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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Five Common Chemical Irritants In The Workplace

April 22, 2013 8:00 am | by Grady Winston, Blogger & Entrepeneur

Industrial work environments requiring physical labor pose a variety of risk. Injuries can occur from lifting, straining or moving, but also from contact with irritants and chemicals in the warehouse or distribution center. The safety and security of employees should be the number one priority of any business.

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Taking Manufacturing To School

April 19, 2013 8:05 am | by Lindsey Jahn, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing

As manufacturing processes become more automated, it is essential for companies to invest in partnerships with local technical schools to maintain a qualified, knowledgeable workforce. In June 2011, President Obama launched a national effort to revitalize American manufacturing.

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Rugged Tablet PC Requirements In Food Manufacturing

April 17, 2013 8:05 am | by Matt Miller, President, MobileDemand

The food manufacturing industry defines the kind of variable, often-extreme working environment in which a rugged tablet PC thrives. Refrigerated areas must be at or below 45 degrees, freezers at or below zero, and hot food must remain at 140 degrees or just higher. Rugged tablets have to endure these highly variable temperatures and move among them as needed.

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Advanced Manufacturing: GE’s Response To Full Employment

April 16, 2013 8:00 am | by Tom Kadala, Founder and CEO of Alternative Technology Corporation

When Tom Donilon, the National Security Advisor for President Obama was asked what the two most pressing issues that kept him up at night, he replied, terrorist attacks and the US declining national competitiveness. The backdrop of 600,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs at a time when unemployment is near 8 percent has most certainly been his nightmare in the making.

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Legos On The Plant Floor?

April 12, 2013 4:21 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

Maybe, in comparing the benefits of working on a plant floor against the benefits of working at Facebook, engineers chose the latter. Because let’s face it — OSHA wouldn’t be too happy to see a ping pong table alongside the stamping machine.

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Make Decisions Quicker And Easier

April 12, 2013 4:08 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions

The Lean methodology of process improvement defines at least 7 classical forms of waste.  Going through notes, over and over again, as to the root cause of wastes we experience indicates that indecision often drives waste, even if it appears to be a circumstantial cause and not a regular or systemic cause of the system. 

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The Two Faces Of U.S. Manufacturing

April 12, 2013 8:05 am | by AJ Sweatt

The fact is that our trade and economic policies – or lack thereof – are the primary cause of stagnant manufacturing growth in this country. We in and of manufacturing find ourselves in an environment of two camps, vying on many fronts for supremacy & influence. And, these days, it sure seems like the inmates are running the asylum.

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How Government Can Help Small And Midsize Manufacturers Export

April 5, 2013 3:52 pm | by Mike Collins, Author, Saving American Manufacturing

In 2009, President Obama set a goal of doubling exports in 5 years.  The President portrayed his initiative as a boon for small companies, likely because fewer than four percent of all service businesses export, according to the Small Business Administration.

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How To Be Heard

April 5, 2013 2:29 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

I was interested to learn a little more about the relationship between listening and hearing at a recent seminar at the Grainger show in Orlando. The focus of this presentation was not on eliminating noise, rather, addressing the ways those affected could greatly reduce or eliminate the resulting damage that came with the prolonged exposure to high volumes.

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5 Ways Manufacturers Can Take Advantage Of The Industrial Internet

April 5, 2013 8:08 am | by Cindy Waxer

Big data is not just for predicting election outcomes and mapping genomes. General Electric (GE) is betting on the so-called Industrial Internet — a term they coined — to help manufacturers boost performance, streamline processes and better compete in the global marketplace.

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Is Re-Industrialization The Key?

April 5, 2013 8:00 am | by Dr. Tom McNamara, Assistant Professor of Operations Management, Rennes School of Business

Most economists agree that the “Great Recession” of 2008 ended sometime around August 2009, and while the economy has been slowly recovering, unemployment still appears to be a stubborn problem. The headline rate is just a shade under 8 percent, which translates into a little over 12 million Americans out of work.

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Solar Powered Everything!

April 2, 2013 8:05 am | by Chris Rendall, Mechanical Engineer, PCDworks

I’ve heard for years that “soon we’ll have solar panels on everything.” To be honest, I’ve never paid much attention to the hype because these magical solar panels that can fit on and inside everything never seemed to materialize commercially. But researchers seem to have made a real breakthrough in solar technology: thin, sticky, flexible solar panels that can stick to just about any surface or object imaginable.

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U.S. LNG Exports Will Spur Manufacturing Momentum

April 2, 2013 8:02 am | by Jessica Kennedy, Energy Curtailment Specialists Inc.

The U.S. must soon decide whether to allow unrestricted liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to non-U.S. markets, or to enact limits on natural gas exports to keep more of the fuel in the country. Vast reserves of natural gas in the U.S. and newly developed extraction techniques have made it economically sensible to extract previously unviable deposits of natural gas.

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Replenishing The “Brain Drain”

March 27, 2013 8:02 am | by Paul Michalicka, SKF USA Inc.

It is a phenomenon that is referred to with a catchy rhyme:  “the brain drain.”  Older workers are leaving companies, taking their experience and knowledge with them.  And, for various reasons, the reservoir is not being refilled at the same rate.  Knowledge leaves, and the tank threatens to go dry.

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Fighting To Reclaim Manufacturing In America

March 26, 2013 9:00 am | by Kristopher Settle, Energy Curtailment Specialists

The industry is still a global juggernaut; producing 18.2 percent of all manufactured goods which tops the list globally (still over half a percent more than China). But quite frankly, ‘dominant’ would be one of the last terms to sum up the past fifteen years of  U.S. manufacturing, despite our strong presence.

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Beware The Ill-Planned Innovative Rollout

March 25, 2013 9:00 am | by Moe Glenner, President, PURELogistics

It happens repeatedly. A company adopts a new technology platform that ostensibly will ease the workload, streamline operational processes and result in overall gains in efficiency and budget spending. The intention is spot-on but the execution is decidedly less so.

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Better Aircraft Design For Lower Fuel And Maintenance Costs

March 22, 2013 9:00 am | by Andy Brown, Director of Corporate Sales, Knovel EMEA

The air transport industry has been through many economic dips during the past four decades, yet it has always bounced back quickly with travel demand higher than ever. However, the increasing volatility of aviation fuel prices has a significant impact on airline operating costs and profitability.

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Prepare For Disaster (And Minimize Downtime)

March 20, 2013 9:05 am | by Christopher Cooley, VP of Product Management, SunGard AS

Disasters come in many sizes and shapes and are often unexpected, which is why manufacturers must prepare for them, treating disaster recovery plans almost as an insurance policy. And they do happen, often at the most inconvenient times. By one count, their numbers have climbed 233 percent since 1980.

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Can 10 Million People Be Wrong?

March 18, 2013 9:00 am | by Mark Schmit, Manager, Strategic Partnerships, SelectUSA

Last month Hasbro missed a golden opportunity to immortalize the importance of our country’s manufacturing sector, especially with the renaissance the sector is currently experiencing. Hasbro ran a poll to elect a new game icon to be included in all new editions of the game Monopoly, an All-American game if there ever was one.

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Learn From Success Too

March 15, 2013 9:00 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions

As we immerse ourselves in continuous process improvement, we get in the habit of tearing down and examining everything that doesn’t meet expectations, go according to plan, or work efficiently enough. We get so focused on what’s broken, we forget to take time to figure out how we do the occasional thing exactly right.

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