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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Online Layoff Tracker Captures Economy's Carnage

February 24, 2009 9:06 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

Layoff Tracker can be planted on a Web site or a computer desktop to provide a running tally of the pink slips being handed out by major employers around the country. The tracker complies the numbers from news reports and company announcements.

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Steel’s Revival May Provide Roadmap For Auto Industry

February 24, 2009 9:00 am | by Daniel Lovering and Tom Krisher, AP Business Writers

The 57-year-old steelworker from Port Vue, PA, lived through painful restructuring that drastically reshaped the domestic steel industry. The most recent crisis, from 1998 through 2003, involved dozens of bankruptcies, huge job cuts and mill closures.

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What About The Other Mobile Workers?

February 20, 2009 11:39 am | by Stephen Woram, CEO, Form Automation Solutions

It’s a common site at any factory, power plant, refinery, or other production facility: a worker, armed with pen and clipboard, making rounds, checking non-instrumented equipment, and filling out forms. Big companies love their data collection forms.

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Q&A with Kenneth R. Foster, SKF USA Inc.

February 20, 2009 11:39 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;" } Kenneth R.

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Proprietary Brands & Diversification

February 20, 2009 11:39 am | by Mike Collins

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;" } One of the most overlooked strategies by job shops is the development and licensing of proprietary processes.

Keeping Pace With Change

February 20, 2009 11:39 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;" } Management consulting firm Booz & Company addresses strategies for navigating 2009's uncertain economic tides.

Putting Green In Motion

February 20, 2009 11:38 am

By Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO As part of the NSK group, a global supplier of various motion control components with literally unlimited application potential, the team in Franklin was given the challenge of becoming ISO 14001 certified. Issuing a challenge has long been used as a way of motivating people or pushing them to achieve greater results than they may have previously thought possible.

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Indicators Suggest Recession Will Continue Through 2009, But Intensity Will Ease

February 19, 2009 6:10 am

Index(TM) (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.4 percent in January, following a 0.2 percent increase in December and a 0.7 percent decline in November.

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The Auto Dead Zone

February 19, 2009 6:04 am

The cover page of Chrysler's restructuring plan, submitted along with GM's late Tuesday, tells you all you really need to know about these 100-page-plus tomes. Replete with pictures of World War II Army Jeeps, dead men in starched collars -- and the now-obligatory "hybrid" logo and plug-in car -- the first page declares that Chrysler "is the Quintessential American Auto Company."

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25 ‘Go Brennan’ Scholarships For Students Seeking Careers In Manufacturing Now Available Via YouTube Promotion

February 19, 2009 6:00 am

It’s “lap three” for teen race car driver Brennan Palmiter’s “Go-Brennan” YouTube Scholarship promotion that offers up to 25 scholarships of $500 each to students seeking careers in manufacturing. Sponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA) Foundation and SolidWorks Corporation, the “GO-Brennan” Scholarships are tied to FMA’s sponsorship of 17-year-old stock car driver Palmiter’s 2009 racing season.

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Hydraulic Institute Launches New Positive Displacement Pump e-Learning Course

February 19, 2009 5:56 am

Hydraulic Institute (HI) has launched its latest pump industry e-Learning program titled “Positive Displacement Pumps: Fundamentals, Design and Applications.”  The comprehensive Positive Displacement (PD) Pump course is an Internet-delivered educational program designed to provide individual users with a broad, comprehensive knowledge of PD pumping technologies. The material is visual and interactive, allowing students to take full advantage of the latest learning technology.

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ISM Launches Knowledge Center Offering

February 19, 2009 5:53 am

The latest tool for supply professionals seeking to acquire the Certified Professional in Supply Management® (CPSM®) qualification is here. Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) now offers a CPSM® Bridge Exam Online Review Course through the ISM Knowledge Center.

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Registration RedShift:2009 Now Open

February 19, 2009 5:44 am

RedPrairie Corporation announces registration is open for its upcoming user conference, Red Shift :2009, Engineered Evolution. Red Shift , to be held May 11 - 14 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, TX, generates new ideas and information-sharing on how to improve workforce, inventory and transportation operations through product updates, customer-led breakout sessions and various networking opportunities.

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Successful Automation’s Best Kept Secret

January 23, 2009 12:47 pm | by Roy Kok, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Kepware Technologies

Sure, the engineer is proud of his HMI and the plant manager pleased with his KPI dashboard and how effectively the plant is running with the implementation of his new MES solution. The historian and analytic solution get all the credit when a plant control crisis is averted. 

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Q&A With Kim Miller Dunn

January 22, 2009 10:05 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;" } "I think the automation industry is going to be effected by the current global economy like every other industry and job sector—however, I may be optimistic, but I don't think the automation industry will be as affected as many other segments within the manufacturing sector.

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Anomalies Of "Things People"

January 22, 2009 10:05 am | by Mike Collins

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;" } "If you begin getting complaints from co-workers, supervisors, and customers, you may have a things person in a job where more of their weaknesses are showing up then their strengths.

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Labor Pains

January 22, 2009 10:05 am | by Anna Wells

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of welders employed in the U.S. declined an astounding 10 percent from 2000 to 2005—from 594,000 in 2000 to 576,000 in 2005. It may not be the most publicized issue facing American manufacturing, but it's one that every plant manager is well aware of—the shortage of welding professionals in industry is becoming a more major concern, even in an economy rife with layoffs.

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Bigger & Better

January 22, 2009 10:05 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;" } By Anna Wells Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing expands for the 11th time, keeping production and jobs on American soil.

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QRM For Reducing Lead Times

December 4, 2008 5:08 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;" } Minster Machine decided to try the methods of Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM), a process totally devoted to lead time reduction invented by Rajan Suri.

Hunters Vs. Meateaters

November 21, 2008 12:38 pm

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;" } " Hunters are easy to identify in a company because there are so few of them— but they can make a huge difference in company performance because of their drive.

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