge, admitting she embezzled almost $400,000 from the maker of aluminum automotive wheels. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says Mary Benz of Bella Vista entered the plea Thursday as part of an agreement with the U.

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Obama: Economy Is Strong Enough To Survive Challenges

May 6, 2011 8:49 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Refocusing on the nation's economic struggles, President Barack Obama welcomed news Friday that the economy unexpectedly added more than 200,000 jobs last month. "We are regaining our footing," he said. The president spoke during a visit to a transmission plant in Indianapolis, even as the killing of Osama bin Laden continued to dominate headlines and much of the president's time.

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Quad/Graphics Creates 400 Jobs With $15M Investment

May 6, 2011 5:07 am

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Berkeley County officials say Quad/Graphics Inc.'s plan to invest $15 million in two plants will create 400 jobs. QuadGraphics announced last month that it will shut a plant in the Buffalo, N.Y., area by the end of the year and shift the work to sites in West Virginia and Massachusetts.

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U.S. Employers Go On Biggest Hiring Spree In 5 Years

May 6, 2011 4:55 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers added more than 200,000 jobs in April for the third straight month, the biggest hiring spree in five years. But the unemployment rate ticked up to 9 percent. The Labor Department reported Friday that the economy added 244,000 jobs last month. Private employers shrugged off high gas prices and created 268,000 jobs — the most since February 2006.

Kawasaki Re-Hires 115 Previously Laid-Off Workers

May 6, 2011 4:53 am

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Kawasaki has been calling back laid-off Lincoln workers earlier than expected. In late March the plant manager said it would be laying off 115 workers for at least a month because of a parts error. The plant payroll includes about 1,500 people at the passenger rail car plant and an adjacent plant for utility and recreational vehicles.

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China On Currency: Don't Mess With Our 'Sovereign Right'

May 6, 2011 4:51 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China is ready to discuss its currency controls at talks in Washington next week, a Chinese official said Friday, but he gave no sign Beijing will act on U.S. pressure to speed the rise of its yuan. U.S. officials say they plan to raise currency at annual talks Monday and Tuesday and also press Beijing to open its market for financial services.

China Fines Unilever For Increasing Yuan Inflation

May 6, 2011 4:34 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China's government said it fined consumer products maker Unilever for disrupting efforts to cool surging inflation by talking to Chinese media about expected price hikes for soap and triggering a buying rush. The British-Dutch company was fined 2 million yuan ($308,000) for "spreading information about price rises and disrupting market pricing order," the Cabinet's planning agency said Friday.

GE Begs For F-35 Funding, Offers To Pay Up Itself

May 6, 2011 4:29 am | by Lisa Cornwell, Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) — Jet engine manufacturer GE Aviation on Thursday offered to fund continued development of the recently terminated alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter through 2012. The GE Electric Co. unit in Evendale, a Cincinnati suburb, has been developing the F136 engine for about 15 years, but the 2011 U.

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CEO Pay Already Surpasses Pre-Recession Levels

May 6, 2011 4:21 am | by Rachel Beck, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — In the boardroom, it's as if the Great Recession never happened. CEOs at the nation's largest companies were paid better last year than they were in 2007, when the economy was booming, the stock market set a record high and unemployment was roughly half what it is today. The typical pay package for the head of a company in the Standard & Poor's 500 was $9 million in 2010, according to an analysis by The Associated Press using data provided by Equilar, an executive compensation research firm.

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