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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Mike Rowe Fights For The Blue Collar

May 18, 2011 6:35 am | Videos

Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs , has headed to Washington to help mount a PR campaign in support of work. As he explains in the video, America has become obsessed with white-collar work, leading to massive gaps in the skilled labor workforce. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Silk Gets 20 New High-Tech Uses

May 18, 2011 6:23 am | Videos

Florenzo Omenetto  demonstrates how silk is involved in transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength, and making medical leaps and bounds. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Using Urine As A Power Source?

May 18, 2011 6:18 am | Videos

According to some student researchers at Ohio University, urine could be used as a source of energy, thanks to the high levels of hydrogen that is present in the organic compound urea. That hydrogen is pumped to a fuel cell, which can be used to power a variety of gadgets and machines. Sound too good to be true? The math, unbelievably, supports the usefulness of this technology.

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Branson: NASA Was A Monopoly

May 18, 2011 6:17 am | Videos

Richard Branson, well-known for his wide-ranging business ventures, is now at the forefront of the private space industry. MSNBC  asks, Will the end of the shuttle era mean more competitiveness in the space race? Branson certainly thinks so, saying that NASA’s minimizing will allow private companies to do the same work for a fraction of the cost.

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Vinyl Manufacturing Making A Comeback

May 18, 2011 6:16 am | Videos

A recent survey shows that sales of vinyl records is growing at 13.6 percent, just beating out digital sales, at 13 percent, which means that a whole industry is in the process of being reborn. CNN Money visited Brooklyn-based EKS Manufacturing to see what the industry uptick has meant for business.

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'Made In USA' Flourishes Online

May 16, 2011 10:19 am | Videos

Todd Lipscomb is the founder of www.madeinusaforever.com , an online retailer that specializes in a variety of goods that are only made domestically. The store deals mostly in products made by a wide range of small, family businesses, and interest has been picking up quickly. Lipscomb was an executive with Western Digital for years, living in Asia, when he realized the need to provide U.

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Walking At Graduation Thanks To An Exoskeleton

May 16, 2011 5:31 am | Videos

This last weekend's graduates at UC Berkeley were witness to a unique event at their commencement thanks to Austin Whitney and a robotic exoskeleton. Whitney was paralyzed in a 2007 car accident, but was determined to walk across the stage and recieve his diploma. Enter Berkeley engineering professor Homayoon Kazerooni, who designed a bespoke exoskeleton for Whitney.

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Making Baseball In The U.S.A.

May 13, 2011 6:17 am | Videos

This one is for you baseball fans out there. Like many other manufacturing niches, work for making baseball gloves was sent overseas in order to reduce costs. In contrast to the normal outsourcing swing, and in spite of the economic downturn, Insignia Athletics, of Worcester, Mass., has recently started high-end baseball gloves using American leather.

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Melting Millions From Gold Scraps

May 11, 2011 11:47 am | Videos

Rhode Island-based Advanced Chemical Company recycles gold and other precious metals from industrial production through a variety of sophisticated reactions. Based on the almost continuously-rising price of gold, business is booming. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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GM's 50 Years Of Bumpy Roads

May 11, 2011 7:55 am | Videos

General Motors was once the highlight of the American industrial complex, but it's been a bumpy road over the last 50 or so years. Between bad management and partial ownership by the U.S. government at the UAW, the company has lost is once-blinding luster. Fortune 's Alex Taylor III helps explain some of the ups and downs of America's largest automaker, how their current CEO is performing, and what the company will look like in 2020.

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Building A Civilization On $10,000

May 11, 2011 7:47 am | Videos

Marcin Jakubowsi is a Polish-born “technologist” who moved to Missouri to start a farm of his own, and ended up creating a whole new approach to living off the land — for cheap. He found that buying traditional farming equipment was prohibitively expensive for anyone but the biggest of farms, so he designed and build his own equipment.

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How To "Float" A Massive Ship

May 11, 2011 7:16 am | Videos

Anyone in the marine or ship-building industries is probably familiar with the process of “floating” a ship, but for the rest of us, it's a pretty eye-opening (and nerve-wracking) scene. Just imagine how stressful automaking would be if each car had to undergo a similar process. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Making Potato Chips — A Numbers Game

May 11, 2011 7:13 am | Videos

CNN Money recently took a tour through an environmentally-friendly potato chip plant run by PepsiCo., where they make a wide variety of chips, including Lay's, Ruffles, Doritos, and more. Despite processing 21,500 pounds of potatoes per hour , the plant is still striving to become more sustainable.

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What's With The Contradictory Jobs Numbers?

May 11, 2011 7:09 am | Videos

The Labor Department released some interesting employment data last week. The economy added 244,000 jobs last month. Private employers shrugged off high gas prices and created 268,000 jobs — the most since February 2006. However, the jobless rate edged upward at the same time. What gives? If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Stay Away From 'The Avalaunche'

May 10, 2011 5:33 am | Videos

Most likely encouraged by the increasing amount of media hype around his inventions, Joerg Sprave has developed his most powerful slingshot yet — “The Avalaunche” — that shoots six 20mm steel balls. According to Joerg, each ball carries 60 Joules as it strikes the target, enough to punch through wood or make slurry out of watermelon.

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The VW Passat: Made In America

May 9, 2011 6:29 am | Videos

CNN Money takes a look inside Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tenn. plant, which was built at the height of the "Great Recession." The $1 billion facility was built in Chattanooga thanks to some $500 million in financial incentives from the state government, which helped sway VW over the other 400 cities that bid for the plant.

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Military Makes Chopper Disappear

May 6, 2011 7:39 am | Videos

CBS News ' Chris Wragge speaks with national security correspondent David Martin about one of the U.S. helicopters that crash-landed in the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. As pictures of the wreckage emerged on the Internet, some have noticed previously top-secret stealth technology on the Blackhawk.

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Plants Make A Better Plastic

May 5, 2011 5:55 am | Videos

Scientists at Sao Paulo's State University in Brazil have found that certain plants — such as agave, pineapple, and banana skins — can be used to make more resistant, eco-friendly plastics. According to some, these plastics are remarkably strong, and with any luck, this technology will continue to be developed in the coming years.

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Intel Brings Chips Into 3-D

May 5, 2011 4:20 am | Videos

Intel has announced that it will begin manufacturing a new type of transistor for its computer chips. Instead of the typical “flat” transistors, it will use three-dimensional ones, which has been a development a decade in the making. As with most things computers, their hope is to do things faster, cheaper, and while using much less power.

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How Is Globalization Hurting The Middle Class?

May 4, 2011 9:40 am | Videos

By all accounts, the United States economy is back on track following the Great Recession. But is the future bright for each and every economic class? Experts Chrystia Freeland and David Frum take an in-depth look at a new report on globalization and its economic impact on the American middle class.

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