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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Start A Revolution

July 10, 2007 10:11 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

As far as day-to-day burdens go, this one has blossomed from a regular headache into a migraine: many plant managers will tell you that it’s finding and retaining qualified welders that is keeping them up at night. Luckily, industry experts and manufacturers are busy identifying the root of the shortage, and applying efforts to help save this trade from being torched.

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Why Wrenches Break And What Can Be Done About It

July 10, 2007 10:11 am | by Richard B. Wright, Chairman, Wright Tool Co. | Articles | Comments

I am not going to list a bunch of safety tips (70 can be found at www.wrighttool.com, our safety video, and many other places). However, wrench breakage and the associated hazards, costs and lost time can be greatly reduced by better understanding its root causes and possible corrective measures.

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Propelling Efficiency

July 10, 2007 9:07 am | by Jeff Reinke | Articles | Comments

A more energy efficient lighting strategy has helped Mercury Marine trim operating costs. The essence of lean manufacturing is to do more with less. So when Mercury Marine, a leading outboard boat motor manufacturer headquartered in Fond du Lac, WI, began implementing lean manufacturing strategies, it made sense that one of their primary targets would be energy consumption.

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The Commitment That Counts

July 10, 2007 8:16 am | by Anna Wells | Articles | Comments

Cummins Inc. beefs up their black belts, expanding the bounds of Six Sigma in an effort to save dollars in every aspect of their business. If you asked George Strodtbeck about the ways in which Six Sigma has profoundly affected his world, he might tell you about the billion dollars in savings he’s seen Cummins recapture in the last seven years.

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IMPO Insider: Q&A With Randy Schwartz, Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership

June 4, 2007 12:11 pm | Articles | Comments

As Center Director and Chief Executive Officer, Randy Schwartz leads the development and operation of the Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Dakota MEP), an affiliate of a unique, public and private national system dedicated to domestic manufacturing. Dakota MEP partners with manufacturers in both North Dakota and South Dakota to help initiate industry success.

Cashing In

June 1, 2007 11:48 am | by Jeff Reinke | Articles | Comments

In-house prototyping capabilities have cut costs and reduced down time for ATM manufacturer Diebold, Inc. We can all agree that developing and introducing new technologies is a great thing. However, after it’s understood how this new product or methodology works and where it’s applicable, the remaining quandary centers on who will be able to implement or use it.

IMPO Insider: Q&A with Paul Borawski, ASQ

May 31, 2007 10:18 am | Articles | Comments

As executive director and chief strategic officer, Paul Borawski is accountable for the operations of ASQ headquarters, and is responsible for the organization’s progress in reaching its vision. He provides for the ongoing exploration of ASQ’s living strategy and assures the alignment of the organization resources with the strategies and goals ASQ’s board of directors approves.

IMPO Insider: Q&A with Art Smalley, Lean Enterprise Institute

May 3, 2007 12:12 pm | Articles | Comments

One of the leading trends driving improvement in plant operations centers on the implementation of lean manufacturing principles. Championing this cause is the Lean Enterprise Institute, a non-profit education and research organization headquartered in Cambridge, MA. Founded in 1997, LEI’s mission is to be the leading educator in maximizing value and minimizing waste.

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Going The Safe Route

May 3, 2007 12:10 pm | Articles | Comments

Veolia Environmental Services’ investments in safety have taken them down a path of heightened employee participation and greater customer appreciation. Plant safety can become a complicated issue when striving to implement practices that cover worker concerns, OSHA regulations and facility standards, without sacrificing overall company profitability.

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Q & A with Wera Tools President Ian Parkhill

April 5, 2007 11:37 am | Articles | Comments

Based out of Wuppertal, Germany, Wera Tools has produced some of Europe’s finest hand tools for over 70 years. In their quest to broaden the company’s reach, Wera opened a North American office in Ontario, Canada in 2005. IMPO recently sat down with the company’s president, Ian Parkhill to discuss their reasons for expansion, and how he plans to attack the still competition his company will face in the U.

