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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Sorry, I Can’t Hear You, I’m Eating Sun Chips

October 8, 2010 6:38 am | by by Kim Ukura, Associate Editor, PD&D

Yikes, Frito-Lay, your environmentally responsible packaging is making it harder for me to sneak a few delicious potato chips. For shame! About six months ago, Frito-Lay launched the new biodegradable bag for  Sun Chips  with a splashy marketing campaign that played up that the bags are compostable.

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Trust Your Gut

October 5, 2010 6:06 am | by by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business technology

While software and technology providers are experts on their respective offerings, it’s the customers who are the experts when it comes to their respective needs and wants. When it comes to new technology, I’m hardly a bandwagon-jumper. I still don’t own a BlackBerry, iPhone, or even a high-definition television.

Dead Wood Rising

October 4, 2010 5:48 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D 

When we think of dead wood, we will always think termites before we think family. "This economy is lumpy.” The statement didn’t launch the event with the flash and bang that I had anticipated. Then again, I was a first-timer and had no idea what to expect. For some reason, as I was munching on food from the journalist trough on the SolidWorks campus, I pictured a press event with musical overtures, pyrotechnics, and a shotgun blast to kick it off.

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Salt, Sugar, Fat: Above The Legal Limit?

October 1, 2010 10:40 am | by by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing

Things are not looking up for manufacturers of the bacon-wrapped turkey-infused donut. I'm not sure that such a product is real, but the level of disappointment I've felt walking the grocery store aisles lately leads me to believe that it must be. A CDC report released last month shows that a record number of U.

People Over Profit? Fool Me Once ...

October 1, 2010 5:03 am | by by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info

To allow profit to take precedent over people is a dangerous prospect, no matter the size or type of company. If you’re fooled into thinking safety is other people’s problems only, then shame on you. Prioritizing profit over people: The implications of this seemingly popular trend are not limited to the processing market, but the severity of the implications are amplified here.

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An Asset You Can’t Afford To Lose

September 24, 2010 5:21 am | by by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing

Upton Sinclair’s early 20th century novel,  The Jungle , has often been credited as the catalyst for the launch of food safety laws in America. It’s no wonder, as Sinclair horrified readers with images of maggoty beef and sausage infused with rat guts. As the author of a novel that inspired such change, one would think Sinclair would have been pleased.

A Post-Brunch Wave Of Regret

September 21, 2010 6:04 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

This past weekend, I returned to eggs for the first time since the recall. After five weeks of brunch abstinence, I went back to my favorite local Southwestern restaurant for their breakfast quesadilla. Sunday brunch is a staple, and I’d been avoiding it due to the recent bad press. This past weekend I was starting to waver.

Harley-Davidson And The Union Debate

September 16, 2010 10:32 am | by by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO

Editor's note: In the interest of gathering better feedback from our readers on what topics interest them, we're going to try and solicit feedback and constructive debate on the topics we cover. A new commenting system will be enabled on this page, with the hope you, IMPO 's readers, will feel compelled to respond.

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FDA: Put Up Or Shut Up

August 17, 2010 4:56 am | by by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing

A battle for jurisdiction over chemicals in food production is ongoing between government agencies like the FDA and food manufacturers. Both groups appear to believe they are in the best position to protect public health.    Despite organizational failings, the FDA is in the position to best oversee food safety.

Industry: Put Your Studies Where Your Mouth Is

August 17, 2010 4:56 am | by by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing

In order to mitigate the potentially heavy regulatory changes coming down the pike, food manufacturers and chemical producers need to be the ones to uncover and disclose the effects of their products on public health. A  Washington Post article  published Monday reported on the lack of information possessed by federal agencies — the FDA and EPA, specifically — about the potential health and environmental risks posed by the chemicals often found in foods and food packaging.

Active Listening Really Pays Off

August 4, 2010 9:39 am | by by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing

Chances are, you probably learned about active listening at some point during your schooling. Lean forward, make eye contact and nod to let the speaker know you’re listening, right? I always thought these tips were silly because you could do all these things and still not be listening. However, these actions do accomplish one goal: They make the speaker think you’re listening—even if you really aren’t.

Greed Can Mend a Broken Heart

August 4, 2010 7:31 am | by by Kim Ukura, Associate Editor, PD&D

Greed drives innovation in industry. While I might not always like it, when it comes time for me to deal with a serious medical condition, I want as many treatment and non-treatment options on the table as possible. In  “What Broke My Father’s Heart,”  a piece in New York Times magazine a couple weeks ago, journalist Katy Butler writes about how an implanted pacemaker kept her father’s heart ticking long after the rest of his body was ready to go.

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The Criminal Mind

August 2, 2010 10:00 am | by by Mike Auerbach, Editor-In-Chief

I don’t think I have a criminal mind. Which is probably why I can’t seem to wrap my head around the idea of counterfeiting — at least how it’s being done in relation to pharmaceuticals. Sure, I am quite familiar with other forms of counterfeiting; whether it’s a rip-off of a designer handbag made from the “hide” of the elusive “nauga” animal instead of real leather, or the genuine “faux” pearls I once saw advertised on late night television.

China's Manufacturing Successor: Is It Us?

August 2, 2010 7:26 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

“Looking for skilled, low-cost labor?” asks CNN. “Forget about India and China. How about Jonesboro, Ark.?” Interestingly enough, this is no rhetoric. This statement highlights one of the more recently publicized (but not exactly new) phenomena in manufacturing known as “on-shoring” or, in the case of Jonesboro, “rural-sourcing.

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The Big-Idea Man

July 30, 2010 7:46 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D

While the Big-Idea Man has become easy to strike through on budgets during a down economy, even the big idea itself has come under scrutiny because the industry’s competitive landscape no longer lends itself to the plodding and planning associated with big idea execution. He was an elusive character.

Arguing As An Art Form

July 26, 2010 11:03 am | by by Amy Radishofski, Features Editor, Manufacturing.net

My father was the type of person who could make a customer service agent cry. He would argue his case with manager after manager until he found someone who could do what he wanted. It didn’t matter if a sale ended months ago; we always got the sale price. When I got my first car, the dealership actually  lost  money on the sale.

Message To The Next Gen

July 23, 2010 8:03 am | by by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info

Dear Niece, Thank you for making me a very proud aunt. It’s my first time, and I’m extremely excited about the new addition to our clan. I plan on spoiling the bejesus out of you, being there for you, and doing everything that a good aunt is supposed to do, at the best of my ability anyways, and always.

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World Cup Oil Spill Awards

July 20, 2010 8:59 am | by by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Chem.Info

FIFA’s quadrennial World Cup soccer tournament came to a close a few weeks ago with Spain beating the Netherlands 1–0 in a yawn-fest of a final. The only goal came near the end of extra time and I celebrated not because I think Spain deserved it (I did), but because it meant that the world champion would not be decided by a penalty shootout — the soccer equivalent of flipping a coin.

Old School Vs New School

July 16, 2010 11:54 am | by by Amanda Earing, News Editor, Manufacturing.net

Recently, the United Auto Workers union approved veteran union negotiator and current Vice President Bob King as their new President. With over 30 years in the UAW, some critics consider King to represent the old school way of thinking — especially as he pushes for fewer worker concessions in a highly competitive, struggling and changing auto industry.

Lessons From The Fonz: Nix The Water-Skis

July 13, 2010 10:16 am | by by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

I wasn’t familiar with the term “jump the shark” until just a few years ago. For those of you not “in the know,” jumping the shark is when something hits a point past its prime culturally, and anyone with a hipster bone in their body becomes collectively “over it.

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