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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Birthplace Of Rosie The Riveter: The Willow Run Bomber Plant

August 30, 2013 8:02 am | by John Zajac, Randy Hotten, Julie Osborne, Mike Montgomery

The iconic Rosie the Riveter may seem to be simply a fiction from the past but she has a name – and an important history. She was part of that migration, part of the 40,000 employees at the Ford-run Willow Run B-24 bomber plant and part of the great Arsenal of Democracy that Detroit and the Southeastern Michigan region became, cranking out airplanes, tanks, trucks, and weapons.

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A ‘Made In America’ Walmart: Truth Or Gimmick?

August 30, 2013 8:01 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

Last week, Walmart Stores announced that they would be holding a summit on U.S. manufacturing, and there’s a fair amount of skepticism over the company’s motives, particularly considering its long history of sourcing a vast majority of products from overseas.

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Optimizing Machines Using Programmable Drives

August 28, 2013 8:02 am | by Kollmorgen

Programmable drives are becoming more sophisticated and capable, enabling controls engineers to drastically reduce project costs. On a new design, some integrators and OEMs reach for an elaborate multi-axis PLC system to solve a relatively simple application. This happens as designers work under compressed schedules, and choosing a familiar solution seems like the right thing to do.

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Deadly & Life-Saving: Printing Our 3D Future

August 27, 2013 8:02 am | by Richard Console

With the emergence of 3D printers into mainstream markets, what the devices actually do seems to matter less than what they will do, or could be made to do, in the future. Will they create a crisis of unregistered, undetectable firearms? Or will 3D printers become such a life-saving medical necessity that future consumers will regard the technology as unremarkable as the current practice of casting broken bones?

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5 Quick Questions: Attracting & Retaining Quality Manufacturing Workers

August 27, 2013 8:01 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

It’s no secret that one of the most pressing issues facing U.S. manufacturing is a lack of qualified workers. In looking to fill this skills gap, Brian Binke, the President & CEO of The Birmingham Group, an affiliate of MRINetwork and one of the world’s largest recruitment organizations, feels that organizations need to focus on several internal facets in attracting the best and most qualified people.

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FEA Aids Deepwater Horizon Failure Forensics

August 26, 2013 8:02 am | by Det Norske Veritas

On the evening of April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon suffered a blowout while drilling in the Macondo Prospect, an area in the Gulf of Mexico 40 miles off the southeast coast of Louisiana. The platform caught fire; two days later, it sank.

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How To Manage Machinery Lubrication (Part II): Sealing Systems

August 23, 2013 8:02 am | by Bryan A. Ogden, Business Development-Food & Beverage for SKF USA Inc.

Seals for processing equipment play vital roles in protecting bearings and lubricants. From the perspective of managing lubrication, a seal’s primary purpose will be to retain lubricant and keep contaminants from degrading or harming the grease.

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The Future Of Energy-Efficient Compressor Technology

August 23, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

In the last twelve months, the compressor industry has seen the release of several innovative, patented air compressor technologies that significantly reduce energy consumption. These recent advancements derive from improvements throughout the compressor design and contribute to dramatic increases in energy efficiency.

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How To Manage Machinery Lubrication (Part I): Eliminating Bearing Relubrication

August 21, 2013 8:02 am | by Bryan A. Ogden, Business Development-Food & Beverage for SKF USA Inc.

Few industrial environments can match the diverse and difficult operating conditions encountered in the food and beverage processing industries. Equipment often will be exposed to contaminants, frequent washdowns can degrade machinery and may cause lubricant leakage, and other adverse influences can combine to impact an operation’s lines and productivity.

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Six Steps For Streamlining Manufacturing Processes

August 21, 2013 8:01 am | by Bob Vormittag, President & CEO, VAI

Manufacturers are eager to streamline complex processes in an effort to produce significant cost and time savings while increasing overall productivity and profitability. However, streamlining long-established processes can be a daunting, time-consuming endeavor. 

