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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Tweeting For Popcorn

March 3, 2010 10:36 am

Every once in a blue moon, someone comes up with a machine that’s utterly… worthless. Well, worthless but cool. A couple of guys hooked a hopper filled with popcorn to an Archimedes’s screw that only turns when someone uses the #popcorn hashtag on our favorite social media website, Twitter.


Aww, Shucks!

March 3, 2010 10:35 am

Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame meets up with some oyster shuckers to learn the ins-and-outs of a dirty business. If you thought your job was tough, just think about shelling out thousands of oysters a day for $0.50 a pound. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.


The Shredder's Endless Appetite

March 3, 2010 10:27 am

SSI has built one of the world’s toughest shredders, capable of handling almost anything they toss into its ever-hungry jaws. In this video, the Monster takes on everything from George Foreman grills to football helmets. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.


Are Sodas The New Cigarettes?

March 3, 2010 10:25 am

After the death of the federal bill imposing additional taxes on sweetened beverages, California state senate majority leader Dean Flores discusses the possibility of imposing the tax on the state level. What do you all think? Should consumers be penalized for consuming soda (as they are with cigarettes), or does this all come down to personal freedom and responsibility? Visit msnbc.


Big Bonuses Don't Equal Big Results

March 3, 2010 10:13 am

Daniel Pink, former speechwriter for Al Gore, makes a “case” for a revolution in the way Americans do business: our old ideas of big rewards for big success are blatantly false. Pink points to a number of studies that have demonstrated how people engaged in creative work perform better without the added stress of meeting specific, performance-based rewards.


Straightening Global Automotive’s Backbone

March 2, 2010 8:24 am | by Daniel P. Malone, Attorney, Dykema

Here’s the problem. Most nations still have their own unique automotive safety and environmental regulations. As a result of this regulatory diversity, a hot-selling car in one market cannot simply be sold in other markets; and a car certified as having met all regulations in, say the United States, cannot obtain approval for sale in other nations without first incurring substantial, additional costs.

Preemptive Disaster Planning

March 2, 2010 8:19 am | by Allen Melton and Jason Trahan

How would your company respond if your manufacturing plant were flooded? Or hit by a tornado? Or damaged by fire? Your likely response would be to discuss your company's business continuity plan (BCP) for these events … but what about the financial recovery? Many large food manufacturers have business continuity plans that detail procedures for ensuring employee safety, salvaging supplies and inventory and restoring operations should disaster strike.


Energy Meets Quality

March 1, 2010 11:23 am

Prestress of the glass panes requires extremely careful handling and a high level of precision in the transfer system. Stops with air nozzles installed on the belt sections and lift transverse units briefly raise the film on the top of the glass, making it possible to reliably and precisely position the fragile panes at any time.


The Last Time I Panicked

March 1, 2010 11:18 am | by Ed Halm, Owner, Backwater Paddle Company

How could I ever forget the last time I panicked at work! September 29th, 2008. The day the stock market crashed. The fire that was forging a fledgling Backwater Paddle Company was doused. Fortunately, we persevered, relit that fire, redirected our resources, and rose again like the phoenix from the ashes.

Riddle Me This, Small Business

February 26, 2010 9:13 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder, PCDworks

Many of you reading this column may work for a small business, or perhaps aspire to own one.  Congratulations. According to Henry Paulson, Alan Greenspan and seemingly everyone else along the beltway, small businesses are the key to this nation's recovery. Small businesses account for 52 percent of all the jobs in this country, and conventional wisdom says that if we can just get them to hire more people we can turn this thing around.

The Private Brand Revolution

February 25, 2010 11:20 am | by George Young, Founding Partner, Kalypso

It’s no secret: the buzz surrounding the trajectory of private, or own, brands has reached a fever pitch. With the growth rate outpacing national brands year over year, the private brand revolution is not only changing how consumers shop, but how retailers stock their shelves.


Honda: The Land Of Automation

February 25, 2010 3:59 am

Honda’s manufacturing plants have largely moved to automation as a means of performing repetitive or labor-intensive tasks, such as welding and metalworking. And while we all know that robotics are slowly gaining hold in manufacturing plants worldwide, it’s sometimes hard to understand the scope until you actually see it.


It's 2010. Where's My Fuel Cell?

February 25, 2010 3:56 am

Fuel cells have been the poster child of the "green revolution" for years, with supporters claiming that America could completely eliminate their dependence of foreign oil if automakers and consumers could work together to get the technology on the road in the foreseeable future. Truly, fuel cells are a remarkable breakthrough, but their major fault isn't the technology itself, but rather infrastructure.


Vinyl Is Not Dead

February 25, 2010 3:42 am

Once again, we dive into the world of vinyl manufacturing, this time at Stoughton Printing & RTI, based out of California, as they press copies of Weezer’s (Red) Album . Who knew that vinyl manufacturing could be as pleasing to the eyes as vinyl itself is to the ears? Weezer Vinyl Manufacturing from Roberto Lepe on Vimeo .


From Legos To Audis

February 25, 2010 3:35 am

Audi's plant in Brussels was recently charged with the responsibility of building their new A1 vehicle, no meager task considering the €285 million ($384 million) the automaker has invested in the facility. So, how do Audi's workers prepare for the new class of car? Why, they start small, of course.


How Safe Is Your Toyota? Pretty Darn Safe

February 25, 2010 3:31 am

Seems like everyone in America is clamoring to put Toyota out to pasture in light of their recent recalls. CNN digs through NHTSA records to find out not only how many complaints all automakers have recieved of unintended acceleration, but also how Toyota and it's competitors rank in overall safety complains.


Ace Makes The Grade

February 22, 2010 9:53 am | by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info

Ace Hardware Corp. manufactures only one product that bears its name brand amongst all of the do-it-yourself tools, equipment and other miscellany occupying its more than 4,600 retail stores nationwide. That product is paint, or more specifically, an entire line of interior and exterior water-, latex-, oil- and solvent-based paints, stains, varnishes and coatings.


Hydrostatic Load Cells Bear The Weight Of Washdown

February 22, 2010 8:01 am | by Rudi Baisch, Emery Winslow

“We just lost another load cell on mixer scale number three” is not what any operations or maintenance manager wants to hear in a busy food processing facility. When a scale goes down, and accurate weight data is no longer available, it creates a real problem for production. When Plumrose USA, premium meat product provider, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, decided to do something about it, they turned to Emery Winslow Scale Company for help.


Finding Their Comfort Zone

February 19, 2010 10:05 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

It seems even a struggling economy has its, well, sweet spots. At least that's what Fort Wayne, IN-based Ellison Bakery is hoping after unveiling the first line of cookies to ever carry the 65-year-old bakery's name. The introduction of their Super-Moist line this past summer represents just one of many key decisions the company has made in transforming from humble beginnings in a two-car garage to a 120,000-square-foot operation.


Re-Shoring — Bringing Manufacturing Back To American Suppliers

February 19, 2010 10:00 am | by Michael Collins, President, MPC Management

In May, the National Tooling and Machining Association and the Precision Metals Association will sponsor a re-shoring fair that will be all about bringing back work that has been outsourced to foreign competitors.  You may be wondering why this is happening.  Did President Obama negotiate a secret deal with the Chinese to reduce imports?  Are omniscient customers anticipating the crash of the dollar? No it is not as simple as these answers.



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