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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

If At First You Don't Succeed, Dry Again

January 31, 2011 5:40 am | Articles | Comments

When it comes to fenestration, the components of today’s energy-efficient doors and windows should be made with the same attention to resource management. Recently the Amesbury Group’s textile facility, part of its Sealing Solutions Division, completed a compressed air reduction project that will yield a $41,000 annual electricity cost savings in their extrusion department.

Managing Product And Process Records

January 25, 2011 5:07 am | by Chuck Cimalore, CTO, Omnify | Articles | Comments

How important the need is for PLM in downstream processes? It is well known that getting a product to market quickly is critical to a company’s success. There are many steps involved in this process and manufacturers need to continuously find areas to improve upon in order to meet their product goals.

Let's Build A Firetruck

January 25, 2011 4:55 am | Videos | Comments

Ultimate Factories , via the National Geographic Channel, visits Pierce Manufacturing's Appleton, Wis. facility to see how their high-tech and heavy-duty fire trucks are built. The factory is 800,000 square feet of production on a massive scale, where over 1,500 highly-skilled workers build the life-saving tools that our fire departments depend on.

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The Problem With Boys

January 24, 2011 10:00 am | Videos | Comments

All around the country, boys are tuning out. They're disengaging from school, and they're forgetting what it means to learn and work hard. While this talk from Ali-Carr Chellman focuses mostly on the U.S.'s education system, this issues could have implications in our world, too. Without learning what it means to engage with anything, and work for it, the future manufacturing workers and businessmen won't learn to enjoy engineering and the technical aspects of simply making things.

Is Elkhart Really Recovering?

January 24, 2011 9:33 am | Videos | Comments

Recent studies show that Elkhart is in a recovery. RV manufacturing is slowly climbing back toward its golden days, and companies like Navistar are helping put some of the swath of skilled workers back in employment. But to say that the area is recovering? That depends on who you ask. Visit msnbc.

How Long Is This Piece Of String?

January 24, 2011 9:32 am | Videos | Comments

It’s easy enough to measure a piece of string, right? Your job probably relies heavily on your ability to easily measure the dimensions of the product you’re trying to make. But getting a true measurement of something as simple as a string isn’t as simple as pulling out a ruler. BBC reporter Alan Davies tries to tackle a question that has been around for centuries, and ultimately ends up in a world of atomic scales and black holes.

The Obama-GE Love Story

January 24, 2011 9:31 am | Videos | Comments

Last week, Obama tapped Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE, to head a new White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. In a string of attempts to reach out to business leaders around the country, Obama and Immelt will hope to create a business climate that is more conducive to job creation and retention.

Powerful PAC Upgrades Tortilla Machine

January 24, 2011 5:53 am | by Ron Meade, Chief Executive Officer, Casa Herrera | Articles | Comments

Case Herrera builds tortilla preparation equipment for the corn and flour tortilla industry, provides equipment for the bakery and snack food industries, and is the preferred supplier to several national brands. We build several varieties of our machines to meet customer specifications, and we install and service all of the equipment we manufacture.

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Optimizing Your Solar Potential

January 21, 2011 4:24 am | by Dr. Gilad Almogy, CEO, Cogenra Solar | Articles | Comments

With an uncertain economic climate, processors are now more than ever looking to cut costs and foster long-term financial stability. It’s no surprise that the energy-intensive nature of processing leaves many producers vulnerable to rising electricity and fuel prices. These financial motivators coupled with new environmental guidelines and strict industry regulations are prompting many processors to reassess how to most effectively meet their energy needs.

On-Demand Coding Helps Manufacturer Maximize Uptime 

January 20, 2011 4:09 am | by Paul Schildhouse, Secondary Packaging Product Manager, Videojet Technologies, Inc. | Articles | Comments

By using variable data printing systems for case coding, a food manufacturer has ensured its cases always include clear, accurate printing. Kettle Foods is passionate about making the best-tasting all-natural chips in the world. Since its beginning in 1982, the company has perfected the kettle-cooked style of potato chips, and today, Kettle Brand® potato chips are available in supermarkets and natural foods stores in all 50 states, as well as in Canada, Asia, and Western Europe.

Is Manufacturing Being Held Back?

January 19, 2011 10:46 am | Videos | Comments

Television host Dylan Ratigan recently joined the "cast" of Morning Joe to discuss the state of American manufacturing. He says that while the Federal Reserve has done much to help manufacturers get out of the current slump, our tax system is still too restrictive to encourage solid growth.

'Watson' Begins Robot Dystopia At Jeopardy

January 19, 2011 8:45 am | Videos | Comments

Watson, which IBM claims as a profound advance in artificial intelligence, went up against  Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter last week in its television debut. Watson held its own in a short practice round, and it will appear on  Jeopardy! as part of a million-dollar tournament that will be televised next month.

