Bonjour! This week’s column comes from about 30,000 feet above Quebec, on my way home after three glorious days in Montreal for the Labor Day weekend. Perfect weather, two days of great music on the city’s waterfront and some interesting food (beef tartare — basically a raw hamburger patty but surprisingly good) was exactly what the doctor ordered, and I’m returning to Chem.
Every change in the marketplace, every upheaval in the economy, every shift in technology, and every change in consumer attitudes and outlook creates opportunities for successful new products. Since these changes are amplified during tough times, new product opportunities are actually more numerous during economic turbulence.
Fieldale Farms Corp. is not just a major supplier of poultry to the nation’s leading foodservice and restaurant chains. It is the tenth largest privately owned company in the world. This company sells hundreds of millions of dollars of its product every year across the US and to over 50 countries.
by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO But if we truly do see innovation as the way forward, then we can’t be trapped under the weight of our fears. Sure, the burden of proof is on the policy, but where will we get if we don’t ever have the courage to get something off the ground?--> As editors in the manufacturing realm, we hear a lot of complaints from readers about government policy.
Diagnostic Devices, Inc. (DDI), a maker of blood glucose monitoring systems, recently moved operations from China back to the U.S. and still managed to cut operating costs by roughly 40 percent. How did they do it? Can American manufacturers be competitive with China? Pete Bosak, director of public relations at DDI, sat down with Manufacturing.
“Now I know my pet carrier didn’t just grow legs and walk out of the office itself. I understand if you mistook it for your own, but if the culprit would stop by my desk to drop it off this afternoon, Crash and Burn would certainly appreciate it. For the record, Crash and Burn are kittens.
After dinner on Friday night I found that our cable TV had been disconnected. When I called my cable provider to report the problem, I was told that they would send someone out on Sunday afternoon — would I prefer they came between 1 and 5 p.m. or between 3 and 5 p.
One of the more interesting green developments in recent months has been Wal-Mart’s decision to initiate greater sustainability standards in the products they’ll purchase and re-sell. I’ll abstain from sharing the inter-office banter that has pitted my colleagues against me regarding this topic, but instead offer some thoughts on the interesting precedent this could set for processors.
What is my worst self-critique as far as work habits are concerned? Time management. I may consider it my arch nemesis, yet it still needs to be blocked and tackled over the course of the day.--> Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info If you hang out with sports lover and editorial director Jeff Reinke for any amount of time, you are bound to stumble across some of his sage advice.
How do you go about choosing the right HMI vendor for your operations? It’s a great question that bares discussion. An HMI vendor is a critical information visualization supplier that greatly impacts and influences a process plant, an OEM, and system integrator operations. An HMI vendor can be one of two things, a supplier or a partner.
Being from Wisconsin, I often have to turn a blind eye to how my native people are portrayed in the media: the obese, beer-guzzling, cheese and brat shoveling mustachioed deer hunter. But what you bring to the table—whether it be your knowledge of Harleys or your interest in seeing cars destroyed from a lawn chair vantage point—can almost always translate into other tasks, ideas, product development, or process improvement.
Sustainability — it is clearly the hot topic of the day — you cannot turn the page in any periodical without reading about it. This is particularly true in the manufacturing and packaging worlds. But this "new" imperative is really not new at all. It is the continuation of a course of action that started more than a decade ago when there was a major focus on consumer waste, crowded landfills and the advent of widespread recycling programs.
by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D Seriously, they tell you not to cheat in school but did you ever notice – that is if you ever cheated – that when you worked off a friend’s paper (read: copied), you would copy everything that was good and beef up the sections that needed a little help, creating a better end product? It’s the American way, so why do teachers frown so heavily upon it? --> Struggling mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson’s recently appointed new president had quite the golden nugget of information to offer as he took over his new post.
In today’s world of steel making, profit margins are as thin as sheet metal. That makes the margin of error at the Timken Faircrest plant in Canton, OH even thinner for the utilization of time, equipment, and raw material. The workforce must be coordinated across a site covering dozens of acres.
With governmental regulations for compliance becoming all the more rigorous, chief audit officers (CAOs) are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place regarding controlling costs and satisfying these more rigorous compliance demands. At the same time, external auditors are getting more sophisticated in their investigations of compliance — delving deeper into organizations’ controls.
One of the great American traditions is that of embracing the plight of the little guy, the underdog, the one with all the odds stacked against them. I think it’s because even in these seemingly impossible conditions they’re committed to doing whatever it takes and are unwilling to yield to theoretically superior opposition.
Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO The web is a strange place to live because there is such a disparity in structure from place to place. In real life, my neighborhood is all maples, condos, and serious lawn care. I don’t accidentally turn a corner and find myself in a sewer.
Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO I know, I know, the U.S. auto industry has been an easy target for quite a while now, but a release came across my screen last week that made putting it back within the crosshairs of my keyboard way too appealing. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve all become familiar with the Cash For Clunkers program.
Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO As someone who grew up in the rolling corn and hay fields of southeastern WI, I’ll proudly testify to the sentiment that permeates throughout this area. Combining a strong work ethic with a common sense approach has resulted in a collective that embraces both traditional and new ideas.
The manufacturing sector has taken a beating by the recent economic downturn. While no industry has escaped unharmed, companies are beginning to fight back, according to the 2009 Manufacturing and Wholesale Distribution Survey by RSM McGladrey. Does that mean there is some good news on the horizon? Well, sort of.