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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Don’t Get Wrapped Too Tight

May 10, 2013 8:05 am | by Greg Cober, Altra Industrial Motion Product Training Manager

A properly installed wrap spring clutch/brake will provide millions of cycles for applications where repetitive motion is needed.  Care to insure proper mounting will achieve the best possible life and performance in repeating applications.

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Why Manufacturers Need To Bulletproof Their Virtualized IT Environments

May 10, 2013 8:00 am | by Frank Hill, Stratus Technologies

Today, many popular manufacturing applications are certified for virtualization and with good reason. The benefits of virtualization, including cost control, higher productivity, and better long-term planning, are indisputable. Yet, some manufacturing engineers and plant IT departments are missing out on these benefits because they think virtualization involves too much risk — a point of view that is not entirely without merit.

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Is The United States Ready To Take Manufacturing Back?

May 8, 2013 8:05 am | by Patrick Van den Bossche, Pramod Gupta, Hector Gutierrez, Chui Lee — A.T. Kearney

Word on the street is that substantial portions of previously offshored manufacturing operations are due to return to the United States. A number of macroeconomic factors seem to have tipped the balance in favor of domestic manufacturing.

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ISM: Manufacturing Slowing, But Still Expanding

May 8, 2013 8:00 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the fifth consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The PMI number indicated expansion in manufacturing for the fifth consecutive month, but at the lowest rate of the year. Although U.S. manufacturing continued to slow in April, underlying metrics show there is more good news than there is cause for concern.

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Q&A: Barriers To American Re-shoring

May 7, 2013 8:05 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

Over the last few years, there has been an increasing amount of buzz around the concept of “re-shoring,” in which an American company decides it’s more financially viable to bring manufacturing operations back to the U.S. from a foreign land. Generally speaking, company leaders are finding that the “total cost” of producing overseas actually makes outsourcing the worse financial picture.

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PwC: Industrial Manufacturing M&A Rises

May 7, 2013 8:00 am | by PwC US

Financial investors in the industrial manufacturing sector stepped off the sidelines in the first quarter of 2013, recording a substantial increase in merger and acquisition activity. While strategic investors continued to drive deal activity during the first quarter, financial investments were well ahead of the pace for the same period in 2012.

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Preventing Discharge Damage: Conductive Rolling Bearing Greases

May 6, 2013 8:05 am | by Heiko Stache, Manager Business Unit – Bearing Technology & Sabine Petri, Product Manager, Klüber Lubrication

Damage caused by electric discharge is a well-known issue, and today it is more prevalent than ever. It primarily affects rolling bearings in machines susceptible to static charging. In many cases, conductive grease made especially for these applications can provide an inexpensive and efficient solution to this problem, while at the same time ensuring optimum rolling bearing lubrication.

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An Opportunity For Intelligent Device Manufacturers

May 6, 2013 8:00 am | by Steve Schmidt, Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy, Flexera Software

Opportunity beckons intelligent device manufacturers. They must evolve their products from fixed function and disconnected systems to flexible and seamlessly connected devices. Making products smarter will provide a wide array of benefits.

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Kellogg's Goes Green, Stays Cool

May 3, 2013 8:05 am | by Coolerado

With manufacturing plants across the globe, Kellogg’s has made its mark on the breakfast cereal industry. But, the company believes that mark doesn’t have to leave an over-sized carbon footprint. Kellogg’s is making great strides toward sustainability, which include choosing Coolerado’s energy-efficient air conditioners to cool its plant in Mexicali, Mexico.

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Challenging Lighting Environments

May 3, 2013 8:00 am | by Rob Bresnahan, Larson Electronics LLC

Not all operating environments are the same and the differences in a location's environmental characteristics can have a significant impact on how lighting equipment performs. Differences in humidity, wetness, and temperature ranges, the presence of corrosives, and the presence of flammable or explosive gases and vapors can pose a serious challenge for electrical lighting.

