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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

General Mills Uses Open Innovation To Help Create New Brownies

January 17, 2012 8:48 am

With trusted brands including Pillsbury®, Gold Medal®, and Betty Crocker®, General Mills knows a thing or two about baked goods. So a delicious, nutritious, 90-calorie brownie would seem to fall right in the company’s wheelhouse. But it turns out, that wasn’t exactly the case.


Apple's Secretive Side

January 10, 2012 9:25 am | by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology

I take no issue with Apple’s unconventional business practices as long as the tech giant operates within the boundaries of the law. But I find it is interesting that arguably the most successful company in the world operates in such an unconventional and secretive way. More than three months have passed since the death of Apple co-founder and technology icon Steve Jobs.

Social Cues Simplify ERP

January 5, 2012 7:44 am

By Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO It’s too complicated. It’s expensive. It takes too long for people to understand. It’s costly to maintain. The current DOS-based spreadsheet system on my green-type-with-black-background monitor works just fine. When it comes to investing in and implementing ERP software, all of the above are commonly heard when a manufacturer is explaining why they’re hesitant to expand or upgrade their use of such platforms.


Weighing The Risks Of Nanotechnology

January 3, 2012 11:17 am | by Interview by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor

Interview with Amy Galland, Ph.D., Research Director, As You Sow Nanotechnology is an emerging science that offers many new opportunities for the food industry, but food manufacturers should be aware that there are some potential risks with this new technology. Food Manufacturing spoke with Amy Galland of As You Sow about nanotechnology and what processors should consider before implementing this new science into their processes.

American Picker

December 21, 2011 10:51 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D

It’s not recycling, it’s repurposing. Just over a year ago, the owner of a waste company was struck with a vision for old billboard vinyls. Marketing departments use billboards to advertise to commuters, but those advertisements outdate quickly, and are no long of any use to marketing.

Game Time

December 21, 2011 10:46 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO

We’re so determined to change the game… why? Well, because the rules are slippery and it seems some of the players can roll the dice as many times as they want. But before embarking on any drastic upheaval, you might begin by assessing which combination of planning, technology, and available resources can truly address the best opportunities for your business.

How To Spot A Fake

December 16, 2011 6:02 am | by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Industrial Distribution

The increased prevalence of counterfeit products only heightens the need for suppliers, distributors, and end users to communicate better and inform each other about the misconceptions out there. There exists a major difference between trying to avoid the purchase of counterfeit products and actually avoiding the purchase of counterfeit products.

Living La Vida Cocoa

December 16, 2011 5:58 am | by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing

San Francisco’s TCHO chocolate company has made strategic decisions in sourcing, production and technology that have vaulted this young chocolatier into the stratosphere of high-quality U.S. chocolate-makers. TCHO was founded in 2007 by Timothy Childs, founder of Cabaret Chocolates and a former engineer of vision systems used in NASA space shuttles.


Manufacturing Expands Due To Higher Production, Lower Prices

December 16, 2011 5:55 am

Brad Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD The November ISM Report On Business indicated economic activity expanded for the 28th consecutive month and the overall economy grew for the 30th straight month. Both pieces of news are certainly welcomed by Bradley J.

Success Through Effective Plant Operations Metrics

December 12, 2011 8:50 am

Providing real-time data and metrics throughout a manufacturing enterprise is a significant challenge for many manufacturers. There are some major obstacles to it, which lead to delays and data between multiple systems that is not integrated, connected, or normalized. Julie Fraser, lead analyst and researcher on a Cambashi/MESA study entitled Pursuit of Performance Excellence, discusses how delayed visibility of metrics is a significant issue for many manufacturers in this recent interview with Manufacturing Business Technology .


Ready For The Post-Incandescent Plant

December 8, 2011 11:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor,

The much-debated “phase-out” of incandescent light bulbs has struck a nerve with consumers and manufacturers alike recently, but the process began long ago, when the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 was passed into law. The bill, co-sponsored by 198 representatives, passed the House in January 2007, the Senate in June, and was signed into law on December 19 by President George W.


Allergen Labeling Is Nothing To Sneeze At

December 8, 2011 6:01 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing

Food allergies affect anywhere from four to eight percent of children, as well as two percent of adults. For the most part, industry regulators and food companies have successfully mitigated the issue, but there is still room for improvement. Allergies can be one of the most dangerous food-related illnesses, especially in children, with as many as one in 13 U.

An Electronic Fireside Chat with Professor Cristina Amon

December 8, 2011 5:58 am | by Meaghan Ziemba, Associate Editor, PD&D

A special, mentoring relationship from one of my own female teachers from when I was young, helped me recognize the positive influence that strong role models can have on young women. Professor Christina Amon, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, University of Toronto Professor Cristina Amon is the Dean of Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto.

In Memory of Engineers

November 28, 2011 5:18 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor,

October was a bad month for the technology world -- we lost a number of incredible thinkers, engineers, and innovators. In order to honor the effect these people have had on our lives, I've been trying to dissect exactly how we remember their accomplishments. They're not necessarily famous or news-worthy people, generally, preferring their computer monitors to flashing paparazzi lights.

Roger That

November 23, 2011 6:17 am | by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor,

Manufacturing Business Technology “Did you hear… ?” It feels like I hear some form of this phrase on a fairly regular basis. Considering how often this transpires, even if there is a sense of urgency in the voice of the family member, friend, acquaintance, or colleague who utters these words, a significant portion of the overall message often fails to get through to me.

Small Business Saturday

November 21, 2011 6:05 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

First, there was Black Friday. Then Cyber Monday. Now, you can continue the shopping festivities with Small Business Saturday. The second annual Small Business Saturday , this year on November 26th, is a day dedicated to small businesses. Sandwiched between two of the busiest shopping days of the year, Small Business Saturday aims to direct consumers to their local small businesses to help fuel their local community.

Q&A With Nick Wilson, PACE Award Recipient

November 18, 2011 10:17 am

Nick Wilson is the president and CEO of Morrison Container Handling Solutions, which provides packaging solutions for national and international companies. He is also the 2011 recipient of the Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering (PACE) award from Iowa State University, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

What Enterprise Mobility Means For The Supply Chain

November 17, 2011 10:01 am

Enterprise mobility is an increasingly-relevant and ever-changing issue for today’s manufacturers. What are some of the key trends driving the supply chain market for 2012, and what can manufacturers expect in the future?  Grant Woolf, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development TAKE Solutions, Inc.

Does Starbucks Create Jobs For USA?

November 17, 2011 6:25 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

Next time you stop for a cup of coffee, you can help support American jobs. For the price of a gingerbread latte, you can do your part “to help get this country back up on its feet,” complete with symbolic wristband, available with a $5 donation and emblazoned with the word “indivisible.

Has Continuous Improvement Met Its ROI Match?

November 15, 2011 9:40 am

By Joel Hans, Managing Editor, A recent report from AlixPartners posited a surprising finding in the field of continuous improvement (CI) programs for manufacturers: Most companies engaged in Lean, Sigma Six, or another toolkit are achieving a poor return on their investment, and appear to be only partially engaged in the process itself.



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