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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

Volvo To Add 50 Jobs At Hagerstown Engine Plant

May 5, 2011 9:41 am

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Swedish truck maker Volvo says it expects to add at least 50 jobs at its Hagerstown engine-and-transmission plant. An executive made the announcement Wednesday at the plant's 50th anniversary party. He says about 35 jobs will be created when the plant starts making a new transmission for the company's Volvo and Mack trucks in mid-2012.

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RBD Helps Manufacturers On An Electron-Sized Scale

May 5, 2011 9:37 am | by Tim Doran, Associated Press Writer

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Bend-based RBD Instruments deals in equipment so technical that when someone asks about it, President and CEO Randy Dellwo usually gives a simplified answer. He tells them it's similar to working with electron microscopes. For physicists or others who need help operating or aligning their ion guns or rebuilding their duoplasmatrons, RBD Instruments can handle it.

Ky. Gov. Candidate Blasted For Industrial Hemp Support

May 5, 2011 9:20 am

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Phil Moffett is under attack from a primary opponent for supporting a proposal to allow Kentucky farmers to grow industrial hemp. Moffett has called during the campaign for restrictions to be lifted so that Kentucky farmers could grow hemp for industrial purposes.

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Stocks Tumble On Higher Unemployment News

May 5, 2011 9:09 am | by Matthew Craft, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Renewed worries about the health of the job market weighed on stocks Thursday after the government reported an unexpected jump in unemployment claims. The Labor Department said that first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose to 474,000 last week, the highest level in eight months.

'Hillbilly' Sues Mattel Over Copycat Barbie Doll

May 5, 2011 9:07 am | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The actress who played Elly May Clampett on the hit television series "The Beverly Hillbillies" is suing toy manufacturer Mattel Inc., claiming the company used her name and likeness for a Barbie doll without her authorization. The federal suit filed Wednesday in Baton Rouge, La.

GM Nabs Highest Quarterly Profit In A Decade

May 5, 2011 9:04 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. reported its highest quarterly profit in more than a decade, helped by demand for fuel-efficient cars and a big gain from selling its stake in its former auto parts business. The company did well in the key North American market, thanks to strong sales, but growth slowed in China and the company lost money in Europe.

Sony Hit With 'Professional' Cyber Attack, Loses Data

May 4, 2011 9:34 am | by Joelle Tessler, AP Technology Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The data breach of Sony's PlayStation Network resulted from a "very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack designed to steal personal and credit card information for illegal purposes," a Sony executive said. In a letter to members of the House Commerce Committee released Wednesday, Kazuo Hirai, chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC, defended the company's handling of the breach.

Automakers Win With Florida Product Liability Law

May 4, 2011 8:38 am | by James L. Rosica, Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — In a win for Big Business, the Florida House approved a bill on Wednesday that makes it more difficult for injured plaintiffs to win product liability damages from auto makers and othermanufacturers. The measure (SB 142) was approved by a vote of 80-35 and will be sent to Republican Gov.

Fiat Brings The Tiny 500 To American Soil

May 4, 2011 8:32 am | by Ann M. Job, Associated Press

The 2012 Fiat 500 hatchback is the newest and arguably the cutest small car in the United States, with federal government fuel mileage ratings that are at the top of the subcompact class. The four-passenger, two-door 500, which is the first Fiat to be sold by the automaker in this country since 1983, is rated at 30 miles per gallon in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway with standard manual transmission.

Intel Redesigns The Transistor In '3-D'

May 4, 2011 8:29 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Intel Corp. said Wednesday that it has redesigned the electronic switches on its chips so that computers can keep getting cheaper and more powerful. The switches, known as transistors, have typically been flat. By adding a third dimension — "fins" that jut up from the base — Intel will be able to make the transistors and chips smaller.

Boeing Swings Back At NLRB's Anti-Labor Claims

May 4, 2011 8:27 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Boeing Co. says federal labor regulators unfairly twisted or misquoted statements by company executives to make a case that the company illegally retaliated against union workers. The company is urging the National Labor Relations Board to withdraw a complaint that accuses Boeing of locating a new plant in South Carolina in part to avoid future labor disruptions in Washington state.

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