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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Rambus Loses Antitrust Trial

November 17, 2011 8:31 am | by Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A jury denied Rambus Inc. billions of dollars in damages as it determined that chip-makers Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. didn't conspire to fix prices of memory chips in order to make products designed by Rambus more expensive. Rambus' stock sank 61 percent after losing its 7-year-old antitrust case in California Superior Court in San Francisco.

J&J Removing Toxins From Products

November 17, 2011 8:29 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Amid pressure from activists, Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday that it is continuing efforts to remove traces of two harmful chemicals from its baby products around the world. An international coalition of consumer and environmental groups has been pressing J&J since May 2009 to remove two potentially cancer-causing chemicals from products including its signature Johnson's Baby Shampoo, long advertised under the slogan "No More Tears.

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Forecasters See Little U.S. Growth In 2012-13

November 17, 2011 8:27 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. economy should grow only moderately over the next two years, generating just enough jobs to slowly reduce unemployment, University of Michigan economists said Thursday. The reserved assessment comes with the nation grappling with a sluggish job market and still-moribund housing market.

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Report: Company Didn't Act Before Deadly Fires

November 17, 2011 8:24 am | by Travis Loller, Associated Press

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — A federal investigation into flash fires that killed five people this year at a Gallatin metal powders plant found that multiple reports of earlier small fires did not spur the Hoeganaes (HAY'-gan-eez) Corp. to try to mitigate the hazard. It also found workers were given no training to help them understand the dangers they faced.

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GM To Cut Chevrolet Cruze Production

November 16, 2011 9:08 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. will shut down the plant that makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact car for a week because sales have slowed and Japanese competitors have now have ample supplies of competing small cars. The factory in Lordstown, Ohio, had been running around the clock with overtime shifts on Saturdays to keep up with strong Cruze sales during the summer.

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Study: Android Is Half Of Smartphone Sales

November 16, 2011 9:06 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The market share for smartphones running Google Inc.'s Android software doubled in the third quarter as more devices became available and Apple delayed release of a new iPhone, according to the research firm Gartner. Android had more than half of the worldwide smartphone market in the third quarter, up from 25 percent a year ago.

Titan Tire Discloses Plans For Plant

November 16, 2011 9:04 am

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The new owner of the closed Goodyear plant in Union City said Tuesday that it bought the factory and its assets for $9 million. Titan Tire Corp. posted a statement on its website Tuesday saying that it has not yet decided how it plans to use the 2.1 million-square-foot plant located on 480 acres of land other than to warehouse farm and off-road tires.

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Ex-CSK Auto CEO To Give Back $2M In SEC Accord

November 16, 2011 9:01 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The former CEO and chairman of CSK Auto Corp. will give back about $2.8 million in bonuses and profits from sales of company stock he received while federal regulators say the auto parts supplier was committing accounting fraud in 2002 to 2004. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced a settlement Tuesday with former CEO Maynard Jenkins.

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Chrysler Banking On Jeep To Lead Sales

November 16, 2011 8:59 am | by John Seewer, Associated Press

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Chrysler is counting on a new Jeep sport utility vehicle and its strong brand name to help withstand uncertainty in the European auto market and expand into new markets in China and Russia, the automaker's chief executive said Wednesday. The company announced plans to spend $500 million at its Ohio assembly complex that will make the new model and add 1,100 jobs by late 2013.

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WA Gov: Invest In Education For Boeing Jobs

November 16, 2011 8:56 am | by Donna Gordon Blankinship, Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Don't take Boeing Co. jobs for granted, says Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire. As the company decides where to assemble the 737 MAX, Gregoire is recommending investments in educating and training an aerospace workforce to keep those jobs in the state. The investments announced at a news conference Wednesday at Renton Technical College: — $7.

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Starbucks Relocates Tazo Tea To WA

November 16, 2011 4:27 am | by Sarah Skidmore, AP Food Industry Writer

Starbucks Corp. is relocating its Tazo Tea business to Kent, Wash., as it consolidates and upgrades its manufacturing facilities there. The coffee company acquired the Portland, Ore.-based tea company in 1999 and has kept its tea manufacturing and distribution services there since that time Starbucks said Wednesday that it is making a multi-million investment in its manufacturing facilities to improve efficiency and expand its business.

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Sony To Shift Production To Japan

November 16, 2011 4:25 am

CHIBA, Japan, Nov. 16 (Kyodo) — Sony Corp. said Wednesday it will shift its production of digital camera parts to Japan in January from Thailand where it suspended operation of plants due to the massive floods in the country. Sony will start production of image sensors at a plant in Kikuyo, Kumamoto Prefecture, of its subsidiary Sony Semiconductor Corp.

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SD Gov Says Skilled Trades Workers Needed

November 16, 2011 4:22 am

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota needs to change the perception of skilled trades as less-desirable careers to help deal with a shortage of workers, Gov. Dennis Daugaard says. Daugaard told those at a workforce summit in Mitchell on Tuesday that students need to be encouraged to go into trades such as welding, plumbing and electrical.

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IN Company Fined Over Worker's Death

November 16, 2011 4:18 am

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana's workplace safety agency has cited and fined a company over the death of a worker at its Lafayette factory. An Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration report says the forklift that crushed 28-year-old shipping manager Kyle Rhodes against a semitrailer had a malfunctioning parking brake and had been left unattended on an incline.

U.S. Factory Output Rose Strongly In October

November 16, 2011 4:16 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production rose in October at the fastest rate in three months. Factories made more trucks, electronics and business equipment, a sign that manufacturing is recovering after slowing this spring. Output at the nation's factories, utilities and mines rose 0.

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Volkswagen To Recall Polo Due To Airbag Defect

November 16, 2011 4:14 am

TOKYO, Nov. 16 (Kyodo) — Volkswagen Group Japan K.K. said Wednesday it will recall a total of 50,736 Polo compact cars to fix their side airbag system free of charge. In a report filed with the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, the wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG said the Polo models in question were manufactured between August 2004 and August 2009 and include 1.

Lawmakers Scrutinize U.S. Aid To China

November 15, 2011 9:14 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats are criticizing the U.S. government's development agency for providing aid to Washington's main foreign creditor, China. The House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia on Tuesday is putting under the microscope a $4 million tranche of proposed assistance, mostly for promoting clean energy.

LDK Solar Cuts 3Q, Year Sales Outlook

November 15, 2011 9:13 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Chinese solar panel maker LDK Solar Co. Ltd. cut its forecast for third-quarter and full-year revenue far below Wall Street expectations because of weak prices for solar-energy equipment. The company said Monday that rapidly falling prices for its products would cause it to write down $45 million to $50 million in inventories and produce a gross margin between negative 3.

Recession Stalks Europe's Weakening Economy

November 15, 2011 9:11 am | by Carlo Piovano, Pan Pylas, AP Business Writers

LONDON (AP) — The European economy has stalled, and is likely to start shrinking soon, just when eurozone countries need help the most. Growth slowed nearly to a stop this summer, and a recession afflicting small countries like Greece and Portugal threatens to spread to some of Europe's stronger economies as financial market uncertainty erodes confidence among businesses and consumers.

Qatar Airways Buys 55 Airbus Planes After Impasse

November 15, 2011 9:07 am | by Adam Schreck, AP Business Writer

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Booming Gulf carrier Qatar Airways agreed to buy at least 55 Airbus planes Tuesday, just hours after its hard-bargaining boss blasted the European planemaker and said the multibillion-dollar talks were at an impasse. The deal announced by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker includes 50 A320neo narrow bodies and five A380 double-decker jumbos with options for more.

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