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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Raising The Bar

October 2, 2009 9:15 am

Harry London Candies of North Canton, Ohio has been manufacturing high quality chocolates and other gourmet confections since 1922, when Harry London, a steelworker, left his job at the local mill and began making family recipes by hand in his own kitchen. Over the years, Harry London Candies has progressed from these humble beginnings to become a world class provider of luxury candies while retaining the London family traditions of high standards and the purest ingredients.

Automated Storage Makes A Play For Sustainability

October 1, 2009 8:13 am

Although the term “carbon footprint” has been added to the latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, few users of automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) have added it to their corporate dictionary. As a result, most companies still focus on traditional justification measures, overlooking the value of a facility’s carbon footprint.

Steamlining For 'Incredible' Efficiencies

October 1, 2009 6:41 am

For any large industrial manufacturer handling 13,000 SKUs in their assembly parts warehouse, it is no small organizational challenge to keep production requirements satisfied without a hitch. But integrate into that system a full-scale aftermarket fulfillment distribution center with 80,000 additional active SKUs needing to be processed simultaneously, and you have the recipe for a potential logistics meltdown.

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Doing A 180

October 1, 2009 4:55 am

Via Hossfeld Bender . This video demonstrates the process behind creating a 180 degree bend in a length of pipe. See how to mount the 180 degree die, the back block, and the draw block, with additional tips to keep your components working strong well into the future. Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.

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Hop Aboard The Jet-Powered Merry-Go-Round

October 1, 2009 4:55 am

Here at IMPO , we like discovering the best in new technolgies, whether it's a oddly-shaped device that encourages sedentariness from a major automaker, or a jet-powered, steampunk-inspired merry-go-round. Built by a Brooklyn-based arts collective, The Madagascar, the ride is relatively simple. Ignore the "Caution: This may kill you!" sign, fire up the massive jets, and get airbourne.

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Like A Bird On A Wire

October 1, 2009 4:53 am

See how maintenance is performed on live, high-powered electric lines. Thanks to Michael Faraday's theory that a man enclosed in a metallic box will not be affected by an electric current supplied to the box, regardless of its voltage, this work is now possible. Every movement has an elegance and beauty, even when there's half a million volts flowing over his body.

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Our Robot Future

October 1, 2009 4:46 am

Via FORA.Tv . At Maker Faire 2009 iRobot CTO Rodney Brooks had the opportunity to speak about the future of robotics in manufacturing. He argues that "untouchable" robots are a thing of the past, even though they're just reaching their hayday in manufacturing facility. But they're dangerous; no one can get close unless they're shut down.

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Yep, Walking Is So 20th Century

October 1, 2009 4:44 am

The U3 X from Honda hopes to, like the Segway, "revolutionize" the way people move around their lives. The UX 3 is small, sleek, and looks relatively easy-to-use. It's certainly more attractive than the Segway. So what do you think? Can we abandon walking altogether yet? Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.

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Controlling Motor Inefficiencies

September 30, 2009 4:39 am | by Christian Fritz, Product Marketing Manager, and Brian MacCleery, Senior Product Manager, National Instruments

In the face of economic uncertainties and increasing environmental concerns, many businesses today are evaluating ways to make their operations more lean, efficient, and environmentally friendly. Examining the electricity bill is a good place to start. The top consumers of electricity are typically the HVAC system, water heating, lighting, office equipment, and machinery.

Reuse It Or Lose It

September 29, 2009 4:31 am | by David Madden, Owner, ContainerExchanger.com

Buying used reusable packaging yields immediate cost savings and long term benefits. Looking for new ways to add to your bottom line? Perhaps you should take a look at replacing expendable packaging with reusable/returnable options. Buying reusable packaging, specifically quality used reusable packaging, can generate cost savings.

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Feature: Critical Steps To Distribution Center Planning

September 25, 2009 4:42 am | by Craig Bertorello, Vice President of Operations, TriFactor LLC

Because these facilities are critical components of the supply chain, they require a detailed planning process to ensure they meet return on investment expectations. More than ever, the “measure twice, cut once” rule applies, since having to tack on additional capital outlays five, six, or seven years down the road is costly.

Synchronous Belt Failure Guide

September 22, 2009 5:54 am

A failure that occurs when a belt reaches its ultimate tensile cord fatigue life, after running for a period of two to three years may be considered to be normal. Belt tensile failure due to cord fatigue after a long running period is considered to be ideal. Figure 1 illustrates a jagged 45-degree belt fracture that is typical of tensile cord at the end of its fatigue life.

Breakers Key To Process Integrity

September 21, 2009 12:15 pm

Figure 5 Circuit breakers must be properly maintained and applied in order to operate when called upon. Consider the following scenario: A circuit breaker is helping protect a flow pump and senses a fault downstream. If the electrical distribution system is selectively coordinated, the breaker in closest proximity to the problem on the circuit would trip, isolating the fault to the smallest area.

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Extreme Maintenance

September 21, 2009 6:54 am

Sure, we've all experienced the occasional stuck bolt, especially those charged with building and maintaining manufacturing equipment like yourselves. But what about a stuck bolt in space? In their latest spacewalk outside of the Hubble telescrope, American astronauts braved injury and death to install a new, $150 million dollar camera into the Hubble's aging body.

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Building Behemoths

September 21, 2009 6:21 am

Digital Altiel gives a quick tour of their facility, where they utilize Delcam's PowerMILL and PowerSHAPE technology to recreate lifesized sculptures in massive scales for the likes of Disney and Pixar. Digital Altiel scans the original piece and machines it in large pieces, which are welded together to create a finished product.

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The Lego V8 Roars

September 21, 2009 6:12 am

Remember the Lego of your childhood, when you spent countless hours just putting together a space ship or castle that just fell apart after an hour? Well, those days are over. In the 21st century, Lego engineers have moved to bigger and better pastures. Listen to the "roar" of this pushrod V8 as it revs up over 1,500 rpm.

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Over-engineering, F1-Style

September 21, 2009 5:45 am

Via AutoMotoTV . Take a look inside the incredible precision that goes into making every Red Bull Technology F1 race car. Through extensive research, protoyping, and testing, the vehicles come together like a work of art, not to mention an incredible example of precision in engineering.

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Apple Reveals Revolutionary Keyboard-less Laptop

September 18, 2009 12:03 pm

Apple is renowned for their revolutionary and innovative products, some of which have changed the way we live. First, the iPod, featuring the world-famous "click wheel." Now, see how Apple has hybridized click wheel technology with their sleek laptops, forming a keyboard-less laptop that functions seamlessly and beautifully.

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Entering a New Age

September 18, 2009 11:45 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

If you asked Ken Baker, CEO of NewAge Industries of Southampton, PA, why he thought his company was a great place to work, he wouldn’t answer you with metrics, platitudes, or generic corporate speak. In fact, Baker doesn’t seem capable of the stereotypical “canned answer.

The Flexible Schedule

September 18, 2009 11:12 am | by John W. Frehse, Chief Strategist, Core Practice LLC

The ability to react rapidly to changes in demand is one of the most crucial capabilities in business today. At one time you might have staffed extra people or carried extra inventory, but that is expensive. Every wasted dollar eats away at your margins. Whatever your industry, you need a way to respond quickly to fluctuations in demand while minimizing your costs.

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