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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Like A Bird On A Wire

October 1, 2009 4:53 am | Articles | Comments

See how maintenance is performed on live, high-powered electric lines. Thanks to Michael Faraday's theory that a man enclosed in a metallic box will not be affected by an electric current supplied to the box, regardless of its voltage, this work is now possible. Every movement has an elegance and beauty, even when there's half a million volts flowing over his body.

Our Robot Future

October 1, 2009 4:46 am | Articles | Comments

Via FORA.Tv . At Maker Faire 2009 iRobot CTO Rodney Brooks had the opportunity to speak about the future of robotics in manufacturing. He argues that "untouchable" robots are a thing of the past, even though they're just reaching their hayday in manufacturing facility. But they're dangerous; no one can get close unless they're shut down.

Yep, Walking Is So 20th Century

October 1, 2009 4:44 am | Articles | Comments

The U3 X from Honda hopes to, like the Segway, "revolutionize" the way people move around their lives. The UX 3 is small, sleek, and looks relatively easy-to-use. It's certainly more attractive than the Segway. So what do you think? Can we abandon walking altogether yet? Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.

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Extreme Maintenance

September 21, 2009 6:54 am | Articles | Comments

Sure, we've all experienced the occasional stuck bolt, especially those charged with building and maintaining manufacturing equipment like yourselves. But what about a stuck bolt in space? In their latest spacewalk outside of the Hubble telescrope, American astronauts braved injury and death to install a new, $150 million dollar camera into the Hubble's aging body.

Building Behemoths

September 21, 2009 6:21 am | Articles | Comments

Digital Altiel gives a quick tour of their facility, where they utilize Delcam's PowerMILL and PowerSHAPE technology to recreate lifesized sculptures in massive scales for the likes of Disney and Pixar. Digital Altiel scans the original piece and machines it in large pieces, which are welded together to create a finished product.

The Lego V8 Roars

September 21, 2009 6:12 am | Articles | Comments

Remember the Lego of your childhood, when you spent countless hours just putting together a space ship or castle that just fell apart after an hour? Well, those days are over. In the 21st century, Lego engineers have moved to bigger and better pastures. Listen to the "roar" of this pushrod V8 as it revs up over 1,500 rpm.

Over-engineering, F1-Style

September 21, 2009 5:45 am | Articles | Comments

Via AutoMotoTV . Take a look inside the incredible precision that goes into making every Red Bull Technology F1 race car. Through extensive research, protoyping, and testing, the vehicles come together like a work of art, not to mention an incredible example of precision in engineering.

Apple Reveals Revolutionary Keyboard-less Laptop

September 18, 2009 12:03 pm | Articles | Comments

Apple is renowned for their revolutionary and innovative products, some of which have changed the way we live. First, the iPod, featuring the world-famous "click wheel." Now, see how Apple has hybridized click wheel technology with their sleek laptops, forming a keyboard-less laptop that functions seamlessly and beautifully.

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Virtual Forklifts To Clean Up Computer Screens

September 16, 2009 7:25 am | Articles | Comments

Via TirexiHD . Do you get home from work just wishing you could spend more time in a forklift? Now there's a way. Forklift Simulator 2009 allows users to take control of their own forklift after an extensive training session, allowing them to move around the plant floor and move the targeted pallets onto eagerly waiting semis.

Sushi-Loving Robots With Opposable Thumbs

September 16, 2009 6:55 am | Articles | Comments

Via DigInfo News . These robots from Squse, a Japaese robotics company, are built using air-injected actuators that mimick the motion and sensitivity of a human hand, namely through a swift, delicate touch unheard of in robotics. The actuators, even when filled, release pressure only according to the form of an object, which allows the robot to pick up soft objects such as sushi and strawberries without destroying them.

Hungry FDA Official Orders Massive Pot Pie Recall

September 16, 2009 6:42 am | Articles | Comments

Hungry FDA Official Orders Massive Pot Pie Recall Via The Onion . The Onion, America's most trusted fake news source, offers breaking news: The FDA is issuing a massive recall of all pot pies, which should be sent "piping hot" to the FDA headquarters in Maryland. Don't forget the forks and napkins, which will be aptly used in the inspection process.

Dynamic Fan Balancing With Balmac

September 16, 2009 6:31 am | Articles | Comments

This video provides step-by-step directions on how to balance a small fan using the Balmac Model 216-D Analyzer/Balancer. Useful for those new to the practice, or who have recently purchased a Balmac product, the video walks viewers through finding aplitude, using a strobe to read the fan's phase, placing weights to vary balance, and calculating vectors.

