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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Fighting Back Against The Recession

August 17, 2009 5:26 am | by by Amy Radishofski, Features Editor, Manufacturing.net

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.

Scaling Back Is The New Black

August 14, 2009 11:19 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO About a year ago, I began drooling over new car ads and decided I would trade in my dependable VW Jetta for something a bit flashier. Nothing like a bird’s eye view of your 401K floating in the toilet to derail any thoughts of luxury. I decided that I could wait it out, continue to drive my Jetta, and look slightly less cool.

Doing The Responsible Thing

August 13, 2009 8:04 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO It seems the concept of personal responsibility has become skewed over time. What used to be a matter of pride—something one could accomplish based on his or her own volition—is now carrying a more negative connotation. Responsibility has become a matter of who is “at fault” for a certain situation, or how one’s efforts can be excused by sharing the burden of accountability.

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Putting A Bullitt In Jag, Rover

August 12, 2009 11:24 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO

Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO One of my favorite all-time movies is Steve McQueen’s Bullitt . It’s not that the movie itself is all that special, but anyone familiar with it knows exactly why it’s among my top picks. It contains a scene that is considered to have revolutionized the way Hollywood filmed car chases.

"Up-To-The-Minute" Has Become "Too Slow"

August 10, 2009 5:11 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO The day my mom joined Facebook elicited a strange reaction in me: something wavering on dumbfounded pride. My mom was all grown up, graduating from some technological university I’d assumed she wasn't even aware of. The day she joined Twitter was borderline scary.

So... Did I Get The Job?

August 5, 2009 12:30 pm | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO When I saw the CNN.com headline “ 43 Weird Things Said in Job Interviews ,” I had to click. Throughout my career, I’ve enjoyed the odd task of interviewing dozens of prospective job candidates for positions within our publication group, and I’m always up for a disastrous tale of inappropriate behavior.

The Barbie Ultimatum

August 5, 2009 10:15 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO

Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO Today is my daughter’s birthday. For the most part, this is great thing. I know she’ll eat way too much sugar, but her friends will help burn that off with constant laps around the swing set, kitchen table, adult supervisors, and any other object unable or unwilling to move as 10 giggling six-year-olds assault the house and yard.

Labeling That Bugs Me

July 21, 2009 11:40 am | by by Karen Langhauser, Editor-In-Chief, Food Manufacturing

Karen Langhauser, Editor-In-Chief, Food Manufacturing I’ve honestly never paid much attention to packaging labels, and perhaps that makes me an irresponsible consumer – but the way I look at it, that’s my own choice. The FDA recently published a final rule that amended its regulations to require the declaration by name of the color additives cochineal extract and carmine on the label of all food and cosmetic products in the U.

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What The Best Do Better

July 21, 2009 7:01 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO When it comes to email, I’m a sucker for a good subject line. One of the more recent to hit my inbox attracted my attention with this: Why Good Old-Fashioned Hard Work is Back in Vogue! The email is pitching editorial coverage for Jon Gordon and his recently released book “Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else.

A Lesson From Baseball's All-Stars

July 15, 2009 9:15 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

As a baseball fan, All-Star week is typically a mediocre point in the season for me: My team—the Milwaukee Brewers—doesn’t play for three days, our best talent risks injury in an ancillary ball game, and the American League always wins, this year being no exception.

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There. I Fixed It.

July 1, 2009 12:21 pm | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

I have a good friend who works for a large, reputable technology consulting company and we were speaking recently on some of the things his employer was testing in the technology realm. A couple of these upcoming advancements gave me visions of The Jetsons , while others—like a software program that automatically transcribes your voicemails into emails—seem a bit over the top.

Potato Salad & Algae

July 1, 2009 11:40 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, Chem.Info

One of the things I look forward to the most about the pending Fourth of July festivities is the wonderful combination of my dad’s grilled brats and my mom’s potato salad. This perfect storm of smells and flavors, washed down by a couple of cold well-brewed beverages, seems to relax me to a point in which I can actually feel any extra burden drop from my shoulders.

Coffee Crisis: 2009

June 24, 2009 12:03 pm | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D

I’m writing from the heart of a brewing crisis in office parks around the nation and, quite possibly, around the world. In cube farms everywhere, production has been brought to a stand still because amateur office baristas are not heeding the Rules for Brewing posted above the Bloomfield Koffee King and making coffee two to three times stronger than the recommended dose.

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Price Cuts You Can Do Without

June 18, 2009 8:24 am

Establishing the loyalty of your customers can be accomplished using many tactics—and I’ve seen a few very blatant attempts in the past week by way of financial incentives. But it seems not all cash breaks are sure fire ways to keep folks coming back: Apple recently announced a major reduction in price point on some of its more popular electronic items, including its older model 3G iPhones, to make way for the new model 3GS.

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Assessing The Trade-In Value Of Our Small Businesses

June 4, 2009 9:06 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO

It’s rare that I’ll offer my condolences to the politically tunnel-visioned, but I feel obligated to do so for Dianne Feinstein, a democratic senator from California. Senator Feinstein, who authored the original Cash for Clunkers bill, has seen her solution for controlling auto emissions transition into another plot to help those who simply refused to help themselves.

Betting On An Economic Recovery

June 4, 2009 8:53 am | by by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, IMPO

Back home in Australia, I religiously listened to Mornings with Ross & John , a breakfast radio show that used news as a backdrop for discussions about social phenomena, crime and sports. They tracked a number of recurring topics, such as: The evolution of the spelling of names — Khloei (Chloe), De’mon (Damon) Football players behaving badly — who was at the local strip club associating with the Hell’s Angels and known drug dealers? Habits of politicians — Obama’s thin frame was surely a sign that he still smoked.

Stimulus I Can Believe In

May 21, 2009 11:56 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, Chem.Info

President Obama recently announced at the National Academy of Sciences’ annual meeting that he planned to allocate 3 percent of the gross domestic product to research and development. This represents the largest commitment to scientific research in U.S. history, and in more real-world terms, a better than $400 billion investment.

Leaving Little GTO In The Past

May 20, 2009 9:42 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

h4 { font: bold 14px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000; } .byline { font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 4px; } .caption { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 4px; } .sup { position: relative; bottom: 2px; font-size: smaller;" } The first family car I remember from my childhood was a sea green Pontiac LeMans.

Your Pay Just Dropped 11 Percent

May 14, 2009 6:51 am | by by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, IMPO

I like statistics that back up what I already know. The ones that let you say, “See, I told you we were in a recession,” or “Only 12 year-old kids are on MySpace.” Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics released figures showing changes in productivity and labor costs during the first quarter of 2009.

Guy Catches 13-Foot Shark

May 7, 2009 6:53 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

We’ve had plenty of debates over swine flu in the office over the past week—mostly spurred by the sudden cropping up of alcohol-based hand sanitizer bottles throughout our workspace. The whole floor smells like a distillery. “Apparently there is some virus going around,” we joke as we slather this slick substance onto our hands.

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