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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Swanson Transitions From Pen-to-Paper To MES

December 10, 2009 9:18 am | Articles | Comments

Factivity fit Swanson Industries with its shop floor technology in August 2008—replacing pen-to-paper with a PC-based manufacturing execution system (MES). The transition proved easy company-wide; operators and top tier management are now equipped with real time business information to make informed decisions while jobs are on the line.

Lean Manu ... Something Or Other

December 10, 2009 8:56 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

During a break from the recent onslaught of food and football that is the Thanksgiving weekend, I was half-watching CNN and reading the Sunday morning paper when one of the network’s “reports” really caught my attention. It was detailing the losses of U.

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Mr. Squiggles Was The Triggerman

December 10, 2009 8:30 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

So if I am shot, I shouldn’t bleed or die as long as the gunman doesn’t consider the way the bullet was manufactured to be legitimate, right? Don’t tell me that I have to suck on a toy hamster to prove a point, but if I fall off the grid tonight, there’s a good chance that Mr.

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Full-Body Nomex Harnesses

December 10, 2009 8:12 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The Thermatek Kit from MSA (Pittsburgh, PA) is a full-body harness kit for high-heat or welding applications, and features a Kevlar/Nomex-blend webbing to provide resistance against chemicals, weld splatter, and other high-heat exposures. Kevlar stitching in contrasting colors enables users to more easily inspect the product for flaws that might arise, and the shock absorber features a Tuffweld protective cover to increase the lanyard longevity.

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Air Velocity And Temperature In One

December 10, 2009 8:12 am | Product Releases | Comments

The HHF143 handheld rotating vane thermo-anemometer from Omega Engineering (Stamford, CT) provides accurate air velocity and temperature measurements in harsh environments, and features a minimum and maximum recall, analog voltage output, and a low speed sensitivity. NIST calibration is also included.

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Energy-Saving Industrial Doors

December 10, 2009 8:11 am | Product Releases | Comments

The HR6 Energy Door from Custom Quality Products (Cincinnati, OH) is suitable for heavy cart to light motorized traffic and is available in single- or double-panel configurations. A full perimeter thermal break makes the doors ideal for applications such as walk-in coolers with self-closing hardware, a vapor barrier, and a triple-pane, gas-filled window.

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Maximum Cabling Flexibility

December 10, 2009 8:10 am | Product Releases | Comments

Wilcoxon Research (Germantown, MD) has broadened its line of MaxFlex cables for portable data collects to include an optional safety connections that break away if the sensor or cable becomes entangled. If more than 10 pounds of pull force is exerted, the cable will disconnect to protect the operator, and cannot be reconnected until the sensor and cable are safety retrieved from the monitoring point.

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Simplicity On The Road To Recovery

December 10, 2009 7:45 am | Articles | Comments

Listen to talk radio or the cable news pundits, and it’s easy to believe Michigan, and its largest city (Detroit), are industrial wasteland. True, the unemployment levels are the highest in the nation, and the battering the automotive industry has taken has been significant and deeply felt.

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Too Lazy To Do Dishes? There's A Robot For That

December 10, 2009 4:06 am | Articles | Comments

You just can’t stop the Japanese obsession with robotics. We’ve featured domestic robots on the IMPO Insider before, but they’ve never made us quite this lazy. For those who have decided that putting their dirty dishes in the dishwasher is now too difficult—fear not, robotics will help you not only on the plant floor, but at home too.

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OLED Displays: Wearing Your Plant Around Your Wrist

December 10, 2009 4:01 am | Articles | Comments

First came those clunky CRT monitors that could kill a man even when unplugged, then dainty LCD panels that were thin and light, but looked like you could snap them in two. Now there’s OLED—the latest and greatest in display technology. Just imagine the possibilities of flexible, wearable OLED monitors in manufacturing.

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Fake Thunderstorms And A Few Thousand Spot Welds

December 10, 2009 3:55 am | Articles | Comments

Many of us have ridden one, but do any of us know where—or how—the New York subway trains are put together? National Geographic takes us through the Brazilian plant that produces the NYC staple. There’s even a thunderstorm involved, but you’ll have to see just how that fits in for yourself.

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Got $200,000? Step Aboard The Virgin Enterprise

December 10, 2009 3:54 am | Articles | Comments

On Monday, Sir Richard Branson introduced the world’s first commercial spacecraft, called the U.S.S. Enterprise, which will take six tourists 65 miles into space for a full five minutes of weightlessness and sightseeing. While Branson hopes the craft will finish testing in 2010, he’s making darn sure it’s safe before sending his family up into the abyss (his wife and children are among the first ticket-holders).

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Inside GM's $330 Million Detroit-Volt Investment

December 10, 2009 3:52 am | Articles | Comments

Earlier this week, GM announced a $330 million investment in its Detroit-Hamtramck to build its new electric Chevrolet Volt, a vehicle the company is riding on to bring the automaker back to its once-dominant standing. WSJ 's Neal Boudette and Dow Jones Newswires 's Jeff Bennett get together to discuss the impact this investment will have on Detroit automaking.

Spill Containment 101

December 8, 2009 10:53 am | by Karen Hamel, New Pig Corporation | Articles | Comments

The sooner you can stop a spill, the faster cleanup can begin. Containing spills at facilities is an essential first step in spill response that helps minimize environmental impact and lessen overall response time. According to National Response Center (NRC) statistics, over 10,000 reportable spills occurred in fixed facilities last year.

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Operating In A Carbon-Constrained Marketplace

December 8, 2009 10:28 am | by Casey Whelan, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, U.S. Energy Services | Articles | Comments

As Congress moves towards implementing a mandatory carbon dioxide (CO2) compliance system and a cap and trade market, industrial companies need to evolve to keep up with the changing risks and opportunities. In the past, manufacturers only needed to focus on price and reliability.

Weak Economy Has One Advantage: Fewer Industrial Spills

December 8, 2009 8:58 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to pollution, the economic downturn could have an upside. The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday reported that toxic chemical pollution from the nation's industrial plants, mines and factories declined by 6 percent in 2008, the second year in a row that companies have reported releasing less pollution.

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Exec Pleads Guilty After Raid Reveals 600 Illegal Workers

December 8, 2009 7:48 am | News | Comments

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The only company official charged in the nation's largest workplace raid on illegal immigrants is scheduled to change his not guilty plea at a court hearing Wednesday. Jose Humberto Gonzalez had pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and identity theft charges, among others, related to the raid on Howard Industries in Laurel, Miss.

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New Jobs Down, Employers Afraid To Jump In

December 8, 2009 7:43 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Layoffs may be slowing, but employers are hesitant to take the next step that is key to reducing the unemployment rate: hiring more workers. That is likely to keep the competition fierce for those openings that do exist. There were about 6.3 unemployed people, on average, for each job opening in October, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday.

Obama: Let's 'Spend Our Way Out Of This Recession'

December 8, 2009 7:39 am | by Philip Elliott, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama outlined new multibillion-dollar stimulus and jobs proposals Tuesday, saying the nation must continue to "spend our way out of this recession" until more Americans are back at work. Without giving a price tag, Obama proposed a package of new spending for highway, bridge and other infrastructure projects, deeper tax breaks for small businesses and tax incentives to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient.

After Four Months, Orange Gel Spill Remains A Mystery

December 8, 2009 7:14 am | News | Comments

WEST UNION, W.Va. (AP) — Four months after a spill left 2 inches of orange gel on a Doddridge County stream, officials in West Union are still awaiting answers. The spill was on Buckeye Run in August, and Tapo Energy of West Union was cited. A cleanup crew vacuumed up 2,500 gallons of gel.

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