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Lawson helps IKEA; also: St. Jude in the tropics, Medtronic heading to court; NWA-Delta merger to get clearance for takeoff?; caddy shades; E-Co-Lab!

When you’re assembling that IKEA desk or bunk bed using wordless directions (all the steps are shown in pictures so they work in any country) you might be interested to know that St. Paul’s Lawson Software played a role in helping a division of the Swedish furniture giant get its act together. IKEA Components, which is focused on developing, distributing and trading components, fittings and raw materials for IKEA products, recently used Lawson Opportunity Analyzer to help optimize its use of enterprise software. Now if they could write a program to help me keep track of the different-size bolts …

After a six-month review, St. Jude Medical of Little Canada has received FDA approval to build pacemakers and cardiac leads at a new plant in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Eventually, the company plans to make implantable cardioverter defibrillators there, too. I wonder if needs a feature story on the plant in, say, mid-January.

Medtronic, too, is busy on another front. The Twin Cities Business Journal reports it is suing a California maker of spinal devices for patent infringement.

Soon we’ll be seeing product endorsements rolling out from the Olympic champions and heroes, but in the meantime, VedaloHD of Plymouth, which makes innovative sunglasses, is touting Steve Williams as a user of the company’s “performance-enhancing lens technology” sunglasses. Williams is a golf caddy, most recently for Tiger Woods. He’s also a race car driver. Have to admit, I didn’t know that.

Because there hasn’t been a giant public outcry, Congress seems poised to quickly approve the Northwest Airlines-Delta merger deal, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

, with its headquarters in downtown St. Paul, reports that it is listed among the “Best Places to Work,” for the third year in a row. I couldn’t find much information about the organization that gives the ratings, Quantum Market Research, but I did work across the street from its headquarters for 20 years and can report, anecdotally, that the employees did seem happy much of the time. They hold annual meetings in St. Paul for world-wide employees, and that often includes a parade down Wabasha Street where the workers, dressed in white lab coats, chant: E-Co-Lab. From my second story window in the Lowry Building, it sometimes sounded like they were shouting, “E-Co-Li.”

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