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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Hail Cannons: Pseudoscience Or Crop-Saver?

February 23, 2011 8:08 am | Videos | Comments

For decades, farmers have been using acetylene-powered "hail cannons" as a method to protect their delicate crops from the devastating effect of hailstorms. They function, on a basic level, by generating shockwaves that aim to break up falling hailstones. Now in smaller pieces, the fragments melt quickly and fall as rain.

We Are All 'Makers'

February 23, 2011 8:07 am | Videos | Comments

At TED@MotorCity, Dale Dougherty, publisher of MAKE , talks about the American tradition of being "makers": the people who play, interact, develop, and innovate new technology, even if only for fun. We can't help but agree with the importance of being "makers." If more people were encouraged to be creative with technology, we wouldn't have the major skilled worker shortage in manufacturing, and we would better be able to continue technological innovation, which helps create jobs and business for the American public.

Why Is Glass Transparent?

February 23, 2011 8:06 am | Videos | Comments

Why is glass transparent? Seems like a dumb question, right? Perhaps, but I would wager that most people don't know the real reason. Thankfully, Sixty Symbols  regular Professor Phil Moriarty is here to save us from our ignorance with an explanation that involves photons, electrons, and a little something known as the "electron gap.

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Show Me The Green

February 17, 2011 4:46 am | by Bobbi Klein, PR and Marketing Director, Green Analytics, Inc. | Articles | Comments

With the increase in the urgency to combat climate change, the manufacturing industry is beginning to take responsibility for its actions and transitioning into greener practices with the “Go Green” movement. Nevertheless, the current economic situation is not supportive for manufacturers to spend the high up-front costs of being environmentally sustainable and waiting for the long-term return on investment generally keeps the executives wanting to sustain the “doing business as usual” model.

Americans Ask For Luxury, More Power

February 16, 2011 8:53 am | Videos | Comments

Horsepower, raw speed, and massive gasoline engines are all the rage at the Chicago Auto Show, where automakers from around the world are displaying their latest products. From a new convertible Camaro, to the incredibly-expensive Lexus LFA, and to a Cadillac that can get to 60mph in just four seconds, the show is all about who can go the fastest.

Taking A Ride On 'The Cloud'

February 16, 2011 8:52 am | Videos | Comments

You've likely heard about computing in the "cloud," but do you know what that really means? The on-demand, always-on world of cloud computing comes down to massive data centers, where thousands of rack-mounted servers are cooled by powerful cooling units. Even a power outage won't take the facility down, thanks to enough generators to power a small town.

Cracking The Coca-Cola Code

February 16, 2011 8:50 am | Videos | Comments

Has the host of a nationwide radio program finally cracked secret recipe of Coca-Cola? This American Life 's Ira Glass claims to have found the original recipe — one of the most closely-guarded secrets in business — in a newspaper, of all places. Of course, Coca-Cola claims that the Glass-produced recipe is a cola, but not Coca-Cola .

Should We Fear The 'Singularity'?

February 16, 2011 8:49 am | Videos | Comments

Should we be afraid of the “singularity”? Scientists believe that come 2045, the processing power of computers will become so overwhelming, that mankind will forever be changed. New research will be conducted by computers with super-human intelligence, only furthering their power. Will we end up the enemy, or will we be able to co-exist? 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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Clearing Manufacturing Hurdles

February 14, 2011 5:28 am | by MetalMoro, SolidWorks | Articles | Comments

MetalMoro's Sport Prot√≥tipo MCR model race car. MecSoft’s VisualMILL for SolidWorks helps MetalMoro achieve design goals accurately and quickly. For over 40 years,  MetalMoro  in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, has been producing competitive automotive racing cars and parts.

Inside Cleveland's Salty Underbelly

February 9, 2011 9:43 am | Videos | Comments

Anyone who spends time in Cleveland during the winter — or anywhere in the northern half of the country — is well aware of the copious amounts of salt used to keep roads free of ice. But little do most know that Cargill operates a massive salt mine directly underneath Cleveland, with 100 miles of roads and tunnels.

