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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

TI Buys National Semiconductor For $6.5 Billion

April 5, 2011 4:27 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Texas Instruments Inc. is buying National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in a marriage of two of the world's premier makers of analog chips, which are widely used in electronics to transform signals such as sound into digital form that computers can understand. In scooping up National Semiconductor, TI is getting a storied Silicon Valley company whose history stretches back more than 50 years and is known for its power-management chips.

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The Overtime Lie

April 4, 2011 10:55 am | by John Frehse, Chief Strategic Officer, Core Practice | Articles | Comments

Recently, I stood before a plant management team sharing labor strategies that could help resolve some serious cost problems associated with inefficient shift schedules. The plant manager talked about some of their greatest achievements. Number one was keeping their overtime below 5 percent. Corporate listed low overtime as a key performance indicator, and minimizing it was critical to plant bonuses.

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Safety Proves Not-So-Tall Order

April 4, 2011 8:22 am | by Pat McDevitt, Manager of Business Development, Snap-on Industrial | Articles | Comments

You work in one of the most sensitive production areas in a large chemical plant. The concern is that no contaminants be introduced into the work area, including stray tools and equipment. Or you’re standing on the walkway above a large newspaper-printing press—and time is money.

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Tidying Up Titletown

April 4, 2011 8:02 am | by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

Green Bay Packaging’s Coated Products Operations division has implemented a strategy that not only makes environmental sense, but also financial cents. The Green Bay Packaging Inc. Coated Products Operations division coats, laminates, and slits pressure-sensitive label materials in Titletown—also known as Green Bay, WI (It was just in February that the Green Bay Packers football team won the Super Bowl, after all).

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The Case For Working With Your Hands

April 4, 2011 7:41 am | Articles | Comments

As distasteful as it may seem to some students and parents, working with your hands may be a good alternative in this changing economy. When you look around, people still are needed to fix your car, rewire or paint your house, fix your broken power lines, teach you to play the piano, and bypass your clogged arteries.

The Art Of Slashing Lead Times

April 4, 2011 7:06 am | by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

One of the company’s machining centers, which create precision parts for customers in a variety of markets. “People want product as soon as possible. The days of six, eight, 12-week lead times just don’t exist any more. We have more customers knocking on our door saying, ‘Okay, you said two weeks, but can we get it in a week?’ That really changes things.

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A Sight For Sore Eyes

April 4, 2011 6:56 am | by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Imagine the following scenario: One of your plant floor employees has just had their eye or skin exposed to a caustic chemical, which needs to be immediately flushed from contact. Per OSHA regulations, you should already have an eye washing station or emergency shower on the plant floor, which the employee should be familiar with.

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Q&A: Getting Quality Back

April 4, 2011 6:51 am | Articles | Comments

Once upon a time the term “Made in America” stood for something: pride, jobs, and quality. However, we have become a society of increasing consumer demand, which led to a notable decrease in quality at manufacturers worldwide. IMPO sat down with Dyadem president and CEO Kevin North for a look at what manufacturers can do to improve quality while remaining cost efficient.

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Optimize This

April 4, 2011 6:48 am | Articles | Comments

Sometimes, things that seem factual are not exactly true. Here are a few examples relating to inventory: When I was a materials manager the auditors would declare that we had taken a “good inventory” at year-end when the amount of positive variances was counterbalanced by an equal amount of negative variances.

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Modular Conveyors: Low Visibility Components in Eco-Efficiency

April 4, 2011 6:46 am | Articles | Comments

The sustainable model of switching out smaller modules rather than replacing an entire conveyor allows organizations to remain within their eco-efficient standards and retain smaller carbon footprints, while doing so at lower costs than standard conveyor technology allows. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the focus in the manufacturing arena has been directed towards doing things smarter, cheaper, and faster.

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Innovation: An Open Can of Worms?

April 4, 2011 6:45 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder, PCDworks | Articles | Comments

At 62 years old, I am pretty hard to surprise — or shock for that matter. My sense of humor is numb, according to my 20-something children. (“Children” is surprisingly appropriate given the current generation of young people whose primary effort in life seems to be focused on extending their childhood into middle age.

Improved Mechanical Seals

April 4, 2011 6:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

A new line of dry-running mechanical seals for mixers, agitators, and reactors that meets the ASME-BPE 2009 standards for cleanability is being introduced by Sharpe Mixers, Inc. (Seattle, WA). The Sharpe RD Dry-Running Mechanical Seals were developed for sanitary applications where product contamination from barrier fluids is unacceptable.

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Variable Speed For Precise Polishing

April 4, 2011 6:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

DeWalt (Towson, MD) has launched its two new 7”/9” Variable Speed Polishers (DWP849X and DWP849) which deliver the power and speed control necessary for use on a variety of materials, ranging from metal to concrete surfaces. Both models feature a powerful 12 amp motor and a variable speed dial that delivers 0-600/0-3,500 RPM, giving users precise control of speed and power.

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More Sanitary Pipes And Accessories

April 4, 2011 6:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

MISUMI USA, Inc. (Schaumburg, IL) has announced a significant expansion in its Sanitary Pipes and accessories product category. The expanded line provides engineers with a greater range of options when selecting fluid and air handling system components. The MISUMI offerings now number more than 100, many of which are configurable to user specifications.

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A Tool With Thousands Of Possibilities

April 4, 2011 6:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation (Milwaukee, WI) has expanded their M12 LITHIUM-ION system with the introduction of the M12 Rotary Tool. The tool uses optimized electronics and REDLITHIUM battery technology for a compact and portable cut-off solution. With a variable speed of 5,000 to 32,000 RPM and a collet that is compatible with all 1/32 to 1/8” shank accessories, the new tool delivers cutting, grinding, sanding, and polishing solutions.

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The Infrared Window Solution To Arc Flashes

April 4, 2011 5:43 am | Articles | Comments

This article is the second part in a two-part series on arc flash safety and infrared windows. The first part was published on April 4, 2011. Demonstration of the power of an Arc Flash. Photo courtesy of ewbengineering. by Michael Stuart , Fluke Corporation How can infrared windows help? An infrared window provides a solid barrier between the thermographer and the live conductors.

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Developer Buys Abandoned Indiana Whirlpool Plant

April 4, 2011 5:02 am | News | Comments

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana commercial developer says it has bought more than 1 million square feet of a former Whirlpool Corp. plant. The Evansville Courier & Press reports Friday that The Kunkel Group Inc. has finalized the sale of about 1.2 million square feet of the 1.

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Half Of Chinese Dairies Have Licenses Revoked

April 4, 2011 4:37 am | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — Nearly half of all dairies in China are being shut down after having their licenses revoked, the government's quality inspection agency said Saturday, in the latest attempt to clean up the scandal-plagued dairy industry. The agency said 533 of the country's 1,176 dairy producers have been ordered to cease operations.

S&E Specialty Polymers Profits Off Of Previous Fraud

April 4, 2011 4:30 am | by Jack Minch, Associated Press | News | Comments

LUNENBERG, Mass. (AP) — Duane Shooltz walks into the room dressed in black and wearing a big smile on his face. It's late morning Thursday, and the production lines at S&E Specialty Polymers are shutting down for the weekend. Over in the laboratory, Ilia Charlat, the vice president of research and development, and technician Greici Freitas continue to work.

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Mulally Honored With $26.5 Million Salary, 'Edison' Award

April 4, 2011 4:24 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The President and CEO of Ford Motor Co. received a pay package valued at $26.5 million in 2010, up 48 percent from 2009, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. Alan Mulally, 65, who was hired away from Boeing Co. in 2006 to rescue Ford, received a base salary of $1.

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