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Maker's Row: Connecting The New Manufacturers

August 20, 2013 8:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

Maker’s Row, a free service that facilitates connections between designers and the small-batch American manufacturers that can help them turn a sketch into a real product, is on a roll. The startup has recently secured $1M in funding. The users are happy too — Tanya Menendez, COO and co-founder, was pleased to hear that an American manufacturer posted their company’s profile and had a meeting in just two days.

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Standards Boost Business

August 20, 2013 8:01 am | by S. Joe Bhatia, President & CEO, American National Standards Institute

From the corner offices across America to the halls of Capitol Hill, leaders in the public and private sectors are sounding the call for economic reform and job creation. As the U.S. looks to forge a path for sustainable economic growth for the nation, there is a powerful business tool that can help U.S. industry to fuel business performance and drive growth.

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CMMS Use, Needs, And Wants

August 19, 2013 8:02 am | by Michael Koploy Analyst, Software Advice

Over the past two months, Software Advice has surveyed maintenance professionals to identify how the industry uses software to get organized, improve efficiencies and tackle other industry challenges. 84 percent of those surveyed use some kind of software to manage maintenance. Commercial software products (i.e. CMMS, EAM/ERP or other business software tools) were used by 77 percent of those surveyed.

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5 Quick Questions With SC Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt

August 19, 2013 8:01 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

According to recent figures from the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the state’s GDP growth rate of 2.7 percent puts it just above the 2.5 percent national average, and is significantly out-pacing the 2.1 percent average of the southeastern region of the country. Much of this growth is attributed to manufacturing.

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Smoking Fast Order Fulfillment At Hauni Richmond

August 14, 2013 8:02 am | by Kardex Remstar, LLC

When management needed to reduce the footprint of Richmond's remanufacturing operations to make room for other revenue generating actives, the stockroom was faced with a 60 percent reduction in floor space. The stockroom already had a floor to ceiling man up narrow aisle picking system and there was little floor space and no additional shelf space that could be squeezed out.

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Can Reliability Excellence Help Explain The Jobless Recovery?

August 13, 2013 8:02 am | by Mark Ruby, MBA, Life Cycle Engineering

Despite 15 months of quarter-to-quarter growth in U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP), the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high and well above other economic recoveries of the same maturity. While the official U3 employment measure has begun to show slight improvements, the broader U6 and U7 measures show much less improvement and remain essentially flat.

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Explosion-Proof Vacuums: An Investment In Safety

August 12, 2013 4:40 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

Recent plant explosions should serve as a reminder for industrial users to review their vacuums to ensure they are suitable in explosion-proof applications, such as those relating to combustible dust. In addition to satisfying OSHA requirements, manufacturers must also keep workers safe. As Frank Intrieri Jr., VP of sales with Goodway says, “explosion-proof vacuums are used in hazardous environments, so safety precautions are imperative.”

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Trimming Wastes Boosts Savings at Seal Maker

August 12, 2013 4:34 pm

Most manufacturers strive to make their operations as eco-friendly as possible. Whether it’s reducing energy use, recycling waste materials, or designing more energy-efficient products, “green” manufacturing is on everyone’s minds. For the last five years the Trelleborg Sealing Solutions facility in Fort Wayne, IN, has taken a systematic approach toward continuous improvement.

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Who Is Responsible?

August 12, 2013 4:29 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

Our fourth annual Energy Intelligence Report will again bring IMPO readers the latest industry trends as it relates to plant energy use and overall business efficiency. This report has been designed to spark some ideas for cost savings measures, as manufacturers continue to face tightening budgets and competitive pressures. We hope you can find something of value as you look at your own plant floor and try to determine where to start.

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Pallets & Racking: Doing More

August 12, 2013 4:21 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

New features in pallets and racking, including better material composition, more secure racks, and better accessibility are making today’s industrial pallet and racking solutions safer and more cost effective than ever before. In this ever changing world of material handling, manufacturers are doing everything they can to choose wisely, stay efficient, and incorporate safety.

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