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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

China's Solar City Showcases Heavy Green Investment

June 22, 2011 5:14 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BAODING, China (AP) — Solar panels jut out of streetlights in China's self-proclaimed Clean Energy City. Tiny wind turbines twirl atop public buildings. Schools are due to teach students about "green living." In the scramble to profit from demand for clean energy, this city southwest of Beijing is promoting itself as a manufacturing center for solar, wind and other gear by transforming into a living showcase of environmental technology.

Nokia To Outsource 2,800 Jobs To Accenture

June 22, 2011 5:00 am | by Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia Corp. said Wednesday it has completed a deal to outsource Symbian software development to Accenture, including the transfer of 2,800 workers to the global management-consulting firm. The announcement came two months after Nokia disclosed the plan as part of its aim to cut costs by $1.

Boeing May Deliver First 787s As Early As August

June 22, 2011 4:46 am | by Slobodan Lekic, AP Aviation Writer

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Boeing will deliver the first of its much-delayed 787 wide-bodied jets to launch customer All Nippon Airways as early as August, officials said Wednesday. At a joint ceremony at the Paris Air Show, the two companies showcased the new plane — known as the Dreamliner — saying it will allow airlines to open up a number of new long-haul routes.

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Chicago's Biggest Hot Dog Makers Start Wiener War

June 22, 2011 4:41 am | by Don Babwin, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — This is a dog fight Chicago will relish. Vienna Beef, one of the world's most famous hot dog makers, is suing the owner of a rival hot dog company, accusing him of either stealing Vienna's 118-year-old recipe or lying to customers by claiming that he's using it. The rival is none other than a grandson of one of the two men who founded the company after their hot dogs became a hit at the 1893 World's Fair.

Rolls Royce Pays $100 Million To Settle Engine Disintegration

June 22, 2011 4:39 am | by Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's flagship carrier Qantas said Wednesday it has reached a 95 million Australian dollar ($100 million) settlement with engine maker Rolls-Royce over last year's mid-air disintegration of a superjumbo engine, which temporarily forced the grounding of its entire fleet of A380s.

Obama's Commerce Pick Criticizes NLRB In Boeing Case

June 22, 2011 4:35 am | by Alan Fram, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's pick to head the Commerce Department criticized a federal labor board's lawsuit against the Boeing Co. on Tuesday over the aerospace giant's decision to locate a new plant in South Carolina. The nominee, John Bryson, recently stepped down from Boeing's board.

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A Plane That's Delayed When There's Not Enough Sunshine

June 21, 2011 9:37 am | by Greg Keller, AP Business Writer

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — The plane making one of the biggest splashes at the Paris Air Show carries a grand total of one person and is often delayed because there's too much wind or too little sun. Andre Borschberg pilots the Solar Impulse, a prototype aircraft powered exclusively by sunlight.

Experts, Manufacturers Disagree On Improved Helmets

June 21, 2011 9:34 am

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Improved helmet design has helped reduce concussions in impact sports such as football and hockey, but it may be impossible to design a helmet that completely eliminates them, according to a panel of sports science professors outlining the latest findings. Helmets "certainly help to mitigate forces that are distributed by impact to the skull and the intracranial cavity and the brain," said Kevin Guskiewicz, a professor of sports science at North Carolina and an expert on football helmets.

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OSHA Fines Recycler After Double Amputation Accident

June 21, 2011 9:12 am

VERONA, Miss. (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Glen, Miss.-based Triple P Farms Inc. for four safety violations. OSHA has proposed penalties of $73,500. The company has 15 days to appeal. OSHA said Tuesday it began an inspection in February after a worker had both legs amputated when his foot got caught in a baling machine as he attempted to clear cardboard that had jammed at a business in Verona.

FDA Introduces Graphic Images On Cigarette Packs

June 21, 2011 8:45 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Tobacco Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Rotting teeth. Diseased lungs. A corpse of a smoker. Nine new warning labels featuring graphic images that convey the dangers of smoking will be required by the Food and Drug Administration to be on U.S. cigarette packs by 2012. Other images include a man with a tracheotomy smoking and a mother holding a baby with smoke swirling around them.

