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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Extreme Maintenance

September 21, 2009 6:54 am

Sure, we've all experienced the occasional stuck bolt, especially those charged with building and maintaining manufacturing equipment like yourselves. But what about a stuck bolt in space? In their latest spacewalk outside of the Hubble telescrope, American astronauts braved injury and death to install a new, $150 million dollar camera into the Hubble's aging body.

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Building Behemoths

September 21, 2009 6:21 am

Digital Altiel gives a quick tour of their facility, where they utilize Delcam's PowerMILL and PowerSHAPE technology to recreate lifesized sculptures in massive scales for the likes of Disney and Pixar. Digital Altiel scans the original piece and machines it in large pieces, which are welded together to create a finished product.

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The Lego V8 Roars

September 21, 2009 6:12 am

Remember the Lego of your childhood, when you spent countless hours just putting together a space ship or castle that just fell apart after an hour? Well, those days are over. In the 21st century, Lego engineers have moved to bigger and better pastures. Listen to the "roar" of this pushrod V8 as it revs up over 1,500 rpm.

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Over-engineering, F1-Style

September 21, 2009 5:45 am

Via AutoMotoTV . Take a look inside the incredible precision that goes into making every Red Bull Technology F1 race car. Through extensive research, protoyping, and testing, the vehicles come together like a work of art, not to mention an incredible example of precision in engineering.

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Apple Reveals Revolutionary Keyboard-less Laptop

September 18, 2009 12:03 pm

Apple is renowned for their revolutionary and innovative products, some of which have changed the way we live. First, the iPod, featuring the world-famous "click wheel." Now, see how Apple has hybridized click wheel technology with their sleek laptops, forming a keyboard-less laptop that functions seamlessly and beautifully.

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Entering a New Age

September 18, 2009 11:45 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

If you asked Ken Baker, CEO of NewAge Industries of Southampton, PA, why he thought his company was a great place to work, he wouldn’t answer you with metrics, platitudes, or generic corporate speak. In fact, Baker doesn’t seem capable of the stereotypical “canned answer.

The Flexible Schedule

September 18, 2009 11:12 am | by John W. Frehse, Chief Strategist, Core Practice LLC

The ability to react rapidly to changes in demand is one of the most crucial capabilities in business today. At one time you might have staffed extra people or carried extra inventory, but that is expensive. Every wasted dollar eats away at your margins. Whatever your industry, you need a way to respond quickly to fluctuations in demand while minimizing your costs.

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People Protection

September 18, 2009 11:00 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

“The biggest misconception among manufacturers is that OSHA is just presenting them with a guideline, not with something they have to do. The fact is, OSHA is beefing up enforcement of safety measures on several fronts,” says Tony Supine, technical director, Farr Air Pollution Control (APC).

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Successful Manufacturing Starts With Respect

September 18, 2009 10:35 am | by Amanda Earing, News Editor, Manufacturing.Net

“We don’t have unions within our company except in countries where it is mandated,” says David Armstrong, CEO of Armstrong International. “When we came in as new owners, we moved the employees into a new, clean building. We cleaned the machinery, the shelving, and we treated the people with respect and courtesy, which are core values in our company.

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Sustainability And Process In Sync

September 18, 2009 10:18 am | by Tracey de Morsella, Green Economy Post

In the September issue of Harvard Business Review, authors Ram Nidumolu , C.K. Prahalad , and M.R. Rangaswami provide a framework for adopting sustainable practices to bring about the technological and organizational innovations that will ultimately yield top- and bottom-line returns, providing a competitive advantage when the recession ends.

Q&A with Joe Manone, Vice President of Rite-Hite

September 18, 2009 7:46 am

A. Our philosophy at Rite-Hite over the past 35 years has been product development and innovation with compelling new products that add value and solve problems for customers. That is how all of our businesses are set up. We’re constantly looking for new ways to solve problems at the loading dock, as well as other areas throughout plant and warehouse facilities.

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Biofuel Production From Algae

September 16, 2009 9:41 am | by David Rausen, Solix Biofuels

September 17, 2009 The world’s dependence on finite, nonrenewable petroleum is at the heart of many of the environmental and energy challenges we face today. Additionally, transportation fuel use is a major contributor to global warming: more than 30 percent of the CO2 emissions in the United States come from the burning of petroleum fuel for transportation.

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Virtual Forklifts To Clean Up Computer Screens

September 16, 2009 7:25 am

Via TirexiHD . Do you get home from work just wishing you could spend more time in a forklift? Now there's a way. Forklift Simulator 2009 allows users to take control of their own forklift after an extensive training session, allowing them to move around the plant floor and move the targeted pallets onto eagerly waiting semis.

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Sushi-Loving Robots With Opposable Thumbs

September 16, 2009 6:55 am

Via DigInfo News . These robots from Squse, a Japaese robotics company, are built using air-injected actuators that mimick the motion and sensitivity of a human hand, namely through a swift, delicate touch unheard of in robotics. The actuators, even when filled, release pressure only according to the form of an object, which allows the robot to pick up soft objects such as sushi and strawberries without destroying them.

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Hungry FDA Official Orders Massive Pot Pie Recall

September 16, 2009 6:42 am

Hungry FDA Official Orders Massive Pot Pie Recall Via The Onion . The Onion, America's most trusted fake news source, offers breaking news: The FDA is issuing a massive recall of all pot pies, which should be sent "piping hot" to the FDA headquarters in Maryland. Don't forget the forks and napkins, which will be aptly used in the inspection process.

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Dynamic Fan Balancing With Balmac

September 16, 2009 6:31 am

This video provides step-by-step directions on how to balance a small fan using the Balmac Model 216-D Analyzer/Balancer. Useful for those new to the practice, or who have recently purchased a Balmac product, the video walks viewers through finding aplitude, using a strobe to read the fan's phase, placing weights to vary balance, and calculating vectors.

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'Mystery At The Factory' — In Lego

September 16, 2009 6:22 am

How often does this happen at your facility? You know, when flowers and zombies start coming down your conveyors? Well, in the hyper-colored world of Lego, it happens all too often. This riveting film chronicles the plight of a plant worker as he attempts to sort out the mysteries of his conveyor belt under the supervision of a unique manager.

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The Business Case For Carbon Management Software

September 15, 2009 7:05 am | by Tracey de Morsella, co-founder of Green Economy Post

September 16, 2009 The financial risk of carbon liabilities, a need for better management control over carbon data, and new government regulations in a number of countries, will compel CFOs to invest in carbon management software in the coming year. This is the main conclusion of the report, The Business Case For Carbon Management Software , from the research firm Verdantix .

Breakthrough Value With Manufacturing Footprint Optimization

September 11, 2009 11:39 am | by Raj G. Konanahalli and Russ Dillion, AlixPartners LLP

September 15, 2009 Chances are, your competitors are quickly rightsizing their manufacturing footprint in response to today’s deteriorating global market conditions. Improving operations within facilities is likely not enough. In order for companies to be competitive in this economic environment as well as going forward, manufacturing footprint optimization (MFO) will need to be a strategic priority.

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The Real Cost Of This Recession

September 11, 2009 11:28 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder of PCDworks

September 15, 2009 It’s finally gotten to me. I have given up on innovation, invention, small business, hard work, and sacrifice as a means of rescue, and I don’t mean from our current economic tribulation; I mean rescue from the economic and social misery which has frayed the fabric of our country.

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