New international standards like RoHS and WEEE add to manufacturers’ already complex compliance responsibilities. The world of compliance just became more complicated. For U.S. manufacturers wishing to sell into the European Union, last month (July 1) marked the start date for the E.
Business Intelligence & Operational Expense Management Business intelligence. For too many, this seems like an oxymoron, but it does not have to be. Business intelligence strategies bring to the forefront critical understanding of significant amounts of data for companies, including large industrial manufacturers.
By Steve Rogers NRTLs (nationally recognized testing laboratories) offer companies the ability to secure third-party verification of product capabilities. These approvals can also be a wise marketing strategy since they allow products to be compared fairly and completely by potential customers. However, the process can be both costly and lengthy without organization and attention to detail.
Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has acquired certain assets of Engineering Intent Corp., Waltham, MA. Engineering Intent provides "Engineer to Order" (ETO) software and services. The acquisition enables Autodesk to help its customers address the growing demand for mass customization efficiently delivering end products uniquely designed and configured for individual customers.
A new Lean Certification has been established by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), and The Shingo Prize. The new Lean Certification is intended to set an international standard for aligning Lean practices. According to a statement from SME, this is the only true professional Lean Certification on the market that is based on a public body of knowledge and not tied to any training program.
Unique coupling provides solution for veneer production system Manufacturer Louis Merritt wrote in 1929 of the importance of designing machines that are simple yet modern. Responsible for several patents that led to the international demand for his company’s veneer lathes, Merritt worked with his father and brother to establish their company as a leading woodworking machinery manufacturer.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed an Aerospace Industry Association (AIA)-supported bill to create a federal inter-agency task force on aerospace workforce revitalization. The move is seen in some corners as a major step to addressing a looming critical shortage of engineers and other workers in the industry.
The North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) is conducting a special industry competition to promote cutting-edge die cast design. With its annual International Die Casting Competition, NADCA recognizes the outstanding casting designs of the year, based on their design, quality, cost savings, ingenuity, innovation and industry-changing potential.
Most companies today are exposed to one of the most complex and diverse business environments in manufacturing history. With a globally distributed design/build process and supply chain, a demand-driven market, and the need for real-time collaboration and response across the manufacturing enterprise, companies are facing formidable challenges.
Here’s a guide to help you answer that question, and tips for what to do if the response is ‘yes.’ Outsourcing of IT maintenance is expected to grow as more manufacturers turn to computer-based production technologies. Many companies have been guilty of viewing production maintenance as a necessary evil or, at best, a cost that is difficult to isolate and control.
Keeping the line moving at the tool crib has always been a problem. Without an efficient method for handling the congestion of workers waiting for the tools they need, it’s easy for employees to spend more time in that line than the company might like.
This North Dakota-based maker of aircraft cargo systems believes its lean-based operating platform is the key to a bright future. By Rick Carter, Editor-in-Chief Of all industries hurt by 9/11, aerospace probably tops the list. Commercial carriers, airplane builders and suppliers all saw their business drop after that tragic day.
Application and operators: These are the two things that should drive the decision of purchasing a lift truck, not acquisition cost. You need to know how well potential trucks are designed for your application. And you need to know how well they’re designed for operator confidence, productivity and safety. With the appropriate truck in the hands of a confident operator, productivity is optimized. And when that machine is built to last, you get the winning combination of high productivity, safety and low total cost of ownership.
By Rick Carter, Editor-in-Chief Anyone wishing to polish their powers of deception couldn’t ask for a better teacher than our own President Bush. Tricks that would make con artists envious are enacted before our eyes by the Bush team in dazzling government-financed splendor. Like any shell game, though, if you know where to look, the sleight of hand is evident.
Distributors can help you cut MRO costs, says this expert, but only if you allow them. The strategy: customized, value-added support. By Mark Dancer, Contributor Distributors know the trap: Manufacturing customers demand high levels of support, but are increasingly unwilling to pay for the value-add.
Materials management is essential to better supply-chain performance. One way to improve the flow of product all along the supply chain is to use plastic reusable packaging. World-class companies like Ford, John Deere, Harley-Davidson, Tyson and others have already recognized the value of reusable packaging in moving their product faster, better, safer and more cost-effectively. A study conducted by Michigan State University, for example, noted that one U.S. automaker saved $10.9 million a year over a four-year period after a $16.3 million investment in reusable packaging.
By Paul J. Burton, Vice President of Manufacturing, Plug Power, Latham, NY Many manufacturers view sustainable practices and cost savings as an either/or proposition. Either a company can do what is best for people and the environment, their thinking goes, or it can address its bottom line. Ecology, they believe, costs extra.
The self-cleaning Russell Finex Eco Filter means less downtime and safer working conditions at a hydrocarbon resin plant in California. When Neville Chemical Co. opened its Anaheim, CA, plant in 1958, its major competitors in the growing hydrocarbon resin industry were domestic giants such as Eastman and Exxon.
By Rick Carter, Editor-in-Chief Too bad all this talk about oil prices and shortages isn’t just another 1970s nostalgia program. It might be funny if the characters got mixed up in that decade’s “oil embargo” politics. Or if they did something funny while waiting in a long line for gasoline. Then, by next week, the program would be on to a new topic, and the whole gas-shortage thing would be gone.
The competitive global marketplace demands that manufacturers be the low-cost producer to survive. Improvements in productivity, driven by the latest in automation and management policies, can provide the leverage managers are looking for. By Nancy Syverson, Managing Editor Productivity is the critical measure that determines plant efficiency.