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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

When 'Rapid' Isn't Fast Enough

September 3, 2009 4:25 am

Via IET Faraday . A process of rapid manufacturing developed at Loughborough University is being used by a Ph.D student to create custom outsoles for a sprinter's particular biomechanical movement, allowing them to harness their full potential.

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A P.U.M.A. Without The Bite

September 3, 2009 4:17 am

Check out the Project P.U.M.A — the result of a collaboration betweeen GM and Segway. This self-balancing vehicle blurs the boundaries between cars and bikes to create a product that, according to the company, "values less over more; taking up less space, using less energy, produced more efficiently with fewer parts, creating fewer emissions during production and operation, all while offering more enjoyment, productivity, and connectivity.

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Keep It Simple, Build It Strong

September 2, 2009 12:33 pm

Via www.op2iowa.com . The regional economic development group of Southern Iowa, Opportunity2, in collaboration with the region's Manufacturers Consortium has developed an Advanced Manufacturing video that showcases the great employment opportunities available in southern Iowa's manufacturing industries.

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Squeaky Clean With Hotsy

September 2, 2009 12:24 pm

Hotsy's integrated wash bay systems are simple, intuitive, and will help save time at any facility that cleans trucks or other heavy equipment. Featuring a remote control box to control each function of the washer, users won't have to constantly walk back and worth — while wasting water and time — to turn the machine on and off.

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"Don't Walk On By"

September 2, 2009 12:21 pm

If you're the type to just "walk on by" the plant safety hazards that seem to be unimportant at first glance, then maybe this music video is for you.

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Racking On The Brain

August 31, 2009 7:40 am | by John T. Phelan, Jr. P.E., COO, TriFactor LLC

Before selecting the storage medium for either a new distribution center or an existing facility, the first step is to analyze the products that will be handled. Whether it's 150-pound mattresses, cases of bottled water or 10,000-pound rolls of paper, the product determines the proper storage.

When Robot Programmers Get Bored

August 27, 2009 4:12 am

Thrill-seeking robot programmers, that is. IMPO's editorial staff, of course, does not condone such obviously dangerous — albeit fun-looking — creativity.

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Manufacturing Innovation From BMW

August 26, 2009 12:30 pm

Take a look inside BMW's Berlin plant, where they produce motorcycles for consumers around the world. An incredible combination of technology, robotics, and human innovation help keep this 2,000-person plant churning out BMW's beloved two-wheeled masterpieces.

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Introduction to Lean Manufacturing

August 26, 2009 12:18 pm

In this video from Gemba Academy, the history of “lean manufacturing” is dissected and presented in a simple, easy-to-follow manner. While the subject is usually, and ironically, obscured with buzzwords and unnecessary details, this video would be an excellent first base for a new employee or someone just arriving in the manufacturing field.

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Hop On The 10-Seater Harley

August 26, 2009 12:10 pm

Steve "Doc" Hopkins had the opportunity to show off his design and technical chops with this 10-seater Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which he claims represents a “timeline” of Harley history, at the Sturgis rally in 2009. See how the Wisconsin native is pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the customization-heavy Harley culture, however bizarre his latest creation.

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I Didn't Mean To Burst Your Bubble

August 26, 2009 12:04 pm

“How It's Made” takes you inside a bubble gum manufacturing plant. See how the process begins, as plastics and rubbers are combined with flavor and glucose syrup, and ends up as the confectioner's delight we all know and love. Did you know that bubble gum's traditionally pink flavor originated because the inventor had only that color on hand?

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Q&A: Rediscovering the Edison Nation

August 20, 2009 4:54 am

N.J. Slabbert is an award-winning writer and scholar, and co-author of the recent book, “Innovation, The Key To Prosperity: Technology & America's Role in the 21st Century Global Economy,” with Aris Melissaratos. The book explains how science and technology drove America’s previous economic prosperity but that America lost its technological momentum in the second half of the 20th century.

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Unit Load AS/RS Acts As A Temporary Buffer

August 19, 2009 11:42 am

This automated storage and retrieval system at the Cox Target Media Valpak facility has two storage retrieval machines and is configured to hold both full and empty print rolls. Rolls are delivered and removed from the AS/RS by automatic guided vehicles (AGVs).

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'Extract' Draws Out Manufacturing Humor

August 19, 2009 11:38 am

Mike Judge, creator of Office Space , returns with Extract , a film about the owner of a food manufacturing plant. Starring Jason Bateman as the plant operator and Ben Affleck as a local bartender. If nothing else, the film will no doubt thoroughly tackle the important issues of employee relations, co-worker romance, and the various safety hazards presented to male workers.

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The Chinese Steel Steal

August 19, 2009 11:19 am | by OurFuture.org

China has created a larger steel-manufacturing infrastructure in the last four years than the US has in existence. Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, explains how Chinese steel manufacturers are able to undercut American producers for lesser-quality product.

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Microsoft: Future Manufacturing Will Be Beautiful, Seamless

August 19, 2009 11:11 am

Microsoft's Future Vision: Someday, the manufacturing of old will be gone, and in its place will be 21st century innovation in order to create a seamless transition from design, to prototyping, to manufacturing, and finally the showroom floor. While most of these technologies are within our grasp, it will take an enormous effort to push old infrastructures into a new age.

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Ramen-Making Robots Kick Chefs To The Curb

August 19, 2009 11:09 am | by ITN News

High-tech robots mix and match a seeemingly-endless flavor selection of Ramen noodles at a restaurant in Japan. The owner-designer claims his robots are more efficient and accurate than their human counterparts. Could these automated food connoisseurs be the next revolution in food preparation? The American equivalent — hamburgers and french fries — might be the next target for restauranteers looking to save a buck.

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The Future of Energy Harvesting

August 14, 2009 11:30 am | by Jonathan C. Smith, IDSA, Senior Industrial Designer

Energy Harvesting? Let’s begin by establishing a definition for the phrase. Energy harvesting as defined on Wikipedia - is the process by which energy is derived from external sources (e.g., solar power, thermal energy, wind energy, salinity gradients, and kinetic energy), that is captured, and stored.

Top 5 Energy Management System Considerations

August 14, 2009 10:15 am | by Gus Ezcurra, CEO, Advanced Telemetry

The economy has forced most if not all U.S. companies to seek ways to reduce non-essential and otherwise variable costs. A new opportunity has emerged in recent years with the advent of affordable lightweight energy management systems that can be controlled on-site or remotely.

Fighting Fire With Fire

August 13, 2009 10:04 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

“It was a scary night,” says Quandt, of the blaze that broke out around 8 pm back in May at the chemical distributor’s Columbus, WI facility. “We have a lot of inventory; there were well over 1,000 chemicals involved in that fire. Those of us who work here thought we’d lost it all.

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