We live in a time of a globalized economy—no one knows this better than those in manufacturing. With competition literally rising from the smoke stacks in China and India, among a bevy of other countries, there is no doubt that most of what’s sold in America is longer made here.
I’m a skeptic at heart. I despise the word “epidemic.” The fake “trend” stories every week in the New York Times make me cringe. (Dear NYT , Just because somebody saw two hoodie-adorned twenty-somethings smoking pipes in Brooklyn does not make such behavior the latest craze sweeping Youngster Nation.
December 2, 2009 Recently, opinion columnist Stanley Fish asked his New York Times readers to weigh in on their least favorite popular phrases— And the Winner: ‘No Problem’ —things people found to be overused, latently offensive, or just simply redundant.
I like to consider myself a true connoisseur of irony. So the circumstances regarding a recent article that Product Design & Development's esteemed associate editor Meaghan Ziemba forwarded on was not lost on me. You see, she e-mailed a collection of editors an article where the author spouted on about the death of e-mail as a form of communication.
Here at IMPO and Chem.Info , we try to stay out in front of the trends happening in chemical and processing facilities around the country. Whether it’s the inherently safer technologies that could (read: probably will) change the way chemical facilities operate, or membrane separation technologies designed to improve everything from wastewater treatment to carbon capture , we’re constantly reading, watching and talking about processing technologies in order to present products and stories that can help you on the plant floor.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Ever. In fact, I find watching sports and eating carbohydrates to be two of the most enjoyable activities in which to indulge during winter. Each year I pretend to help with the cooking, eat, doze, and then force my grown adult brothers to watch the cartoon version of Dr.
A couple of weeks before we start production on a new issue of IMPO , our staff gets together to talk basically about three things — where we stand right now, where we want to go and how we intend to get there. This scope of attention deals not only with the financial elements that any business endeavor must broach, but also the quality of our end products, in both print and on the web, as well as the process we take in getting there.
I have never stolen anything in my life. It’s not something I consider particularly notable, simply because I feel it should be intuitive; a default. I was raised by hard-working parents who themselves were raised by folks who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.
There aren’t many feelings worse than that of being duped, especially if you have an elevated estimation of your own intellectual powers. (I tested at 29 on my ACT exam, I swear.) Most of the time, I like to think that I’m pretty shrewd when it comes to marketing schemes and statistics being twisted by the most keen of spin doctors, distinctly because as an editor — trust me — I’ve seen it all.
November 9, 2009 Clorox isn’t waiting around for new chemical security legislation to take effect. And according to opensecrets.org , the company has not hired any lobbyists in 2009 to convince politicians that transporting and storing large amounts of chlorine is safe.
A colleague of mine, David Mantey (editor of Product Design and Development ), wrote a column a while ago titled, “ We Landed On The Moon, Big Deal .” There’s no mincing words here; it’s easy enough to tell what his stance on NASA is. One of David’s main contentions is that NASA does not, and cannot, invoke the same soaring heroics and national pride it used to back in the moon-landing era, which is a fair assumption.
Professionally, I’ve always considered myself a fairly progressive and forward-looking individual. Not the smoke and mirrors forward-looking that you can find at the bottom of nine out of 10 “news stories” that cross the wires, but the type that looks at something new and either sees value or, I see it as a potentially never-ending crevasse into which we will always be able to dive, but no amount of money will ever cushion the fall.
It’s not a new problem, per se. The need to improve energy usage trends and implement more efficient approaches has been a relevant topic long before Al Gore invented Power Point presentations or President Obama campaigned on a pledge to overhaul our national grid. What is new is the debate surrounding the slew of potential solutions.
Although it’s an instance that is becoming more and more rare as we grow older and our responsibilities increase, my friends and I like to get together on the occasional weekend night and spend hours at a long, lavish dinner out. We give ourselves time for wine and coffee and dessert, and do our best to catch up.
October 28, 2009 Last week I attended a webinar on the EPA’s mandatory reporting of greenhouse gases (GHGs) rule, hosted by U.S. Steel and Wenck. The presenters did a great job of highlighting all of the important points from the rule, and the areas that could be confusing.
Baseball season within the IMPO family leads to several interesting and often heated conversations — many of which offer a unique parallel to the competitive environment you see on the plant floor. Our family resides in two different homes. Out on the east coast we have Chuck Marin.
My friends and I like to play a lot of off-the-cuff word games. For example, my friend posed this question to the group last night: If you were able to ride any animal, real or fictional, into battle, which would it be? The eventual winner, by group vote, was Falkor—the giant flying dog from The NeverEnding Story .
Beijing Autos (BA) says it doesn’t know anything about the ex-engineer who photocopied thousands of documents and coincidentally took an overseas vacation to shop his merchandise to the highest bidder. Yeah, and I denied it when the side view mirror disappeared out of my father’s truck and a bird was left to take the rap.
It’s the culmination of over 40 years work, combining technology developed by NASA in the 1950s with cutting edge biofuel production techniques using purpose-built microorganisms. Coskata appears to be doing what no other cellulosic ethanol startup has done: Proving that the technology works on a large scale.
Two weeks ago, Newsweek released its 2009 Green Rankings , rating America’s 500 largest companies for environmental sustainability. Not surprisingly, food and beverage companies rated below the curve. In comparison with finance, insurance and tech companies, it seems rather intuitive that companies in the manufacturing sector would have a significantly greater impact on the environment.