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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Sole N.D. Refinery Plans Monthlong Maintenance Shutdown

March 12, 2010 10:09 am

James MacPherson, Associated Press Writer BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's only oil refinery is planning a monthlong shutdown for maintenance and upgrades beginning next month though officials say customers should not see any fuel shortages or price increases. The planned $125 million project at Tesoro Petroleum Corp.

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Britain Disappointed With Shady Tanker Contract

March 12, 2010 4:08 am | by Jennifer Quinn, Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) — The French and British leaders accused the United States of protectionism on Friday over a contract to build a new Air Force refueling tanker. A European-led consortium pulled out of bidding this week for the $35 billion contract, saying the Pentagon was favoring rival American bidder Boeing.

LG Chem To Build Chevy Volt Batteries In Michigan

March 12, 2010 3:54 am

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — Korean battery-maker LG Chem Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary Troy-based Compact Inc. will make battery cells for electric vehicles at a plant in western Michigan. The companies announced in a statement Friday that at its peak the $303 million factory in Holland will produce enough battery cells for 50,000 to 200,000 vehicle battery packs, including the Chevrolet Volt.

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CPSC Recalls Coil Nailer For Eye Injuries

March 12, 2010 3:46 am

WASHINGTON, March 12 (Kyodo) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Friday Hitachi Koki Co. of Japan is voluntarily recalling its coil nailers for free repairs due to the risk of serious injury. The CPSC, a governmental body, said about 50,000 coil nailers imported from Japan by Hitachi Koki U.

NHTSA Seeks Heavier Hand In Car Investigations

March 12, 2010 3:40 am | by Ken Thomas and Stephen Manning, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government vehicle safety regulators may seek greater authority to investigate defects in cars and trucks and are weighing a range of new safety requirements in response to Toyota's recall of more than 8 million vehicles over brake and acceleration problems. David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said Thursday his agency will take a "hard look" at the power it has to set safety standards for automakers.

GM's Lutz: Hybrid SUVs, Electrics Are Automotive's Future

March 12, 2010 3:38 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

WARREN, Mich. — General Motors Co. will keep making big trucks and SUVs because U.S. buyers demand them, but a major portion of them will be gas-electric hybrids in the near future, retiring Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said Friday. Lutz didn't give details, but said GM must apply hybrid technology to more vehicles in order to meet fuel-economy standards that will rise 40 percent to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Feds Continue Recalls Of Cadmium-Tainted Jewelry

March 12, 2010 3:36 am | by Justin Pritchard, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal safety regulators recalled a line of Christmas-themed bracelets Thursday, expanding their effort to purge children's jewelry boxes and store shelves of items containing high levels of the toxic metal cadmium. The latest action by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission targeted "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" charm bracelets that released alarmingly high levels of cadmium in government lab tests, suggesting children could be exposed to a carcinogen that also can damage kidneys and bones.

Siemens AG Expands, Creates 825 N.C. Jobs

March 11, 2010 5:41 am | by Emery P. Dalesio, AP Business Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG plans to expand a North Carolina unit that makes equipment for electric utility plants, adding hundreds of jobs. The company plans to invest $135 million and create 825 engineering and manufacturing jobs in Charlotte in five years, according to a project description approved by a state incentives committee on Thursday.

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Reid Supply Adds Dickies Workwear Online

March 10, 2010 6:47 am

Muskegon, MI (PRWEB) — Reid Supply Company, a Michigan-based, premier global distributor of industrial supplies, added the Dickies family clothing line as well as more safety products to its online offerings at  ReidSupply.com . “We have no doubt that many of our customers will appreciate the extra value that the  Dickies workwear  line offers the entire family.

China Tells U.S. To 'Do More' On Climate Change

March 10, 2010 4:13 am | by Gillian Wong, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China told the United States on Wednesday to make stronger commitments on climate change and provide environmental expertise and financing to developing nations. At the same time, China said its own efforts to reduce energy intensity have been hampered by its economic recovery in the latter part of last year, which brought growth in heavy energy-consuming industries.

