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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Top 5 Energy Management System Considerations

August 14, 2009 10:15 am | by Gus Ezcurra, CEO, Advanced Telemetry

The economy has forced most if not all U.S. companies to seek ways to reduce non-essential and otherwise variable costs. A new opportunity has emerged in recent years with the advent of affordable lightweight energy management systems that can be controlled on-site or remotely.

Fighting Fire With Fire

August 13, 2009 10:04 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

“It was a scary night,” says Quandt, of the blaze that broke out around 8 pm back in May at the chemical distributor’s Columbus, WI facility. “We have a lot of inventory; there were well over 1,000 chemicals involved in that fire. Those of us who work here thought we’d lost it all.

Q&A with Greg Polli, MSC Industrial Direct

August 13, 2009 9:39 am

A: The recent economic crisis has obviously had an effect on most companies around the world. The credit crunch, along with instability and uncertainty, has temporarily reshaped how business is done and some of those changes may prove to be permanent. As demand has dropped off in many areas, manufacturers are facing increased pressure for high quality service.

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Refloating The Boats

August 13, 2009 9:36 am | by Mike Collins

The old adage that a rising tide lifts all boats used to apply to the American economy. It used to mean that good economic policy could grow all sectors of the economy, which would raise the living standards of all Americans. It was a time when the American Dream was truly attainable by any American worker with determination.

IPM For The IMP

August 13, 2009 8:12 am | by Ron Harrison, Ph.D., Director of Technical Services, Orkin, Inc.

As a maintenance professional, you know that for every preventive maintenance measure you take, you save dollars, time, and headaches in the long-run. Your pest management program is no different. By implementing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, you can help prevent disease-carrying pests from ever entering your facility, reducing possible product contamination and destruction, lost profits, or negative media attention.

Inside GM's Electrifying 2011 Chevrolet Volt

August 13, 2009 5:54 am | by MyRideVideos

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt represents a direction for GM, and maybe you guessed by the name, one that is focused on electricity. In fact, although technically a hybrid, the Chevy Volt uses only electric power to move the wheels. For trips up to 40 miles, the Volt is powered by electricity stored in its lithium-ion battery.

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Yes, It Could Even Scan And Print Jay's Chin

August 13, 2009 4:28 am

NextEngine's 3D Scanner — Everything you need to scan and digitize 3D models at a reasonable price. Made in America. Via Jay's Garage . See why 3D scanning and rapid prototyping could change the game for hobbyists, restoration specialists, and even the most mainstream of manufacturers.

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Bait And Switch: A Product Disaster Story

August 12, 2009 12:23 pm

3 tips for communicating the right product information to your suppliers every time. Tucked between the hills in a dense patch of pines halfway between Boise and Idaho City is the home office of Fogg Island Tackle. The brainchild of a cadre of entrepreneurial fishing enthusiasts who met as engineering undergrads at Stanford, FIT is a hip, young company frequently profiled in the trade press for its cutting-edge design and manufacturing processes and for pushing the technological envelope of recreational fishing.

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Sweco Looks Up For Answers To Improving Its Painting Operation

August 11, 2009 9:31 am

Sweco, a manufacturer of industrial particle separation equipment, wanted to streamline its parts painting operation. The process includes blasting the many parts and components that go into the assembly of the company’s equipment with steel shot, then painting, and properly drying the parts after the primer or paint is applied.

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Inconvenient Sourcing Truths

August 11, 2009 8:20 am | by Josh Green

Josh Green This weekend, word spread that a major African supplier to Gap and Levi is suspected of harming people and the environment. According to a report in London’s Sunday Times , the Lesotho facility of Taiwan-based supplier Nien Hsing is dumping harmful chemicals into a river that serves as a source of drinking water.

Smooth Operation

August 10, 2009 6:09 am | by Dan Leiss, President, Jenny Products Inc.

In today’s manufacturing environments, compressed air is often regarded as an important means towards completing everyday tasks. Used to power various tools and equipment, compressed air is essential to the daily operations of countless assembly, maintenance, and repair professionals. Incorporating several small day-to-day tasks into a preventative maintenance routine can make a difference in the life and repair cost of an air compressor.

Caught In The Jaws Of Change

August 10, 2009 6:00 am | by Michael Collins, MPC Management

A 1987 report “Technology and the American Economic Transition” from the Office of Technology Assessment predicted that “during the next two decades, new technologies, rapid increases in foreign trade, and the tastes and values of a new generation of Americans are likely to reshape virtually every product, every service, and every job in the U.

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Save Time With Operator-Based Maintenance

August 7, 2009 5:41 am | by John L. Ross, Jr, Senior Consultant with Marshall Institute Inc.

Could you use an extra 50 to 100 maintenance technicians? If so, what would you do with them? Maybe they can be used to enhance your preventive maintenance (PM) program. Here’s how. I will admit that outwardly it would be controversial to suggest indiscriminately eliminating 20 percent of your existing preventive maintenance task! No kidding — literally hit the delete key on your computer and say good-bye to 1/5 of your work.

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Pumping Intelligence

August 6, 2009 10:31 am

ITT Goulds (Seneca Falls, NY) announces its Model 3196 process pump, which now features patented onboard pump intelligence. The 3196 has a stainless steel condition monitor, which is placed securely atop the power end to measure critical vibration and temperature readings.

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Mix It Up

August 6, 2009 10:24 am

Real Time Ware, Inc. (New Baltimore, MI) has developed the Model MFT 3000, a mixer for solutions requiring two or more components, including adhesives, powders, or liquids. The MFT 3000 inspects the solution during mixing to ensure the ratio of components is always within specification, which can be seen on the visual display.

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Reliable Electronics In Harsh Environments

August 6, 2009 10:23 am

Meltric Corporation (Franklin, WI) releases its DXN37C product line of plugs and receptacles featuring 37 electrical contacts. Each contact on the plug and receptacle can carry up to 5 amps at 220 volts, making the DXN37C suited for control applications. Meltric’s devices are ATEX-rated for use in zones 1 and 2 (gas) or zone 21 and 22 (dust) classified areas.

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AC Motor Testing, Safely

August 6, 2009 10:22 am

PdMA Corp. (Tampa Florida) introduces the MTAP3, which allows facilities to safely test energized AC electric motors and generators without opening the MCC or switchgear doors. A special cable connects the MTAP3 port to the tester, and the voltage is less than 5V, in order to comply with the latest OSHA and NFPA 70E guidelines for electrical work.

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Bobcat To Cut 195 Jobs In ND Due To Slow Sales

August 6, 2009 4:54 am | by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press Writer

August 6, 2009 FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Bobcat Co., which makes skid-steer loaders and light construction equipment, announced Wednesday it will cut 195 jobs at its three North Dakota sites due to slow sales. Most of the layoffs involved hourly workers at the plant in the small town of Gwinner, southwest of Fargo, and company officials said they hoped to call them back if the economy improves.

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GE To Produce Batteries In NY

August 5, 2009 12:43 pm

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) — General Electric Co. has chosen Schenectady for a $100 million plant to produce high-tech sodium battery cells designed to power locomotives and heavy equipment. GE announced in May that it planned to boost its battery business with a new plant in upstate New York.

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Toyota Plans New Sports Car, Mum On GM Deal

August 5, 2009 12:41 pm | by John Flesher, Associated Press Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. will produce a fun but affordable sports car as the world's largest automaker seeks a return to profitability with vehicles that meet customers' desire for fuel efficiency without sacrificing style, company president Akio Toyoda said Wednesday.

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