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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Maker's Row: Connecting The New Manufacturers

August 20, 2013 8:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Articles | Comments

Maker’s Row, a free service that facilitates connections between designers and the small-batch American manufacturers that can help them turn a sketch into a real product, is on a roll. The startup has recently secured $1M in funding. The users are happy too — Tanya Menendez, COO and co-founder, was pleased to hear that an American manufacturer posted their company’s profile and had a meeting in just two days.

Flying Robots For New Data

August 15, 2013 8:04 am | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

Researchers in Switzerland are developing a flying robot to navigate and collect data in cluttered environments. The robot is equipped to stick to vertical surfaces, and can recover and continue flying even after a crash. Reuters' Jim Drury reports.

Is Inventor Elon Musk’s ‘Hyperloop’ Just Hype?

August 14, 2013 12:23 pm | by NBC News | Videos | Comments

Inventor Elon Musk calls his latest idea the Hyperloop: a high-speed transportation system that would speed people through hollow tubes at the speed of sound without turbulence, weather delays, or air traffic control. Imagine stepping into a car-sized capsule in downtown Los Angeles and, 30 minutes later, emerging in San Francisco.


'Hyperloop' Would Link LA-SF In 30 Minutes

August 13, 2013 10:03 am | by Justin Pritchard, Associated Press | News | Comments

Imagine stepping into a car-sized capsule in downtown Los Angeles and, 30 minutes later, emerging in San Francisco. On Monday, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled a transportation concept that he said could whisk passengers the nearly 400 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes — half the time it takes an airplane. If it's ever built.

Dream, Build, Create

August 12, 2013 3:11 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

In 1939 – and inspired by a plastic toothbrush – L.A. Blackwellhad a simple dream: To be able to produce a well-made, standard, plastic product. He built his first injection molding machine by hand and Houston, TX became home to a leader in custom plastics injection molding and extrusion: Blackwell Plastics, Inc.

Inventor Musk To Share Plans For High-Speed Travel

August 12, 2013 2:06 pm | by Martha Mendoza, Associated Press | News | Comments

Twice as fast as an airplane, cheaper than a bullet train and completely self-powered: that's the mysterious transportation system that inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk is promising to reveal design plans for Monday. Musk has been dropping hints about his "Hyperloop" system for more than a year during public events.

Survey Reveals Plastics Manufacturing Customers' Top Priorities

August 12, 2013 8:08 am | by Andrew Hoehn, Ray Products | Articles | Comments

While the survey showed that customers cared about some aspects of a manufacturer’s capabilities more than other, there wasn’t a wide disparity between their highest and lowest ranked attributes.  For example, survey takers gave the top-ranked attribute,  “Quality,” a 4.73 out of a possible 5 rating.  The lowest ranked attribute, “Sales Process,” still received a rating of 3.08 out of a possible 5.

Is Silicon Valley Out Of Touch?

August 8, 2013 8:03 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Investor John Doerr defends Silicon Valley's culture against arguments by the New Yorker's George Packer that the tech industry is disconnected from the middle class. Is Silicon Valley just a bubble that isn't real, or connected with America?


NY Manufacturer To Make Fuel From Crayola Castoffs

August 5, 2013 2:27 pm | by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press | News | Comments

All those markers being bought up for the new school year will eventually run dry, but that doesn't have to be the end of their usefulness. Niagara Falls manufacturer JBI Inc. this week announced an agreement with Crayola to take in castoffs from schools and the crayon-maker and convert them to fuel.

Musk’s New Endeavor: A High-Speed ‘Hyperloop’

July 30, 2013 8:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Blogs | Comments

No, the aforementioned Hyperloop isn’t some kind of science fiction-esque teleportation device. Sorry to disappoint. Although with Elon Musk’s background in companies that push the boundaries of what’s possible in the private sector, it wouldn’t have been completely out of the blue. Instead, Hyperloop is what Musk calls the “fifth mode” of transportation, as an alternative to cars, planes, trains and boats.

The Making Of The 3D Printed Battery

July 25, 2013 1:12 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Hearing aids right now use coin cell batteries; imagine being able to print a tiny battery directly into a hearing aid. Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute have developed a way to create tiny batteries using standard 3D-printing technologies.

Engineering In Zero Gravity

July 25, 2013 8:03 am | by UCDInnovation | Videos | Comments

Researchers from the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, are interested in real time observation of what happens during solidification of aluminium alloys. There is a need for improved quality in a range of metal cast products like hip or knee replacement parts, engine pistons, and turbine blades and computer simulations of alloy solidification are a good way of doing this.

Modern Mechanical Carbon Materials For Aircraft Applications

July 16, 2013 8:03 am | by Glenn H. Phelps, Technical Director, Metallized Carbon Corporation | Articles | Comments

Modern mechanical carbon materials are being used in a wide variety of applications – a few examples include aircraft gear boxes, air turbine motor starters, and main shaft seals for both aircraft turbine engines and APUs.These self-lubricating materials are composed of fine-grained, electrographite substances that are impregnated with proprietary inorganic chemicals to improve their lubricating qualities and their oxidation resistance.


