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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Next Generation Manufacturing

February 2, 2012 5:27 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

According to the 2011 Next Generation Manufacturing Study, now is a critical time for American small manufacturers. The economic downturn has been difficult, especially for small manufacturers, who may struggle to keep pace with larger competition on a global playing field. Small manufacturers (less than $10 million in revenues) need to assess whether they have the strategies in place to capture competitive advantages, and the ability to put those strategies into practice to be successful in a global marketplace.

Learning The Apple Way

February 2, 2012 5:21 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor,

A recent survey shows that 1 in 5 Americans now own a tablet computer of some sort, between the likes of the Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble Nook, and, of course, Apple’s iPad. The survey itself , from the Pew Research Center, has some pretty interesting bits of information, but what struck me hardest was exactly how precise Apple is at getting people to buy something they don’t really need.

Where The Buck Stops

January 31, 2012 9:00 am | by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing

As the legal consequences for selling faulty products falls more and more on the shoulders of retailers, food processors’ customers may push for greater protections for consumers and themselves. Over the next several months, food manufacturers should prepare for retailers to make changes to requirements regarding food safety and protection.


FSMA, One Year Later

January 24, 2012 9:00 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manfuacturing

Last January, President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the largest overhaul of the U.S. food safety system in decades. Since then, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has begun implementing various guidelines for the food industry. As the FDA moves forward, it is important for the food industry to be aware of the agency’s progress, assistance that will be provided to companies, and the challenges that face both the regulators and the companies affected by the new law.

Counterfeiting The Counterfeiter

January 23, 2012 9:54 am

Here is a look at how one independent electronics distributor works to undermine the efforts of counterfeiters around the globe. Founded in Houston in 1984,  Smith & Associates  is a leader in the independent distribution of semiconductors and components for electronic devices.


Which 280 Seconds?

January 23, 2012 5:23 am | by Anna Wells, Managing Editor, IMPO

This past November, I attended a trade show in San Antonio where the keynote speaker was airplane captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III. Captain Sullenberger’s name gained wide recognition, as many of you recall, in May of 2010 when he and a co-pilot successfully landed US Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River, saving 155 lives after ducks flew into both the plane’s engines.


Will Re-Shoring Take Off In 2012?

January 20, 2012 4:23 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor,

We recently sat down with Kevin Logterman, the Managing Director of Industrial and Family Business for Cook Associates Executive Search, to discuss a survey the company had conducted regarding re-shoring initiatives in 2012. 85 percent of respondents said they saw jobs returning to America from off-shored locations in the near future, which sounds like fantastic news.


The Complexities Of Re-Shoring

January 20, 2012 3:59 am | by Interview by Joel Hans, Managing Editor,

David Longshore, General Manager, Creation Technologies Creation Technologies is an electronics manufacturing services company based in Barnaby, Canada. The company aids electronics manufacturers by providing outsourced manufacturing services, depending on their specific needs, through collaboration and a knowledge base built on their own experiences in a number of regions.


General Mills Uses Open Innovation To Help Create New Brownies

January 17, 2012 8:48 am

With trusted brands including Pillsbury®, Gold Medal®, and Betty Crocker®, General Mills knows a thing or two about baked goods. So a delicious, nutritious, 90-calorie brownie would seem to fall right in the company’s wheelhouse. But it turns out, that wasn’t exactly the case.


Apple's Secretive Side

January 10, 2012 9:25 am | by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology

I take no issue with Apple’s unconventional business practices as long as the tech giant operates within the boundaries of the law. But I find it is interesting that arguably the most successful company in the world operates in such an unconventional and secretive way. More than three months have passed since the death of Apple co-founder and technology icon Steve Jobs.

Social Cues Simplify ERP

January 5, 2012 7:44 am

By Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO It’s too complicated. It’s expensive. It takes too long for people to understand. It’s costly to maintain. The current DOS-based spreadsheet system on my green-type-with-black-background monitor works just fine. When it comes to investing in and implementing ERP software, all of the above are commonly heard when a manufacturer is explaining why they’re hesitant to expand or upgrade their use of such platforms.

Weighing The Risks Of Nanotechnology

January 3, 2012 11:17 am | by Interview by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor

Interview with Amy Galland, Ph.D., Research Director, As You Sow Nanotechnology is an emerging science that offers many new opportunities for the food industry, but food manufacturers should be aware that there are some potential risks with this new technology. Food Manufacturing spoke with Amy Galland of As You Sow about nanotechnology and what processors should consider before implementing this new science into their processes.

American Picker

December 21, 2011 10:51 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D

It’s not recycling, it’s repurposing. Just over a year ago, the owner of a waste company was struck with a vision for old billboard vinyls. Marketing departments use billboards to advertise to commuters, but those advertisements outdate quickly, and are no long of any use to marketing.

Game Time

December 21, 2011 10:46 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

We’re so determined to change the game… why? Well, because the rules are slippery and it seems some of the players can roll the dice as many times as they want. But before embarking on any drastic upheaval, you might begin by assessing which combination of planning, technology, and available resources can truly address the best opportunities for your business.

How To Spot A Fake

December 16, 2011 6:02 am | by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Industrial Distribution

The increased prevalence of counterfeit products only heightens the need for suppliers, distributors, and end users to communicate better and inform each other about the misconceptions out there. There exists a major difference between trying to avoid the purchase of counterfeit products and actually avoiding the purchase of counterfeit products.

Living La Vida Cocoa

December 16, 2011 5:58 am | by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing

San Francisco’s TCHO chocolate company has made strategic decisions in sourcing, production and technology that have vaulted this young chocolatier into the stratosphere of high-quality U.S. chocolate-makers. TCHO was founded in 2007 by Timothy Childs, founder of Cabaret Chocolates and a former engineer of vision systems used in NASA space shuttles.


Manufacturing Expands Due To Higher Production, Lower Prices

December 16, 2011 5:55 am

Brad Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD The November ISM Report On Business indicated economic activity expanded for the 28th consecutive month and the overall economy grew for the 30th straight month. Both pieces of news are certainly welcomed by Bradley J.

Success Through Effective Plant Operations Metrics

December 12, 2011 8:50 am

Providing real-time data and metrics throughout a manufacturing enterprise is a significant challenge for many manufacturers. There are some major obstacles to it, which lead to delays and data between multiple systems that is not integrated, connected, or normalized. Julie Fraser, lead analyst and researcher on a Cambashi/MESA study entitled Pursuit of Performance Excellence, discusses how delayed visibility of metrics is a significant issue for many manufacturers in this recent interview with Manufacturing Business Technology .


Ready For The Post-Incandescent Plant

December 8, 2011 11:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor,

The much-debated “phase-out” of incandescent light bulbs has struck a nerve with consumers and manufacturers alike recently, but the process began long ago, when the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 was passed into law. The bill, co-sponsored by 198 representatives, passed the House in January 2007, the Senate in June, and was signed into law on December 19 by President George W.


Allergen Labeling Is Nothing To Sneeze At

December 8, 2011 6:01 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing

Food allergies affect anywhere from four to eight percent of children, as well as two percent of adults. For the most part, industry regulators and food companies have successfully mitigated the issue, but there is still room for improvement. Allergies can be one of the most dangerous food-related illnesses, especially in children, with as many as one in 13 U.


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