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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Driving Biofuels Into The Future

February 8, 2010 10:06 am | Articles | Comments

Novozymes North America president Adam Monroe talks about how his company could produce more than 9 billion tons of biofuel from municipal and agriculture feedstock, like cardboard or paper. With new vehicles that can run on a biofuel/gasoline or diesel mix, this technology seems to be on the verge of becoming mainstream.

Nothing Says Love Like Chocolate

February 8, 2010 10:05 am | Articles | Comments

With Valentine’s Day coming up this Sunday, we’re doing our part at IMPO to remind the guys out there (and the gals, too) that the day just isn’t complete without some chocolate for your special someone. What better way to get motivated than to learn how all those little candies are made? How sweet.

The Nexus One Manufacturing Story

February 8, 2010 10:01 am | Articles | Comments

Innovators and engineers from Google and HTC got together to make the Nexus One, the embodiment of Google’s ideal smartphone. And while the consumer electronics world has been buzzing about both the hardware and software that went into the phone, little attention has been focused on how it was made.

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Designing The Stop Sign By Committee

February 8, 2010 10:01 am | Articles | Comments

This video asks the simple, yet horrifying question: What if there were no stop signs … and a major corporation was charged with inventing one? If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

'Groove' With Vinyl Manufacturing

February 8, 2010 9:59 am | Articles | Comments

For some music fanatics out there, vinyl never went out of style. That said, the decades-old analogue form of music is making its very loud comeback, and that progression can be seen no better than in the success of Gotta Groove Records , who specialize in 7" and 12" vinyl creation/manufacturing using PVC molding.

Inside Design: The Piranha Kayak Paddle Prototype

February 8, 2010 7:00 am | by David Mantey, Editor, Product Design & Development | Articles | Comments

After retiring from the Navy, US Naval Survival Instructor Ed Halm launched the Backwater Paddle Company in 2007. After retiring from the Navy, US Naval Survival Instructor Ed Halm launched the Backwater Paddle Company in 2007. Given Halm’s vast paddling and military survival experience, he identified potential paddling problems and provided distinctive solutions to the paddle sports market in an immeasurable way — leading up to the patented Backwater Paddle design.

A Top Down Approach

February 8, 2010 5:09 am | by Penny Gift, Product Manager, Republic Powdered Metals | Articles | Comments

The concept of restoration as a cool roof solution is not new. In fact, the energy crisis of the 1970s required facility managers to look for every option possible for reducing energy use within their buildings. Reflective roof restoration became popular not only for extending the roof’s life, but for reducing energy consumption and creating a more comfortable work environment.

HV/LS Fans Keep Workers Comfortable In Extreme Temps

February 8, 2010 4:51 am | Articles | Comments

Johnson Level & Tool Manufacturing Company, Inc. manufactures more than 270 types of Johnson brand levels, and distributes nearly 900 other hand tools under the Fuller Tool brand. With its headquarters and manufacturing facility located in Mequon, WI., just north of Milwaukee, Johnson Level & Tool prides itself on its highly efficient loading dock operation, despite temperature extremes often found in the Northern climate.

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Laser Sensor Innovations Improve Tire Manufacturing

February 5, 2010 9:04 am | by Dr. Walt Pastorius, Technical Marketing Advisor and Mr. Martin Sanden, Market Manager, LMI | Articles | Comments

Introduction Tire and rubber manufacturers today are requiring inspection systems to detect small geometric defects wherever they occur on the rubber surface in both final and in-process inspection operations. To increase quality and improve product safety, these smaller areas of dimensional variation or defects must be detected with very high reliability.

Thermal Imaging For Cost Savings, Energy Conservation, and Innovation

February 4, 2010 10:51 am | by Sandra J. Blum, for FLIR Systems Inc. | Articles | Comments

“As long as the simple truth prevails that something gets hot before it breaks down, applications for infrared cameras will be endless.” Infrared radiation is emitted by every object above a temperature of -273 degrees C. To capture this radiation and make it visible, you need an infrared camera that can take clear thermal pictures, measure temperatures instantly, and convert these infrared images into a standard electronic format for further processing.

An Alternative to Diverging Roller Size Graders

February 4, 2010 8:12 am | Articles | Comments

Nutra Manufacturing is the manufacturing arm of GNC, the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional supplements. With GNC’s “quality first” principle guiding every step, Nutra uses the latest technologies to produce the highest quality supplements.

Boeing's Biofuel-Powered Hydroplane

February 3, 2010 9:22 am | Articles | Comments

In a departure from their endless 787 production, Boeing has gotten together to build this biofuel-powered hydroplane. The racing hydroplane uses a 50/50 blend of sustainable biofuel and jetfuel, and while the eco-friendly stuff costs a bit more, Boeing is sure that once more people adopt the technology, prices will plummet.

