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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Analyst: Auto Sales Could Top 10 Million

November 20, 2009 3:44 am

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales could top an annual rate of 10.8 million in November, General Motors Co.'s top sales analyst said Thursday. That would mark the first month this year that sales jumped to such levels without the aid of Cash for Clunkers rebates, which boosted sales in July and August.

Cause Of Massive WY Oil Spill A Known Issue

November 20, 2009 3:35 am | by Mead Gruver, Associated Press Writer

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A storage tank roof that sank at a Sinclair Oil refinery earlier this year and caused Wyoming's biggest spill in decades wasn't unprecedented: A storage tank roof also sank at the refinery in 2007. Leaks in the pontoons holding up the floating roofs occurred before both incidents.

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Harley Unlikely To Land In Kentucky, Says Governor

November 20, 2009 3:28 am

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Steve Beshear has expressed doubt that Kentucky will land a Harley-Davidson manufacturing plant. The governor released a statement Thursday saying the potential for pulling off a deal with the company is "significantly diminished." The company has been looking at a site in Shelbyville for a motorcycle plant that employs 2,500 people.

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Dell Sees Profits Drop 54 Percent, Slides From No. 2 Spot

November 19, 2009 10:20 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dell Inc. says its latest quarterly profit dropped 54 percent as the company battles a slump has caused it to lose its ranking as the world's No. 2 personal computer maker. Rivals Hewlett-Packard Co. and Acer Inc. have stolen business from Dell as the company grapples with anemic spending on technology by corporations and government agencies.

Teenagers Dismiss Manufacturing, Want 'Professional' Jobs

November 19, 2009 8:21 am

ROCKFORD, Ill., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Despite assertions from manufacturers that they will need a new breed of highly skilled workers in the years ahead and job opportunities will abound for today's youth, U.S. teenagers in large numbers want to wear white collars, not blue, when they launch their careers.

Kraft Cuts Habit Of Driving Around The World 8,500 Times

November 19, 2009 5:51 am | by Joel Hans

, Associate Editor, IMPO Kraft, the well-known international food maker, have claimed that in the last four years they have cut more than 50 million miles and a large percentage of CO2 emissions from its manufacturing and distribution processes. In North America alone, Kraft has cut 2,000 tons of CO2 emissions by eliminating wasteful truck shipments by shipping wheat from its Ohio mill via water ways, which amounts to roughly a million miles.

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Calif. Electricity-Hungry TV Ban Angers Manufacturers

November 18, 2009 9:54 am | by Samantha Young, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Power-hungry TVs will be banned from store shelves in California after state regulators Wednesday adopted a first-in-the-nation mandate to reduce electricity demand. On a unanimous vote, the California Energy Commission required all new televisions up to 58 inches to be more energy efficient, beginning in 2011.

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GE To Develop Wearable Sensors With Federal Grant

November 18, 2009 4:29 am

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (AP) — GE Global Research, the technology development arm of General Electric Co., said Tuesday it will get $2 million federal grant to develop wearable sensors that alert people to chemical weapons and diseases. Radio-frequency identification sensors are commonly used to track materials, including in baggage at airports.

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Costco Axes Coca-Cola Over Pricing Disputes

November 18, 2009 4:14 am | by Emily Fredrix and Sarah Skidmore, AP Food Industry Writers

ATLANTA (AP) — Costco customers may have to look elsewhere for Coca-Cola products now that the retailer has stopped carrying them because the pair are fighting over prices. The public squabble between one of the nation's largest wholesale club operators and the world's largest soft drink maker is likely to fizzle quickly.

GM Takes Tax Credits To Stay In Detroit

November 18, 2009 4:05 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press Writer

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — General Motors Co. is promising to keep its headquarters in Detroit in return for expanded state tax credits approved Tuesday. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority gave the go-ahead to extend tax credits the company won in June for agreeing to build a new small car at its Orion Township plant near Pontiac.

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The Supercomputer That 'Thinks' Like A Cat

November 18, 2009 4:04 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Scientists say they've made a breakthrough in their pursuit of computers that "think" like a living thing's brain — an effort that tests the limits of technology. Even the world's most powerful supercomputers can't replicate basic aspects of the human mind.

Poll: Being 'Green' Means Lots Of Talk, No Walk

November 18, 2009 3:52 am | by H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A solid majority of Americans recognize the need to help the environment, although there are some things — like buying a hybrid car or taking mass transit — that people often talk about, but don't necessarily act on. That's shown in a survey of more than 1,000 adults that sought to gauge attitudes about the environment.

Cold Weather Straining China's Energy Resources

November 18, 2009 3:47 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Unusually cold weather has caused shortfalls of power and natural gas in Shanghai and parts of central China, local government reports said Wednesday. The surge in energy consumption due to the cold snap, which began last week, is typical of the challenges the country is facing as it struggles to meet demand from consumers whose growing earning power enables them to adopt more modern lifestyles.

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Feds Raid Gibson Guitars Over Hardwood Rumors

November 18, 2009 3:38 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal agents on Tuesday raided a Gibson guitar manufacturing plant and seized guitars amid concerns about where the Nashville-based company obtains the fine woods that go into its instruments. Television stations reported that authorities seized wood guitars and other items, but no one was arrested.

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Hershey, Ferrero Consider Bids For Cadbury

November 18, 2009 3:32 am | by Robert Barr, Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) — Chocolate makers The Hershey Co. and Ferrero International SA said Wednesday they are considering a possible offer for Cadbury PLC, already the target of a hostile bid by Kraft Foods Inc. The move raises the possibility of a takeover battle for the British maker of Dairy Milk and Creme Eggs.

Ford Fusion: Motor Trend's 'Car of the Year'

November 17, 2009 8:57 am

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The 2010 Ford Fusion is MOTOR TREND magazine's pick for its prestigious Car of the Year® award The Fusion bested a field of 23 contenders - including the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class - to win the prominent award Fusion is now among America's top 10-selling vehicles and the No.

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World's Fastest Computer Used For Science, Not Bombs

November 17, 2009 6:07 am | by Duncan Mansfield, Associated Press Writer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — At least for the moment, the world's fastest supercomputer is devoted to solving scientific questions that may save the planet — climate change, renewable energy, new medicines — rather than advances in nuclear weapons that might blow it up. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory's high-performance Jaguar XT5 computer, built by Seattle-based Cray Inc.

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Honeywell Nabs $11.4 Million "Smart Grid" Grant

November 17, 2009 5:33 am

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Honeywell (NYSE: HON ) today announced it has been awarded an $11.4-million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the largest single energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history. The grant, one of several awarded from a smart grid funding package under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), solidifies Honeywell's position as a key player in helping the U.

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GE Pounces On Chinese Aerospace, Energy Markets

November 17, 2009 4:17 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Tuesday it is forming joint ventures with major Chinese groups that operate aerospace, energy and rail businesses. GE, which currently runs 36 wholly owned or joint venture companies in China, did not disclose the value of the deals. "These agreements share common themes — rapid growth potential, clean technologies and job creation," said General Electric Co.

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GE Establishes More Chinese Ventures

November 17, 2009 4:16 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Tuesday it is forming joint ventures with major Chinese groups that operate aerospace, energy and rail businesses. GE, which currently runs 36 wholly owned or joint venture companies in China, did not disclose the value of the deals. "These agreements share common themes — rapid growth potential, clean technologies and job creation," said General Electric Co.

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