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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Q & A with Wera Tools President Ian Parkhill

April 5, 2007 11:37 am

Based out of Wuppertal, Germany, Wera Tools has produced some of Europe’s finest hand tools for over 70 years. In their quest to broaden the company’s reach, Wera opened a North American office in Ontario, Canada in 2005. IMPO recently sat down with the company’s president, Ian Parkhill to discuss their reasons for expansion, and how he plans to attack the still competition his company will face in the U.

Stick A Fork In It

April 5, 2007 11:34 am

Kinetic Technologies (K-Tec) can be described as a success story, especially since this Wickliffe, OH-based company is competing at the dark-horse racetrack of manufacturing-depressed Northeastern Ohio. While many manufacturers, it seems, are leaving Ohio, K-Tec is expanding: after a few years of being strictly engineering and design (and contracting out their production) its new facility is now equipped with a manufacturing floor, which will house an estimated three times its current workforce within the next several years.


A "Living Lab"

March 13, 2007 5:16 am

According to a recent Raymond press release, the $750,000 contract begins in 2007, where Raymond’s Greene, NY facility will become a “living lab,” with hydrogen fuel cell powered Raymond forklifts in the facility. Raymond will also develop the necessary infrastructure for indoor fast-fill hydrogen refueling systems, which represents new technology, since refueling systems up to this point have typically been installed outdoors.


Lean From A to Z: Z Corp's Lean Practices Improve Productivity and Efficiency

March 12, 2007 2:26 pm | by Jeff Reinke

Z Corp’s implementation of lean manufacturing practices has led to greater production flexibility, efficiency and profits. Evander Holyfield did it in 1984. Lance Armstrong achieved it in 2000. Lebron James followed in 2004. Mike Vogel experienced it in 2006. What’s the common bond between this boxer, biker, baller and Vice President of Operations at Z Corporation? They’ve all experienced winning a bronze medal.

Getting a Lift from Hydrogen

March 12, 2007 2:00 pm

In the broad world of energy efficiency, ‘hydrogen’ is such a buzz word that it’s “buzz” of speculation has become more of a deafening roar–think a swarm of giant killer bees, all carrying killer bees on their backs. Hydrogenics and LiftOne join forces to power a forklift with a hydrogen fuel cell.

Protecting Your Plant From Attack: How to Keep Facilities Safe from Physical or Cyber Aggression

March 12, 2007 1:57 pm | by Peter Cleaveland

The means to protect your plant are readily available–and it's up to you to use them. Plants can be targeted by hackers, criminals, terrorists and unfriendly governments. It is the job of everyone in the plant to be aware of the threats and help to protect against them.


PLCs – Past, Present and Future

February 26, 2007 6:27 am | by Jeff Payne, AutomationDirect Product Manager - PLC, I/O and PC Controls

Everyone knows there's only one constant in the technology world, and that's change. This is especially evident in the evolution of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and their varied applications. From their introduction more than 30 years ago, PLCs have become the cornerstone of hundreds of thousands of control systems in a wide range of industries.


The ABCs of Overall Equipment Effectiveness

February 1, 2007 10:40 am | by Ramon A. Vorne, president, Vorne Industries, and James A. Feltman

.table { font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; color: #ffffff; } .tablehed { font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; color: #ffff66; } With the constant pressures of global competition, OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) has become a hot topic for many manufacturers.


Bad Lubricants: 11 Easy Ways to Avoid

January 3, 2007 7:37 am | by Kevan Slater, director of services for Schematic Approach

Pull-out box Seal it tight. Know consumption and emergency rates. Schedule delivery time. Implement FIFO. Maintain condition of your storage facility. Rotate according to shelf life. Regulate temperature and humidity. Store lubricants indoor. Put a label on it. Shake up stored lubricants. Routinely analyze new oils.


Saving Energy: More Important Now Than Ever - and Easier

January 3, 2007 7:34 am | by Peter Cleaveland, Contributing Editor

According to the Department of Energy U.S. industry consumes 32.6 quadrillion BTUs or 9.55 PWh per annum. Here are some energy-saving tips that can go right to your bottom line. 1. Motor efficiency. Motors account for 2/3 or 33.6% of all energy consumed in the country. The two simplest ways to save energy used in motors is to 1.


