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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Ten Business Technology Trends You'll Read About in 2014

December 6, 2013 9:25 am | by Matthew Littlefield; President and Principal Analyst at LNS Research

Which business technologies will lead the way in 2014? Research firms, journalists, and bloggers are gearing up to share their thoughts on this question and offer their predictions over the few weeks.               

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Is Reshoring A Viable Option?

December 6, 2013 9:04 am | by Tia Nowack, IMPO Associate Editor

Wages in China are steadily rising at an annual rate in the double digits.  Tax incentives for foreign manufacturers are expiring, energy costs continue to increase, and the cost associated with shipping are increasing.  In short, China is becoming a far less attractive manufacturing option for American companies.

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The Cheapest Energy Is That Not Consumed

December 4, 2013 9:35 am | by Bob Hinkle, Metrus Energy

The energy efficiency market is rapidly evolving to include no-first-cost financing options that finally enable companies to implement projects that not only have deeper energy savings with longer paybacks, but also improve the bottom line and the sustainability of their operations.

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ISM: A Good Solid Month For Manufacturing

December 4, 2013 9:14 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the sixth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 54th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

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Separating Plant Network From Enterprise Network Improves Operational Performance

December 3, 2013 9:17 am | by Belden Inc.

Network strategies and objectives differ depending on the job. The IT department must place data integrity first. On the other hand, JIT production facilities live and die by keeping manufacturing lines up and running in order to meet production quantity, quality and delivery driven by electronic order requests sent by the customer. By maintaining separate networks, each group can operate at optimum potential.

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Q&A: The FDA And Mandatory Recalls

December 3, 2013 9:11 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

With more news about food and beverage recalls, there’s a growing concern that the industry won’t be able to keep up with new regulation that allows the FDA to trigger mandatory recalls at food distributors. In order to get some more details on the rules, and how companies are going to deal with the changes, we got in touch with Joe Scioscia, vice president of sales for VAI.

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5 Quick Questions On Supply Chain Management

December 2, 2013 12:30 pm | by Sean Rollings, Vice President, Product Marketing at E2open

Sean Rollings, Vice President of Product Marketing at E2open, answers some questions about supply chain management, globalization, data management, and continuity and contingency planning.                  

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Plant Design: Efficient Budgeting And Resource Conservation For Food Manufacturers

December 2, 2013 9:20 am | by Kerry Mowlam, Division Manager, Stellar and Frank Freeman, Senior Mechanical Engineer, Stellar

We find that many plants are now undergoing expensive retrofits because future needs were not appropriately considered. Not only are retrofits expensive, but if new equipment is not sized and sequenced effectively, it can significantly affect your energy costs.

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How Manufacturers Can Bring Down The Gavel On Legal Fees

November 29, 2013 8:09 am | by Stephen Rauf, Legal Services Lead at Procurian

Perhaps one of the largest barriers to aggressively tackling legal expenditures is that failure is not an option. The relationships formed between corporate attorneys and outside firms often span multiple decades, forged on a foundation of trust.

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In Securing Your Supply Chain, Don’t Forget To Lock The Back Door

November 29, 2013 8:01 am | by Tim Garcia, CEO, Apptricity

Over time, business has gotten a lot smarter when it comes to protecting enterprise technology from the hackers and viruses that are constantly fighting to get in. At the same time, though, we sometimes forget to account for a key vulnerability in the security perimeter — the many data links maintained with suppliers and service providers. The oversight is potentially serious.

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What Can Home Healthcare Teach Greater Manufacturing?

November 27, 2013 7:53 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

With the Affordable Care Act pushing more long-term treatment to be done at home, and patients demanding an increased level of autonomy when it comes to treating their conditions, many devices that were once only operated by skilled, educated technicians or physicians are now in the hands of relatively inexperienced patients.

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The Internet of Things: Brooms Coming to Life

November 27, 2013 7:43 am | by Alain Louchez, Georgia Institute of Technology

In Walt Disney's Fantasia, the fate of the enchanted broom, the tale’s forgotten hero, is a rich allegory with modern flavors. It provides a helpful departing point for a reflection on the surging Internet of Things (IoT).        

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Manufacturers Are Leaving China, But Where Are They Headed?

November 26, 2013 8:06 am | by Tia Nowack, IMPO Associate Editor

Seeing China’s manufacturing sector shrink is a trend that excites Americans, although it may not actually alleviate much of the pressure around a U.S. unemployment rate of 7.3 percent.  The reality, according to many experts, is that the phenomenon is more one of nearshoring than reshoring, as many of these businesses – along with their jobs – head to Mexico. 

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7 Ways Signal Noise Can Impact Your Electrical Equipment

November 26, 2013 7:59 am | by CAS DataLoggers

Have you been having problems with your electrical equipment but haven’t found the cause? For many users it turns out to be a very common, widespread problem called ground loop feedback — an electrical phenomenon which occurs when different electrical circuits are powering a system and its peripherals.

The Criticality Of Effective Supply Chain Management In Times Of Disaster

November 25, 2013 9:29 am | by Jesus Carlos P. Villaseñor, CEO of TransProcure and ADR Intl

The awful disasters that have struck the Philippines in the last few months, the devastating tsunami in Japan, and general violent weather effects have caused Supply Management to plan for continuity of supply down to the third tier of suppliers. 

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Automation: Not Just For The Shop Floor

November 25, 2013 9:05 am | by Tim Haney, Director, Manufacturing Vertical, Information Services Group (ISG)

Routine, structured tasks such as monitoring equipment or production processes – tasks that have traditionally required human intervention by onsite technicians – are becoming increasingly automated.  This creates the potential not just to optimize existing production and service delivery models but to transform them. 

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Why Low Voltage Lighting Is Growing In Popularity Within The Industrial Sector

November 22, 2013 9:39 am | by Robert Bresnahan, Larson Electronics Magnalight

Low voltage lighting has gained popularity over the last several years due in large part to the generally safer operation it presents. In many cases, low voltage lighting is indicated for use in specific locations according to OSHA regulations and NEC recommendations. 

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Reflecting On Reflectivity: Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep

November 22, 2013 9:26 am | by Richard Catley, The Garland Company and Joseph W. Mellott, Roof Consultant Institute

Coatings can play a role in reducing energy loads, especially peak energy loads in many buildings, but they also offer benefits in terms of service life extension, fire retardancy, reducing the heat-history of the underlying membrane and insulation, improve traffic resistance, increase friction for safety, preserve impact resistance, help shed water or even be part of a waterproofing system.

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How Remote Wireless Monitoring Improves Manufacturing Operations

November 20, 2013 10:00 am

New manufacturing techniques, such as M2M, have recently begun to rely on remote wireless monitoring to improve safety and reliability conditions. Gone are the days of maintenance pros climbing ladders or placing their hands in turbines to collect machinery health information — instead, information is sent to a central repository and analyzed by analysts 24/7 so maintenance personnel fix only the equipment that needs attention.

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Profiting With Smart R&D

November 20, 2013 8:51 am | by Keith Nichols, Cambashi

R&D activities need to be intimately linked to a company product strategy. This will lay out the future customer changes and needs, when these are likely to occur, and highlight what technologies are coming along that may provide breakthroughs. 

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