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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Gas Mask Bras And British Zombies: 2009's Worst Inventions

December 2, 2009 10:38 am

Every year, TIME reaches out and finds some of the best innovations, and we've already seen their opinion on 2009's best offering: NASA's Ares I rocket . But this year is the first they stopped spending so much time on the good stuff, in order to put the spotlight on the year's absolute worst inventions.

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Improving Control Valve Performance

November 30, 2009 7:52 am | by Fabian C. Gonzalez, Flowserve Corporation

The increasing demand on facilities to improve profitability has driven many plant managers to prioritize maintenance activities while striving to increase plant output. Historically, refineries, chemical plants and power plants have focused on achieving cost savings through capital and personnel reductions, and improving output by reducing unplanned downtime.

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Microsoft Provides New Outlook On Lean IT

November 30, 2009 6:37 am

Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc. is a U.S. $1 billion global provider of manufacturing equipment and services. The company’s employees rely on up-to-date messaging technology to conduct business with partners and customers around the world. Barry-Wehmiller wanted to upgrade to Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 e-mail messaging and collaboration software.

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Lock Out Waste With SPC

November 23, 2009 7:04 am

Eugene, OR — The quality department at Yale Commercial Locks and Hardware takes its job seriously — assuring that the products they manufacture meet the strict requirements of a name synonymous with security. But in an ultra-competitive environment, simply meeting those requirements isn’t enough.

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From The NBA To Plant Floor

November 19, 2009 4:50 am

Charlie Bell, a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, grew up in Flint, Michigan, so he knows all about the manufacturing business. So when Tz Roznowski of Amalga Composites asked Charlie to "do his job," the basketball star couldn't help but say yes. After a hard day's work, a 6/10 review from your new boss isn't half bad.

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Inside The Ford Fusion, Motortrend's 'Car Of The Year'

November 19, 2009 4:03 am

Earlier this week, Motortrend magazine named the 2010 Ford Fusion as its "car of the year," beating out more than 20 other vehicles from around the world. It's a big deal for the American automaker who has emerged from the recession stronger than ever, and bailout-free. See what makes the Ford Fusion, and in particular its hybrid model, the best car of the year.

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M&Ms Just Got A Little Bit Greener

November 19, 2009 3:43 am

Last Tuesday, Mars Chocolate unveiled a 28,000-panel solar garden, which provides 20 percent of peak energy consumption at its New Jersey manufacturing plant. Are you surprised New Jersey is second in solar capacity only to California? I was. 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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Apple Industrial Designer: We're Cool, You're Not

November 19, 2009 3:21 am

Apple computers are well-recognized around the world, despite having a small market share in comparison to the plethora of Windows-based computers from manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Sony, and countless others. So, what makes people tick when they get an iPod or a MacBook in their hands? Easy: industrial design.

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Head Of U.S. Military Celebrates Wisconsin Trucks

November 18, 2009 6:50 am

Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corp. to check out the production of the company's M-ATVs, which are currently being used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Take a peek at Gates' speech to the workers who build the trucks on a daily basis, and why they're so important to the military.

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Notes From The Real World

November 18, 2009 3:25 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder of PCDworks

To offer an alternative to my usual rant, this month I thought I'd share some hard-earned insights with those of you who have an insane itch to develop, manufacture, and sell your own products. Until now, I have been shielded from the vagaries of actually manufacturing something in the real world.

10 Steps To Reduce Air Compressor Energy Costs

November 16, 2009 11:12 am | by Paul Humphreys, Atlas Copco Compressors

Value, by definition, is a fair return on purchased goods or services. However, real value is routinely sacrificed for the bottom line; initial expenditures or outlays are counted, but the regular operational and periodic maintenance costs go ignored, left to continually, and guilefully, add up.

Asphalt Manufacturer Gets Rapid-Response Safety Upgrade

November 16, 2009 6:36 am

When the crux of your business revolves around 20-hour days spent loading and unloading asphalt into and out of trucks, safety is a primary concern. And when you’re relying on 20-year-old shop-built loading racks for these crucial functions, it’s probably time for an upgrade. That was the reality for Premier Modified Asphalt (formerly known as Premier Emulsions), a Phoenix, AZ-based asphalt-emulsion and asphalt-rubber manufacturer.

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Getting More Than Satisfaction From Your Relationships

November 13, 2009 8:49 am | by Andy Kaiser, Yaskawa

I want to ask you to look at a widely accepted business relationship from a little different perspective. As a decision-maker, you are constantly interfacing with numerous vendors who are requesting your time, attention, consideration, and ultimately, a purchase order.  Eventually, you must make decisions regarding the best possible value regarding equipment and services required to either expand or maintain operations at your facility.

Lift Trucks Keep Ben & Jerry's Churning

November 13, 2009 8:44 am | by Susan Comfort, Product Manager of Class II Lift Trucks, The Raymond Corporation

Americans love ice cream. Over the last 10 years, total production of ice cream and related frozen deserts has been over 1.5 billion gallons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This high demand led ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s, maker of popular, quirky flavors like Cherry Garcia and Phish Food, to reevaluate its operations.

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Get Attracted To Magnetic Safety

November 12, 2009 11:05 am | by Bill Dudenhoefer, Manager—Separation Products, Eriez Manufacturing Company

Industrial strength magnetic separation equipment has been used in manufacturing facilities for decades. These magnetic separators remove unwanted ferrous metals from bulk products to improve product purity, protect sensitive processing equipment from damage, and prevent fires or explosions.

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Keep Tabs On Consumables Consumption

November 12, 2009 6:54 am

Lakeshore Technologies processes ingredients for the food and pharmaceutical industries, serving customers such as Cadbury, Schweppes, Kellogg’s, Pfizer, and Ocean Spray. Their facility in Lakeshore, Michigan spans 75,000 sq. ft., with 7-8 employees per shift. Like many companies that don’t have a dedicated inventory control manager, they found it difficult to keep their stock in balance, opting to over-stock inventory rather than risk stock-outs.

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The Gassier Side Of Paper Manufacturing

November 11, 2009 10:36 am

Sometimes we forget about the — ahem — gassier side of paper manufacturing. But creating paper from recycled sources, instead of virgin fibers, can spare us all from a whole lot of methane. 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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The Ups And Downs Of 'Coal Country'

November 11, 2009 10:30 am

It's undeniable: coal mining is a dirty but absolutely necessary business. In this trailer from the documentary " Coal Country ," we can get a glimpse into the endless battles between anti-coal activists, residents, and the workers that make our modern lifestyles possible. The results are explosive and powerful.

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ABB Robots Waltzing With Fanta Cans

November 11, 2009 10:19 am

ABB industrial robots are known for their stellar motion control, but this is a little bit crazy. Check out how the company has pushed their previous Fanta test to a whole new level. It's like a high school dance — no touching allowed! 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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TIME's Best Invention Of 2009: NASA's Ares I Rocket

November 11, 2009 9:36 am

TIME Magazine has pegged the Ares I rocket, NASA's newest endeavor into space travel, as the greatest invention of 2009. Although the rocket is not yet ready to carry humans back to the moon and all the way to Mars, the October 28 launch proved that the upgraded system is on its way to being the next best hope in stellar travel.

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