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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Supply Chain Strategies And The Future Of American Manufacturing

October 2, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

China’s overwhelming manufacturing cost advantage over the U.S. is shrinking fast. Within three years, a Boston Consulting Group analysis concludes that rising Chinese wages, higher U.S. productivity, a weaker dollar, and other factors will virtually close the cost gap between the U.S. and China for many goods consumed in North America. 

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5 Reasons For Small To Mid-Size Manufacturers To Leverage PLM For Enterprise Quality Management

October 1, 2013 8:01 am | by Chuck Cimalore, CTO, Omnify Software

By implementing a Product Lifecycle Management system, companies benefit by simplifying each phase of the product development process. Due to their focus on product engineering, discrete manufacturers in the small-to-medium sized space typically adopt a PLM system to support best in class engineering processes and to address challenges with continual new product introductions, shorter product lifecycles and shrinking profit margins.

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The Truth About Reshoring, Productivity, And Today’s Manufacturer

October 1, 2013 8:00 am | by Jim Shepherd , Plex Systems

Virtually all analysts agree that, yes, many American manufacturers have been successful in bringing some previously lost business back home. But it’s happening at a slower pace than the industry had hoped. According to Henry Moser, the founder of the national Reshoring Initiative, the actual rate of reshoring is somewhere between a trickle and torrent.  

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5 Quick Questions: BRIC Deceleration

September 30, 2013 8:02 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

A closer look at the factors contributing to slowing growth rates in Brazil, Russia, India and China offers insight on the next collection of emerging markets, as well as the established economies picking up the pace. For quite some time the subset of countries known as the BRICs have been the primary targets of U.S. manufacturers looking for either less expensive production settings or a new market in which to grow.

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Stand Out With Excellent On-Site Safety

September 30, 2013 8:01 am | by Konecranes

Though the foregoing examples focus primarily on how a strong safety culture can impress and reassure customers, the chief impetus behind building a strong safety culture is to protect a company’s most valuable asset: its employees.      

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Ensuring Long-Term Success Of LEDs

September 27, 2013 9:07 am | by Clifton Lemon, Soraa

Like other innovations spurred by a combination of technology development and government mandates, solid state lighting (SSL) presents a real triple bottom line scenario – good for the planet, good for profit, and good for end users. Manufacturers play a key role in making sure LED adoption will hit its full potential.

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Changes In Chemical Management Part 2: GHS Training Deadline Is Now!

September 27, 2013 8:01 am | by Glenn D. Trout, President, MSDSonline

Some might question why OSHA wants employees trained on the changes a year and half before chemical manufacturers and distributors have to make them, and the answer is because OSHA wants employees familiar with new label elements and the new safety data sheet format before they encounter them in the workplace. 

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Will The Wave of New Wearable Products Change Product Development?

September 25, 2013 9:08 am | by Kevin Prendeville

The buzz around wearable technology has been escalating the past several months. With this market gaining momentum, a key question needs to be addressed: How prepared are manufacturers to design and deliver these new and innovative types of products time and time again?

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The Rise Of Remanufacturing

September 25, 2013 8:01 am | by Rajesh Krishnan, Director, Manufacturing and Hi-tech SBU, Wipro Technologies

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about the new and emerging technologies in manufacturing that are likely to produce major industry changes in the coming months and years. One such area of technology, as identified by the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) group, is remanufacturing.

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A Facebook For Industry

September 24, 2013 8:01 am | by Facebook, manufacturing, industry, social, media, people, interact

Facebook is the single largest collective of people ever in the history of mankind, and it’s changed how we interact socially. When you add the fact that there are one billion users, and almost 70 percent of its access is mobile, the impact broadens tremendously.

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5 Quick Questions: More Powerful Than ISO 14000 For Plant Floor Management

September 23, 2013 8:01 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is recognized as one of the most prestigious honors a U.S. company in the manufacturing sector can attain. We recently sat down with Woodbury University President Luis Calingo, member of the 2013 Board of Examiners for the award. He offers perspective on goals every company in this sector should strive for and the irony of cost cuts that are often made to employee training programs. 

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Changes In Chemical Management Part 1: OSHA Adopts GHS

September 20, 2013 8:01 am | by Glenn D. Trout, President, MSDSonline

Today over 43 million workers in over 5 million workplaces are covered by the HazCom Standard, which means OSHA’s adoption of GHS creates compliance issues that extend far and wide into American workplaces, especially  industrial facilities. The biggest changes that companies in the United States will see thanks to GHS adoption are to chemical classification, labels and safety data sheets.

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The Gray Shift Part 2: Using Ergonomy To Retain Valuable Older Workers

September 18, 2013 8:01 am | by Earl Hagman, PhD, MSEE, MBA, President, Ergotech Incorporated

To address coming workforce demographic changes, employers must create a corporate culture that promotes both safety and wellness. Healthy workers and a safe workspace reduce costs and increase productivity, so these efforts will be repaid fully.

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Save Your Back

September 17, 2013 4:24 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

From repetitive motion to lifting risks, the warehouse presents many challenges to personnel safety. Repetitive motion of any type, when sustained, can result in injury, says the president of Hamilton Caster. “Manufacturers can help reduce injuries by providing equipment that eliminates risky motions, such as reaching too far to position products for transit, and by observing best ergonomic practices for working height.

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Feet On The Floor

September 17, 2013 4:20 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

The risk of slips and falls is one every business must face, but industrial environments contend with the added challenge of preventing significantly more dangerous incidents. With heavy machinery, rotating equipment, sharp corners, and other various dangers around every corner, it’s critical manufacturers stress safety… and what better place to start than the floors.

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Fastener Standards Today: Improving Quality

September 17, 2013 4:17 pm | by Dick Seidl, Global Applications Engineering Director, Stanley Engineered Fastening

Fasteners are essential to modern life; it is easy to forget just what an important role they play. Automakers have reported that the majority of their warranty costs arise from fastener related issues – ranging from the simple rattle in the dashboard coming from a loose tapping screw to a major recall resulting from mis-torqued high strength fasteners in the steering system. Many problems relate back to the not-so-simple fastener.

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Faster, Stronger, And More Precise

September 17, 2013 4:05 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

When people look to chemical threadlockers, they are almost always looking to secure a troublesome fastener from vibrating loose. However, a key advantage of anaerobic threadlockers often overlooked is their ability to seal the threaded joint from leaks.

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Dispense Sense

September 17, 2013 3:58 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

Point-of-use dispensing technology has gained in popularity for many manufacturers who have struggled for years with the tracking of MRO products. Manufacturers and distributors alike can recount horror stories of contending with hundreds of SKUs of something as simple as work gloves.

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Selection To Avoid Downtime

September 17, 2013 3:54 pm | by Jack Gayara, Product Manager, Lapp USA

A typical manufacturing plant today will have thousands, or even many thousands, of electrical connections on both fixed equipment and moving machines. And it’s just a matter of time before some of those connections fail or wear out, bringing production machines to a dead stop.

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Built Ford Tough

September 17, 2013 3:45 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive industry leader, manufacturing or distributing vehicles across six continents. With 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company has leveraged the dedication of its employees and UAW partnership to become more efficient, improve its product cadence, and be a more effective automotive industry competitor than ever before.

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