Have you ever wondered why manufacturing process improvement programs are introduced with great fanfare, but eventually fade away? A good example is Six Sigma, which is the answer to process variation. It was originally developed by Motorola and then General Electric (GE) and Honeywell adopted it for all of their divisions. Now, GE and Honeywell have backed away from Six Sigma, as have hundreds of other manufacturers.
As manufacturing companies find more and more in the way of technology improvements around material handling, the loading dock has not been ignored. This how-to gives manufacturers some tips on where to begin assessing and addressing risk.
Pennsylvania is a growing energy leader in the United States, becoming a net exporter of natural gas in 2011. They have seized opportunities the Marcellus Shale boom has provided, and expanded into global leaders in natural gas—and are making the region known for its industrial innovation and talent, truly fueling a new industrial revolution.
Of all the chemical exposures that can affect the life and performance of electrical cables, oil is one of the most damaging. Used as a coolant and lubricant in many industrial settings, oil can inflict molecular damage on the polymers used for cable insulation and jacketing. If ignored, oil damage to cables can be severe, ultimately resulting in cable failure, downtime, and replacement costs.
Six Belgian police officers have been injured in scuffles with some 2,000 steel workers protesting plans to lay off 1,300 workers at several plants in Liege. Workers seeking to get close to the regional government offices in southern Namur threw bricks at police. Authorities responded with tear gas and water cannon.
In this issue, Pennsylvania manufacturers highlight a "new industrial revolution," machine tags and contamination control eliminate errors and improve industrial lubricant performance, experts discuss proper loading dock design and the safety and energy efficiency concerns that have long dogged facility dock areas, and more.
The maX HD Gloves feature neoprene and rubber protection points at the knuckle and palm for extra protection and lower risk of impact injuries, says the company, and spandex finger crotches provide ease of movement and ventilation.
The 787 Dreamliner was born in a moment of desperation. But once production started, the gap between vision and reality quickly widened. The jet that was eventually dubbed the Dreamliner became plagued with manufacturing delays, cost overruns and sinking worker morale.
Global manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to make their operations more agile, efficient and profitable. A smart way to reach those goals is to realize the most value from every asset in its supply chain. Barcoding, passive and active RFID, and Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) solutions can be used to make smart business decisions that will help improve operational performance.
Take a rare behind-the-scenes tour of the Mars chocolate factory in Hackettstown, New Jersey and see how the colorful M&M's candies are made. A chocolate paste is created and then refined, mixed with more ingredients, shaped, and coated. About two million M&M's are created every eight hours, says Brian Suwalksi, site director at the Mars Hackettstown plant.
Hitachi Ltd. said Wednesday it will build two steam turbine generators for a supercritical pressure thermal power plant to be built in India. Hitachi, which is trying to boost its presence in India, said it has received orders for the generators from India's BGR Energy Systems Ltd. and National Thermal Power Corp. for the envisioned 800-megawatt coal-fired thermal power plant.
Britain's largest trade union, Unite, says that Rolls-Royce is planning to close one of its U.K. defense operations, resulting in the loss of some 400 jobs. The union said staff at the firm was informed of the company's plans to shut the plant at Ansty, near Coventry, an internal memo Tuesday.
Military contractor Rockwell Collins could be forced to cut hundreds of jobs if Congress doesn't come to an agreement on the federal budget that prevents automatic defense spending cuts. The Cedar Rapids company's CEO Clay Jones says if no budget agreement is reached and across-the-board cuts known as sequestration occurs in March, layoffs would have to come next.
Pratt & Whitney is marking the final delivery of a military jet engine in what an executive calls a bittersweet event. The subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. and representatives of the Air Force, Lockheed Martin and Boeing will mark the delivery Thursday of the 507th and last F-119 engine for the Air Force's F-22 Raptor at Pratt & Whitney's plant in Middletown.
Aircraft maker Boeing Co. announced Friday it will expand manufacturing operations in Utah by opening a third factory in the Salt Lake City area to fabricate a tail piece for the Boeing 787. Boeing is taking over a factory originally built by KraftMaid Cabinetry in the Salt Lake suburb of West Jordan, where Gov. Gary Herbert joined company officials Friday for the announcement.
Anyone who works with overhead lifting equipment will tell you that safety is absolutely crucial. From machine shop owners to warehouse floor managers, professionals who work in these environments understand how important it is to invest in the reliability and lifecycle of their heavy-duty equipment.
Boeing's 787 is supposed to revolutionize air travel. It just needs to get out of its own way first. The new plane is undoubtedly Boeing's most visible. It's built from composites instead of aluminum and comes with the promise of the most comfortable ride in the sky. At $200 million each, 787s are an important part of Boeing's future, even though it will be a while before it makes money on them.
Downtime is dangerous to any manufacturing group. After all, the old saying that compares time to money is true. If people or machines are idle, then products are not being made, which certainly affects the business’s bottom line — minimizing manufacturing downtime makes money for a company.
Dow Chemical Co. has successfully restarted its St. Charles Olefins 2 Plant near Hahnville after three years of inactivity. The Advocate reports the plant has been producing ethylene, which is used in alcohol- and plastic-based products, since Dec. 25. Dow said it expects the plant will add $150 million to earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization.
You finally pushed those price increases through — to reflect the fact that your input costs have been going up — and the market takes another turn. Input costs are now speeding in the opposite direction and your customers are expecting — or rather, demanding — price decreases.
A Coca-Cola plant and warehouse in southeastern Kentucky is expanding, with a company official saying more room is necessary to accommodate growing sales. The plant in Middlesboro will grow by about 24,000 square feet. Regional Sales Manager Bobby Abbott told The Daily News the company needs a place to put more items and new equipment.
MarkWest Energy's new natural gas processing plant in Wetzel County has begun operations. The plant will process 200 million cubic feet of wet Marcellus and Utica shale gas per day. It will separate the gas' dry methane from ethane, butane, propane, and pentane.
Globalization is presenting industries with myriad challenges to growth, sustainability and profitability. Vertical markets across the process industries are confronted daily with these challenges, and compete in an increasingly rigorous environment marked by tighter regulation, growing margin pressures and an aging workforce, among other issues.
When the word reached the Orion Assembly Plant, it spread along the serpentine assembly line like news of a death or natural disaster: GM had filed for bankruptcy protection. But there was something that the workers didn't know: They were witnessing the opening act of one of the greatest recovery stories in American business.
Food company Ralcorp Holdings Inc. says it will close two upstate New York manufacturing facilities in a move that will leave 375 workers without jobs. The St. Louis-based company says it will close its Silver Creek and Dunkirk facilities in western New York as it shifts manufacturing to improve efficiency.