Today, many popular manufacturing applications are certified for virtualization and with good reason. The benefits of virtualization, including cost control, higher productivity, and better long-term planning, are indisputable. Yet, some manufacturing engineers and plant IT departments are missing out on these benefits because they think virtualization involves too much risk — a point of view that is not entirely without merit.
Word on the street is that substantial portions of previously offshored manufacturing operations are due to return to the United States. A number of macroeconomic factors seem to have tipped the balance in favor of domestic manufacturing.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the fifth consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The PMI number indicated expansion in manufacturing for the fifth consecutive month, but at the lowest rate of the year. Although U.S. manufacturing continued to slow in April, underlying metrics show there is more good news than there is cause for concern.
Over the last few years, there has been an increasing amount of buzz around the concept of “re-shoring,” in which an American company decides it’s more financially viable to bring manufacturing operations back to the U.S. from a foreign land. Generally speaking, company leaders are finding that the “total cost” of producing overseas actually makes outsourcing the worse financial picture.
Financial investors in the industrial manufacturing sector stepped off the sidelines in the first quarter of 2013, recording a substantial increase in merger and acquisition activity. While strategic investors continued to drive deal activity during the first quarter, financial investments were well ahead of the pace for the same period in 2012.
Damage caused by electric discharge is a well-known issue, and today it is more prevalent than ever. It primarily affects rolling bearings in machines susceptible to static charging. In many cases, conductive grease made especially for these applications can provide an inexpensive and efficient solution to this problem, while at the same time ensuring optimum rolling bearing lubrication.
Opportunity beckons intelligent device manufacturers. They must evolve their products from fixed function and disconnected systems to flexible and seamlessly connected devices. Making products smarter will provide a wide array of benefits.
With manufacturing plants across the globe, Kellogg’s has made its mark on the breakfast cereal industry. But, the company believes that mark doesn’t have to leave an over-sized carbon footprint. Kellogg’s is making great strides toward sustainability, which include choosing Coolerado’s energy-efficient air conditioners to cool its plant in Mexicali, Mexico.
Not all operating environments are the same and the differences in a location's environmental characteristics can have a significant impact on how lighting equipment performs. Differences in humidity, wetness, and temperature ranges, the presence of corrosives, and the presence of flammable or explosive gases and vapors can pose a serious challenge for electrical lighting.
Industrial facilities aren’t typically built with the comfort of workers as a top priority. High ceilings, large open spaces, and sizeable mechanical obstructions can make cooling manufacturing and warehousing spaces difficult. Uncomfortable working conditions lead to heat-related illnesses and decreased productivity, which negatively affect the bottom line of the business.
Think of a scheduled maintenance and plant shutdown project as spring cleaning on a huge scale. Also commonly known as a plant overhaul, the temporary shutdown of a production plant or factory is an enormous undertaking and one that requires careful and systematic planning prior to performing the task.
Thankfully, rather than simply doing a quick visual assessment of the roof and deciding it needs to be replaced, today’s roofing professionals can rely on several different non-destructive moisture tests to help make solid recommendations based on unbiased scientific information. The decision of when to repair, restore or replace a large commercial roof often involves a million dollars or more.
Pittsburgh Corning is a world leader in innovative glass block products for commercial, institutional, government and residential building applications. The company is the only U.S.-based manufacturer of glass block. The company needed to create a climate-controlled, low-dust environment. Further, the warehouse measured 100 feet wide by 400 feet long—but assembly operations required only a portion of the total area.
The push to use environmentally friendly methods in plant operations, including pest management, continues to gain traction. Conservation and recycling efforts now play a major part in our daily lives, whether at home, at work or at another public place. But what about your facility?
Wirelessness alone doesn't make for truly usable mobile devices — just ask the professionals who’ve dropped cell phones into water, vibrated tablets to death on their dashboards, or watched PDA screens shatter as they hit the ground. To continue to drive true workforce mobility, data devices need to be compact, connectable, quick and able to withstand whatever they encounter — whether that’s a river, a sandstorm or a warehouse floor.
A national producer of canned fruits and vegetables had to halt production on its conveyor line whenever the type of product to be filled changed. For dry fill production, the setup uses gravity fillers, which are mounted under a vibrating hopper and rely on gravity to fill the cans.
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.
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.
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.
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.