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The Hidden Cost Of Summer Heat

May 1, 2013 8:05 am | by Megan Browning, Big Ass Fans®

Industrial facilities aren’t typically built with the comfort of workers as a top priority. High ceilings, large open spaces, and sizeable mechanical obstructions can make cooling manufacturing and warehousing spaces difficult. Uncomfortable working conditions lead to heat-related illnesses and decreased productivity, which negatively affect the bottom line of the business.

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Plant Maintenance Shutdown

May 1, 2013 8:00 am | by Grady Winston, Blogger & Entrepeneur

Think of a scheduled maintenance and plant shutdown project as spring cleaning on a huge scale. Also commonly known as a plant overhaul, the temporary shutdown of a production plant or factory is an enormous undertaking and one that requires careful and systematic planning prior to performing the task.

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Scan Before You Replace

April 30, 2013 8:05 am | by Brian Lambert, The Garland Company, Inc.

Thankfully, rather than simply doing a quick visual assessment of the roof and deciding it needs to be replaced, today’s roofing professionals can rely on several different non-destructive moisture tests to help make solid recommendations based on unbiased scientific information. The decision of when to repair, restore or replace a large commercial roof often involves a million dollars or more.

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Climate Curtain Protects U.S. Glass Block Manufacturer

April 29, 2013 9:00 am | by Marcus Mohwinkel, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Goff’s Enterprises, Inc.

Pittsburgh Corning is a world leader in innovative glass block products for commercial, institutional, government and residential building applications. The company is the only U.S.-based manufacturer of glass block. The company needed to create a climate-controlled, low-dust environment. Further, the warehouse measured 100 feet wide by 400 feet long—but assembly operations required only a portion of the total area.

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Environmentally Friendly Pest Management

April 29, 2013 8:00 am | by Patrick T. Copps, MS, B.C.E., Technical Services Manager, Orkin, LLC

The push to use environmentally friendly methods in plant operations, including pest management, continues to gain traction. Conservation and recycling efforts now play a major part in our daily lives, whether at home, at work or at another public place. But what about your facility?

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Rugged Computers Enable True Workforce Mobility

April 24, 2013 10:35 am | by Dale Kyle, CEO of Handheld US

Wirelessness alone doesn't make for truly usable mobile devices — just ask the professionals who’ve dropped cell phones into water, vibrated tablets to death on their dashboards, or watched PDA screens shatter as they hit the ground. To continue to drive true workforce mobility, data devices need to be compact, connectable, quick and able to withstand whatever they encounter — whether that’s a river, a sandstorm or a warehouse floor.

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A Vegetable Packing Plant Saves Time And Money

April 24, 2013 8:00 am | by BDI

A national producer of canned fruits and vegetables had to halt production on its conveyor line whenever the type of product to be filled changed. For dry fill production, the setup uses gravity fillers, which are mounted under a vibrating hopper and rely on gravity to fill the cans.

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Practical Advice For Virtualizing Your Manufacturing Applications

April 23, 2013 8:05 am | by Frank Hill, Director of Manufacturing Business Development, Stratus Technologies

As manufacturers continue to increase plant automation, virtualization is gaining traction as a way to control costs, increase efficiencies, and drive better long-term planning. Virtualization, the practice of using a software layer to let one physical computing server run multiple applications on virtual machines, enables manufacturers to maximize their return on hardware investments while conserving real estate on the plant floor.

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How Wearable Technology Is Transforming Facilities

April 23, 2013 8:00 am | by Mark Wheeler, Director of Supply Chain Solutions - North America, Motorola Solutions

Mobile devices are necessary tools to increase the efficiency and productivity of workers across many industries and markets, including the warehouse. But wearable, voice-directed and multimodal mobile technologies are helping to transform the warehouse environment at an even faster pace than standard mobile tools in other markets.

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Engineering Answers: Fail Faster

April 19, 2013 8:00 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D

As the market gap between hobbyist makers and professional engineers continues to close, desktop 3D printing is emerging as the next golden nugget in prototyping and small-scale manufacturing. MakerBot has been at the cusp of this revolution.

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