Running Down the Road of Success With Ferguson’s Jim Blazek

December 4, 2006 10:13 am | by Nancy Syverson, Editor-in-Chief

Running a marathon is not for the weak-spirited. It takes endurance, strength and training. When I visited the Front Royal Distribution Center (DC) of worldwide industrial supplier Ferguson, Jim Blazek, the facility manager there was set to run his first between running the 644,000-ft.

How To Avoid a Bearing Meltdown

December 4, 2006 7:01 am

Performance Roof Systems, Inc. (PRS) based in Kansas City, MO, has been manufacturing Derbigum modified bitumen industrial roll roofing systems for over 30 years. Derbigum provides membrane tensile strength up to 200 lbs./per in. Polyester and fiberglass scrims resist punctures and wear. Derbigum is produced by blending APP (Atactic Polypropylene) Modified Bitumen with other materials that provide flexibility, strength and stability, even at subzero temperatures.

4 on the Floor

November 27, 2006 11:26 am

For maintaining a 487,000-sq.ft. floor in a engine-building factory, diamonds can be a plant manager's best friend. Find out how the process works and plan to save $1.50-$5.00 per ft. The second of five World Engine plants, built by the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA), opened in Dundee, MI on October 13, 2006.



November 6, 2006 5:37 am | by Pat O’Connor, Product Manager, Palletizing Systems, FKI Logistex North America

From conveying items in production, to palletizing them on the way to the dock door, manufacturers are searching for automated material handling systems to boost their bottom line. Where speeds are low, depalletizing and palletizing operations can be done manually.


10 Minutes With: CORENTIN THIERCELIN Founder & CEO, Marseille, France

November 6, 2006 5:27 am

Bio :Corentin Thiercelin founded DirectIndustry in 2001. Before DirectIndustry, he founded AllAccess (a precursor to DirectIndustry) and Access Technology--a free quarterly journal distributed to 20,000 opinion formers in the automation sector. He previously served as the head of research and development for the conception and implementation of quality-control machines in commercial agriculture for MAF Inc.

Technology: Save Time and Money With Moisture-Cured Coatings

November 6, 2006 5:10 am | by Tony Ippoliti Senior Corrosion Specification Specialist Sherwin-Williams Industrial & Marine Coatings

Painting above-ground water tanks has its challenges. For one, the tank’s surface has to be dry. Condensation from the water in the tank makes this almost impossible, so standard painting practices call for draining the tank…which can really drain your budget. The recent development of moisture-cured urethane coating technology has put an end to the requirement that above-ground water tanks have to be drained to paint.


Corporate Philanthropy in America: Better to Give Than Receive

November 6, 2006 5:09 am | by Nancy Syverson, Editor-in-Chief

Times are tough, but manufacturers are still finding time to donate their time and money to charitable causes. American industry has a long tradition of corporate giving. Since 1889, when Andrew Carnegie, founder of Carnegie Steel (today U.S. Steel) publically announced that the rich had a moral obligation to give away their fortunes, corporations have developed a wide array of charitable vehicles: foundations; non-profit and association umbrella groups; and community outreach programs.


The Challenge of Global Compliance

September 1, 2006 5:40 am | by Nancy Syverson, Managing Editor

New international standards like RoHS and WEEE add to manufacturers’ already complex compliance responsibilities. The world of compliance just became more complicated. For U.S. manufacturers wishing to sell into the European Union, last month (July 1) marked the start date for the E.


Are You Learning From Your Bills Or Just Paying Them?

November 11, 2005 9:39 am | by Jeff Hart, CEO, Cadence Network, Inc.

Business Intelligence & Operational Expense Management Business intelligence. For too many, this seems like an oxymoron, but it does not have to be. Business intelligence strategies bring to the forefront critical understanding of significant amounts of data for companies, including large industrial manufacturers.

A Slice of Design Engineering

November 11, 2005 9:39 am | by Lisa Arrigo, Product Design & Development

Unique coupling provides solution for veneer production system Manufacturer Louis Merritt wrote in 1929 of the importance of designing machines that are simple yet modern. Responsible for several patents that led to the international demand for his company’s veneer lathes, Merritt worked with his father and brother to establish their company as a leading woodworking machinery manufacturer.


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