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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

From Legos To Audis

February 25, 2010 3:35 am | Articles | Comments

Audi's plant in Brussels was recently charged with the responsibility of building their new A1 vehicle, no meager task considering the €285 million ($384 million) the automaker has invested in the facility. So, how do Audi's workers prepare for the new class of car? Why, they start small, of course.

How Safe Is Your Toyota? Pretty Darn Safe

February 25, 2010 3:31 am | Articles | Comments

Seems like everyone in America is clamoring to put Toyota out to pasture in light of their recent recalls. CNN digs through NHTSA records to find out not only how many complaints all automakers have recieved of unintended acceleration, but also how Toyota and it's competitors rank in overall safety complains.

Ace Makes The Grade

February 22, 2010 9:53 am | by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

Ace Hardware Corp. manufactures only one product that bears its name brand amongst all of the do-it-yourself tools, equipment and other miscellany occupying its more than 4,600 retail stores nationwide. That product is paint, or more specifically, an entire line of interior and exterior water-, latex-, oil- and solvent-based paints, stains, varnishes and coatings.

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Hydrostatic Load Cells Bear The Weight Of Washdown

February 22, 2010 8:01 am | by Rudi Baisch, Emery Winslow | Articles | Comments

“We just lost another load cell on mixer scale number three” is not what any operations or maintenance manager wants to hear in a busy food processing facility. When a scale goes down, and accurate weight data is no longer available, it creates a real problem for production. When Plumrose USA, premium meat product provider, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, decided to do something about it, they turned to Emery Winslow Scale Company for help.

Honda's 'Southern Belle': The ATV

February 17, 2010 7:08 am | Articles | Comments

Honda of South Carolina in Timmonsville, South Carolina, builds a variety of ATVs for their flagship brand, and we take a look at how they’re built, from design to piecing together their single-cylinder, four-stroke engines. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Writing E-mails With Your Mind

February 17, 2010 7:07 am | Articles | Comments

Back in 1997, Kathy Wolfe was given a painful diagnosis: she has Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS. In the time since her diagnosis, Kathy has lost her ability to move, speak, and even breathe. But thanks to some new technology that translates electrical signals in the brain into text on her computer, she can still write e-mails, and, most importantly, communicate with her husband of 41 years.

Price Wars: China vs. Japan

February 17, 2010 7:06 am | Articles | Comments

CNN’s Kyung Lah (Tokyo) and John Vause (Beijing) compare prices on popular products in their respective countries, such as cars and TVs. The differences can be staggering, at times. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Reviving Manufacturing, One Guitar At A Time

February 17, 2010 7:04 am | Articles | Comments

Every summer, professors at the College of Technology at Purdue bring students in for the High School Guitar Workshop, which allows the youngsters to build a fully-functioning guitar in little more than a few days. Using their own designs, students go through the entire process, and get to take home their custom guitar at the end.

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Manufacturing Olympic Gold

February 17, 2010 7:03 am | Articles | Comments

With the Olympics at full-steam right now, we take a look with VBS.TV into where the gold, silver, and bronze medals came from. Visit Omer Studio in Vancouver, where designers were asked to create a medal that incorporates recycled metal from electronic components. It’s a great combination of industrial design, manufacturing, and sustainability.

Why Foreign Corporations Struggle In America

February 12, 2010 8:43 am | by Jeff Klingberg, President & CEO, Fluid Power Technologies | Articles | Comments

A recent LinkedIn post asked for experiences from foreign national corporations who have had trouble introducing their products and services to the North American market. From our experience in this area, foreign national corporations typically encounter the following issues: Send a foreign national to open the operation just because someone believes there is a large untapped market in North America, but no research is done and no plan is formulated before coming.

Building On A Manufacturing Legacy

February 11, 2010 5:19 am | by Greg Morrison, Morrison Industrial Equipment Co. Howard Bernstein, The Atlas Companies | Articles | Comments

Since 1953,  Morrison Industrial Equipment Company  (Grand Rapids, MI) has lived by a simple credo: provide unparalleled customer service. Beginning from a six-employee office with a focus on selling  lift trucks , Morrison Industrial Equipment has grown to include 13 facilities in 11 cities spread across Michigan and northern Indiana.

Effective Cooling of Process Control Panels

February 10, 2010 8:16 am | Articles | Comments

Over the past few decades, the use of sophisticated high density electronics within automation and process control panels has become commonplace. Thermal management and its related costs for these electronic enclosures are very important considerations in managing these valuable assets.

Turning Waste Into Electricity Through Heat Recovery

February 9, 2010 4:52 am | Articles | Comments

Dresser-Rand Company recently designed and installed a complete waste heat recovery system at the Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority (GNHWPCA). The project included engineering, construction and testing of the waste heat boiler, steam turbine generator set and condenser, ducting and valves.

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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.

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.

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.

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