The Battle Of The Bulbs

February 9, 2011 9:43 am | Videos | Comments

A new law hopes to phase-out the incandescent light bulb in favor of more energy-efficient versions, and, like everything else in this country, the opposition force is moving to have the law repealed. In case that movement falls through, however, some incandescent-lovers are going to extreme lengths to avoid CFL, LED, and halogen bulbs, such as hoarding five-year supplies.

Is Detroit Having A 'Renaissance'?

February 9, 2011 9:42 am | Videos | Comments

Chrysler's Super Bowl ad featuring the "Motor City" and rapper Eminem has received a great deal of buzz in the days following its premiere, and now many are left wondering if Detroit is about to experience a "renaissance." CNBC sat down with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing to discuss some of the new policies he's putting in place to encourage growth in the inner city.

Toyota Cars Declared Safe To Drive

February 9, 2011 9:41 am | Videos | Comments

As many of you have heard, the government has said — after a 10-month investigation — that the Toyota recalls were caused by sticky accelerators and floor mats, not any electronic flaws. After 8 million recalled vehicles, Toyota is simply trying to move past the controversy, but some aren't done fighting.

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Top Five Packaging Trends in 2011

February 7, 2011 8:22 am | Articles | Comments

At the start of each New Year, along with the usual all-too-soon forgotten resolutions, many industry experts make predictions about where their industry is headed during the upcoming year, usually in the format of trends to watch.  

The Case For Thermal Imaging

February 7, 2011 6:18 am | by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

In many ways, thermal imaging represents an opportunity to see your plant in a whole new light. It’s a revolutionary technology, one that allows manufacturing processionals to conduct a range of tasks, such as increasing efficiency in automated environments, detecting leaks in malfunctioning equipment, and conducting predictive maintenance.

Paint Manufacturer Turns Up Volume

February 7, 2011 5:57 am | Articles | Comments

Since 1925, Dunn-Edwards Corporation has been a leading manufacturer and supplier of architectural and industrial coatings in the Southwest, providing a complete line of paints and painting supplies to professionals and quality-conscious consumers. Dunn-Edwards paints are manufactured exclusively in the Southwest and formulated specifically for the climate of the Southwest.

Tech Companies Side With Egypt Protesters

February 3, 2011 3:54 am | Videos | Comments

It's been hard to avoid coverage about the massive protests happening in Egypt right now, or the news that the government effectively activated an internet "kill switch," which cut off protesters from spreading images and video to the outside world. In an effort to help foster a democratic, open society in Egypt, technology companies like Google, and groups like Tor, have initiated projects to help get the word out in a variety of ways.

Should The Gov't Regulate Our Salt?

February 3, 2011 3:29 am | Videos | Comments

For years, some have been pushing for more strict regulation on the amount of sodium that Americans consume on a daily basis. As everyone knows, a high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and countless other health risks. So, should the government step in and force fast food chains and food processors to tone down the salt? If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Steel Craftsmanship At Its Finest

February 3, 2011 3:27 am | Videos | Comments

From Steel , a short film from Michael John Evans, documents the process of building a custom steel bicycle at Soulcraft, owned and operated by Sean Walling. As always, we try to honor and appreciate those who perform great work, and we think this is an excellent example of why the U.S. still dominates the rest of the world in manufacturing.

A Party That Happens To Sell Shoes

February 3, 2011 3:27 am | Videos | Comments

Zappos, the online shoe retailer, is a unique company in a couple of ways. First of all, they like to say that they're a service company, and that they just happen to sell shoes. Imagine getting that kind of service at most companies. But more importantly, they offer a variety of perks—such as free lunches and ice cream—and they try to maintain a festive, positive atmosphere around the offices.

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.

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.

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