Will Algae Fuel Your Next Car?

July 10, 2013 1:36 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

Some of the top minds in the nation are working to find an alternative for oil, and Professor Juergen Polle is placing his bet on algae. What makes algae ideal is that it can be grown in non-arable land. And while it burns carbon dioxide (CO2) like fossil fuels, it requires CO2 to photosynthesize, making it carbon neutral.

Take Control Of Your Company’s Future: The R&D Tax Credit

July 10, 2013 9:21 am | by Dean Zerbe, alliantgroup National Managing Director | Articles | Comments

The manufacturing industry remains in a constant race to improve their products, as well as the process of making their products — all while dealing with tight budgets and low profit margins. These twin efforts push innovation to the forefront, and the tax code rewards manufacturers who are engaged in these efforts to stay competitive with the R&D tax credit.

Top 10 Coolest Things At AMUG 2013

May 16, 2013 8:01 am | by IMTSTV | Videos | Comments

iSpy Jake Ervin attended the AMUG (Additive Manufacturing Users Group) Conference in Jacksonville, Florida this year. Vendors displayed some very exciting parts manufacturing with additive technology. Jake shows us the top 10 coolest parts exhibited at the event.

By The Numbers

May 10, 2013 3:42 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

 Conveying equipment can’t just keep getting faster – it has to get smarter as well. Learn how market conditions, design elements, and maintenance issues work together to create positive trends in the conveyor industry. 

Car Tech: Toyota i-Road Concept

March 13, 2013 3:57 pm | by CNETTV | Videos | Comments

CNET's Antuan Goodwin previews the Toyota i-Road concept, which was featured at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show. The i-Road concept is a tandem two-seater that runs on electric power and uniquely maneuvers using all three of its wheels. For more information visit

Replacing 4-Cycle With 6-Cycle Engine

March 13, 2013 9:08 am | by Terry Persun, Technology Journalist | Articles | Comments

In its phase 2 operation, the Kashmerick Engine Systems engine technology is proving its effectiveness and viability for military use, and more. The K6-Cycle System head was designed on a standard CAD system and then uploaded to Midwest Composite Technologies to their direct metal laser-sintering machine, which produced a production quality component using stainless steel.


Clever Engineering Renews Wrecked Steel Mill Coupling

January 31, 2013 3:15 pm | Articles | Comments

When the bore on the rigid half of a high-torque steel mill coupling was badly galled during a maintenance teardown, the mill put the damaged part in the plant’s bone yard. However, engineers at Kop-Flex® developed a clever solution that saved the customer almost half the cost to replace the $112,000 part, which transmits approximately 10,000,000 pound inches of torque to a roughing stand.

Is Innovation Booming Or Dead?

January 23, 2013 4:25 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

There's only a handful of things that have truly changed the way the human condition lives, says Time International Editor Jim Frederick. Indoor plumbing and the railway have created life as we know it, but has innovation now reached a wall? At a Time/CNNMoney panel at the World Economic Forum, CEOs talk about the state of innovation in the global economy.

The Plant Of The Future: 3D Printing

December 18, 2012 8:04 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Articles | Comments

3D printing is a technology that has, for more than a decade, seen inroads mostly in the hobbyist community. It’s expensive and slow, but is capable of producing items that are difficult — if not impossible — to replicate with more traditional processes. Kevin Sullivan, director and global practice lead of the Industrial Practice, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), says that day will come by the end of this decade.

Engineering Spotlight: The Wheelift In Action

September 26, 2012 8:12 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers of airliners and fighter jets alike regularly need to lift loads between 35 and 75 tons, and with an incredible degree of precision. The capability to be partially or fully automated is also a major plus when it comes to the small tolerances in assembly that can make the difference between a plane that flies and once that doesn’t.

Q&A: Streamlined Packing Designs

September 13, 2012 11:15 am | Articles | Comments

Bosch Packaging Systems has injected over 100 years of industry experience into their advanced packaging lines with a unique, uniform design principle. The recent fruits of their single design philosophy were formally unveiled last year. To find out more, we spoke with Detlef Gottstein, the responsible product manager from Bosch Packaging Systems, and the company’s consultant Prof. Sigmar Willnauer, an expert in Industrial Design.

Heat-Shrink Tubing: The Versatile Tools For Maintenance & Repair

January 18, 2011 11:31 am | by Alpha Wire | White Papers

The name heat-shrink tubing pretty much sums up what it is and does: a plastic tube that shrinks permanently when heat is applied. How much it shrinks is determined by its shrink ratio, commonly ranging from 2:1 to 6:1. Think of heat-shrink tubing as the duct tape for electrical wiring on the factory floor. Heat-shrink tubing is versatile, easy to use, and finds wide applicability in maintenance and repair.

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