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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

2016: The End Of The Age Of America

May 17, 2011 7:12 am | by by Lauren Kiesow, Associate Editor, Manufacturing.net 

The Mayans prophesized that 2012 will mark the demise of human civilization. And while many people disregard this apocalyptic fable, is it possible to completely disregard the fact that The International Monetary Fund estimates that “ The Age of America ” will come to its end in 2016? Specifically, 2016 is the year when China's growth intersects the decline of the U.

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Time To 'Open-Source' Your Smarts

May 10, 2011 6:03 am | by by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO

Since we launched the IMPO Insider back in August 2009, I’ve searched the Internet to the end and back for the best videos to feature in our Thursday newsletters. After all of that, I’ve seen some great content across the whole spectrum—funny, sad, uplifting, amusing, frightening.

Caught Looking

May 4, 2011 5:07 am

Over the weekend, we had one of those strange 80-degree April days that caught everybody off-guard. It was supposed to thunderstorm all afternoon, but wound up being partly sunny, hot and muggy—a welcome surprise for those of us in Wisconsin who aren’t good skiers and spend the winter mostly indoors.

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Sue Me

April 26, 2011 5:16 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D

Coming off a two-day stint of gripping jury duty, I’ve cemented my belief that our culture is too eager to self-diagnose, place blame, and sue anything that may negatively impact our lives, regardless of fault. Long story, short: Woman A is loading groceries into the trunk of her car.

Let Them Eat Bugs

April 22, 2011 10:06 am | by by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing

Food prices are on the rise again, the polar icecaps are melting and the rainforest is burning. These problems have plagued the earth for years, but now one scientist claims he has one simple solution for all of them: eat bugs. Dutch Professor Arnold van Huis  has dedicated himself to convincing the world to eat insects.

Re-Kindling Your Passion

March 30, 2011 11:40 am | by by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO

I’ve always been a diehard fan of the printed page, whether it’s a hardback novel or the glossy pages of a magazine. That passion is a large part of why I’m in the publishing business now. In many ways, there’s nothing better than sitting down with a good book and feeling the pages between your fingers.

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Mitigating Purchasing Sabotage

March 30, 2011 11:31 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

For most people, a room full of editors, executives, sales reps, and business owners discussing MRO might not seem like a good time. I wish I could say I was with you, but the manufacturing and distribution nerd in me takes great pleasure in the picking of brains. I have a feeling that I am not alone among our readers in this.

No More Henry Fords

March 17, 2011 4:59 am | by by Lauren Kiesow, Associate Editor,

  Manufacturing.net   Slowly but surely all of the “mom and pop” manufacturing facilities are closing. From sardine canneries in Maine to baking product suppliers in California, smaller plants are feeling the pressure from buyers who believe importing manufactured goods is more cost efficient.

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USDA Says 'Cheese'

March 15, 2011 5:34 am | by by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing

On Jan. 31, 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines (better late than never). The food industry reactions are varied and anything but tepid. The Salt Institute calls the Guidelines “drastic, simplistic and unrealistic” after the recommendations suggested cutting sodium.

How Long Is Too Long?

March 8, 2011 10:16 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

One of the first columns I ever wrote for IMPO magazine — three long years ago when I took over as editor — was about my car. At the time, I was dealing with a maintenance issue, struggling over the decision of whether to investigate the dashboard light that seemed to indiscriminately flash on and off, or to save the cash since nothing appeared to be wrong.

What's Watson's End Game?

March 8, 2011 7:07 am | by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology

While I’m cautiously optimistic that we humans will not have to engage in a decades-long, post-apocalyptic war against power-hungry machines looking to wipe us off the face of the earth, I cannot help but wonder what the future holds for Watson and artificially intelligent computers like it.

Monitoring Your Brain Waves

March 4, 2011 5:25 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, Product Design & Development

Escaping the sub-zero weather in Wisconsin is enough to make the convention experience worthy of the time, effort, and expense. I arrived in Anaheim and walked off of the plane a sweaty mess covered in jackets, multiple layers, and gloves engineered for the Arctic. The ability to take a mid-winter stroll to the Medical Device & Manufacturing conference and exhibition without fear of frostbite and numbing limbs was refreshing; however, meeting with Julien Penders, program manager of Body Area Networks for imec, was an equally exhilarating experience.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

February 17, 2011 4:04 am | by by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info

Chemical disclosure is on the forefront of proactive minds across the processing industry. What is your company willing to divulge? From the dispersants used in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) chemical disclosure to Consumer Product Safety Commission databases to Bisphenol A (BPA) safety concerns, everyone wants to know what’s in their daily inventory of product and how safe it is.

One In An Undecillion

February 10, 2011 3:12 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

CNN Tech taught me a new word last week: Undecillion. That’s right… we’re making stuff up now. Numbers, in fact. If forced to guess what exists an undecillion times in our world—in order to require this made-up sounding number—I might start with plankton or fleas, grains of sand or former child actor felonies.

Consumer Choice: Beyond The Labels

February 8, 2011 6:49 am | by by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing

At a time when many businesses — especially those in the manufacturing sector — are hurting, facing employee layoffs and severe cutbacks, companies in the food industry are faring better. As 2010 data is released, it paints a picture of a fairly resilient industry, one not as vulnerable to the whims of consumers or the general state of the economy.

Reaping The Green

February 7, 2011 7:38 am | by by Lauren Kiesow, Associate Editor, Manufacturing.net

Manufacturers have a lot to worry about these days. From the competitiveness of the global marketplace to the seemingly never-ending attempts at heightening efficiency, it’s easy to get bogged down in the minutiae without a clear idea as to where to begin.  But becoming bigger and better often requires some sort of expenditure.

Scared Straight By Foreign Object Damage

February 4, 2011 10:28 am | by by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Dallas at the request of Snap-On, the well-known manufacturer of all things tooling. At the event, they educated me and other members of the press on a tool crib that takes all of the hassle out of asset management. All tools removed from the crib are automatically detected by the system.

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Outsourcing My Self-Control

January 31, 2011 5:24 am | by by Kim Ukura, Associate Editor, Product Design & Development (PD&D)

Most of my New Year’s resolutions have to do with breaking bad habits or developing good new ones: cutting back on frivolous spending, wasting less time online, and getting to the gym more often. The problem that I have — a problem shared by about almost 70 percent  of American and British adults — is breaking a bad habit alone.

Pouring Your Efforts Down The Drain

January 25, 2011 10:12 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

Ever since I can remember, I’ve enjoyed cooking. There is something about dancing around the kitchen with a glass of wine, listening to jazz and testing the limits of my mind’s intuition for spices. I’ve heard it said that being a cook is one of those ‘either ya got it or ya don’t’ kind of things, and I tend to agree.

Calling Out Costco 

January 24, 2011 5:30 am | by by Lauren Kiesow, Associate Editor, Manufacturing.net

After calling on Costco for years and getting nowhere, one manufacturer took some unorthodox steps toward gaining access to a targeted distributor. Mitch Liss is the president of Edsal Mfg. Co. Inc., an American manufacturer of steel shelving based out of Chicago. His company started humbly, opening in the 1950s out of a small garage with roughly $800 and some simple machinery.

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