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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

January/February 2015: In Case of Emergency

February 3, 2015 3:36 pm | by IMPO | Digital Editions | Comments

In the January/February issue of IMPO, we take a look at some of the critical issues for manufacturers in the coming year, visit with the successful contract manufacturers Berner Food & Beverage, highlight ways to mitigate safety risks and production downtime in plants, and profile one company’s method to training success.

Amazon's New Robot Workforce

February 3, 2015 2:34 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor | Videos | Comments

The Amazon warehouse in Coppell, Texas is far from an average distribution center. This particular warehouse is populated by a fleet of robots, designed to move around the center at speeds faster than any human is capable.        

How to Achieve Safer Manufacturing in 2015

February 2, 2015 2:50 pm | by Christina Chatfield | Articles | Comments

No matter what type of manufacturing business you run, you should always be looking for ways to make your operations safer. To start out the new year safely, take a look at a couple of the major causes of incidents in 2014 and see how these accidents could have been prevented.

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Tips on Purchasing From Chinese Manufacturing Companies

February 2, 2015 10:32 am | by Russell Kelly, President of APC Filtration, Inc | Articles | Comments

Doing business directly with Chinese manufacturers is very different from business anywhere else in the world. Failure to understand Chinese business culture may end up with you insulting your prospective supplier without knowing it.     

Sales Channel Visibility Improves Manufacturing and Inventory Planning

January 29, 2015 9:36 am | by Dan Blacharski | Articles | Comments

When accurate, near real-time channel data is not abundantly available, sales and inventory fall one or two steps behind true customer demand. And there can be devastating results — including poor channel intelligence, delayed incentive payments or overpayments, and occasional massive write-offs caused by excess inventory stuck in the supply chain.

Ford’s Focus on Driving Innovation

January 28, 2015 2:09 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Videos | Comments

When it comes to the auto industry, you've got to innovate or risk being left behind. Ford isn’t about to get lost in the shuffle as it continues to move forward on modernizing its vehicles.                  

Is it Time to Replace Your Legacy ERP System?

January 28, 2015 10:51 am | by Pat Garrehy, CEO, Rootstock Software | Articles | Comments

Many industries, especially manufacturing, are discovering that business intelligence and more efficient use of large amounts of data help them become more agile and better equipped to respond to ever-changing markets. As a result, many companies have concluded that their legacy ERP systems are simply not up to the task, and these same companies are finding the ideal business solution in cloud-based ERP systems.

Thought Leaders: How Much Money is Tied Up in Your Inventory?

January 28, 2015 9:26 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor | Videos | Comments

If there’s one thing the Great Recession taught manufacturers, it’s that there are wasted dollars hiding everywhere. According to Grainger, some of the sweetest low hanging fruit for a cost conscious company is actually in your MRO inventory… and a lack of understanding of how quickly (or slowly) this inventory turns can result in a significant number of operating dollars being tied up at any given time.

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10 Key Initiatives to Drive Value From Supply Chain Networks in 2015

January 26, 2015 2:51 pm | by Elemica | Articles | Comments

Elemica, a Supply Chain Operating Network provider for the process industries, offers ten top initiatives in the journey to supply chain excellence.                             

Forklift Conversion: The Key to Eco-Efficiency

January 26, 2015 11:02 am | by Brian Faust, General Manager, Douglas Battery | Articles | Comments

Forklift fleets offer significant opportunities for warehouses and distribution centers to improve their eco-efficiency. One way is to convert from forklifts powered by internal combustion (IC) to electric lift trucks.         

Cadillac Wants Small Dealers to Upgrade to 'Boutique' Stores

January 23, 2015 2:22 pm | by Tom Krisher, The Associated Press | News | Comments

In an effort to better compete with BMW and Mercedes, Cadillac wants about 700 smaller U.S. dealers to create "boutique" stores that focus on the General Motors luxury brand.                     

Industrial IoT Creates New Job Requirement — ESP

January 23, 2015 9:53 am | by Bhavesh S. Patel | Articles | Comments

Meet the new job requirement for industrial facility and IT operations professionals — extrasensory perception, a.k.a. ESP.                                     

