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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Don't Screw It Up

November 6, 2009 11:17 am | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D

In the latest Electronic CEO Fireside chat, Steve Schott, President of Comark discusses some of the landmark projects he has had an intricate role in — from aircraft carriers to engine monitors for the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC). PD&D Design Daily: You’re coming up on your 6th year as president of Comark, what has been the most memorable moment thus far? Steve Schott: My first visit to a pork processing plant.


U.S. Still On Top Of Manufacturing World

November 5, 2009 5:13 am | by Amanda Earing, News Editor, Manufacturing.Net

While U.S. manufacturing jobs have shrunk from 20 million in 1980 to about 12 million today, the U.S. has never been more important in global manufacturing. spoke with Dr. Chris Kuehl, Economic Analyst, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, to learn what he believes the future holds for U.

Can Recycling Be Fun?

November 4, 2009 9:10 am

Even in the 21st century, getting people to recycle can be a challenge. But what if we made it fun? That's exactly what the guys at The Fun Theory decided to try. Check out how they made recycling as exciting as an arcade game. Is there a way we could make recycling fun for all our manufacturers too? Via The Fun Theory .


Snowboards: Made By 'Mad Scientists'

November 4, 2009 8:49 am

When the weather gets cold, that means only one thing to a lot of people: snowboarding season. But do you think they know how their boards are made? Do you? Chris Doyle, resident "mad scientist" at Burton, takes us through the process of building a snowboard, layer by layer. Check out how they're using rapid manufacturing to innovate and perfect their products.


From Refuse To Refueling

November 4, 2009 6:09 am

Waste Management and Linde North America have teamed up to turn trash into fuel by refining the natural gas emitted by landfills. The gas is then purified and sent out to refueling stations across California, where it provides large vehicles with cleaner-burning fuels. Now the garbage trucks run on the very same trash they picked up the week before.


All The Better To Arrest You With!

November 4, 2009 5:39 am

Sometimes, traditional handcuffs just aren't enough. They're awkward, potentially painful, and easy to get out of (for the smaller-boned of us). Simply put, traditional handcuffs are a thing of the past. To fix the nagging issues of the old design, engineers have used CNC machines and a new rigid locking mechanism to create a modern version that's harder to break free from, more comfortable, and easier to use.


Mexican Blue Jeans: An American Tradition

November 4, 2009 5:14 am

The Mount Vernon Mill in Georgia is one of the last functioning cotton mills in the country, making a product that's truly American: blue jeans. But the mill only weaves denim. The sewing and hemming work has largely been outsourced to foreign companies, largely Mexican, that turn the long rolls of denim into jeans with labels that read: "Made in Mexico of U.


Coloring Supplier Ramps Up Safety Efforts

November 3, 2009 10:02 am

Founded in 1865 in New York City as a manufacturer of burnt sugars for the brewing industry, D.D. Williamson & Co., Inc, has grown to become the world’s leading supplier of caramel coloring and natural coloring for use in food production. Now headquartered in Louisville, KY, D.D. Williamson has nine operations on five continents that produce food colorings that are used in 1.


Enterprise Process Monitoring For Winemakers

November 2, 2009 8:53 am

“Bronco Winery is passionate about producing its wines with a consistent color, flavor, and mouth-feel,” says John Franzia, a co-owner in the California-based Bronco Wine Company. The metrics are staggering. Their top brand—Charles Shaw—sells for $2 in California.


Getting A Fix On Conveyors

November 2, 2009 3:11 am

Traditionally, conveyors are sensitive pieces of equipment needed frequent alignment, belt replacement, and lubrication. Because reconfigurable modular conveyors are maintenance-free, engineering departments are free to hang the systems without worry about taking down conveyors to work on them.


Manufacturing Footprint Optimization

October 29, 2009 12:31 pm | by Raj G. Konanahalli and Russ Dillion, AlixPartners LLP

Chances are, your competitors are quickly rightsizing their manufacturing footprint in response to today’s deteriorating global market conditions. Improving operations within facilities is likely not enough. In order for companies to be competitive in this economic environment as well as going forward, manufacturing footprint optimization (MFO) will need to be a strategic priority.


The Mattress Dominoes World Record

October 28, 2009 10:36 am

The warehouse staff at Bensons for Beds attempt to set the world record for mattress dominoes. Do you think your facility staff could do any better? First, you just have to round up about 100 mattresses, which might be tricky unless you work at, you know, a mattress factory. Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.


There's A Robot For Everything

October 28, 2009 9:15 am

We all know manufacturing is being overrun by robots. In many cases, they've become vital resources to our assembly lines, whether it comes to welding, sorting, or fabrication. In many cases, they've taken on jobs that humans find difficult or repetitive, and sometimes dangerous. So, it's inevitable that robots start taking over our other repetitive tasks, like playing Guitar Hero.


The Man With The Golden Audit

October 28, 2009 7:28 am

Check out some of Atlas Copco's newest products, including the AIRScan and AIROptimizer, in this James Bond-esque clip. No, the funky music won't play in the background when you're using these products, but you can at least pretend they're some of Q's gadgets. Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.


Bologna Is A 'Dirty Job'

October 28, 2009 6:56 am

What won't Mike Rowe do for TV? Luckily, this trip to a bologna factory ranks pretty low on the gross-out factor that has made Mike's expeditions so popular. We do get to see him "throw up," though. Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.


The SuperFreakonomics Of Global Warming

October 28, 2009 6:39 am

Steven D. Levitt, author of the famed book "Freakonomics," has some interesting proposals when it comes to global warming. When most people are trying to "green" their lifestyle to reduce their environmental impact, Levitt bucks conventional thought with some cold, hard statistics. Instead of exerting so much effort to be green, there's a simple solution available to us, at little cost or trouble.


Fish Company Ensures Metal-Free Product

October 27, 2009 11:20 am

Channel Fish Company (Boston, MA), producers of frozen and salted seafood, takes tremendous care at every step of their process to produce the highest quality product. To improve the effectiveness of their metal detection operation — both in terms of maximizing detection sensitivity and production uptime — they recently turned to Mettler-Toledo Safeline and selected the PowerPhasePRO.


CRM: The Secret Ingredient

October 26, 2009 10:53 am

As with many a treasured recipes and favorite dish, Illes Seasonings & Flavors’ name and genesis came from its founding family: current owner Rick Illes’ grandfather, Dr. A.E. Illes, who in 1927 founded this highly respected manufacturer of distinctive seasonings and flavor products.


Recycling On A Massive Scale

October 23, 2009 11:09 am | by Dave Brandt, Nucor Corp.

Steel companies are constantly refining their recycling operations to make the process more efficient and environmentally friendly. At Nucor, we place a high value on being stewards of our environmental resources, and to that end we have become the largest recycler in North America. In 2005, we purchased the Marion Steel Company in Marion, Ohio, which gave us a location central to nearly 60 percent of the steel consumption in the United States.


Keeping Your Workforce Healthy

October 22, 2009 11:18 am | by Amanda Earing, News Editor, Manufacturing.Net

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each year, on average, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die from seasonal flu complications in the U.S. And it’s predicted that this flu season could be worse because there is a new and very different influenza virus causing illness called 2009 H1N1.


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