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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

How Do We Solve The Worker Shortage?

December 3, 2007 5:09 am | Articles | Comments

How Do We Solve The Worker Shortage? By Mike Collins This is Part 2 of last month’s column on the problem of manufacturing’s skilled worker shortage. Click here for a Part 1 refresher. This month, Mike Collins outlines possible shortage solutions: The U.S.

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Q & A With Gary Reiner of GE, and Liam Durbin of GE Fanuc

December 3, 2007 4:58 am | by Click here to read more about GE Fanuc by visiting www.gefanuc.com. | Articles | Comments

Q & A With Gary Reiner of GE, and Liam Durbin of GE Fanuc - IMPO Insider: November Gary Reiner is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of GE, a position he has held since 1996. Reiner joined GE in 1991 as Vice President-Corporate Business Development where he was responsible for evaluating new business ideas and acquisitions, strategic planning, company-wide sourcing and driving best practices throughout the business.

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Six Sigma: How Much Do You Know?

November 30, 2007 6:30 am | by Steve Schaffer, ATS, Six Sigma Black Belt | Articles | Comments

Chances are if you have been working in a manufacturing environment you have heard of the problem-solving methodology of Six Sigma. But what is it? The following is a basic description of the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control).

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Full Speed Ahead

November 28, 2007 5:17 am | Articles | Comments

Full Speed Ahead - IMPO Cover Story: November Exercise equipment manufacturer, CYBEX, brings improvements in technology and workplace environment to its new $15 million facility. By Anna Wells, Editor The move itself was no further than 1.5 miles, but still—no one can accuse CYBEX of poor planning.

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Tech Trends: Selectively Coordinating Your Facility’s Electrical Distribution System

November 28, 2007 4:53 am | by Ed Larsen, Industry Standards Manager, Square D/Schneider Electric | Articles | Comments

Keeping the power on is a critical task for an industrial facility’s electrical maintenance personnel because a loss of power could result in lost production, translating to unhappy customers and deflated profit margins. However, there are other reasons why the power needs to stay on. An unplanned loss of power could result in a safety hazard in certain industrial processes, like chemical production, or worse, could occur at the same time the plant needs to be evacuated due to an emergency such as a fire.

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Plant Practices: Cart Pusher Solution Saves Hands From Hazards

November 28, 2007 4:36 am | Articles | Comments

At Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation’s preprint facility in Jacksonville, FL, Production Supervisor Craig Schuster has seen many changes on the plant floor during his 11 years with the company. One major change involves a material handling solution that now, more than two years after its implementation, has saved the company time and money while protecting employees from on-the-job injuries. 

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Plant Practices: Metal Manufacturer Finds Ways To Compress Costs

November 28, 2007 4:20 am | Articles | Comments

One of the greatest challenges facing building owners and facility professionals today is finding ways to reduce energy costs. The challenge can be even greater in industrial facilities filled with production equipment.

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Plant Practices: DMP Tackles Assembly Issues

November 28, 2007 4:15 am | Articles | Comments

Founded in 1975, Digital Monitoring Products (DMP)is a recognized leader in network solutions for fast, cost-effective, centralized security monitoring in applications of every size. The company was at the forefront of digital communications in the security industry, and today continues to set standards with its networked intrusion, fire and access control products.

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Plant Practices: SelectCrete Uses New Ink Jet Printing Technology

November 19, 2007 9:39 am | Articles | Comments

When SelectCrete, Inc., was faced with a new customer mandate, there were myriad details to consider. This Bakersfield, Calif.-based manufacturer specializes in cement backerboard, a mix of cement aggregate and fiberglass which is used as a water-resistant subsurface for tiling in commercial and residential building applications. In late summer 2006, a few weeks after the company had formed and before it had even started formal production, SelectCrete got a mandate from its primary customer, a Japanese firm, to place variable-data codes on the back of cement backerboard pieces.

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Plant Practices: Main Steel Improves Lighting

November 19, 2007 9:32 am | Articles | Comments

Main Steel Polishing Company, Inc., a New Jersey-based metals processor, has been serving numerous markets for the last 50 years. Main Steel operates ten processing facilities throughout the U.S. and Mexico, and proudly states that it neither buys nor sells any of the hundreds of million pounds of metal it processes.

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Nanotechnology Still Moving At Fast Pace

November 19, 2007 9:11 am | Articles | Comments

A look at the growing interest in utilizing matter on a molecular level. Nanotechnology is, at its most basic, the science of utilizing matter on a molecular level. When it comes to nanotechnology, there are several upcoming applications that move this emerging science beyond a laboratory and into the manufacturing environment.

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Maintenance Matters: Root Cause Analysis

November 19, 2007 9:06 am | by Vlad Bacalu, ATS Product Manager | Articles | Comments

Root Cause Analysis (RCA), a process used to identify the root causes of problems or events, is arguably the most powerful piece of equipment available in the proactive maintenance “toolbox.” RCA is designed to discover not only what or how something happened, but why it happened, and also determines the underlying causes of an event so proper corrective measures can be implemented to prevent any reoccurrences.

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Q & A With Ray Shook, Executive Director, American Welding Society

November 19, 2007 8:42 am | Articles | Comments

Ray Shook joined the American Welding Society in November 2002 as Executive Director. Having spent 33 years in the welding industry, Mr. Shook has a broad background encompassing financial management, strategic planning, organizational development and analysis, contracts administration, product development and promotion, business development and marketing, as well as extensive senior management experience.

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No Speed Limit

November 19, 2007 7:47 am | Articles | Comments

Dorner Manufacturing improves process speeds through the use of Kanban and Lean manufacturing. Dorner's new series of conveyers, the 5200, was recently displayed at National Manufacturing Week. The company is able to guarantee 5-day delivery on this product, mostly due to process changes that have increased efficiency within its facility.

Continuous Improvement In The National Pastime

November 19, 2007 6:45 am | Blogs | Comments

Lean manufacturing tips for Major League Baseball's World Series hopefuls. By Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director The zeal that many have when it comes to Six Sigma and other lean manufacturing principles has led to implementation of these concepts in a number of non-manufacturing situations.

Empowered To Perform

November 19, 2007 6:31 am | Articles | Comments

Providing employees with the right tools - literally and from a 5-S/Kaizan perspective - have produced a number of workflow benefits at this Ingersoll-Rand plant. By Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director Pictured above are Jeff Cain, Susan Pearson, Donna Brinkley, Selah Scott and Michael Brown, employees with an average of 14 years experience at the Southern Pines location.

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Lean and Mean

October 19, 2007 7:30 am | Articles | Comments

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Speaking The Same Language

October 5, 2007 12:42 pm | Articles | Comments

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A Clean Case For Regenerative Blowers

October 5, 2007 12:41 pm | by Jay Jarboe & Jon Schultz, AMETEK | Articles | Comments

Regenerative blower technology as a solution to reduce energy and maintenance costs, improve productivity and “go green”. Pressures remain high for plants to reduce energy and maintenance costs, improve productivity and “go green”. In response to these needs, some have looked to regenerative blower technology as a solution.

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Feeling The Heat?

October 5, 2007 12:41 pm | by Bruce Gorelick, Vice President, Enercheck Systems & Alan Bandes, Vice President of Marketing, UE Systems, Inc. | Articles | Comments

The now bygone era of inexpensive energy has been replaced by a new reality – steady, steep and continued rises in fuel prices. This has sent plant managers on a frantic search to find new ways of cutting costs in virtually every phase of the manufacturing process, but one area they may have been overlooking is steam generation. 

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