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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Plant Practices: Cart Pusher Solution Saves Hands From Hazards

November 28, 2007 4:36 am

At Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation’s preprint facility in Jacksonville, FL, Production Supervisor Craig Schuster has seen many changes on the plant floor during his 11 years with the company. One major change involves a material handling solution that now, more than two years after its implementation, has saved the company time and money while protecting employees from on-the-job injuries. 


Plant Practices: Metal Manufacturer Finds Ways To Compress Costs

November 28, 2007 4:20 am

One of the greatest challenges facing building owners and facility professionals today is finding ways to reduce energy costs. The challenge can be even greater in industrial facilities filled with production equipment.


Plant Practices: DMP Tackles Assembly Issues

November 28, 2007 4:15 am

Founded in 1975, Digital Monitoring Products (DMP)is a recognized leader in network solutions for fast, cost-effective, centralized security monitoring in applications of every size. The company was at the forefront of digital communications in the security industry, and today continues to set standards with its networked intrusion, fire and access control products.


Plant Practices: SelectCrete Uses New Ink Jet Printing Technology

November 19, 2007 9:39 am

When SelectCrete, Inc., was faced with a new customer mandate, there were myriad details to consider. This Bakersfield, Calif.-based manufacturer specializes in cement backerboard, a mix of cement aggregate and fiberglass which is used as a water-resistant subsurface for tiling in commercial and residential building applications. In late summer 2006, a few weeks after the company had formed and before it had even started formal production, SelectCrete got a mandate from its primary customer, a Japanese firm, to place variable-data codes on the back of cement backerboard pieces.


Plant Practices: Main Steel Improves Lighting

November 19, 2007 9:32 am

Main Steel Polishing Company, Inc., a New Jersey-based metals processor, has been serving numerous markets for the last 50 years. Main Steel operates ten processing facilities throughout the U.S. and Mexico, and proudly states that it neither buys nor sells any of the hundreds of million pounds of metal it processes.


Nanotechnology Still Moving At Fast Pace

November 19, 2007 9:11 am

A look at the growing interest in utilizing matter on a molecular level. Nanotechnology is, at its most basic, the science of utilizing matter on a molecular level. When it comes to nanotechnology, there are several upcoming applications that move this emerging science beyond a laboratory and into the manufacturing environment.


Maintenance Matters: Root Cause Analysis

November 19, 2007 9:06 am | by Vlad Bacalu, ATS Product Manager

Root Cause Analysis (RCA), a process used to identify the root causes of problems or events, is arguably the most powerful piece of equipment available in the proactive maintenance “toolbox.” RCA is designed to discover not only what or how something happened, but why it happened, and also determines the underlying causes of an event so proper corrective measures can be implemented to prevent any reoccurrences.


Q & A With Ray Shook, Executive Director, American Welding Society

November 19, 2007 8:42 am

Ray Shook joined the American Welding Society in November 2002 as Executive Director. Having spent 33 years in the welding industry, Mr. Shook has a broad background encompassing financial management, strategic planning, organizational development and analysis, contracts administration, product development and promotion, business development and marketing, as well as extensive senior management experience.


No Speed Limit

November 19, 2007 7:47 am

Dorner Manufacturing improves process speeds through the use of Kanban and Lean manufacturing. Dorner's new series of conveyers, the 5200, was recently displayed at National Manufacturing Week. The company is able to guarantee 5-day delivery on this product, mostly due to process changes that have increased efficiency within its facility.

Empowered To Perform

November 19, 2007 6:31 am

Providing employees with the right tools - literally and from a 5-S/Kaizan perspective - have produced a number of workflow benefits at this Ingersoll-Rand plant. By Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director Pictured above are Jeff Cain, Susan Pearson, Donna Brinkley, Selah Scott and Michael Brown, employees with an average of 14 years experience at the Southern Pines location.


Lean and Mean

October 19, 2007 7:30 am

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Speaking The Same Language

October 5, 2007 12:42 pm

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A Clean Case For Regenerative Blowers

October 5, 2007 12:41 pm | by Jay Jarboe & Jon Schultz, AMETEK

Regenerative blower technology as a solution to reduce energy and maintenance costs, improve productivity and “go green”. Pressures remain high for plants to reduce energy and maintenance costs, improve productivity and “go green”. In response to these needs, some have looked to regenerative blower technology as a solution.


Feeling The Heat?

October 5, 2007 12:41 pm | by Bruce Gorelick, Vice President, Enercheck Systems & Alan Bandes, Vice President of Marketing, UE Systems, Inc.

The now bygone era of inexpensive energy has been replaced by a new reality – steady, steep and continued rises in fuel prices. This has sent plant managers on a frantic search to find new ways of cutting costs in virtually every phase of the manufacturing process, but one area they may have been overlooking is steam generation. 


Cost Reduction Alone Won’t Save American Manufacturing

October 5, 2007 12:40 pm

Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing have delivered successes, but neither are the universal answer to all of the problems created by globalization. By Mike Collins Everyone likes to blame the Chinese, or recent economic changes, for the decline of manufacturing, but the forces that led to the latest stage of globalization are not new.


Q & A With David Spong, Two-Time Winner, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

October 5, 2007 12:35 pm

David Spong is the only two-time winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for two different organizations in two different sectors. Dr. Spong recently retired from a 40-year career with Boeing as president of Aerospace Support for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, which won the Baldrige Award in the service category in 2003.

Stepping Up Their Game

October 5, 2007 12:32 pm | by Anna Wells

Mesa Products takes improvement to the next level with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program. Terry May, president of 2006 Baldrige award-winning company Mesa Products (Tulsa, OK), likens the application process to kicking a bad habit—long and arduous, but worth the rewards that come with success.

IMPO Insider: Q&A With Ross Robson, Shingo Prize

August 30, 2007 6:01 am

Ross E. Robson has been the Executive Director of the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing, a recognition and award program for manufacturers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, since 1989. He also serves as Associate Dean for Business Relations of the College of Business and is a management professor at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.


What’s in a Number?

August 8, 2007 10:54 am

In the world of pressure sensitive adhesives or PSA’s, you will find no shortage of physical property data. Peel strength, shear strength, loop tack and temperature information are all readily available. The question is: How useful is all of this data? As a provider of PSA solutions, we spend countless hours coaching our salespeople to understand the application and the conditions to which the PSA is subjected before we can select a pressure sensitive adhesive tape product.


Tools For Timely Belt Repair

August 8, 2007 10:54 am

Quicker and longer lasting belt repair tips. Kevin Finnegan, Flexible Steel Lacing Company Time doesn’t stand still, and neither should your conveyor belts. But when unexpected maintenance or repairs bring belts to a standstill, only the clock moves forward. And the time lost can result in significantly reduced production and profit.


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