'Mystery At The Factory' — In Lego

September 16, 2009 6:22 am | Articles | Comments

How often does this happen at your facility? You know, when flowers and zombies start coming down your conveyors? Well, in the hyper-colored world of Lego, it happens all too often. This riveting film chronicles the plight of a plant worker as he attempts to sort out the mysteries of his conveyor belt under the supervision of a unique manager.

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Double Decker Racing

September 10, 2009 5:13 am | by Top Gear | Articles | Comments

Top Gear's crew heads to the mainland to take on their German counterparts in a no-holds-barred car race. The only problem? They're racing home-made double decker cars. The driver on top controls the steering, while the bottom participant navigates the throttle, brake, and gearbox.

SUV-Sized Engines

September 10, 2009 5:11 am | by Caterpillar Inc | Articles | Comments

Caterpillar, along with MaK, creates massive marine engines for cruise ships and other large boats at this manufacturing facility in Germany. Watch how these incredible machines are built with the same precision and delicacy you would see in a car's engine.

Shades Of Green

September 10, 2009 5:07 am | by Faro Technologies and Discovery | Articles | Comments

The Discovery Channel has recently featured FARO technologies in a documentary entitled "Shades of Green," a behind-the-scenes look at how those massive turbines progress from design and engineering to manufacturing.

Robots With A Taste For Flesh

September 10, 2009 5:00 am | by New Scientist | Articles | Comments

James Auger, at the Royal College of Art in London, has built a series of furniture that do a little more than decorate your home. A table that eats mice? Yes, it's true. A fuel cell hidden inside the table can decompose a trapped mouse and generate enough electricity to not only power a table-top display, but also capture the next sorry rodent.

Forklift Safety: 16 and Paralyzed

September 10, 2009 4:53 am | by Work Safe BC | Articles | Comments

John Higgins was a regular 16-year-old who found a good-paying job, and was eager to help most anyone around the workplace. All was well, up until a simple mistake — along with improper forklift training — led to an accident that left John with a broken back and without a kidney.

BMW's Prius-Crushing 'Vision'

September 3, 2009 5:25 am | Articles | Comments

The new BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept was introduced this week, featuring a hybrid drive system that pushes current technology to the limit. Forget the Prius — this hybrid even absorbs excess heat from the exhaust system to recharge the battery — and will get you to 60 twice as fast.

Hybrid Hogs

September 3, 2009 4:31 am | Articles | Comments

While already controversial for cars — see the numerous YouTube videos praising and equally debunking this hydrogen technology — some bikers have decided to adapt the technology to their Harley-Davidson rides. However controversial, these riders are trying something new and innovative, trying to push the boundaries of what the public thinks is possible with a traditional gasoline engine.

When 'Rapid' Isn't Fast Enough

September 3, 2009 4:25 am | Articles | Comments

Via IET Faraday . A process of rapid manufacturing developed at Loughborough University is being used by a Ph.D student to create custom outsoles for a sprinter's particular biomechanical movement, allowing them to harness their full potential.

A P.U.M.A. Without The Bite

September 3, 2009 4:17 am | Articles | Comments

Check out the Project P.U.M.A — the result of a collaboration betweeen GM and Segway. This self-balancing vehicle blurs the boundaries between cars and bikes to create a product that, according to the company, "values less over more; taking up less space, using less energy, produced more efficiently with fewer parts, creating fewer emissions during production and operation, all while offering more enjoyment, productivity, and connectivity.

Keep It Simple, Build It Strong

September 2, 2009 12:33 pm | Articles | Comments

Via www.op2iowa.com . The regional economic development group of Southern Iowa, Opportunity2, in collaboration with the region's Manufacturers Consortium has developed an Advanced Manufacturing video that showcases the great employment opportunities available in southern Iowa's manufacturing industries.

Squeaky Clean With Hotsy

September 2, 2009 12:24 pm | Articles | Comments

Hotsy's integrated wash bay systems are simple, intuitive, and will help save time at any facility that cleans trucks or other heavy equipment. Featuring a remote control box to control each function of the washer, users won't have to constantly walk back and worth — while wasting water and time — to turn the machine on and off.

"Don't Walk On By"

September 2, 2009 12:21 pm | Articles | Comments

If you're the type to just "walk on by" the plant safety hazards that seem to be unimportant at first glance, then maybe this music video is for you.

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