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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

5 Quick Questions: More Powerful Than ISO 14000 For Plant Floor Management

September 23, 2013 8:01 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is recognized as one of the most prestigious honors a U.S. company in the manufacturing sector can attain. We recently sat down with Woodbury University President Luis Calingo, member of the 2013 Board of Examiners for the award. He offers perspective on goals every company in this sector should strive for and the irony of cost cuts that are often made to employee training programs. 

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Changes In Chemical Management Part 1: OSHA Adopts GHS

September 20, 2013 8:01 am | by Glenn D. Trout, President, MSDSonline

Today over 43 million workers in over 5 million workplaces are covered by the HazCom Standard, which means OSHA’s adoption of GHS creates compliance issues that extend far and wide into American workplaces, especially  industrial facilities. The biggest changes that companies in the United States will see thanks to GHS adoption are to chemical classification, labels and safety data sheets.

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The Gray Shift Part 2: Using Ergonomy To Retain Valuable Older Workers

September 18, 2013 8:01 am | by Earl Hagman, PhD, MSEE, MBA, President, Ergotech Incorporated

To address coming workforce demographic changes, employers must create a corporate culture that promotes both safety and wellness. Healthy workers and a safe workspace reduce costs and increase productivity, so these efforts will be repaid fully.

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Save Your Back

September 17, 2013 4:24 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

From repetitive motion to lifting risks, the warehouse presents many challenges to personnel safety. Repetitive motion of any type, when sustained, can result in injury, says the president of Hamilton Caster. “Manufacturers can help reduce injuries by providing equipment that eliminates risky motions, such as reaching too far to position products for transit, and by observing best ergonomic practices for working height.

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Feet On The Floor

September 17, 2013 4:20 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

The risk of slips and falls is one every business must face, but industrial environments contend with the added challenge of preventing significantly more dangerous incidents. With heavy machinery, rotating equipment, sharp corners, and other various dangers around every corner, it’s critical manufacturers stress safety… and what better place to start than the floors.

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Fastener Standards Today: Improving Quality

September 17, 2013 4:17 pm | by Dick Seidl, Global Applications Engineering Director, Stanley Engineered Fastening

Fasteners are essential to modern life; it is easy to forget just what an important role they play. Automakers have reported that the majority of their warranty costs arise from fastener related issues – ranging from the simple rattle in the dashboard coming from a loose tapping screw to a major recall resulting from mis-torqued high strength fasteners in the steering system. Many problems relate back to the not-so-simple fastener.

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Faster, Stronger, And More Precise

September 17, 2013 4:05 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

When people look to chemical threadlockers, they are almost always looking to secure a troublesome fastener from vibrating loose. However, a key advantage of anaerobic threadlockers often overlooked is their ability to seal the threaded joint from leaks.

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Dispense Sense

September 17, 2013 3:58 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

Point-of-use dispensing technology has gained in popularity for many manufacturers who have struggled for years with the tracking of MRO products. Manufacturers and distributors alike can recount horror stories of contending with hundreds of SKUs of something as simple as work gloves.

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Selection To Avoid Downtime

September 17, 2013 3:54 pm | by Jack Gayara, Product Manager, Lapp USA

A typical manufacturing plant today will have thousands, or even many thousands, of electrical connections on both fixed equipment and moving machines. And it’s just a matter of time before some of those connections fail or wear out, bringing production machines to a dead stop.

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Built Ford Tough

September 17, 2013 3:45 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive industry leader, manufacturing or distributing vehicles across six continents. With 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company has leveraged the dedication of its employees and UAW partnership to become more efficient, improve its product cadence, and be a more effective automotive industry competitor than ever before.

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Fouling In Heat Exchangers: A Costly Problem

September 17, 2013 8:01 am | by Jan De Baat Doelman, President, Scalewatcher North America Inc.

