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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

How Smoke Detectors Work

March 16, 2011 10:41 am | Videos | Comments

Once again we turn to Bill, the “Engineer Guy,” to explain how the world works. This time? Smoke detectors. It turns out, a miniscule piece of radioactive material, Americium, works in conjunction with a special integrated circuit, called a MOSFET (or Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor).

The New American Dream

March 16, 2011 10:14 am | Videos | Comments

CNN's Fareed Zakaria explores the future potential of America's workforce and the new American dream. According to Zakaria, Americans need to focus on acquiring skills that will allow them to become mobile, dynamic, and entrepreneurial workers. The old American Dream doesn't work anymore, so it's necessary to change with the times.

Relying On A Smarter Supply Chain

March 16, 2011 9:57 am | Videos | Comments

For those businesses who import or export goods from Japan, particularly those that rely upon Japanese-based suppliers, the supply chain is about to get a bit trickier. CNBC sat down with Jeffrey Schwartz of Global Logistic Properties, and Jon Langenfield of Robert W. Baird & Co. Despite a massive recovery effort, many businesses have sprung back extraordinarily quickly, as Schwartz reports, and with a more integrated global supply chain, perhaps things aren't as bad as many had originally thought.

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Are U.S. Nuclear Plants Safe From Disaster?

March 16, 2011 9:56 am | Videos | Comments

With the cascading issues at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant gaining much international press attention, many are starting to wonder whether or not America's own nuclear plants are safe from disaster. CBS sat down with Cham Dallas, professor at the University of Georgia, to discuss some of the concerns.

How An Air Motor Operates With Energy Efficiency

March 11, 2011 5:11 am | by DEPRAG SCHULZ | Articles | Comments

 An air motor is often the right choice when it comes to specifying a drive system for a manual device or a complex industrial system, whether as a high torque motor in the agitator system of a paint and coating manufacturer, as a highly durable stainless steel motor in newspaper print production, or as a compact power pack for an innovative roller transport device.

Choosing The Right Power Supply For Portable Hydraulics

March 9, 2011 4:38 am | by Jon Tan, Enerpac Sales and Marketing Manager, South East Asia | Articles | Comments

Increasingly, powerful and portable hydraulic tools are being relied upon for jobs that once involved backbreaking and often hazardous manual labour. Many plant maintenance tasks, such as tightening or loosening bolts, cutting rusted nuts, spreading flanges, or positioning equipment, can be made easier by using these powerful and precise time-savers.

Unbreakable

March 8, 2011 10:55 am | Articles | Comments

When it comes to running a business, there are so many elements out of management’s direct control. Economic conditions, market swings, skilled labor shortages, or compliance requirements become the variables which—on a macro level—might determine whether your business is able to retain its market position.

Plasma Machine Makes The Cut

March 8, 2011 10:42 am | Articles | Comments

Behlen Industries, founded in 1969, is Canada’s largest producer of steel building systems, in terms of units produced annually. Behlen serves the industrial, institutional, commercial, and agricultural markets with systems sold and installed throughout North America and parts of Europe by a network of authorized builder-distributors.

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A Whole New Kind Of Flight

March 8, 2011 8:12 am | Videos | Comments

Keeping on track with this week’s videos of innovative technology, we offer Yves Rossy, a Swiss military and commercial pilot. He is the inventor of a jet-propelled wing, and he remains the only man to pilot one of these machines. The craft uses four model turbine engines for power, and carbon fiber wings to provide enough lift to keep Rossy — also known as Jetman — from plummeting to the earth.

'Making' Trash Into Art

March 8, 2011 4:48 am | Videos | Comments

Two weeks ago, we featured a video of Dale Dougherty, publisher of MAKE magazine, talking about how we are all "makers." Well, this video shows almost exactly what Dougherty — and we — were talking about there. Reuben Margolin creates kinetic sculptures, which are a form of artwork he builds using found materials, such as cardboard tubes and scrap metal.

The Blind Leading... Themselves?

March 8, 2011 4:18 am | Videos | Comments

Today's technology is being leveraged to actually help people, which is one of the most exciting and inspiring aspects of this most recent age of tech innovation. CBS News reports on an artificial retina that could restore partial vision to the blind and may soon be approved by the FDA. Then, the network discusses how the device works and how it could change the lives for people with certain types of blindness.

Bill Gates Wants Energy Miracles

March 8, 2011 3:19 am | Videos | Comments

Bill Gates, well-known for being the founder and main proprietor of Microsoft for many years, now heads a foundation that invests in forward-thinking technology to help propel the world into a better future. As he explains in this talk, the key to solving the world's energy crisis isn't in making Americans use less, or taking away the services that we hold dear, but rather using technology that creates energy with little environmental backlash.

Domestic ‘Fourslide’ Parts Fabrication Slashes Inventory Costs

March 7, 2011 8:58 am | Articles | Comments

If you’re sourcing stamped metal parts from overseas, you may be required to order far more than you really need. Using fourslide fabrication can eliminate that requirement. If you’re sourcing metal stampings from overseas locations such as China, you’re most likely buying in large volumes, perhaps container-loads.

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Choosing The Right Metal Detector

March 3, 2011 7:00 am | by John Klinge, Product Manager, Metal Detection | Articles | Comments

Today's industrial metal detectors — with better technology and numerous features — now make it possible to consider using them at several stages along a production line, not just near the end before the product is stored or shipped. In fact, metal detectors should be used wherever there is the chance that ferrous or nonferrous metal particles may contaminate a product stream.

The Light Bulb: More Complicated Than You Think

March 2, 2011 5:54 am | Videos | Comments

With incandescent bulbs on their way out, it's a good time to take a look back at the technology that has been almost ubiquitous for decades. Bill Hammack, a professor at the University of Illinois — Urbana, take a close-up view at the filament, which is much more complicated than many of us would have expected.

Where Is Volvo Headed?

March 2, 2011 5:54 am | Videos | Comments

Now that Volvo is a Chinese-owned company, what does its future hold? CEO Stefan Jacoby says that the company's new focus is China, with U.S. and Europe coming in a distant second, with the new V60 plug-in hybrid leading the charge. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Intel Pays Forward For Better Education

March 2, 2011 5:53 am | Videos | Comments

How can America retain its edge in the competitive world of technological research and innovation? MSNBC visits with Intel CEO Paul Otellini to discuss the various ways in which we're slipping. One of his primary concerns? Losing the educational battle with Asia, which will leave us without skilled workers for decades to come.

Consumer Reports: Japanese Are On Top

March 2, 2011 5:52 am | Videos | Comments

Consumer Reports released its report of the best cars on the market, with the Japanese performing exceptionally well. Honda took the top spot, followed by Subaru and—perhaps surprisingly—Toyota. Ford represented Detroit well, but GM and Chrysler? That's another story entirely. Visit msnbc.

Americans Get Too Tied Up In Gadgets

February 23, 2011 9:03 am | Videos | Comments

A new survey with MSNBC and Reader's Digest shows that more Americans than ever are inextricably connected to their gadgets. With more than 95 percent of respondents with access to a computer, it's clear that we're downing as much digital media as possible. Are we getting too connected? Visit msnbc.

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.

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.

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