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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Practical Advice For Virtualizing Your Manufacturing Applications

April 23, 2013 8:05 am | by Frank Hill, Director of Manufacturing Business Development, Stratus Technologies

As manufacturers continue to increase plant automation, virtualization is gaining traction as a way to control costs, increase efficiencies, and drive better long-term planning. Virtualization, the practice of using a software layer to let one physical computing server run multiple applications on virtual machines, enables manufacturers to maximize their return on hardware investments while conserving real estate on the plant floor.


How Wearable Technology Is Transforming Facilities

April 23, 2013 8:00 am | by Mark Wheeler, Director of Supply Chain Solutions - North America, Motorola Solutions

Mobile devices are necessary tools to increase the efficiency and productivity of workers across many industries and markets, including the warehouse. But wearable, voice-directed and multimodal mobile technologies are helping to transform the warehouse environment at an even faster pace than standard mobile tools in other markets.


Engineering Answers: Fail Faster

April 19, 2013 8:00 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D

As the market gap between hobbyist makers and professional engineers continues to close, desktop 3D printing is emerging as the next golden nugget in prototyping and small-scale manufacturing. MakerBot has been at the cusp of this revolution.


CAGI Data Sheets: An Apples To Apples Performance Comparison

April 17, 2013 8:00 am | by Werner Rauer, Compressors Product Manager, Kaeser Compressors, Inc.

Comparing compressor performances across different manufacturers has long been a difficult task. For a many years, it was all too easy to present data that, although accurate, was potentially misleading. Manufacturers were selective about what information they published as well as what conditions they chose to specify performance. The result was a numbers game that the buyer frequently lost.


How to Choose A Manufacturing System

April 16, 2013 8:05 am | by Jean Huy, senior director of product marketing for ERP, Sage North America

Our experience has taught us that people need more than just product information; they also need other kinds of input to make sound decisions about their accounting and manufacturing software. Use these questions to determine just how ready your company is to adopt a new manufacturing system.


Performance Plans Create Results, Maximize Performance

April 12, 2013 8:00 am | by Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D., Author & Publisher, Majorium Business Press

A performance plan differs from a conventional plan in that it is a proactive document. It is designed for continuous use throughout the year as a guide and reference tool to direct the leader and his or her unit's activities. The primary purpose of a performance plan is to create results and maximize performance.


How To Benefit From Mobile, From The Floor To The Field

April 9, 2013 4:30 pm

Yes, there’s a place for mobile in manufacturing. Seven, actually. Today’s mobile solutions can help your business run more profitably and predictably, by putting the right tools and information right where they’re needed. Load tablets with videos, manuals and instructions to deliver the training and education employees need, where they need it most — on the floor.


ISM: Manufacturing Dips, Remains In Positive Territory

April 9, 2013 8:00 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, MBT

Although U.S. manufacturing declined in March, it continues a positive push into 2013. “The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Index was 51.3 in March, down from 54.2 in February but is still above 50, the dividing point between growth and decline,” said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).


American Built, Building America

April 8, 2013 8:00 am | by Michelle Avila

More than a quarter century after hitting its peak, U.S. manufacturing appears to be back. More and more companies from Apple to General Electric, Ford and Caterpillar, are deciding to make their products here. But what is behind this manufacturing renaissance? Why are companies bringing back jobs and what makes those companies think they can succeed?


How To Develop A Welder

April 5, 2013 3:49 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

According to a 2011 article in Welding & Gases Today , the welding industry is poised for significant growth over the next decade. But with well over 200,000 available welding jobs predicted, the industry is not exactly jumping for joy. In fact, this key area of metalworking has long been known for the skill gap it consistently faces. So what’s the problem, who will solve it, and – perhaps most importantly – how?


Industry Profile: Phillip Slater, Founder of

April 5, 2013 3:27 pm

"Because spare parts are different.” It sounds like common sense, but Phillip Slater will tell you that it’s not always intuitive for manufacturers to view spare parts as a unique area, especially due to some pervasive myths that exist around inventory reduction.


Such Great Heights

April 5, 2013 3:24 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

Much like the rest of the physical world, the manufacturing environment is constantly battling against the challenges of time and space. And when it comes to space constraints, as cost conscious manufacturers know, it can often be more economical to go up than out. But when work platforms, or mezzanines, enter the mix, so do a host of potential safety issues.


China Is The World’s Largest Manufacturer, And By An Increasing Margin

April 5, 2013 3:19 pm | by Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Economist, MAPI

China1 displaced the United States as the world’s largest manufacturing nation in 2010 and widened its lead in 2011, according to recently published data from the United Nations. Manufacturing value-added in China totaled $2.35 trillion in 2011 while U.S. manufacturing value-added was $1.90 trillion.2


Manufacturing Cloud ERP – What Can We Agree Upon?

April 5, 2013 3:16 pm | by Pat Garrehy, President & CEO, Rootstock

After more than a decade of controversy, there is now unanimity of thought on many of the benefits and evolution of Cloud ERP. Indeed, today, there is common thinking among business and market analysts, software vendors, and system integrators about the role of this vital technology in a business environment. At last, this consensus is finally trickling down to end-users.


Reduce Electronic Waste Heat Without Breaking The Budget

April 5, 2013 3:13 pm | by Kimberley Dawn, CEO, Noren Products

Thermal management has been one of the primary concerns for today’s industrial facilities that must rely on maximum performance of sophisticated and highly advanced computers and components. Excess heat generated by electronics, if left unchecked, can damage the effectiveness of components and other intricate equipment inside panels and enclosures.


Control The Flow

April 5, 2013 3:09 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

Controlled-volume metering pumps (also known as metering pumps, feed pumps, or dosing pumps) are reciprocating positive displacement pumps typically used for proportional liquid blending or metered single liquid transfer. These pumps need to be able to perform flawlessly, which means highly accurate, repeatable, and adjustable flow rates.


Understanding The True Value Of Anti-Seize

April 5, 2013 3:05 pm | by Michael Feeney, E.I.T., Henkel Corporation (Loctite® Brand Products)

Although the purpose of an anti-seize may be obvious due to its name, it is a subject not well understood and certainly under utilized. Anyone who has snapped the head off a bolt or screw would sympathize that a lot of time, blood, sweat, and maybe even tears, are wasted when anti-seize is an afterthought.


BMW Manufacturing Reports Record Production Volume

April 5, 2013 2:53 pm

BMW Manufacturing achieved another record production year. Annual production of 301,519 vehicles marks 2012 as the highest production volume in the Spartanburg, South Carolina plant’s 19-year history. This represents a nine percent increase over the production volume for 2011 (276,065). Since 2010, the plant’s production output has increased by 90 percent (159,284).


Manufacturing American Efficiency

April 5, 2013 2:35 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

The majority of today’s LED solutions are not produced in America. And for the first five years of doing business, that was true for NEUTEX Advanced Energy Group as well. Headquartered in Houston, NEUTEX has become one of a list of companies that have recently moved operations to the U.S. from overseas. Today, the company is developing its Houston presence as it positions itself as a leading manufacturer of LED lighting.


Modular Control Buildings Bring Flexibility To Remote Processing Sites

April 3, 2013 8:05 am | by Matt Hodson, President and CEO, Principal Technology Inc.

Pressures to reduce staff levels for onsite operations coupled with the increasing sophistication and expense of automation and control equipment have led to growing trend to use modular structures to house and protect sensitive process and automation controls.



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