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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The Self-Lubricating Machine

October 15, 2009 4:48 am | Articles | Comments

A simple, self-lubricating machine. Now, if it could do something other than lubricate itself, the people at MIT who built it might be on to something. Wouldn't it be great if all our machines took this great care of themselves? Do you have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider ? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in a future deployment? Email me at Joel.


Making The Ultimate Office Weapon: Rubber Bands

October 15, 2009 4:33 am | Articles | Comments

We use them. We love them. Good 'ol rubber bands. Perfect for flinging at co-workers, or even just holding a pack of index cards together. Whatever floats your boat. But I bet you've never thought about how the stretchy brown things are made. I, for one, did not know latex came straight from a tree, just like maple syrup.


Mechanical Walkthrough: The Differential

October 15, 2009 4:06 am | Articles | Comments

We all experience the engineering prowess of our car's differential every day when we head off to work, go errands, or, for some, hit the apex just right. But do we really understand how it works? This video, as old as it is, features an excellent step-by-step explanation of how the differential works.


Building Airplanes, One Lego At A Time

October 15, 2009 3:51 am | Articles | Comments

Most children spend countless hours building Lego airplanes that just fall apart after their inaugural flight. These enthusiasts? They built a Lego factory that builds its own airplanes. Beat that. These dedicated Lego builders take no shame in the $12,000 they poured into the project, nor the 2,000 man hours it took to complete.


A Historical Tour Of Autonomous Robots

October 14, 2009 12:01 pm | Articles | Comments

Take a tour of domestic robots throughout history. Now that we're approaching a time where autonomous, human-interacting, robots will take over the home, how long until industrial robots offer the same type of complex decision-making processes? We've already featured a video on the necessity for industial robots that can interact with humans ( Our Robot Future ), but the question begs to be asked again: why are industrial robots so unfriendly to their human co-workers? Should there be a movement in manufacturing toward robotics that is self-aware, do not harm people, and yet do its task just as efficiently? Via ROCKETBOOM .


The Bowling Ball-Tossing Industrial Robot

October 14, 2009 10:23 am | Articles | Comments

Innovation is key to our industry, so here at IMPO we like to showcase ways that individuals and companies are doing something unique with the tools that get used every day to make the products we all know and love, even if they're a little off-beat. The guys from Mana Energy Potions program a KUKA industrial robot to hurl heavy objects like a medieval trebuchet.


Take Back Your Facility

October 14, 2009 6:47 am | Articles | Comments

Managing storage space is critical in the effort to maximizing your productivity. In most storage facilities, a whopping 60 percent of floor space is wasted on aisles. So how do you add more SKUs to the same amount of square footage? What do you do when you run out of space? The Compact Storage Systems are a solution.


EPA Puts Down Foot With Texan Heavy Industry

October 14, 2009 4:42 am | by John McFarland, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

DALLAS (AP) — For 15 years, environmentalists have complained that state regulations have allowed the powerful oil and chemical industries to skirt Clean Air Act standards in Texas, the nation's foremost producer of industrial air pollution. But the Environmental Protection Agency last month scrapped several aspects of the state's air-pollution permitting program, including "flexible" permits that have allowed about 140 plants and refineries to exceed toxic emissions limits in the short term as long as they complied to overall federal averages in the long term.


U.S. Steel Exports Surpass Imports

October 14, 2009 4:37 am | News | Comments

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A steel industry trade group said the United States exported more steel than it imported in August for the first time in more than 50 years. But another group said that assessment was based on a selective reading of government data. The American Institute for International Steel said late Monday that government data indicated U.

A Bit Of The Index Whiplash

October 14, 2009 4:34 am | by by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

First of all, I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce myself to all of IMPO ’s readers out there. For the last three or so months I’ve been working behind-the-scenes (along with a number of other people) to get the IMPO Insider Daily delivered to your inbox, well, on a daily basis.


