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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Detroit Auto Show: Green Everything

January 13, 2010 6:33 am

CNN had the chance to visit the North American International Auto Show this week, where "green" has consistently been the biggest buzzword. From smaller cars, to hybrids and all-electric vehicles, fuel-efficiency and environmentally-friendly practices are No. 1 in Detroit. Also significant is interim CEO of GM Ed Whitacre's statement on the future of his company: he is sure they will be able to pay back the government loans, and they have no more plant closures on the docket.


Welding Ranks Among 'Worst Jobs'

January 13, 2010 6:31 am

CNN lists the 10 best and worst jobs for Americans in 2009, with actuaries and historians ranking highly for competitive salaries and normal business hours. Among the worst? Pretty much anything manufacturing, which is a shame. According to CNN , welding is among the worst possible jobs an American can have.


The Finger-Safe Table Saw

January 13, 2010 6:25 am

Table saws are responsible for countless workplace incidents every year, whether it comes down to carelessness, lack of training, or just plain bad luck. But some new technology is hoping to change that, and there's potential for these ideas to be migrated over to other heavy, dangerous machinery, such as those you see every day on the plant floor.


Five Commandments For The Next Industry Leaders

January 12, 2010 6:50 am | by George Young, founding partner, Kalypso

This month, the food and beverage (F&B) industry is embarking not only on a new year, but the dawn of a new decade—one driven by the demands of  a new consumer reality  focused on value, food safety, health and wellness, and environmental sustainability.

Quality Assurance On A Massive Scale

January 11, 2010 9:40 am

In the fast-growing market for wind power systems, quality assurance according to international industrial standards has become an important issue. Wind power plants are no longer a niche playground for environmental proponents, but a serious business where cost efficiency, life cycle costs, reliability, and availability of the components must be considered.


Good Housekeeping With Industrial Vacuums

January 8, 2010 11:11 am

Under intense scrutiny since the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board’s (CSB), released its 2006 Combustible Dust Hazard Study, OSHA is taking action to amend is General Industry Housekeeping provision, 1910.22. The amendment to the housekeeping requirements comes as a result of employers’ misinterpretation of housekeeping standards already included in the provision.


What Does It Mean To Have A Creative Workforce?

January 7, 2010 11:25 am | by Mike Collins, Author of Saving American Manufacturing

In November 2007, a study by the Conference Board and Americans for the Arts in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators, interviewed school superintendents and business executives to find out their views of creativity. Both groups thought creativity was important in the American workplace.

Ergonomics Can Save Money, Save Lives

January 7, 2010 8:13 am | by Patrick Penfield Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University

When we go to work, let’s face it:  the last thing on our mind is getting injured or even dying. Unfortunately, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that in 2008, 5,071 workers died on the job. That’s an alarming number! The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses reported in 2008 was 3.


Indiana's Electric Car Comeback

January 7, 2010 4:06 am

Th!ink has just opened its first North American manufacturing plant, where they will employ 400 to build the Think City, an electric car with a top speed of 70mph and a range of roughly 100 miles. While the company has found success in Europe, they didn't believe the technology was mature enough for the U.


Also Obsolete: Your Boring 2D Television

January 7, 2010 3:51 am

If you're like me, you just bought a brand new HDTV. They're great. Well, like the gadgets in the above video, you'll be sad to know that your recent purchase is now "obsolete." If TV manufacturers have anything to do with it, 3D telveisions will be the next big thing. With blockbuster films like "Avatar" showcasing how 3D technology has advanced since the dizzying blue-and-red goggles of the past, it seems as though 3D HDTVs will soon be taking over the world of home entertainment.


Unemployment: How Much Longer?

January 6, 2010 8:39 am

We all know unemployment rates are through the roof. But how much longer is this streak of joblessness going to last? Bob Parker, vice chairman of Credit Suisse Asset Management, discusses some of the specifics regarding how the U.S. (and Europe) will recover from this downturn. His main contention? While 2010 will see a decline in unemployment rates, they will be slow to fall, and we may not see rates drop below 9 percent until next year.


From Eggs To Needles: Swine Flu

January 6, 2010 8:38 am

The swine flu scare in the U.S. is, unlike some technology, something that won’t become obsolete in the new year. In fact, drug manufacturers are working harder than ever to meet the incredible demand for the influenza vaccine. So before you go get poked with a needle carrying a dose of the influenza antigens, maybe you’d like to see how the vaccine is made.


Technology Graveyard: What’s Obsolete In 2010

January 6, 2010 8:38 am

The beginning of a new decade is a perfect excuse to practice the oft-quoted adage: “Out with the old, in with the new.” This isn’t more true than in the world of technology. CNN walks through some of the technology that seems to be dead in the new decade. Some — like dial-up internet and classifieds in your local paper — are pretty obvious.


Can 2010 Be Prosperous Without Manufacturing?

January 5, 2010 8:35 am | by Mark C. Tomlinson, executive director and general manager, Society of Manufacturing Engineers

As January rolls around each year, we tend to make resolutions with every intention on keeping them. By February, however, most have faded away. But if we want manufacturing to emerge from what some call a “Depression,” and support the nation’s economic recovery, then we need to go beyond the annual New Year’s resolutions, and set a number of things into action.

Transforming Your Safety Culture With Lean Management

January 5, 2010 8:06 am | by Amanda Earing, News Editor, Manufacturing.Net

Many businesses that attempt to use lean techniques in their business often find employees reluctant to embrace changes. However, author Robert Hafey of “Lean Safety, Transforming Your Safety Culture with Lean Management” says a lean safety program can not only improve your company’s safety record, but also help workers accept lean in your company.


Licensed To Flex Feedstock Muscle

January 4, 2010 8:16 am | by Carrie Ellis & Luke Simpson, Editors, Chem.Info

Nobody would believe it until they saw it—especially leery investors. But FlexEthanol technology is here today and readily available. October 15 was the big day for Coskata Inc. After more than three years spent refining the technology that has excited investors like General Motors, the ambitious cellulosic ethanol company declared itself open for business.


What's That Down the Road? A Head?

January 4, 2010 8:06 am | by Dr. Chris Kuehl, economic analyst, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International

With apologies to the old Red Skelton bit, this is the question that manufacturers are now asking about 2010. The 2009 recession has been replaced by the 2010 recovery but thus far it is hard to tell one from another. If this is the year of recovery what will that mean? How will this coming year be judged? Against the miserable performances of 2008-2009 or by the boom years that preceded them? In some respects both will serve as reference points.

Occam’s Razor, Resharpened

December 23, 2009 6:18 am | by Mike Rainone, co-founder of PCDworks

The Franciscan Friar William of Occam said it best about 700 years ago in the form of the principle of parsimony, which we now know as Occam’s Razor.   William said, “entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem,” which for you non-Latin speakers (and who is a Latin speaker these days?) means: “Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.

Boiling Up A Pot Of Conservation

December 23, 2009 6:17 am

As part of its compliance with a PepsiCo corporate mandate on resource conservation, the Quaker Oats Bridgeview Division food manufacturing plant has installed two Miura Boiler LX200 gas-fired steam boilers to reduce fuel and water consumption, increase energy efficiency, and cut emissions.


Forget The Hybrid, Let's Start Composting

December 22, 2009 11:14 am

Vertal, a British composting company, has introduced some of the most innovative technology when it comes to turning our organic waste — you know, that steak you couldn't quite finish last weekend — into energy. Unlike other technologies, the process is entirely self-heated, so the company does not have to use any energy in the composting process, which is called autothermal thermophilic aerobic digestion.



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