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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The Beauty Of The Printing Press

April 26, 2011 7:10 am | Videos | Comments

Field Notes produces a number of high-quality notebooks for writers, journalists, and artist, but what’s probably more interesting to you all is the way these books are made. Their contracted printers, Freeport Press and Flywheel Letterpress , show off some of the machinery that’s used in the production.

Going Green In Manufacturing

April 25, 2011 11:44 am | by Richard Travers, President, Freeaire Corporation | Articles | Comments

As energy costs continue to climb, manufacturers are searching for ways to reduce their energy usage to both save money and reduce their environmental impact.  Food Manufacturing  spoke with Richard Travers of Freeaire Corporation about how manufacturers can utilize “greener” processes and renewable resources.

Visiting Star Prototype In China

April 25, 2011 11:25 am | by Jon Buford, Founder, | Articles | Comments

What we are trying to do with Makible is pretty different from how products are currently brought to the market. Two key points is that the initial volume for production is quite low — within 500 to 1,000 units of an item — and the other is the speed to market, which we are working on one to two months to start with.


Hurling Bricks At Mach 5

April 25, 2011 5:18 am | Videos | Comments

General Atomics has been testing a new railgun that can hurl "hypersonic bricks" at Mach 5 (roughly 3,800mph). Their new projectile, outfitted with a sabot , can travel 4.34 miles downrange — with the gun pointed completely parallel with the ground — even after punching through a steel plate.

How An Hourglass Is Made

April 22, 2011 9:57 am | Videos | Comments

Marc Newson, director of this short film, says, “Each hand-made hourglass comprises highly durable borosilicate glass and millions of stainless steel nanoballs, and is available in a 10- or 60-minute timer.” The only thing more stunning than the filming of the process is the incredible craftsmanship that goes into each product.

Shale Gas: A Game-Changing Resource

April 21, 2011 9:07 am | by Gail McMinn, Executive Vice President of Commercial Services, U.S. Energy Services, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Natural gas has a reputation of being a reliable and clean fuel, but purchasing this energy source isn’t always easy. Natural gas prices can be extremely volatile for reasons that are often unclear. Energy industry experts point to a variety of reasons for changing natural gas prices, including  shifts in demand, weather, supply excesses, or constraints and the amount of gas in storage.

The Cost Of Incorrectly Labeled Goods

April 19, 2011 11:55 am | Articles | Comments

Product labeling is playing a major role in the customer selection process, so it's important for manufacturers to increase their focus on this subject. Cases of Return to Manufacturer (RTM) and Emergency Product Withdrawals (EPWs) within the food retailing sectors have increased significantly in the UK over the past five years and it is estimated that 12 percent of these are due to incorrectly labeled goods.

Would You Stick Tweezers In This Power Strip?

April 19, 2011 7:59 am | Videos | Comments

Products don't always perform as advertised. In some cases, that's a major concern. The $70 Wet Circuits 4-outlet power strip claims it is resistant to water and you can stick tweezers into the sockets without  electrocuting yourself to death. Techland's Doug Aamoth put those claims to the test.


Unlocking A Locked-In Artist

April 19, 2011 7:54 am | Videos | Comments

The inventor Mark Ebeling showcases his collaborative creation, the EyeWriter . The project began to help paralyzed graffiti artist, TEMPT, create art again, and developed into an open-source project that anyone can help improve. Better yet, anyone can make one of the devices, giving other paralyzed patients an incredibly affordable and versatile option for communicating with the rest of the world.

Get A Checkmate With CNC

April 19, 2011 7:51 am | Videos | Comments

I know many of you are familiar with CNC milling — perhaps you even do your fair share during the work day — but it's hard not to appreciate the incredible complexity, not to mention the engineering, that goes into these processes. According to Glacern Machine Tools, the process involves turning out of a 2.

Deleting CDs With Electrocution

April 19, 2011 7:47 am | Videos | Comments

Need to delete the information from some CDs? You’d be hard-pressed to find a more over-the-top (or cool-looking) way to get the job done. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Smart-Energy Consumption Via An Open Ecosystem

April 18, 2011 9:10 am | by Tony Paine, Kepware Technologies President and CEO | Articles | Comments

From America’s viewpoint, there is a dire need to transform the way we manage energy consumption and smart grid initiatives are leading the way. Our nation is saying goodbye to inefficient utility control systems plagued by slow reaction speeds, incompatibility, and isolation, which is due in part to the establishment of the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act).

Brainstorm: Pest Control

April 15, 2011 10:45 am | Articles | Comments

This feature originally ran in the  April 2011 issue  of  Food Manufacturing . The  Food Manufacturing  Brainstorm features industry experts sharing their perspectives on issues critical to the overall food industry marketplace. In this issue, we ask:  What is the biggest contributor to pest control issues in manufacturing facilities, and what can processors do to avoid such problems? Ron Harrison, Ph.


