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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Standards Boost Business

August 20, 2013 8:01 am | by S. Joe Bhatia, President & CEO, American National Standards Institute

From the corner offices across America to the halls of Capitol Hill, leaders in the public and private sectors are sounding the call for economic reform and job creation. As the U.S. looks to forge a path for sustainable economic growth for the nation, there is a powerful business tool that can help U.S. industry to fuel business performance and drive growth.

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CMMS Use, Needs, And Wants

August 19, 2013 8:02 am | by Michael Koploy Analyst, Software Advice

Over the past two months, Software Advice has surveyed maintenance professionals to identify how the industry uses software to get organized, improve efficiencies and tackle other industry challenges. 84 percent of those surveyed use some kind of software to manage maintenance. Commercial software products (i.e. CMMS, EAM/ERP or other business software tools) were used by 77 percent of those surveyed.

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5 Quick Questions With SC Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt

August 19, 2013 8:01 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

According to recent figures from the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the state’s GDP growth rate of 2.7 percent puts it just above the 2.5 percent national average, and is significantly out-pacing the 2.1 percent average of the southeastern region of the country. Much of this growth is attributed to manufacturing.

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Smoking Fast Order Fulfillment At Hauni Richmond

August 14, 2013 8:02 am | by Kardex Remstar, LLC

When management needed to reduce the footprint of Richmond's remanufacturing operations to make room for other revenue generating actives, the stockroom was faced with a 60 percent reduction in floor space. The stockroom already had a floor to ceiling man up narrow aisle picking system and there was little floor space and no additional shelf space that could be squeezed out.

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Can Reliability Excellence Help Explain The Jobless Recovery?

August 13, 2013 8:02 am | by Mark Ruby, MBA, Life Cycle Engineering

Despite 15 months of quarter-to-quarter growth in U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP), the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high and well above other economic recoveries of the same maturity. While the official U3 employment measure has begun to show slight improvements, the broader U6 and U7 measures show much less improvement and remain essentially flat.

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Explosion-Proof Vacuums: An Investment In Safety

August 12, 2013 4:40 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

Recent plant explosions should serve as a reminder for industrial users to review their vacuums to ensure they are suitable in explosion-proof applications, such as those relating to combustible dust. In addition to satisfying OSHA requirements, manufacturers must also keep workers safe. As Frank Intrieri Jr., VP of sales with Goodway says, “explosion-proof vacuums are used in hazardous environments, so safety precautions are imperative.”

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Trimming Wastes Boosts Savings at Seal Maker

August 12, 2013 4:34 pm

Most manufacturers strive to make their operations as eco-friendly as possible. Whether it’s reducing energy use, recycling waste materials, or designing more energy-efficient products, “green” manufacturing is on everyone’s minds. For the last five years the Trelleborg Sealing Solutions facility in Fort Wayne, IN, has taken a systematic approach toward continuous improvement.

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Who Is Responsible?

August 12, 2013 4:29 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

Our fourth annual Energy Intelligence Report will again bring IMPO readers the latest industry trends as it relates to plant energy use and overall business efficiency. This report has been designed to spark some ideas for cost savings measures, as manufacturers continue to face tightening budgets and competitive pressures. We hope you can find something of value as you look at your own plant floor and try to determine where to start.

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Pallets & Racking: Doing More

August 12, 2013 4:21 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

New features in pallets and racking, including better material composition, more secure racks, and better accessibility are making today’s industrial pallet and racking solutions safer and more cost effective than ever before. In this ever changing world of material handling, manufacturers are doing everything they can to choose wisely, stay efficient, and incorporate safety.

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Power To The People

August 12, 2013 4:03 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

It’s not uncommon to find an industrial worker with a power tool in their hands a dozen or more times per day. Power and speed are important – but perhaps most critical is the assurance of knowing the tool is ready to go at a moment’s notice. With reliability being top of mind for most users, power tool manufacturers place continued emphasis on improving the batteries that make a cordless tool go.