Meatpacking Inspector Cuts Hurting Small Businesses

March 10, 2010 4:09 am | by Ken Kusmer, Associated Press Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's plan to lay off some meat inspectors to save money and reduce the time inspectors spend with small, independent processors has the industry and farmers fearing it could hurt what has been a growing industry. It's not clear how many of the state's 52 inspectors will be let go, but meatpackers say any layoffs will prevent them from growing to meet demand for locally raised meat.

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French Call Obama 'Anticompetitive' Over Tanker Contract

March 10, 2010 3:57 am

PARIS (AP) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy will raise concerns that the U.S. Air Force's $35 billion tanker contract is anticompetitive when he visits President Barack Obama later this month, a spokesman said Wednesday. EADS, the parent company of Airbus, had partnered with Northrop Grumman to vie for the 179-tanker order, but their consortium pulled out on Monday.

Toyota Sales Up 50 Percent From Last March

March 10, 2010 3:36 am | by Jeffrey McMurray, Associated Press Writer

ERLANGER, Ky. (AP) — A high-ranking Toyota executive says the auto company's North American sales spiked around 50 percent the first eight days of March as incentives helped lure customers after a series of embarrassing safety recalls. Don Esmond, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, said in an interview Tuesday that the early numbers surpassed the company's expectations.

Federal Investigators Converge On Out-Of-Control Prius

March 10, 2010 3:31 am

Elliot Spagat, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS EL CAJON, Calif. — A Toyota Prius that sped out of control on a California freeway was towed to a dealership Tuesday while federal and company inspectors converged on the car to determine whether a stuck gas pedal was to blame. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent two investigators to examine the car after Monday's incident, said Olivia Alair, a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation, which oversees NHTSA.

GM Shreveport Recieves Order For 849 Hummers

March 10, 2010 3:29 am

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — General Motors has received a fleet order for 849 Hummers, so the Shreveport plantwon't shut down for two weeks in May, after all. GM spokesman Otie McKinley says the plant has a month to build the H3s and H3Ts. He says Hummer production will resume April 12, and the order must be completed by May 13.

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Chevron Cuts 2,000 'Downstream' Jobs

March 10, 2010 3:28 am | by Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer

Chevron Corp. said Tuesday it will cut 2,000 jobs this year and sell some overseas operations as it revamps its struggling refinery, marketing and transportation operations. The job cuts represent almost 12 percent of its 17,000 workers in the so-called downstream part of its business and just over 3 percent of its overall work force.

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Reid Supply Ready For High-Speed Rail Surge

March 9, 2010 6:30 am

Muskegon, Michigan — Reid Supply Company, a Michigan-based, premier global distributor of industrial supplies for more than 60 years has responded to government’s need for a multipurpose convenience point for builders of rail systems, roads and bridges. The company recently added more than 8,000 items to its online web site and offers free CAD drawings of most of their industrial parts.

Detroit Downsizes To Save Itself

March 9, 2010 4:07 am | by David Runk, Associated Press Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit, the very symbol of American industrial might for most of the 20th century, is drawing up a radical renewal plan that calls for turning large swaths of this now-blighted, rusted-out city back into the fields and farmland that existed before the automobile. Operating on a scale never before attempted in this country, the city would demolish houses in some of the most desolate sections of Detroit and move residents into stronger neighborhoods.

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P&G Recalls 'Taco Night' Pringles For Salmonella

March 9, 2010 3:55 am

CINCINNATI (AP) — Procter & Gamble Co. has recalled two versions of Pringles chips because of concerns about potential Salmonella exposure. The Cincinnati-based consumer products maker says the Cheeseburger and "Taco Night" versions of the snack are being recalled. The company is offering replacement coupons or refunds.

Nature's Valley Expands Pet Food Recall

March 9, 2010 3:42 am

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nature's Variety has expanded its recall of chicken-flavored pet food because of concerns over salmonella. The Lincoln, Neb.-based company said Monday that the raw, frozen food is being recalled because it could be contaminated with salmonella. The recall includes three-pound packages of chicken medallions, six-pound packages of chicken patties and two-pound packages of chicken chubs.

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