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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

AC Motor and Motor Drive Technology Retrofit Boosts Production Efficiency at Wire Manufacturing Facility

May 6, 2002 8:21 am | Articles | Comments

Judd Wire, Inc., the extrusion and cabling subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric USA has retrofit its production lines utilizing AC motor and motor drive technology. Headquartered in Turners Falls, MA Judd manufactures automotive-, electronic hook-up-, aircraft-, and coaxial-cable-wire at its 200,000 square-foot production site in San Marcos, CA.

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The Chemical Industry: Striving for World-Class Safety, Cleanliness

May 6, 2002 8:20 am | by Joy LePree, Contributing Editor | Articles | Comments

Members of a tough industry with a spotty reputation, chemical manufacturers are working to adapt world-class production practices and create safe, environmentally conscious workplaces. The business of manufacturing chemicals doesn't come easy. There's the inherent danger of the materials produced and the danger of those used to produce them; there are the stringent environmental regulations; and there's the NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) factor.

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How to Optimize Equipment-Condition Information

April 3, 2002 6:22 am | by John B. Kalanik, president InStep Software and Walter Walejeski, General Manager Diagnostic Technologies & Associates, Inc. | Articles | Comments

In any manufacturing environment, the optimization of equipment assets is essential to increasing profits. To perform this optimization, plants require timely access to integrated data. The costs associated with data integration have traditionally prevented many plants from moving to this optimization level.

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Large-Diameter Fans Meet Manufacturer's Cooling Needs

April 3, 2002 6:16 am | Articles | Comments

One of nine, 20-ft.-diameter, slow-speed cooling fans Plasti-Line, Inc., installed at its 82,500-sq.-ft. facility in Columbia, SC. When summer arrives and temperatures rise in U.S. industrial facilities, productivity can plummet. A Columbia, SC, manufacturer recently took a hard look at the impact hot weather was having on its ability to maintain production levels and product quality.

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The Coast Guard Goes Green

April 3, 2002 6:16 am | by Rick Carter, Editor-in-Chief | Articles | Comments

The 103-year-old Baltimore-based Coast Guard Yard became the first shipyard in the nation to obtain ISO 14001 EMS certification two years ago. Here's how a veteran staff made it happen. Anyone who has done it can testify that obtaining ISO 14001 certification for an industrial operation is not easy.

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New ISO 9000 Standards Raise the Bar

March 11, 2002 10:53 am | by Mike Delpha, Vice President, Operations Prism eSolutions, Blue Bell, PA | Articles | Comments

The countdown has begun for all ISO-certified organizations to meet a December 15, 2003, deadline for compliance with the upgraded ISO 9000 standards. The Switzerland-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) introduced its ISO 9001:2000 upgrade in December 2000. The goal was to produce standards that are more customer-centric, require greater management involvement and, most important, enforce the long-term ISO goal of continuous improvement.

Understanding Corrosion and How to Protect Against It

March 11, 2002 5:35 am | by Roy Carlsten Manager, Technical/Support Services, Rust-Oleum Corp. | Articles | Comments

Each year corroded machinery, buildings and equipment cost American industry an estimated $7 billion. Corrosion is a costly problem. But by understanding its root causes, effective steps can be taken to prevent and combat it.

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Two-Level Storage Solution Maximizes Manufacturer's Stockroom Space

March 11, 2002 5:13 am | Articles | Comments

Prior to a redesign, Osram Sylvania's tool/spare parts stockroom included items stored on commercial shelves, racks, pegboards and on the floor. For more than 100 years, Osram Sylvania has provided high-quality lighting products for applications such as general lighting, precision materials and components, electronic control systems and automotive.

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The Economics of Modern Manufacturing

March 11, 2002 5:12 am | by Nancy Syverson, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

Manufacturing in 2002 differs significantly from one year ago, and dramatically from five years ago. The extraordinary events of the past year have created a unique manufacturing environment, replete with new challenges and uncertain pitfalls. In November 2001, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a private, non-profit tracking group composed of academic economists from Harvard, Stanford and other universities, made official what everyone had already suspected: The country was in a recession and had been since March.

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Smoke Control for Fire-Protection Systems

February 11, 2002 8:19 am | by Mike Prowse, Product ManagerSiemens-Cerberus | Articles | Comments

Workers in this nuclear power plant control room are served by a non-dedicated HVAC system that is captured by the facility's smoke-control system in the event of a fire. Smoke-control systems are designed to control smoke during a fire incident in order to contain danger and allow the building to be safely evacuated.