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HVLS Fans As A Complement to HVAC

August 12, 2013 3:58 pm | by Dan Anderson, Rite-Hite Fans

Distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and other large, open warehouse environments face a host of unique design and maintenance challenges. These challenges include energy costs, temperature control, air quality, and employee safety/comfort issues. In an effort to mitigate these challenges, more and more facilities are installing high volume, low speed (HVLS) fans as a complement to their HVAC system.

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Bang For The Buck

August 12, 2013 3:46 pm | by Robert Giacobbe, Managing Director for Accenture and the global lead for Accenture’s Service Strategy and Operations (SSO) consulting practice

At one time or another, a maintenance organization has struggled with getting the best cost and service performance out of its spares inventory. Often, the penalties for not getting spares “right” are significant. And with the emergence of new service models such as “power by the hour,” providers are signing contracts that carry a hefty penalty for below-target performance.

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Dow Gains “Real Knowledge” Through EMI

August 12, 2013 3:39 pm

Northwest Analytics, provider of manufacturing intelligence solutions for process industries, announces the launch of NWA Focus EMI®, a next-generation enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) solution that provides complete data source integration, and real-time process analytics and visibility.

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Cable Management Systems Do the Robot

August 12, 2013 3:35 pm

Cable management is a crucial part of any robotic system, but the truth is that the methods used to attach and guide cables has not changed much in the past 50-plus years. In fact, it is often overlooked altogether. While managing cables and hoses may seem simple, most experts agree one of the biggest oversights designers make is underestimating cable management issues.

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Dream, Build, Create

August 12, 2013 3:11 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

In 1939 – and inspired by a plastic toothbrush – L.A. Blackwellhad a simple dream: To be able to produce a well-made, standard, plastic product. He built his first injection molding machine by hand and Houston, TX became home to a leader in custom plastics injection molding and extrusion: Blackwell Plastics, Inc.

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Survey Reveals Plastics Manufacturing Customers' Top Priorities

August 12, 2013 8:08 am | by Andrew Hoehn, Ray Products

While the survey showed that customers cared about some aspects of a manufacturer’s capabilities more than other, there wasn’t a wide disparity between their highest and lowest ranked attributes.  For example, survey takers gave the top-ranked attribute,  “Quality,” a 4.73 out of a possible 5 rating.  The lowest ranked attribute, “Sales Process,” still received a rating of 3.08 out of a possible 5.

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Playing ‘The Game’ Of U.S. Clothing Manufacturing

August 12, 2013 8:01 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

The Game, a Phenix City, Ala.-based manufacturer of sporting apparel for nearly a thousand collegiate baseball teams, recently announced a new line of American-made products — American Threads — to be manufactured in North Carolina. Amid a noticeable demand for a home-grown product, they decided to reconsider the cost picture of producing goods locally.

Designing A High Power, Right Angle Drill

August 9, 2013 8:02 am | by Spirol

DEWALT’s lead design engineer for drills was tasked with designing a high power right angle drill that is lightweight, compact, and portable. As is common with hand power tools, the goal with the design was to maximize performance while minimizing the size of the tool.

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Surface Mount Technology Vs. Workstation Design

August 7, 2013 8:02 am | by Jim Norton, Custom Products & Services, Inc.

In today’s modern assembly facilities, the design and flexibility of the workstation is critical to maintain quality, workflow, and ergonomics. Unlike the old, static, welded frame workbenches of the past, modern workstations incorporate a modular, flexible, adaptable design, with a wide variety of options that allows the end user tremendous flexibility in reconfiguring the furniture to meet an ever changing production environment.

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Top 5 Quality Metrics For The Plant Manager’s Dashboard

August 7, 2013 8:01 am | by Mike Roberts, Research Associate, LNS Research

If you are involved in quality and operations decisions for manufacturing or supply-chain management, one of your most important responsibilities is to ensure that the final output of your plant is in compliance with internal and external quality standards.This is not as easy as it sounds.

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