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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Outsourcing: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

January 9, 2008 4:29 am

h4 { font: bold 14px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000; } .byline { font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 4px; } .caption { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 4px; } .sup { position: relative; bottom: 2px; font-size: smaller;" } Outsourcing: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly By Mike Collins In his 35 years in manufacturing, Mike Collins has helped companies make the transition from being defenders—focused on process change and cost-cutting—to prospectors—focused on finding new markets and profitable growth.


Maintaining Docks For Safety And Efficiency

January 9, 2008 3:51 am | by Michael Brittingham, Manager, Marketing Services, 4Front Engineered Solutions, Inc.

A plant can make significant investments in work cell technology, conveyors and the latest in inspection equipment. It can tighten everything up with Lean/Six Sigma, but unless the shipping/receiving dock is given the proper attention, breakdowns in this area can choke off productivity throughout the system.


Understanding Vibration Analysis

January 8, 2008 12:11 pm | by Bill Hillman, Partner, A&B Asset Management Specialists, and Mike Fitch, Vibration Application Engineer, LUDECA, Inc.

More than 20 years ago someone made the statement, “The vibrations produced in a machine are the best indication of the machine’s health.” This statement still holds true today. Of all the predictive maintenance (PM) technologies, vibration analysis remains the best measure of machine health. 


Strength In Numbers

January 8, 2008 11:50 am

h4 { font: bold 14px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000; } .byline { font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 4px; } .caption { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 4px; } .sup { position: relative; bottom: 2px; font-size: smaller;" } A collaborative approach leads to success when CME LLC installs a new 2008 Accord starter motor line under the training guidance of Honda’s Supplier Support Team and consultant Kepner-Tregoe.

Managing Energy Costs At The Dock

December 3, 2007 8:53 am | by Walt Swietlik, Customer Relations Manager, Rite-Hite® Corporation

It’s widely acknowledged that energy efficiency offers an opportunity to improve the bottom line. The question, however, is whether decision-makers are aware of all the places they can reduce energy losses and raise efficiency in an industrial facility. Chances are, companies can add tens of thousands of dollars per year to their energy savings by looking in the right places and choosing the right solutions.


Know Your Position: New Technology In Automation Sensors

December 3, 2007 5:41 am

Know Your Position: New Technology In Automation Sensors - IMPO Field Report By Les Schaevitz, CEO, Everight Position Technologies Corp. Netzer transmit/receive read head over a modulating active linear stator strip with coarse/fine pattern shown.


How Do We Solve The Worker Shortage?

December 3, 2007 5:09 am

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.


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

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.


Six Sigma: How Much Do You Know?

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

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).


Full Speed Ahead

November 28, 2007 5:17 am

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.


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

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.


Plant Practices: Cart Pusher Solution Saves Hands From Hazards

November 28, 2007 4:36 am

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. 


Plant Practices: Metal Manufacturer Finds Ways To Compress Costs

November 28, 2007 4:20 am

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.


Plant Practices: DMP Tackles Assembly Issues

November 28, 2007 4:15 am

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.


Plant Practices: SelectCrete Uses New Ink Jet Printing Technology

November 19, 2007 9:39 am

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.


Plant Practices: Main Steel Improves Lighting

November 19, 2007 9:32 am

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.


Nanotechnology Still Moving At Fast Pace

November 19, 2007 9:11 am

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.


Maintenance Matters: Root Cause Analysis

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

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.


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

November 19, 2007 8:42 am

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.


No Speed Limit

November 19, 2007 7:47 am

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.


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