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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Cost Reduction Alone Won’t Save American Manufacturing

October 5, 2007 12:40 pm

Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing have delivered successes, but neither are the universal answer to all of the problems created by globalization. By Mike Collins Everyone likes to blame the Chinese, or recent economic changes, for the decline of manufacturing, but the forces that led to the latest stage of globalization are not new.

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Q & A With David Spong, Two-Time Winner, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

October 5, 2007 12:35 pm

David Spong is the only two-time winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for two different organizations in two different sectors. Dr. Spong recently retired from a 40-year career with Boeing as president of Aerospace Support for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, which won the Baldrige Award in the service category in 2003.

Stepping Up Their Game

October 5, 2007 12:32 pm | by Anna Wells

Mesa Products takes improvement to the next level with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program. Terry May, president of 2006 Baldrige award-winning company Mesa Products (Tulsa, OK), likens the application process to kicking a bad habit—long and arduous, but worth the rewards that come with success.

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IMPO Insider: Q&A With Ross Robson, Shingo Prize

August 30, 2007 6:01 am

Ross E. Robson has been the Executive Director of the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing, a recognition and award program for manufacturers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, since 1989. He also serves as Associate Dean for Business Relations of the College of Business and is a management professor at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

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What’s in a Number?

August 8, 2007 10:54 am

In the world of pressure sensitive adhesives or PSA’s, you will find no shortage of physical property data. Peel strength, shear strength, loop tack and temperature information are all readily available. The question is: How useful is all of this data? As a provider of PSA solutions, we spend countless hours coaching our salespeople to understand the application and the conditions to which the PSA is subjected before we can select a pressure sensitive adhesive tape product.

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Tools For Timely Belt Repair

August 8, 2007 10:54 am

Quicker and longer lasting belt repair tips. Kevin Finnegan, Flexible Steel Lacing Company Time doesn’t stand still, and neither should your conveyor belts. But when unexpected maintenance or repairs bring belts to a standstill, only the clock moves forward. And the time lost can result in significantly reduced production and profit.

Scanning For The Future

August 8, 2007 10:50 am

GKS develops a method for surveying the inside of your facility with more accuracy than ever before. This is not your old man’s plant measuring device. In fact, according to GKS (a division of Laser Design Inc.), “terrestrial laser scanning is a ground-based technique for collecting high-density 3D geospatial data.

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Start A Revolution

July 10, 2007 10:11 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

As far as day-to-day burdens go, this one has blossomed from a regular headache into a migraine: many plant managers will tell you that it’s finding and retaining qualified welders that is keeping them up at night. Luckily, industry experts and manufacturers are busy identifying the root of the shortage, and applying efforts to help save this trade from being torched.

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Why Wrenches Break And What Can Be Done About It

July 10, 2007 10:11 am | by Richard B. Wright, Chairman, Wright Tool Co.

I am not going to list a bunch of safety tips (70 can be found at www.wrighttool.com, our safety video, and many other places). However, wrench breakage and the associated hazards, costs and lost time can be greatly reduced by better understanding its root causes and possible corrective measures.

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Propelling Efficiency

July 10, 2007 9:07 am | by Jeff Reinke

A more energy efficient lighting strategy has helped Mercury Marine trim operating costs. The essence of lean manufacturing is to do more with less. So when Mercury Marine, a leading outboard boat motor manufacturer headquartered in Fond du Lac, WI, began implementing lean manufacturing strategies, it made sense that one of their primary targets would be energy consumption.

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The Commitment That Counts

July 10, 2007 8:16 am | by Anna Wells

Cummins Inc. beefs up their black belts, expanding the bounds of Six Sigma in an effort to save dollars in every aspect of their business. If you asked George Strodtbeck about the ways in which Six Sigma has profoundly affected his world, he might tell you about the billion dollars in savings he’s seen Cummins recapture in the last seven years.

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IMPO Insider: Q&A With Randy Schwartz, Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership

June 4, 2007 12:11 pm

As Center Director and Chief Executive Officer, Randy Schwartz leads the development and operation of the Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Dakota MEP), an affiliate of a unique, public and private national system dedicated to domestic manufacturing. Dakota MEP partners with manufacturers in both North Dakota and South Dakota to help initiate industry success.

Cashing In

June 1, 2007 11:48 am | by Jeff Reinke

In-house prototyping capabilities have cut costs and reduced down time for ATM manufacturer Diebold, Inc. We can all agree that developing and introducing new technologies is a great thing. However, after it’s understood how this new product or methodology works and where it’s applicable, the remaining quandary centers on who will be able to implement or use it.

IMPO Insider: Q&A with Paul Borawski, ASQ

May 31, 2007 10:18 am

As executive director and chief strategic officer, Paul Borawski is accountable for the operations of ASQ headquarters, and is responsible for the organization’s progress in reaching its vision. He provides for the ongoing exploration of ASQ’s living strategy and assures the alignment of the organization resources with the strategies and goals ASQ’s board of directors approves.

IMPO Insider: Q&A with Art Smalley, Lean Enterprise Institute

May 3, 2007 12:12 pm

One of the leading trends driving improvement in plant operations centers on the implementation of lean manufacturing principles. Championing this cause is the Lean Enterprise Institute, a non-profit education and research organization headquartered in Cambridge, MA. Founded in 1997, LEI’s mission is to be the leading educator in maximizing value and minimizing waste.

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Going The Safe Route

May 3, 2007 12:10 pm

Veolia Environmental Services’ investments in safety have taken them down a path of heightened employee participation and greater customer appreciation. Plant safety can become a complicated issue when striving to implement practices that cover worker concerns, OSHA regulations and facility standards, without sacrificing overall company profitability.

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Q & A with Wera Tools President Ian Parkhill

April 5, 2007 11:37 am

Based out of Wuppertal, Germany, Wera Tools has produced some of Europe’s finest hand tools for over 70 years. In their quest to broaden the company’s reach, Wera opened a North American office in Ontario, Canada in 2005. IMPO recently sat down with the company’s president, Ian Parkhill to discuss their reasons for expansion, and how he plans to attack the still competition his company will face in the U.

Stick A Fork In It

April 5, 2007 11:34 am

Kinetic Technologies (K-Tec) can be described as a success story, especially since this Wickliffe, OH-based company is competing at the dark-horse racetrack of manufacturing-depressed Northeastern Ohio. While many manufacturers, it seems, are leaving Ohio, K-Tec is expanding: after a few years of being strictly engineering and design (and contracting out their production) its new facility is now equipped with a manufacturing floor, which will house an estimated three times its current workforce within the next several years.

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A "Living Lab"

March 13, 2007 5:16 am

According to a recent Raymond press release, the $750,000 contract begins in 2007, where Raymond’s Greene, NY facility will become a “living lab,” with hydrogen fuel cell powered Raymond forklifts in the facility. Raymond will also develop the necessary infrastructure for indoor fast-fill hydrogen refueling systems, which represents new technology, since refueling systems up to this point have typically been installed outdoors.

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Lean From A to Z: Z Corp's Lean Practices Improve Productivity and Efficiency

March 12, 2007 2:26 pm | by Jeff Reinke

Z Corp’s implementation of lean manufacturing practices has led to greater production flexibility, efficiency and profits. Evander Holyfield did it in 1984. Lance Armstrong achieved it in 2000. Lebron James followed in 2004. Mike Vogel experienced it in 2006. What’s the common bond between this boxer, biker, baller and Vice President of Operations at Z Corporation? They’ve all experienced winning a bronze medal.

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