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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Competition Recognizes Die Cast Designs

November 11, 2005 9:39 am

The North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) is conducting a special industry competition to promote cutting-edge die cast design. With its annual International Die Casting Competition, NADCA recognizes the outstanding casting designs of the year, based on their design, quality, cost savings, ingenuity, innovation and industry-changing potential.

SME Introduces New Lean Certification

November 11, 2005 9:39 am

A new Lean Certification has been established by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), and The Shingo Prize. The new Lean Certification is intended to set an international standard for aligning Lean practices. According to a statement from SME, this is the only true professional Lean Certification on the market that is based on a public body of knowledge and not tied to any training program.

Autodesk Acquires ‘Engineer-to-Order’ Company

November 11, 2005 9:39 am

Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has acquired certain assets of Engineering Intent Corp., Waltham, MA. Engineering Intent provides "Engineer to Order" (ETO) software and services. The acquisition enables Autodesk to help its customers address the growing demand for mass customization — efficiently delivering end products uniquely designed and configured for individual customers.

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House Approves Aerospace Workforce Legislation

November 11, 2005 9:39 am

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an Aerospace Industry Association (AIA)-supported bill to create a federal inter-agency task force on aerospace workforce revitalization. The move is seen in some corners as a major step to addressing a looming critical shortage of engineers and other workers in the industry.

Agency Submittals Made Easy

November 11, 2005 9:39 am

By Steve Rogers NRTLs (nationally recognized testing laboratories) offer companies the ability to secure third-party verification of product capabilities. These approvals can also be a wise marketing strategy since they allow products to be compared fairly and completely by potential customers. However, the process can be both costly and lengthy without organization and attention to detail.

Study Finds CDAS Systems Define Future Factory Automation

November 11, 2005 9:37 am

Most companies today are exposed to one of the most complex and diverse business environments in manufacturing history. With a globally distributed design/build process and supply chain, a demand-driven market, and the need for real-time collaboration and response across the manufacturing enterprise, companies are facing formidable challenges.

Should You Outsource Your Production Maintenance?

November 9, 2005 5:13 am | by Stephen C. Welch, Contributor

Here’s a guide to help you answer that question, and tips for what to do if the response is ‘yes.’ Outsourcing of IT maintenance is expected to grow as more manufacturers turn to computer-based production technologies. Many companies have been guilty of viewing production maintenance as a necessary evil or, at best, a cost that is difficult to isolate and control.

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RFID: Coming to a Tool Crib Near You

June 16, 2005 6:42 am | by Don Kafka, President, ToolWatch Corp., Centennial, CO; and John Doherty, Product Manager, Bosch Digital Power Tools, Mt. Prospect, IL

Keeping the line moving at the tool crib has always been a problem. Without an efficient method for handling the congestion of workers waiting for the tools they need, it’s easy for employees to spend more time in that line than the company might like.

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Best Practices: Goodrich Corp., Cargo Systems Division: Running Lean, Flying High

June 16, 2005 6:27 am

This North Dakota-based maker of aircraft cargo systems believes its lean-based operating platform is the key to a bright future. By Rick Carter, Editor-in-Chief Of all industries hurt by 9/11, aerospace probably tops the list. Commercial carriers, airplane builders and suppliers all saw their business drop after that tragic day.

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Match Lift Trucks to Your Operation and Operators

May 9, 2005 7:34 am | by Joe Ritter, Director of Marketing and Product Management, Crown Equipment Corp.

Application and operators: These are the two things that should drive the decision of purchasing a lift truck, not acquisition cost. You need to know how well potential trucks are designed for your application. And you need to know how well they’re designed for operator confidence, productivity and safety. With the appropriate truck in the hands of a confident operator, productivity is optimized. And when that machine is built to last, you get the winning combination of high productivity, safety and low total cost of ownership. 

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Cut MRO Costs With Your Distributor’s Help

May 9, 2005 7:05 am

Distributors can help you cut MRO costs, says this expert, but only if you allow them. The strategy: customized, value-added support. By Mark Dancer, Contributor Distributors know the trap: Manufacturing customers demand high levels of support, but are increasingly unwilling to pay for the value-add.