Bet You Can't Build A Toaster

January 19, 2011 8:38 am | Videos | Comments

It wouldn't be that hard to build a toaster from scratch, right? It's no surprise that even the simplest of toasters is the result of a pretty complex process, but as Thomas Thwaites proves, creating something from raw elements to finished product in the modern era is simply not possible for the layman.

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Make Anything 3D By Just Blinking

January 19, 2011 8:36 am | Videos | Comments

If you heard anything about CES this year, or just like following information on the newest TV technology, you know that the big issue with 3-D technology is that it generally requires those clunky glasses to work properly. Well, one French engineer has solved that problem completely! I won't spoil the surprise, but I will say that it involves blinking.

Clean Up Your Label

January 18, 2011 8:56 am | by Renee Dufault, Archie Beaton, Steven Gilbert, and Daniele Pisanello | Articles | Comments

Consumers are increasing their demand for natural ingredients, and many are reading product labels and avoiding products with certain ingredients. Increasing consumer awareness has also led shoppers to avoid food contaminants like pesticides and mercury, leading to a push for clean product labeling.

Brewery Implements High Operating Distance Sensors

January 14, 2011 5:01 am | Articles | Comments

The König brewery in Duisburg, Germany — maker of König Pilsener — counts among the largest breweries in Germany. The König brewery primarily concentrates on the production of a fresh and “hoppy” flavored beer. König only uses choice ingredients for brewing: first-grade hops from the best growing areas of the world, mellow and ripe barley and top quality water.

Marrying ERP And Social Media 

January 13, 2011 6:37 am | Articles | Comments

In August 2010, a study of 325 executives at large/middle-market manufacturers was conducted by IFS North America and Affinity Research Solutions, Boston. It sought to better understand the degree to which manufacturing executives feel various approaches to marrying social media and ERP are desirable.

A Tiny Tuning Fork On Your Wrist

January 12, 2011 8:48 am | Videos | Comments

Let’ be honest — while we might understand the complexities of a complicated manufacturing process, learning about the technology behind a cheap wristwatch might not have ever crossed our minds. Luckily, Bill Hammack — from the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois - Urbana — is here to explain how it all works, thanks to a tiny tuning fork and something called the piezoelectric effect.

Watch Those Fingers

January 12, 2011 8:47 am | Videos | Comments

We've always held a great deal of respect for people who are impeccably good at building or crafting an item — anything, really — with their hands, and this video is no different. We won't spoil the surprise, but we'll just say that this woodworker is making all of those seemingly-random cuts for a good reason.

Electronics Suiting Up For Plant Floor Mayhem

January 12, 2011 8:42 am | Videos | Comments

More and more, mobile devices are being used to handle transactional applications in manufacturing facilities. In many cases, that means they are being used on shop floors. If manufacturers are being asked to purchase mobile devices and put them in harm's way, they're going to have to be durable (like these tech products).

Defying Physics In A Ford Fiesta

January 12, 2011 8:41 am | Videos | Comments

With banks as steep as 51 degrees, the Montlhéry track in France is the ultimate playground for driving enthusiasts. Rally racer and stunt driver Ken Block gets behind the wheel of a souped-up, turbo-charged Ford Fiesta, capable of launching from 0 to 60mph in 1.9 seconds, to show us the joys of defying physics.

Manufacturing In 2025, Part Two

January 10, 2011 6:44 am | Articles | Comments

This is the second part of a two-part series on the next fifteen years in manufacuring. To read the first part, go here . ___ 1. Segment of one: Will you be able to suit customers’ increasingly specific needs? The migration to highly customized products is accelerating in both consumer and business-to-business markets.

Manufacturing In 2025, Part One

January 7, 2011 7:34 am | by John Ferreira, managing director of Accenture's North American Manufacturing practice, and Stephen Laaper, senior manager in Accenture's North American Manufacturing practice | Articles | Comments

From the shop floor to the order desk, manufacturing has become quite volatile, complex, and dependent on far-flung operations and partners. But that’s a walk in the park compared to what the next 15 years will bring. Here’s how to prepare for the challenges just ahead and, in turn, how you can translate manufacturing prowess into a true competitive advantage.

(Video) Why The Gadgets At CES Matter

January 5, 2011 6:09 am | Articles | Comments

The Consumer Electronics Expo, which takes place between Thursday and Sunday of this week, is the world's proverbial “Mecca” for gadget geeks, and this year is no different. The 30 football field's worth of electronics is the starting point for all the new devices and technology that we'll be able to buy in stores throughout the year, so if you're at all thinking about buying a new smartphone, tablet computer, or HDTV this year, you might want to do your research and stay tuned-in.

The Joys Of High-Tech Manufacturing

January 5, 2011 6:08 am | Articles | Comments

Lexar, a division of Micron technology, makes computer memory. A lot of it. According to them, they're the only major memory company who does any manufacturing here in the U.S. And while much of the later processes and packaging is performed in Asia, the high tolerances and cleanliness required for the initial manufacturing makes domestic work the better option.

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