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Automatic Applicators Speed Molding-Maker's Labeling

February 11, 2002 8:03 am | Articles | Comments

Clifton Moulding Corp., manufactures molded wood products in various shapes, sizes and designs for the retail building-supply and home-improvement industry. One of three Avery Dennison labeling systems in use at Clifton Moulding Corp. The Texas-based manufacturer added the units when a large retail customer asked that multiple bar-code labels be placed on its products.

Factory Fresh Air

February 11, 2002 8:03 am | by Joy LePree, Contributing Editor | Articles | Comments

Experts say recent IAQ-related industrial incidents demonstrate the importance of checking and improving air quality on the factory floor. Here are some considerations and procedures for making sure your plant's IAQ is A-OK. Indoor air quality - IAQ - is a common concern for facility managers and occupants in commercial buildings.

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W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.: Quality's Different Drummer

January 14, 2002 10:17 am | by Rick Carter, Editor-in-Chief | Articles | Comments

Associates at the company's Elkton, MD-based sealants division say the extraordinary things you've heard about this manufacturer are true. Just don't expect a look at the plant - unless you're good enough to be hired. Some companies go by the book and do great things. Others write their own book and also do great things.

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Speed Profiling Features in Standard Drives Offer Flexibility For Material Handling Systems

January 14, 2002 6:50 am | by Glenn Frazier,Drives Product Marketing Specialist, and Rod Dorschner, General Motion Control Product Marketing Specialist | Articles | Comments

It is easy to understand how users might confuse speed profiling and motion control. Both technologies involve a form of positioning. When deciding which form to implement, a user should understand the key differences and application environments. Motion control is the science of precisely positioning the movements of a machine without human intervention.

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Pump Manufacturer Boosts Machining Productivity With Super-Fine Coolant Cleaner

January 14, 2002 6:43 am | Articles | Comments

Almost three years ago, Bill Wanner and Payton Hage, co-owners of pump manufacturer Wanner Engineering, Minneapolis, MN, decided to buy highly automated machining systems. According to Hage, president, flexibility was a critical factor. The 25-year old company needed the flexibility and productivity provided by such a system to outpace their competition and remain responsive to customers' delivery requirements.

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MRO Adhesive Options

December 10, 2001 5:14 am | by Robert Valitsky, Applications EngineerLoctite Corp.. | Articles | Comments

Potentially the most underutilized and misunderstood tool in industrial maintenance today, adhesives have the capacity to improve equipment reliability, lower operating costs and save large amounts of time and money if used correctly. The "when, where and how" of adhesive use is essential; but perhaps even more important, with all of today's choices, is first answering the question: "which?" Within the substantial variety of modern adhesives, MRO options can be divided into the following six groups.

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Women In Industry: The Challenge of Succeeding in a Non-Traditional Environment

December 10, 2001 5:11 am | by Joy LePree, Contributing Editor | Articles | Comments

Experts estimate that women make up almost half - about 46% - of the U.S. workforce. While it's difficult to get a headcount on the number of females working in "non-traditional" environments like manufacturing, science and engineering, it is generally believed that the ranks of women in these industries is growing, though well under half.

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Foundry Expects $2 Million Savings from New Furnace Refractory Material

November 8, 2001 9:32 am | Articles | Comments

Switching to a new refractory material is expected to save General Aluminum Manufacturing and Metalloy, Conneaut, OH, more than $2 million in costs associated with relining its furnaces. With the previous refractory, furnaces needed to be relined every two years at a cost of $175,000 per furnace for materials and labor.

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Advanced Heat Exchanger Design Improves Compressed Air Dryer Systems

November 8, 2001 9:29 am | by John Bergh, vice president / engineering, ZEKS Compressed Air Solutions | Articles | Comments

Moisture, oils, vapors, and other contaminants in industrial compressed air systems have long been a costly problem that negatively affect the efficiency of pneumatically operated appliances, controls, instruments, machinery, and tools, and reduces the service life of motors, air tools and cylinders.

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School Chooses Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roof for Durability, Energy Efficiency

November 8, 2001 9:17 am | Articles | Comments

Computer Dynamics Institute, a private business school in Virginia Beach, VA, has occupied a 17,500-sq.-ft., 20-year-old building for nine years. Recently, the building was experiencing leakage problems with its 20,000 sq. ft built-up roof (BUR). Although this was the building's second roof, it was leaking in as many as 30 places.

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