GM To Temporarily Close Two Pickup Plants In July

June 21, 2011 8:36 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. plans to close two U.S. pickup truck plants for two weeks in July at a time when pickup sales are starting to wane and trucks are stacking up on dealer lots. The company said the shutdowns at the Flint, Michigan, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, factories have been scheduled for months to do maintenance on equipment and help to outfit the Flint plant for a third shift that's coming in August.

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Honda To Cut Carbon Dioxide Emissions By 20 Percent

June 21, 2011 8:34 am

DETROIT (AP) — Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday that it will cut the global carbon dioxide emissions from the vehicles it makes by 20 percent by the end of this decade. The company said in its annual environmental report that it was setting the goal to address climate change and energy issues. The cut is based on 2000 emissions levels.

Iowa Concrete Company Pleads Guilty To Price Fixing

June 21, 2011 5:09 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa based ready-mix concrete company has pleaded guilty to participating in a price-fixing scheme for the sale of ready-mix concrete. The U.S. Department of Justice says Rock Valley-based Tri-State Ready Mix Inc. pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiring with another company to fix prices for ready-mix concrete.

Three S.C. Boeing Workers Get Limited Role In NLRB Case

June 21, 2011 4:52 am | by Meg Kinnard, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Three employees who say they fear losing their jobs at Boeing Co.'s North Charleston plant were allowed on Monday to have limited roles in a federal labor dispute over the company's 787 passenger jet line. The National Labor Relations Board has decided to allow the employees to file a brief in the case once an NLRB hearing in the case is completed, according to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is helping the employees with their legal case.

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3M Investing $90 Million To Expand Illinois Plant

June 21, 2011 4:44 am

CORDOVA, Ill. (AP) — 3M is investing $90 million to expand its plant in the western Illinois community of Cordova. Officials from 3M broke ground Monday on the expansion, which is designed to help the company meet increasing demand for its next generation of technologies. Pat Thornton is the plant's site manager, and Thornton tells the Quad-City Times that the decision to expand in Cordova is "a vote of confidence" in the plant's employees.

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NLRB To Propose Sweeping New Union Rules

June 21, 2011 4:37 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Labor regulators are set to propose sweeping new rules Tuesday that would dramatically speed up the time frame for union elections, a move that could make it easier for struggling unions to organize new members, and cut the time businesses have to mount anti-union campaigns. A copy of the planned rules, to be announced by the National Labor Relations Board, was obtained by The Associated Press.

Toyota To Hire 4,000 Temporary Japanese Workers

June 21, 2011 4:30 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota said it will hire 3,000 to 4,000 temporary workers in Japan to be ready for a recovery in vehicle production as automakers bounce back from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Toyota Motor Corp. will start recruiting the factory workers in July, as production is now gradually recovering and expected to surge by October, company spokesman Shigehiko Okamura said Tuesday.

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Franklin Electric To Move 125 Jobs To Mexico

June 21, 2011 4:28 am

BLUFFTON, Ind. (AP) — Franklin Electric Co. Inc. said it plans to close an Oklahoma City factory and move the equivalent of 125 jobs, primarily to a facility in Linares, Mexico. Franklin Electric, which makes systems and components used to move water and automotive fuels, said it will move some of the 260,000 annual man-hours of work to another Oklahoma City facility.

Soda CEO Changes Course, Pleads Guilty To Fraud

June 20, 2011 9:57 am | by Joe Mandak, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The former CEO of a defunct Pennsylvania soft drink company pleaded guilty to tax evasion, mail fraud and money laundering for using two sets of books to obtain $875 million in credit for the company. Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh say the scheme orchestrated by 51-year-old Gregory Podlucky, of Ligonier, resulted in $628 million in losses to various lenders and equipment companies that did business with Latrobe-based Le-Nature's Inc.

Could A Nationwide Wireless Network Cripple GPS?

June 20, 2011 9:45 am | by Joelle Tessler, AP Technology Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — LightSquared, a Virginia-based company that plans to build a nationwide wireless broadband network, is proposing to adapt its network so as not to interfere with GPS systems. The company plans to move some of its operations to a different slice of airwaves and to transmit signals at lower power levels to ensure that its network would not interfere with GPS systems that rely on nearby wireless spectrum.

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