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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Nissan To Recall 48,700 Trucks And SUVs

May 19, 2010 4:53 am

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. is planning to recall 48,700 trucks and sport utility vehicles for problems with a suspension part that could lead to a rough ride. Spokesman Colin Price says the company is working on details with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and expects the recall to begin this week.

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EU Fines Memory Chip Cartel $403 Million

May 19, 2010 4:46 am | by Raf Casert, Associated Press Writer

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union fined 10 producers of memory chips, including Samsung, a combined euro331 million ($403 million) on Wednesday for colluding in a price-fixing cartel. The EU Commission said that the companies, mostly non-European, rigged the market between 1998 and 2002 by sharing secret information which allowed them to set prices and quotations for Dynamic Random Access Memory chips in Europe.

Ex-Hummer Manufacturer Goes 'Green' With Electric Transit

May 19, 2010 4:37 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — AM General LLC, best known as the maker of hulking Humvees and gas-guzzling Hummers, is going greener with a new foray into the electric vehicle business. The South Bend, Ind., company will handle final assembly of Ford Motor Co.'s electric Transit Connect commercial vans, which will go on sale next spring.

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Geithner Pushes China On Currency, Intellectual Property Issues

May 19, 2010 4:36 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press Writer

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner visited some of the top exporters in Washington state on Tuesday in advance of a trip to encourage China to open more of its markets to American companies and their products. After going to Boeing Co.'s 737 jetliner plant in Renton, Geithner and Gov.

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Military Robots Become A Soldier's Lifesaver

May 19, 2010 4:34 am | by Verena Schmitt-Roschmann, Associated Press Writer

HAMMELBURG, Germany (AP) — On the outside, it looks like a normal SUV. But the prototype "autonomous robot car" — fitted with sensors and scanners, multifocal camera systems and powerful computers — might one day help avoid military fatalities from bombings and ambushes — or so its designers hope.

Deere Finds Green With 16 Percent Profit Jump

May 19, 2010 4:33 am | by Josh Funk, AP Business Writer

Deere & Co. said Wednesday that its second-quarter profit jumped 16 percent as sales of farm and construction equipment improved, so the maker of iconic green and yellow machinery raised its outlook for the second time this year. The Moline, Ill.-based company said it generated $547.5 million in net income, or $1.

State Of The Economy: Some Ups, Some Downs

May 18, 2010 5:02 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prices at the wholesale level fell in April, reflecting declines in energy and food. The Labor Department said Tuesday that wholesale prices edged down 0.1 percent last month, the second decline in the past three months. Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, rose 0.

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Turbine Manufacturer To Open Shop In Sioux City

May 18, 2010 4:34 am

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Arizona-based company says it wants to open a wind turbine blade plant in Sioux City, which has recently suffered large layoffs. Sioux City officials and TPI Composites say in state documents that the company wants to open a 250,000-square-foot factory that would employ 500 workers.

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Officials Promote U.S. Exports During Trip To China

May 18, 2010 4:33 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke led his first trade mission to China's financial center Tuesday, working to deliver on President Barack Obama's pledge to double U.S. exports and create 2 million jobs. The visit to China, ahead of an annual economic dialogue, comes as both countries seek to smooth trade tensions and cultivate new business opportunities while grappling with uncertainties revived by the European financial crisis.

Taxpayers Will Lose $1.6 Billion On Single Chrysler Loan

May 18, 2010 4:22 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department said Monday it will lose $1.6 billion on a loan made to Chrysler in early 2009. Taxpayer losses from bailing out Chrysler and General Motors are expected to rise as high as $34 billion, congressional auditors have said. Treasury said Monday that Chrysler repaid $1.

Pfizer To Cut 6,000 Manufacturing Jobs Worldwide

May 18, 2010 4:19 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday it will cut 6,000 jobs as it trims its manufacturing capacity worldwide after acquiring smaller rival Wyeth last year. The world's biggest drugmaker says it will cease operations at eight plants in Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. by the end of 2015, and reduce operations at six other plants over the next several years.

