Lear Corporation’s 94,000-square-foot, four assembly line seating plant in Montgomery, AL is one of the most modern and efficient facilities of its kind. At peak production, Lear builds approximately 1,000 seat sets per day or 73 sets per hour in 56 distinct combinations of colors and options for the Hyundai Sonata sedan and Santa Fe SUV built at Hyundai’s Alabama plant.
Sometimes the most experienced technicians or skilled toolmakers need to look to specialists outside when it comes to solving critical service problems. Such was the case when a legendary helicopter company was confronted with a worldwide problem in cleaning scale from a small, outsourced part that was preventing it from proceeding with production of its helicopters all over the world.
Located in the heart of Coppell, Texas, just outside of Dallas, Stone Panels Incorporated manufactures one of a kind, light-weight stone veneer panels used in new construction and renovations across the globe. The facility does not have a centralized air-conditioning system and working in close quarters in a humid, and often times dusty facility can lead to uncomfortable employees and a drop in productivity.
Although the company operates a diverse collection of business units in 190 countries, German-based Siemens also employs more than 60,000 people in 130 U.S. manufacturing facilities. So with this in mind, we recently sat down with Helmuth Ludwig, the CEO of Siemens’ Industry Sector in North America.
What if you could report to your board room that reducing scrap has increased your company’s profit by 10 percent? Or, what if you could show plant managers that exactly 15 defects occurred within a particular shift? Because quality affects every level of an organization — from the plant floor, to the C-suite, to the customer — it is far more than a cost of doing business; it is a game changer.
Corwin Will is the facility manager of The Pampered Chef, a Berkshire Hathaway company, which has benefited from tremendous savings and safety improvements from installing Minit Chargers across four warehouses. The Pampered Chef warehouses face a daily challenge similar to those of all industrial facilities: trying to pick and ship thousands of items a day in the most efficient way possible.
At the recent Building America conference at Hypertherm, Inc., one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of advanced plasma cutting systems, something amazing happened: the 50+ customers and distributors in attendance stopped a Q&A session with the president to praise the company for its success in supplying a high quality product, delivering performance and exceeding customer expectations.
The deposition of material on heat transfer surfaces is called fouling which significantly impacts the thermal and mechanical performance of heat exchangers. Fouling increases the overall thermal resistance and lowers the overall heat transfer coefficient of heat exchangers as well as impeding fluid flow, accelerating corrosion and increasing pressure drop across the heat exchanger.
Despite the common preconceived notion that increasingly automated operations are eliminating opportunities in the manufacturing sector, the widespread adoption of advanced production technologies is actually creating opportunities, and demand, for more skilled professionals.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in May for the first time since November 2012, and the overall economy grew for the 48th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.
There has been a steady upward trend in average effective tax rates (ETR) of industrial products and automotive companies from 2010 (26.1 percent) to 2012 (28.3 percent), despite a reduction in statutory rates of corporate income tax around the world, according to the PwC US 2013 Assessing tax report, a tax rate benchmarking study covering 316 companies across the following industries.
Today’s smaller manufacturers are creating enormous amounts of data — everything from new product designs to top-secret intellectual property, as well as a constant flow of customer and sales information that must be managed and protected every day. To say that this data is vital would be understating the value of its constant use, and any loss of information could be devastating.
Training is extremely important to the future of manufacturing in the United States, yet in many states, it has fallen by the wayside. Training for skilled manufacturing positions has been hit by a perfect storm of budget cuts and the mistaken idea that all young workers should go to college.
Connected to a laptop I can’t afford, on the far end of a tangle of cords, is an exposed circuit board peppered with objects I can name — resistors, diodes — but not explain. The computer itself is running software that I’m not capable of programming myself. But none of that matters, and, in fact, is part of an educational plan from National Instruments’ Academic Program.
It costs U.S. industry billions of dollars a year to control and remove the limescale that builds up in industrial equipment such a heat exchangers, evaporative coolers, boilers, chillers and other water fed equipment. Limescale not only increases downtime, maintenance costs and causes the early renewal of capital equipment but also increases energy usage.
Today’s manufacturing is a wonder of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. However, the same technology that makes it possible for smaller manufacturers to thrive in our global economy also presents security challenges. With every endpoint connected to the Internet, there is always a risk of a cybercriminal stealing this intellectual property or other sensitive information.
There are few more sophisticated and complex high-heat metallurgy manufacturing processes — and few with less tolerance for error — than the processes involved in manufacturing components of the hot-section of an aviation gas turbine engine. This precision minimizes the risk of catastrophic aviation disasters such as uncontrolled engine failure.
Scan through the business section of the news, and you’re likely to see stories about the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing, about how companies are moving jobs back to the United States because of the rising cost of manufacturing in (and shipping to and from) China. Certainly good news for American manufacturers, but I would argue that this trend is not what the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing should be built on.
Since the catastrophic Imperial Sugar explosion, most food processors recognized some potential for combustible dust explosions and "deflagration," which refers to the catastrophic pressure wave caused by the startled cloud of dust triggered (and ignited) by the initial explosion. However, so many factors are at play that even comparable "baking" facilities may present widely varying amounts of problems, or none at all.
Food Manufacturing spoke with Roger Kilmer of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) about the importance of maintaining a strong manufacturing presence in the United States, and what resources are available to domestic manufacturers. The purpose of the NIST MEP program is to enhance the productivity, technological performance and global competitiveness of small- and medium-sized U.S. based manufacturing firms.