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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

ISM: Manufacturing Back On Track

July 8, 2013 8:02 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector returned to a slow, steady expansion in June, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest ISM Report On Business. The PMI number indicated expansion in manufacturing for the fifth time in six months, reversing May’s contracting PMI rate of 49 percentage points. Although U.S. manufacturing is growing at a slow, steady rate, it’s still in line to meet yearly expectations.

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Tech Savvy

July 8, 2013 8:01 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

According to the business consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle, there has been a significant uptick in the number of tech manufacturing jobs in the U.S. since 2001. One of the major reasons for expanding manufacturing to the U.S. stems from the desire to have factories closer to consumers and those who can then fix problems.

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Leveraging Business And Manufacturing Intelligence

July 3, 2013 8:02 am | by James Montgomery, Product Manager, Apriso

Manufacturers cannot expect to sustain success with traditional decision making when facing today’s unprecedented shifts in markets, demands, technologies and opportunities. To maintain a leadership position and profit margins, companies must respond intelligently to more frequent, drastic and faster changes.

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Nothin' But Blue Skies

July 3, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

After a car maker or a steel mill wears out a factory, extracts all the tax breaks a treasury will bear, and accumulates more obligations to its workers than the stockholders will bear, it flees town like a deadbeat husband, leaving a worn-out, exploited patch of land no else will touch. An industrial city follows the same life cycle as a boxer, or a prostitute.

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Mechanical Fasteners Or Endless Splicing: Part 2

July 2, 2013 8:05 am | by Beth Miller, Director of Marketing – Light Duty, Flexco

There are two major processes to choose from when splicing your conveyor belt: mechanical fasteners and endless splicing. Reviewing the available alternatives against the realities of your conveyor system will help you determine which type will serve your needs best.

Comprehensive Recall Protection, Inside And Out

July 2, 2013 8:01 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

In today’s business climate, in particular for many industries that serve consumers directly — think automakers, consumer packaged goods manufacturers, or pharmaceutical firms — operate under the assumption that they’ll be subjected to a recall incident at some point.

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Mechanical Fasteners Or Endless Splicing: Part I

July 1, 2013 8:05 am | by Beth Miller, Director of Marketing – Light Duty, Flexco

Still searching for ways to take your productivity to higher ground? One good way to do that is by getting all the uptime you can from the belt conveyors that carry materials, parts and finished/packaged products throughout your plant. Belt conveyors naturally demand a certain amount of downtime for maintenance and parts replacement, and keeping those events as seldom and brief as possible is what uptime is all about.

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Essential Tips For Industrial Hydraulic Components

July 1, 2013 8:01 am | by Mike Fitzpatrick, General Manager at PSI Repair Services, Inc.

The most important part of a hydraulic system is keeping it clean. Any extreme pressure system is vulnerable to dirt, particles, and other matter that could contaminate the close tolerances necessary for any hydraulic system. All pipes, fittings, and other components must be extremely clean before use.

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Talent Management: Easier Hires, Better Skills, More Compliance

June 28, 2013 8:03 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

There is an epidemic of sorts within the high-tech manufacturing community, in that there are thousands of available jobs, but few candidates to fill them. And while manufacturers have taken off in dozens of directions on the best methods to fill those roles, Irma Long, Director of Global Talent Acquisition at ACCO Brands has one simpler solution: better talent management.

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A Supply Chain With No Weak Links

June 26, 2013 8:03 am | by Rowmark

Despite the ever looming concern about high fuel prices, there is still booming interest in many motorsports vehicles and products. Over the past several years, Sportech, Inc. has experienced an explosive increase in demand for their Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) parts for original equipment manufacturers of motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles.

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4 Ways Manufacturers Can Cope With Rising Energy Prices

June 25, 2013 8:05 am | by Michael Lewis

Manufacturers require tremendous amounts of energy to power equipment and light and heat facilities, and move raw materials to their plants and finished goods to store shelves. Chemical, fertilizer and plastics manufacturers use carbon-based fuels as feedstock, so accurate projected costs and ready availability is essential to adequate pricing.

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High-Voltage Battery Simulator & Test Systems

June 24, 2013 9:08 am | by Randall Beattie, President of SAKOR Technologies

High voltage battery simulator and test systems are essential for conducting testing of the high voltage DC power systems that are such a critical element of electric (EV) and hybrid/electric (HEV) vehicles. To accurately test a high voltage hybrid or electric drivetrain, you need to be able to provide precise, repeatable high-voltage DC power.

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Ford Explorer Production Goes International

June 24, 2013 8:00 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

The first full-production Explorer rolled off the assembly line in April at Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant in the Republic of Tatarstan for the Russian market. Previously, only knock-down versions of Explorer had been built anywhere outside of the United States. Here, Bruce Hettle, director of manufacturing engineering with Ford, talks global Ford SUV production, the Ford Production System, and the future auto market.

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Retaining Your Number One Asset: Employees

June 21, 2013 8:08 am | by Maria Ferrante, Vice President, Education & Workforce Development, PMMI

There is one absolute that applies to every company, independent of industry: You cannot expect to operate efficiently without dedicated and skilled employees. When looking at the manufacturing industry specifically, finding a highly skilled workforce has proven to be one of the greatest challenges.

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Engineering: A Crucial Element Of A Burgeoning Firearms Industry

June 19, 2013 8:00 am | by ATW

Firearm sales have increased exponentially over the past few years, and forecasts are continuing to escalate, reflecting an increase in the popularity of hunting, a rise in the desire for personal protection, and a variety of other socio-economic factors. As manufacturers seek to meet demand while decreasing costs, reducing weight, and increasing durability, the spotlight is turning to engineering and design capabilities in the industry.

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Developing A Workforce

June 18, 2013 8:06 am | by Maria Ferrante, Vice President, Education & Workforce Development, PMMI

Manufacturers are on the cusp of a major generational shift. Baby Boomers are preparing to retire out of the workforce, and Gen Y is poised to replace them. However, several obstacles are preventing a seamless transition of Gen Y-ers into these soon-to-be vacant roles.

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U.S. Gave Up On Manufacturing For Short Term Profits

June 18, 2013 8:05 am | by PD&D

Bio-Chem Fluidics' new Vice President of Operations, Joe Turiello, says that the United States on the whole seems way too willing to give up its manufacturing capabilities for short term profits. PD&D caught up with Turiello to talk to him about his new position, the future of Bio-Chem, and his thoughts on the industry.

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KPMG: Global Manufacturers Lack Supply Chain Visibility Beyond Tier 1 Suppliers

June 17, 2013 4:51 pm | by KPMG LLP

Global manufacturers are putting their supply chains at the center of their business strategies to serve as the foundation for operational efficiency and collaborative innovation, according to KPMG’s 4th annual Global Manufacturing Outlook: Competitive Advantage – Enhancing Supply Chain Networks for Efficiency and Innovation, which surveyed 335 C-level executives globally, including 95 in the U.S.

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An Easy Reach: Industrial Ergonomics

June 17, 2013 4:45 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

Ergonomics can be thought of as much like a dinner table setting: Everything should be in easy reach and no one should have to reach too far or stretch into an unnatural position to get at what they need, says Ed Metzger, president of BioFit. “By ensuring that workers have the freedom to move comfortably and naturally, companies can prevent many of the musculoskeletal injuries and fatigue that leads to lost time and productivity.”

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Competitive Edge

June 17, 2013 4:40 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

Manufacturing in America isn’t as simple as just setting up shop and producing a product. Nowadays, a globally networking economy means competition has taken on more nuance: labor rates are eroded by low cost countries, which results in lower cost imported goods and an ever-sloping playing field.

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