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GM Profits, But Can They Repay That $43.3B Debt?

May 18, 2010 4:18 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin & Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — In less than a year, General Motors Co. has roared back from bankruptcy to a quarterly profit. Now comes the hard part: Sustaining the income and repaying billions of dollars in government aid. There are signs that GM is on track to do just that. Revenue is up 40 percent over the first quarter of last year.

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China Rejects Domestic Fighter Jets For Poor Manufacturing

May 17, 2010 4:50 am

BEIJING (Kyodo) — China's Air Force has refused to accept 16 J-11B fighters manufactured by a domestic aircraft maker due to technical problems, the Kanwa Defense Review magazine said in its June issue, quoting a Western intelligence source in Beijing. China is believed to have developed the new fighter based on technology from the Russian fighter Sukhoi Su-27, sparking speculation that the maker, Shenyang Aircraft Corp.

Army Recalls 44,000 Combat Helmets

May 17, 2010 4:45 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army says it is recalling 44,000 advanced combat helmets that have been issued to soldiers worldwide because they do not meet military specifications. The Army said in a statement Friday that the risk to soldiers wearing the helmets is still being determined. New helmets are being issued to anyone who has a defective one.

Boat Manufacturer Goes Global With Six Employees

May 17, 2010 4:41 am | by Susan Salisbury, AP Writer

STUART, Fla. (AP) — If you've ever perched on the fiberglass platform that juts out from the back of a boat, it might have been made by Beachcomber Fiberglass Technology. The Stuart company, in business since 1978, builds those swim platforms and other ubiquitous items that are so much a part of boating and marinas that most people never think about their origins.

New Biomass Conundrum: Where To Get Biomass?

May 17, 2010 4:34 am | by Becky Kramer, AP Writer

KETTLE FALLS, Wash. (AP) — Roaring furnaces unleash the energy of wood at Avista Corp.'s Kettle Falls generating station. Chips and bark become white-hot ash as temperatures soar to 2,500 degrees inside the massive seven-story furnaces. The searing heat produces steam, which runs a turbine for electricity.

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Explosion At Gun Manufacturer Caused By Single Machine

May 17, 2010 4:31 am

COLEBROOK, N.H. (AP) — The investigation into a series of explosions at a gun and ammunition manufacturing plant in far northern New Hampshire that killed two people has led to one machine, the state's fire marshal said Saturday. Bill Degnan said that the investigation into Friday's explosions at the MDM Muzzleloader building has led to a machine in the manufacturing section of the plant.

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GM Rides Expense Cuts, Strong Sales To Profitability

May 17, 2010 4:30 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin & Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. rode expense cuts from its bankruptcy and strong sales of redesigned models to its first quarterly net income in nearly three years. The $865 million first-quarter profit is a dramatic reversal from the huge $6 billion loss in the same period last year. The last time the company made a quarterly profit was the second quarter of 2007, when it earned $891 million.

Building Solar Panels On The Strip

May 17, 2010 4:29 am

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A California company is planning to build a $20 million manufacturing plant for solar power cells in the Las Vegas area. The operation will employ about 278 workers, according to officials at Amonix Inc., which is based in Seal Beach, Calif. The plan was announced Saturday during a dedication ceremony in Henderson for a 308-kilowatt solar installation that the company sold to Southern Nevada Water Authority.

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Navistar Turns Stimulus Cash Into Electric Trucks

May 14, 2010 4:48 am

WAKARUSA, Ind. (AP) — An Elkhart County assembly line has begun turning out Navistar e-Star electric trucks that can travel 100 miles on a single charge. Navistar says the all-electric eStar medium-duty commercial truck being turned out in Wakarusa has batteries can be replaced in about 20 minutes and recharged in six to eight hours.

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