Costco, JPMorgan Urge Boeing To Build 787 In Wash.

October 14, 2009 4:28 am | News | Comments

SEATTLE (AP) — Executives from some of Washington's largest employers on Tuesday urged Boeing Co. to build a second assembly line for its long-delayed 787 jetliner in the state, entering the fray in an interstate competition for the facility. In a letter to Jim Albaugh, the head of Boeing's commercial aircraft unit, more than two dozen corporate leaders wrote that "we encourage you to locate that line here in Washington, where we have a long track record of demonstrable success together.

Spanish Unions And Magna Debate Mass Layoffs

October 14, 2009 4:23 am | by Daniel Woolls, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

MADRID (AP) — Spanish unions met Wednesday with representatives of Magna International Inc. to discuss its new proposal for an Opel plant targeted for job cuts, an official said. As part of its takeover of Opel from General Motors Co., Magna wants to eliminate 1,300 jobs at an Opel plant near Zaragoza in northeast Spain and move one of its two assembly lines to Germany.


Auto Sales Down 10.4 Percent Post-Clunkers

October 14, 2009 4:14 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Retail sales declined in September by the largest amount this year as car sales plummeted following the end of the government's popular Cash for Clunkers program. But outside of autos, sales were better than expected. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that retail sales dropped 1.

Ford Adds 4.5m Cars To Flaming Switch Recall

October 14, 2009 4:12 am | by Stephen Manning and Tom Krisher, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it will add 4.5 million older-model vehicles to the long list of those recalled because a defective cruise control switch could cause a fire. The latest voluntary action pushes Ford's total recall due to faulty switches to 14.3 million registered vehicles over 10 years, capping the company's largest cumulative recall in history involving a single problem.

'Don't Die On Me!': Staying Alive With Predictive Maintenance

October 13, 2009 9:45 am | Articles | Comments

In recent years, modern packaging machines have become more intelligent. They are incorporating more decentralized intelligence in order to protect the machine from expensive breakdown situations using error diagnostics and reactions without any detour through the control. With today’s generation of intelligent servo drives, predictive maintenance functionality is now built into the electronics.


Help, I've Been Nerded

October 13, 2009 8:59 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

I suppose that the hair would be parted on the other side and I’d be wearing a lavender vest rather than a kindergarten blazer featuring an assortment of arts and crafts, but the photo could just as easily come as the result of an evil motherly plot to sabotage my cool factor (pause for guttural laugh), as it did from a few minutes of Photoshop 101.

Simple Tube Cutting

October 13, 2009 8:07 am | Product Releases | Comments

Reed Manufacturing Co . (Erie, PA) offers an easy-to-grip Spring-Loaded Tubing Cutter. The spring-loaded cutter wheel self-feeds with constant pressure as the tool is rotated around the tubing, which means operators only have to turn the cutter in the direction of the marked arrow.


Breathe Easy

October 13, 2009 8:07 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Farr Air Pollution Control (APC, Jonesboro, AR) introduces an updated portable dust and fume collector that combines three-stage filtration with versatility. The Zephyr® III collector comes with a choice of three main filters, and is ideal for welding fumes, grinding dusts, or soldering fumes.



October 13, 2009 8:06 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The FL3100H UV/IR and FL3101H UV Flame Detectors from General Monitors (Lake Forest, CA) are now compatible with the HART communication protocol. The flame detectors are designed to detect fires over a wide field of view and provide alarm outputs directly. The FL3100H uses both the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) spectral ranges, making it resistant to false alarms caused by lightning or arc welding.


Diesel-Powered For Efficiency

October 13, 2009 8:05 am | Product Releases | Comments

MTU Onsite Energy (Mankato, MN) has developed a new MTU diesel-powered generator set, covering a range of 250 to 3,250  kW. The Series 1600 engine is new for MTU, and is the smallest the company produces, yet it combines reliability, high power density, and fuel efficiency.



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