Stick A Fork In It

April 5, 2007 11:34 am | Articles | Comments

Kinetic Technologies (K-Tec) can be described as a success story, especially since this Wickliffe, OH-based company is competing at the dark-horse racetrack of manufacturing-depressed Northeastern Ohio. While many manufacturers, it seems, are leaving Ohio, K-Tec is expanding: after a few years of being strictly engineering and design (and contracting out their production) its new facility is now equipped with a manufacturing floor, which will house an estimated three times its current workforce within the next several years.

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A "Living Lab"

March 13, 2007 5:16 am | Articles | Comments

According to a recent Raymond press release, the $750,000 contract begins in 2007, where Raymond’s Greene, NY facility will become a “living lab,” with hydrogen fuel cell powered Raymond forklifts in the facility. Raymond will also develop the necessary infrastructure for indoor fast-fill hydrogen refueling systems, which represents new technology, since refueling systems up to this point have typically been installed outdoors.

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Lean From A to Z: Z Corp's Lean Practices Improve Productivity and Efficiency

March 12, 2007 2:26 pm | by Jeff Reinke | Articles | Comments

Z Corp’s implementation of lean manufacturing practices has led to greater production flexibility, efficiency and profits. Evander Holyfield did it in 1984. Lance Armstrong achieved it in 2000. Lebron James followed in 2004. Mike Vogel experienced it in 2006. What’s the common bond between this boxer, biker, baller and Vice President of Operations at Z Corporation? They’ve all experienced winning a bronze medal.

Getting a Lift from Hydrogen

March 12, 2007 2:00 pm | Articles | Comments

In the broad world of energy efficiency, ‘hydrogen’ is such a buzz word that it’s “buzz” of speculation has become more of a deafening roar–think a swarm of giant killer bees, all carrying killer bees on their backs. Hydrogenics and LiftOne join forces to power a forklift with a hydrogen fuel cell.

Protecting Your Plant From Attack: How to Keep Facilities Safe from Physical or Cyber Aggression

March 12, 2007 1:57 pm | by Peter Cleaveland | Articles | Comments

The means to protect your plant are readily available–and it's up to you to use them. Plants can be targeted by hackers, criminals, terrorists and unfriendly governments. It is the job of everyone in the plant to be aware of the threats and help to protect against them.

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PLCs – Past, Present and Future

February 26, 2007 6:27 am | by Jeff Payne, AutomationDirect Product Manager - PLC, I/O and PC Controls | Articles | Comments

Everyone knows there's only one constant in the technology world, and that's change. This is especially evident in the evolution of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and their varied applications. From their introduction more than 30 years ago, PLCs have become the cornerstone of hundreds of thousands of control systems in a wide range of industries.

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The ABCs of Overall Equipment Effectiveness

February 1, 2007 10:40 am | by Ramon A. Vorne, president, Vorne Industries, and James A. Feltman | Articles | Comments

.table { font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; color: #ffffff; } .tablehed { font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; color: #ffff66; } With the constant pressures of global competition, OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) has become a hot topic for many manufacturers.

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Case Study: MIA Products

January 17, 2007 7:57 am | Blogs | Comments

When MIA Products, a frozen dessert processor in Scranton, Pennsylvania, was faced with two nagging problems involving the electrical wiring system in one of its production areas, it turned to Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems to offer a solution. MIA, a division of J&J Snack Foods Corporation, manufactures a wide range of products for brands like Minute Maid and Barq’s.

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Bad Lubricants: 11 Easy Ways to Avoid

January 3, 2007 7:37 am | by Kevan Slater, director of services for Schematic Approach | Articles | Comments

Pull-out box Seal it tight. Know consumption and emergency rates. Schedule delivery time. Implement FIFO. Maintain condition of your storage facility. Rotate according to shelf life. Regulate temperature and humidity. Store lubricants indoor. Put a label on it. Shake up stored lubricants. Routinely analyze new oils.

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Saving Energy: More Important Now Than Ever - and Easier

January 3, 2007 7:34 am | by Peter Cleaveland, Contributing Editor | Articles | Comments

According to the Department of Energy U.S. industry consumes 32.6 quadrillion BTUs or 9.55 PWh per annum. Here are some energy-saving tips that can go right to your bottom line. 1. Motor efficiency. Motors account for 2/3 or 33.6% of all energy consumed in the country. The two simplest ways to save energy used in motors is to 1.

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