Saving Lives By Cutting Out Drivers

April 13, 2011 9:18 am | Videos | Comments

Sebastain Thrun helped build Google’s driverless car, which can navigate through almost any real-life driving scenario, all without any human interaction. At the end of the day, the project isn’t about the technology itself, but rather what it can do for everyone on the road. As Thrun explains, the benefits for machine-controlled motoring are numerous, if done correctly.

Robots Master The Art Of Flying

April 13, 2011 6:55 am | Videos | Comments

The SmartBird — a development from Festo, a manufacturer and developer of automation technology for industrial markets — is an ultralight, robotic replica of a bird, down to the subtle motions that make natural flight possible. The bird can take off, fly, and land autonomousy thanks to wings that beat just like a real bird's.

Manufacturing A 'Better' Putter

April 13, 2011 6:47 am | Videos | Comments

Robert Bettinardi takes us inside his manufacturing facility, where his company makes sophisticated milled putters from solid blocks of carbon steel. Some of you golfers might take offense to some of what Mr. Bettinardi says in regards to his own product versus the traditional putter, but it's not difficult to appreciate the engineering and dedication put into the manufacturing process itself.

The Science Of Space Debris

April 13, 2011 6:46 am | Videos | Comments

Holger Krag, a space debris analyst for the European Space Agency, explains how a piece of space debris — even as small as a cherry — will strike a manned craft or a satellite with the force of a hand grenade. With so much at stake, how do we protect our astronauts from being pelted by the 16,000 bits of junk soaring through Earth's orbit? If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Designed For Nuclear Meltdown

April 11, 2011 9:56 am | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

Exposure to ionizing radiation is believed to be dangerous for humans. The rays or particles can damage human tissue based on the exposure; typically, the more radiation, the more damage.  As Japan’s nuclear disaster continues, the Fukushima 50 and others risking their lives to prevent a nuclear catastrophe have been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation as they attempt to stabilize the power plants.

Surgical Robots Fold Tiny Paper Airplanes

April 6, 2011 7:38 am | Videos | Comments

Dr. James Porter, the medical director of robotic surgery at Swedish hospital in Seattle, has used their da Vinci surgical robot for a little after-hours challenge: folding a tiny paper airplane with the incredible precision and dexterity the system provides. One can only imagine the possibilities if this sort of technology finds its way into manufacturing someday.

A Cruelly Effective Alarm Clock

April 6, 2011 7:36 am | Videos | Comments

Most of us don't like waking up in the morning, but an alarm clock (or two) is enough to get us out of bed and to work in time. YouTube user stampmaille , on the other hand, is a pretty deep sleeper. Luckily, he has the technical prowess to build himself the world's most brutal alarm clock, which includes some air compressors and one big air cylinder.

The New Global Economy

April 6, 2011 7:27 am | Videos | Comments

The recession is over and economies across the globe are awakening to a new reality: The recoveries are uneven, and the United States isn't the fastest growing economy. In the past, countries like China and India have come to depend on the U.S. and other Western economies for growth. Not anymore. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Building A Better, Stronger Mankind

April 6, 2011 7:23 am | Videos | Comments

Eythor Bender, the CEO of Berkeley Bionics , has been working hard on exoskeletons, which attempt to fuse the boundaries between humans and robots, in order to supplement users' natural abilities. The HULC allows soldiers to carry more gear into battle without experiencing chronic back injuries, while the eLEGS could serve both regular Americans and wounded veterans.

Safety Proves Not-So-Tall Order

April 4, 2011 8:22 am | by Pat McDevitt, Manager of Business Development, Snap-on Industrial | Articles | Comments

You work in one of the most sensitive production areas in a large chemical plant. The concern is that no contaminants be introduced into the work area, including stray tools and equipment. Or you’re standing on the walkway above a large newspaper-printing press—and time is money.

Tidying Up Titletown

April 4, 2011 8:02 am | by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

Green Bay Packaging’s Coated Products Operations division has implemented a strategy that not only makes environmental sense, but also financial cents. The Green Bay Packaging Inc. Coated Products Operations division coats, laminates, and slits pressure-sensitive label materials in Titletown—also known as Green Bay, WI (It was just in February that the Green Bay Packers football team won the Super Bowl, after all).

The Infrared Window Solution To Arc Flashes

April 4, 2011 5:43 am | Articles | Comments

This article is the second part in a two-part series on arc flash safety and infrared windows. The first part was published on April 4, 2011. Demonstration of the power of an Arc Flash. Photo courtesy of ewbengineering. by Michael Stuart , Fluke Corporation How can infrared windows help? An infrared window provides a solid barrier between the thermographer and the live conductors.

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