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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

PLCs – Past, Present and Future

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

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.


The ABCs of Overall Equipment Effectiveness

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

.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.


Bad Lubricants: 11 Easy Ways to Avoid

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

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.


Saving Energy: More Important Now Than Ever - and Easier

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

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.


Running Down the Road of Success With Ferguson’s Jim Blazek

December 4, 2006 10:13 am | by Nancy Syverson, Editor-in-Chief

Running a marathon is not for the weak-spirited. It takes endurance, strength and training. When I visited the Front Royal Distribution Center (DC) of worldwide industrial supplier Ferguson, Jim Blazek, the facility manager there was set to run his first between running the 644,000-ft.

How To Avoid a Bearing Meltdown

December 4, 2006 7:01 am

Performance Roof Systems, Inc. (PRS) based in Kansas City, MO, has been manufacturing Derbigum modified bitumen industrial roll roofing systems for over 30 years. Derbigum provides membrane tensile strength up to 200 lbs./per in. Polyester and fiberglass scrims resist punctures and wear. Derbigum is produced by blending APP (Atactic Polypropylene) Modified Bitumen with other materials that provide flexibility, strength and stability, even at subzero temperatures.

4 on the Floor

November 27, 2006 11:26 am

For maintaining a 487,000-sq.ft. floor in a engine-building factory, diamonds can be a plant manager's best friend. Find out how the process works and plan to save $1.50-$5.00 per ft. The second of five World Engine plants, built by the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA), opened in Dundee, MI on October 13, 2006.



November 6, 2006 5:37 am | by Pat O’Connor, Product Manager, Palletizing Systems, FKI Logistex North America

From conveying items in production, to palletizing them on the way to the dock door, manufacturers are searching for automated material handling systems to boost their bottom line. Where speeds are low, depalletizing and palletizing operations can be done manually.


10 Minutes With: CORENTIN THIERCELIN Founder & CEO, Marseille, France

November 6, 2006 5:27 am

Bio :Corentin Thiercelin founded DirectIndustry in 2001. Before DirectIndustry, he founded AllAccess (a precursor to DirectIndustry) and Access Technology--a free quarterly journal distributed to 20,000 opinion formers in the automation sector. He previously served as the head of research and development for the conception and implementation of quality-control machines in commercial agriculture for MAF Inc.

Technology: Save Time and Money With Moisture-Cured Coatings

November 6, 2006 5:10 am | by Tony Ippoliti Senior Corrosion Specification Specialist Sherwin-Williams Industrial & Marine Coatings

Painting above-ground water tanks has its challenges. For one, the tank’s surface has to be dry. Condensation from the water in the tank makes this almost impossible, so standard painting practices call for draining the tank…which can really drain your budget. The recent development of moisture-cured urethane coating technology has put an end to the requirement that above-ground water tanks have to be drained to paint.


Corporate Philanthropy in America: Better to Give Than Receive

November 6, 2006 5:09 am | by Nancy Syverson, Editor-in-Chief

Times are tough, but manufacturers are still finding time to donate their time and money to charitable causes. American industry has a long tradition of corporate giving. Since 1889, when Andrew Carnegie, founder of Carnegie Steel (today U.S. Steel) publically announced that the rich had a moral obligation to give away their fortunes, corporations have developed a wide array of charitable vehicles: foundations; non-profit and association umbrella groups; and community outreach programs.


The Challenge of Global Compliance

September 1, 2006 5:40 am | by Nancy Syverson, Managing Editor

New international standards like RoHS and WEEE add to manufacturers’ already complex compliance responsibilities. The world of compliance just became more complicated. For U.S. manufacturers wishing to sell into the European Union, last month (July 1) marked the start date for the E.


Are You Learning From Your Bills Or Just Paying Them?

November 11, 2005 9:39 am | by Jeff Hart, CEO, Cadence Network, Inc.

Business Intelligence & Operational Expense Management Business intelligence. For too many, this seems like an oxymoron, but it does not have to be. Business intelligence strategies bring to the forefront critical understanding of significant amounts of data for companies, including large industrial manufacturers.

Agency Submittals Made Easy

November 11, 2005 9:39 am

By Steve Rogers NRTLs (nationally recognized testing laboratories) offer companies the ability to secure third-party verification of product capabilities. These approvals can also be a wise marketing strategy since they allow products to be compared fairly and completely by potential customers. However, the process can be both costly and lengthy without organization and attention to detail.

House Approves Aerospace Workforce Legislation

November 11, 2005 9:39 am

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an Aerospace Industry Association (AIA)-supported bill to create a federal inter-agency task force on aerospace workforce revitalization. The move is seen in some corners as a major step to addressing a looming critical shortage of engineers and other workers in the industry.

Autodesk Acquires ‘Engineer-to-Order’ Company

November 11, 2005 9:39 am

Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has acquired certain assets of Engineering Intent Corp., Waltham, MA. Engineering Intent provides "Engineer to Order" (ETO) software and services. The acquisition enables Autodesk to help its customers address the growing demand for mass customization — efficiently delivering end products uniquely designed and configured for individual customers.

SME Introduces New Lean Certification

November 11, 2005 9:39 am

A new Lean Certification has been established by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), and The Shingo Prize. The new Lean Certification is intended to set an international standard for aligning Lean practices. According to a statement from SME, this is the only true professional Lean Certification on the market that is based on a public body of knowledge and not tied to any training program.

Competition Recognizes Die Cast Designs

November 11, 2005 9:39 am

The North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) is conducting a special industry competition to promote cutting-edge die cast design. With its annual International Die Casting Competition, NADCA recognizes the outstanding casting designs of the year, based on their design, quality, cost savings, ingenuity, innovation and industry-changing potential.

A Slice of Design Engineering

November 11, 2005 9:39 am | by Lisa Arrigo, Product Design & Development

Unique coupling provides solution for veneer production system Manufacturer Louis Merritt wrote in 1929 of the importance of designing machines that are simple yet modern. Responsible for several patents that led to the international demand for his company’s veneer lathes, Merritt worked with his father and brother to establish their company as a leading woodworking machinery manufacturer.

Study Finds CDAS Systems Define Future Factory Automation

November 11, 2005 9:37 am

Most companies today are exposed to one of the most complex and diverse business environments in manufacturing history. With a globally distributed design/build process and supply chain, a demand-driven market, and the need for real-time collaboration and response across the manufacturing enterprise, companies are facing formidable challenges.


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