Manufacturers Merge Customer Service Components Into the Lifecycles of Their Products

January 22, 2015 9:30 am | by Larry Korak | Articles | Comments

Establishing new customer engagement opportunities is a top priority for manufacturers who are looking to build brand loyalty plus meet the expectations of the highly demanding Millennial consumer.               

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The World’s Top Innovative Companies

January 21, 2015 2:02 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Videos | Comments

Doug McIntyre talks about which companies are filing patents for new technology and leading the way in innovation.                                       

Who Owns the Asset and the Data in APM and Servitization?

January 21, 2015 9:49 am | by Dan Miklovic | Articles | Comments

Using the data from three lathes in your plant to predict reliability is possible, but using the data from thousands of lathes in operation around the world adds a whole other layer of confidence in the prediction. This is the reason so many manufacturing equipment OEMs are beginning to offer reliability services as part of their product offering.

Ford CEO Talks About Data Security

January 20, 2015 3:21 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor | Videos | Comments

As more and more car companies look to autonomous driving and other advanced technologies, questions surrounding data security become extremely important for the privacy and safety of the customer and car companies. Because of this, Mark Fields, Ford CEO, explains how Ford is working to protect its customer and company data. 

How To Fill Customer Orders Cheaper, Faster With Lean Continuous Improvement Model

January 20, 2015 2:34 pm | by Curt Schmidgall, Winegard Value Stream Manager | Articles | Comments

The most significant results from implementing the lean continuous manufacturing model come not from discrete changes to certain products or processes, but from incorporating the entire company into the lean continuous model journey.     

Oilfield Services Giant Bolsters Presence in Russia Amid Layoffs

January 20, 2015 2:13 pm | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

Just days after announcing job cuts citing uncertainty in the global oil industry, Schlumberger Ltd. announced a deal to purchase a minority stake in one of Russia's leading energy companies.                 

Thought Leaders: Making e-Commerce Work for Manufacturers

January 20, 2015 9:27 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor | Videos | Comments

Speed, compliance, and spend management are all significant factors in the industrial MRO space. In this video, we’ll speak with Geoff Robertson – Vice President, e-Commerce Strategy and Planning for Grainger – on some of the emerging areas of e-commerce functionality, and the business processes these advancements are designed to address.

President Promotes Plans to Improve Cybersecurity

January 16, 2015 2:47 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Videos | Comments

As news of stolen data and cyberattacks becomes an increasing part of our daily lives, President Obama is urging Congress to pass legislation to better protect personal data and put the U.S. on a path to a better cyberdefense.       

'Greening' the Manufacturing Industry

January 16, 2015 2:41 pm | by Monica Gomez | Articles | Comments

Going “green” is not only good for the environment—it is also good for the wallet in the long run, and it helps boost the social capital of a company.                             

Can Manufacturing Learn a Lesson From Farm-to-Table?

January 16, 2015 9:33 am | by Andrew Anagnost, Senior Vice President of Industry Strategy & Marketing at Autodesk | News | Comments

Can a farm-to-table mentality also translate to manufacturing and maintain the efficiency of automation? Is “know your farmer” transitioning into “know your product manufacturer,” even if it’s on a newly defined local and global scale? Are mass-produced, unsustainable products getting a “Frankenfood” type of reputation now?

Study Finds Elevated Contaminant Levels at Fracking Sites, Conventional Wells

January 15, 2015 2:09 pm | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

A newly released study found water discharged from energy drilling operations in the U.S. poses risks to human health and the environment, calling for additional government regulations on the practices.             

ClearSign Has the Answer to Industrial Pollution

January 14, 2015 4:43 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

ClearSign Combustion Corp. has developed a new technology for the combustion region, dubbed Duplex Tile Technology. This new combustion technology could change the industry entirely by eliminating industrial emissions by a staggering 95 percent, reducing downtime and maintenance costs all while increasing profitability and fuel efficiency for manufacturers and plant operators.

Tesla Chief Expects Electric Car Driven Profits by 2020

January 14, 2015 9:51 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, The Associated Press | News | Comments

CEO Elon Musk, speaking Tuesday at an automotive conference, said Tesla needs to show a profit, and will when it's selling 500,000 cars per year. He predicted that sales milestone will be reached in 2020, when its lower-cost car — the Model 3 — is in full production.

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