Industrial Waste Pool Party

February 3, 2010 9:21 am | Articles | Comments

The wastewater from one of Iceland's geothermal power plants forms the Blue Lagoon, where 300,000 tourists a year go to frolic in the blue-green algae-infested waters. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Our 'C-Average' Food Safety

February 3, 2010 9:21 am | Articles | Comments

A recent CBS poll has found that only 7 percent of American consumers give our food safety system an “A,” and a majority (34 percent) give it a “C.” And while we have an incredible selection of food available to us, our system seems pretty safe at first glance. In Canada, 33 percent of consumers get sick each year from something they ate.

How To Stop A Toyota

February 3, 2010 9:18 am | Articles | Comments

Have a Toyota? Then you might want to figure out how you stop the darn thing in case your accelerator pedal gets stuck. It’s pretty simple, so check out the video below for CNN's tips on what to do in the rare event, regardless of which kind of vehicle you drive. Better yet — just go get it fixed, and fast.

Drowning In A Sea Of Jargon

February 3, 2010 9:18 am | Articles | Comments

Ever feel like you’re drowning in a sea of technical jargon, most of which is probably a ploy by some marketing firm to make you think you’re getting your money’s worth?  Well, get ready for the Retro Encabulator device, a new automation solution from Rockwell Automation, which uses six hydrocoptic marzel vanes and an ambifacient lunar wane shaft to prevent unwanted side fumbling.

Increasing Heat Exchanger Performance

February 1, 2010 11:23 am | by Nwaoha Chikezie | Articles | Comments

Heat exchangers are typically employed in the process industries as a means of providing heat transfer between two streams of fluid across a medium. The heat exchanger ensures the conservation of heat energy otherwise known as heat economic operations. They are designed to foster contact between materials in a conduit network, with one material exchanging heat and the other material flowing within the network either counter-currently or co-currently.

How Modular Conveyors Can Reduce Costs

January 29, 2010 10:30 am | Articles | Comments

From the smallest manufacturing plant that employs manual methods to create their product to the most elaborately automated plant where conveyors dominate floor space, the majority of manufacturers have at least one conveyor in their plant. Whether it’s a single conveyor employed to take away product from a packaging machine, or the transportation system that connects all areas of a plant, conveyors, like the tires on a vehicle, are often the least thought about component in a processing line.

Food Industry — We Have A Problem

January 28, 2010 7:41 am | by John G. Surak, American Society For Quality | Articles | Comments

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) conducted a survey on Food Safety (ASQ, 2009) revealing 93 percent of adults say food manufacturers, growers or suppliers should be held legally responsible when individuals are fatally sickened by tainted food. Other findings included:  61 percent of U.

The Beauty Of CNC Machining

January 27, 2010 8:29 am | Articles | Comments

A lot of people see manufacturing as a dark, dirty business. Too bad they don’t know the whole truth, but this video could help spread the good word. It has all the design aesthetics of a product from Apple combined with the whole “getting work done” thing that we’re used to in manufacturing.

Why Cap-And-Trade Won't Work, Environmentally

January 27, 2010 8:29 am | Articles | Comments

Dr. James Hansen, a leading climatologist, thinks cap-and-trade won’t work, at least from an environmental standpoint. While many manufacturers are against a cap-and-trade system for the damage it could cause to their manufacturing capacity, Dr. Hansen points out that with carbon offsets, a tree planted in one place means a tree cut down somewhere else, and a puff of pollution saved from one plant is another puff some another.

The 225,000 Lb. Injection Molder

January 27, 2010 8:27 am | Articles | Comments

Sometimes a big job calls for an even bigger machine. Well, that’s what happened when this manufacturer needed to do some injection molding on a massive scale. The 225,000 pound hydraulic toggle injection molding system is one of the biggest in the U.S. It’s impressive to see how it all comes together.

The 'Augmented' Future Of Maintenance

January 27, 2010 8:25 am | Articles | Comments

In an ideal world, your maintenance professionals know how to work on every piece of equipment in your facility. But sometimes that just can’t happen, especially considering how complex some of the machines can be. But with augmented reality — a type of virtual reality data that is embedded into a worker’s vision using special glasses or displays — could help anyone with a screwdriver and a tinkering aptitude perform many of the complex maintenance work that’s usually left to specifically-trained professionals.

Dear Governor, Can Detroit Survive?

January 27, 2010 8:23 am | Articles | Comments

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm sits down with TIME to answer some reader questions regarding her state, and more specifically, what is going to happen to Detroit in the coming years. One reader asks: “Will Detroit ever really recover, in your honest opinion?” As Gov. Granholm says, Michigan is chock-full of hard workers and intelligent engineers who can do more than just make cars.

Ultrasonic Tank Testing a Resounding Success

January 26, 2010 7:46 am | Articles | Comments

SGS Colombia S.A. was awarded the contract to perform storage tank inspections for the expansion of the Cartagena Refinery. All inspection services were performed in accordance with applicable Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) requirements. The storage of dangerous goods in tanks involves risk to the population, the environment, and the surrounding area, and must therefore be executed safely.

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