The world of manufacturing and the soldier seem very far apart at first glance, but they both operate in uncertain and rapidly changing environments. The workforce goes to work, while the military goes to war. Thankfully, in the work environment, people do not often die, but companies can fail and people’s livelihoods can be destroyed through bad decisions.
A fire breaks out in a Chinese factory, and panicked workers discover one exit after another is locked. That describes not only the poultry plant fire that killed 119 people Monday, but a toy-factory blaze that left 87 workers dead 20 years earlier. The similarities between the two worst factory fires in China's history suggest that little has changed for industrial workers even as the country has transformed its economy.
Davis Aircraft Products said Monday it expects to hire 100 people to work in the new $5.5 million plant when it opens next spring in Andrews, S.C. The company will make tubing for airplanes at the new plant. Davis Aircraft Products CEO Bruce Davis says he appreciated the support he got from state and local officials as he decided where to put his new manufacturing plant.
Connected to a laptop I can’t afford, on the far end of a tangle of cords, is an exposed circuit board peppered with objects I can name — resistors, diodes — but not explain. The computer itself is running software that I’m not capable of programming myself. But none of that matters, and, in fact, is part of an educational plan from National Instruments’ Academic Program.
It costs U.S. industry billions of dollars a year to control and remove the limescale that builds up in industrial equipment such a heat exchangers, evaporative coolers, boilers, chillers and other water fed equipment. Limescale not only increases downtime, maintenance costs and causes the early renewal of capital equipment but also increases energy usage.
Inside a sealed building in Boeing's Everett widebody-jet assembly plant, two robotic machines glide along tracks on either side of a 106-foot 777 wing laid flat, their heads reaching out like animatronic dinosaurs nibbling at the giant wing.
Cellphone pioneer Motorola says it's opening a manufacturing facility that will produce the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S. — its new flagship device, Moto X. The Texas site was once used by fellow phone manufacturer Nokia, meaning it was designed to produce mobile devices, said Will Moss, a spokesman for Motorola Mobility, which is owned by Google.
Omron Corp., an industrial automation equipment maker, said Tuesday it will start selling in June power-saving solutions for precision machinery factories challenged by airborne dust and other problems, based on techniques employed at one of its factories.
Here’s a test. Go into your parts storeroom and try to find a part that you can’t match to any piece of equipment in your plant. It’s a very rare plant that doesn’t have a box of parts that no one is quite sure exactly where they go, but the storeroom is keeping, “just in case.”
The manufacturing world is constantly looking for processes that can accelerate production while lowering unit costs and improving product reliability. Each innovation must mesh with the overall production process to achieve high output levels.
Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it will close its two Australian auto plants, ending production in the country in 2016, amid soaring manufacturing costs and plummeting sales. The closure of the U.S. automaker's plants in the state of Victoria will mean the loss of 1,200 jobs and will transform the company into an import-only brand in Australia.
Incremental improvements are more or less feel good measures that say to management “there was a problem and we did this to solve it.” In reality, most continuous improvements have come from technology advancements, not from employee performance advancements. Has the continuous improvement mentality caused manufacturing to settle for mediocrity?
In a busy factory, machinists move sheets of aluminum roll in the back door to be molded, stamped, twisted and notched into high-tech electric cars that sell for more than $60,000 each. Down the road in another plant, crews slice solar cells, place them under glass sheets and create panels that ship by the boxful to Europe.
Many industrial facilities such as petrochemical plants must remain safely, efficiently operational with virtually no downtime, unplanned maintenance, or replacement for decades. To protect equipment from corrosion, traditionally three separate coatings are used, often in a zinc, epoxy, urethane combination. While this is common, it is far from optimal.
Misalignment between machines can cause unscheduled downtime, increased power consumption, and increased vibration. In this video, LUDECA focuses on spacer shaft alignments, describing the unique benefits, tolerances, and alignment methods specific to spacer shaft machines using laser alignment equipment.
Boeing has earned a reputation for its commitment to environmental strategies, positioning itself as an industry leader in developing ways to lessen environmental impact. One example of that is through its aircraft recycling program. Take a look at some of the ways Boeing is providing a second life to reclaimed and certified airplane parts and materials.
Two workers were injured Monday when highly flammable gas used in welding exploded at a West Virginia industrial site, officials said. Fire crews were sent at about 3:20 p.m. to Airgas, a distributor of specialty gases in Poca, outside of Charleston. Putnam County emergency management director Frank Chapman said the explosion involved about 50 tanks of acetylene that were at Airgas waiting to be refilled.
Variable speed control compressors can be an important component of an optimized system provided that it is properly applied. Variable speed is not, however, a simple panacea for instant compressed air system efficiency. The dynamics of the control must be understood and the machines properly sized.
The culprits are the cars themselves, produced with weaker welds, scant safety features and inferior materials compared to similar models manufactured for U.S. and European consumers, say experts and engineers inside the industry. Four of Brazil's five bestselling cars failed their independent crash tests.
Is the amount of load damage going up with the age of your stretch wrap equipment? Having trouble keeping up with production and the increasing number of SKUs and load configurations? Have a need to do more with less people and feel automation might be the answer? Would you save money on film and eliminate film breaks if you could just improve performance?
While tooling may only account for five percent of the cost of producing a typical metal part, it can have an enormous impact on overall production efficiency, quality, and cost. Cutting tool consumers and manufacturers are considering emerging technologies, new tools, and new techniques to continue stay competitive in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
There is no such thing as a vibration free machine,” says Steve Matthews, business manager of VibrAlign’s service company, PdM Solutions, Inc. Rotor unbalance, sheave misalignment, worn bearings, loose bolts, and bearing lubrication issues can affect every machine on the plant floor. And when they do, costly and dangerous failures can result.
Intertech started 2013 off in a big way, after the addition of 2 new Husky 1100 ton high-speed molding presses, related automation, and state of the art centralized chilling system. These moves allow Intertech to support its clients’ needs for high quantity injection molded product production, warehousing, and distribution to the western United States, within a cost structure that keeps Intertech competitive in the global marketplace.
After several near-misses culminating with an injurious forklift truck collision involving strip curtains, a Northeast Ohio metal fabricator and manufacturer searched for creative solutions to improve safety, energy efficiency, and productivity at a high traffic ground level material handling doorway.
Hearthside Food Solutions is a young company with deep roots. Co-founded in 2009 by a group of investors led by Hearthside Chairman and CEO Rich Scalise, the company strives to be the largest and best contract manufacturer of snacks in the country.