Reusable Packaging Streamlines Supply, Cuts Waste

April 11, 2005 12:23 pm | by Samantha Goetz, Marketing Communications Manager, Orbis Corp

Materials management is essential to better supply-chain performance. One way to improve the flow of product all along the supply chain is to use plastic reusable packaging. World-class companies like Ford, John Deere, Harley-Davidson, Tyson and others have already recognized the value of reusable packaging in moving their product faster, better, safer and more cost-effectively. A study conducted by Michigan State University, for example, noted that one U.S. automaker saved $10.9 million a year over a four-year period after a $16.3 million investment in reusable packaging.

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Zero-to-Landfill: Preserving Planet and Profit

April 11, 2005 11:58 am

By Paul J. Burton, Vice President of Manufacturing, Plug Power, Latham, NY Many manufacturers view sustainable practices and cost savings as an either/or proposition. Either a company can do what is best for people and the environment, their thinking goes, or it can address its bottom line. Ecology, they believe, costs extra.

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Resin Plant’s Filter-System Upgrade Boosts Safety, Efficiency

April 11, 2005 11:49 am

The self-cleaning Russell Finex Eco Filter means less downtime and safer working conditions at a hydrocarbon resin plant in California. When Neville Chemical Co. opened its Anaheim, CA, plant in 1958, its major competitors in the growing hydrocarbon resin industry were domestic giants such as Eastman and Exxon.

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Trends in Productivity

April 11, 2005 11:28 am

The competitive global marketplace demands that manufacturers be the low-cost producer to survive. Improvements in productivity, driven by the latest in automation and management policies, can provide the leverage managers are looking for. By Nancy Syverson, Managing Editor Productivity is the critical measure that determines plant efficiency.

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Maximizing Sensor Performance in Demanding Applications

March 14, 2005 10:10 am | by John P. Connelly, Sensor Product Manager, Invensys Process Systems, Foxboro Measurements and Instruments Div., Foxboro, MA

For maintenance and plant operations, one device that can often represent significant cost is the sensor, particularly in harsh applications such as chemical and petrochemical processing. Often exposed to or immersed in highly corrosive solutions and subjected to extremely high operating temperatures and other severe conditions, pH sensors are the critical front-line probes that gather and deliver key data.

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The Road to Manufacturing Excellence : Are We There Yet?

February 11, 2005 7:18 am

Specialty chemicals manufacturer Rohm and Haas Co. has reinvigorated its Manufacturing Excellence initiative, to better compete in a tough chemical marketplace. Here's how the company did it. By David Rosenthal, P.E., Rohm and Haas Co., Bristol, PA Global competition, maturing markets, over-capacity plants, increasing environmental pressure, and rising raw material prices continue to challenge chemical-industry profitability.

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Infrared Tells More Than Temperature

February 10, 2005 7:00 am | by John Snell, President, Snell Infrared

Investments in infrared thermography will return handsomely when used as part of a well-planned maintenance program. Unfortunately, many companies don't get those returns. In fact, thermography all too often becomes a burdensome expense, and the program is eventually abandoned. One reason this happens is because managers fail to understand the basics of the technology and the needs of their staff who use it.

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Conveyor meets manufacturer’s need to cleanly move loose food items

February 10, 2005 5:50 am

The conveyer moves dry bulk-food blends without mixing or cross-contamination, and can be placed where needed. GloryBee Foods, founded in 1975 as a one-man operation selling honey, is a Eugene, OR-based manufacturer and distributor of organic food products. The family-run business still sells honey and other liquid sweeteners.

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Maintenance Scorecards: Measure What you Manage

February 10, 2005 5:42 am

Scorecards offer an easy way to track and evaluate maintenance effectiveness. Here's how to put them to work in any industrial environment. By Mike Cowley, Contributor Industrial maintenance is getting beyond the days when it was called to action only when equipment failed. Plant managers know that maintenance plays a key role not only in equipment uptime, but in production and overall plant efficiency.

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