The fouling of heat exchangers in processing industries is a chronic operating problem. Costs due to additional fuel consumption and maintenance, loss of production, etc. have been estimated as 0.25 percent of the GNP of industrialized countries. EWT offers companies an environmental, effective, and cost saving method of reducing fouling on heat exchangers which can only prove a win, win, win scenario for all.

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The Gray Shift Part 1: An Aging Workforce Creates New Workplace Injury Issues

September 17, 2013 8:01 am | by Earl Hagman, PhD, MSEE, MBA, President, Ergotech Incorporated

The median age of the labor force is anticipated to increase rapidly, with one-third of the U.S. labor force turning 55 by 2015. This may have far-reaching implications on the number and type of work-related injuries experienced. Most companies are not prepared for these changing demographics.

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5 Quick Questions: Mike Weller, President, Miller Electric

September 16, 2013 8:01 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

Miller Electric, a leading manufacturer of welders and welding supplies, recently announced that its president, Mike Weller, has been recognized by the Wisconsin Technical College District Boards Association for his service to the Wisconsin Technical College System. Given the constant pressure that manufacturers face in attracting and replacing skilled workers, we asked Weller for some perspective on the future of the skills trades. 

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The Sweeping Transformation Of Manufacturing

September 13, 2013 8:02 am | by Beth Ambaruch, Director Corporate Communications, PTC

Whether we like it or not, globalization has been a major factor in the staying power of many manufacturers. The practice of scattering production, jobs and plants across the globe has delivered great benefits to the consumer and the manufacturer. Companies have been able to squeeze as much efficiency as possible from the products they make so that what we desire is affordable and readily available.

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The ‘One-To-Many’ Supply Chain

September 13, 2013 8:01 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

Most everyone in manufacturing is aware that today, supply chain is, more or less, “king” of the manufacturing lifecycle. With more globalized supply chains and the trend of working with more and more third parties, it’s critical that manufacturers keep a strong hold on the flow of materials from one location to the next. 

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Midsize Manufacturers Optimistic, Says Survey

September 12, 2013 3:43 pm | by Prime Advantage

Prime Advantage, a leading buying consortium for midsized  manufacturers, announced the findings of its twelfth semi-annual Group Outlook Survey, revealing financial projections and top concerns of its member companies for the rest of 2013. The results show continued optimism about revenues and employment despite concerns about federal regulations and fiscal policy uncertainties.

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Spare Parts Inventory: An Exercise In Risk Management, Part 2

September 11, 2013 8:02 am | by Joel Levitt, Phillip Slater

With insurance, you want to cover only what you need and can afford – nothing more. It’s the same with your spare parts inventories. Of course, with your spare parts, it is important to cover the risk but it is also important to be able to justify everything on the shelf – holding only what you need, and can justify, and nothing more. That is the key to effective spare parts risk management.

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The Future Of Control Automation Has Arrived

September 11, 2013 8:01 am | by Eric Klein, Director of Sales, Lenze Americas

Automated and robotic machines for manufacturing operations can pose design challenges. The expansion of automation into broader applications has spurred demand for smarter, more efficient drives, controls and software tools. Staying ahead of the technological curve requires leveraging state of the art tools.

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Spare Parts Inventory: An Exercise In Risk Management, Part 1

September 10, 2013 8:02 am | by Joel Levitt, Phillip Slater

Just like your car insurance is a way to minimize the financial consequence of a car crash and backing up your files is a way to minimize the consequence of a computer crash, spare parts inventory is a way to minimize the consequence of an equipment crash. It’s all about risk management.

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A ‘Monster’ Look On Manufacturing Jobs

September 9, 2013 8:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

Not too long ago, Monster.com, the well-known online job marketplace, conducted a comprehensive survey on the state of U.S. manufacturing jobs, and came to some compelling, if not worrying, results. In general, workers in U.S. manufacturing are largely unhappy with their current positions, for a variety of reasons, and are more likely to be actively searching for different work, be it at another plant, or another industry.

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